Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The return of joy

At risk of stating the obvious, there are many depressing parts about being depressed. The loss of hope, lack of energy and indifference to name a few. 

But of course, when you're floating around in your small, tepid existence, you're not really aware of it. You're aware that you're sad. That you're removed from the normal rhythms of your life. But the darkness feels so infinite that the spectrum of your emotions becomes monochrome. Drained of any color. 


Maybe it's not so much the sadness, but the feeling that happiness seems frivolous and unattainable. Like the memory of a dream you had years ago. Something you've just heard about in passing.  


I had this realization recently. 


"What should I do with my life?" I asked Jovie the other day in a burst of self-doubt and anxiety.


"Love it!" she said. 


Love it. 


Love it.


I heard her. I heard her.


Months ago, had I asked her that question and gotten that response I would've rolled my eyes maybe. Or else burst into tears at the impossibility of such a simple, innocent sentiment.


But a couple of days ago it was a revelation. Of course I should love my life. Of course it's worthy of being loved. And then I saw it. That thing I'd been missing for so long.


Joy.


It was staring at me with these rosy, round cheeks and big blue eyes and sage and simple truths. 


She'd been there the whole time. Skipping around the house. Singing made up songs. Squeezing my cheeks between her little hands and kissing the tip of my nose. 


She's ridiculous. And adorable. How I missed her.


So here's how I know I'm doing better.


I saw her. I saw her.




Joy.


And I'm continuing to see her. In so many places. The things depression refused to allow me to see for months.




Josh Ritter at Union Transfer his eyes closed with a huge smile singing and strumming and immersing himself in this thing he loves beyond words. The music. The audience. The chance to share pieces of his soul.


Joy.




And at the farm, when Alli the horse embraced the warming weather and the promise of spring, kicked her legs up and rolled in the hay.


Joy.  


And this beautiful lady.


Joy.

It's all here. It was always here. And I see it.

And I love it.

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