November 21, 2011

10 things for which I’m thankful

10 things, in no particular order, for which I am thankful (From the perspective of a man who deals with mental illness).

1) My wife: She has stood by me through good times and bad. Compassionate but candid when I need to be called out for not trying hard enough. Would not be here without her and my kids.

2) Valium: Sometimes it’s the only thing that quiets my anxiety and slows down those racing thoughts.

3) My psychiatrist and my therapist: Good doctors who really understand mental illness are hard to find. If you are depressed and aren’t getting the help you need from an internist, I’d make it a New Year’s Resolution to find a specialist.

4) Chewing gum: Gum is definitely underrated.

5) Drug companies: Tar and feather me for saying this, but if they didn’t invest millions in R&D, we wouldn’t have anti-depressants that improve the lives of millions. I have no problem with them making a profit.

6) Starbucks: They say caffeine can actually help with depression. And their Mocha gives me mojo when I'm feeling down. So drink up.

7) Politics: It’s a good diversion when I don’t want to think about my problems. And it makes me realize there are people who are more confused about life than I am.

8) Blue Bell Ice Cream: I read somewhere that too much sugar can impair the brain’s ability to make enough serotonin. That’s okay. Refer back to #2 and #3.

9) My children: For making me laugh, making me cry, for teaching me about patience and for giving me three really good reasons to get out of bed on the days I don't feel like it.

10)  Football: An even better diversion than politics. Only when my team loses, I have to refer back to #2.

I know it’s been a while since I last blogged, but I haven’t had much to say. Happy Thanksgiving, and feel free to share what you’re thankful for, especially if you deal with mental illness.