What am I grateful for?

Sometimes it all piles up, and I need to step back and think of coping strategies to reset my brain which is hyper-focused on the negative aspects of what’s going on in my life, shutting out what’s good. I call this the “oh woes me” brain and it can get stuck like a needle on a vinyl record listing a litany of sorry stuff that’s happening.

I have been underwater for the last few months with so many things not going in the direction I want. For one, it’s the holidays. My first without my mom, my second without my dad. Of course, holidays without Charles are always hard.

The holidays are not as hard as they were after losing Charles to suicide, but still, they feel lethargic. I won’t go into all the other dynamics that have me losing my center of gravity. But as most of you whose lives aren’t perfect know, it’s never one thing but often a crescendo of things that happen all at once. Yeah, I’ve hit one of life’s snags. And I am working through it with this rekindled coping focus. That and the Tibetan Singing Bowls Meditation Sound Bath I go to monthly. That’s a keeper.

That brings me to my pledge–the one for which you are going to hold me accountable.

Every day for the next few months, I am going to post one thing I am grateful for

I do this because that forces me to reframe my focus and think all day about what I will post. And because I don’t want to let you down. And it inspires me to always scan my environment for those things I’m grateful for. That sets a good intention for the day. It worked right after I lost Charles to suicide. When I mean “work” it didn’t fix everything. It helped me get through it.

This exercise opened up a sliver of space so that joy could slip in and grow to lessen my suffering and minimize the rumination-on-steroids brain chatter.

Such a simple exercise that has so many benefits. I remember when I posted a #griefheart every day (#griefheart on Pinterest). That helped me get through the day and what’s more, I had all of you and me looking for hearts everywhere. Every time I’d see people in person at events or on social, someone was posting the heart they looked for and found.

Will you help me by commenting, and sharing what you are grateful for?

Or just commenting, in general, to keep me motivated.

I tend to do better if it’s a group effort and I need accountability partners. Besides, I’d like to know what you are grateful for. That helps me and others.

So what is the photo above and what am I grateful for today?

It’s a picture of the lake I walk by on my walk at least 5 times a week. I walked by this lake hundreds of times during the pandemic shutdown when I logged over a thousand miles through my neighborhood.

I do believe life is about lots of little moments of joy that add up and not some eutopia we arrive at and stay in infinity. I know now to grab and hold moments of joy, stop and relish them for a moment. It really is about stopping and appreciating the small stuff. And this will be my catalog for that.

Not one day during the pandemic and now after (if there really is an after) have I not thought about how lucky I am to have a space that was so beautiful and the opportunity to get outside in it. And friends like Emily, Virginia, Julie, or Maria to walk in it with me.

What I’m going through now is not as hard as losing my son. I have healed from that and I know I can do this. I have the tools. And this is one of them.

Because no matter how stressful my life is, I can find one thing to be thankful for if I actively look for it. It’s simple. It’s free. And it works.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

54 thoughts on “What am I grateful for?”

  1. I am grateful for Charles, for even in heaven he saw a soul hurting & sent the most beautiful guardian angel (you) to watch over me, I love you so much Anne Moss!

  2. I am grateful to my friends. they are always there to listen when I have to talk through my deep feelings of grief after the death by suicide of my beautiful 19 year old son, Gavin, in September.

  3. Anne, Adam’s Story and our entire family would count it an honor to join in with you on this necessary excercise in mental health and wellness. You have become a rolemodel for so many and our thoughts and prayers are for your continued wellness. Please consider these words from Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Speaking from my own experiences, I have seen with my eyes the physical and spiritual results of being used by God to touch so many lives that I may have never touched otherwise. You are truly a blessing from God, for this time and place in the world. As always we are keeping the faith.

  4. Grateful for your writings and your honesty. I’m also struggling with grief and feeling low this holiday season so I will join you in the daily gratitude exercise! Thank you for reminding me. Hope.

    1. Thank u for what u r doing for us🙏. I am very grateful for each & every day I get to spend w/ my husband. I’ve spent more yrs. w/ him than I did w/ my parents nd now he’s on hospice.

  5. My loss of my son is fresh. I am grateful to my remaining sons, without them my only wish is to join my beloved boy in death.

    1. Oh Dani I’m so sorry. Those early days are so all-consuming. My friend Gray said she only lived at first because she felt obligated to live. She wants to live now but it took a while. Thank you for posting. Thank you for being emotionally naked and trying this exercise. But most of all thank you for being here.

  6. Anne, I’m grateful for you and all those people who post here in support of each other. I’m grateful I had Jason, my son, in my life for 41.5 years. I’m grateful he sadly left behind his now seven-year-old daughter who misses her Daddy so much. She, her Mom, and I keep him alive by telling Daddy stories when we’re together. And I’m grateful I can feel Jason’s presence at times since losing him three years ago. I’m grateful for nature, for my health, for friends, for the online survivors of suicide loss community, Alliance of Hope, that I discovered six months after losing Jason. Sadly, but thankfully, we all know and understand the complexity of losing a loved one to suicide as you do. Thank you for this opportunity and for your support, Anne and all. We can do this. ❤️☮️🙏

  7. I am so grateful for the 10 great years I had with Jason, my oldest, between his final relapse. He was so much more than his addiction and he was loved so very much by his parents, siblings and family. Now I am raising his son and I know Jason is with us.
    I support you in all ways, Miss Anne. Thank you for throwing me a lifeline ♥️

    1. That’s such a heartwarming way to look at it. And it take time and work to get there. Thank you for sharing that and giving me and others hope. And for your continued support for so many years.

