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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gratitude Day 8: Happy Birthday M.......

Today is your birthday.

Today I would be busy and anxious preparing you a birthday surprise party.
Why anxious? Because I knew that whatever I do, you wouldn't appreciate my efforts. 

You know what? It was fine for me that you didn't appreciate the effort I put in for you but what made me so worried was trying to understand what you actually DID want. 
  If I prepared a party, you'd say you hate to make fuss of your birthday and I'd pay for it. 
  If I just did "nothing" and made it a simple celebration at home with only the two of us, you'd get angry and decide that you were obviously not important enough for me, and I'd pay for that, too.
  If I invited your family, you'd say you like to have your friends around (and I'd pay for it).
  When I invited your friends, you yelled and said 'What about my family?' and I'd pay for it.
  When I invited them all, you worried about how much it would cost and I'd pay for it.
  If I just ask you 'what do you want, what would make you happy?' I'd pay for it, and I paid and paid for every single thing I did or didn't do. 

None of the gifts was good enough, none of the dishes or choice of restaurant or cake was good enough.
I was crazy-anxious...

Today is your birthday, and I am still anxious.
You're not here and I won't have to prepare anything special, but I still wish I could. I just want to make you happy. That is all I ever tried to do. I wanted you to be happy.

I couldn't. I failed at that. I had to leave. Today you'll celebrate without us. I don't know if you'll be alone or surrounded by friends and family. I know your kids won't be there. I won't be there. My heart is sad for you.

On your birthday, I want to say thank you. This message will stay here on the blog, I can't send it to you, or I would pay for it, however nice it can be.

Today I am grateful for you, for the lessons you taught me. You've taught me a lot, so much more than you know. You've taught me all the things I dislike. You taught me how I don't want to be, who I refuse to ever become any more.

  Thank you for being non-appreciative. I've learned how to appreciate everyone and everything.
  Thank you for being disrespectful. I've learned the importance of respect, of people's worth and value.
  Thank you for being uncaring. I've learned how to have compassion and feel the pain of others.
  Thank you for being unloving. I've learned that love shines from the heart and through the eyes, not only in the words that people say.
  Thank you for being manipulative. I've learned to think for myself and make my own decisions.
  Thank you for being abusive. I've learned to be resilient.
  Thank you for being violent. I've learned to be strong and handle pain.
  Thank you for being who you are. I've learned I had to be away. I've learned I couldn't save you.
  Thank you for holding me prisoner. I've learned to appreciate my freedom.
  Thank you for lying to me, cheating on me, beating me, crushing my soul ....

I'm learning to forget you.

Gratitude Day 6 and 7: Thank you for support

Thank you friends,

I've had a very bad week-end on many different levels.

My thank you message for those 2 days goes to each and everyone of my friends and family for their support and presence in my life.

For those who knew I was struggling and those who didn't, you've equally helped. Support and love don't take effort or time. It can be a stranger's smile, a nice quote posted on facebook or a love message sent to all.

Thank you

Friday, December 5, 2014

Gratitude Day 5: Thank you for the hug

I can't give details on here but my "thank you" note today was for someone I love with all my heart.

"You came at the right moment and gave me an unexpected heartfelt hug.I needed it so badly. Thank you for being my pride"

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gratitude Day 4: Thank you Tanya

Dear Tanya,
"Tanya J Peterson NCC @tanyajpeterson1 May 19
@Nikkyy44 Good morning! Thanks for the RT! Btw, I've meant to mention that I like your profile picture. "

That is how our friendship started. Do you remember? 
I used to read your posts on 'healthyplace' since you took over when Jodi stopped, but I hardly commented at that time. 

Several weeks after your twitter message, I joined you on Facebook and participated to the event that was promoting your novel "My Life in a Nutshell".
I was one of the lucky ones and won a copy of the novel. I was so excited!

