April 29th, 2016: I had my last appointment with my therapist.
We didn’t plan it that way, it just happened. I’m too happy for him, too consistently. While he always enjoys our talks, the past few sessions were more status updates than real therapy sessions. He felt that I had acquired the tools necessary to navigate through life alone: Ritalin, writing, and daily exercise. He encouraged me to continue with my network of caring people that teach me compassion in my day-to-day: Dynamo, Coach and my mentor from work. Of course, in the event my life unravells beyond my coping abilities, I can always give him a call – but he was convinced he wouldn’t hear from me for a long long time.
20 months worth of work. 20 months of appointments. A LOT of money spent, since unfortunately, my insurance didn’t cover much. So many tears. Quite a bit of laughter. Lots of time thinking over all my therapist told me.
We reminisced on how far I’ve come. Depression. Public meltdowns. Paralyzing anxiety. Fear of vulnerability. Unwillingness to put myself out there and date, because the slightest rejection could send me weeping. Taking small risks – singing in public. Asking Beaut out, and handling the weird evolution of that interaction. Changing jobs, because I wanted to be happier – thinking that was a worthwhile reason. Navigating a trip in a strange country by myself, and the intense roller-coaster emotions well enough to pull through and experience joy. Accepting my limits, and going back on Ritalin, because I am willing to get help, in my quest to get my shit together. Signing up for my first boxing fight in two years, because I am ready for a challenge, and am able to accept the risk of getting hurt.
I’m happy. I’m SO happy. I’m almost scared, because I don’t feel I deserve this happiness. I’m aware that this might be a temporary reprieve, that depression is a relentless disease, and strikes at the most unexpected moments. I’m aware the rug might get pulled out from under me at any moment, that it is probable that I will have at least one other depressive episode in my life.
But right now, every day I wake up, and I am filled with gratitude to have finally reached a point in my life where my brain is at peace, and the negative voices in my head no longer run the show. I finally can hear my heart singing with happiness – I had forgotten that it once knew joyful melodies.
It feels so good to finally start getting my life together, instead of spending all my time and energy fighting the exhausting noise in my head. I am slightly daunted by how much I let lapse in the past 6 years as I struggled with depression. But mostly, I am just grateful that I have gotten to the point where I have a to do list, and the wherewithal to deal with it.
I’ve noticed that the happier I get, the less compunction I feel to write. I hope this is temporary, or that I learn to find blog content that is triggered by fun and happiness. An interesting challenge, and one that I don’t mind AT ALL.