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When I first set out to compose this post, I expected it to be particularly difficult. After all, 2013 has been by far the worst year of my life. With the loss of half of a third of my family, depression, a suicide attempt, chronic insomnia, etc, etc, etc, what do I really have to be thankful for?

So very, very much.

This year taught me how much I am loved, who's truly on my side, and that there are people I can count on when I need them most. A lot of them. This year also saw a strengthening and repair of many of the relationships in my life, at exactly the time when it was needed most. I can't hope to do justice to the thanks I owe, but here's a start.

The Horde
I cannot find the words to express how grateful I am for the Horde. They literally saved my life, and that was just the beginning. They've shown me incredible patience and boundless love and kindness. They've supported me in darkest hours, helped me begin to put my pieces back together, and continue to put up with my crazy PTSD shit when I lose my mind. They were also patient and understanding when my energies were focused on other relationships, and more recently when they've been directed inward. I know I've been super needy, loves. Thank you for being here for me. I've never felt closer to you all than I do right now.

My Friends
The Horde has kept me alive, and my friends add color to my world. They bring fun, love, additional shoulders to cry on/bitch to, and much needed distraction. From the Beer Knight crew to the peeps I mostly interact with online, you guys are my extended family and my larger support network, and your presence and camaraderie are a true treasure. I've changed more as a person in the last year than at any other time of my life, but here you still are! I need to spend more time with you all, and need to spend less of that time being emo and withdrawn. :-)

My Bio Family
I get along well with my bio family, but hadn't felt especially close to them in a long time. When things went bad though, they showed their colors and made it clear that time and distance don't diminish love & importance. My dad came to visit me in the hospital, my sister and I spoke for the first time in almost a year, and my mom called daily, starting a dialogue between us that's still ongoing. She'd suffered a similar recent loss, and our ability to commiserate has led us to open up and have deeper conversation than we've ever had in my life. All of this has been a marvelous and unexpected boon.

My Therapist
It has to be said. Patty has been a godsend (figuratively speaking, of course). To look back and remember that I initially resisted the idea of seeing a therapist seems almost comical. She's provided a safe venue and been an insightful guide for both mending my relationships within the Horde and for recognizing and navigating the minefield in my head. She does an amazing job of both being a sympathetic & impartial ear and calling me on my bullshit when it's warranted. I couldn't ask for more.

No, really. It's worth mentioning here, and the people who invented it should be nominated for sainthood. When The Crazy takes hold it can be brutal and incapacitatingly painful. Xanax shuts that shit down, and does it in a hurry. Having gotten experienced enough to know when my brain is heading for a panic attack, I can now take it prophylactically. I've been spared untold suffering because of it. I seldom need it anymore, but it's a relief just knowing that it's there.

Here's hoping for a less eventful year to come for us all!


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 29th, 2013 12:53 am (UTC)
If you don't mind me asking, what pushed you over the edge to seek out a therapist? And why were you originally reluctant? There's a number of people in my life who I think would benefit from it but do not agree with me for one reason or another. I wish to respect their autonomy of course, but they're in pain and even if I can't help, I want to understand why they don't want help.

Sorry if this brings up bad memories... But um, happy Thanksgivukkah! :-P
Dec. 4th, 2013 01:13 pm (UTC)
I don't mind at all! This isn't something that I've ever stopped thinking about, so you're not digging up something that's at all buried. It's constantly on my mind.

I don't know if my situation will be of much use to you, but all of the pieces were already in place for other reasons. femetal and I started relationship counseling at the beginning of the year for mostly unrelated reasons. Couple's counseling turned into counseling for three, so when the crisis/breakup happened focus just shifted to PTSD/grief counseling. (The breakup itself happened in our therapist's office, which was absolutely the best environment.) We're fortunate that our therapist also specialized in trauma therapy.

From a pharmacological standpoint, I was on meds for ADHD, so I already had a psychiatrist. Again, when the world ended the focus shifted. I went off of the ADHD meds and onto antidepressants. Of course I'm back to being unfocused much of the time (SQUIRREL!), but it's a worthwhile tradeoff.

I hope your Thanksgivukkah rocked!
Nov. 29th, 2013 01:58 pm (UTC)
I'm happy for you that things seem to be getting better & you have so many people in your life to help.
Nov. 29th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC)
Beautiful post! Happy Thanksgiving! I'm glad you are seeing the good things that have evolved from the bad.

Hugs & love! tm

Edited at 2013-11-29 02:28 pm (UTC)
Dec. 8th, 2013 05:07 pm (UTC)
I'm like totally bankrupt as far as LJ goes and have no idea what's been happening to you the past few years. Glad you got better after being sick, though!

So my only contribution here is to post Iron Maiden lyrics! This song, despite its tone, always inspires me to percivere:

You'll take my life but I'll take yours too
You'll fire your musket but I'll run you through
So when you're waiting for the next attack
You'd better stand there's no turning back

The bugle sounds as the charge begins
But on this battlefield no one wins
The smell of acrid smoke and horses breath
As you plunge into a certain death

The horse he sweats with fear we break to run
The mighty roar of the Russian guns
And as we race towards the human wall
The screams of pain as my comrades fall

We hurdle bodies that lay on the ground
And as the Russians fire another round
We get so near yet so far away
We won't live to fight another day

We get so close near enough to fight
When a Russian gets me in his sights
He pulls the trigger and I feel the blow
A burst of rounds takes my horse below

And as I lay there gazing at the sky
My body's numb and my throat is dry
And as I lay forgotten and alone
Without a tear I draw my parting groan
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )