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Sometimes You Can’t Choose Joy

I uploaded this graphic that I made to Facebook yesterday.


Sunday was rough. I had gone non-stop on Saturday…Soccer to race volunteering to meeting with a family member getting married who I’m doing programs for to bedtime. But then Nikki was up at sick at 1:30’ish Sunday morning sick with a raging headache. I took care of her until I left to go cheer/work at a local race. So, I was tired, but I had the opportunity to spend several hours watching people face a horrible day of weather to STILL toe the start line of a triathlon, and then finish under blue skies and sun. The amazing bravery it took to start and then the pride at the finish, I was focusing on that to find my joy. And I needed that because I was exhausted and came home from the race to try to catch up on housework in case I’m next in line for this illness. But I kept thinking of my friends who showed up at that race in the pouring rain and thunder, waited until the storm passed and then under ominous skies and facing wet roads, they jumped in the water to start the triathlon and I just felt AMAZED at the tenacity of humans and was just thrilled and happy even though I was tired and stressed.

I found my joy.

But you know what? Some days you can’t find the joy.

And on those days? These type of graphics annoy me.

I do try to find the joy in every day, but I also have Depression Days and Anxiety Days where those two things are too powerful to overcome and these stupid memes with sunrises and flowers that tell me that it’s MY choice to be happy? Make me want to throw the laptop out the window.

My friend broke her foot once and then couldn’t do a race. And no amount of running shoe meme telling her, “Just get out and run!” was going to be able to inspire her to do the race. And those running memes are EVERYWHERE. They tell you that you regret runs you DON’T do but you never regret runs you DO run. But she couldn’t run. Because her foot was broken.

And some days? Depression and Anxiety are my broken foot. But the problem is? Many don’t see it that way. Many who don’t fight these type of ailments think it’s just a power of MIND OVER MATTER! Choose Joy! And on good days when I’m winning the battle? I can choose joy. And I’m lucky that I can do that most days.

But many days? I can’t. I can’t just choose joy. And it’s not mind over matter. It’s depression or anxiety in charge of that day, and trying to will joy through those days is like trying to run a marathon on a broken foot. No amount of Mind Over Matter will help.

One of the most important things to remember about looking after your mental health is that there are a wide variety of treatments out there to make managing symptoms of depression and anxiety easier. For example, one of my friends has found that using green hulu kapuas has boosted her mood. As with any natural remedy, if you are thinking of using kratom or any other alternative product as part of your mental health toolkit, remember to do as much research as you can and always speak to a medical professional before making any decisions about how to proceed.

So, please know when I share these things out on Facebook I know some of you want to punch me in the face. Some of you can’t choose joy, even if you’re surrounded by joy. Because the bones in your foot are still broken and nothing will change that. I have days where my goal is to simply make it to bedtime because then I hope to wake up to a day where my bones are healed. Some days I wake up and know this is a day where I’m in control of my approach to life. But many days it’s my anxiety or depression that are in control. So I just make it to bedtime and hope the next day is better.

But today? Today I’m winning. And even though Nikki is still sick and I’m still tired and stressed and my yard is only half-weeded and my water bill is going to be sky high from all of the lice and puck laundry I’ve done the last two weeks…today I’m in control. Today I can choose joy. And I’ll do that for those of you who can’t. And I hope that the next time I’m not in control, maybe you can choose joy in your day on behalf of mine.

4 thoughts on “Sometimes You Can’t Choose Joy”

  1. Sending get well vibes to your daughter. I’m glad you are able to choose Joy today.

  2. I was so thrilled to see you at the race Sunday morning and even more appreciative now considering your weekend. Thank you SO MUCH!!

  3. Thank you for sharing this, I really hope it gets through to someone who doesn’t understand that sometimes, some of us just can’t choose joy, and that doesn’t make us bad, negative people, it makes us ill.

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