Benny K always inspires me and I read his recent gratitude post prompted by the closeness over in the US of Thanksgiving today and that inspired me to write this post.
Feeling sorry for ourselves may be genuine and necessary, we trauma survivors endured a lot and victims of covert emotional abuse or negation may suffer more.. we also blame ourselves. Feeling grateful may feel like a bit of a push at times but my experience is that gratitude is truly “an opener of locked up blessings”. That is a paraphrase of a quote I found recently somewhere..And a gratitude practice does not preclude our ongoing grief work… it may actually be opened through honest sharing and grieving.
I am grateful most of all for my recovery and those who went before and lit the way.. I am grateful for those people who shared honestly at open AA meetings and for the ones who embraced me.. I am even grateful for the people who tried to close me down and negate me, like Phil, my ex partner.. knowing what he struggled with due to having an abusive alcoholic dad and having been left by his Mum when very young I can see why he felt the need to shut the door on his softer feelings of pain and why he displaced a lot of his anger onto me and my sister and mother too. I feel sad for having left him alone at a very important time in 2010. I cannot change that now as family were visiting from overseas but it hurt him, and God knows I do not have the monopoly on being abandoned.. Never the less I am grateful we broke up so I could come home and have those final years with my sister now passed and my Mum too.. Even though those 4 years with Jude and 7 years with Mum were really tough at times and she was not affirming me at all I can be grateful that I battled through and kept the connection open as well as being present and loving…
I am very grateful to this loving WordPress community too. As I share all the time affirmation and support here has saved me so many times.. I have learned so much through the sharing and think so fondly of people who followed me for periods throughout my 6 year blogging career. Some of you are no longer here and likes only pop up only occasionally from others but I am grateful, mostly I am grateful for those who opened up to me when I was undergoing tough stuff about their own struggles. We truly are all going through this together.
I am grateful to my long suffering dog Jasper for putting up with me.. He was very anxious this morning and kept his distance as my anxiety level was so high and I was all over the place. He stuck to his chair in the garage as he watched me back out the driveway with endless doggie concern.. When I look at him sometimes I see myself as a child faced with a Mum who had high anxiety.. I do get my calmer days, but today was not one of them but then the Moon moved into Aries from slow watery Pisces so my intense energy level today makes a kind of astro sense to me. Oh yes, I am so grateful to astrology too, especially Liz Greene who wonderful book on the development of personality opened my eyes to the psychodynamic insight of why we struggle with depression when true self is negated.
Really there is so much to be grateful for in life when I focus on it.. At times life can seem very dark as it did earlier to me out and about seeing so many signs of distancing around as well as passing the Cathedral where we had Mum’s funeral only three years ago.. That was a very very dark period following Lyra’s seizure and the bursting out of so much repressed.. I still cannot fully articulate it, had to just witness it all very close to the upcoming of my 24th sobriety birthday…
Most of all I am grateful to a higher power that seems to carry me through and connect me to life even on the tough days, I am grateful for nearly 27 years of unbroken sobriety.. I am grateful for the fighting spirit my Mum demonstrated too. I could not help but remember that last night before she died as she struggled to stand while the male nurse and I held her on either side.. “I must get going” she was saying. This was the eve of the 143rd anniversary of Thomas and Eliza Jane setting sail on the Dilharee from Cornwall with their four children… I may be the only one who sees the ancestral resonances, lost on others, but I am grateful for those in my family too who came forward with the ancestral information… that helps me to make sense of so much and see a far larger pattern at work in all of this… and for the ability to see those larger patterns woven through time, I am also grateful.
Most of all I am grateful to now be able to live at least a little bit more than was possible at even this times last year.. Much as I cry lately I know the tears have meaning and I no longer need anyone else’s affirmation of them although, as we all know, it’s a true blessing and even bigger reason for gratitude when we receive that affirmation.