Finding Joy in Unexpected Places
Updated: Jul 5, 2020
The last 6 months have been hard for me. I spent three years working towards a goal for my mobility, and in a blink of an eye, I was back at the beginning. Not only was my mobility affected, but the reality of my disease progressing was affecting me mentally. I've known since I was diagnosed that this disease was progressive, but for some reason, I still wasn't prepared for things to get worse so quickly.
When my Mito started getting worse in March, I became numb. I didn't feel hopeless at first, but I was far from feeling happy. I went through the motions everyday but wasn't really living. Then, everything that was going on caught up with me. I was super emotional and was scared about my disease progressing. Maybe it was the stress of everything going on or maybe I was just hangry since I couldn't eat anymore, but I cried a lot.
After a few months of my depression getting worse, I made the decision to go up on my antidepressant. This was the right decision for me and has helped me cope with disease progression tremendously. After months of feeling hopeless, I began to find joy again. At first, happiness was brief when it came. When talking with my best friend or watching a feel good movie , I didn't feel so sad. I even felt sort of happy when my nurses came or I had a really good doctors appointment. The happiness started to last longer and I started to deal with disease progression in a healthy way. And although I wasn't as sad as I was before, I still didn't feel like myself.
I remember the first time I felt truly happy since my disease started progressing. I was sick laying in bed and was watching stupid videos online. I saw this video or a bunch of babies hitting their bellies together. The video wasn't really all that funny but I laughed so hard that I was crying. I don't know what was so special about that video, but I didn't feel sad at all. Moments like that started happening more frequently and I started to feel like my normal self again.
Now, I am trying to focus on the small things in life that bring me joy. I'm taking time to appreciate the small things like when a building has a really good wheelchair ramp or when I'm feeling strong enough to get down the stairs and watch a movie with my mom. Nothing "big" ever really happens in my life (unless its bad) but I'm appreciating the many small things that happen daily. I'm trying to not let my happiness be controlled by my health, but that's easier said than done. So here's to finding joy in the small things- to not letting my disease control my happiness.