I’m sitting outside listening to the birds chirp their language of life and presence. Something about birds has always intrigued me. Possibly because my great-grandparents had several bird features and even a bird bath! Can you imagine being a kid and watching birds land on this statue-esque structure and clean themselves in the water?! No wonder I was fascinated. And how kind of my great-grandparents, right? Thinking of the birds, taking care of them, giving them nourishment and a place to recharge before going off to be birds again.

I’m experiencing an uplifted mood, started about 2 days ago. I’m suspicious of good days. It’s almost like bad days are less work, I don’t even have to think about them or “try” to have them. But good days, I analyze and question and doubt. It’s a matter of reframing my thinking. This may sound simplistic, but I think one road to my healing includes following up every negative thought with an opposite, positive thought. And good days, bring them on. That’s also a scary thought. Do I know how to do “good” days?

I’ve got depression down pat. But I don’t have happiness. Sure, I’ve experienced joy before but it’s been a long time and it was short-term. I can have a bad day easily, filled with naps and negative self-talk. It takes effort for me to have a good day. And I don’t exactly have the energy, desire or ability to give that amount of effort. Either I’m underestimating myself or I’m being realistic. I’m not really sure which and I’m not sure it matters anyways.

I’ve been thinking about someone from my past lately, and really missing them, grieving the loss of our relationship and what could have been. It ended because of my drinking. I was concerningly (to others) very intoxicated and went fucking bananas. I had a full on psychotic break that lasted what felt like a few hours. Then I had to experience boundary setting against me and I was no longer welcome into this person’s life. Understandably so. I wonder what my depression would be like with this person in my life. Would I be staying in bed? Or would I be out and about like we were when we were together? I wasn’t seeing a counselor and I wasn’t consistent with my medicine. I was a different person. I put on this facade of beauty and amazingness when deep down I was dying inside. I’m so embarrassed about how I acted that particular night. I’m also embarrassed I put on a pretty, perfect face to please another person. I thought I had found happiness. Finally. So I jumped in head first and in the words of Dermot Kennedy in his song Shelter, “Don’t get caught up in caution when love exists.” It ended disastrously and it was eons of years ago but I’m just now coming to terms with everything. I’ve put this chunk of my life aside in my mind to focus on other things, like my mental health. But I’m out of survival mode, at least the last couple of days I have been. Healing happens when you’re no longer in survival mode; it happens at the point when you become the survivor and step out of the shell of hopelessness to participate fully in life. That is a damn good feeling. I imagine. I’m still halfway in the shell, struggling to pull myself all the way out. But I have started to feel like a survivor. I’ve started owning my wins and achievements instead of just owning my mistakes. It’s got to be both – if there’s a negative, there’s a positive.

During this time of my uplifted mood, I’m going to take advantage of every second. I’m running. I’m writing. I’m not hating myself. Relief from my depression feels like I have a better view of life around me. Before it was grungy, wrinkled, disheveled. Today it’s bright.

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