Before I was hit with this devastating illness Spontaneous Coronary Artery Disease (SCAD) in 2003, I was a vibrant very active and fun person (still fun) who found pleasure in all sorts of things from getaway weekends with the family, hosting parties at home, girls night out and even working because I felt valuable and needed. After learning that because of my illness I would no longer be able to work I felt useless and couldn’t find joy in the things that used to bring me joy. I felt like I was a burden on my family and as a result became very depressed
Around 2004 I started to get used to the fact that I was no longer part of the working community, I stopped looking at the clock and thinking about what I’d be doing at work at that precise time and got into another routine. After I dropped the kids off in the morning I would stop at the gym and work out for about 45min. (By that I mean walk and stretch)I did this because the Dr. and other people said it was good for releasing endorphins which I was on board for because, I could use anything to get me out of the rut I was going through. However I noticed it did not have the effect on me as others said it would, not only did I feel exhausted I sometimes had chest pain the rest of the day which made it impossible for me to do anything else.
As you could imagine that brought me back to my depressed state of mind. One day I decided to reluctantly ask my husband if I could have a dog, I say reluctantly because he had up to this point a no pet rule in the house. I presented my case and he agreed to let me get a little dog. Since I was no longer able to go to the gym I thought a little walk with my dog would be harmless. I soon found out that was an issue as well. At this point I was out of options I eventually had another Heart attack and another and another, it’s been a slow decline from that point to the present. My limitations increased I had to depend on family and friends more and I felt even more useless and a burden to everyone around me, I found joy in nothing.
Then one day I was visiting with my cousin and I was expressing my dismay with my situation and she told me I was still very much valuable and valued by my family and friends I just need to direct my attention on the positive and find happiness in new things that fit into my new normal. she also told me I had God given talents that I needed to tap into and a purpose in life. In doing that, I would find joy, peace and happiness again. However, it would take some work on my part. After some time thinking about what she said I started coming up with new ways to channel my energy and started to figure out my purpose in life as well. I knew I’d always had a love for writing and expressing myself on paper so I decided to write a book by doing that I started looking forward to the time I had set aside to write I found joy in writing again then I went a step further and decided I’d start a blog.
I was a bit hesitant with both projects because of rejection, in both instances I would be talking about something personal to me and no one wants to be rejected. I had to work my way through that in order to continue once I did, it was no stopping me I had a reason to wake up in the morning and start my day, I set my own hours and could even do it in the comfort of my bed if I had to. On sunny days I would write outside in my backyard and never have to leave my house. I find joy in watching my dog run around the backyard chasing squirrels or just sitting at my feet while I write or looking at the beautiful oasis my husband created in my backyard so I would be comfortable, then there’s always a quaint little coffee shop I could sit outside people watch and get inspiration. I could also sit in the sand at the beach when there is not a cloud in the sky or watch the leaves blow on the tree at about 75degrees and marvel at the wonder of Mother Nature.
These are small simple pleasures, but pleasures just the same and for me I have found joy in the things I can do rather than be depressed about things I can no longer do because for whatever reason God has decided this is where I am supposed to be at this time and in this space.