I've lived years of my life hand in hand with depression and anxiety, at times unsure where to find this enigma called Joy. Hearing others talk about Joy made me want to seek it, but no matter how hard I looked for Joy, I wasn’t ever able to find it. All I could find was fleeting Happiness. At times I even felt guilty for even wanting Joy to be a part of my life. In the face of what I was going through – or what others in my life were going through – did I even have the right to experience Joy?
Then, out of nowhere, was Joy. Joy was tiny at first. And shy. I’d catch glimpses of Joy now and again and wonder what I needed to do to convince Joy to stay. I’d sometimes chase after Joy, but would always stumble and lose sight of Joy, or fall with Joy just out of my reach. It seemed that Joy would forever elude me.
It seems now that I have found Joy. Sometimes I get a postcard saying "wish you were here" and I know Joy is out there waiting until I’m in a place where I can let Joy into my life. Sometimes Joy sneaks up on me for just a few moments, its touch lingering for a bit so that I’m able to remember, however fleetingly, what Joy feels like. At times I get an invitation to get together with Joy, but usually have some sort of obligation with Depression, Anxiety or Stress and can't make it. Most of the time, no matter what kind of company I’m keeping, I can catch glimpses of Joy around me if I look hard enough. Sometimes I get to a point when I can run up to Joy and wrap my arms around it an invite it into my self and my life - and during these times I might even be able to manage to fill myself to overflowing with Joy and radiate it to those around me.
The more I learn to recognize Joy, the more I realize that Joy is walking next to me, waiting for me to extend my hand and walk with it on life’s journey. When I get to the point when I can do this without thought, I know that Joy will be with me as I move through my days and nights and in and out of weeks and years and through all life has to throw at me.