I just felt a moment of happiness. It came in a wave and I didn't recognise what it was at first and now I can't remember what it felt like but I know it was there. It totally took me aback, it was a feeling so foreign it quickly turned into something close to fear. Then I realised I had felt the same feeling before, lifetimes ago, in summer when I was six and in Christmases when Santa was real.
'Reasons To Stay Alive' by Matt Haig is probably the best book you could ever read if you want to try to understand depression and anxiety. I felt so much relief when I first read it as it normalised so many of the feelings that terrified me, it made me realise that I wasn't alone. It also vocalised so many of the feelings that I was struggling to explain or understand. Sentence after sentence I would sigh in relief, this is what I've been trying to say all along.
I have 3 copies of the book. One is new and unread and I like it because it's shiny and smells nice. One is the one I give out to people to read. And the other is the one I read first and read again and again. It is twice as thick as the other 2 copies, with pages folded all over the place and a couple of pages scrunched up because they spoke to me so loudly and so I can quickly get to them when my head is a mess.
One of these pages is 183. It talks about passing moments when things don't feel as bad. "I had another this morning. I was lying in bed just wondering if we had any cereal left. That was it. It was just a normal thing, and it lasted over a minute". I remember reading this the first time. As I read it I felt the 'lightness' that Matt talks about. It wasn't happiness, but it was a moment when I didn't feel buried under a pile of anxiety and despair, the pile was lifted and for just a moment I felt hope. I scrunched up the page in an effort to forever remember that moment, to remind myself that hope can exist in a moment and that sometimes a moment can last a long time. Today I am looking back on that day and realise the similarity in the moments I felt then and now. Yet this one of 'happiness' is miles away from that moment of 'lightness' years ago. Back then 'lightness' seemed all I could hope for, to wish for happiness would be greedy, it would never happen. But I was wrong, it happened, just then. And if a distance so far can be traveled in those years then maybe I am finally going the right way.
"Depression lies, but depression itself isn't a lie" -Matt Haig