Thanksgiving. It’s not always happy.

Today is Thanksgiving and it’s a time to be thankful but sometimes that’s a little hard because maybe you’re dealing with a big bunch of bullshit, or maybe you have to see relatives that you already know are sharpening their tongues, or maybe you’re depressed and you feel bad for not feeling ecstatically thankful for all the wonderful things you’ve been blessed with but the rest of the world is all “BE FUCKING THANKFUL!  BE PERFECT!  COOK AND TAKE A SHOWER AND OWN MORE THAN FOUR PAIRS OF MATCHING PLATES, YOU HEATHEN.”  And then you feel rebelliously ungrateful out of pure spite and then you get mad because FUCK, THEY’RE WINNING IF WE’RE UNHAPPY (they = assholes) so then you realize you’re fucked either way.

But you’re not.

Because today is just a day.  And maybe you are lucky enough to spend it with a houseful of people you adore and everything is perfect and you love to cook and your brain chemistry is lovely and you don’t have to pretend to be sick to avoid a terrible relative or lock yourself in a bathroom to keep yourself from strangling a bitter great-aunt and if this is you then, you know what?  I’m happy for you.  I’m grateful you exist because that means there’s hope for the rest of us.  And anyway, who says today is the day you have to be thankful.  I’m cheerfully thankful for my life and blessings on uncomplicated non-Thanksgiving days all the time and I never get credit for that so technically I just celebrate Thanksgiving early and often and on days when my brain works correctly and there is no pressure and I can just be with the family I love and not feel weirdly guilty about bullshit I can’t control.

If this doesn’t make sense you should consider yourself grateful (pun totally intended) because that means that you are either very lucky and should enjoy this day to the max, or it just means you’re not crazy enough to understand.  Either way, things are working out for you.

And for the rest of us?

Baby steps.  What one small thing that you sometimes take for granted are you thankful for?

Me first.  I’m thankful that kittens and sloths exist.  I’m thankful that you are here.  I’m thankful that my daughter was happy with the fact that I can’t cook to save my life, but I can help her sculpt turkeys.

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Technically those are three things but I’m also thankful that this is my post so I can break the rules and share as much as I want.  And you can too.

Just know that you are not alone.  Even if you are by yourself.  Even if you feel alone in a crowded room.  Even if you’re one of the weirdos who actually enjoys this day with no hesitations or grief or complications.  You are not alone.  You are with us.  And I’m so grateful for that.

276 thoughts on “Thanksgiving. It’s not always happy.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. No Thanksgiving in The Netherlands, but plenty of other holidays, and naturally Christmas coming up… You make so much sense it’s crazy. Another thing I get to be thankful for on Dutch non-Thanksgiving: being understood, somewhere out there. 😉

  2. Thank you. I am thankful you are here too. You have made many nights and days better for me. Happy Thanksgiving, Jenny.

  3. Yep! And for some of us the answer is family of choice rather than biological family, or even just spending the time with our significant other, eating pizza and watching a movie or football. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be any family you don’t want it to be.

  4. Thank you for being here. Thank you to our Tribe of awkward misfits. Thank you for making me feel I finally belong somewhere. Than you for your honesty. Thank you for you.

  5. I am thankful that my mom, with whom I have a complicated and wonderful but challenging but awesome relationship, is still with me this year. In January, she very nearly wasn’t, and we’re all lucky that she’s still part of our lives. I lost my dad 23 years ago (two days before Thanksgiving my first year in college), so some years are horrible, some not so bad, some glorious. This year is the latter, and I’m trying to focus on the awesome instead of the fact that I’m going to have to spend part of the afternoon with a horrible, horrible person to whom I’m only tangentially related by marriage. :p

  6. I’m thankful that despite the fact I have to go to work nobody will really be coming in so I get paid to sit on my butt and play with my iPad. 🙂

  7. “getting ready” to go to family Thanksgiving and feeling 9 out of 10 of those things – grateful I saw this before I left the house 🙂

  8. Thank you, Jenny, and here’s the radical thought intoxicating me these days: what if we are all perfect exactly as we are? Good, bad, pretty, ugly, smart, stupid, nice, mean, et al. What if we learn to love, accpet and thank ourselves?

  9. Miserable here. Really need to stay off Fakebook cause it’s sickening and even more depressing.

  10. I am once again spending the holiday alone, but I have long ago made peace with making a virtue of necessity. I quite enjoy my No-Pants-Giving. comfy clothes, lots of my favorite food and Turkey, which is really an excuse to make yummy things with leftovers, and reading everyone else’s horrible holiday stories on Facebook

  11. I’m thankful that the cake I made came out looking so pretty, although I’m certain it’s going to taste like ass.

  12. After the life i have led, i am truly grateful i can still speak in full sentences and wipe my own ass.

  13. I am thankful for Imodium, the magic medication that helps me get through food situations with my IBS – LOL.

    But seriously, thankful for my family, who are endlessly patient as I pull my life together. Sometimes I don’t think they know how much credit they get for helping me push through my low points. I’m thankful that after a year of hell, I have at least found the therapist and the psych meds I need to make me feel like a human again. To feel FEELINGS. Even the bad ones, what the heck!

    (Now, if I can only zero in on my food triggers with my gastro and fix my tum – :P)

  14. I’m grateful that you tell it like it is: Not always happy. Feeling alone in a crowded room. Not everyone gets it.

    Wow, I’m relating to so much of this post.

    And the nerves! My goodness, do they really have to kick in the night before? It’s just another day fer cryin’ out loud. It’s just another meal. Okay, the meal, the interaction with people I don’t normally interact with, they require a certain amount of my energy which is already drained from the pre-day jitters.

    Walks are good. Getting outside, getting perspective, outdistancing the anxiety monster.

    I’m grateful for moments that are free from anxiety.

  15. I’m working at an embassy overseas, and I’ve been doing alright since I got here, but today I couldn’t work up the will make myself go to the Thanksgiving party today. I started off feeling lonely and sorry for myself, but I’m working on feeling thankful that I could get out of bed at all today, and thankful to have Internet so that I can watch the dog show. And I’m thankful to have your book to help me laugh and feel less weird!

  16. I love you. I am grateful for you. You inspire me, make me laugh, and I continue to advocate for us crazy folk.

  17. I Grateful for humor and my husband. If I didnt have either i dont think i could get up most mornings.
    We paint a fake smile for the world most the time but inside a good chunk of us are broken dolls wanting someone to ducktape us back together.

    Thanks Jenny for understanding

    May you holiday be a little off color and never be boring 🙂

  18. I just found out my husband is moving and I am not. It’s a struggle to fake it this year.

  19. After the life i had led, I am truly grateful i can still speak in full sentences and wipe my own ass.

  20. I would really kind of like it if people wishing me a “Happy Thanksgiving” would realize they are saying, “Happy We-Killed-Your-Ancestors-Took-Their-Land-Abducted-and-Abused-Their-Children-Wiped-Out-Their-Religions-and-Languages Day!”

    And that maybe, just maybe — that’s not a reason to celebrate.

    Happy “Insane Shopping Day Eve” everybody.

  21. I am thankful for you, for today’s post, for my husband, and for living to see another Thanksgiving while I await a kidney transplant. Your perception changes when you have a machine keeping you alive. Love and hugs.

  22. I’ve seriously got to stop skim reading.

    I definitely read ‘I can help her sculpt turkeys’ as ‘I can help her scalp turkeys’ and wonder what part of Thanksgiving history I’d missed all these years.

    Anyway America, from the other side of the Atlantic – sorry about all the religious nutters we sent over a few hundred years ago, but have a great holiday and try not to kill each other at the shops tomorrow.

  23. Breath of fresh air. I woke up this morning to two broke down cars. Seriously? Both cars had to break down on the same day? On an extra long holiday weekend? Having trouble feeling thankful, though I know I have lots to be thankful for… Oh well. At least there will be wine later?

  24. You’re right; it’s the little things. This is the first Thanksgiving I can remember that my depression hasn’t kicked in and started the “IT’STHE HOLIDAYSIHAVETOBEHAPPYORI’MATERRBILEPERSON!” chant in my head. I’m thankful for that!

  25. Thank you, Jenny. I feel better now, even though I tried to cook the turkey on the grill this year and it caught fire and my boyfriend yelled at me about it and my sister laughed at me and I’m a flake, just like my father (although he loved and adored me) always said.

  26. We don’t do thanksgiving in the UK but I do have something to be grateful for. I did painting with my 4 year without having to wash glitter out of his eyes afterwards. Small things.

  27. I give thanks to those who have truly loved me as well as those who never knew how. To those that have loved me and gone through even the toughest of days with me, when I have hurt them and they me and yet they were willing to stand with me to help me find my own answers unconditionally, thank you. To those who betrayed me, thank you for the mirror you held up to me that showed me my strength through pain and for giving me a catalyst to change and to grow. And to those that were there, even when I did not know them well, acquaintances that I met along the way that shared a brief encounter that taught me some new way of seeing, thank you for your humanity and for touching my soul no matter how briefly.

    Thank you, Jenny, for being one of these….I think the last one unless you betrayed me or were a long time lover in a past life. Really though you have been one of those that taught me some new ways of seeing things and for this I am very Furiously Happy 🙂

  28. Thank you, I needed that. I am alone today and my Mom died in July. I slept about 2 hours last night, spent the rest of the night trying to get my brain to shut up. As Scarlett would say, “After all, tomorrow is another day”

  29. Maybe this has kept me from falling apart today. I’ve spent the morning so sad and depressed. Alone… the worse kind of alone, when you aren’t. I hurt today. But, it’s just a day.

  30. Such an important message for so many people. Thank you for advocating for those who struggle with various issues around the holidays. Your fortitude is much appreciated!

