Riding the Coattails of Happiness

by Traci Reason 7 months ago in depression

Escaping the Habitrail of Depression

Riding the Coattails of Happiness

Do you ever have one of those happy moments that are really, really good? You just want to linger there in that sacred moment for the rest of your numbered days? No? Yeah... me neither... kidding! I'm kidding. I will say as a person whose natural habitat is depression, it is remarkable when you can ride the coattails of happiness until that fabric is tattered and threadbare. I call them God moments because they are the exact opposite of the drab, colorless upside-down intervals in hell.

I've recently spent a few days on those coattails, but sadly, it doesn't take much to send me catapulting off onto the metaphorical asphalt watching those magical moments disappearing faster than a warm summer sun on the horizon. I find myself alone, once again, facing the darkness that surrounds me like a shroud. Am I a happy person? No, I wouldn't necessarily describe myself as such, although I probably put on a good show for the daily tuners-in. I do love dry wit and laughter comes easily and naturally to me, but many days I feel the emotional garbage piling up just beneath the surface and I want to scream, cry, and pitch a fit, two-year-old style. Not very becoming behavior from a matronly single mom two years deep into menopause, but it just might free some demons... I wonder if I would benefit from one of those rage rooms?!

But I digress... how do you keep the happiness magic from fading? Over the course of several days, I could literally feel the energy leaving my body. A long exhale of disappointment and resignation escaped me as I was delivered back to the depression and anxiety habitrail into which I normally reside. I started this story on a real high, too. It's now eight days later and I'm wondering, what was the point I was trying to make? I come to this draft every day and mostly sit and stare at it, wondering what to say, wishing I had some sage advice for people like me on how to maintain some semblance of joy when it finds you. How do you prolong the essence of a feeling that is in many ways foreign to you? Anyone?

For a very long time, I relied on external people, places and things to make me happy. I didn't understand that happiness comes from inside of me, or so they say. It starts with me, right? In order for happiness to flow, however, I have to clean the soul pipes, as it were, of all the gunked up, dirty, nasty, negative years worth of emotional crap. Therapy helped snake the drain a little bit, but the plumbing is still backed up. I'm almost fifty-one years old and I have never lived the best version of myself. Alcohol fooled me into believing I was on my 'A' game for a few years, but that shit got sorted real quick. Now I hide behind gray hair and a frumpy body that is too large to live on my 5'9" frame. Most days I don't even like myself and I'm supposed to find happiness from within my dark, polluted soul? Thank the Maker that I have two beautiful reminders of what the best of me is, manifested. My daughters are my one thing done right and the reason I still live and breathe.

I love my happy moments. I live for my happy moments. I wish I were a naturally happy soul. Happiness, depression... light, dark... good, bad... it's the Yin and Yang of Life. Riding on the coattails of the light and the warmth of genuine joy even though short-lived, gives me hope that I won't wear that shroud of sadness for the rest of my numbered days.


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Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Traci Reason

Writer/photographer and Mother of the Year award recipient 20 years running. Former flight attendant and current ex-wife, I'm an expert in failed relationships and how to pick the wrong guy. Competitive Scrabble champ & cheesecake baker   

See all posts by Traci Reason