A Story About Gratitude and Giving Back
For years, I struggled with depression, anxiety, and a critical inner voice. From an early age, I remember feeling anxious and unhappy. The smallest challenges, mishaps, or failures put me in a downward spiral of shame and self-deprecation. My entrenched inner critic never focused on the things I did right, and only served as a daily reminder of all the things I did wrong. It trained me to become a victim and a negative thinker. I never imagined this would change.
Don’t get me wrong, lots of great things did happen for me, things I realize now, that kept me going. I married my best friend. I had two, fantastic kids. Loving, supportive parents. Great friends. I made a great living. But the voice within can be so darned cruel and indiscriminate. People saw a happy, funny, lucky, successful, confident, arrogant, extrovert who was the life of the party. In truth, I was paralyzed by compulsive behaviors, a self-hating machine, and insecurity. I hit my spiritual and emotional rock bottom in December of 2014, and the idea of death during a violent, turbulent flight, seemed like a great solution.
I’m not sure what happened first. Maybe it was getting help for sleep, or when I began to meditate. I learned to breathe (properly). I learned about giving. I learned about mindfulness. I embraced humility and vulnerability. I learned about changing my state in the moment. I learned about gratitude. I began to recognize and celebrate the victories - big and small! I learned that fear is a condition of not seeing joy, not feeling grateful, and not remembering the reasons I should love life. I started to learn that I have a choice (I recognize that some of us do not). I learned to recognize and consciously push away that hateful critic, allowing the space for me to choose happiness.
Pockitudes was born at the peak of this enlightenment. It’s the perfect and simple solution for me. I tried other gratitude journals but they were too structured, bulky, and laborious. I carry a Pockitudes journal on me all the time now and just seeing it, triggers the reminder to jot something, anything down. The key is to let this tiny act become a habit, a habit to be grateful and choose happiness. I found plenty of research out there, not only on the value of recording gratitudes but on the actual act of handwriting them on paper. My outlook and my overall state of mind have literally changed.
As Pockitudes began to grow and reach more people around the country, my wife Misa, (alsO a recoverer) and I knew the time was right to support organizations dedicated to helping others struggling with anxiety and depression. As a recognized “America’s Best Charities,” the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has been dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders through education, practice, and research since 1979. We are so humbled and so proud to do our part in supporting such an important organization by donating 5% of our monthly gross sales from Pockitudes.com and from our Amazon store to ADAA.
Frederic Terral, Founder of Pockitudes