Written By: Meggan Sommerville
I often find it interesting the ritual of sitting around the dinner table on the last Thursday of November and talking about what we are all thankful for. This is not a tradition that my family ever observed. Our Thanksgiving dinner consisted of the normal trappings of turkey, stuffing and potatoes but our conversation never centered around for what we were giving thanks.
So when it comes to this time of year, I really have to stop and think about what those things might be for which I give thanks. Of course I am thankful for my two kids, a roof over my head, a job – you know, the usual and predictable answers. Beyond that, I really don’t take the time to reflect on what I am thankful for.
And if I am going to be perfectly honest, I am not really feeling very thankful this year.
I can easily rattle off all the negative stuff that envelopes me like the stress of work never seems to let up. Issues with my ex never ends and financial issues are always mounting up.
The roller coaster of depression the last couple years has been more dramatic than ever before. So focusing on the negative is all too easy and unfortunately it comes far too naturally.
But every so often I do stop. I stop and count.
And the counting continues. Sixty seconds later the counting stops. The final count ends at eighty-two. Eighty-two small pulses felt through my fingers on my wrist. For me, each one of those pulses is a miracle. As with most of the positive things in my life, I fail to remember each one of those.
I forget to be thankful for each one of those eighty-two pulses a minute. How often do we even think about each time our heart muscle contracts anyways?
But for me, I need to focus on each one of those small pulses. They are more than just a reflection of the activity of the muscle in my chest. Just as the drum line with their cadence help keep the marching band in step, those pulse I feel through my fingers are a cadence to the march of time going on and a reminder to me to keep moving forward. They are a reminder that at more than one point in my life, I wanted and tried to stop those beats.
For me, and many like me, there is a constant battle going on. Sometimes the battle is just a quiet rumble in the distance and that cadence can be heard loud and clear. It is a reminder to keep moving, to keep fighting.
But then there are times the battle rages so aggressively that no matter how hard that beat is played, I can’t hear it. The negative overwhelms me to such an extent that it is extremely difficult to escape. But the cadence continues.
I have to remember to focus, to focus on that cadence, to focus on each one of those blessings God has given me instead of the negative influences surrounding me.
It is never easy to overcome the negative. You have to have a support system around you to remind you of the blessings in your life, to remind you of those tiny little beats your feel through your finger tips. You need people around who will take you by the hand or slap you upside the head.
There have been a few people like that for me this year. They are people who have helped me. They have encouraged me. They have supported me. They get me.
They remind me, in their own special way, to listen to and be thankful for that cadence.
Meggan Sommerville writes the blog, Trans Girl at the Cross. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
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