enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
(I actually wrote this like a week ago, and then got anxious and distracted and didn't post it.  But now I will.)

There are obvious disadvantages to moving towards mental health in a two-steps-forward, one-step-back kind of way, but there are a few advantages, too.

One is the chance to revisit old ways of feeling, but actually have something to compare them to this time. Maybe someone with a better memory -- or less of a tendency to sanitize the past -- wouldn't need the reminder, but for me, it's enlightening. Sort of like flipping back and forth between two versions of a picture: it gives a clearer idea of what's changed.

What I'm remembering at the moment is the way that sources of happiness or comfort used to be exhaustible resources for me. Actually, that might be putting it too gently: not only were they theoretically exhaustible, but I virtually always did seem to exhaust them, frequently almost as soon as I'd discovered them. Sometimes they'd recover, given a long enough fallow period, but no single experience, thought, success, compliment, or piece of art could ever help my mood for very long at a time. It was like happiness was a spark that started fading as soon as it flared fully to life. I wanted it to last longer, but nothing I tried ever, ever worked.

It hurt a lot.

That seems worth remembering.

(I haven't actually gone back a whole step, this time. Maybe more like 150 millisteps. I am feeling very appreciative of the other 850 millisteps, right now. For starters, I appreciate the ability to feel appreciation.)

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