Three weeks ago, it was Entirely Too Soon to tell you all just how much better it seemed that life was getting. Now that I have had three weeks of relative (gasp!) happiness, steadiness of mood, positive feelings, and lack of severe depression, I am here to confirm that I am quite giddily at a (fairly) solid, maybe slightly elevated baseline. After over a year of soul crushing depression that never let up for longer than a day during that period, what I feel most is sweet relief. Over the past year, I was fairly positive that I was never going to ever, ever, ever experience a “happy day” ever again. Thankfully, I was wrong.
I feel clear-minded, I feel optimistic, I feel like issues can be worked on, I feel like my toolbox is full, I feel as if I have great love in my life. I feel so good that I worry my mood is getting too elevated. This feels a lot like hypomania, building into mania, but I would really like to believe that it’s just good, solid, level, positive feelings. Bipolar disorder is cruel in that it makes a person unable to trust their own feelings, their emotions, their behaviors.
So, I choose to believe this is happiness. I choose to believe that a combination of a happy home with LarBear and satisfaction with learning new things and the addition of quite a bit of mental health groups and programs has resulted in a happy Rosa. It doesn’t hurt that it is Spring, and the weather has been beautiful. It doesn’t hurt that I have finally crossed the line from willfulness to willingness, and that I am really and truly being honest with myself about my feelings and thoughts.
I have been keeping very busy, between DBT and individual therapy (both talk and art) and art groups and the newest addition, a peer mentor. My mental health maintenance and my art are now primarily my “job.” And really, I am working on it all several hours each day, but not so much that I am getting burned out and not so little that I am just sitting around wasting time.
I find that, the more time I can spend being creative and creating things, the happier I am. For the last several months, it has been jewelry, and more recently, I have moved into papercrafting. I find that I love learning new techniques and skills, and I find that I am quite good at working with my hands, which surprises me to no end.
I feel that, to make the creativity complete, I need to get back to writing regularly, even if it’s just a 300-word essay on the blog. I miss it, and I miss the connections I make with other bloggers. So, I’ll try once again and write semi-regularly. That’s all I can do, is try.
My main goal, or the goal overall, is to not wallow in my misery. That is easy to say when not depressed, but super terribly hard when in the depths. For as long as I can, though, I am going to face any issues head-on, I am going to be effective, and I am going to use every skill I have to keep my mood relatively stable.
This happiness thing, whether it be hypomania on the road to mania or just true happiness, is something worth working for, something worth putting all of the eggs into the basket for. To have felt the lowest of lows for so long, and to now feel like life is worth living and that the world around is so amazing and beautiful, yeah, I want to hang onto that.