Yesterday when M, my therapist, asked me how things had been going, I waxed poetic about how good I felt. For more than half of my one hour appointment. I know, right? Awesome. I told her about a family situation that came up and I simply decided how to respond in a way I felt good about, asserted my limits, and didn’t feel guilty. I talked about how bad days of teaching didn’t feel like a harbinger signaling the inevitable unraveling of my life. My persistent sense of dread has nearly vanished. I feel well-rested in the morning. My shoulders and jaw are not always tense. I don’t agonize over ever word I speak. I no longer feel the urge to word-vomit my entire sob story to anyone who will listen. I text friends about mundane things, and enjoy the sense of connection. I, more often than not, can stop eating once I feel full. I don’t dread social events like I used to. People listen to me like what I have to say matters. Oftentimes, people honestly laugh at my jokes. The weighty darkness that used to shroud every waking moment has dissipated. I no longer feel irreparably broken.
Hot damn. If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is.
If I would have known that a little bit of chemical help would have taken me the last few yards to feeling good about my life, I would have done this an awfully long time ago. These little pills obviously didn’t solve all my problems. Because of the work I’ve done, I have a whole tool chest of skills that are helping me navigate this brave new world I find myself experiencing. But heavens almighty, I would be lying if I said they didn’t help an awful lot.
Life isn’t perfect. It never is. But I feel competent and capable. More minutes than not, I feel content, if not downright happy. Part of me keeps expecting to wake up and find myself right back where I was.
I told that to M. She said, “Nope. I don’t think so. This is your new life. You worked hard for it. Enjoy it.”
I think I will.