  31. You have no idea how much I needed this today, and how much I appreciate having you to read every day. I guess if nothing else today, I can feel thankful for one of the few people on this planet who makes me feel like I’m ok. Thank you for being willing to put your whole heart out there for us.

    Depression on the holidays is the worst.

  32. I sooooo needed this. If it weren’t for Jack Daniels I wouldn’t have even gotten out of bed today. Thank you for reminding me I am not alone.

  33. I am grateful that you exist and the Internet exists so I get to read what you wrote! You helped me today…

  34. Trying to not burst into tears and actually get dressed and go to a friend’s family dinner and be “on”. It’s incredibly difficult.

  35. I was just thankful that it’s not Thanksgiving here because I’m having one of those slippery slope days. You’re the best.

  36. Thank you for this. I don’t like this holiday- people stressing over FOOD, cooking for days only to eat for 30 minutes and be done! Brings out the craziness in everyone! What also gets me is everyone bitching about the stores being open today and that the poor employees that have to work on this day- maybe they want to. Maybe they are Jehova Witnesses and don’t celebrate. Maybe they feel like we do and don’t want to celebrate. Or maybe they want the time and a half pay they could get to support their families!!!
    Hope everyone has a nice, relaxing day.
    PS I cant wait to see you this coming week at your book signing!!!

  37. Thank you. You always make me laugh, smile, and cry at the same time. I’m thankful for you, for letting us all know we’re not alone. Neither are you. Happy Thanksgiving, Jenny. ❤

  38. I have a big thank you this Thanksgiving. I am so thankful my dad survived his massive heart attack of two days ago. Today he apologized for being sick on Thanksgiving. Jeez.

  39. Thank you, you made me smile. Today I am thankful for coffee as I ready myself to spatchcock the smallest turkey I could find at Costco that is still the size of a pony. Wish me luck :/

  40. –Yessssssssss, all of that…
    and also, I’m thankful for you, your words, your humor, your love, & your great gift of letting others KNOW they are not alone in this crazy world.
    Whomever you are, dear, I don’t give a sh*t. I love you from Minnesota. xx

  41. I’m thankful for you and this. Thanksgiving has always been my least favorite holiday. I’m lucky now to have an awesomely understanding husband and kick ass in-laws that make it easier. And Xanax. Always Xanax.

  42. Thank you for this. I always beat myself up for not feeling happy and grateful on Thanksgiving. Mostly it just feels like a day that points out what I don’t have anymore. I love you and your books. I missed you when you were in Colorado because I have such horrible social anxiety but I knew it was ok and that if you knew you would understand.

  43. Thank you for this post. Thank you for being here. Thank you for providing this space. And thank you for helping me feel less alone, because right now I’m dealing with the crazy lady who’s putting today’s shindig together, and it’s taking everything in me not to either commit a crime or run away. On the plus side, I get to hang out with my brother and his family and see how many weird spellings I can come up with that autocorrect can’t fix by writing this.

  44. Thank you, Jenny. I’m thankful for you and your willingness to be you , this helps me be myself and accept myself.

  45. Today would have been my husband’s 41st birthday. He died almost 8 years ago. Today I’m thankful that even though he’s not here, I have my daughter and his family. And wine – lots of wine.

  46. I do the ‘grateful project’ where I find at least one thing a day to be grateful. Even if it is the same thing as yesterday – doesn’t matter. I can be grateful for my husband 10 days in a row and then want him in the doghouse for at least two ;-p . So Thanksgiving (Canadian) for me is just having a family dinner with no expectations. Actually, I don’t even really do a sit down dinner. Pretty much just a buffet out on the dining room table and y’all can arrive whenever it suits you between 1 & 4pm. After that I boot them all out by 6pm so hubby & I can have a relaxing evening. And if we really want them all to leave we put on a slideshow of our travel pix (rofl!). Thanksgiving to me is just a formal reminder of what I DO have and am grateful for. Funny thing tho – I mostly do the dinner for my brother – he is an adult with a developmental disability – and he loves the whole get-together for Thanksgiving and Christmas thing. Small thing for me to do in return for all that he inspires in me.

  47. I’m thankful that Furiously Happy gave me the courage to talk to my doctor about going on depression medication. It helped me to see depression as a chronic illness instead of something that I could fix on my own.

  48. Thank you Jenny…I am so glad I found you and this tribe , for somedays, it’s the only thing that makes me smile ! Today has been a very bad day but seeing this post…Thank you !

  49. I am thankful for my job. Is it fun? Not particularly. Does it pay well? Not so much. Do I have good work hours? Eh… Not when I have to work Black Friday with the hordes. But it isn’t horrendous, and it pays the bills, and it is fairly steady hours. It helps me take care of my family, and my coworkers have become family to me as well. I am thankful I have a job, when so many people don’t.

  50. I’m alone for a little while today because I’m possibly contagious with cold/flu and my grandparents, who are 89 years old, will not get sick because of me. Everyone is eating right now and I’m home alone, watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I would have loved to spend the day with family, who I enjoy, but I’m also enjoying this peace and quiet.

    I think you’ve got a good handle on it – enjoy what you appreciate and forget about the rest of it.

  51. I am a US citizen living in Canada. In addition to having the Canadian Thanksgiving off in October, I also take the US Thanksgiving (and Friday) off. I joke that it’s so I can be twice as thankful. Mostly I just like taking the days off so I can sleep in a fob off doing any work. I am thankful I am able to do so. The rest, I am finally at a point in my life I can say, “meh.” My family isn’t not close geographically and not even very close emotionally so I don’t have to worry about the strained family gathering. For most of my adult life I have lived far from everyone else partly by choice, partly by circumstance (i.e. my job moved me up here). I’ll have to deal with obligatory phone calls, but I can be lounging in my PJs and perusing websites for those which makes them so much less onerous.

  52. I’m thankful there are people like you, and all of us here, who understand that sometimes things get to be too much. I’m thankful that I have my dogs when I need a break from the “too much.” I’m thankful that my dad is always there for me…always. I’m thankful for friends that open their gathering to include me when I have nothing to eat and nowhere to go. I’m thankful for life

  53. Thank you Jenny, for being that marvellous and rare creature that takes the dark and spins it into light and happiness and laughter. You are our own personal, joyful Rumplestiltskin (but without the stompiness) spinning the chaff of life into gold.

    Your books are jewels, your blog a hoard of life’s treasures and even on the days when you are most down you can’t help but make us smile broadly and often. You are the reason I guffaw on “quiet” train carriages (then people look across and smile too).

    Your piece of magic is a dangerously contagious affirmation of life, spreading joy in an instant from a single book, a tweet or a post from thousands of miles away. I’m in Australia but even here we catch your words and share them because even on your most down days your laughter at life’s absurdities travels from person to person, as quick as thought, and lifts them up.

    You help us admit to our greatest embarrassments and then revel in them. (Trust me, that’s an amazing gift).

    We don’t have Thanksgiving at this end of the world but plenty of us give thanks to you and your daily shares without even looking sideways at a turkey. You leave all thought of sharp tongued rellies and bleak moments coughing in the dust. You are Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter all rolled into one but most of all you and your tribe are family.

    I can’t think of a better reason to give thanks than that.

  54. My beautifully dark mind sees those turkeys huddled together, waiting in dread for the sound of the farmer’s footfall. “Who will it be this year?”

  55. I thought I was the only one that got ‘sick’ on holidays to avoid…holidays. This year, I just decided not to go see family. Guilt-free, too. Just got a text from a friend and she said she was thankful for me. I believe her, too. I’m thankful for what I have and what I don’t have. I’m good today.

  56. I am thankful that its just me, hubby and kids this year and I get to cook a lot of food (which I love) in my pajamas (love more) and eat it all with them (love the most. Wait, I have food issues. Wait, still love). I adore my nephews and nieces and brothers and parents and grandparents. Truly. But I get this one day off of work, and this year I don’t have to shower or get dressed or get in my car or leave the house. And I am thankful.

  57. Thank you. Thank you for being real with zero apologies. Thanks for reminding me I can be too.

  58. As always, you remind me of things I would rather forget sometimes – I’m thankful I made it out of the family group all those years ago in one piece. I’m thankful I inherited the good crazy genes instead of the bad crazy genes. I’m thankful that my cats love me anyway.

    And I’m thankful for you and people like you on the net to tell me that most of us are a little bit crazy and it’s ok to admit that life sucks sometimes. Hugs to you and your family. 🙂

  59. Much like you, I have learned to be thankful every day for what I have or even what I don’t have, what I’ve found and what I’ve lost. I wrote a blog post a year or two ago about when someone asked what I was thankful for and I said “nothing special” – and of course what I MEANT was I’m thankful for too many things to name, ordinary things, daily things. Things we mostly take for granted I have learned to give thanks for, like eyesight and the ability to walk (because some mornings between my back and arthritis it’s iffy). For food and shelter and transportation, and my kids’ good health despite the many and severe disabilities.
    I’m thankful for the internet and my friends who live in it. 🙂 I’m thankful for Jenny Lawson for bringing so many people together for so many reasons.
    I’m thankful that my cold and bitter heart is still beating…and sometimes gets a little warm & fuzzy. xoxox

  60. I am grateful for you Jenny. Your blog and books are currently helping me stay alive. It is so hard and your batshit crazy view of the world softens my incredibly dark view by infusing it with the humor that I often miss. So thank you.

  61. I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving Day either, but I am thankful for a loving God that has been with me through this horrible year. I’m thankful that he will be with me and love me no matter how many times I lock myself in the bathroom today under the guise of severe constipation, when I need to cry or until the worst of the panic attack passes. I’m thankful for the people here that understand.

