General Question

yankeetooter's avatar

Do we get to have those brief moments of intense joy so that when we are down those memories can sustain us?

Asked by yankeetooter (8561 points ) September 11th, 2012

I definitely had one of those moments last night…

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29 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Share it with us.

I had one today when I discovered The Ode to the Lemon. (cited here for the third time today, but it is refreshing on even the third read).

I also had a moment of moderate joy today when the young woman at Apple tech fixed all three of my problems in record time.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I often wonder if it goes both ways…the good memories for the bad times, and the bad memories to appreciate the good times.

JLeslie's avatar

I never thought of it like that. I think that great joy comes in moments, and I believe I will go on to have many more, that is what sustains me.

_Whitetigress's avatar

I believe it’s for survival.

lookingglassx3's avatar

Yes. I get to see my crush around 3 times a year, if that, as he lives a while away from me (by the way, we’re just acquaintances). My grandad died in July, and I was so, so deeply devastated and heartbroken. Two weeks later, my friends convinced me and my family to go to a social gathering to try and cheer us up. I went, and my crush was there! It was such an unexpected shock. I didn’t actually speak to him but my mum told me afterwards that he’d spoken to her and asked after me. It might sound silly and meaningless to you, but I was thrilled. It was a brief distraction from all the intense heartbreak and pain I’d felt. It really touched me that when life seemed so dark, he was there like a little candle glowing gently in the corner. Oh dear, that sounded REALLY romantic and sickly.

Aster's avatar

I think it’s because our brain chemicals are working perfectly which never lasts.

wundayatta's avatar

I am not sustained by those euphoric moments, any more. I am sustained by hope for something good. It isn’t really based on the past, but on my imagination for what might be possible in the future.

In the past, I could live on such moments for a few days. But over time, their power has diminished, and now the good times have a power that lasts a few hours at most. But I don’t mind. I think I am more even keeled, these days. The highs don’t help as much, but the lows don’t hurt as much.

flutherother's avatar

It doesn’t always have to be intense joy. Sometimes even a prosaic moment takes on a fresh significance in our memories and becomes something that we will always treasure.

Sunny2's avatar

It isn’t cause and effect, but it’s a nice addition to your memory bank.

marinelife's avatar

I really appreciate the brief moments of joy, but I like life and am happy with the level moments.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m posting Nimbooda for @gailcalled… but I’ll let her look up the translation if she’s interested.

Some days I would like to be Indian. Every day that I watch Aishwarya’s singing and dancing routines, for example… and I’m not a fan of musicals in general.

wundayatta's avatar

@CWOTUS That is too much! Thank you so much! I want one.

One what?

I don’t know. One of everything… everyone… I think.

gailcalled's avatar

@CWOTUS: I tried Google translate for the words of the song…nothing comes up for Hindi or Urdu. Punjabi is not an option.

Nimbooda means lemon? The lead dancer does wave one around for a while in the middle.

Or does the whole thing translate to “I hope that there is a chiropractor waiting for me in the wings after I have finished this exhausting routine.”?

CWOTUS's avatar

Oh, I thought it would be so easy.

Sorry; it wasn’t supposed to be difficult.

yankeetooter's avatar

@gailcalled…i don’t know where to begin. (And sorry that I am just now getting back…it has been a long day.)

Some more healing happened for me last night, after a lot of hurt, pain and guilt from last year. I got to see a friend who I hadn’t talked to for a while…and some more of my self-esteem was restored. I am finally beginning to believe that not everyone I come into contact with is going to be hurtful…

yankeetooter's avatar

@_Whitetigress…I know there have been many bad spots in the past for me where I have had to draw on such positive events…so I agree about the survival thing.

yankeetooter's avatar

@lookingglassx3…good description. This guy I saw and talked to last night has been a candle shining in the darkness that is the past year of my life. And yes, that is romantic and sickly, and I don’t care…

gailcalled's avatar

@yankeetooter; And yes, that is romantic and sickly, and I don’t care…

Why not enjoy the candle that shone in the darkness and skip the self-flagellating last sentence?

You have to be in charge of your self-esteem. Think of more uplifting language, please. Keep that light glowing.

yankeetooter's avatar

@gailcalled…lol! I was quoting the other person…I don’t mind being romantic, and I don’t really think it’s sickly. Sorry for the confusion…

_Whitetigress's avatar

@yankeetooter Definitely. I just try to think about what folks in major wars must have thought about. Particularly in WW1 and WW2. I’m sure some soldiers had flashes of their best childhood memories, or more up to date family memories or just any good memory really. I know the same can be applied to anyone, but for war time, when your life is on the line, I think memories actually push one forward ironically.

