Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint.
Let me set the scene: it is a Friday at 2pm. My friends drive to a Dunkin’ Donuts after our Traumatic Brain Injury support group meeting. Acing as my usual distracted, absent-minded cheerleader self (in a very positive way), I ordered my drink and CRONUT [a delicious croissant/donut hybrid] and was just having a good time with friends talking and laughing. I must have been acting a little goofy, because as I sat down at a table, the cashier guy asked my friend if I had been drinking, she was like, “Ya, you just made a drink for her…” and he said No, and made a hand gesture like I was drinking alcohol and was intoxicated.
Obviously I hadn’t been drinking! I’m just goofy like that! Because of my traumatic brain injury, my speech is delayed as are my movements. I get distracted easily, and although my walking has gotten a lot better than before, my gait is easily swayed or my hips move funny. I look almost completely “normal,” it’s just little delays here and there.
I can still choose though, I can choose to laugh or to be insulted. I make light of the situation because I know that I’m not drunk; I know that I’m just having a good time with friends. As long as YOU know that you’re OK, your friends know- it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. You can be thankful for still being here, grateful that you still have your life no matter what small problems you have. At least you can still laugh at your self.