be thankful

So it’s the season to pause and reflect on all of the beautiful people, places, and things that have graced in your life that allow you to retracted to that special place in your life when you can count your blessings.

In the past, yes, it was true. I had so much to give thanks l I had an ivy league educated husband who was well admired and respected in the hotel community. I had a job that I loved supporting a local art gallery with its education programs and social media campaigns.

I had a beautiful home in the suburbs of Washington, DC surrounded by beautiful trail in forests that were designated never to develop. My dog, Shade, and I loved to take mid-afternoon hike through the beautiful fall leaves.

I had a slick race car and access to 4 and 5-star hotels all across the nation. Life was good.

But when psychosis cam in and took over my life, I lost it all. I love to travel, the beautiful house, my dog, the exciting and well-paying jobs, the prestigious zip codes. My extensive clothes closet. My identity as a tech art mover and shaker in the Washington DC Metro area. Everything destroyed.

Today, I have none of those one valued pieces of my life back. I struggle with horrific financial problems. I’ve been out of the tech industry for two years. While in recovery by value as an up-to-date certified work was destroyed/ In place of my sports car, an old Nissan Rogue hobbles along on its last days. And I have swapped by 899,000K house for a low-income apartment that surprises me with the occasional mouse. And Shade is gone.

Yes, psychosis, did ruin the life that I had. But that does not mean I have to give thanks. My blog was just featured as an Emerging Mental Illness Blogger Series last week, and I was only identified as one of the Top 75 Mental Health Blogs to watch in the coming new year. I just completed NAMI Smarts advocacy training and will be meeting with lawmakers to support funding for mental health resources this February. I begin In Our Own Voice Training next week, where I hope to polish and hone my story to speak with government organizations, corporations, and first responders.

No, my life is not the fairy tale that it once was in terms of money, homes, and travel. But it is a fairy tale of sorts. I am hoping through my writing and work, I can take this cataclysmic story of mine and use it to shed hope and light on someone else’s darkest needs.

So far, things are going just as planned.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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