Although I made the most of each day and usually found at least ten different moments to laugh, I had a long stretch of sadness.
I wouldn’t call it depression (though parts of it could be classified as such) and I wouldn’t call it mopey behavior. No- I got through the days and weeks and eventually got comfortable with the identity I’d discovered… A Melinda who was fun, outgoing, adventurous, and optimistic in all things except love.
If I got to talking about relationships and love with coworkers or new friends, I’d say something along the lines of: I just don’t believe in love… does anyone know what the hell love is? I am not interested in dating, it’ll just become something I have to deal with. I’m super happy for you, but what you’re talking about doesn’t resonate with me. Hooray for others! But yeah, I’m okay with the prospect of just doing me… alone… possibly forever.
I’d then drive home, listen to my sad music, drink some whiskey and enjoy whatever it was I was going to do. I didn’t drink too much- just a nice glass or two. I didn’t cry very often.
Sadness gave me the power to internalize my life, feel strong in my conviction, and know that nothing could really touch me. Bad days didn’t happen often, because if you are living each day as it comes and you’ve already been through hell, nothing seems that bad.
Then came a moment that absolutely stunned me, shook me to my core, and made me cry myself to sleep. This was an incredible experience because it brought me back to the land of the fully living… the quiet sadness was replaced with a pure pumping heart that remembered what love was. A heartbreak in the present time of my life replaced past heartbreaks. It made me realize that THIS is my life. THIS is making me feel, even if it’s bad.
THE PAST NO LONGER DEFINED ME.
After more than two years of letting it define me, that is. It was a moment like in a movie… I almost smiled as I wept, because damn! it just felt so good to feel! And even in those new days of pain, I could say that I didn’t have a bad day. I still smiled, still laughed, still grew as a person. I was LESS sad, overall. This is a difficult concept to explain, and to tell you the truth, I’m just starting to process the whole thing. I might not be able to explain it.
All I know is that verbalizing my disbelief in love and unfailing joy made me feel strong in a way that is even more difficult to explain. It helped me form an identity that was all my own and brand new. It said, “I’m tough, I don’t need all that. I’m okay.” Feeling that sadness fully and purely did even more.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve changed. Very recently, all of that quiet sadness deep inside has dissolved and morphed into a conviction to be truly happy and proud of the love I am capable of.
Sad music will always be my favorite kind. Whiskey will always be my ideal way to end a long day. It’s my verbal explanation of what I believe and why I believe it that has changed, and will most likely continue to change and grow as time goes on.
I’ve been obsessed with “getting my 7-year-old-self back.” I’m so glad to say that she’s not only back, but she’s wiser, braver, and even more willing to take risks than ever before. No heartbreak can break me- but happiness in the background of my everyday life can put a skip in my step that wasn’t there before.
This is the coldest winter I’ve experienced, but it’s the first winter in a good long while where things are building up instead of breaking down. I like the change and I’m thankful for the sadness that was there.
Mostly, I’m thankful to be back.