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
- 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!
Twenty-Three (age 23)