That’s Joy!

Light
Light (Photo credit: Road Fun)

Embarking on my 200th post, I couldn’t be more proud to be in a place of pure and pleasant joy. There have been many times during my writing here that I have been writing from pain, heartache, grief or woundedness. Today, I write with peace in my heart, a peace that I want to share.

I want to share it not just because it is such a grand feeling, but because I want to remind anyone who is going without it that you can experience it again. I have experienced many moments of joy in the last couple of years and shared them, but I also remember all too well what it is like to live a life without it, a life where it feels as if I would never again experience the opposite of pain. There were many of those moments. It is in remembering that darkness that makes the light so much brighter now.

The light in my life is as simple as a song, a moment of freedom dancing in my living room, or singing out loud in the car with the windows rolled down! It is as simple as enjoying a giggle with my children, a moment gazing into the eyes of someone special or sharing a tender touch. The joy is as deep as a feeling of worth and value and as wide as the knowledge that I matter and always have. The joy is present and it is with me, in me and it is in you, too.

My life circumstances aren’t all perfect, but the happiness I feel inside even amidst the challenges surpasses the daunting feelings one experiences when dealing with depression. It is true, real and possible. Not every single

moment feels beautiful, but the beautiful moments add up more and more and cannot be taken away by the pain I once experienced. Your beautiful moments, if you aren’t experiencing them fully, are waiting for you, too. I know it. I know it like I know the sun will rise tomorrow and shine it’s glorious light on us (even if it happens to be covered by clouds wherever you might be).

I am not without pain or stress, but I carry in my heart a sense of light, a sense of well-being. This, I never knew was possible a few short years ago. It has been a journey and I dare not say that I have arrived, but I am walking with the beauty of life, hand in hand. I also walk with the pain when it arises, but rather than run from it or sink into the pit with it, I keep walking until I am through it.

I miss, terribly, the frequency with which I used to write and share life with whoever may be reading. I miss my work as a health activist and the time and honor it was to speak out on behalf of others struggling with similar issues as I have. But I realize now too, that it is not gone from my life. My work is still living and breathing through this blog, previous efforts on other web-sites and social networks and also through the way I live my life. And, for my own indulgence, I can continue this work by sharing with you still, even if it is not as often. This brings me great comfort.

For this 200th post, I want to tell you, my fire is lit. My light is shining. If you have read posts from months and years before when my light was dim, I am here to tell you that the flame has not gone out. I want to tell you because I want all to know that if you are experiencing severe depression or chronic pain from a health condition or any of the many issues I have touched on before, I want you to always remember that there is hope and the feeling that will come to you again, even if in small moments, that feeling is joy. It is possible and I am living, breathing proof.

I cannot thank you enough for walking with me on this journey. 200 posts ago I could not fathom where I would be led and the miraculous and marvelous adventure I would be on, even though at times quite scary. (Aren’t most adventures scary at times?) I cannot express my gratitude properly for every comment, every shared thought and heartfelt gesture of kindness and understanding. I celebrate the presence of each reader who has ever visited this blog, because you, knowingly or not, bring me joy.

To the next 200 and to the hope that is in each breath we take!

7 thoughts on “That’s Joy!

      • Thank you, Amy. Your words are a true blessing for the place I am currently in both personally and professionally. I desire to have my flame lit again. And I am truly inspired by you and your words.

        Emmy

  1. oh my dear amy o. my heart is full of gratitude. i am so thankful that you my child are experiencing joy. that you are LIVING. I love you.

    • I wish I could give you a one word answer or even a brief answer. The truth is it’s been a long process and I still have moments of difficulty. I truly do believe that I will never return to that place of severe depression, but it is hard to say never.

      My process of getting to this point has involved medication, psychiatric assistance, counseling and participation in a very special “seminar” call BreakThrough (in the Kansas City area). Additionally, changing my diet dramatically and practicing daily the art of appreciating the small and beautiful moments in life. These things have all contributed to my sense of well-being now. Also, I must give God credit for carrying me through and give myself credit for being strong enough to keep on pushing forward. Celebrating little and big victorious has been important for me as well. For example, today, just getting through the day and not ending it with a sense of hopelessness is a big success!

      I know it would be perfect if I could give you a recipe for relief… I also have to say that connecting online with others who are challenged with depression and similar issues has helped me tremendously throughout the years.

      Here’s to better days ahead and to the belief that they are coming and are possible for you, too!

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