I'm grateful for:
Friends who live thousands of miles away, but still text almost daily and check in on my emotional and physical well-being. Who know my deepest flaws and insecurities, along with my greatest strengths, and never let me forget either of them ;)
Siblings who keep me in the loop about their lives and spend some of their precious time looking up ways I can sweeten my food with natural sweeteners allowed on the Candida diet. Who've been kind and compassionate towards me about all of the pain I've been in the last 2 months. And who even from miles away have supported me emotionally this semester.
Classes that invigorate me and remind me why I love what I do.
Clients who teach me more about pain and suffering as well as love and healing than I ever imagined possible. I've been particularly blessed lately with a great batch of clients who have opened my eyes to some deep and powerful spiritual truths in addition to temporal ones.
Friends who live close and walk with me, who aren't afraid to be authentic as we talk about hard and important things together and try to be better every week.
Ward family who keep checking in on me--even though I'm over in YSA-land for the time being. And who banded together to support me with cookbooks, recipes, supplements, and ideas on how to manage the candida diet last week when I reached out for help.
Chronic pain sufferers who provide the outlet I need when things get to be a little too much, and who understand when I can't manage to find any hope that things could get better. Their strength is a constant inspiration to me, and their empathy and understanding are irreplaceable.
Professors who care about me, my life, my pain, my growth, my thoughts, my ideas, and my aspirations. Who tell me, "Take care of your health first, school will work itself out." and continue to support me and believe in me when all the evidence says they shouldn't.
Utah with it's beautiful rivers and colorful mountains in the cool, crisp, fall air that rejuvenates my soul. I live in such a beautiful place, sometimes I think I forget that.
Dave, who committed to eating only things I could eat while I'm home, to make this all easier for me. And who cooks for me when I'm too tired, and tells me to stop when I'm pushing myself beyond my energy capacity, and who reassures me that I am not too much for him because he loves me, even with all the caretaking he's had to take on. (and about a million other amazing things about him)
Young Single Adults who give me the opportunity to feel like I can make a difference when I teach them about marriage and relationships and build friendships with them. And who also rallied around me in an overwhelming way when I asked for help with the candida diet.
Doctors who have been my angels through all of this. I am so lucky to have more than one doctor who is genuinely concerned with my recovery, who listens to me when I have ideas and thoughts, and who crafts my plan of care to my specific needs and lifestyle.
Hope. For the first time in years, I have real hope that this might go away. That I might have a chronic pain-free future someday. As terrifying as it is for me to write that sentence, I've been carried this week by the feeling of hope that this doctor is right and that we might have finally found the underlying cause of all of this.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have never felt their influence in my life as strongly as I have throughout last year. I know with a surety that my Father in Heaven and his Son are aware of my every struggle, and that they are directing my path and others' paths to create the most supportive environment possible right now. I have felt their love for me more strongly than I ever even thought possible this last year, and without their unconditional love and acceptance, I don't know how I'd be managing the emotional roller coaster of this life. I'm also incredibly grateful for the Atonement and the opportunity it provides for me to change and grow and become a better person every day.
Life hasn't been perfect or particularly easy lately, but I've been overwhelmed by the support I've felt whenever I have reached out for help, and even when I haven't reached out. So thank you for being a part of my life, and thank you, friends, for lightening my load a little bit with your empathy, meals, conversations, cookbooks, comments on my posts, text messages, phone calls, or whatever other way you've touched my life. It has not gone unnoticed, and it has helped me more than you know.