The Discomfort of Happiness

I was leaving my therapist’s office last week and looked me in the eye and told me how wonderful it was to see me smile.  It was not long before this that my partner Gray said similar.  I have to tell you that both times I became uncomfortable.

You have to understand.  I have “dealt” with my depression for a very long time.  I didn’t get help or treatment for at least twenty years.  I just lived with it.  I don’t really even notice if I am not smiling so sometimes I am surprised to hear that it is rare.

I am curious if anyone else out there experiences that?  Do you go through your day not realizing that you are not smiling.  I am also curious if those of you working through your clinical depression ever feel woozy when your happy? I have this sneaking suspicion that I am not alone.  If you have spent years depressed then those moments of true happiness can be unsettling.  Understand, I do not mean that they are bad.

Imagine having spent your life on an emotional roller coaster, mostly on the downslope.  I had not realized how accustomed I had become to drama. (No, we are going to call them theatrics)  I am not beating myself up by saying this, at the time I didn’t know any differently.  I now find that the quiet moments of peace and joy feel awkward.  It’s as if something is horribly wrong yet I’m happy. Sigh. Writing that out makes me shake my head.

I guess I bring this up because I am lucky to have a loving patient partner.  I know it is frustrating to have everything going well and have me sort of bristle.  I am working on it.  I have years of neural pathways to overcome.  I just want to tell all of those out there loving and supporting and yes, swallowing a good deal of frustration, Thank you. THANK YOU! We love you and we know it must be so hard sometimes.

2 thoughts on “The Discomfort of Happiness

  1. Amanda says:

    I *still* feel vaguely uneasy in my perfectly functional relationship. Dysfunction was the norm so function is still a bit alien. Sometimes I ask myself is this is right, is it really love? Love is supposed to be fraught and painful and worrying and jealous and shaming and gut-wrenching. How can it be love if it’s so… calm?

    • Naiia says:

      It really does feel strange. I describe it sometimes like I a free falling, which seems odd when things are so calm and stable.

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