Guise, it's been a really, really weird year for me. But, if there is anyone (or group of people) that I wish I could give a "Christmas" gift to, it'd be you. So, I'm going to do my best... right here:

I started lurking sometime this summer (I think) and then got commenting privileges! And you guys were great! I felt a little out of place, though. Ya'll knew each other already (or that's how I perceived it) and were SOOO much wiser on matters of feminism, race, privilege, etc...things that I *thought* I knew about (though I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut for awhile... for the most part, lol).

And then I got posting privileges!

But here's the thing y'all, you literally saved my life this year. This year had been the most depressing of my adult life, short of my first year in college. GT gave me something to look forward to everyday. A reason to wake up aside from taking my dogs outside. I felt intelligent again- something I felt was completely gone for good. And, I felt valued outside of my ability to do laundry, wash dishes, and care for my dogs and husband.

I had the worst pain of my life this year with my nerve disorder... which is fondly referred to as "the suicide disease" because of the high prevalence of that choice of ending the pain. I didn't realize how bad it was at the time, how desperate I was for it to stop, but I had you guys. I was alone all day, everyday- except you were there. Y'all convinced me to come home to see my parents so I could be around people and honestly, that probably saved my life.

You gave me the opportunity to help other people who were going through things I'd been through- and gave me that feeling of being worthwhile back. I was able to be helpful or to at least feel I was being helpful.

My husband told me he wanted a divorce. We'd been together 8 years. Aside from my parents, y'all were the only ones who could appropriately pick up those pieces. Aside from GT on the whole, I have some pretty amazing GTers that I chat with/email with on a daily basis. Y'all really held me together. And after about 2 weeks, you helped me realized that my marriage hadn't been there for a long time; that I was mourning the loss of a friend and the comfort of knowing my future.

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I've started smiling again and letting people take pictures of me. I went to a party the other night and walked around, without clinging to one of my parents. I've not handled a party on my own since high school (11 years ago) and not handled pictures well since college (7 years ago). I haven't smiled as happily since I was about 4 years old. :P

You, ladies and gentlemen, have let me host Groupdrink while I'm stuck inside over the winter and have kept me entertained for the past 3 weekends! Maybe we're weirdos that hang out on the weekends drinking together online, but we're weirdos together!

And, you guise, I've been able to start a relationship that I really like, with someone really great, because of y'all. You guise got my shit together. You helped me build this (maybe a little inflated, lol) sense of self-confidence that I don't feel like I've ever had before now.

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So, I wish everyone was having a great whatever you are celebrating...I actually wish we were all having "Christmas" together, but if you get nothing else- please know that I'm forever thankful to y'all for every comment, every notification that's popped up, every supportive email... thankful for every single one of you.

I love you, Groupthink.

Now run along and get drunk.