Depression and… feeling thankful?

It’s easy to lose sight of good things when in the midst of a depressive spell. Please remember this: one can be thankful without feeling happy.

I am thankful for my friendships. For the roof over my head, the hot water and heat that both work, the clothes I wear, the privileged life I lead.

There are also a lot of things that I’m sad about. And a lot of times when I’m sad for no reason at all.

I am thankful that I’ve always understood this is okay.

Some people wrongly think of depression as of it were an old fashioned scale, with bowls for measurements at either end. If someone’s “good things” bowl weighs more than the “bad things” bowl, there’s no way the person can be depressed.

These are the folks who will say things like, “What do you have to be depressed about? Look at all your [fill in the blank].”

It’s poppycock and we all know this, but I worry sometimes. I worry there are people out there with depression who, on some level, have internalized this very flawed messaging.

I don’t know who out there needs to hear this today, but it’s okay to feel thankful for some things while in the midst of a depressive spell. One can acknowledge it’s nicer to have some things than not have them.

It won’t make you feel better. Or, maybe it might. I don’t know. But don’t feel for a second like being able to think of a few things you’re grateful for, however small, is somehow off the menu for you.

I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving. If you’re the hugging sort, imagine me mentally giving you a great big hug all day today.

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