Gratitude Lists: Celebrating 2016

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This is inspired by myambivalentexistence‘s post “What I Gained from 2016.” Great idea!

Here’s a tip from age 23: gratitude lists.

I used to do these everyday when I was recovering from my psychotic break. When I first started writing gratitude lists, the only things I could think of to be grateful for were things like “air” or “sleep” (and some days not even that because I wished I was dead). Those lists grew over time until I could find tons of things to be grateful for even though my life was far from how I wanted it to be.

So, here is a gratitude list for 2016:

2016 was a tough year in a lot of ways.

I regret quite a few things – like how I handled challenges, the opportunities I turned down because I was afraid or depressed, and how I disrespected my body with eating disordered behavior.

2016, however was also a great year in many ways.

Having gratitude and seeing the positive is definitely something I want to do more of in 2017.

So, without further ado:

Here is my 2016 gratitude list:

  • I graduated from college (despite medical leaves, hospitalizations, bipolar disorder, an eating disorder, and substance abuse issues)
  • I ended a dysfunctional relationship
  • I resolved to only become involved with people who respect me, even if that means being alone sometimes
  • I accepted my imperfections and let people see my flaws
  • I ended my restrictive diet (of 1.5 years) and began eating all types of foods
  • I became independent from my family
  • I traveled the world, met amazing people, and had incredible experiences
  • I started this blog to finally face my past and write without shame about my bipolar disorder, eating disorder recovery, and sobriety
  • I resumed a writing project from a couple of years ago that has great personal significance (I wrote it while recovering from my psychotic episode)
  • I stopped bingeing in a sustainable and healthy way not driven by willpower or self hatred
  • I’m now 3 years sober
  • I haven’t purged in 2 years

And here are other things I am grateful for:

  • Being alive
  • My health
  • My family that loves me unconditionally
  • Friends who know about my struggles and accept me
  • Opportunities to travel
  • This beautiful world full of diverse cultures and people
  • Food
  • My brain’s neuroplasticity that allows me to change and grow regardless of my past
  • My intelligence, courage, and resourcefulness
  • My commitment to eating disorder recovery and sobriety
  • This incredible network of strong individuals I’ve met through blogging and being real
  • My sanity
  • The kindness of strangers
  • Healing and forgiveness
  • Letting go of the past little by little
  • My optimism and resolve to make 2017 the best year ever!

I hope you all have a happy New Year’s Eve!

Best wishes,

Signature: Twenty-Three (Dear Cookie Monster)

Twenty-Three (age 23)

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2 thoughts on “Gratitude Lists: Celebrating 2016

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