  62. I am thankful for the friends who are family, and that they like to include me even when I want to be alone. It means so much that they ask, and that they understand if I say no. 🙂

  63. Thank you. You are not alone either, obviously. I know I have a lot to be thankful for, but honestly the things that I have lost and the things that make this time of year so very difficult for me weigh so heavily that gratitude gets very easily smushed down. Which of course makes me feel even worse about myself – that I have to really FORCE myself to feel grateful. Those people who say “fake it til you make it”.. I honestly don’t know if they are actually able to do that or if they are full of shit because I can smile and laugh and pretend I am not dying inside but it does NOT make those feelings go away. It just doesn’t. If there are people who really can just will themselves to be happy all the time, well good for them. Really, more power to you. But I’m not one of them. And I never will be. It’s not a conscious choice – I was born this way. And when people try to tell me otherwise – that I am depressed because I woke up and chose not to be happy today – not only do I have a strong urge to punch that person in the throat, but it makes me feel even more alone, and misunderstood, and ungrateful and horrible.
    So really, Jenny.. thank you. For helping me realize I am NOT alone, there are others struggling just like I am, and we are all genuinely thankful for you!! xo

  64. Thank you for this post. On the best of Thanksgivings, I struggle. This time of year with the changes in the seasons is a trigger for my depression.

    This year its hard to be thankful because since July my cat, my Dad & my father-in-law all passed away. My husband was in a car accident. My dog ruptured a disc in his neck, underwent surgery & now Im living on my basement couch caring for him because hes not allowed to climb stairs & we live in a raised ranch. I was supposed to go home for Thanksgiving to be with my family, but cant because its a 3hr drive, the dog cant do it & he cant be left alone for an hour, never mind the better part of a day.

    Im not whining. Really. Life happens. And sometimes life happening involves a lot of shit. This has been a year of shit.

    Still, Im thankful for so many things in my life whether Im celebrating Thanksgiving this year or not, and you are one of them. Im also thankful for family, friends, my internet peeps, gingerbread cookies, beer, getting to take a shower today and warm fuzzy socks.

  65. I am thankful that my daughter is as happy as she is (when I am often not). I am thankful for a fuzzy dog to cuddle. I am thankful for the means to retreat into the internet when I need to (and I really wish I could now). I am thankful to know that there are so many people like you, who understand the holiday struggle, and know that I’m not alone even when I’m by myself.

  66. My friends have stopped asking, which is my own fault, but I am thankful to like where I live and have a nice little Thanksgiving meal to make for myself and the dogs. We are not alone here. I am grateful for all of you.

  67. Thank you. I’m grateful for being able to go to therapy both with my husband and one just for me. And that I started meditating. And that my Thanksgiving just consists of my children, husband, and later on good friends to party the night away. And that my best friend is finally understanding her awesomeness, and that my friend with incurable cancer has hope and a wicked sense of humor. I’m thankful for all of you that share your truthfulness here and everywhere else. And, you Ms. Lawson. Thank you for your truth.

  68. Thank you so much. Some days, I am just plain not grateful at all for anything, because I have to be here on planet Earth, in this body. Then there are the good days, when I get excited about things, like seeing a bald eagle fly by, and frost on leaves (I love macro photography), and watching my 13 yr. old son make his first loaf of pumpkin bread. It’s a good day.

  69. You. I’m grateful for you and the friendship we have formed and how you listen and speak truth. I am grateful that someone else gets it and gives me permission (or demands!) to take care of myself when needed. I love you forever and always. And I promise you tomorrow. Love, your Luna

  70. I’m grateful to be working today so I don’t have to be a football widow. I’m grateful to have Jenny and this community to keep me sane in my own crazy way.

  71. Thankful for my son and friends that step up to help me get through my first set of holidays without my sweet Mum. And thankful that the stuffing I made for the first time without Mum peering protectively over my shoulder tastes pretty fucking awesome! (I can say “fucking” because, well, it’s YOU, right Jenny?!?)

  72. Wow. Jenny, so glad you posted this today. Really really needed to hear this. My mom passed away 3 years ago today. Even though I have so much to be grateful for, it just feels so, so wrong to celebrate without the one person I miss more than anything. So I’ll be grateful tomorrow… and most other days. But for today, just for a while, I want to be mad, and sad, and just miss my mom. Thanks for reminding me that today is just another day and I can be thankful any ol’ dang day of the week I want to. You rock.

  73. I’m grateful to be working today so I don’t have to be a football widow. I’m grateful for Jenny and this community to keep me sane in my own crazy way.

  74. I am thankful for you. That you understand and speak truth when I can’t remember it. I am grateful for our friendship and the love you send to me. I am grateful that you give me permission (or demand!) to take care of myself when it feels really hard. I am grateful for the tribe you have and your incredibly light. I love you forever and always. I promise you tomorrow. Love, your Luna

  75. I am grateful for you and your friendship over the years. I’m grateful for your reminders of truth and your incredible light. I am thankful that you give me permission (or demand!) to take care of myself when it feels too hard. I am thankful for your tribe and your heart. I love you forever and always. I promise you tomorrow. Love, your Luna

  76. I am Thankful for you, Jenny. Always. It seems you always know what the bent and broken folks like me need to hear, the moment we need to hear it. You have no idea how much this just helped me.

  77. Thank you!!!! I love the holidays and hate all the expectations other people have of me. It makes me even crazier. Its so good to be reminded I am not alone.

  78. My father passed away on November 26th, Thanksgiving 6 years ago. Thanksgiving pretty much sucks but at least there is pie.

  79. Thank you. I really needed this today. My boyfriend broke up with me two days ago and we are still spending awkward thanksgiving together. 🙁 My ex-husband also left me on Thanksgiving years ago. I hate the stupid “holidays”.

  80. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thanksgiving is a hard day for me, so hard that this year we packed the car and ran away from home to try to avoid the whole thing, but it’s still hard because that’s the way my brain chemistry is this year so now it’s just hard in a different city – so not-alone is a blessing and something I can feel thankful without forcing it.

  81. Thanks, Jenny. I’m having an unexpectedly complicated Thanksgiving this year and it helped to be reminded that it’s just a day. Most of the time I treasure alone time, so why should today be any different just because of a holiday? 🙂

  82. I’m going through a nasty divorce and my kids all live in other states but I was lucky enough to be invited to my best friends house for thanksgiving dinner. Three pans of dressing in the oven because I don’t know how to make a smaller batch. I woke up with a stomach virus. And I think it might be the funniest thing every. I’ve been whining about needing to lose weight. Be careful what you wish for.

  83. I’m grateful that I have a best friend that gets me and so we’re going to a fancy dinner in the city at restaurant where a friend is working and that I get to spend Christmas with her too. Very much hoping to avoid the worst of the holiday depression. Only had to sit on the floor and cry one time today! That’s progress. And I’m thankful for you Jenny! You keep me laughing

  84. I had surgery last week, so right now I’m thankful that I have Percocet and a ready excuse not to travel or talk to anyone. My family is not horrible, but there is inevitable tension and passive-aggressiveness. It’s just nice to sit around in pajamas with piles of cats and no responsibilities while high on legal drugs. Plus, there’s pie.

  85. Oh, y’all. I wish I could invite all of you over (some of you one at a time of course, because introverts and anxiety) and cook just what you like, and talk or not talk as you prefer, and be just the sloth or kitten or whatever the hell other spirit animal you need. Wishing everyone… wishes. Lots and lots of wishes. Because I don’t know what else to give you.

  86. Thankful that The Bloggess writes blogs and books. The anxiety is not quite killing me. What’s the word for wanting to shut down the carousel and dismount? And why am I riding an angry hippo?

  87. Thank You ! for putting it in black & white…. we all (me!) get so wound up over things that aren’t important…. and chance missing the special parts of the holiday !

  88. I am thankful for you, your honesty, your books, and your blog. You are the only person I read that makes me snort coffee out my nostrils, and laugh so hard my husband comes to see if I am ok. And sometimes, you help the tears come, and that is good too.
    Thank you!

  89. Thank you for this. For some unclear reason, I am incredibly depressed today. But it’s just a day. And I’m not suicidal, though I’ve had tears running down my face about 10 times today, I know I’ll be okay soon. An amazing friend is coming over and that is my light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you Jenny!

  90. Appreciated, weirdly validated. It’s lonely here in a room filled with all these people who love me anyways.

  91. I’m thankful that my husband doesn’t have to go to work tonight until 8:30 so we could spend the day eating at our favorite diner, watching WKRP, and listening to Alice’s Restaurant – our little traditions.

  92. I’m thankful that, in spite of not being with my extended family this year, that my little family of four is together and spending the day snuggling on the couch. That my husband is s wonderful cook who is prepping an amazing dinner for us and that, in spite of yesterday’s sadness, I woke up on an upswing today. And I’m thankful for our new kitten, in spite of having to wash poop off of his feet this morning. Lots of love to you all.

  93. After a childhood of dressing up, sitting on uncomfortable chairs, and having to be unreasonably well behaved and a few years of adulthood of driving for longer than we stayed to see ALL the relatives, I am thankful that my little family has developed a low-key holiday tradition of buying some of the festive foods pre-cooked (and tastier than I could do them), and enjoying a day of staying in pajamas and playing board games all day 🙂 I highly recommend it!

  94. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This year I am grateful for discovering YOU because you are like ME and I have realized that it is okay to be completely, irrevocably fucked up and yet still possess some dignity and humor about the whole bajiggity mess that has been my entire life thus far. I am coming off a three year depression that has taken me to the depths of Hell and right to the edge of an abyss. I nearly jumped. But yet….I’m here, typing this, which means that I didn’t, and that’s what matters. I’m almost happy at this very moment, and I realize that my fucked-up life is just that, MY fucked-up life, and no one gets to take it from me. As long as there are antidepressants and Xanax and red wine and the Foo Fighters and KISS and Iron Maiden and fuck yeah, even Adele and her sad-as songs that make me want to cry, and CATS…..I’m gonna keep on smiling. Even at the assholes. Happy Thanksgiving, Jenny. ❤

  95. I’m thankful for the friends and family that made it through another year, against many odds. Things are a ball of suck for so many people right now, but I’m thankful people will still share a day, a meal, and a board game with me even when they might feel like staying in bed all day.

