I got a free therapy session, courtesy of a fellow caregiver. He wrote,
My counselor asked me last night, “what makes you unhappy?” I was struck by that. I struggled to find something that made me unhappy. I started to blame (my ill spouse) for not taking care of herself, to justify my unhappiness. But that is exactly what she does to me, so I didn’t say that. No one can make me unhappy, that is why I struggled for an answer. After a few moments of deep reflection, and this was really hard, I reasoned that I am making myself unhappy. It’s that simple. I don’t do the things that bring me joy.
I recognized myself in that.
I haven’t been drawing, or working with glass, or doing abstract photography. I have spent only a little time with my herbs and only been hiking a couple times. I have been bogged down in cooking to recipes instead of cooking the way that I like, which is improvisational, just riffing off seasonal vegetables or whatever I have on hand.
“No one can make me unhappy.”
I keep saying that I don’t have time, or I’m tired, or there’s some other reason that doing what I enjoy just doesn’t come up in the day’s schedule. But if I’m unhappy, I will be unhealthy.
So I’m going to find a way to do at least some of what makes me happy.
Tom is trying to help. He sat down today and distributed his own pills for the week into the daily pill-minder box, and he is taking over the recording of his blood sugar numbers and making his own doctor appointments.
He made himself breakfast, too.
Besides getting some of my Pakistan work done, and taking Tom to therapy and driving us to the mountains for the weekend, I made time for myself.
I read a chapter of a book on stress that I’d been longing to get back to. I looked at the schedule for fused glass classes and got in touch with the instructor to make up the sessions I missed this summer. I played around with some photos. I bought a random bunch of produce to improvise with for this weekend’s meals. And I went to kickboxing class.
It’s a start.
Today’s penny is a 2015, because that’s the year I got my first big wake up call about the need to do what makes me happy. Featured image is called “Discussion: Raining or Dancing?”