Today, as I do every single Thanksgiving, I would like to express my thanks for another year. Alive.  Happy.  Healthy.  Not in the hospital or in the throes of the worst depression or terrifying mania.

Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar.  I was in the mental hospital and I finally had a diagnosis.

That first year after my diagnosis, my first year out of the hospital, I went to Fellowship of the Rings with my father (yyyeeeeeeaaah, I’m awesome like that–a daddy/daughter date to all the movies was his Fathers’ Day present that year).  We came out and it was snowing.  All of sudden, it impressed upon me that I was there to see it.  I got to see the first snow of the Christmas season.  I was, by all comparisons I had at the time, well.

Of course, I had no idea what it meant to be truly well.  I’m still not sure I do.  But that moment was so REAL to me.  It still is.  It still feels like the first real memory I ever had.  Since then, I’ve had a few precious moments like that one.  And I’ve been here for them.  I am getting better each year.

Each year, as we go around the table saying thanks, this is what I mention.  I haven’t gotten tired of it.  I don’t think I ever will. It’s not that my mental health is THE most precious thing to me, but it does allow me to experience with clarity and a stunningly broad spectrum the things that are most precious to me: life, love, faith, family–these are what I cannot be without.  And it is with my health that I am able to hold onto them.

A dozen years.  I cannot believe it, even having lived through them.

I so very thankful, for–by all comparisons that I have available to me at this time–I have the best of news: I am WELL.