You know that feeling you get when the weather has been bad for weeks and you haven’t seen the sun for so long and you are starting to feel downright despondent and then one morning you wake up and there it is… the sun… all big and bright and beautiful in the sky and everything feels so much better; happier; more hopeful? I had that feeling yesterday.
After weeks of just faking it. Of just trying to get through this day, then the next one. Of setting my sights on getting past the next impossible task and processing the next impossible emotion. Of day after day of hard work. Of basically just surviving. Of triage. I felt something different that I didn’t even recognize at first.
Yesterday for the first time in so long I could hardly remember I felt happy. Real honest to god happiness. I felt like a giant black cloud had lifted and the sun was streaming down on my face it felt so fucking good I don’t even have words for it. It felt warm and hopeful and new. In fact it felt so good that I actually made plans. My husband Dana and I had a night just the two of us and I made a plan for a date night. One that involved going out of the house and doing something. He didn’t even have to talk me into it. It was not guilt motivated. I came up with it on my own and suggested it and actually WANTED to do it. It felt crazy and foreign and awesome.
Aside from that I thought about the upcoming new year with hope. I thought of things I wanted to do. Goals. I haven’t set a goal aside from getting out of bed each morning and surviving the day in months. But I thought of a few things I wouldn’t mind actually accomplishing this year. It felt good.
For the first time in a long time there was no grief in my heart. I did not think about the losses I have suffered this year. I did not weep about the things that aren’t. I did not long for those that do not value me. I felt peace in the present. Hope for the future. I felt “enough.”
And when I talked to a friend at work about seeing her next year we both agreed that next year was going to be okay. Because you can’t have more than 2 years in a row that are total dumpster fires. Those odds are just too bad. And I believed it.
The holidays this year felt impossible. I didn’t know if I could make it through, but I did. I am finally on the other side of that shit show and I know I made it through. I can breathe. I can enjoy the view from the other side. And it’s not awful. It is actually, in this moment, beautiful.
I don’t know how long this feeling will last. Sometimes it is just a day and sometimes it is much longer. I guess people who struggle with depression never really know when those clouds will roll back in. But we do the best we can with the sunshine while it is here. We have to try to live in the present and not think about the future because we know that darkness will be back eventually. It always comes back. But it’s not here now and that is good. It’s enough. I hope that this time the sun stays around a little longer.
I hope. And that is a thing I haven’t done in a while.