I’ve been off antidepressants for almost a month now. The euphoria of experiencing real joy, laughter and happy emotions is wearing off already. At first, as my body and mind cleared of the medication fog I’ve come to know as my normal state of being, I saw things brighter, laughed heartier and felt optimistic beyond my greatest imaginings.
Suddenly, writing projects that I had to force myself to work on took on new importance, new urgency.
The joys I was experiencing were enough to make the equally strong difficult emotions that were arising seem not so bad. Yes, I was having bursts of anger and rage jump from my being with no filter, but that was to be expected. At least I was experiencing my emotions outwardly as opposed to what I’d become accustomed to—only depression and always projected inwardly.
But the heavy thoughts are returning already. They are trying to take over, trying to show me who’s boss. The depression is slinking in through the cracks, building momentum as I lose my forward thrust through life. I feel it in my bones.
I know I can always return to meds if it gets as bad as it has in the past, but I want to try something else first.
I realize that I have to be proactive every day. It is not enough to want to be happy for someone who suffers from depression. At least not for me.
I have to push myself into joy every day. I have to choose joy to show my depression who’s really boss.
I’ve tried this in many ways in the past, but never succeeded for very long, so I’ve been asking myself what really brings me joy. What am I missing from my life?
Something that keeps coming up is that I miss performing. I miss expressing myself through my body, through my voice, through my energy. When I am teaching writing or yoga, I enter into that blissful place of non-time. I love connecting with an audience; I love inspiring others to feel and find joy.
And I do love to dance and to sing. Even though I am not trained. Even though I don’t know the “right” way to do these things. I do know they bring me joy. And I want more joy in my life.
So, this is my experiment. I will share here on my blog, once a day, me finding my joy, pushing myself into my joy.
It may be embarrassing, but I don’t care. This is what I teach my students to do. This is what I need to do.
Push myself into my joy, even if it means stepping outside of my comfort zone. No more living life small and depressed. No more caring what others think.
I choose joy today. (And hopefully tomorrow I will convince myself to find joy once more.)