Joy and Gratitude

Oftentimes I struggle to find joy in anything. I blame my mental health disorders of PTSD and Personality Disorder for that. ‘After all’, I tell myself, ‘how could I possibly find joy when I have a personality disorder’. It often feels, to me, as if personality disorder equals no personality or at best a rubbish one! I’m slowly starting to change my mind on that.

I’ve been told that my diagnosis is helpful for explaining why I behave and relate in certain ways that differ from ‘normal’. I’ve also been told that the good thing is that full recovery and becoming ‘ordered’ rather than ‘disordered’ is highly possible. I’m starting to see that in my own recovery – but it’s a long, slow and painful process.

I’m thankful that I’ve got a – fairly large, now – handful of people who love me unconditionally and who are loving me to health. [By love I’m talking about Agape]

Brene Brown has written about joy and gratitude going together. I can’t do justice to her work (and wouldn’t even try – she’s one of my favourite authors and speakers!), but I can see where she’s coming from.

In this last week I’ve started to notice joy. I’ve noticed joy in some seemingly little things, such as the smiles and excitement on my children’s faces. I suppose that led to gratitude for the feeling of joy – which I’m not overly familiar with – and gratitude for my children.

Today I am in a very good mood, such that I can’t remember feeling this good about life or myself. I’m grateful for that. It’s nice to feel so good, and so well, and so happy. Time will tell how long it lasts. There we go – foreboding joy. Brene Brown warned me of that. She says, “Our actual experiences of joy—those intense feelings of deep spiritual connection and pleasure—seize us in a very vulnerable way… When something good happens, our immediate thought is that we’d better not let ourselves truly feel it, because if we really love something we could lose it. So we shut down our ability to completely enjoy so that we can also shut down our capacity for feeling loss.”

At least I’m experiencing joy!

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.‘ (Psalm 106:1 NKJV)

© Hannah Kirk 2019


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