Don’t Fear Happiness

Tuesday – June 6th 2017


5:21am – An incredibly sweet little face with big brown eyes and breath that smells rather a lot like a cat litter box (we don’t have a cat… thankfully) wake me up for “tuddles” which I enthusiastically oblige, without hesitation.  Chubby little hands stroke my cheek and stubby little arms squeeze around my neck.  I lie awake listening to my baby breath and eventually fall back to sleep.


6:27 – Still can’t sleep.  I’ll check social.  (reaches for phone) Oh good, cryptic monosyllabic from some, interesting and engaging messages from others.  Reply, reply, reply, reply, bye.


7:15 – “Oh SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT!” we’ve slept in. Daniel needs to get to school and nobody’s lunches are packed.  We need to get to the gym.


8:20 – Lolo arrives and nobody has any idea what happened to our copy of George’s Marvelous Medicine but fuck-me-days it is great to see my friend (and our housekeeper) because I am free until 3:00pm.  I could not and would not have that freedom without her.  And when I get home, almost like magic, it will be tidy and fresh.


8:30 – Gym.  Music.  Really enjoying Catfish and the Bottlemen and today was also a Leonard Cohen day.  Tower of song on repeat because I fucking wanted to.


9:30 – Arrive in the office.  Dad jokes, bad puns for days.  Nick used all the hot water so I had to baste in my own gym juices for an hour while the hot water reheated.


9:45 – downstairs to see my people at solPR.  Rachelle was halfway through making by coffee, broke her nose walking into the glass door over the weekend, gentle hugs.  James arrived home after meeting with our partners in Brisbane.  Big bear hugs because James is a big bear with a voice like a foghorn.


10:30 – Meeting to discuss and design conference modules/banners/floorplan.  I am a GENIUS when it comes to details and synergies.  Can’t discuss further, NDA.


11:30 – Rush to track and field.  PANIC ATTACK!  Other parents.  Many are nice, some are lovely, but some are FUCKING RIDICULOUS!  Judgmental, unhappy, insincere and angry.  Over a decade living in this leafy suburb and I am utterly without joy and terrified of every single child’s event.  We’re weird.  I get that, it has always been that way, but I don’t know how or why it is so important for the mean girl cliques I never understood in high school to be omnipresent on the children’s watch as well.  I ran 10,000km away from mean girls, just to run into them again.  Thank God for the few friends I have.  They always safely block me from the stares and snarls of distant acquaintances who have time for such distractions as disproval.


11:32 – Kiss Stephanie-Jane goodbye and wish her luck.  It must have worked, as I will find out later she got 5th and is going to interschool, same as happened last year.  Can’t handle any more pursed lipped parents.  Run faster than the track and field kids to get the fuck back to my car where I am safe and away from there.


11:45 – Stop at the office for hugs to wash away the feeling of dread and vulnerability that happens whenever I have to face local, school, or community events.  I absorb and appreciate my hugs then bark out some suggestions between getting briefed on the mountains of stuff they are shoveling through.


12:30 – Drive to see the slender Eastern European caricature that is my Psychiatrist.


1:02 – Arrive in the newly renovated offices that smell of paint and carpet glue.


This is where the day got interesting.


More than six months since I started/changed medication.  A diagnosis I’ll talk about at length one day.  Not today though.  Rui (caricature Eastern European shrink) and I cram a shitload of conversation into our 40 minute sessions.  We talk about geopolitical states, business, sustainability, refugees, immigration, family, sex, food, travel, and sometimes we even talk about my mental state.  I often tell him I don’t agree with his observations on the world, and he often tells me that my crazy is fascinating to him.  I like being fascinating.  I also like that I am now a little less crazy.


“So how are you?” He said in an uncharacteristically concerned tone.


“I am actually, genuinely, really fucking good… Happy.  Content even maybe?”  I said.  “There’s been a lot, there’s always a lot and we’re figuring shit out, and we had a week filled with grief and big changes, but I am excited about the future. And, yes. Happy.”


A knowing smile curled across my very own eccentric psychiatric specialist.


“And you worry it will end?” He inquired with raised eyebrows.


“Yeah.” I said looking at my thinning crossed legs.  “That’s a nagging thing, and also, do I deserve to feel okay.”


“One of the strangest things about people, Dee, is that they/we seem to crave, and fear happiness.  When we are happy we are waiting for something to go wrong.  It is very strange.” He said pulling out his prescription and blood test pad and paper.


“And do you still want to die?” He said while writing something illegible on the multicolored pad he just fished out.


“Sometimes.” I said.  “But not like before.  Not constantly, not eternally, not uncontrollably.”


“Well, 30 years means you may never stop feeling it, we learn, our brains get hardwired.  You seem to be managing it better than before.”


And then we talked about my new Tesla and my marriage and my propensity to be deeply in Love with everyone always.  We talked about sustainability and Trump and Comey and Brexit and animals and dirty waterways.


And then I carry on with my day.

I arrive back at the office, where my husband, who I am more in Love with than ever asks how the eccentric shrink is, and how the appointment went.  He expresses gratitude for the improvement in my mental health since the appointments and medication began.


And life carries on.  And I am going to try really hard not to fear contentment.


Thank you for reading.






One thought on “Don’t Fear Happiness

  1. Glad I’m not the only one that feels judged by some of those mums. Love your honesty Dee. Xx

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