I’ve been having a hard time.
I mean, but it’s also good like any other time.
And yet it feels harder.
But still...nothing of any significance has changed, better or worse.
I don’t get “the calm before the storm” ups and downs I’ve heard of my whole life. I seem to live in a storm. If there is calm, it is because I created it despite the storm.
If you were to ask me how I was feeling 5 minutes from now, I’d probably say I am doing well. And I would not be lying. It is like I am always doing poorly and always doing well, the whole spectrum, all at once. All that changes is what part I look at when judging, what part I focus on, what part...of all my many parts...I share.
So many aspects of my life, each their own storm, are threatening to be overwhelming at once. Each storm pouring out its various amount of flood waters.
I am a dam holding back a flood.
I have no means of diverting any of the water rushing my way to lessen the load (I’ve brainstormed; I’ve tried). And while I don’t believe I am in denial about how stressful and difficult each rain-bringing storm might be, I also try to be positive, to keep moving forward, to enjoy the good in each day, etc.
Still, holding back the flood is a constant. The water is relentless, always there, no matter how great a day I am having. It seems my ability to push back against the pressure tends to wax and wane. And when it is waning for whatever reason - stress, fatigue, exhaustion, pain, all of the above - any extra little drop can push the flood gates open. Maybe I’m doing well and an extra, transient rainstorm is easily weathered. Maybe one more drop (an unkind word or a reminder of what I cannot do and wish I could) is all it takes today to push open the floodgates. Sometimes it is hard to close them again once they open. So if it ever looks like I am “holding it together”, remember it simply means that today, in this very instant, the flood gates are maintaining.
Does having this flood watch make me a negative person? A pessimist? An unhappy or depressed person? Clinically, maybe. But we don’t exist in a vacuum. We are not perfect. Life is not perfect. The idea that acknowledging the negative is choosing negativity or even being negative is such a lie. It is damaging.
If we continue to hold to this belief that happiness is the complete lack of the negative, then happiness is forever unattainable. I repeat: unattainable. I don’t buy that definition any more. Happiness is not the complete lack of the negative. If it were it could not exist. And it does exist. But it is far more messy than we tend to acknowledge. Life is messy. You are allowed to be happy and sad at the same time. Is that not the norm?
I am still learning what I think happiness really is, but right now I would say it is the active choice to continue despite the negative. To continue with the negative. To own the mess, to make it yours, and to make something out of it.