A few days ago I experienced a step forward in my mental health.
But it wasn’t a huge moment of realization. It wasn’t me suddenly being cured. It wasn’t me finally winning the fight against my depression.
It was just me and the cat sitting on the couch while my partner made himself some food, and me slowly starting to feel happy.
Not just okay, not excited about something, not like I was trying my best, but just happy. Simply and contently happy with my life and where I was at that moment.
When I began to feel that, I looked up at my partner and said ‘I think… I think I’m happy’.
Of course he just gave me a cheeky look and said ‘You better be’, and then went back to chopping up his chicken, but for me this was something that I hadn’t experienced for over a year.
Yes, I’d enjoyed our anniversary celebrations, and I’d been proud of my friends when they achieved things, I’d loved our cat, and been excited for trying out a new coffee shop.
But I had never just been happy, for no other reason than that I was in a good place in my life.
I had spent so long feeling bad that it seemed like being ‘better’ meant just being okay all the time. Like feeling mediocre was the best that I could hope for.
It feels very good to know that I was wrong.
Because hopefully now I can begin to experience that feeling more often.
Maybe I will be able to feel happy driving to the supermarket, or happy when I check the mail in the morning.
But for now I’m going to treasure that moment, and remind myself that life can be better than just okay.
If you’ve had a similar experience, let me know all about it in the comments below! I’d love to hear about your stories of recover and the journey towards better mental health.