It almost seems disloyal to title a post this way, but I think Will would understand: I’m really enjoying life these days. Part of it is anticipating the trip that’s coming up in nine days, 22 hours and 48 minutes (but who’s counting, right?); I’ve also been bitten by the Christmas bug. The holiday itself looks radically different from all my previous Christmases—who could’ve guessed that I’d be spending it at Disney World?—and there will be no presents to open that morning. But the spirit is still strong, and I spend most of my days listening to Christmas music instead of watching TV.
However, my current state of mind is that of gratitude, and I’ve realized to my amazement that I am as happy as I can be given the loss of my love. I miss him terribly and always will, but I’m learning to go on. Yesterday I went to Mass, watched football, and went out to dinner with Clark and Shelley (Ethan was at work). These things make me happy. So does a cup of hot, rich coffee first thing in the morning…writing my blog…being responsible with money. Could it be possible that I’ve become content with my lot in life?
It’s times like this that inevitably make me question my diagnosis. Were things really that bad, I wonder? Bad enough to be labeled bipolar 1? I know the medications are what’s keeping me sane and I’m not even tempted to mess with them, but I’ve been stable for so long now that the nightmare of the first few years after I was diagnosed seems like it never happened. Or if it did, it wasn’t as serious as it felt at the time. Back then, I was excruciatingly aware of all things bipolar, and had no idea of where the illness ended and where I began. That’s changed a lot. Now I can experience the full range of emotions without wondering if it’s the beginning of another manic or depressive episode. I can be sorrowful or sad, but I can also be joyful and optimistic. What a gift!
I haven’t even had to use my HappyLight this year. I’ll probably need it desperately in January, but so far none of my usual late fall/winter depression has shown up. Again, that’s probably because I’ve been looking forward to this vacation all year and now it’s very close. But it’s so nice to NOT have to deal with the usual dark moods that match the early darkness of these long nights.