I am grateful for the practice of gratitude.

I was not always like this and it was a hard sell at first. “What did I have to be grateful for?” I had been through a lot, I was struggling, and living with a mental illness and at the end of the day I was exhausted. I was confusing being grateful, with saying things were OK, and they were far from it.

In time I learned that gratitude does not mean everything is OK, but it did allow me for a very brief moment, to step away from my life. Being in the moment was like a little “brain break”, a “micro vacation.” It allowed me to step out of my head- especially during very difficult times and see a view of the world that I hadn’t noticed before. For those few seconds my brain, body and nervous system was able to relax and just be.

At first it was hard for me to find thing’s to be grateful for, but the more I practiced the more I found and I now practice it throughout my day.  It could be the small things like my morning cup of tea, the suns warmth on my face after a dreary grey winter, or dew drops on a spider’s web. Or the bigger things, my family and friends, the professionals in my life, housing etc.  Gratitude will not cure or get rid of my illness, but these micro vacations give me a break, allow me to refuel and show me that there is good in this world. And that is something I am grateful for.

— suzanne venuta


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The One Project is a community of passionate creatives, advocates and caring friends or family members working to support each other and change the conversation around mental health issues like depression, anxiety and more with therapeutic photography.

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