Joy

Posted: February 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

I never really knew what joy was. I always thought it was an expression of ‘happiness’ and I suppose it can be. It was several years after I quit drinking that I experienced a sensation that was quite different from happiness, I would say much ‘quieter’ , more stable that I now understand to be joy.

I am someone who was trapped by the belief that I needed excitement to ‘feel’ ‘alive’. I needed, more and more, to ‘create’ an extreme atmosphere to produce this ‘feeling’. I did this through drinking alcohol, singing in public, fantasizing about ‘success/fame’, coming up with new product ideas then researching and fantasizing again about success, imagining winning the lottery (still do this, lol), having a new ‘crush’ on a man or fantasizing  about a man I was obsessing, writing a new ‘love’ song and then fantasizing success and therefore the man would be mine forever more.

Booze helped propel much of this. I remember my sister telling me I was ‘quite elated’ when I called her and she was questioning me because I was clearly ‘depressed’ the very next day we spoke on the phone again. The dreaded D&D –drink and dial–alcoholics experience.

The problem, one of many, with this is the polarity that always results after the ‘high’ has worn off. Inevitably, one experiences the ‘low’/ depression, after the elation has worn off and one is left with facing oneself and a dangerous, increased appetite to get the ‘excitment’ back. This is a vicious downward spiral, this addiction to excitment. It actually becomes an addiction to chaos…so it doesn’t matter if there are days inbetween the extreme highs, that one experiences as dread, facing the ‘jackpots’ one has gotten into because you still don’t have to face ‘reality’ as one’s day is spent in the mind, in a muddle about how to ‘cope’ with all the drama that was created ‘chasing the dream’ of a better life. Self-centeredness, keeps ya busy

So, the point is many people are confused believing ; no feeling=bad/depressed versus no feeling is just you being here/present with the breath, as life!

So…you look around and see how little you have and then compare this to ‘the haves’ and get pissed off at the unfairness/inequality. As this builds, one needs a release/escape so produces ‘excitement’ in various ways that are in fact ‘harmful’ and keep them stuck in timeloops.

Early in sobriety I had moments of peace/serenity, that I became aware of. At first I thought I was ‘depressed’ because there was no chaos (drama mostly self created in the mind) then , over time, I understood this was stability. Eureka! I didn’t need to ‘feel’ anything, positive or negative, I was just present in the moment. I wasn’t depressed, didn’t require medication ‘anti-depressants’. I could simple ‘be’ , and be quiet=no thoughts. Much of my drama wasn’t ‘real’. What a gift, To break those chains.

Now, several years later, I have had a realization, that I often experience an inner peace. A soft, quietness that just ‘is’. It is me being me, just here in the moment expressing myself, no matter what it is I am doing. So far, I am usually ‘doing’ nothing because that is when I am self aware.

I have been quite an inhibited person in my lifetime. Swinging from one extreme to another…but stone cold sober, not often able to express myself freely…suppressed through fear of ‘looking studpid’. I noticed this yesterday at a concert. My husband and my Mom joined in with the performers, singing and clapping. I wanted to but I ‘couldn’t. I am still inhibited. Although, I have ‘grown’ in this area, the fear remains.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to participate in the thought ‘I look stupid’ when I  spontaneously/freely express joy.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself for judging how I ‘look’ when I express my joy in the moment.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself for judging myself as ‘slow’ in the changes I am experiencing within myself.

I forgive myself for accepting allowing myself to participate in the thought ‘others are superior/better than  me because they are not inhibited and can express joy freely.’

So, do I experience joy now? Yes, it is a lasting, calm, serene expression.

Do I experience all it is ? No, far from it. But I am grateful for my beginning.

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