I have struggled with depression off and on most my life. It has mostly been mild and untreated. And I have learned over the years that a large portion of when it flares is my own expectations for myself getting set higher than is reasonable to achieve.
An hour ago I was crying in a heap on the bathroom floor. The culmination of still feeling like my face will explode from sinus pressure, inability to sleep, and added pregnancy stress crashing face first into the fears of needing to return to a job that doesn't pay sick days but then risks the exposure of innocent people to this illness spiraling into the fears of money and motherhood that always lie just beneath the surface for me.
Despite my best efforts to not wake my husband, because he too is suffering this head cold and also because even knowing it is a warning sign for me, I do not like people to see me cry; my husband found me. He listened to all my fears about wanting to give in to take medication but feeling it was selfish because of the child growing inside me. He listened as I cried that my Grandpa would know what to do and the over two-year-old wound that still misses him and understood. And he listened to my fears of falling short as a mom and as a co-provider. And he listened as I told him in all honesty that I knew I was sinking into the dark because I could not think of the gratitude that is my anchor.
Then he reminded me to look for the truth. He reminded me to find the perspective that none of us are perfect. He reminded me that medicine was there for a purpose and that there are times it is needed. He reminded me of all the things I do right as a mom and as a co-provider. He was my rock and provided me the foundation to sit back up from the rubble.
There are times gratitude is hard. There are times that even practicing gratitude for nearly a decade, I stumble. Sometimes I can get back to my feet on my own and sometimes I need help to see it again. I pray that each and every one of you has someone on your team for the days you need a hand back up. I pray that when that isn't readily available, at least maybe this blog will help you find some gratitude again.
Life is not a bubble that hands us everything we ask for or even everything we need. So gratitude cannot life in that perfect bubble either or it fails us. Gratitude needs to be in even the messiest parts of our life so that it can be there when we stumble and be the light when the ashes are still falling. And sometimes we need help to regain that perspective.
I'm humbly grateful this morning for my husband. I'm grateful for all we have been through that has made us a stronger team. I'm grateful for these quiet moments of connection as we hold hands and stand back up. I'm grateful for a gratitude practice that is honest, raw, and real. I'm grateful to not be on a pedestal and to remember to keep my own self-standards in check. I'm grateful to be a hand in the dark to those who need it just as I am grateful for every hand that has helped me back out of the rubble when I need it. I'm grateful to feel some ease as medicine begins to relieve some of my pain and I'm grateful to feel the welcome call of sleep.
What are you grateful for today? What dust can be brushed off from the challenges life has thrown you? Who is your hand in the darkness to help you back up when you stumble?
May today remind us we were not created to be gods on a pedestal but rather humans living a very real life. May we cherish every person, past, present, and future, that helps us from the rubble when things go sideways. And may we provide the same support to those who need us. May we always know we are not alone. Have a beautiful day!