Family selfie

The Prompt: Gratitude

It’s been a mixed week for me. I’ve struggled with it, even though it wasn’t all that bad. My anxiety is still playing up and many people just don’t understand it because it’s an invisible illness. They see me go out to lunch with the expats or shopping with my mum, they don’t realise that I feel sick and stressed and get a poorly tummy after eating out, that I sit at the table as the conversation gets louder mentally calming myself, trying to block out the escalating noise that escalates my fear. They don’t know that I can’t go out alone, not that I keep that fact quiet, but they don’t see it.

So what does that have to do with gratitude? Well, I’m thankful for a supportive family, we have our differences, our moments, our arguments, but they support me even though they often don’t understand my illness either. They support me out of love, they trust me and my insight into my illness enough to know that I know what’s best for me, most of the time. They help me in more ways than I could possibly mention here. I am so thankful for them because, without my Mum and Step-Dad especially, I would literally never leave the house, I would have no life, I would be nothing but a victim of my anxiety. They make it possible for me to be more than that.

I’m grateful for my friends; those I have met in person and those I have yet to. They provide a constant, 24 hour, 7 day a week, 365 day a year support network. When I fall, they throw me ropes. When I am drowning, they remind me how to swim. When I am lost, they turn my internal GPS on. Without them I would feel so alone. Without them I wouldn’t know that many of us fight, mentally ill or not, for life at one time or another. Without them I would not understand true love and friendship.

And, in a funny sort of way, I am grateful for my illness. Without it I would not be the person I am today. While I may curse it, hate it and fight it, I know that it is because of it that I have grown into the person I now am. I may naval-gaze too much, but that has allowed me to learn about myself, to discover myself, and to begin creating myself. I am grateful that it has weeded out people in my life who didn’t really care, the fair-weather friends if you will.

It is not fun to be mentally ill. It is hard. Harder than you would ever imagine. But there are things for which we can be grateful. It has made me who I am, and who I am is pretty awesome, if an emotional wreck!

What are you thankful for?


  1. Maddy@writingbubble

    Life may not have played you the easiest of hands but it sounds like you have awesome friends and family to help you through. I love that you see the positive side of your illness too – that takes strength. I think with everything going on in the world at the moment, those of us with stable homes do have an awful lot to be grateful for. I’m trying to remind myself of that at the moment. xx #theprompt

  2. mummyshambles

    A supportive family is half the battle won when you have a mental illness. I think that good can come from any given situation because it’s all about choices in how to deal with what we are suffering with/from and the actions we take.
    Wonderful post, Mrs T. X #theprompt

  3. Lisa from Lisa's Life

    I’m so happy your family are kind and supportive…mine are to a point when the depression rears its head but the anxiety they just don’t get. It’s so important for you to have good people around you and, as you know, it’s important too to remember that the toughest days will pass.

    Much love x

  4. Coombe Mill - Fiona

    Family and Friends are definitely what makes life so special and worth living. #ThePrompt

  5. sherry from sherrys pickings

    a very thought provoking post. i have had episodes of depression where i cried in cafes cos i couldn’t decide what to order; where i would go into the loo at work to just sit and cry for 15 minutes; where any decision was so huge it was unbearable. all the best to you.

  6. Sara | mumturnedmom

    I’m so glad that your family and friends are so supportive, even if they don’t fully understand. I am so inspired by the positives you have taken here, that shows great strength and self-awareness. Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

  7. Sheri

    I really understand what you mean about being grateful for your illness. Whenever I hear “How awful for you that you had to live through that,” in relation to my domestic violence and/or my mental illness I always have to say, “Yes it was awful, but I wouldn’t be the strong (for the most part!) or empathetic woman I am today without it all.” I am grateful for my husband and his willingness to see beyond my mental illness and simply love me.

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