How I Learned To Be Grateful

Most days I wake up grateful. I think to myself, “Thank god I’m still around to experience all of this.” 

In my teenage years I struggled with serious depression and suicidal thoughts. The most accurate descriptor of the kid that I was back then was: lost. I didn’t know who I was, where I was headed, or why. Life was tough for me at that time. I didn’t worry about the future because I could barely handle the present. It started with depression. Then the depression morphed into hopelessness, helplessness, and misery. That’s when I stalled out. I sat there and I waited. I guess some weird part of me thought that this was what I deserved. So I sat there and I wallowed in my misery. I didn’t question it or look for a way out, I just accepted it.

I hated life back then. I was sad. I was depressed. I was unmotivated. And I was miserable. 

But in hindsight, it was all a part of my journey. Perhaps this was the only way for me to learn gratitude. Life sent me through the desert with no water. And there comes a point where you’re tired and exhausted and thirsty and you feel like you’re about to give up. You’re at the absolute end of your rope, when all of the sudden, you feel a drop of water. It had been so long that I had forgotten what it felt like. And as soon as I got that taste, I needed it back. I accidentally I starved myself of the joys of life and let me tell you; It sucked. But it left me with a new found perspective on life. 

I am a much different person these days, and I think I owe a lot of it to these past experiences. I know what it’s like to be depressed. I know what it’s like to feel unmotivated. I know what it’s like to be in constant pain. I know what it’s like to be miserable. I know what it’s like and I remember it. 

That’s why every single day when I wake up I’m so grateful. I’m grateful not to be in pain. I’m grateful to have a loving family and supportive friends. I’m grateful to live in a beautiful country where I’m free to pursue my dreams. I’m grateful to have something to look forward to. I’m grateful to be in good health and of sound mind. I’m grateful just to be here. And all I have to do is remind myself of where I was and where I am now.

As much as I wish that I had never gone through most of those experiences, they’ve helped shape the person I am today. For that, I can’t help but be grateful. They’ve taught me to appreciate the little things. They’ve shown me the power of perspective. They’ve shown me that we are responsible for our lives and our attitudes. They’ve also shown me some of the worst that life has to offer.

I’ve learned some of my most powerful lessons from my time in the depths. Although it took me some time, I can now look back on these times and gain strength from them. 

Don’t underestimate the power of being grateful.

“When you feel grateful, you become great, and eventually attract great things.” – Plato

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