I had both a saddening and inspiring conversation yesterday on a FaceBook page I follow. It posts funny and interesting quotes , with the kind of things that people usually can smile at , or find something to perk their day up. Well, while I was scrolling I saw a quote that said “Everything that’s difficult , you should be able to laugh about. ” Underneath , a young woman had written, “Well, what about terminal cancer? Chronic depression? Unending pain?” And I suddenly felt very sad. I felt compelled to reply to her , so I wrote, “Well, I can’t speak for terminal cancer, as I haven’t had that particular wellie, but I have had depression , suffer from more chronic health issues than would fit in this paragraph, and pain that would drop a bull-moose, and YES, I have laughed AT and THROUGH all those things, as crazy as it sounds. Once you get to a certain point, it all becomes so ridiculously bizarrely fantastically insane that this should all happen to one person that all you CAN do is laugh.” She replied that she no longer even had the energy TO laugh. She said, “I have lost my joy, and I don’t know what to do to get it back again. How do you find your joy with all you have going on in your life?”
I didn’t even have to think. I knew exactly what to tell her. I’ve learned so much in my more sick than healthy years. I said this, “I understand. My way of dealing has been to cut out everything absolutely unnecessary in my life. Toxic people. Toxic situations . Read more of the things that bring me joy. Spend more time outside when I can. Be with the people I truly love. Unplug from all the garbage on television and internet. Eat the food I like, even if it’s not necessarily healthy, lol. Laugh at ridiculous things. Just take stupid good care of my self , even if it seems selfish. Like insanely long baths, if that’s what I feel I need. Stop when I’m tired. Which is often. Tell the doctors what I think. Even if it’s NOT what THEY want to hear. Make it about the things I TRULY NEED. Journal, and write, and go back to the things I loved when I was 10 and 15 and even 20. I blog, I run my lupus support page. I speak my mind about the things that I think are important. Like being kind. I color . I Zentangle. I listen to good meditative music. I listen to trashy 80s metal, lol I sing, and take photographs and write bad poetry ” This has been my way of finding myself. You have to. There will not always BE happiness, or even laughter. But I do believe there IS always JOY. Sometimes we must find the joy in the waiting, the joy is in the fact that we are making it one more minute in this craziness we are dealing with.
Don’t get me wrong, I have days where sometimes I wonder where the joy will come from, but it pops up in the funniest , most surprising places , when I least expect it. I refuse to give up on it. I hope to always, always be able to ……………..