November is the month to be grateful for the things in our lives we have and for the family and friends God has blessed our lives with. In this month centuries ago Indians and pilgrims put aside their difference and sat down at a feast to give thanks. Many put on social media something they are thankful for each day of November. When struggling with mental illness, it’s hard to look past the dark hole to what they do have that is good in their lives.
A good way to combat the darkness is to start a gratitude journal. Take a notebook, a journal, or put papers together in a folder and on the front write “Gratitude Journal.” Each day write things you are thankful for. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It can be something simple like waking up in the morning. If you’re an artist draw something you are grateful for.
Let me give you an example from my life. Here are some things I am thankful for.
Date: November 25
- I’m thankful to wake up next to my husband.
- I’m thankful for Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel.
- I’m thankful for phone calls to family.
- I’m thankful for not having to cook.
- I’m thankful for a relaxing day.
- I’m thankful for Christmas movies.
- I’m thankful for a ride in the country even though it was raining.
- I’m thankful to have a home.
- I’m thankful I woke up this morning.
- I’m thankful for my husband being there when I had a meltdown and cried in his arms.
- I’m thankful for my friends and family to turn to when I’m feeling discouraged.
- I’m thankful for my dog who always knows when I need extra cuddles.
- I’m thankful I made it to the bus stop without falling on the ice.
- I’m thankful my manager was able to give me some hours to work next week.
- I’m thankful for my customers who were nice today.
- I’m thankful for a dinner out tonight.
- I’m thankful I could help a friend with produce codes.
- I’m thankful I could spend some time with my husband tonight before he went to bed.
Now you try it. Take out a piece of paper or a notebook. Grab a colorful pen or pencil and start writing. Look around you. What do you have in your life to be thankful for? Do you have a home? Do you have friends? Did you get up this morning? Did you watch a movie you really like? Did you call a friend or family member? Did you eat today? All of these are things to be grateful for. Even though they seem small and meaningless, they aren’t. They are wonderful parts to your life. For many just getting out of bed is a big accomplishment. So be grateful for that.
I know your mind and heart may be clouded, but while you sit at the bottom of the hole there are still good things all around you. It’s hard to see when your soul is being tormented, but positive things exist in your life. Now look around, find them, and write them down. Start your gratitude journal today.
It took me a while to find stuff to be thankful for, but now that I’m in recovery I have found many wonderful things in my life. I’m grateful to be in the light of recovery.