    We’re all fighting battles and all of us can use all the support we can get.

    BTW, those turkeys are totes adorbs.

  96. I’m thankful that on my first Thanksgiving post-separation, I have an amazing, talented, and thoughtful daughter to share it with. I’m thankful for good friends who provide emotional (and sometimes physical) support. I’m thankful that you posted this, so that I can remember, despite my blessings, that it’s also okay to feel depressed and out-of-sorts. See? I can be a rule-breaker, too. 😉

  97. I am especially thankful that I can choose my family, contrary to the popular saying. Im thankful that I’ve found a place here amongst my tribe. After losing a friend to suicide this month, I am thankful for each and every one us that continues to fight for their lives, despite what feels like insurmountable odds.

  98. Needed to hear this. We celebrate as a small family, just the four of us, as the rest of our extended family has several big dinners just a couple hours north. We have never been invited in 23 years. I was starring to feel sorry for myself, then realized I am not missing anything.

  99. Thank you. I needed that. My day started with a hateful text from the evil-in-law. Even when attempting to avoid conflict, I’m baited into it. I won’t sink. However, the tears are inevitable. I can’t let it NOT bother me. I’m a dweller. It’s so difficult to just allow it to continue and ignore it. I’m thankful for the family I have chosen.

  100. Thank you for helping us all feel good that we’re here, that we’re safe and in lots of good company, that we are heard.

  101. We already had Thanksgiving in Canada. I have thanks that I was able to change jobs and no longer be harassed by a coworker to the point where I was scared to go into my previous workplace. Now I work with wonderful people:-) Also I’m thankful for my family and good wine (or any kind of wine, to be honest).

  102. Thank you for making it ok to be us. For your constant reassurance that we are safe, and in lots and lots of good company, and that today is just a day- like yesterday, and tomorrow– what’s important is that we’re here.

  103. I’m thankful for my little family, which is far far away from the stress and acid of my big family, and my husband who supports me, monetarily and mentally, and my daughters, whose enthusiasm over learning about what was on the ultrasound monitor got the tech and doctor chatting and made that awkward “I think your cancer is back” conversation with the doctor a little less of a punch in the gut.
    I’m with Beth, we’re in pjs, the mashed potatoes are flakes, and Little Bit is picking out a game as we speak.

  104. I’m thankful for my little family, which is far far away from the stress and acid of my big family, and my husband who supports me, monetarily and mentally, and my daughters, whose enthusiasm over learning about what was on the ultrasound monitor got the tech and doctor chatting and made that awkward “I think your cancer is back” conversation with the doctor a little less of a punch in the gut.
    I’m with Beth, we’re in pjs, the mashed potatoes are instant flakes, and Little Bit is picking out a game as we speak.

  105. I am thankful for books.
    I am thankful for my husband.
    I am thankful we Canadians got Thanksgiving out of the way in October, because I don’t know how you poor American souls manage to deal with only a one month buffer between two major family-oriented holidays. I’m feeling exhausted on your behalf just thinking about it.

  106. My daughter said today (before I even read this) that she is glad cats exist. She’s not the only one!

  107. I’ve only burst into desperately miserable tears three times so far this morning. Cancer plus other stuff plus being homebound, broke, alone and scared. Grateful… well, grateful I am not in the hospital, not delerious, and the pain isn’t so bad that I can’t read or type a little. …yay.

  108. This is my first holiday without my kids. I’m in sweatpants, about to hit the booze and watching 50 Shades because why isn’t Christian Grey a real person? Anxiety and clinical depression is a fuck nut.

  109. I DO love to cook so I’m usually pretty happy today — and I hope the best of all possible Thanksgivings for those who don’t like to cook, or don’t like turkey, or have horrible relatives — go somewhere that makes you happy and forget about the whole messy thing (and enjoy the four-day weekend).

  110. I’m thankful for neighbors, good health, roof over my head and food to eat. Also thankful that I don’t have to eat badly cooked food with people I don’t like. It’s all good, folks, and not for just this one day of the year.

    Give thanks and eat pie!

  111. I am thankful I said no to traveling to a place that would have had me hiding in a bathroom, my skin crawling, and my brain racing.

  112. Today is my saddest day, and has been for the last 7 years. I moved from Philly to England 7 years ago, leaving my life, family, and friends behind to live with a disabled husband. I made the wrong choice. And now I’m stuck here for the unforseeable future, but utterly and totally thankful for that, because I’m stuck here because of my unbelievably kind, sweet, smart, generous, funny, and wonderful almost 4 year old daughter.

    I’m thankful for the strength I needed to make the decision to divorce, thankful that I’m taking back my happiness, knowing that it’s going to be tough to be a single mother.

    Thankful that I have the kindness in my heart not to take my daughter back to America, because I know she loves her daddy.

    Thankful for all the people who comment on this blog, who make my day whether their comments are riotous or sad.

    And ever so thankful for FaceTime, because I got to talk to my brother in California, my twin sister in Philly, my mom in New Orleans, my little sister in Mississippi, and my dad and stepmom in Florida.

  113. Husband and I are headed across the valley to spend Thanksgiving with son and his extended family. We’re bringing pie and wine. For this, I’m thankful. I’m very grateful to be able to spend time most every day with you and your tribe. This I’ve done since Beyonce and the towels. Love you, Jenny.

  114. Thank you, Jenny, for reminding us that we don’t need to be perfect to be okay. I needed that today, when there are too many people in our house and I’m an introvert trying to be the perfect hostess with my sister with whom I live who is so caught up in making the first thanksgiving in her own home with her daughter in 35 years perfect that everything I do is wrong even though I’m killing myself being helpful and kind and gracious when I just want to be ALONE.

    Thank you for reminding me that all I need to deal with is my own shot and everybody else’s shit is Not My Problem and Not My Fault and I can cut some slack for somebody else’s anxieties because I’ve been there myself

    Sometimes it helps to just remember that this will end and if the day isn’t perfect then that’s okay, too

    and sometimes I just tell myself: You are s duck, and everything is water and just rolls off and even if it’s not entirely true I can pretend it is and sometimes that’s enough to make it true

  115. I read this knowing that there are others who struggle like me, but I still have a hard time accepting that I am not alone. Probably because I’m so lonely and don’t feel I have anyone to reach out to (avoiding my mother as much as I possibly can). I’m thankful that you exist.

  116. Besides being thankful for Jenny Lawson, who says just what I need to hear when I need to hear it, I’m thankful that my family has been understanding over the past 30 or so years that I might not be able to put a meal on the table on Thanksgiving. They accept that sometime during the 4-day weekend I will probably have enough spoons in the drawer to get it done. Thanks, kids.

  117. I have to put my fist in my mouth as I am currently reading your first book in snippets so I don’t wake my boyfriend. I too, had an outdoorsy father and two brothers, and have mixed feelings about the taxidermy and roadkill. episodes of my past. From one formerly organically forever shy girl to another. “Happy” Thanksgiving.( no expectations on the Happy part of it)

  118. Though I don’t celebrate American thanksgiving since I’m Canadian, (Canadians like to do things differently and knock out 2 major holidays in one month) and I actually don’t get to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving much either. Whoops. I am super grateful I found you Jenny. Found you, your blog and Lets Pretend This Never Happened A mostly True Memoir. I’m beyond grateful and still bummed ( talking to you for few minutes was not long enough for me) I’ve recently got to meet you for the first time on your Furiously Happy book tour. I miss you very often. Happy thanksgiving Jenny, Victor and Hailey. (sorry I spelt your name wrong. Theres a billion different ways to spell it!)

  119. My ideal thanksgiving? To sit in my cozy dimly lit house in pajamas with a full belly and a glass of wine. What I’ll have instead? Anxiety. Social niceties demand we spend the day with our families. To love and be loved with the ones closest to us. Only problem is, my family arent the ones closest to me. So instead of a quiet slightly inebriated celebration of thankfulness, I’ll be shaking and trying to pretend that I feel loved and accepted by my family. It will be like all the other years, and I’ll hate it. Why must I pretend? Why do I feel the need to protect the feelings of those who constantly trample mine? Why do I care if they’re feelings are hurt if I say loudly and with pride that I want to spend my Thanksgiving differently? I want to drink and feel comfortable in my own skin. I don’t want to have to watch my language. I don’t want to pretend that listening to gospel conversations (even if it isn’t directed toward me) isn’t tiresome and tedious. I want to be me. And most of all I want to say it. But I can’t, cause I’m too weak and too scared.

  120. Grateful for my divorce today, even though it is all my family wants to talk about and pity me for. I’m happier and more financially sound than I have been in years and I needed out. Today my brother and I dismembered an effigy of my ex as a symbolic form of closure and that’s the best we’ve gotten along in years. My niece was not afraid of me this year because I’m a normal human instead of an anxious, trembling puddle trying to control my spouse’s drinking problem. I have much to be thankful for today.

  121. Jenny, I am thankful for your wit and your courage – this blog and those who follow you. Thank you for putting your feelings into a voice we can hear and acknowledge. And share and identify.

  122. This is the first year in many that I am calm, content and ready for a day with my family. Thank you for helping me focus on the wonder and joy in my life. You have helped me through so many awful days. I am grateful for you early and often but, especially, today. ❤️

  123. I am spending the day reading, writing, wining, and dining – just me and my kitten-monsters, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  124. This is usually my favorite holiday but this year due to circumstances beyond my control, it’s proving to be challenging. I recently divorced (a good thing) and my ex won’t spend the time with our kids and grands because I’ll be there, and my mom always goes totally beserk starting in late Sept and carrying thru the new year. This year she decided to try and draw me into her madness by saying very hurtful things. I’m grateful for posts like yours that remind me I’m not alone in my struggles and that there are many people who understand. Happy Thanksgiving!

