“Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude.” –Michael J. Fox

I heard this quote from a colleague and my jaw dropped and a weight was lifted. Through my recovery journey, I’ve found my instincts push me toward being pessimistic. I will think of all of the things that can (and will) go wrong if I do x, y, or z, instead of pushing through. Giving into those instincts doesn’t keep me present. It makes me to worry about tomorrow, and it’s not even here – I haven’t finished living today. Seeing someone call or text and predicting it’s going to be something bad instead of just receiving an unknown message. If it’s bad news, I can’t change it. If it’s good I have forced my body into an unnecessary fight-or-flight response.

Life is already going to send me the unexpected twists and turns, even if I try to anticipate its every move. May as well start and end my every day with gratitude. It just takes a moment. “In this moment I feel… Today I am grateful for…”

Stay present. Keep focus. Sit in gratitude.

Kristen Ellis

Kristen has worked in the mental health field since 2013, with a focus on crisis work, substance use services, and bringing a voice to lived experience. Her ambition is to change the way mental health care and recovery is seen and achieved, so to redefine what it means to defeat adversity.