• Fiona Martha

Quiet Happiness

I'm currently on my way out of a depressive phase. The cycle continues, but I'm always taken aback by the beauty of things when I reach the light at the end of each tunnel.

When I'm depressed, I move through life numb. Of course I still laugh and cry, as we all do, but nothing moves me. If my emotions were a dimmer switch, during these phases, it would be turned down as low as possible, occasionally bumping down into total darkness. Moving out of those phases is like slowly turning the switch back up again. Sometimes all the way.

I noticed it during the recent supermoon. Suddenly, looking at it from my balcony (though only briefly), and feeling the mild air on my skin shifted something inside me. I felt a little sense of peace. I remember going to bed that night suddenly ecstatic - the happiness, however small, felt like static shocks. I was awake, and buzzing with it. Those moment are always like a hitched breath - like if I make one wrong move, it'll disappear again. Sometimes it does. But this time, it didn't.

Since then, I've slowly started noticing everything again. The way my favourite poem sounds when I read it, the warmth of the sun on my cheeks, the joy of my favourite song. Conversation feels richer - and lighter but more meaningful at the same time. I'm not just saying things, I'm really speaking. Everything I do has become un-put-down-able, my books too good to stop reading, my music too invigorating to turn off, the day too savourable to go to sleep. It sounds kitschy - and it feels it too. Because from one day to the next I've gone from laughing because I'm meant to, to laughing because I mean it.

I feel a quiet sense of happiness, just resting inside me. A small glow from within. It feels unreal to feel things, to have their meaning connect with me and to know that things matter.

It especially feels strange during these times, where the world is in crisis and I'm at home, unable to do much. Because I've always felt like I need a reason to be happy - like it's not allowed if there isn't one. I know now how that isn't true, and I'm letting myself revel in it like a cat in the sun. I gather those little static shocks up until I feel like I'm fully charged.

I am aware that I write this from a sort of privileged place. Not eveybody has the times of reprieve as I do, and I know I'm lucky. But I'm allowing myself to have it.

I wish that I could bottle these good times up and live in them forever - but it's enough for me to know that they will always come again. All we can do is keep existing until it works.

- Fiona

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