Sunday, April 17, 2016

Happy: Try to Remember This Feeling

This is a letter to myself to remind me what happiness feels like. I have to try to hang on to the feeling before it goes away. 

I have to do things like this; document my moods and emotions so when they switch I can at least grasp the concept of what it felt like to feel "normal." Depression is a funny thing. When you are depressed, you feel like you have always been depressed, always will be depressed, and that any seemingly happy thing in your past was a fluke. 

So, Susan, here is Happy. Take notes.

You woke up this morning and you were actually happy to see the sun (unlike how it normally intimidates you and you just pray for rain). You had energy. You wanted to take your nephews out to play and volunteered to take them to the park. 

Walking through your neighborhood with that giant orange double BOB stroller, you felt so proud to be an Auntie, walking around with your two adorable nephews. You felt so strong pushing them up that big hill to Woodgate Park. "Frog Park" is what you and Sam decided to call it from now on. When you got to the park and you saw a couple with their baby, you simply thought, "Nice family" (not, I will never get to have kids, she is so lucky, I'm a loser - no. Just, Huh, nice family).

As you ran around with Sam and Max, you were not ruminating. You were just playing. The sun was hot and you liked the feeling on your skin. (Never once did you lament about having no summer clothes or think about your odd short hair or that your best years for playing outside are behind you.) All you did was run around, laugh, and play in the sun.

Before you left the park, you sat at the edge of the pond with the boys and you listened to the tree frogs. You told them Shhh, let's just listen. You sat there and realized that you were having the same kind of moment for nature peace that you usually see on CBS Sunday Morning (except when you usually see that part of the show, you get so anxious because you know it means the show is almost over and then you have to face the rest of your day).

While the boys ate lunch you got in your VW Beetle, drove with loud music and the sunroof open just to drive. You spontaneously decided to go buy balloons and party hats for Lily and Karl's birthday party. When you got to Party Safari, you chatted with the sales lady (you LOVE doing this when you are Red, it's so great. Every encounter turns into an ethnography, I swear). You had $11.00 in your wallet so you spent it all on those party supplies.

Later on, when it was time for nap, you snuggled into bed and enjoyed feeling tired. You knitted next to Sam while he quietly made sculptures out of Kleenex (not once did your mind wander off about worries for finding a job, worries that you'd live with your mom forever ((even though there is nothing wrong with that!)) 

As I write you this letter, I am almost having a hard time thinking of the negative things you normally think about. Can you believe that!? I am sure the same will be true on the flip side when you turn. You will have a hard time thinking about things that make you feel happy. So just start over, read this letter again, and know that Happy Susan resides inside you, too.

Be gentle to us, no matter what



  1. I love both happy Susan & depressed Susan. Yes they both reside in you!! I am glad you had some joy when you wrote this!! 💚💜 happy frog peeping/balloon buying/nephew strolling/spring weekend! 😎

  2. "Quos vult perdere Jupiter dementat prius." Virgil - Aeneid