It's That Grateful Time of Year
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. Who’s grateful and for what? Don’t you just enjoy being asked what you’re grateful for? I surely don’t!
I know, I know. It’s the time of year to reflect on all the wonderful things you have going for you in life. You have a roof over your head. You can put food on the table. You can afford your medication? You can pay your doctor’s bills? You’re not living paycheck to paycheck?
Those last three are question marks intentionally. This is a reminder, that while yes, there are things to be grateful for, and you must certainly should be looking for those things and show that gratitude, but not everyone is in the right frame of mind to always see the good.
Sometimes to the mental warfare going on in a person’s head isn’t evident to those around said person. And even well intentioned, telling someone that have things they should be grateful for could actually make them feel worse than they already do, unbeknownst to that free advice giving grateful speech giver.
It reminds me a bit about my post here on quality of life. You just don’t get it until you live it.
PSA! Be Careful!
This public service announcement goes out to all those people who think it’s their place to remind us lovely parents that we should indeed be grateful for what you have. These are also the people who have no clue what is going on in that brain of yours.
Though well meaning, I’m sure, it’s not always the best to remind people they should be grateful. “Oh you have to fight to get your child services? There are people on the streets starving this Thanksgiving, be grateful you can put food on the table.”
While I’m being grateful I can put food on the table, I might not be so grateful that I may have exceeded my credit limit in doing so… because ya know, bills on tops of bills, and that’s not even including medical bills.
“I know you’re stressed and working a full-time job and coming home to manage a home and a small business, but you should be grateful for the the family you have.”
Yup, you’re right, implying I’m not grateful for my family by spending all my time working one job or another, managing the household cash flow (or lack thereof), figuring out what gets paid this month and what doesn’t, making sure my kids get some time with me, and trying to do basic things like shower…
Yes I’m grateful for the food before, the people beside me and the fact that I manage to overcome every single step of the way… but….
I Am Grateful, But I'm Also Grieving
I know they’re trying to be supportive, and you should be aware of that as well, but it’s just hard knowing what we know as parents of kids with extra needs, grateful isn’t at the top of the list. Even this time of the year.
Ya know what I want to hear? “Hey Momma, I see you, you’re kicking ass and taking names. Don’t stop being who you are because you’re amazing.”
You are amazing. And you know what, these people know it to. They just want you to see it, even though you’re stuck in a world that seems like you will never win. They want you to be grateful for the amazing things you have in life, even though you can’t see above the waves.
When you’re grieving for a normal life, it’s hard to see the amazing things your kid is doing that everyone told you would be impossible. The laughter they fill the air with that you never thought you’d hear. The small fights that you do win even though you know the war is only beginning.
That doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for those things, it just means sometimes those big time emotions are just hard to control when you’re constantly in a fight or flight mode.
You Are Grateful
You are grateful and you know it. Sometimes it’s just hard to show it when others are trying to force feed you reasons why you should be. Especially when all you really want to do is talk about what’s going on and why you feel the way you do.
It’s never that you’re not grateful. It’s almost always that you have so much more going on and it’s pretty much a never ending battle of diagnosis, testing, medication, therapies, doctor’s visits, organizing, emotions and so much more.
So, this Thanksgiving when asked what you’re grateful for, instead of fighting it, just let them know you’re grateful for them being part of your support system. Whether they understand what you’re going through or not, they’re part of your life for a reason and you’re spending this holiday with them. That, to me, makes them part of the support you need in your life, and without a doubt, you know you’re grateful for that.
So, hug that family tight, and be grateful for what you want, or nothing at all… I’m not judging. I’m grateful, for a lot of things. Sometimes I don’t share, and right now, just know I am grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Unbreakable Clan!! Stay safe, and remember, your family of like minded parents are here. You need someone to chat with because the holidays are hard? Head on over to the Unbreakable Sara Closed Facebook Group. If you’re not a member (and I know you’re not, there’s only two in there), just request to join and I’m happy to add you to a safe space where we can chat our way through.
PS. If you get a chance, stop by Moon Waves Design for some shopping for the holidays. 🙂 Shameless plug, I know, but I’m kinda proud of my work.