Last week I shared my joy about being home, this week I want to talk about joy in general because, honestly, it’s a pretty new feeling for me.
I have suffered with mental illness through most of my life: Many of the times I’ve had that looked fun from the outside were tinged with sadness because I was so ill. The wild nights out were because I was hypomanic or had no respect or love for myself. The days out with friends always left me feeling lonely and like I didn’t really fit in. The loved up evenings in only proved that I had no idea who I was, so I lost myself in trying to be who my other half wanted.
Essentially, every happy moment in my life has always had a dark undertone. It may not have been outwardly obvious, but I felt it so deeply inside that it tore me apart.
But these past two years have been a learning curve for me. Well, the past 5 years really, but I think a lot of the change has happened more recently. Thanks to my medication and a lot of support I am mostly stable now and that means that I am beginning to experience joy on its own. Happiness, smiles and laughter, all becoming things that happen to me regularly and without any negativity hard on their heels.
The realisation that I can now fully experience joy, happiness, self-love and optimism safely is joyful in itself. Just feeling those things without waiting for the sadness, self-hatred or hopelessness is incredible. Words cannot express how special it is for me to truly experience positive emotions, it is changing my world.
That’s not to say that’s all I feel now, far from it. There are many down times still, hard times, times where I am confused and lost, but they are fewer and further between now. Life is, overall, a positive experience for me now.
So that’s the joy I’m sharing this week, the joy of actually experiencing joy! I guess it’s not something that will make much sense to those who haven’t been through darkness, but maybe it will prove to someone that there is light at the end of the tunnel.