Friday, November 24, 2017

Be Thankful and Get On With It!

I'm lucky. 

I know I often bitch and complain about paper cuts and other terminal injuries here but I know in my heart I'm lucky. 

I'm lucky I have friends who give a shit about me. 

I have friends who actually care if I live or die.  I have friends who say things like, "Ted, don't die on me" or "I would really be hurt if you died." 

I have friends who watch out for me when I don't watch out for myself.  There have been times this year when I simply did not care about the consequences of my actions and my friends did.  Not only that, they stepped in and actively brought my attention to such things, and tried to steer me away from bad choices. 

Not that I listen, mind you, but they tried.  A for effort, right? 

I'm not going to insult myself today.  I'm not going to make a bunch of self-deprecating jokes, either.  Instead, I will say that I was on my way out and I didn't care but they did.  My friends cared. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who invite me over to their house for Thanksgiving because they know if they don't, I'll sit around at home and binge-watch crap like Lucifer. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who know me well enough to know I need to hear positive affirmations because it's hard for me to do it myself.  My friends know I have a lot of negative programming to overcome and they are doing their best to re-write that programming to reflect a positive self-image.  I can't do that myself.  I need friends to help me. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who put up with my self-pity as I wallow in the pit I dug for myself. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who listen to me complain about being alone after self-sabotaging just about every single relationship I've ever had. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who help me get the ice cream out of my freezer so I don't sit around eating it while binge-watching crap like Lucifer.  I have no idea why I keep watching that show but I do.  It's really not very good.  Lucifer is a pansy, his romantic interest is clueless, and his mother is so conflicted I keep waiting for her to split into two people.  All the while, they talk about God as if he's some drunken father stumbling around with a bottle of cheap whiskey. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who know about healing, recovery, and holistic methods for curing ailments that are often self-inflicted.  I never used to know much about that sort of thing.  I never cared.  I knew where I was going on pulling up and out of that nose-dive just wasn't part of the plan.  But my friends knew better and now that I'm making the effort, they're supplying the tools. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who hug me and tell me I'm important to not only them but to the rest of the world and losing me would be bad for everybody. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who made sure I went to see a doctor when I was perfectly content to just let nature take it's course. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who watch out for me when it comes to women because I tend to be an emotional moth with a streetlamp.  Oh, you aren't repulsed by me?  I'll just gravitate towards you until you tell me you're not interested in anything other than friendship and totally destroy me because I banked everything on you being my salvation. 

Until I self-sabotage and self-destruct right in front of you, of course. 

I'm lucky I have friends who are there to help me pick up the pieces and wrap them all up with duct tape so I can do it all again a few months later. 

I'm lucky I have friends who don't roll their eyes when I tell them about the new "She's the one" every couple of months. 

I'm lucky I have friends who are happy for me when I announce some small victory because I'm so used to having every victory taken from me that I disqualify them myself now.  Just lost a few pounds?  Those are the garbage pounds early on.  Don't mean anything.  Just put on a pair of pants I haven't been able to wear in over a year?  Garbage pounds, no big deal. 

Tonight, I walked down a flight of stairs with a load of laundry and back up.  I was able to do so without pain, or having to go slowly, because of fear of falling or bad knees.  The lost weight is the reason for that.  I could discount that achievement by saying a lot of things.  My friends won't allow that and cheer for me when I'm not capable of being happy for myself. 

I'm lucky to have friends who understand that even a minor victory is still a victory. 

I'm lucky to have friends who didn't turn their backs and forget about me even though I removed myself from as much of life as possible. 

So yes, I'm thankful.  I'm thankful for a lot of things but more importantly, I'm thankful for people.  I'm here because of the people in my life.  Things aren't nearly as important as people.  Things are just things.  Situations can be managed.  It's the people who make the real difference in our lives. 

I'm afraid of admitting this.  The last time I expressed gratitude like this it was with my wife.  We were talking about how great things were.  I was holding our daughter and she was laughing as I blew raspberries into her belly.  My wife and I were acknowledging how good things were for us.  Within a few short weeks, all Hell broke loose, and everything was shattered. 

I don't think I could survive another one of those.  But fear is the mind-killer and so I'm confronting Fate by acknowledging that I'm lucky to have the people in my life that I do.  I feel incredibly vulnerable right now but ungratefulness is the worst sin of all.  Not acknowledging what you've been given diminishes just how great that gift is so saying nothing is far worse. 

I'm lucky.  Please, Fate, don't take this away from me, too.  

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