I'm writing you today to say how grateful I am to be your friend. It's not a post where I want to talk about your books and how much I loved them. I'm not writing about Tanya the author who made me fall in love with all the characters of her novels. I'm writing to Tanya my good friend.
You are so generous and considerate. You know how to make others feel comfortable. You're not afraid of being yourself and showing your vulnerability. You helped me to see and understand that knowing how to deal with problems is important, but it doesn't mean we can avoid facing them.

You have no idea how important your regular messages are to me, whether it's a long message or just wishing me a good day. It made such a big difference in my life because I'm not used to receiving messages unless in reply to something I have sent. I'm usually the one trying to keep contact and looking for connection. Receiving what I didn't ask for makes me feel important and loved.

Reading your novels helped a lot my journey of self-love. as I told you once: if I was one of the characters of your books, I would fall in love with myself immediately. As damaged as your characters appear, or feel they are, they are extremely lovable.
Thank you Tanya
With love

Tanya J. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, Master of Science in counseling, and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. She has been a teacher and a counselor in various settings, including a traditional high school and an alternative school for homeless and runaway adolescents, and she has volunteered her services in both schools and communities. Peterson is an active volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), including acting as a co-facilitator of the Connection support group as well as the secretary of the board of directors of her local NAMI chapter. She is a regular columnist for the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog on
She draws on her life experience on both sides of the couch (counselor and client) to write stories about the psychological aspect of the human condition, specifically mental illness and the impact it has on human beings. Her goal is to use writing and speaking to change the way the world thinks about mental illness and the people who live with it.
Peterson believes that fiction is a powerful vehicle for teaching fact. Further, she knows that people empathize with characters in novels, and commonly they transfer their empathy to real-life human beings. To that end, she has published Leave of AbsenceMy Life in a Nutshell, and the YA novel Losing Elizabeth.  Additionally, she has published Challenge!, a short story about a person who finds the confidence to overcome criticism and achieve a goal, and a book review of Linley and Joseph’s Positive Therapy: A Meta-Theory for Positive Psychological Practice that appeared in Counseling Today, the national publication of the American Counseling Association.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Mental Health Novelist, Writer, & Speaker

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Gratitude Day 3: Funny Coincidence

I arrived to work this morning and I was exhausted and in a lot of pain. I worked for some time and then told one of my colleagues: I can't wait till the 11th to have my sleep test. I'm so tired all the time whether I sleep at night or not. I'm so grateful for that doctor who gave me this urgent appointment.

The day was very busy, tiring and stressful. I thought of taking a little break. I thought I would write my thank you note of the day, but I wasn't able to decide who I was going to thank, nor I was able to even focus on anything. After all, it's OK to skip one day? That's how I was trying to convince myself.

A  man entered in my office. He talked to my colleague. He seemed really nice. I was looking at him and thinking: why is his face familiar? He then looked at me and asked: how are you doing? are you happy with the job?

As soon as he stepped out, my colleague said: Didn't you recognize him? It's the sleep doctor, the one who gave you that urgent appointment!. I ran after him and as embarrassing as it felt, I gave my honest verbal heartfelt thank you of the day!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gratitude Day 2:Thank you Dad,

Dear Dad,

I know I was never Daddy's girl. I have disappointed you often and your dreams for me were much bigger than what l have achieved in my life, but Daddy, I did what I believed was right for me. I have always been stubborn and "different". Then I changed. I started to listen more to what I should do, what I must believe and who I was supposed to be. I thought I was finally doing the right thing. It's only recently I discovered that being myself was the right thing. 
I have always wanted and needed your approval. Now I feel free. I can be myself with clear conscience and I love you just as much.

Today, Dad, without knowing what you did, you gave me the best gift in many many years without realising that you were doing so. Today after talking to me, you spoke to my sister. What you didn't know is that you were on speakerphone. You told her about this young woman who was murdered by her husband. You said that she was number 9 this year. It's the 9th announced crime in our area this year, but there are so many more women buried secretly in that country by their families who are too ashamed to tell the truth.

The gift you gave me today was that you then said: "When I heard about that latest crime I thanked God Nicole is now safe".

Thank you Dad. This means a lot to me. Love you.