Some of you know that holidays are not exactly my favorite thing. That includes my birthday which of course just had to be on a national holiday; I did not have control over this, I promise.
Regardless of my disposition, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to still having a sliver of hope that I’ll be pleasantly surprised someday by a holiday or two. That little sliver told me this morning, “go on, make a Thanksgiving post. It will be a nice start to the day.” After some grumbling I agreed, put on my fuzzy robe, and here I am. Don’t let my resting bitch face fool you; this will be cheerful, I swear.
This year has been one of the most difficult I’ve lived through. I moved to Missouri last year with high hopes that my life would take a drastic turn for the better, and instead everything got significantly worse. My health went downhill, I couldn’t find a job and went completely broke, my grandfather passed away, I had to disown two of my four remaining family members due to their constant abuse, and just when I thought I had finally hit rock bottom, I broke up with my boyfriend that I moved to Missouri for. I also lost a few close friends as well as my health insurance. It was all a bummer. Well, that’s an understatement. It all really fucking sucked!
When all else fails, most people say, “at least you can be thankful for your health!” However, when you’re chronically ill and have been without proper care, that isn’t uplifting. So what can I be thankful for? At first the outlook seems bleak; I sound like the fourth Baudelaire child that they forgot to mention because her story was too unfortunate even for Lemony Snicket. On many days I feel the suffocating weight of my depression. Recently I have begun to look to the words of my favorite YouTuber, Olan Rogers. In his documentary for his soda parlor, he said that during the lowest point of his life when everything seemed to crumble, he began to focus on the tiniest victories to keep himself going. I took his advice to heart, and the last few months, I have been focusing on even the tiniest blips of happiness and positivity to get me through my life. And you know what? It’s kind of working.
I present to you my gratitude through my complex, Sickly Stardust life. Here we go!
I am thankful for the friends I have not lost, who have loved me relentlessly through each battle I have faced. When I thought I could not go a step further because I felt broken and abandoned, they pumped their love into my veins so that I would carry on:
- Stan Lovelace
- Jacquelynn Rhodes
- Chris Berger
- Michael Enos
- Cassy Kurdi
- Austin Cairns
- Andrey Moiseyev
- Bre Philley
- Brian Frink
- Dominick Colon
- Jessica Cowan
- Adam Puckle
- John Clark
- My beautiful big sister
Thank you all so much for getting me through to the next level.
I am equally thankful for the new friends I have made who have quickly become dear to me. They jumped into my life at its worst possible time, yet somehow decided to form friendships with me that are now invaluable. I’m amazed how quickly someone can go from being a stranger to being one of my favorite people in the entire galaxy. I couldn’t imagine being without them:
- Nat Smith
- Charlotte Kawa
- Eric and Amanda Van Fleet
- David Bigler
- Chelsea Neil
- Holly Ward
- Danull Butabi
- Wes and Kevin Mullins
- Mr. ShawnEShawn
I am so honored and elated that you are in my life, and many of you have been the highlight of my year.
Then there are the kind people I have met in my life who have become parental figures, since even when I did have parents, they were highly dysfunctional save for my grandmother. They’ve blessed me with the guidance that I never received, and have added hopefulness to my life. Sometimes I felt it was too late for me to learn what I was never given, yet these people prove to me over and over that it’s never too late for me:
- My adoptive mothers Rose and Sheryl
- my dear friend and teacher from back home, Jeff Forehan
- Ron White
- Betty Shirley and Linda Mudd
I must also mention my friends Jonathan Copeland and Mark Specht. Though I have only had one long conversation with Jonathan, I was fortunate enough to learn quite a bit about him. He has suffered greatly, yet the person he has become despite it all is seriously extraordinary. He completely astounds me. During our conversation he reignited my fire that fuels my dream of being a writer, which is something I’m always in need of. Then there is Mark, my landlord and friend. Out of all the apartments I could have ended up at, I am forever thankful that I ended up at his. He is so sweet and kind as well as extremely fun to talk to. I don’t think he’s told often enough, but he’s wonderful.
Lastly I am thankful for my incredible social worker who raised me up from my darkest and most frightening part of my life. When I had met her I had truly given up hope that things would ever get better for me; I thought myself exempt from the idea that everyone deserves love and happiness. I was depressed and more anxious than ever, having panic attacks every day and called the crisis line several times a week. I was certain I was going to be killed by the sheer heaviness of my life. I felt suicidal, and my soul was smashed to bits each morning I woke. With my social worker’s help as well as the help from the BHR program here in St. Louis, I now have a counselor, a psychiatrist, and am just beginning to see doctors to get my health back under control. I haven’t felt suicidal in a month, haven’t called a crisis line in a month, my panic attacks have gone from daily to only coming on rare occasion, and I have regained belief that my life really does mean something, and that I am capable of having the life I hope for.
Have you noticed a theme in this post? It’s all people! Throughout my year full of sickness and loss, extraordinary people have helped me to survive. Not only those I mentioned, but even the stranger at Trader Joe’s last night who gave me a bouquet of flowers, the many kind nurses, doctors and techs I’ve met during each hospital stay, and the people I’ve only met for a second, who have come in and out of my life, but who still managed to positively impact me. Naturally this includes my followers who have given me the driving force to accomplish my dream. That sounds disgustingly cheesy, but deal with it, okay?
The world is often overbearing, filled with all sorts of hideousness. But the beauty that remains comes from amazing people, who even through the greatest pain spread love. I firmly believe that there are not more wicked people in the world; the bad people are just so much louder, but just because they’re kicking and screaming, doesn’t mean they are winning. Though it may be difficult to believe, I know that just as in movies, in real life, the good guys prevail. It may not come quickly and we may be battered from the fight, but goodness can still get through.
Thank you to all the superheroes of my life who constantly save me and inspire me, even if they are unaware that they are doing it. By being yourselves you make it far more pleasant for me to exist, and though I have written all these words, they still aren’t enough. I don’t think any amount of words can fully describe how much I love the people I have come to know. I may not have much, I still find myself bursting from the seams with gratitude; and that’s all because of you.
It’s only 9 a.m and I’m already crying on Thanksgiving! I’m going to be one salty turkey.
This world’s an ugly place, but you’re so beautiful to me.
If you’d like to watch Olan Roger’s short documentary, Click here! (you should; it’s deeply inspiring).