Assigning Joy

Mania and joy are not the same thing. The Lord makes one rich and add no sorrow to it. Today, I was happy to help at the jog-a-thon (could I be anymore suburban?) not too happy to go to the doctor (a GP for once!) but happy to return to the jog-a-thon afterwards. I met all the volunteers, found out who their kids teachers were, and made jokes that made everyone chuckle and some people laugh. I filled hundreds of cups with water. I sweated. After school, I spent a few hours at home and I started hitting the walls because I was angry. I debated for a hour on whether to pop the Ativan to calm down (the rest of you get a glass of wine). I went for the Ativan. I am out of vitamin B complex and taking it keeps me from losing my car, which I did today, and helps even out my mood some. B’s football game was tonight, too. I was happy got to spend it next to a chatty multi-subject teacher who was glad to share her picante pistachios. I was happy we got to see B’s team score. Unfortunately we got to see the other team score twice as often. Well, I’m not being a hundred percent honest. I didn’t see any of the teams score. I do not understand very much about football and doubt I ever will. I pay attention to the running and some of the time to the cheering in the stands. I was happy to be there. My daughter gets more engaged, but I cannot.

So, a lot of happiness, but Where was the joy in all of that? We revert to where mentally uninteresting people get their joy. Children? Totally appropriate. You should be proud your child ran six laps. But should is a form of judgment. Bipolar folks are so unsure of our feelings we feel have to compare our feelings to others. Is that true? I think it depends. I can get to the point that I trust myself and trust that the feelings I have are real. They may or may not be based in someone else’s brand of reality. It’s still okay to assign joy to our feelings, even if it’s a joy that others would not experience. My day was joyous to me.

When I was a little girl, probably around ten, there was an ordinary spiderweb with an ordinary spider. I wanted to see how a bug could get caught in the net and be devoured by the spider. I found a sow bug (roley poley) and placed the bug in to the web. I watched every step of the bug’s demise. I don’t know how long it took, reflecting back it must have been a long time, but I was riveted and joyful that I could see this miracle. Is a spider eating a bug a miracle? I don’t know now, but it felt like one then and it gave me so much joy that after all these years I feel it in my heart.


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