  8. I am grateful for my large family. I always know I will never be alone. We love each other even when we annoy each other. But they are there in the brokenness.

      1. Hello Anne. I lost my 25 year old son Matthew to suicide this past August. I’m not very tech savvy and so I’m commenting here as I’m not sure where else to do it?
        I’m presently living where my son killed himself and I’m alone with my dog ( I thank God for him everyday) l. I’m away from my family and have been ill since late September. I appreciate your efforts to bring us all together.

        1. You did it! Your post is posted and you made a tech advancement. Thank you for sharing. I so understand your pain and appreciate your posting a comment here. I am so sorry you and I are in the same club but honored to know you.

  9. It is taking all that I have to come up with something to be thankful for. I have followed you since I found you in the mess that has been my life since I attempted suicide November 2021 and was hospitalized for 40 days. There are days that I just cry and cry. My therapist and psychiatrist have helped but I’m still not sure I’m going to make it some days. But I will try with you, Anne—to find something every day to be thankful for. It is so easy to continually concentrate on the negatives and the destroyed parts of my life caused by my attempt.

    I am thankful for my husband who always seems to be happy and in love with me even though I am so very broken, scared, and tired. He holds me tight and sees past my scars.

  10. I am grateful for my 6-year old grandson who brings immeasurable joy to my life. And I am always with you, Anne Moss!

  11. I am grateful for all the people in my life and for my two dogs. I am grateful for the food I eat and all the people who grow it. I am grateful for gratitude practice because I have found it to be one of the best tools over the years. I am grateful I read your email today, that you have written it, and that I am now writing here, which feels like a warm, gentle hug to myself and to you.

    1. This is going in my next newsletter! “I am grateful I read your email today, that you have written it, and that I am now writing here, which feels like a warm, gentle hug.”

      Pure gold. Thank you Branka.

  12. I am still new in my grief journey, and I can honestly say, I am grateful for you Ann Moss. For sharing your story and reminding me and so many others we are not alone and also helping us with positivity and encouragement during these rough times. Thank you, and know we support you as well.

  13. I am grateful for God-breathed lungs, opening my eyes each morning to my two remaining children. I am grateful for my health, having nearly passed on last year because of covid. I am grateful for opportunities like these (thank you Anne Moss) to learn from and epathsize with others who have also experienced loss and pain. I am grateful for all the new connections God brought into our lives. Such blessings. I grateful I am at a place in my healing journey where I can write that I am grateful to God that my husband and son are with Him. And especially today I am grateful that my daughter’s lung capacity (lungs scarred by covid) has reached the normal range and she was given the thumbs up by the pulmonologist to train for the Comrades. Grateful. Grateful to You, our Abba Father.

  14. I am grateful for my appreciation of nature, for the meditation practice I started after my daughter died by suicide, for how I’ve become a more compassionate person due to the breaking open of my heart. I’m also grateful for having had my daughter for 26 years and 10 months – she was a beautiful gift.

  15. I am grateful for waking every day. Even when I don’t want to get out of bed. I am grateful that I can ❤️
    Thanks for sharing

  16. In all honesty I am running out of things to be grateful of. I worked hard to get were I am with my career but my work keep giving all the opportunities to a less qualified and less experienced colleague from a private school. My PhD and MSc are somehow worthless in comparison to a posh speaking dork. My wife has fallen out of love with me and is only stays with me for the financial support. My mum, dad and uncle are all gone and my sister and rest of the family hates me. I have no friends left, no money and no future and everyday I keep praying that I will die soon. I am a right mess.

    The last thing I have left in this world that brings me any joy is spending time with my 5 year old daughter. I like to give her a big cuddle but would love to be able to cuddle up with somebody else at night. It is what it is unfortunately.

    1. Adrian you have something you are grateful for in this post. And that’s a start. When I started doing this after my son’s suicide, I saw nothing good. And for two weeks my “grateful” journals were very negative but I kept at it. I felt similar to how you felt–like there was nothing. And the ones I did choose were weird and very tiny. But I did start to sleep a little better and as I kept at it, a little sliver of light appeared and then grew. I want you to know you have been heard and you can always post how you feel here. No masks allowed on emotionally naked. so thank you for being candid 🙂

  17. I have stumbled on your site due to my own work around families in trauma – and I soooooo get what you are saying in this blog post!! I only just reminded my own 86 year old mother that she needs to find the joy again in all the little things that used to give her joy – because its like an antidote to the overwhelming anxiety that seems to be consuming so many. It really takes focus and a form of mind training to stop the overwhelming thoughts. But these blog posts, and social media posts can really be so helpful. Thank you – and for your amazing post traumatic growth. It is always inspiring. Maggie xx

  18. I am grateful to have my wonderful husband,Will, he has always been my rock but, even more so since we lost Tara to suicide 2/21/21. He was her stepfather and in her life since she was 9, he is the best dad to his 2 girls, stepfather to my 2 girls and is my best friend.

  19. I’m here to support you Anne. I’m grateful we met by a post! Your work has allowed me to share it with others struggling with teens and depression. I’ve shared and promoted your work with teachers. I’m grateful for the insights we both have for helping others.

  20. I am grateful for my college freshman who walks in the front door unannounced a few times a month. She walks in and will interrupt my work day to tell me about her day. I often don’t know when she will show up but I’m learning to re-set my focus because this is her safe space.

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