forbidden happy

lisa-frank-is-real.jpg

You’re okay.

You’re okay.

You’re okay.

I had to kept saying this to myself as I laid in bed. I had to keep saying it not just because I knew it was true but also because saying it was helping. See, I woke up with my heart racing, sweating and generally having that feeling I was far from fucking okay. As I closed my eyes (You’re okay. You’re okay. You’re okay) I tried to believe it. I mean really feel like I was okay. My heart eventually took it down a few notches. I started to breathe normally. And right on cue, one of my cats laid on my chest.  We were okay. I am actually okay. That was the truth. After all, this isn’t some old feeling I had years ago although waking up in terror thanks to years of delightful things like depression, addiction and PTSD is an old familiar feeling. No, this happened this morning.

83952bc264c01b0f7e34bfd189e9cbba--lisa-frank-bedroom-ideas.jpg

It happened this morning at what could arguably considered that height my personal okayness. Fuck okay. My life has currently transcended to fabulous. New job, great relationships, strong connection to my recovery and the incredible people in it, plenty of food, money, coffee and all of those things I need to survive. So why did I wake up there? Why did feel like I used to when I would wake up to the shitstorm of my life during yet another body crushing hangover? Why, after nearly nine years, did I wake up convinced for even a few moments that I wasn’t okay?

The easy answer? Blame in on the wiring. Much like blaming it on Rio or blaming it on the rain, blaming it on the wiring for people like me with mental health, uh shall we say, “challenges”, is the easiest route. Just because I am better and continue to grow doesn’t mean I’m going to have the thoughts of a totally sane and healthy person all of the time. The default setting of HOLYFUCKINGSHITEVERYTHINGISTERRIBLE is a tough one to override. Is it better than it was in 2009 or even 2015? Hell yes. But does it still exist? Do I still struggle with a brain hell-bent on self-destruction and misery? Also, hell yes. The thing is there’s a bunch of healthy stuff I do to drown that voice and those feelings out and I can currently say that all of those things are working. So perhaps it’s a glitch in the system and one that won’t last. I mean, I already feel better sitting at my kitchen table writing and drinking coffee.

tumblr_liymnbd1m01qc8ax1o1_500.jpg

Yet it could also be something else. Something more ingrained. Yesterday, I was walking home after hanging out with someone from my recovery family. Fall leaves crunched under my feet for the first time. The air was warm but crisp. The quickly vanishing sun had turned downtown Portland a peachy orange color. The world in that moment felt beautiful. Life felt beautiful. Moreover, I felt really, genuinely, no bullshit happy. Like happy with no exceptions. Like not that kind of happy that’s temporary or faked or delusional. But legit happiness. Short of bursting into a musical number, I walked home happier than I can remember being in quite sometime. These are moments worth cherishing and remembering. Not because there was some big material payoff or splashy life milestone. But because a person like me can feel this way and can feel this way most of the time. It’s also worth remembering because there’s still a teeny, tiny part of me that thinks I don’t deserve this. That I shouldn’t be happy and that I should go ahead and do something to fuck it and up and sabotage it because it’s not like it’s going to last anyway, right?

rs_600x600-160329123233-600-Lisa-Frank-Unicorn.jm.32916.jpg

My idea of happiness, much like these candy colored ridiculous Lisa Frank pictures of unicorns, is decidedly twisted and out of whack. Like a good addict, I want happiness to be bigger and last longer. New, Improved Happiness! Now 100 times stronger than original recipe happiness! So right away I’ve set myself up for something that can’t happen or at the very least is not in any way sustainable. Thus when I don’t live a life that feels like an endless loop of someone winning both showcases on The Price is Right then I can go ahead and choose to feel fucked up, sad, and miserable.

“Choose” is the magic word here, kids and one that I didn’t know when I was drinking and using. I thought horrible things just happened to me and that I must have been cursed. I reality was, however, I chose some pretty horrible things and had life that reflected those choices. So yeah I can choose to feel happy. I can choose to see the truth that I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay. I can choose all this and still wake up in terror and have to choose it all over again. This is fine. Happiness isn’t something forbidden and out of reach or something spectacular that I’m not worthy of. It’s something that shows up under my feet like the fall leaves or lies on my chest like my cat. It’s something that’s already available. All I have to do is choose it.

Advertisements

4 comments

  1. Untipsyteacher · 26 Days Ago

    Me, too.
    xo
    Wendy

    Like

  2. Untipsyteacher · 26 Days Ago

    I wake up like this too…and I say things like..it will be a good day…and usually once I get up and have coffee, and sit for awhile, I am ok. Waking up is hard for me.
    I’m glad you are ok!!
    xo
    wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark David Goodson · 25 Days Ago

    I’m also starting to feel that fall fever. I can relate very much to this feeling. A new freedom and the new happiness, right? Although lately, it’s definitely been eluding me. I’ve been plagued by the what I have is not enough bug. Which is always connected to the who I am is not enough parasite. He is never any reason to feel that way, like you write about. i’ve been plagued by the what I have is not enough bug. Which is always connected to the who I am is not enough parasite

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Paul S · 23 Days Ago

    “Happiness isn’t something forbidden and out of reach or something spectacular that I’m not worthy of. It’s something that shows up under my feet like the fall leaves or lies on my chest like my cat. It’s something that’s already available. All I have to do is choose it.” THIS. And this is something that I am working on. I am working with a life coach, and she has me saying “worthy” 300 times A DAY. Isn’t that trippy? I have to say that to allow my brain to process that I am fucking worth it, Sean. Even typing this has me tearing up, because the idea of me being worthy of happiness still hurts and is daunting to me and it scares the shit out of me. But I am working on it.

    I love this post, even those damn pictures, because I can feel this comes from an authentic place, and I share that brain that says everything is terrible and the other shoe is going to drop when really, both shoes are on my feet walking over crunchy leaves.

    Love to you, Sean.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s