  125. I’m thankful I’m not American, so one less holiday to negotiate. I’m thankful you’re here, reminding me that I’m not the only one with mental health issues and a dysfunctional family. I’m thankful for the people in my life who support me no matter what, and don’t care if I don’t have the capacity to make it through the day with normal levels of interaction and self-care. I’m also grateful because each time I read your blog, I’m reminded to take a peek outwards and consider others.

  126. I drove down to Dallas and brought my father-in-law back to our home for Thanksgiving. He is 84 and can be everything an 84 year old can be. It made my wife smile. That is all I need.

  127. Thank you for this post. I’m not alone- your blog proves it time and time again.

  128. It was around this time last year that I found out my mom was terminally ill. She died in July. Plus we’ve had a ton of other stresses that just won’t go away so I haven’t been feeling too fabulous about the holidays and I’m okay with that. I am thankful for my two very healthy children. That alone gets me through the rest of it. I’m strong for them.

    Lots of love to everyone who is feeling less than joyous during the holidays. Just tell yourself it will pass.

  129. Thanks for this post. We of course don’t have Thanksgiving in Australia. But it can be applied to my current scenario and forthcoming Christmas. What you say resonates.

  130. Thank you for this post Jenny. I’m thankful that you always remember those of us who have no one and are alone on a holiday. I cried when I read this because you understand.

    I wish you, Victor and Hailey the nicest holiday season ever.

  131. wish Iread this Before I flipped out at my husband and sent him off with the Green bean casserole to the family’s extended family (non of whom I had met before).
    I took some “rescue remedy” and somehow pulled myself together and show up. because i would have hated myself more if i hadn’t but I got there Late 1:15 instead of 12:30 and then my very drunk Cousin (as i said it was 1:30pm) said he was so so so glad I made it and arrived only 35 times ! (no pressure there) .
    Maybe I just needed to get there on my own. but i made it it’s over. I just wish I had read this while i was flipping out. but I was flipping out and hysterical and felt completely frozen except for the fact that i was trying to explain to my poor husband that it was all too much. (shrugs) harder to sit and read things that make sense when your not making sense. Once again thank you for making the uncomfortable feel better.

  132. I am thankful for you, and the courage you have to share your story with the rest of us, reminding us that we are not alone.

  133. Thank you for this. My husband lied to his family and told them he was working today, that’s how bad the holidays are for us with his family! I finally told my mom this year I hate this holiday, and asked if next year we could volunteer somewhere instead of spending 3 days getting ready to eat one meal. I think she’s actually game…

    Thanks, as always, for reminding me I’m not the only one!

  134. I’m grateful for you and your blog and your generosity in sharing your highs and lows with us.

  135. Thank you. Holidays are always lonely for me (by choice or not, I never know). This made me feel better about today.

  136. I’m thankful that Canada has an early October Thanksgiving so that I’m not stressed today.
    I’d be so thankful to welcome good health back after taking it for granted for so long.
    I’m still thankful I can read, write, and dream.

  137. I’m thankful that I discovered this tribe this year. And it’s kind of spooky that you can put into words things that I think of as amorphous concepts that I know somebody else has to also be thinking, but you can nail it down in words. That’s a gift and it’s been a great relief to me to see how many other people share this. My victory today was remembering that you only have to stay in the tub long enough to get clean and don’t have to take a shower (worrisome little phobia developing there) so I had Thanksgiving with family at my son’s house and actually was presentable. And we all get along anyway, and I was able to get my 22-month twin granddaughters down for a nap so my daughter-in-law could get some rest too. Victory all around, actually.

  138. Everyday I’m grateful for the few friends who understand me & love me anyways. I’m grateful that books exist because I read one a day & it’s great escapism. And I’m grateful for coffee & for Instagram & for you!

  139. I am thankful for my husband who brings light into the darkness when I feel overwhelmed.

    And I am particularly thankful that no one at dinner was even remotely judgey about my vegetarianism.

  140. I’m thankful that I’m not American, so don’t have to celebrate Thanksgiving too!

    Like you Jenny, I try to be thankful every day (when the black dog isn’t nipping at my heels).

    In our home, we don’t really celebrate holidays, though we both try to be grateful for all the good things we have, & accepting that we can’t have everything we want – we don’t have the money or space for a lot of stuff, so the minimalist approach is practical, pragmatic, & realistic.

    We also don’t celebrate valentines day, & I never buy my wife flowers.
    We both aren’t fond of cut flowers, as they’re really dead flowers waiting to wilt.

    instead, I keep the garden in good shape, & there is always something in bloom, so it’s like I’m providing beautiful flowers every day of the year, rather than token gestures or apology posies.

    I’m grateful that we have our beautiful greyhound Harry, who keeps me grounded, sane, & forces me to go for two walks every day.

    I’m grateful that even though I’m on a tight budget, I can afford to make home brew beer, which often enough is more to both of our liking than ready made beer from retailers.

    Having lost my daughter to cancer a while ago, I’m grateful that she’s not suffering anymore, & I’m more grateful of waking up alive every day, knowing that cancer can strike any of us without notice.

    I’m grateful that I have a home, a place to rest my head & store my stuff.

    I’m grateful that I can amuse myself playing guitar, learn new songs, & surround myself with music; my own or one of the hundreds of CD’s we have in the home.

    I’m grateful that despite my intrinsic laziness, I have a good level of health for my age, & that I’m not restricted in my mobility, especially as I know how difficult it can be getting around with mobility problems, since my wife has cerebral palsy & gets about in a wheelchair.

    I’m especially grateful that I’m part of this tribe, that I can read Jenny’s musings, the comments of others, & feel less alone, especially as I have no contact with my family as they’re just too dysfunctional & toxic.

    I’m also very grateful that I have a loving understanding wife, who accepts that after all I’ve been through, all that’s happened to us, & the on & off battle I have with my mental health means that she is the breadwinner, I am the stay at home carer, & that I don’t feel pressured to seek fulfillment, identity, or acceptance returning to work that will only make my mental health unstable.

    Most of all, I’m grateful that I can be me, don’t have to explain, justify, or rationalize who I am, what I am & what I do.

    Anyone who thinks I need to is rightly not part of my life; no one has the right to judge others without understanding their story, & most people’s eyes glaze over if you start talking about struggles with mental health.

    I guess more than anything, I’m grateful that I’m at a point in my life where I am starting to accept myself, my situation, & that I am learning not to crave things that I don’t need, or that are unattainable.

    That’s really reward in itself.

  141. Thankful that I got to play in the kitchen today without anything needing to be Thanksgiving Dinner Ready. Thankful that I had several invitations, and also that those same friends understood that a day catching up on Doctor Who and reading the Welcome to Night Vale novel was better for me this year.

  142. Thank you. Dealing with homophobia from a totally unexpected place and feeling really sad, but grateful for my awesome partner and wonderful nieces

  143. So thankful to cuddle with my dog. Today was a struggle. And the beginning of a “season” full of happy moments, but lots of grief, pressure, guilt, stress and wanting to run away from it all. With my dog, of course.

  144. Yep. I hate all holidays because you are expected to bathe, put on real clothes, and be happy. This normally just sends me under the covers. It has taken my family a decade to kind of grasp this — but I have just let it go (living half a country away from all relatives helps). But I DO appreciate, remember and celebrate the days when my depression and chronic pain aren’t lying to me. This also confuses my loved ones.

    But our kid (9, and the coolest boy ever) always CELEBRATES even my smallest wins — especially when I forget them. If I am mean to myself, he uses my words against me, “Mom I would destroy anyone who said that about you — that means YOU aren’t allowed to do it either!”. He tackles me (gently and carefully) with hugs and cuddles and a long explaination of why I am awesome, a goddess, and the queen of our family. I think the queen part is because I rule from my messy bedroom/throne room?? I also am the one he comes to when he needs advice, love and endless cuddles.

    Being a kick-ass mom, having a husband who once said, “It makes me feel better to know Victor is out there — I’m not alone.”, and a kid who really learns and practices what I try to preach … I think I am actually more thankful than “normal” people.

  145. I’m with you Jenny. I celebrate every day that all the pieces fall in the right places. Having to play happy on a holiday is bullshit.

  146. Thanks for sharing, Jenny! I was alone earlier and ready to be sad because today didn’t fit what Thanksgiving “should” be. The. I realized I was really happy, peaceful, and grateful. There is no “should” be. Screw what other people think. Love your sculpted turkeys. Hope your day is what YOU wished it would be.

  147. I cooked all day. Dinner was ready at 5:30pm. Everyone had come and gone by 6:30pm. Holidays suck.

  148. Thank you. We celebrated just the three of us today and it was wonderful, but now I’m left with this huge black hole of feelings and don’t know why. Just my old friend depression back again. But I read your words and they help so much. Thank you.

  149. This was wonderful and refreshing. I have recently lost my mom and my fur kid dog of 14 years. You have captured my feelings perfectly. It’s not happy this year.

  150. This is the first year in a very long time that I have not hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. I feel dismal and small and like I let everyone down. But, I just could not deal with it this year. I am thankful though that my little petsitting business is going well and I get to spend time today with a pretty little sun conure, a corn snake named Ernie, and a bearded dragon who likes to stalk crickets under paper towels.

  151. And maybe you are lucky enough to spend it with a houseful of people you adore and everything is perfect and you love to cook and your brain chemistry is lovely and you don’t have to pretend to be sick to avoid a terrible relative or lock yourself in a bathroom to keep yourself from strangling a bitter great-aunt and if this is you then, you know what? I’m happy for you.

