Oh Joy

Our meditation sessions regularly ask us to tap into joy. This used to make me cry. These days, I probe the recesses of my mind, of my bones. I can’t find it. I can’t feel it. I lie there, feeling utterly neutral, until we consider the next thing.

The therapist prodded me to consider activities that bring me enjoyment. I know why she does this. This is self-care, this is what sustains us. I don’t feel like seizing life by the reins, or even having a hobby. I assured her, though, that I’d give it a shot.

The acupuncturist announced she would try again with The Joy of Life treatment. I laughed out loud at this relentless pursuit of joy from all corners. Aw, what the heck. Go for it, doctor. I may not feel joy, but I have hope, apparently.

She stuck needles in my head and forehead, among other places. My forehead felt like it was melting. She asked what I was doing over spring break and I would have thrown up my hands if there weren’t needles stuck in my elbows. I laughed and said, to illustrate how joyless my vacation plans are, that I’ll probably vacuum my car. She nodded, of course, of course. She gets it.

I stared at the ceiling and dozed off a few times. When she returned, she asked me if I felt it yet. Oh no! I laughed. Is it supposed to kick in right away? She laughed back as she took out the needles and said I could take my time with it and see what happens.

As she left she told me it’s a good sign that I can laugh at….my, er, absence of joy. I’m lighter, she explained, than when she first met me back in August. That’s something.

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