Jaybird Joy

For a warm moment the pressure lifts. I’m learning to allow myself the full experience of happiness, without giving all my attention away to intrusive thoughts. They’ve been heard out, accepted as part of my reality, and now it’s time to let go. I’m at peace watching birds out my window.

Joy will come regularly throughout the day if I let it, and when I acknowledge this fact, it’s true even during depression. It’s difficult when dread and exhaustion fill each day. I know I’m still capable, I’ve experienced it, and I will not beat myself up for not achieving it easily. There is nothing to be ashamed in feeling unable to appreciate joy. This is not forever. There’s no need to punish myself. Clinically and symptomatically speaking, nothing motivates me. Being able to feel joy is less of a matter of motivation and more the subtleties of being.

I’m sad. I’m tired. Being sad and tired doesn’t mean I can’t also be happy. For my entire life my happiness has been affected by mental illness so waiting for ‘true happiness’ is merely an excuse to not momentarily release my pain and appreciate the joy I’m given.

I don’t have to desperately try to catch and capture joy, just catch a moment, just a glance. 

Negative thoughts and feelings invade ruthlessly. I’m at most risk for triggering mania in the summer and depression in the winter, and the episodes last from months to years. My current round of depression is almost a toddler. The symptoms are heavily exacerbated by the winter storms we’ve been experiencing, but the blue jay and grey jay are still seen through the sea of snow.

Even in the cold the birds make the most of the time they’re given. Their joy may look different from mine, and mine different from yours, but their emotive power is palpable as they descend upon their favourite seeds at the feeder, or play with an interesting twig, or give their mate a gift, or even when they bully away the other birds. The jays experience joy. 

I can see it out my window, out in the wind and battering snow. It’s time for me to believe. I have much to appreciate and my depression can’t take that from me. If the birds can find a form of happiness amongst the predators, insecurity, and dramas, I can too. 

I block myself from fully experiencing many things, I’ve been surviving trauma since I was as old as this depressive episode and the healing will have to continue until my death. Taking the time to patiently unblock myself is a priority. I deserve to be present in my life, it’s mine, and it’s a good life now. 

Stress will always come and go. The blue jays and grey jays know. Trials and tribulations don’t negate how much my circumstances have changed for the better. 

I am warm. Safe, trusting, trusted, cared for, in love, loved, my stomach is full and I have a comfortable place to sleep, a sweet little cat is trying to get my attention, I am joyful.

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