    Damn, my mom did this all the time around the holidays when I was a kid. I never put it all together until I was a grownup.

  152. One of my dear friends just told me about you and I absolutely loved your post from today thank you!! I totally get you and everything you said, but I did it with much enthusiasm and loud laughter!! Thank you so much for reminding me I’m not alone!!!

  153. I am so happy to have found this tonight. I àm in the middle of a separation from my husband, and marriage counseling that I am not optimistic about. My family lives halfway across the country, and his lives less than a mile from us, so this day is typically spent with them. But this year, I decided to care about my feelings, and not go. How uncomfortable would that be?! So I spent the day alone. And I think I’m OK with that. Happy day and fuzzy warm vibes to all of us. Blessed Be.

  154. Thank you – I needed this. I’ve made it through the day. And I’m thankful for that.

  155. First Thanksgiving since my dad died today. My poor mom blotted tears all day because she just couldn’t help it, my small kids were whiny messes of food-related demands, and I ended up more depressed than ever when all was said and done. I like cooking but hate cooking on Thanksgiving with the fire of a thousand suns because I’m too exhausted to actually be with those tiny people I’m thankful for.

    Needed this today. Thank you.

  156. I am so very grateful for you, Jenny, this lovely tribe, and my own band of misfits who come together every “Friendsgiving” and have the celebration we probably couldn’t with our biological families. I just received yet one more message of many from my mother saying she can’t /won’t help me out with the littlest request, and normally it would’ve hurt me to the bone. But I’ve just come from dinner with my sweet, kind, loving tribe and after reading your post as well, her words aren’t stinging as much as they usually do. Thank you for reminding us that we’re okay.

  157. So few people appreciate this, but you will, Jenny – my 9 year old daughter likes to play sloth at recess. She will randomly fling herself down and drag herself along, pretending to be a sloth looking for food. Seriously, this kid keeps me sane amidst holiday madness.

  158. THANKS FOR WRITING THIS! I kind of wandered over here thinking in the back of my head, well, sometimes the Bloggess says helpful things especially on days like this and there you were with this column. Thank you Bloggess! Thank you Tribe!

  159. Today I did not live up to my own too high expectations, had to give myself a time out and then had a crying jag in my kitchen. My mother was worried it was because my Grandmother with dementia was there. It wasn’t. It was just because in that moment I was not enough. Thank you for posting today. I had people I love who are still living, laughing together around my table and THAT is enough.

  160. You wrote a post yesterday about as people get older they either get kinder and more empathetic or meaner and bitter and I truly believe this because I work in senior living and I see it all the time. What I saw in the replies to your posts was a lot of people replying about being grateful that they have become better with age. I don’t feel I am one of those people and it is such a terrible thing to have realized. I’ve suffered from years of depression, anxiety and self-loathing. I struggled with alcohol before being able to actually get a couple of years of sobriety. My life finally opened into a life I could life when I became sober, but it was clear that in those years of living in the dark, I had become hardened. I search everyday for opportunities or lessons to gain perspective, find humility, just be a good person. I finally decided that it was time to do the tough thing and go to CBT. I wanted to find an intimate way to respond to you without in splaying out on my facebook feed but your tales really do make an impact on me and for that I am grateful. Thank you for your good heart and being one of the little things that helps inspire me to do better.

  161. I am thankful that my family didn’t do anything for Thanksgiving. I slept in, was in my pjs until noon, then made some stuffing and watched the dog show and Doctor Who. Best Thanksgiving ever.

    I am also thankful that despite a shitty upcoming month – sister can’t afford to come home for Christmas, Grandma has been diagnosed with dementia so I need to visit her overseas (even though she hates me), and I’m broke – that this community is here whether you are having a great day or the worst day ever. I am laughing again, so today I am winning the war against depression. Sending positive thoughts to everyone who is struggling.

    Oh, and I got fuzzy slippers tonight. So that’s good too!

  162. I’m thankful that a friend, her husband, and child joined me, my husband and child for Thanksgiving. She didn’t just come because we’re friends, she came to help me alleviate the stress of dealing with the person who birthed me. This woman, (she does not deserve the title of “mom” or “mother”) arrived with my dad a few days ago and is quite possibly the worst house guest and parent (or grandparent) ever. I do not look forward to her visits and thank the heavens she lives many hours away. I cannot pretend to like her then or be thankful for her on thanksgiving. Such BS. Only a few know the whole story, but this is my reality. I’m thankful for those who understand and support my weird complicated life.

  163. Very thankful for you and all the members of the tribe. This online family is a wonderful one. Oh, and matching plates are overrated…

  164. I’m an expat in the us, no family here, this is the worst holiday ever. I have progressive disease that is slowly killing me, keeps me in horrible pain 24/7, bedbound. It has been years that I have seen people, except my dr. Years that I was able to keave my hous and I tell you I have a ducking hard job coming up with stuff I should be grateful for. These last two months make me so depressed that it’s very easy to take that last step. It’s almost like they, whoever ‘they ‘ may be expect it from me. Will this be the year she will give up?? I wouldn’t be surprised.
    The only thing that keeps me here is my daughter who lives in Eutope. I want to hold her one more time, it has been 10 years. I love you babe, the rest? I don’t give a shit anymore. Having to ‘live’ with do much pain should be a crime against humanity.

    (I can’t imagine what you go through, but when my RA was at it’s worse and they hadn’t found drugs for it I couldn’t function at all so I’m incredibly impressed that you are pushing through and have a goal and that you’re still not giving up. I’m glad you are here but I’m not glad that you have to suffer because no one should have to go through that. I’m not sure of your diagnosis but I can tell you that there is always hope for a cure or a drug that will at least lessen the pain. It took years but the disease the crippled my grandmother when she was my age is almost unnoticeable in me if I stay on regular injections. I’m sending you love and light and hope for a cure or at least for something to manage the pain. ~ Jenny)

  165. I am grateful we didn’t host Thanksgiving dinner this year. I’m also thankful for anxiety meds and the ability to run home to my bed after being exhausted from interacting with a room full of people.

  166. You wrote a post yesterday about as people get older they either get kinder and more empathetic or meaner and bitter and I truly believe this because I work in senior living and I see it all the time. What I saw in the replies to your posts was a lot of people replying about being grateful that they have become better with age. I don’t feel I am one of those people and it is such a terrible thing to have realized. I’ve suffered from years of depression, anxiety and self-loathing. I struggled with alcohol before being able to actually get a couple of years of sobriety. My life finally opens into a life I could life when I became sober, but it was clear that in those years of living in the dark, I had become hardened. I search everyday for opportunities or lessons to gain perspective, find humility, just be a good person. I finally decided that it was time to do the tough thing and go to CBT. I wanted to find an intimate way to respond to you without in splaying out on my facebook feed but your tales really do make an impact on me and for that I am grateful. Thank you for your good heart and one of the little things that helps inspire me to do better.

    (I am sending you such love. People who are too hardened don’t write things like this, and they certainly don’t focus on what they can do to become more kind. You are so much more kind and thoughtful than you know. ~ Jenny)

  167. I’m thankful for you, Jenny. Your humor and insight helped me through some difficult times, and I’m grateful to have been able to pay it forward.Hugs to the tribe!

  168. You know one of my favorite things about you & your posts? The bold font replies you make to people like cbastian2013 & Catherine. I scroll thru comments looking for those little hugs in bold font. You are so loving & many years from now, I hope you are always remembered as someone who builds up those who are in pain & despair. You are a gift. Blessings & gratitude.

  169. My wife introduced me to your blog. It’s thanksgiving evening. For the first time in my life I am out of state (my home state) on thanksgiving. My dad passed away last month and I thought today would be easier this way but I was wrong. Thank you for your message above. My brain is not working right today and I needed to hear that’s ok.

  170. I’m in the UK so Thanksgiving isn’t here. But I’m still in the adaptation phase of taking antidepressants to fix my broken brain chemistry so your blog definitely makes me feel less alone, less broken, and a teeny tiny bit more hopeful for the future – so I’ll give thanks for that. Thank you!

  171. I woke up this morning on an air mattress that had deflated in the night and couldn’t stop sobbing. For four hours. I haven’t had a dark day this bad is so long. I was surrounded by people who wanted to tell me that what I was crying about wasn’t so bad. It’s hard to explain that darkness isn’t something you can control when you’re in it. But you know what? I made it through the day. I cried another three times, but this time just for a second. And I went on Twitter and found this. And I remember you all are here. And I’ll make it. It’ll be hard. But I will.

  172. I woke up this morning on an air mattress that had deflated in this night and couldn’t stop sobbing. For four hours. I haven’t had a dark day this bad is so long. I was surrounded by people who wanted to tell me that what I was crying about wasn’t so bad. It’s hard to explain that darkness isn’t something you can control when you’re in it. But you know what? I made it through the day. I cried another three times, but this time just for a second. And I went on Twitter and found this. And I remember you all are here. And I’ll make it. It’ll be hard. But I will.

  173. My husband’s brother committed suicide less than two weeks ago while detoxing from heroin in a jail cell. I felt guilty that we were coming to my family’s for Thanksgiving instead of my husband’s because of how we alternate. And frankly, I like his family better than mine sometimes, because they just require less emotional effort than mine. But then I realized that the way my family tends to stuff down their feelings is working to hubby’s advantage because it’s given him a break in the constant analysis of his brother. So even though it’s been hard on me to be here, that’s okay, because it was easier on him and he really needed it.

  174. Thank you, so much. You just put into words what I can’t but wish I could.

    And I’m thankful for the fact that there are people like you in the world.

