Count Your Blessings

After two months of being sick on and off and having been diagnosed with a chronic illness that I’m still learning to live with, I’ve been on a high for the past three days. They should have been the worst days ever because on top of the usual madness at school and the pre-christmas fuss we also had several long teacher conferences, plus I had reached another low point just a few days before.

But they weren’t.

I was in a good mood through all of those three days and in a weird way I felt positive in general. At the end of the days, I even had energy left over. I didn’t feel burnt out and exhausted like I usually do.

I don’t know where the sudden positivity is coming from, but I know it won’t last. My condition and my spirits will get worse again and I’ll be back at question everything. Japan, my life decisions, myself.

So while I’m still on this high, I want to write down the things I’m grateful for at the moment.

First of all:

I’m still on the road of recovery but I’m not afraid of suffocating anymore. And no, this is not a metaphoric description of how I felt. I was actually scared for my life for a few weeks every single night. For one of those weeks I slept sitting up on the sofa because breathing was easier that way.


All the people who have been taking care of me in all this.

The Japanese doctors and nurses who’ve been treating me (and keep treating me) with patience and kindness.

The colleagues at school who tell me to stay at home when I’m not feeling well, even though it means they have to do my work in addition to to their own work.

My students who tell me “I’m SO glad you’re back!!!“ when I return to school after (yet another) health-related absence.

The friends and family who talk to me online and build me up constantly, no matter how far away they are or what time zone they are in. I could never, ever do it without you.


There is a flower on my balcony. I bought it after my check-up appointment in the hospital, where the pulmonary specialist told me that my breathing sounded normal again and that I’d recover fine.

It has been there for several of weeks now and it’s still alive.


Count your blessings


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