Every now and then I come across something that reminds me of the year I spent in depression. That year ended, maybe 8 months ago. Plus minus 3. Sometimes it’s a song I used to listen to at that time (Most recently: Cher – You haven’t seen the last of me). Sometimes I get an accidental stab into one of my old wounds and I am reminded how much they used to hurt. Sometimes there is a bit of bleeding, but I’m able to get it under control. Sometimes I look at the physical manifestation of my scars and remember how I got them. Other times it’s a piece of clothing I bought during that time. Like my mustard yellow scarf with a bird pattern that I bought while in hospital.
And then I think about where I am in my life right now. How different it is.
Like, this week I worked really hard, probably the hardest since I got better. I felt dedicated. I wanted to do it. My goodness, having the energy and enjoyment for what you are supposed to be doing makes such a difference. Sometimes I just walk down the street and realize that I feel light. I feel happy. No anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure). No dysphoria (chronic low mood). I can’t tell you how amazing that feels.
All my therapists had one big worry in the end. That I would be an eternal patient. That I would never be able to let go of that. Why on earth would you do that? Because that is your Number 1 identity. Because you think you deserve it. Because of the care and attention. Because someone acknowledges that you are hurting. Because it is a manifestation that somethings in your life went wrong, or is still wrong. Like spending your adulthood with mental illnesses to show everyone how wrong things went in your childhood. Like that hurts anyone other than yourself. I remember being released from hospital and feeling paralysed with fear that they might be right. That I might never let myself get well.
Only time could really prove this wrong. I think it did. I will never take this for granted. Sometimes I feel so much gratitude that it makes me cry a little. I know I will slip. Life will slip. But that doesn’t matter, because I am excited for it. I want to live. I am up for this. Life feels so good right now.
And then there is the miracle of my relationship. Just to give that a sneaky mention.
A year ago I was in hospital. Today I am happy.
To be well is incredible. Thank you everyone who helped me get there, or simply stuck around.