  175. Thank you. I needed someone to share my Thanksgiving with this year since I am so far from home. I feel this need to feel grateful, because of the day, but the realist in me hates everything that isn’t like home!

  176. I am thankful that I didn’t have to cook because my mother in law did. I am especially grateful that I didn’t have to clean because my husband did. Overall I feel very fortunate to have this small family. Plus I adore my dogs. Thank you for posting.

  177. I know I have ton of things to be thankful for but I don’t feel it. I just wish I had someone to talk to
    As much as I keep trying to tell myself it’s just a day. I guess it is making me feel aware of crying myself to sleep for weeks.

  178. Hi, Jenny. Thanksgiving makes me feel weird in the first place because yes, its good to be thankful, but 1) why is today a special day to do it and 2) the history of today is just messed up. But that aside, today was still hard. Harder even than usual. My family is a mixture of abusive assholes and people who support/contribute to the abuse and assholeishness (which is now a word.) Now I’m deep in therapy sorting thru the severe complex PTSD, anxiety, depression, attachment issues, etc. that they caused and I just felt alone in a room full of people who pretend to love me but only manipulate me for their own desires. I wanted to be able to be honest about how difficult my process is right now but I only was reminded of why I’m stuck in therapy instead of living a fulfilling life. I was thinking about all the posts that say “today is hard cause you might be alone or you might have lost someone” which is true for some, and helpful, but what about those of us for whom it’s hard be use you’re stuck in a room full of people who only know you well enough to abuse and manipulate you? What if your learning to put up boundaries “ruins thanksgiving”? Yours is the first post I’ve seen that speaks to that and I’m so grateful you don’t even know me but you care. I feel less alone now. I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your actual blog before but I just wanted to thank you for this. I’ll keep it in mind over the current weeks as I spend time with “family.”

  179. I needed this… I’m feeling inept and literal and taking offense for nothing. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Love being a part of this tribe!

  180. I was supposed to do that 30 days of thankfulness on my Facebook, and I was going to do thankfuls for things nobody thinks about but couldn’t live without, like things that make me say, “Whoever invented this deserves eternal blow jobs that don’t adhere to the law of diminishing marginal utility,” and I never did it more than one day because I suck at longevity and stamina (I don’t suck those things, I suck AT those things). Anyway, short list… I’m so thankful for

    Fried Ice Cream
    Sonic’s Strawberry Banana Split Molten Cake Sundae
    Doors, and windows though I don’t understand why we have windows because the only purpose they seem to serve is something to break into… You know, like when God closes one door, burglars see that as an opportunity to go through the window…
    Coffee and Chocolate and whoever came up with the idea of mixing those as chocolate covered coffee beans or mocha latte.
    Aleve, Motrin, and Xanax
    Liquor 43
    Stop Signs
    Heated Seats
    My Bed. It might be from 1995, but it’s still more comfortable than the ones at the store, not that i would know because I don’t go laying down on all the beds at the store on account that they don’t always use real beds for displays, not that I would know that either…

  181. I’m continually thankful for twitter, because it has brought me everything from good friends to meeting my wonderful husband to some of the hardest laughs I’ve ever had. I’m thankful that my lovely mother continues to be the strongest person I know and has fought so hard to get back from her latest stroke that you almost wouldn’t know it was so bad. I’m thankful for my parents’ amazing and loving 45 years of marriage which means that my father is caring for my mom like no one could. I’m thankful for my almost 2 years of marriage at 42 because I found no less of a love than I saw between my parents and the partnership I have with my husband is such a treasure, now more than ever as I struggle with chronic pain. And I’m thankful that my step-sons got to come to our big family Thanksgiving this year, where they went outside with all the other kids and ran around in the dark, playing hiding games, like I once did with the other kids’ parents.

  182. Jenny, I am thankful for you. Your love & light & insight always comes at the best, or worst of times.. just when it’s needed most. Sometimes, I think of you as “Donna”, who thought of herself as nothing, but to the Doctor, she was everything & the most important person. Thank you.

  183. Jenny, thank you for always being brave enough to say the things others are too afraid to. I used to be one of those crazy people that just loved holidays and family get togethers, but now live across the country from my family and that is hard. Today I was sitting in a house full of my husbands family that I just frankly can’t relate to at all, and feeling so alone, missing my own family so much. For some reason, in that moment I grabbed my phone and headed straight to your blog and saw this. Which was just what I needed to hear. Happy Thanksgiving Jenny (hugs)

  184. I just thought “oh shit, I didn’t call my family and at least tell them Happy Thanksgiving and what I’m grateful for over the phone! What a horrible daughter” and then I remembered I live in Canada and I already did that in October.

  185. I am thankful for you! Because you can articulate exactly what I am feeling and I know that I am not alone!

  186. I am thankful for much ~~ when I remind myself to be grateful. That aside, thank goodness for your out front, no polish, no facade honesty ~~ and the no bullshit replies.

  187. Thank you for this reminder. However, perhaps you shouldn’t have been thankful for kittens because look at what the universe sent to your front door – a supersize freaking kitten!

  188. I am thankful for Jenny, her courage and humor and ability to see that there is more out there for her than just being sad and depressed. It’s like that speeding train (the good one). Sometimes it stops in the station and you get on, and sometimes it just whips right by you. But–and this is important–there is always another train.

    I also think that the tour you have taken this fall was one big high, and now you’re doing a kind of payback. Action and reaction, all that happy horseshit. Be well.

  189. I’m happy because our turkey was so dry and overcooked, that the leg bones stuck out from the meat and it gasped for water when we cut into it. It was cause for great mirth in our little family of three… well, that and the disgusting apple custard pie with the texture of scrambled eggs. It was an awesome day! It really was! Because three is plenty.

  190. Thank you for this. I left my husband a couple of weeks ago after pretty much having a nervous breakdown, and ended up spending a portion of yesterday sobbing in the bathroom.

  191. I am thankful to learn that I am not the only person who ever feltl uncomfortable about not owning a complete set of china in any pattern.
    And my niece is going to have a baby…

  192. Jenny, I love how you understand how you can be alone in a crowded room. Few people around me understand that. I am thankful for my therapist who has helped me understand that it’s ok to be me and to belong to this tribe.

  193. I’m thankful I have people in my life that give me reason to pull myself out of bed on ‘fuck you, life’ days. Even though sometimes I would rather really really rather stay in that bed and take cat selfies. Maybe I’m not so thankful to them after all, because my bed is pretty cozy. This subject is debatable

  194. I’m sitting here so sad and remembered from your book that you blog and this made me feel a little better. Worst thanksgiving ever because of me. Sometimes depression turns to anger and lashing out at those we perceive as perfect.

  195. It’s hard to feel thankful on a day when a person is supposed to feel thankful. I just want to hide in a corner n Thanksgiving.

  196. I wish I wasn’t so busy yesterday cooking all day and read this first. I may have just said “fuck the turkeys”. I’m being ridiculous trying to pull off this huge meal all by myself! I always had a ton of energy until I got Fibromyalgia at 42 and cancer at 51. I am now 52 and terminal with just months left before I die gagging for air. ( I have lung cancer) and I wish I could make each moment precious. It’s strange how everything becomes so damn beautiful as life gets shorter. I wanted to have one last special Thanksgiving with my son but we had to change the meal till 6 pm because of his girlfriends work schedule. I think she changed it on purpose because she is Mexican and they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. So she was supposed to help me but couldn’t. My son never gets off the couch because of football. I really tried and I got everything cooked by 6pm. I made an apple pie yesterday. I made a 2nd turkey earlier in the day for the AA club which I do every year. My sons girlfriend brought cream of broccoli soup and a couple pies. At 6 pm I ran out of gas and had to sit down in my recliner. Dinner was served buffet style and I was so pooped I skipped dinner. Cancer takes your appetite away. I have a whole fridge full of left overs and I can’t bring myself to eat any. My son is coming over for open faced turkey sandwiches and pie today. I’m grateful for the one last Thanksgiving dinner and I hope my son and his girlfriend keep the tradition alive. It is a lot of work but the turkey looks so good with the mashed potatoes, carrots, squash, turnip, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy and hot rolls and butter. The house smells so good with everything cooking and really I do have so much to be thankful for. I have had a good life with many blessings including pulling off one last Thanksgiving dinner!

  197. I am thankful to have this year behind me. Cancer, double mastectomy, 7 surgeries, serious hemorrhage, 4 serious infections, one blood clot, and continuing problems with reconstruction. It is so much better than not knowing what was going to happen last year. Of course, if I had known I would have crawled under my bed and never come out. Oh, and my dog had a serious accident and almost died. That was the worst. And she’s good now!

  198. Thank you for this. I needed to read that and I hope you read this.
    This Thanksgiving was the first without my grandmother, who passed away in April. I tried really hard to smile, be sociable, and enjoy being at my aunt’s house, instead of my grandmother’s, with family who mostly ignore me (because I’m 27 and everyone else is in their lat 40s or over, and I’m shy and we never really have anything to talk about).

    I gave it a good hour+ before I had a slight panic attack and began bawling for everything that wasn’t right, will never be right, and the sheer and utter loneliness that I felt in a room full of “family”.

    The rest of my day was spent at my mom at her house – my saving grace and sanity – trying to sleep of the anxiety and depression. I thought this yesterday and read it, reaffirmed today. Yesterday, was just a day. It was nothing special. I am grateful for the things in my life on most day. I’m sure I can have a pass for yesterday.

    PS: I’m nearly done reading your book and it’s amazing and funny and wonderful. I am grateful for your honesty and candor!

  199. I needed that. Now, if someone can just tell me how to avoid Christmas, I’m good.

  200. Much needed, thank you. I have come to dread the holidays because i know they won’t be the PERFECT moments that social media throws at you. I saw this as I was on my way to the family dinner, and it served as a sort of reset button on my attitude. Result: A pleasant enough day with family, and the ability to shrug off my undercooked green bean casserole, and laugh at the mud the dogs tracked in. Really, thank you. It was good.

