I sit in front of my therapist, a person whose input I hold most valuable and most understanding, and I tell her about the things I’ve been living. The last three weeks since I’ve seen her, they’ve been easy. Not that I haven’t gone through trials on a daily basis, but they’re trials I’ve been able to handle healthily and figure out quickly.
She sits in front of me, a woman I’ve known for years, one I’ve talked and rambled to and been bare at my very worst with, and she just listens and smiles.
“You sounda��. good,” she says a little confused and beside herself.
And I realize that I am. For the first time in my life, I am good.
I wake up in the morning, and I want to start my day. I live each hour not waiting for the next; I live each minute to live that minute. I have rid myself of unhealthy friendships I was clinging to, and I’ve rekindled and began ones that help me in this world, not hurt me. I read books for myself. I have finished a book that I read because I wanted to. I don’t think I’ve done that since the summer before my freshman year. I’m buying music daily, something I wouldn’t let myself do without immense thought beforehand. I go to bed when I’m tired, and that’s usually around 10 p.m. I’m doing my laundry, loading the dishwasher, eating on a semi-regular schedule, doing (most) of my homework when it’s supposed to be done, talking about my future. I’m in a happy, committed relationship, and every day brings us more strength. I don’t work as much; I’m comfortable, not constantly looking for distractions. I am happy.
This is such a new concept to me.
I’ve lived the entirety of my life with that heavy feeling in my chest, the one of profound responsibility and discontent with the world, and I never knew that was the feeling because it was simply always there. My lungs always felt like bags of dried cement, breathing was like particles of sand trying to fit in whatever open pores they could find in the impermeable medium. My heartbeat was always elevated but raced rapidly at random parts of the day because of my disturbingly strong anxiety. I slept so little with my thoughts keeping me awake at night. I was a whale feeding off of stress and terror like krill, just sucking them in in massive amounts.
And somehow, I survived this.
Looking back, I can’t comprehend how I did it. It hurts me to even think about. That girl lived her whole life not knowing what true happiness is. She thought people who said their lives were great were delusional, that they were lying so others wouldn’t ask how they truly were, so they didn’t have to show that they were falling apart.
I grew from that girl. That tortured soul with more weight on her shoulders than anyone her age should’ve had to bear, that was me.
I don’t regret a second of it. I am endlessly grateful for all I have ever gone through, because I wouldn’t cherish and appreciate this newfound happiness the way I do if I hadn’t experienced its polar opposite.
I breathe so freely now. My lungs are a thin, stretchable material that can always get enough air and keep expanding to get more. My heartbeat is even, and unless I exercise, it stays that way all day. I sleep very well, and the thoughts that used to plague my conscious thought now live in the realm of my subconscious, where I can entertain them while I sleep instead.
Doing the things I want to do is far easier now. I smile at everyone in the hallway. My hugs are genuine. My love for myself is slowly becoming real.
I am okay now.