Gratitude, Mental Health

Friday Gratitude: I’m Up and Down

August 17, 2013
Friday Gratitude: I'm Up and Down - Sweet and Savoring

An umbrella in a puddle, Pier 57, Manhattan

So despite the fact that I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot has been happening lately, it hasn’t been easy to write this week’s gratitude post. My sensitive/empath side is on overdrive and I find myself feeling for a lot of people going through tough times this week. So many things have happened to others, and I take them on too easily: a car accident, relationship troubles,  the death of a local radio personality, the death of my great-aunt, a truck fire we drove past on the bridge.

We were down in the city for a day and a half and that was a great little getaway: fun and stimulating, yet tiring.

I might have a positive day, then feel super down and subsequently become indignant, like Wait a minute, no, I’m having a good time here! Where did that come from? Why do I feel like crying?

Of course, it’s August. I look back to last year, and this is my pattern.

It’s okay; the goal here is not to avoid my depression, or eradicate it from my life. As a dear friend wrote last week, There are things that make it better and things that make it worse, but it will never completely go away. So you have to accept that and just keep trying to do the best you can each day.

(I think I need to repeat that to myself every day)

Friday Gratitude: I'm Up and Down - Sweet and Savoring

The west side of Manhattan, looking uptown from the High Line, one of my favorite NYC parks.

Without further delay, here is this week’s Friday Gratitude, a day late and no less necessary.

1. I’m grateful for friends who understand. It’s amazing to me the kind of support and connections that have come from my sharing on this blog. It’s worth more to me than I can adequately say.

2. I’m grateful for friends who don’t understand, but do so much to help and make it better anyway. A couple of friends have given me some wonderful suggestions lately for tackling my winter depression, so much so that I’m almost looking forward to the colder weather. Imagine that!

3. I’m grateful for my physical health. Some people have to fight for their bodies to be well in addition to their mental health. I know it’s all inter-connected, but I’m glad my body does what I tell it to do every day, without protest or strain.

Friday Gratitude: I'm Up and Down - Sweet and Savoring

Walking up to the High Line Thursday afternoon

4. I’m grateful for the gift of bodywork. Andy and I both had massages on Monday afternoon, and it was such a relaxing, healing experience. Every time I get a massage, I wish I had them more often.

5. And of course, I’m grateful for New York City! The beauty, the art everywhere, the diversity, the food, and the generous friends all fed my soul. I love that we live so close to the city, and it doesn’t always have to be as expensive as we expect it to be. More to come next week on what we did and saw in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens (whirlwind, but somehow it all worked!).

Friday Gratitude: I'm Up and Down - Sweet and Savoring

Heart street art at 5 Pointz in Long Island City, Queens

What are you grateful for this week? Do you find yourself to be more sensitive to others lately, like I am? Have you noticed the days getting shorter?



Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of lightning, at once exists and expires.       –Charles Caleb Colton


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  • ezerd August 17, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    I was experiencing the same thing. It hit pretty hard later in the evening. Thankfully we’re at the point where we can recognize/see it happening and can start countering it then. I truly enjoyed our time together despite the aforementioned and can’t wait to have more fun with you!

    • Christy August 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      Ah, really? I feel like such a freak sometimes next to Andy because he can just brush things off so easily- we need to work on that countering thing! Thank you again so much for having us, Beth. We’re looking forward to more fun city time, too!

  • The Dose of Reality August 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I love reading posts about gratitude. It automatically gets me thinking of all that I’m grateful for. I was floored when you mentioned your feelings when you see a fire truck going by. I get the same way. Whenever I see an ambulance rushing past or a fire truck, I always think of the people that need them and it can start me on a daisy chain of sadness and worry if I’m not careful. So I’m grateful that I’m not alone in my feelings. It makes me feel a lot less weird. –Lisa

    • Christy August 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks, Lisa! I’m grateful that you know what I mean, and we’re both less weird 😉 That sadness and worry can be overpowering- darn that feeling too much! I like to think it means we feel the positive stuff even more, right?
      (And it was an actual fire! A huge truck fire, flames and black smoke and all, in the middle of the 59th street bridge, between Queens and Manhattan. Luckily, no one was hurt, but we drove past the fire minutes after it started, and it was a bit scary to be so close to it.)

  • Tamara August 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I have noticed the days getting shorter and I struggle with it. I often say I struggle with sensitive/empath issues – sometimes it’s nearly too much for me to bear. And sometimes I’m totally fine for a long time. I feel like my husband copes better with both big and little life things than I do.

    • Christy August 18, 2013 at 9:56 am

      I hear you, Tamara. As much as I’m enjoying the cooler temperatures, there’s just nothing like the long daylight hours of summer. And the sensitivity- man! I need to develop more of an emotional shield for times like that.
      Hope you’re finding ways to struggle with the shorter days! (light lamp, vitamin D, more outside time, etc)

  • Olivia @ Liv Lives Life August 18, 2013 at 11:32 am

    It really is amazing to me, too, how much support I get from the blogging community. Everyone is so great! (And thanks again for sending me that book title…I’m ordering it today!)
    Thanks also for reminding me to be thankful for my physical health. You’re absolutely right – so many people struggle with mental, emotional, *and* physical health at the same time. I need to be thankful for what I have!