Bellatrix's avatar

I wish I did believe the good times sustain us through the bad times, but I don’t. I think they can bring comfort if we are able to remove ourselves emotionally from whatever is causing us negativity to remember those positive times. I don’t think I do this. I think when I am very down, it is very hard to hone in past positives.

Kardamom's avatar

I don’t think so. I think all of us do get to have some or a lot of fantastic intense moments of joy, but I think people that suffer from un-treated depression tend to have a lot less fantastic intense moments of joy than people who are happy-go-lucky types or people that are fearless and spend their time doing adrenaline pumping activities.

People with depression, because they are depressed, often cannot see the joy in simple everyday things, so they therefore make themselves believe that there are not a lot of those joyous moments to be had. And if they do have one or two especially intense moments of joy, they tend to put those moments up on pedestals, as if they were only there to look at when they are feeling down. And they often feel like they don’t deserve those moments.

Me and my best friend, who are definitely not silly happy-happy joy-joy people, always say, “We are easily amused.” Which just means that we are able to take and interpret intense joy from small things that other people seem to not care about or over-look.

When I feel like wallowing in sadness, I try to pull myself up off of the couch/bed and go out and do something fun, but not necessarily mind blowing or “intense” in the usual sense of the word. Nature, always brings me moments of intense joy on a regular basis, as does good comedy.

Things don’t always go as planned. Things don’t always happen to/for us in the way that we think they should or that society thinks they should. When those things don’t happen, we have to change the way we do things and the way we interpret those things.

I know you’ve had a lot of difficulty with changing the way you do things or perceive things. You’ve been one of those self admitted, never give up types, which is good when you’re going for a diploma or a job, but that kind of thinking tends to backfire when you don’t give up on trying to be with the perfect person. When you keep trying to go for the same person, even when others are trying to tell you that it’s not a good match or situation, you’ll just end up sad and depressed again. But if you open yourself up for other possibilities, including the possiblity that there isn’t a knight in shining armor out there for you, you can begin to appreciate all kinds of things that you never thought were important before, including your own company, and nature and comedy and art and food and little kids laughter and medical breakthroughs and nachos with jalapenos.

Because of the way you worded your question, I gather that you are still depressed. You were very depressed due to a particular situation about a year ago.Have you sought any treatment for your depression? You deserve to be happy, but just hoping for happiness will not bring it forth. Everyone needs a little help now and then. And you should never put all your eggs into one shining candle in the darkness (or eggs in one basket).

yankeetooter's avatar

@Kardamom…I hit my low from the holidays until April, but as of February this persistent shining candle was keeping up a steady glow in my life. I am not putting all my eggs in one basket…and as far as looking for someone to share my life with, this would not be the right basket, but somehow this guy’s kindness, support and encouragement helped me start to heal. That healing process is still continuing, but I am doing a lot better. This guy has become a bit of a mentor to me. I got to talk to him the other night, and it was a very positive thing. My focus with school had slowly been recovering, but he helped give it a jump start again.

I don’t even understand fully all the ways that this guy helped me…some of it was more direct guidance and encouragement, some of it was helping restore my ability to trust others, and a part of it was making me feel like I wasn’t a piece of dirt stuck on somebody’s shoe.

(sorry for all the cheesy analogies…)

Kardamom's avatar

@yankeetooter Well that sounds terrific. I’m so happy for you. Just keep moving forward : )

yankeetooter's avatar

Thanks…one day at a time…

Kardamom's avatar

^^ : ) And don’t forget, we’re always here and we stay up late.

yankeetooter's avatar

Lol! Except I have noticed a extreme drop off in activity after a certain hour…

Kardamom's avatar

^^ Ironically Friday and Saturday nights are the most active, that I’ve noticed. I guess it’s more fun Fluthering than going to a bar or to the movies LOL.

gailcalled's avatar

I had a moment this morning. My 81 year old buddy, who had a hip replacement last year, was on her riding mower at the little Post Office. She was mowing the grass around the building as an act of generosity. The USPS cannot afford to pay her.

Two years ago she was hobbling around on a walker because of the extreme discomfort her hip was causing. Now, she’s doing wheelies.

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