Most years, I welcome Thanksgiving with excitement and anticipation. But granted, I focus more on the glorified aspects of the holiday than its true meaning. Most years, I fail to appreciate my life, to reflect on what I am truly grateful for, and to thank those who mean the most to me.
But this year I am thankful. I am so unbelievably thankful it fills me with hope. First and foremost, I am thankful for my family, as cliché and characteristic as it may sound. I am thankful for my mom and dad and their unending support. Their willingness to spend 24 hours in the hospital with me day after day. Their ability to sit by my bed and calm me down, to convince me that I could push through, and to fight for me every step of the way.
I am thankful for my dad, who is strong and resilient in the face of adversity and hard times. Who has his own fears, but deals with them heroically. Who has taught me the very definition of kindness and what it means to be a genuine person.
I am thankful for my mom, who slept next to me every single night in the hospital. Who takes care of every single person in her life, without complaint and with genuine love. Who makes me laugh until I cry and who has given up everything for her family.
I am thankful for my little brother, who is my role model despite being four years younger. Who embraces and approaches life with positivity and spontaneity, and who teaches me everyday about what it means to truly live.
And in a different way, I am thankful for my recovery experience, because of what I have learned and who I hope I will become because of it.
And as I focus on these things, I attempt to make the Thanksgiving day fears fade away. I attempt to ignore the voice telling me to stay away from the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. I instead focus on the present, enjoying amazing food around the table with my beautiful family, and I hope the same for all of you.