    • Christy August 18, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      You’re welcome, Liv! Remembering to be thankful doesn’t always come easy, but I’m glad I continue to do it.

  • Alison August 18, 2013 at 11:36 am

    A few of my friends have been having a hard month, and it hit me too, because I feel all the feelings. I’ve also been avoiding reading about sick kids, or kids who have passed on, because I find that I take on a mother’s grief, even if it’s not my child. So I understand where you’re coming from.

    Looking to things to be grateful for is a great attitude and counter to the dark, oppressive thoughts. I hope you find the light always.
    Alison recently posted…Old School Blogging: The Fridge Edition aka ACK!My Profile

    • Christy August 18, 2013 at 11:48 pm

      That mother’s grief thing is so tough, Alison. Sometimes I feel like I have that, too, and I’m not even a mother (yet)! I hope things are easing up for your friends, and you are finding light and peace, as well.

  • Stevie August 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Oh hugs to you. Yes yes yes, I know what you mean. I have heard the expression, learning to be a screen not a sponge, but it’s very hard to do. I tend to think about things in terms of energy, and I feel so often that I absorb that from people around because I care. I still struggle and wonder, how do we love and care deeply, without carrying it. Is it possible? But I love these posts of yours, that remind us to hold onto the beauty, like friendship, support, physical health, diversity, food, and culture!
    Stevie recently posted…Life With AlexMy Profile

    • Christy August 19, 2013 at 8:52 am

      Hugs back! I’ve never heard the screen expression, but it’s a good point. I’m still not convinced that it’s possible to care and feel so much without carrying it around, absorbing into our hearts and psyches so our own stuff gets pushed to the side. Maybe we should form a club, all of us Very Sensitives, and practice letting it all go together? 🙂

  • Jackie @ Marin mama cooks August 18, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Christy. I’m a bit like you in that I am sensitive to other people’s energies and just all the energy around me. I try and come back to myself and push away the negative energy that I am receiving, but sometimes I just forget or don’t take the time to do it. I can start on a high as well and then go quickly to a down for no apparent reason, but on the upside I am pretty positive most of the time. I love that you take the time to sit down and think and write about what you’re grateful for each week. I do believe that helps your spirit and helps others around you. It reminds us that these moments are just moments and will pass as quickly as they came. There is always light around each corner. I’m also grateful each day for my health and my family’s health. 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

    • Christy August 19, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Hi Jackie, isn’t it hard to keep on top of that stuff? I’m glad you can stay mostly positive, though. Sometimes it’s super hard for me to stay positive overall, or I feel like ‘am I putting on an act?’, etc.
      This gratitude series is one of the few things I’ve ever committed to and kept up for a significant period of time (apart from the big things like marriage and school, of course!). So happy it’s gotten such great feedback- it’s beneficial to all of us! You’re so right: these moments ARE just moments, and nothing ever stays the same. xoxo

  • misssrobin August 19, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I, too, have come to understand that depression is a part of who I am. I’m kind of in a dark spell right now, not massive but it’s definitely dragging on me. I’m lucky in that I don’t get winter depression. I also never had post-partum depression. I just get it whenever. And it’s hitting at a bad time for me as there is a lot on my plate.

    Thank you for sharing your gratitude. It’s helped me find some of my own. As you talked about your physical health and how it’s all interconnected, you also reminded me that I need to get back on my health regimine full force. I can’t solve all the situational things, but I can go to bed on time and eat better and exercise. I do still have some power. I needed that reminder. Thank you.

    Stopping by from SITS.
    misssrobin recently posted…Trusting in God’s TimingMy Profile

    • Christy August 21, 2013 at 11:01 am

      I’m glad some of this post resonated with you, Robin, and I hope that things ease up for you soon. I find that it helps a lot to focus on the things we can control, like what you mentioned about bedtimes and eating and exercise.
      Thank you for stopping by!

  • Erika August 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Christy — I appreciate this blog soooo much!!!! And that you’re talking about these things! I’m just now starting to come to terms with the fact that I may have some seasonal depression as well. And similar to you, when I feel thoughts like that coming on, I try to analyze it or figure it out so I can stop it, so I can fix it. But also like you, I am learning to live more with my own feelings and accept them rather than try to get rid of them. But it’s hard when you want to feel the way you used to. But I guess that’s why getting present is so good? Because you’re not living in a state of comparison but just in the state of right now?

    Anyway, I’m so glad that I know about your blog and your story heading into this fall/winter! I think it’ll be a great comfort! 🙂
    Erika recently posted…The “Week” & The Strong No. 5My Profile

    • Christy August 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      Hi Erika! I loved this comment! I haven’t been as active lately since school is starting again, so it’s taking me longer to reply to comments. (I wish I could keep up with everyone else- each post of yours is such a gem!)
      But I’m glad that you could find some solace/identification in my fumbling. Let’s both try to stay in the present moment and get outside as much as possible in the coming weeks!

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