When Joy Slips In


I walked down to the beach this morning.  We live just a few blocks away in a wonderful, small beach town in Florida called Flagler Beach.

As I walked I felt this welling of joy.  Absolute happiness.The conditions were right, the air the perfect temperature, the sun hanging low in its morning position…but this feeling wasn’t coming from the outside, this was welling up from inside, percolating like a bubbling spring.

As I stepped barefoot on the asphalt, it hit me, like it always does. The fear.  The caution. I have been taught for most of my life that ecstatic joy is in fact a bad thing–a symptom of a mental illness.  You know, the M word: Mania.  Up until this past year I’ve been the most dutiful of bipolar patients..constantly guarding against the “craziness” that might slip in.

But something happened when I went out on the beach this morning.  Out there with my toes in the sand I did my routine sun salutation, like a yoga prayer to the rising sun.  And as I brought my arms upward and gazed at the crystal blue sky I heard a voice.  Not a crazy voice…just me in my most open state.

The voice said simply, “Don’t be afraid of joy.”  And I smiled.

This was not a crazy feeling.  In fact, it was the exact opposite.  This was being truly alive.  Connected.

So please, tell me what you think.  Should us bipolar folk regulate joy, our connection with the divine in order to protect against a treacherous down swing? Do you “normal” people out there temper your happiness in order to protect yourself from hurt?

I’d love to hear your input on this one.  In the meantime I’m going to savor this joyous glow…..

Peace and joy to you,




    1. And no, us bipolar people should not regulate our joy. We know too well the darkness. Take the joy, embrace it, enjoy every last second of it.

      1. Your kindly welcome. Yes, it is good to comment with others who know where you are coming from, who have been there themselves. It was one of the reasons I started blogging. Bipolar, with all it’s ups and downs and craziness and sadness, has given me a voice.

  1. As a sufferer of depression, I only want my sadness mitigated, not my joy and medication helps me achieve that. I almost never cry but if something causes overwhelming sadness, I do cry, even sob and in a weird way I am glad for that. I wouldn’t want completely shut down as would feel less connected to the rest of humanity.

  2. Anchor in Christ and let Joy bubble, effervesce, rise and explode in and through you! What the world needs now more than anything else is the Real Jesus’ Joy! The duality will melt in the presence of awareness of Christ in us the hope of glory!

      1. I think Joy is God’s holy Spirit and when we are filled with it we are beyond religion or paths; just more in touch and aware of the Presence of God that fills all things! May God bless your path!

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