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I know the facts, I believe in them and yet in my time of stress they just escaped me. This week my two year old son, Mishael, went to day care for the first time and I was racked by his bad reaction.

Initially I was excited for him, because the teachers are top notch, the program is wonderful and I had a positive experience with my older daughter who had attended.

By nature Mishael is friendly and outgoing and I envisioned how much he would enjoy interacting with children his age. He was going to have new friends, loving teachers, and lots of fun toys.

Last week there was one day of orientation followed with a short day and Mommy stayed with her child for the hour. Monday was the first regular day. We arrived at the building and I had discussed with Mishael the scenario. Mommy was going to come and pick him up when the morning of fun and games was over.

In real time it didn’t work out that way. The rules are that Mommies don’t stay in the room. The staff will call and let you know how things are playing out. Well, it was one long crying spree from the moment he entered until the moment I picked him up. That adds up to a lot of time being miserable. He didn’t  allow any teacher to try and comfort him.

I was devastated. What was I doing to my child? I couldn’t think and work was beyond me. Eating and sleeping were not happening. I was torn. What really was the best thing for Mishael? To learn to adapt, because eventually he would need to learn to deal with new situations, or just forget daycare and leave him at home even though I knew that if he could get over the hump he would love it?

I reached out on Facebook and a good friend, Matthew, answered. 

“Take a deep breath and practice your gratitude. You will see that it will help.”

Of course! I stopped, took a deep breath and began.

Remember that you have options. You have a child. Be grateful He has emotions. Be grateful. He loves you. Be grateful. You’re a good parent. Be grateful. You live so close to the school that you can come if it is necessary. Be grateful. He is going to a school that works with you. Be grateful.  Be grateful for the emotions that you are feeling. Be grateful for the tears when I cry out in despair. 

That’s what I needed, to remind myself. This morning I told my gratitude group I’m going to be grateful for all the hurt. For when things don’t work out the way I had planned. Then when things go well, I’ll be able to appreciate it and say, ‘That feels so good, because the bad felt so bad.’

Listing the things I was grateful for, energized me. I was able to realize that nothing lasts forever. I have opportunities and am surrounded by people who support me. I have a husband who is sharing in my pain. 

It allowed me time to breathe through the pain, the unknown, to be in the now and to give myself permission to not be okay, while simultaneously bringing in the wave of gratitude.

It was as if I was given oxygen when I was struggling to breathe. In the stress I had forgotten about gratitude. I am human and far from perfect. We all tend to revert back to old ways in times of challenge. I am so grateful to Matthew that he reminded me. 

After practicing the gratitude I was able to sleep and woke up in a more positive state of mind. The next day didn’t go as I had wanted it to. Mishael was still crying. He started as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. Yet, now I am not frozen in helplessness. The pain is still there, but it took away a lot of the frustration.

Gratitude works. It’s healing. It creates space to bring in positive energy in your life. 

Thank you for joining me in this episode and cheering me on in my journey.

Thank you to all who send me emails, messages. PM on Facebook and write on my website. Thank you for helping to break the stigma – in mental health together is better. 

I would love to hear from you and hear how you utilize gratitude in pain and how it helps you.

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