I’m starting to feel joy again. What an amazing feeling. I remember telling my therapist shortly before my mom passed that one of my goals was to be able to truly feel laughter and joy again. I spoke about how life felt less joyful, and moments of laughter felt almost out of body, and that I wasn’t actually experiencing them in the way I wanted to.
I can’t help but smile when I think of how proud my mom would be of me right now. I think that’s one of my biggest motivators as well – to keep moving forward and making her proud. I’ve noticed how it has become a little bit easier to really feel the laughter and joy and to smile more.
I remember looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself. I remember taking photos and smiling on the outside but feeling miserable on the inside. In turn, my smile wasn’t genuine at all and I could tell that. I always wondered if others could tell that as well. I looked back at old photos of me before all of this pain and could truly see the shine in my smile and I wanted to experience that again.
I’m getting back to that place. My smile feels more genuine. I can look at pictures and actually see the joy in my face.
All this to say say that things can get easier. Your life can get brighter and feel brighter again. I think in spite of all the pain, it’s important to hold onto hope, or at least lean into hope. Even just the smallest amount of hope can keep us moving forward. Keep hope alive that better days are coming. You aren’t stuck, even if it feels that way. You have conquered tough times before and you will do it again. You are a warrior. It’s okay if you’re struggling and the joy feels like it’s been taken from you. I promise you it’s still there. With some work, patience and hope, joy can surround you again. At times I thought I wouldn’t experience joy again, and I know joy is fleeting and not permanent and that I will have days that aren’t so joyful, but I’m feeling it and I’m grateful.
Oh mom, you’d be so proud.
Cheers to finding the joy and holding onto hope that we are still deserving of joy, no matter what we have gone through.