I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but you deserve to be happy. You deserve to wake up and feel good. You deserve to be passionate, energetic, excited about life.
For a very long time, I didn’t believe I could be happy. I didn’t even know what happiness was. I’ve gone between manic and depressive episodes, and I thought mania was the closest I could ever come to being happy.
This week in therapy, though, I had a breakthrough. My therapist asked me how I feel most of the time. I described it as kind of coasting, not really caring about what happened to me and being more stressed than excited about the future. I told her that was my normal, my neutral state: apathy and fear. As I said it out loud, I realized for the first time that it’s been so long since I’ve experienced true joy and contentment and that coasting is not a neutral feeling.
Since going back to therapy and starting a new medication—one that I absolutely love, by the way—I’ve realized how much I’ve been missing out on this whole big, beautiful world. For almost two weeks, I’ve actually been happy. I’ve been excited to get out of bed and go tackle the day ahead of me. I’ve been excited for the future. I haven’t had to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms just to get me through. I’m finding my work fulfilling again, and I’m actually excited to start new projects and get things accomplished for myself, not because I feel like I have to.
I feel a clarity I haven’t felt in a long time, a sense of renewed purpose and desire to be alive. I feel present rather than wrapped up in my own thoughts. This feeling is so different from my normal, and it’s so beautiful. It makes me excited for the future, for where my life will take me, for all the adventures I’ve yet to experience.
I know I’ve talked a lot about therapy and starting medication in the past few weeks, but at this point in my life, that’s the best form of self-care I can practice. It took me nearly 25 years on this planet to realize that my brain works a little differently, which means I need a little extra help with my mental health sometimes. That’s okay, though, because even though I’m not wired the same as everyone else, I finally recognize that I still deserve to be happy and to be here.
And so do you.