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Wow, I can’t believe it is almost Thanksgiving. I made reservations today for my parents and my husband and me to go to a buffet that we have been to on many Thanksgivings in the past. I love this buffet. It is expensive (but much less expensive than any of the other buffets in town), and it has cookies. Yes, believe it or not, with all the turkey, cheese, potatoes, ham, seafood, eggs, bacon, and desserts, I get the most excited about the cookies. I am a nut for sugar cookies. I love them, and there was only one year when they didn’t have a couple of different kinds of sugar cookies.

I know the holidays can be tough for many people. Some people are alone. Some people get depressed. Some people are reminded of traumatic experiences of holidays past. If you are one of those people, I am sorry. I wish you lived in my city because I would invite you to go to the buffet with us and maybe my enthusiasm for sugar cookies would wear off on you. Maybe, you would find it quirky enough or silly enough to make you smile. Maybe, they would be serving something that is one of your favorite comfort foods. Maybe, the casual kindness and acceptance of the four of us would help you get through a hard day.

I just read the “Misfit’s Manifesto” by Lidia Yucknavitch, and I would welcome a Thanksgiving dinner of a group of misfits. If you have a few bucks (I know it is tough especially with Christmas coming up) I recommend buying this book if you have a mental illness. If you can’t buy the book, then you can download her TED talk that is a companion to the book. I think you will find a certain comfort in the fact that many “successful” people have taken some broken paths and winding detours to get where they are, and that those people often feel on the outside. As someone with schizophrenia, I always feel on the outside.

I can’t go anywhere where I completely shed the fact that I have schizophrenia. I am almost always (except for a few things I find very distracting) reminded of my illness and how it sets me apart from those I am around. It is always isolating to be aware that I am different. That my experiences, my brain, my diagnosis is something that most people can’t identify with. Sure, maybe they can identify with suffering (we all suffer). And maybe they can identify with having to take multiple medications every day, or go to get blood work all the time, or small things like that, but the experience of having your mind turn against you is not something the average person can relate to their experience.

Hopefully, there is a way or a time that many of us “misfits” can get together and share a holiday or just share a lunch, brunch or cup of coffee. But if we can’t be together in person to ease the discomfort of being the outsiders, maybe we can agree to meet here, and I will try to tell you how good those sugar cookies are so you can get a sense of how the smallest things can bring me great pleasure.

As the holidays near, I hope you can find those small things that please you too, even if it is as simple as a cookie. Also, know that us “misfits” are out there getting through the holidays, too – some probably better than others but each of us feeling different than those who surround us.

Happy Holidays fellow “misfits” I am thinking of you.