Some Weeks You Get a Refresher Course in Gratitude

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I had a bad anxiety week recently. By the time this comes out, I’ll likely be in a different place, but the week I wrote this, my anxiety was utterly brutal.

I had a panic attack one evening, a sense of sudden and impending dread. And when it hit, I scrambled to the bedroom and crawled under the covers. Pulled them up over my head.

And as I did, my cat followed me into the bedroom and started to climb on top of me. I could hear my partner say, “Not now, buddy, she doesn’t feel well” as he moved my cat.

And at that moment, I loved them both so very much.

There were a few hours of deep breathing and steeling myself before I felt right again. I thought that was going to be the worst of it.

It wasn’t. I got some bad news a few days later. And it wasn’t the kind of bad news you can hear and get over really fast. No, it was the confusing, ambiguous kind. The kind that you can’t get over because you can’t figure out what’s true or not. What’s real, what’s false. Who is lying and who is telling the truth.

It was rough. I wasn’t okay for a bit. I did something I never do: I reached out to friends for help. It was a small ask — I asked for video game recommendations (after detailing my oddly specific preferences when it comes to gaming) so I could find something new to play to distract me and my anxiety raged.

But my friends delivered in abundance. Some of them recommended games I’d already played — which was the most flattering of all. Because they knew what I loved. They knew what I loved.

And even getting recommendations that were off the mark, well… that was flattering, too. Because it made me realize how many people actually cared. How many people wanted to help, even in a small way.

The good news is that I’m doing better now as I write this essay. And I’m filled with gratitude for the kindness other people showed me.

Was it a good week? No, it was terrible. But was it all bad? Also no. Because of moments like these. Because people cared and showed it.

Some weeks you get a refresher course in gratitude. This past one was last like that for me.

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