What’s going on with me, you ask, thoughtfully. (You are always so thoughtful, so considerate and interested in my well-being, and that is part of why I love you.)
So, so much, I tell you with excitement. In fact, everything is going on! It’s amazing!
There’s a quizzical look on your face. What do you mean? Did you get a new job or something? Are you moving? Did you win a million dollars in the lottery?
No, I laugh. Don’t be silly. It’s nothing small like that. It’s something much, much bigger: I’m coming back to life!
Your jaw drops–just a little, don’t worry, not enough to be embarrassing or anything.
Yes, really! I’m not kidding! And I’m not on drugs. (Well, yes, of course I am on drugs. I am on Wellbutrin and Cymbalta and Gabapentin and that damn, horrible Effexor still. Plus I am taking supplements: expensive multi-vitamins plus methylfolate and a liquid Vitamin D/K2 mix and some Chinese herbs for my gallbladder and magnesium before bed, and now I have just added some liver cleanse formula. So I’m swallowing pills six times a day. But except for the liver cleanse, that’s nothing new and it’s not the source of my aliveness.)
You’ve shut your mouth again, but now your eyebrows are inching up your forehead. I like watching the changes on your face. I love your face, you know, and I love how well I’m able to read it now.
No, don’t get any ideas about a manic episode either. You’ve known me for years now. Have I ever displayed even the slightest tendency toward mania? No, exactly, not a bit.
This is something else, I tell you, and coming back to life is the best way I can describe it. Coming back to life. Coming back to hope. Coming back to welcoming a new day. Coming back to curiosity. Coming back to wonder.
I say coming back, because I remember, in a distant way, feeling like this as a child. Not all the time, obviously, or I wouldn’t have carried so much darkness into adulthood. But some of the time, maybe even a lot of the time. The world was new and interesting and held so much possibility. I climbed trees and rode my bike and swam in lakes and invented stories and I was friends with Life.
I’m making friends with Life again. And because I’m older now, I understand that sometimes my friend will be grumpy or even a tad stingy, but that’s because she’s complicated and has a lot of demands on her. I know it’s nothing against me, personally. I’ve learned how to care for and console myself on the days she has an edge to her. I’ve learned that it’s worth keeping my heart open to her–a little guarded maybe, but never closed off entirely–because she has so much sweetness to offer. I’ve learned she often shares that sweetness in tricky, indirect little ways that I might miss if I don’t pay attention. So I’m paying more attention.
Now you have a smile on your face. You are happy for me, and I warm to you, yet again. You’ve suffered plenty, more than your fair share, and still you can be happy for others, for me. You have a very generous spirit.
I reach out and pull you close for a long embrace. Thank you, I say.
I get the sense that Life is watching me from the corner of the room. Thank you, too, I whisper.
CREDIT: Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash