Chronic Illness · Chronic Pain · Grad School · Mayo Clinic · Mental Health · Personal · Recovery

Gratitude Since Mayo Clinic

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my readers near and far! I pray that today you are cherishing time with your family, whether blood or chosen, and that you are safe, sound, and surrounded by the creature comforts that tend to define this holiday.

I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for some of the wonderful things that have happened since my newest chapter of my recovery journey began.

  1. Moments of ridiculous and utter joy, such as when I dressed up as a butterfly for Halloween and met another butterfly.
    [image description: me in a blue butterfly costume and a purple wig, smiling big, while a toddler in homemade monarch butterfly wings looks at me].
  2. Great health days.
  3. Rough health days that I’ve been able to get through because of the tools that Mayo gave me (such as my bad moment bag, greater awareness of how to manage my conditions like postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and basic health maintenance skills); my friends and family; and motivation to keep going with the amazing life that’s forming around me.
  4. The celebration of my third Christian birthday.
    [image description: a collage of 5 photos. Top left: my dear friend Kara and me when we got baptized. Top center: my Sigma Phi Lambda family tree. Top right: my “Awakening” (Catholic retreat) family. Bottom left: me at the top of Arthur’s Seat, a hiking spot in Edinburgh. Bottom right: me in the baptismal tub on the day I got baptized].
  5. Increased feelings of body positivity for my own changing, funny, and powerful body.
  6. The beginning of my studies as a FULL-TIME graduate student of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary.
  7. The new friends I’m making in graduate school.
    [image description: 4 of my friends and me on Halloween. I dressed up as a red M&M].
  8. Because I’m at home, I also get to continue building already strong relationships with my local friends, family friends, and the community groups I’ve been a part of.
    [image description: “Friendsgiving” celebration with one of my fellowship groups. We’re sitting around a long table and one of our leaders is smiling as she taking the selfie].
  9. The exceptionally gorgeous fall colors that blessed us all this season.
  10. Feeling a sense of normalcy for the first time in over a decade.
  11. Continually hearing from and getting to send love to my cohort at Mayo Clinic, my fam bam.
    [image description: a few of the members of the young adult cohort that I had the privilege of overlapping with while I was at Mayo].
  12. Putting together a collaborative document about how to support others in this tumultuous time in America.
  13. Continuous helpful self-discoveries that my therapist and I come to.
  14. Going to many fewer doctors’ appointments than I used to have to, and getting that time back to live more.
  15. Having the opportunity to go back to Nashville for my second alumni homecoming.
    [image description: my college choir at my college’s alumni reunion].
  16. Conversations with people who have walked with me since the beginning of this journey, who know me at times better than I know myself.
    [image description: three of my best friends and me cuddling on a couch].
  17. Spiritual growth and beautiful, intimate moments with God through prayer, Bible study, or life experiences.
  18. This blog (and its Tumblr counterpart), what I learn from my research and the blogging community, and the encouragement that my readers give to me.
  19. Opportunities to travel, even if it’s just a few miles away, to new places and spaces.
  20. The many guest lectures and conferences that I’ve gotten to attend recently.
  21. Pieces of music like this.
  22. Continually learning to give myself more self-compassion, grace, and room to grow.
  23. My mom, sister, dad, and their loved ones who have become my loved ones as well.
  24. Acceptance to a trip going to Israel in January. (Please prayerfully consider funding part of my trip!)
  25. Sammy, my mom’s boyfriend’s puppy.
    [Sammy, a goldendoodle puppy, sleeping on the couch].

What have you been giving thanks for recently?

2 thoughts on “Gratitude Since Mayo Clinic

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