Finding Happy

Really Long Shower Thoughts / Sunday, November 12th, 2017

Feeling good is such a foreign thing. From the time I was small, if I felt anything, it was fear or shame. Even before I learned that feeling was vulnerable and unsafe, embarrassment and anger were mixed in with any positive emotion. Now that I’m beginning to feel good, it’s been a process of learning how to manage myself.

When I started taking medication, I didn’t really experience any side effects, per se, but I had developed habits and coping mechanisms that I don’t need anymore. Previously, I had to push myself past the clouds. None of me would show unless I forced it to. Being myself was a more conscious action. Figuring out which habits I no longer need has been a process. I don’t have to analyze my personality and then decide to act that way. I can exist, and it’s me. There’s still mist sometimes, but it’s not the pea-soup fog I had lived with for so long. It’s strange; I’m happier.

Sometimes I feel like people liked me more when I was more depressed. I was quieter. My social anxiety was more prominent and I made every effort to blend in with the crowd in hopes that people would accept me. In some ways, that seems to be a ridiculous assertion. Being depressed doesn’t exactly make you a good friend.

Quieting my anxiety uncovered a lot of things about myself. I frequently have a difficult time with sensory processing. This had always lead to anxiety attacks before, but now manifests in confusion and irritability. I forget that I don’t have to try so hard to be myself anymore, and I overdo it. Truthfully, I can’t tell if I’m overdoing it or if I’m just a very exuberant person. It’s probably a bit of both.

When mental illness is a part of your life from such a young age, getting healthy feels like becoming a different person. You have to find the bits of you that have always been there, even if they were deeply hidden.

One Reply to “Finding Happy”

  1. yes, yes, and yes… I am glad you are finding those bits so young… some of us have to wade in slowly over the years and discover who we really are, and what we really like… it all becomes so distorted….I remember trying to do a self help type book about discovering yourself back around 1998 ish…a book by Sarah Ban Breathnach… about excavating your authentic self. It was excruciating to realize, That I knew who my mom thought I was, who my spouse thought I was, who almost everyone else thought I was… but I didn’t really know deep inside who I was..After that, I really began to try to understand who God thought I was… that is where I finally found the acceptance and freedom to be truly me.I still struggle with ‘others’ and their perceptions sometimes, but I quickly return to God and allow him to tell me who he made me to be.Then who cares about the ‘others’ as their opinion doesn’t matter at the very end of my life.

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