I AM Grateful
I AM Grateful for my blog. I AM Grateful for my writing ability. I AM Grateful for the support I receive. I AM Grateful for the people I help. I AM Grateful for my healing.
Being Grateful is something I definitely had to learn and I AM still learning to this day. I practice it daily and I have learned I have to build my gratitude the same way I build my body in the gym. I definitely believe that is something lacking today in society......building up and strengthening our Mental Health.
It's been a little over a year since the daily practice of strengthening my Mental Health was tested. October 1, 2016 I found myself unemployed after working 11 years at my former job. Months before that day in October I knew I would be getting laid off after my government contract was not being picked up. Initially, I was in a good place because of my new practice of strengthening my mental health and spirituality. I looked at this situation as a new beginning.......a new chapter. I was excited and looking forward to what was ahead.
So as I woke up that first day of being unemployed I felt good. I knew my focus would be on continuing my job hunt, continuing my daily practices of building myself up with reading, meditation, journaling, going to the gym, etc. For 2 months that's all I did with a Great feeling about everything. After those 2 months, I started having a couple bad days where I would worry about how I would continue paying my mortgage, car note, etc. I'm sure those would be things anybody in my position would concern themselves with. I also concerned myself with my future.......Just turning 35 in November, wanting marriage and kids, Who would want me? How could I support a family? Not to mention the embarrassment of being a grown man and not having a job. As the holidays and new year rolled around those bad days would frequent and I started to not only concern myself with my bills, but I started to concern myself with my mental stability and if the progress I made would hold up. If the progress and the healing from depression and anxiety would hold up. In the past I would have my hot streaks of being positive, but soon as something that was out of my control happened, I would fall victim to my usual habits of negativity along with falling into a depress state. I would always say to myself and to those who knew I was unemployed and asked how I was feeling, "that if this was a year ago then you would probably need to worry." Yeah I'm not sure how I would have handle this situation being depressed. I don't want to think the worst, but you can guess what I'm referencing and that's real because it happens everyday.......BUT
I started to respond to those bad days with gratitude, whether saying it out loud or writing it down. I would give thanks everyday for everything I had and that helped me to not concern myself on what i didn't have, it kept me in the present moment, it kept me in a good mood, etc. I was determined not to go back to where I was and I remember when I was at my breaking point and decided I was tired of living a life of depression and anxiety.
That daily practice of Gratitude helped ease me through everyday, week, and month. I was unemployed for 4 months before I finally found a job. My severance was dwindling, those unemployment checks wasn't going to be enough once that severance ran out. The job I got was a blessing, but I couldn't start it until I got a higher clearance than I already had smh lol. I was sitting at home with a job now, but couldn't work. I started getting frustrated and anxious once again. Out of that frustrated and anxiety I came up with the idea of this very blog and was encourage by my friends who I recently told about my 20 year battle with depression and anxiety. To say they were shocked was an understatement as a lot of people have been since I started this blog.......anyway.
Month 5 I was able to find another job and I was grateful to be working, but the pay was no where near what I was making and I was tested again. I was at this particular job for a month and I had to focus a lot of my energy on being Grateful for it despite the pay. After that month the first job I got finally came through and I was able to start. This job was good opportunity at something new with potential, but I was still being underpaid. So everyday I had to write down a journal of things I was grateful for to keep myself on the right path, I had a few rough days while there. I just knew I had to keep a mindset of gratitude and positivity to attract those same things. Law of Attraction became a big deal with me. After 4 months being at that job I received an unexpected message about a position in the field I spent 11 years in prior. I interviewed for the position and was offered the job. This job was offering more money than I ever made, so I was definitely excited because despite my bills being paid, I was struggling financially because my severance had dried up. As of today I have been at this job for a little over 2 months and I AM GRATEFUL!
I know we will all have different stories......beginnings and paths, but being Grateful helped me stay present, focused on the moment I was in. Being depressed is being stuck in the past and being worried about the future will cause anxiety. Gratitude will develop more appreciation for what you have and not on the things you don't. I feel Life is Short not because of the things we don't do......Life is Short because we spend too much time in the past and chasing the future, instead of living in the moment.
I encourage everyone who reads this to start a Gratitude journal and I promise you it will change your life!
Derek M. Silver