One Good Thing.
A daily search for small joys.
I’ve been stuck in a funk this week.
I’ve been in a mixed episode for a few weeks. Meaning I’ve been in and out of depression and (thankfully very short-lived) mania on a daily basis. There was one big trigger, and then as life does, everything else piled on top.
I had to shift medication. It was necessary, and mostly good, because it helps to stabilize me and make the episode much more mild, but it also tweaked everything else a little. My eating and sleeping and normal routines — that I have been working so hard to stick with the past few months — have been all over the place. Which caused a flare. Again.
When I’m in a flare I can’t do much. Most of my daily movement consists of going from the sofa to my bed to my hammock chair and back again, to at least get a different view. Books and TV tend to fill my day. I don’t have the energy to paint or even sit up to write for very long.
So I slipped down the rabbit hole of misery and have been having a hard time finding my way out again. My thoughts constantly drift back to past thinking that I’m always going to be like this, sick and depressed and never able to live a normal life.
Then I remember that this is my normal life. I have episodes. I have flares. Then things calm down and I feel better and I start all over again.
When I’m in this place I have a hard time seeing the good. But I try really hard every day to find one good thing.
It doesn’t matter how small that thing is. It’s not a solution, it’s not a cure, it’s just something that, sometimes helps. It may take an entire day to find one good thing, but there’s always something there.
I obviously haven’t been able to get outside much, no morning walks, so most of my good things have been seen from my window and many of them are things that I’ve seen a hundred times before. All good, but nothing new.
So every day this week I picked a year and looked at some old pictures. I found one each day that was my good thing for that day and while I know I was looking backward instead of forward or being present. It helped.
So here are my seven good things for the week:
Good thing #1
Ten years ago we moved into a place that was the biggest we had ever lived in and we had lots of empty space, but especially empty wall space. There was one big wall in particular in the living room that desperately needed something, but we didn’t have the money to buy anything. So I started collecting toilet paper rolls and made a bunch of these flowers out of them and eventually created a wall sculpture of sorts. I had a lot fun making it and I was pretty proud of myself because I created something beautiful out of literal garbage.
Good thing #2
Campfires are my favorite. This one was at a campground which happens to be just down the street from where I now live. Camp sites have been impossible to get since people rediscovered the outdoors during the pandemic. But soon tourist season will have passed and locals will be able to get back in on the awesomeness of my favorite campground.
Good thing #3
Small feet. One of my kids favorite days when they were little (and one of mine because they enjoyed it so much), were the days when they got new shoes. My youngest especially lived under the strong belief that new shoes meant more speed and always had to run in them before committing to see exactly how fast they actually were. If they weren’t fast enough then they weren’t going to work and would be exchanged for something with flames.
Good thing #4
Ducks on the beach. That’s all.
Good thing #5
The pure joy on my teenaged sons face when he saw Sully at California Adventure. He loved Sully since we first saw Monster’s Inc. for his second birthday and even as a teenager he was still thrilled to see him in person which filled my own heart with joy every time.
Good thing #6
When we bought our campervan, we realized after our first trip that if we didn’t find someway to keep our fresh fruit safe it was a lost cause. So I created this fruit hammock out of an old t-shirt. It swayed back and forth on the road and every once in a while something would jump out on a sharp turn and go rogue. But mostly the fruit survived.
Good thing #7
This one makes me tired now. But when my kiddos were little (and before we had Celiac and GI diagnoses’) it gave me great joy and fulfilled purpose to make them feel better when they were sick, and part of that was making them homemade chicken soup with homemade heart-shaped saltine crackers, because I wanted to fill their upset tummies with love.
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