All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Exercises to build self-esteem: #5. Write a gratitude list


That will never happen to me!

There was a point in my life where I took things for granted. I had a relationship, friends, a reasonable income, relatively stable mental health and no physical ailments to worry about. My life was full off laughter, smiles, regular sex, all the hugs you could imagine and a future that anyone would be proud of.

If you had told me six years ago what was about to happen to me I wouldn’t have believed you, in fact, I would probably have paraphrased Spike and asked if you were stoned!

Like the vast majority of us, I took my life for granted. Like most I thought ‘it would never happen to me’.

Today, and for many years now, I am eternally grateful for everything I have.

Most have heard the phrase you don’t realise what you have until it’s gone because it is 100% true. We spend far too much time obsessing over what we don’t have or what’s wrong with our lives when we should be grateful for what we do have.

Which is why today, we’re going to write a gratitude list.

Writing your gratitude list

1. Take a clean sheet of paper (or brand spanking new blog post) and get comfortable.

2. Write down as many things as you can think of that you are grateful for about your life (no matter how insignificant it may be.)

3. When you have finished, read the list aloud and allow yourself to feel the gratitude.

4. Keep your list somewhere safe so you can add to it in the future when new things you are grateful for come to mind.

My gratitude list

As with each of the exercises this week, I am leading by example for one of my pet hates are people who expect others to do as they say, but not as they do. Today, I am aiming for one thing for every year of my life:

I am grateful...

∞ …for a roof over my head, because no matter how dodgy this place is, I know what the alternative is like…and it ain’t pretty!
∞ …for my inner-strength, because I don’t know where I’d be without it.
∞ …that I have such a creative and imaginative soul.
∞ …for my computer, however old, snail-like and lumbering it is, for without it I know I wouldn’t be here!
∞ …for having parents who are so giving and supportive.
∞ …for the existence of chocolate, because of  the myriad of benefits it can bring to physical and mental health.
∞ …for Sydney Newman, because without him the world wouldn’t have one of its greatest heroes.
∞ …for superglue, because without it I wouldn’t be able to fix my shoes and I’d be walking around bare foot all day!
∞ …for that moment of calm just after a thunderstorm; the smell, the calm, the stillness, all merging together to create something sublime.
∞ …that women aren’t the same as men, because otherwise the world would have descended into chaos and destruction eons ago.
∞ …for WordPress, because without it I would be completely disconnected. Ditto for Twitter.
∞ …to have had the chance to know so many beautiful people throughout my life.
∞ …that I have so much passion coursing through my veins.
∞ …for rainbows, because they never fail to make me smile. Ditto for sunsets, sunrises, lightning and wombats.
∞ …to all the people who read my blog, it makes me feel like I’m doing something productive rather than babbling to myself.
∞ …for my bottom, because I think it’s awesome.
∞ …for women’s bottoms, because I think they’re all awesome!
∞ …that even if people try to make me feel like one, and they have done in the past, I know I’m not a misogynist for typing that last sentence.
∞ …for my dreams, because they give me something to work toward.
∞ …for organisations that try to make a difference in the world; homeless services, anti-abuse movements, helplines, soup vans etc.
∞ …that I know how to read and write.
∞ …that even though I know they won’t help now, I keep pushing myself with posts like this because I know they will help one day.
∞ …for Runrig, Serena Ryder, P!nk, Paul Mounsey, Nina Simone, Kate Miller-Heidke, My Friend the Chocolate Cake, Capercaillie and the countless musicians that have created the soundtrack to my life.
∞ …that I always try to see the beauty in everything, rather than searching for every minor flaw and fault.
∞ …that I understand the meaning and power of silence.
∞ …that I never judge anyone, ever, and try to accept someone for who they are rather than a label that is placed upon them.
∞ …for Mark Schwahn, who created the show that once upon a time saved my life!
∞ …that I can admit to making mistakes and having regrets, because if I couldn’t, then how could I ever learn anything?
∞ …that I always try to stand up for what I believe in (even though I fail sometimes!)
∞ …that I always remember people’s birthdays. And anniversaries. And Valentine’s day. And any important date.
∞ …in fact, I’m grateful that I think more like a woman than a man.
∞ …for libraries, because without them society would be a lesser place.
∞ …for my courage, because it allows me to be as honest as I am.

So why don’t you give your own gratitude list a try? You’re more than welcome to keep your lists private, but feel free to link them up in the comments field below so we can all share in the inspiration :)

4 thoughts on “Exercises to build self-esteem: #5. Write a gratitude list

  1. Pingback: 22:27 – My Gratitude List «

  2. Pingback: Exercises to build self-esteem: #6. Setting your goals « All that I am … | The Goal Setting Site

  3. Love this list but this especially made me smile: in fact, I’m grateful that I think more like a woman than a man.

    Looking forward to exploring the rest of your writing!


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