Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate, and for those of you that don’t.
As most families and friends gather for a feast today, sharing good times, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Football games…
I would like to actually focus on the less fortunate ones that don’t have this luxury. This is a very difficult time for me to be giddy, and joyful. As with most people that suffer from mental illness/disorders do, we tend to become a bit more subdued when the holiday seasons come around. Not everyone, mind you, but for some, this time may trigger memories in which you just don’t want to remember.
Last night as I lay in bed, I reflected on Thanksgivings in the past. Some of which were when the family was close and we all loved one another deeply, others filled with sorrow because of the family breaking apart. My family, in particular, is dysfunctional as can be.
Here is just one fine example of how dysfunctional it truly is… My mom is staying at my sister’s house in Jensen Beach, FL., an hour away from where my mom lives (West Palm Beach). I sent my mother a text this morning and told her to call me when she woke up. I received a text back from her, indicating that she would talk with me tomorrow, which in turn meant… “Can’t speak to you around your sister.” , but, Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your friends & her family.
Since I became mentally ill, my younger sister looks down on me. Considers me overly sensitive and weak. She shows me nothing but disdain and thinks I’m basically useless. ‘Nice, huh?’ The most communication we have is a text on birthdays and holidays. “Can’t you feel the love?”
What hurts the most is that my mom won’t speak to me when she is in her company.
I also reflected on the last 2 years. I was homeless. The people that resided in temporary housing truly had to make the best of a lousy situation. Because most of us only collected general assistance and food stamps, money was tighter than a girdle around an elephant. We would gather our resources, and make a meal together, and to be honest… There was a lot of laughter to be shared. All of the residences had some form of mental illness/disorders and were there due to circumstances. Most of which, because our families had given up on us. We each felt disconnected from the happiness outside the walls of that place, but we tried to make things cheerful for one another because we were there for one another.
Okay, I’m rambling here, and I apologize for that. I guess what I am trying to get to is this… Since I was formally diagnosed with mental illness I have attempted to break the Stigma that surrounds all things mental health. I have read more and more blog sites pertaining to how other’s cope with their families, friends during the holiday season, and some of the stories that I have read, have broken my heart. We don’t deserve to be discarded in any way, shape or form. We are still human beings with a great deal to offer. We fight this every day of our lives. I still share a kindred spirit with friends that are still homeless who suffer from mental illness and let me tell you something… They are more family to me than my real family is. (No disrespect towards my mother), but to feel that she is not able to speak to me because my sister is closed minded, is beyond me.
Here are the things I am most Thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day:
The relationship I do have with my mother on a one on one basis. She will always be my best friend.
The friendships I have developed since 2015. To “JK”, “LG, and “JK”… You are my True Family.
The acquaintances here in the blogosphere that I hold very dear to my heart.
I am eternally grateful for all the bumps and bruises, and the lessons I have learned to make me a better version of myself. To face each and every day, with air in my lungs, and a new lease on life.
I am proud of myself and for others that fight daily to overcome obstacles in their way. To know we have each other backs, and support one another is such a gift.
I wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving, count your blessings and find something to be grateful for, even if it’s the tiniest little thing.
Take Care & God Bless You,