Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'm Grateful for...

This will probably be my last post before Christmas. For the record I am an ardent Christmas hater. It is not that I hate the original meaning of Christmas. Even though I do not believe in God I think the original Christmas story and the many of the ideas behind Christianity are beautiful ideas.

For instance I believe in treating others the way Jesus is portrayed to have treated others in the bible. I believe if he existed (and I am open to him having done so) he was an ideal person: treating others with love and respect, reaching out to those in need, humble, thoughtful, caring. These are the values I hold close to me too. I have not been able to achieve them to my liking yet, but I am working on that everyday.

What I hate about Christmas is the disgusting and rampant consumerism that comes with the holiday. I'm all one for giving gifts, but I am repelled by the hoards of shoppers spending more money than they can afford on tons and tons of gifts for there kids, or there families. I would like to see every single person donate 1/2 of what they normally spend at Christmas to a charitable organization.

There are millions of people in need. Millions who will not receive a gift Christmas morning. In my city alone, in one approximately 10-15 block area, the Downtown Eastside, they estimate there are more than 2000 people living with no shelter. This saddens me. Most of these people have addiction and/or mental health problems. Not having a home complicates these problems.

For me, in my life I really need nothing more than what I have in terms of material goods. Of course I would like to become well this year. I would also give anything to have my Mom back. If I could have any gift/s those two things would be what I would want. Unfortunately, neither of these things can be bought or given to me by anyone this, or any other, Christmas.

I have had many gifts this year that I am grateful for:

  • The love of my two sisters and my nieces. This has made the loss of our Mom at least bearable. Without them I do not think I would have survived the last two years. I love them more than anything in this world.
  • My husband who, and this is hard for anyone, has stayed with me most days this year. We have had so much sadness in this house for years due to my depression, losing my mom, our dog being sick etc. While he does not support my psychiatric treatment, he does help me in other ways. We have had many, many really hard days, but he loves me through all I have gone through and all I have taken him through. I know it is not easy being around someone as depressed as I am.
  • My friends "D.M" and "H.H". Even though we do not see each other a lot because they live so far away. I always feel a connection to them that I feel with no one outside my family.
  • The constant and unflagging support of Dr. X. I feel blessed for having met him and for being a patient in his care. Without him I know I would not be here today.
  • My online friend and fellow blogger Jcat of "Jcat and the Big Bad Wolf". She has been so supportive of me. I only hope I can be as supportive towards her. Thanks Jcat.
  • My dog. He really is a miracle. He has 4 types of cancer, boxer cardiomyopathy, tumours growing everywhere and pancreatitis. He costs me a fortune in pain medication, two kinds of heart medication, special (really expensive) food and vet bills, but every single day he wakes up, wags his tail, cuddles with me, bounces around and shows me more respect and love anyone in the world could muster. I love him so much.
  • Other bloggers who have been so supportive of me this year...including James at "Letters from the Sanitarium", Polar Bear at "The Polar Blog" and Dr Shock at "Dr Shock MD PhD"
  • The members at the Art Clubhouse I attend. All of them have been so helpful, kind and caring. The members at this clubhouse really did make my year a better one.

Thank you all and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

1 comment:

James said...

What a beautiful post. It is great that even though you're feeling cruddy that you are able to see the good things in your life.

And thank-you for your kind words regarding me. We mentally ill folk need to stick together and help each other out as best as we can.

I couldn't agree more about Christmas. We went to an early movie yesterday and when we came out there were lines and lines of cars trying to get into the shopping complex/mall.

Then on the way out we saw the traffic light leading into the mall backed up to the freeway exit!! All three turn lanes!!! It made me sick to my stomach.

I don't believe in God either but agree with what Jesus supposedly said. As a Buddhist I believe he was (or at least his character if he's fake) is that of a Bodhisattva. Which is a great teacher who seeks to help others before themselves.

Anyway, I hope things are calm for you over the next few days. Hang on, they could get crazy. I'm going to hunker down and close the curtains and turn off the phone or something like that.