Sunday, November 11, 2007

my current relationship with happiness

I promised to finish this, and finish this I will.

As I mentioned, there was a second thing that kept me from from posting in September:
I was too damn happy.

the welcome mat purchased back in July to grace the new house.
even though the red circle has faded considerably, it's still quite a happy place in here

Not long after moving into the new house, I had a visit from the Happy Fairy.

The lawsuit had been settled. Monies had been received. The stress of learning where to put that money for safekeeping was over (and yes, suddenly having money was about as stressful as having no money, because I didn't know diddly about investing). The move to the new house was over. Old debts were repaid, bills brought current. MyFavoriteKid was settled in his new school. And besides the money and transitional stuff, there were really no big issues on my plate. No life crises to deal with. Not in my world, nor in lives of those in my immediate circle.

This took some getting used to. I had been in upheaval for ages. Somewhere around late August, I think I took the first full, deep breath I had taken in ohhhh.... 3-1/2 years or so. Maybe longer. And I mean that literally. My lung capacity was expanding. Stress was leaving my body. Anxiety was shifting. I was often being asked why I had a shit-eating grin on my face. I was often bursting into giggles just because life was so damn good.

And it was like being in a foreign land.
And as happy as I was, I suddenly found myself getting sad and depressed.
A couple of weeks of deep introspection revealed the following:

* Feeling good was so foreign to me at that point, that it actually felt physically uncomfortable. My head knew that this should not be so, that happy was a good thing, but my body was just not willing to break from it's habitual state. My body was used to being cramped up into a tight ball, with headaches and constant frowning and scowling. Being happy, on a physical level, was oddly quite difficult.

* I was isolating myself from my friends. You ever get so sick of hearing yourself complain, that you just stop talking? I had developed the happy version of that. I was really concerned that my friends were going to be sick of hearing how good things in my life were. Why? Because when things in my life weren't going so hot (like having my power turned off, or having to borrow money to buy groceries, or not having my insurance straightened out and having my rental wheelchair almost taken away from me by the insurance company)... when things in my life were just about existing... I really didn't want to hear about the happiness of my friends. There were even a few points where my happy friends enraged me, and there were a few friends I couldn't even hang around, because I couldn't relate to their pleasant selves. Now here I was, quite happy and comfortably existing again, and I was worried that my friends wouldn't want to hear about it. So I just kept my mouth shut whenever I was around them. But that is not at all the way I do friendships. I don't even know how to have a friendship that doesn't include being my overly-out-there self. It was just odd to me that I could be "out there" about being in a pit of life's ugliness, but not on a hill of happiness.

It is the above situation which kept me from posting, too.

* I uncovered that residing in me was the core belief that I do not deserve happiness. All of the years of positive affirmations and my spiritual belief in the powers of setting intention could not have prepared me to recognize this without some deep searching: when it really got down to it, I honest to gosh did not believe in my heart that I deserved any of this goodness. It actually took a few good people to hit me over the head a few times to get me to see that I do. Just as it also took a few good people conking me to realize that I (hopefully) will not be like those friends I had been avoiding, because I am a significantly different kind of person than they are.

Anyhow, it is now months later, and I have no way of accessing the raw emotions that caused the internal investigation. I am quite annoyed with myself for not writing this all down somewhere while it was happening. I am also annoyed that for some reason my InstantMessenger didn't archive the particularly cathartic (HA!) chats I had with TheBon about the whole matter, because they were enlightening.

I can't go back in time to when it was all fresh, but I CAN tell you where I am today:

Life is full of hills and valleys. I was in a valley, I am presently on a hill. There have been many hills and valleys prior to this last go round, and as sure as day changes to night, I will surely be in a valley again. In nature, no storm can last forever. And sunshine won't last forever either. It will rain again. I WILL HAVE ANOTHER VALLEY. What I get now is that I don't need to spend my life dreading it, because surely it will come. I have no judgment of the valley, and as a result, I have no judgment of the hill. I need to party on the hill. Party party party. And use the vibrancy that comes with mountaintop living to make myself strong for the next dip into darkness.

I have never been one to keep happiness for myself. I know a lot of people that do, and I have a sneaking suspicion that they do because they worry that there is only so much happiness to go around--so they horde it. In retracing my hills and valleys, I can see that when I grip onto what goodness I have, I almost immediately lose my hold on it. And I am now experimenting with actively giving it away, in many ways. I think I'm on the right track.

I deserve happiness.

And I do not feel the need to expand on that, other than to simply say that I know I deserve it, and I know you deserve it to. And if I can be a part of bringing that happiness to others who deserve it, then I will have had a good day.


Anonymous said...

You bring a great deal of happiness to my life. I'm glad I could help you come to terms with yours.

Mouse said...

Hooray for happiness! You definitely deserve it! (and some of us LIKE IT when you are happy and enjoy listening to you BE happy..)

Anonymous said...

Of course! Everyone deserves happiness! I hope yours lasts and lasts. (And what Mouse said.)

So now, if you don't mind my asking -- and you are not bound to answer, and the question isn't really for me, anyway -- why do you think you couldn't stand to hear about other people's happiness while you were miserable?

Janice in GA said...

The one good thing about being on a hill, going into a valley, and then coming back up on a hill is that you learn that valleys aren't forever. And valleys always look worse from the bottom.

Oddly enough, I had to ride a bicycle many, many miles before I understood this on a visceral level. After that, I could apply the lesson to more than just bicycle riding. :)

I'm glad you're happy! Your happiness makes me happy, and so we share the fun. :)