For some time now I have noticed that I am laughing more and more. Others are noticing it too. The dark clouds of loss and depression are abating. I’m certain it is not just a result of the anti-depressants or even a stabilising of my overactive thyroid, there is a much deeper joy that I have managed to tap into.
Being a Christian I call it the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings lots of fruits, as they are called in the Bible, and JOY is just one of them.
I am still a work in progress but I have reached a plateau of contentment and peace where the joy bubbles up freely.
It is an understatement to say that I have had a very tough couple of years; my unexpected journey has taken me through the deepest valleys of despair. I have pioneered this foreign land constantly tripping and falling but with the help of friends, family and God I have picked myself up and persevered.
On my travels I have carried a sprinkling of guilt at being able to start things afresh but then I’ve hit a barren patch of ground littered with the frustration of being stuck in a rut. Irritated at not having my fair share and compensation for all that has happened.
All finally building to this point in time when I feel at peace, satisfied with what I can and have achieved. I am finding my own way through this emotional maze, picking up the tools I need to survive along the way.
I am learning to laugh again – I have the old Sarah back. The bubbly Sarah who’s full of fun and great company.
That's not to say I don't cry anymore, just the other evening tears sprung up from nowhere as a memory reached my heart. But when I look into the mirror now I can see that my smile has at long last reached my eyes not just my lips.
At my last counselling session we reviewed how I was doing and I was let loose with the crayons to draw my emotions.
I had to draw my journey...
In the centre of the paper I drew a black rectangle representing the dark room where I was when I started the counselling process. On each side I added lines sticking out like a floor plan of my dark prison and these were the doors that had been unlocked and opened.
All around the blackness in the centre I drew flowers in beautiful colours, this was the potential I was reaching out towards and the beauty I was beginning to see in the world again.
When I’d added enough flowers and leaves I decided to transform my black box into a dancing girl. The doors stuck out at appropriate angles and I drew a head with wavy orange hair.
Well blonde hair with grey bits wouldn’t have looked as colourful as I felt and I was certainly the girl dancing in the middle through the flower meadow.
I then tried to make her dress blue rather than black and if I had paints rather than crayons I would have obliterated all the darkness but maybe sometimes you need the shade to emphasise and appreciate the light.
At the beginning of the year I made some new year's resolutions, ten altogether, I have just checked up on them and number 10 is “LAUGH LOTS!” I have always known it is an immensely important thing to do. It makes you feel better.
Whatever you are facing today look for something that will at least make you smile, chuckle or best of all laugh out loud. It might not make your problems disappear but it certainly help along the journey.
Perhaps this picture will do the trick...it shows the madness in my head!
|Dancing in the Flowers - self portrait|