I realized today as I reread many of my blogs that I am often referring to times when I was depressed. I want you to know there are also many good times.
Often when I think of good times, I think of exceptionally good times when I accomplished something like getting married, adopting a daughter, giving birth, graduating from college with honors and then from seminary, being ordained, being installed at my first church, becoming the first person in Arizona to be hired as staff by their mental health provider agency, and then getting Social Security disability benefits finally. These events (and many more) have brought me great happiness.
But there have been good times in everyday life that have brought me quiet joy. I have three delightful daughters. They are bright, articulate, have great husbands/fiancé and adorable daughters. I have enjoyed watching them grow up and I get pleasure from their company. Two weeks ago my youngest daughter and I drove to San Diego. It was a six hour trip both going and coming. You might think the trip was tiresome but I got to spend that time with my daughter in conversation. In San Diego, we got to be with my oldest daughter and her family. That was a good time! It would have been perfect if my middle daughter, her family, and my youngest daughter’s family could have been there, but good times don’t have to be perfect. They can just be good.
I enjoy going to church where I receive hugs, am among friends and get challenged. Being at church are good times! There may be some frustrations, but good times don’t need to be free of frustration. They can just be filled with love.
I have enjoyed my dogs. For twelve years, I had a dachshund named Izzie who lay with her back against my back when I was in bed. She died several months ago and I miss her, but I’m thankful I had her. Now I have a whippet named Tinky who snuggles on my lap when I watch TV. They have brought me a great many quiet good times!
And then there is the work I do to help others promote their recovery. I am happy when I see a church become more supportive of people affected by mental health challenges or a person I’m working with find hope. These are good times!
I share some of the good times that have happened on Facebook which now allows me to see what I have posted from previous years. These memories on Facebook remind me of those good times. Because my tendency is to focus on struggles, Facebook helps me remember the good things in my life, and there are many.
I could have gone on and on with good things I have had in my life. These are just a few. I encourage you to reflect on the good things in your life. Doing so will be one of those good times!
Rev. Mary Alice Do, who has bipolar disorder, is a retired Disciples of Christ minister and has worked 16 years in the mental health community providing recovery information and advocacy. Read the rest of her posts for IBPF here, or watch her webinar on How Churches Can Promote Recovery. She also has a blog of her life story called Journey Towards Wellness.