I question my right to be happy

I’m feeling really “flat” today. To be honest though – I have been feeling this way for a few days, but have pushed through because it’s been lovely to reflect on 16 years with my dear husband. However the rather frustrating fact remains that mental illness doesn’t really care if you’re trying to celebrate a milestone or not – no, it does not care one little bit.

People would likely say “What are you carrying on for? You have a great life! Others have real problems to worry about, you should think of them”, and that is so true – I feel blessed for the great things I do have in my life. But you should never judge what you don’t know. The great things cover, but do not remove, years of trauma, self-doubt, and severe depression with anxiety. The great things make it possible to hold on, but they do not magically blot out pain and hurt.

I am feeling flat, down, melancholy, depressed even. I feel this sense of frustration and turmoil, I’ve been recently working on expressing some really deeply buried thoughts and feelings in my personal and private writing, the writing that stays hidden and I do not share here or anywhere. While in one sense I feel proud of myself for being able to put these painful feelings into words, there is a part of me that feels really upset that I have not just moved on. I am angry at myself for still letting things that happened so many years ago have a place in my thoughts, a place in my life.

Then there is the frustration I feel at myself for being upset that I’m upset at myself. Yes – I am that girl. I was raised in a family where I was not allowed to be “negative” in any way, I was to put any fears or discomforts aside and not “harp on” about them – so when I experience negative emotions, I feel a deep sense of discomfort and guilt. It makes it very difficult to let out the poison of trauma and anxiety when you are scared of feeling the sadness and anger that often comes with it. I am always remorseful of the negativity of my feelings.

I am tired. Some days it doesn’t bother me, it feels like a physical tiredness and I can deal with that. Sometimes though when this tired feeling seeps into my bones, into my soul, it becomes a whole new level of tired. I could maybe describe it as “soul destroying”; it makes me want to weep. I want to weep for who I was, for the pain and confusion of my past. I want to weep for who I am, for the turmoil and frustration of my present. I am scared to weep for who I might be in the future, I am afraid that she will still be feeling this way in 10 or 20 years.

This weekend I realised that it had been a while since I thought out my suicide plan in a clear and concise way, and I felt good about that. Driving across the bridge that once I planned to jump from, I actually admired the view instead of mentally calculating how fast it would be from jump to impact, and if it was truly going to be “enough”. But then that good feeling was chased by panic, fear of the unknown. I stood trembling before the unknown of the future, and worrying about what it might look like – there is fear of recovering, because I do not truly feel as though I deserve to be happy.

It is hard to know what to feel some days, nightmares assault me each night again lately – they steal my joy and make my sad and afraid. This flatness feels familiar but it is no longer comfortable. I have tasted little bits of happiness as my brain has become healthier, and that has made me desire more – but I am unsure if it will come to me, and I am confused about if it would be okay for me to want that.

My past should not have a place in my present, but it tries it’s best to convince me of the opposite – loudly telling me that it belongs wherever I am, whenever I am, and will always shape whomever I am.

Yet the question remains, do I truly deserve to be happy? Only I can answer that – it has to come from within.

4 thoughts on “I question my right to be happy

  1. I can understand some of the tired-to-your bones that you experience, it really is painful. You’ve got a lot going on and I can feel the frustration and turmoil in your words. While only you can come to accept that you deserve happiness, I would say that the right to happiness isn’t something you earn, it just “is”. You are a good person, and that counts for a lot more than many of us realise too. I hope yo find some peace with yourself and get some rest, and hopefully little by little you’ll see what you readers see – you are awesome and you deserve happiness. xx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I can answer your question! Yes you deserve to be happy 😀 Of course you deserve it. The trick is to believe that you deserve it…

    As for people who would say, “what are you carrying on for?” Find other people. Those people are not worthy of any conversation deeper than weather observations… I will caution you to be careful however, that it is not you telling yourself “what are you carrying on for?” Sometimes we worry people are thinking something about us, because that is actually what we think about ourselves… Most people actually give other people very little thought whatsoever!

    Then there’s this: “there is a part of me that feels really upset that I have not just moved on”

    I have one little observation… All that pain, all those feelings, all those memories, they are a part of you. They shouldn’t be. It’s not right. It’s not fair. But they are. Repressing them and hoping they’ll go away and trying to just “move on” (what does that even mean?!) seems counterproductive. It seems to me that to become a whole, integrated person, we need to examine and accept what has happened. Acknowledge the consequences. That doesn’t mean we say it was okay, just that we say it happened, it affected me this way, I have a right to feel (angry, sad, frightened, rejected, whatever it may be…) When stories are bottled up, they poison us. We cannot be whole until we have the courage to accept and express. To share that story with a trusted listener. To take away the shame. To see it is part of you, rather than wishing it never happened. You are becoming more whole than you have ever been. It is scary! Glueing all the bits back together is not easy – but look at the name of your blog 🙂 All those golden lines glueing the cracks back together. You’re beautiful.

    Lastly – we are all two sided coins. You were not allowed to look at the flip side of your coin growing up – nor was I. I get this! But nobody is happy and whole and joyous and focused all the time. Nobody! If they say they are, they’re delusional! We all feel sad or negative or irritable or angry or all the things that are on the feelings wheel. And that is okay! We might flip from one side of the coin to the other – happy/sad/happy/sad – all in one day. The flip side of the coin is not wrong, it is just the other side. It balances us out. Don’t be afraid to be sad. Let it wash over you, feel the feelings, cry, acknowledge, write, draw, cuddle your cow. Do what you need to – it’s cathartic. And once you’ve done what you need to, the coin will flip back again – right back to that happiness you deserve 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

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