Paul I have been rereading your thread and it made me think of something I've learned recently. You stated:
I am trying to find things to be grateful for, and while there are many of them, I'm finding it hard to feel gratitude.
This is such a huge delemna. Especially when everything around you is not in the best positive light. I know right after I was cognizant after my stroke... My reality was excruciating. Every part of it from physical to mental to relationships to time to perception to reasoning to opening my eyes to using my brain for anything. I was very paranoid, scared, and had so much anxiety I could feel it rise in my body, up my chest, up my neck, through my jaw. I was afraid my brain or my heart were going to explode. First I am being absolutely dead serious. I had a copy of the serenity prayer and chanted it over and over and over. My fingers didn't write well at all (due to dysmetria a type of ataxia) but I fumbled around until I found a notebook and pen. That day I started to do something on my own (I still had no idea what was wrong with me). I wrote 5 things each night that I could remember that made me feel grateful. Sometimes I wrote right after something happened because I would forget. I barely wrote one word things at first. Like: kitty, food, bath, bubbles, sun. Then 2, 3, 4 and then small statements. Like: went potty, took bath, write things, good soup...took a bubble bath, sat in chair for 10 minutes, awake for 20 minutes, Hailey read to me...my kitty curled next to me and purred, I sat in the living room with family for 15 minutes, my dessert was yummy. Somehow...someway this little thing helped me. Today I still have severe anxiety disorder with panic attacks. It can get in the way of many things and severely limits me. My therapist (psychologist) suggested I start a notebook using the GLAD method. Essentially very similar to the gratitude writings I had done. G=gratitude... L=learned... A=accomplished... D=delight. So every day i write a new GLAD in my notebook. The key is that it does not need to be big or lengthy. Example Day(write your GLAD about your day) : G-grateful for my mom L-learned a new word game A-accomplished washing my hair D-delighted when I watched kitty videos. If your day is ever like one of mine then another example might be: G-my bed L-patience A-brushed teeth D-my kitty. Some days you can be ver descriptive others maybe not but the good thing is it doesn't matter. Sometimes I am grateful for my bed, sometimes I only brush my teeth, and then sometimes I can write down several things I have gratitude for, accomplished, learned, or felt delight in on a day. Go by how your day is today. 🙂 Anyway, I just wanted to share... I've had many days where I feel the same as you said.