I am naming this post after my current-favorite beverage: Simply Orange Juice. My mom tried to ruin Simply Orange Juice for me by telling me it had more sugar in it than soda. But maybe that’s fitting—things right now are pretty fucking sweet.
I looked back at the list of goals I made for 2016, curious to see if I’d accomplished anything. I’m happy to report that I‘ve made great progress. I highlighted in yellow the goals I’ve reached and oh, all that sunshine was lovely.
I’ve been feeling strong for a little while now. But there’s a major difference between feeling strong and feeling happy. When I’m stable, I’m “happy” in the sense that I am not depressed, but I’m not necessarily feeling joy. Scraps of it are floating around me, but they’re hard to catch and hold onto.
That has changed. The last couple of weeks I have noticed that most days I am in a good mood. Most days I find myself doing something goofy to try to make my parents laugh. I sing aloud more; I go for vigorous walks in the neighborhood. One day I slid in my socks across our wood floors to get to the kitchen because why walk when you can slide? When I did that, I felt a good-old-fashioned, clichéd warmth radiating through all of my limbs.
As the days I am well become weeks, the possibility of lapsing into another serious episode seems less and less likely to happen. The fear behind that hasn’t disappeared entirely (in my experience it never does), but I have grown more comfortable and lost some of my skittishness. Before, I was hyper-vigilant. I was testing myself for weak spots at various points of the day to see if there was anything I needed to keep an eye on. I was weighing situations to determine whether or not they were safe for me. Being so aggressively on the defense is exhausting. But that animal-desperate need for self-protection is lessening.
I think that this might last a while. I’m no longer naïve enough to think this will last forever—lesson majorly learned on that one!—but I’ve definitely hit a sweet spot. I think it’s likely I’ll be well for a good stretch. I hope that proves to be true.
I am experiencing simply happiness. And in one of those rare moments where I hate my disorder microscopically less, I acknowledge that this happiness is amplified in me, and so precious to me, because it is really fucking hard to get. So I will try to muzzle the gremlin’s voice in my head that tells me to be afraid. I will tune out her chanting this will not last this will not last. I will enjoy this time that I have. I may literally stop and smell some roses. I will not take this for granted. I will be grateful. I will be joyful.