  201. Yep. TG used to be a favorite holiday. Not this year. Struggling to just cope through it, but at least I don’t have to do it with a big audience, or a bunch of people who supposedly love me expecting me to “perform happy and normal” for them. This year, it’s me and my hubby. We ate regular random leftovers last night and watched movies. Spy is awesome, Melissa McCarthy killed it better than usual even! Today we’re making a little fancier, because we’re foodies… but it’ll still be just the two of us. So it’s just going to be what it is, and at least we’ll know that the glazed roast duck will be fantastic. Everyone else can go screw themselves.


  203. I’m grateful for a spouse and child who know how hard these holidays are on me and shelter me from the people who don’t understand. I’m grateful for friends who know I’m hiding in the bathroom and send in said child/spouse with a bottle of water and my purse so I can take my meds. I’m also thankful for you, because you remind me that I’m not alone.

  204. I’m reading this the day after Thanksgiving, sitting in a room with people I don’t want to be with because family. I needed this. Thank you.

  205. I used the good dishes yesterday because we got a new dishwasher with a delicate cycle, and it worked, so now we can forgo the paper plates on fancy dinner days. We may start using the good dishes for regular dinner days.

    Sorry you have relatives who sharpen their tongues. I had some of those, but I found I liked my life better when I stopped having anything to do with them. All the drama people had to away, so we had a nice, drama free day with the people we love.

    If my grandkids ever start causing drama, then I am in big trouble because I in no way could ever walk away from them. Grandkids are the loves of my life. They are amazing gifts. I thought my kids were cool, but the grandkids are cool squared, which now that I write it out makes them sound like they are nerds – well some of them are book nerds, but we celebrate that in our family.

  206. My mom’s side of the family usually gets together for Thanksgiving for a few days but my aunt who’s house it is also invites her whole side of the family over for the big day so she has more than 60 people in her house that I barely know. This year I told my parents that if I came on Thursday, I’d either end up getting drunk and making an ass of myself or hiding in the bathroom, which has been the case on the years I couldn’t lie and say I had to work. This year I was honest and I get to be thankful that my parents totally understood and didn’t care, they were like well just come Friday as long as we get to see you it doesn’t matter. I love my parents for that… I don’t even know if the rest of my family got it, but that is okay, they were happy to see me none the less. So awesome that I could come out with the truth and tbh, Jenny and this tribe made that possible for me… If it wasn’t for you guys I just would’ve made up a reason to stay home and not come at all. #thankfulaf

  207. I’m sorry my comment got accidentally posted before I was done, and I can’t delete it. What I was going to say was that my wife and I missed out on annual Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house with extended family, because we ended up in the ER. My wife is gonna be ok, but we discovered some stuff that we now need to manage. So yeah, thanksgiving this year sucked.

  208. I’m thankful i found you. This probably sounds totally weird coming from a complete stranger but you make me feel “normal” (what is normal anyway?). Whatever normal may be I feel slightly closer to that.
    Also, I had a REALLY good day this past summer and I’m thankful for that. It keeps me hopeful.
    As i was perusing a Coles bookstore searching for the next stack of books to get me through the days when I refuse to adult and socialize, your book (almost literally) screamed at me. A title that read FURIOUSLY HAPPY with a ridiculously happy fox on the front seemed like something i needed in my life. I didn’t read a word of it before i bought it, i just needed it. And boy did i ever NEED it. My brother took his own life just over 5 years ago… I’ve never quite healed from this. I’m not sure it’s something one can heal from. I was only 19 (he 20) thinking we had our whole lives ahead of us. Turns out only one of us did.
    This “funk” that i’ve been in for over 5 years suddenly doesn’t seem so crazy. Like I’m allowed to feel this way even though I’m forced to walk around with a damned smile on my face every day (money to friday anyway). Until i read your book, I felt bad about feeling this way. Now i’m oddly proud that I’ve made it though all of these days without totally breaking.
    So thank you. From the bottom of my mixed up, cold black heart; I thank you.

  209. I spent my “holiday” in an airport, eating airport popcorn while watching one of my favorite teams get totally pantsed and spanked.

    I’m thankful that I landed safely, I got a free upgrade on my rental car, and it’s not snowing (which is most certainly a small miracle this time of year.)

    I’d love a life with traditional holidays, but that’s not the one I have. My life isn’t traditional. That doesn’t have to be bad. It’s just different. So I need to focus on being thankful for the different good things I have.

    It still pokes me in the feels though.

  210. A day late but still emotionally reverberating from yesterday, so, thank you for this.
    I’m going to share it with the people who promised that when family became too much I could sneak into the bathroom and call them and they would talk me down.

  211. This is lovely. I am thankful that my kids are alive. I am grateful that my husband and I like each other. I am grateful that both of my cars are in general good repair.

  212. I am having a very black morning so far, haven’t really left my bed and it’s 1pm now. So atm i’m really just grateful to your posts, they lift some of that weight of guilt off my chest. So much is happening in the world and i can’t face it

  213. I commented earlier but it was Thanksgiving night and I was half-asleep and hadn’t read the comments yet, so now I’m compelled to add this (better late than never?). I honestly had no real idea. I thought I was the “only one” who struggled so much on Thanksgiving that I had to lie this year and say I was traveling so I would not have to let the family into my home and pretend to be happy and then spend weeks recovering. I know, rationally, that the holidays are tough for people, but I didn’t really, really understand until now that the way I feel this time of year is echoed in so many. In some ways, that’s sad: I wish we could all have lovely brain chemistry and perfect families and…no, I really don’t. Because then there would be far fewer amazing, strong, fascinating people in the world. And I’m thankful there are people like that, like this tribe.

  214. Thanksgiving was a struggle for me this year. My sister and her husband came to our place for the first time.
    I pretended to spend the entire time in the kitchen cause I was cooking (which I was)…but really, I was just glad I didn’t have to make small talk all day. Cause I didn’t have it in me.
    I hate the holidays. I hate the hype. I hate that no matter how much I tell myself not to get my hopes up, I always do. I always have that idea of how it’s “supposed to be”, and it’s never that. I should be happy. I just can’t right now.

  215. Thank you! I need to figure out how to get a Rory tattoo, so when I feel alone I can remember my tribe of weirdos is here, and I’m not alone.
    This year I was thankful for anxiety medicine. I think that’s how I made it through the day on Thursday without crying.

  216. I know I’m late to the party but I wanted to share my thankfulness, too. Although I’m not suffering from depression/anxiety, I have been in a lot of physical pain over the past 6 weeks. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to travel to have Thanksgiving with the rest of my family (with whom I get along, so I actually don’t dread the holiday.) So, this year, even though I was hurting, I was thankful for:
    1.) Rx medications (used responsibly) that made it possible for me to travel
    2.) Priceline, through which we found a ridiculously cheap room in a really nice hotel, so the hubby and I didn’t have to bunk on anyone’s couch.
    3.) My awesome siblings & sister-in-law who took care of all the planning, food ordering & prep, etc. this year so I didn’t have to do anything (overseeing holiday plans is usually my job)
    4.) My four exuberant nephews (aged 4-9) who remembered to be gentle and not leap onto & climb all over me like a litter of puppies. (Normally I don’t mind that, but normally I don’t feel so breakable). Also, throughout the weekend they spontaneously came over to where I was sitting to give me hugs.
    5.) My wonderful hubby who has been incredibly supportive throughout my trials and tribulations.

  217. IM to friends at midnight: Started getting a horrible headache around 5. Got worse and worse, so I thought it was a migraine, but we think I have the flu. I haven’t had it this bad in decades. Maybe from ER where I sat for so many hours?

    Update: I didn’t go in due to the snow, but I feel better enough to know that it must have been anxiety/withdrawal from Clonopin. The only time I have felt sicker was my appendix perforating. Instead of continuing my tapering off, I will stay at this amount for awhile.

    Question: what/how do I tell my boss? I’m embarrassed to make such a big deal out of something in my head, but it is horrible. Only thoughtful answers, please. No judgements about benzos… I’m trying to get off of them. The attacks are so violent; I swear that I feel like I am dying.

  218. Reading this and these replies makes me want to kill myself. Do you know my wife got reported to HR for wishing someone a Happy Thanksgiving? Lighten up folks, we’re only dancing on this Earth for a short while.

  219. If you have four pair of matching plates, does that mean you have eight matching plates? Who’s ever had a “pair” of plates?

  220. here’s my thanksgiving story: i woke up alone in my tent and built a fire, which you have to do when it’s twenty degrees out. i worked on a shelf i was building on the campsite to get my gear of the ground ahead of the rain. later on, the strangers i invited up for pie turned out to be jehovah’s witnesses, and while they were attempting to talk to me about jeeeezus, my mom (i learned later) was parked at the boat landing trying to call me on the phone to maybe stop by and say happy thanksgiving even though i’d have to paddle across to see her before she went on to the thanksgiving dinner she was having with her friends up the road.

    the sun went down around four in the afternoon. i huddled by my fire reading a book by jenny lawson.

    true story.

  221. Typically I am just thankful for yams and cornbread.

    Two EXCELLENT things. And they don’t involve people, so they can’t really judge/disappoint you.

  222. I found this post a year later, THANK you for writing this. I am truly thankful when I spend time with loved ones (my family aside) almost year round. Why not be thankful everyday? It only takes a few seconds out of your day to just say thanks, to yourself, or to others, we do not need a set day to do such things.

  223. Thank you for posting this. Hopefully going forward, I will never feel as though I need some kind of permission slip to feel shitty over the Thanksgiving holiday.I am a teacher and always feel exhausted and am often sick at this time.

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