There was a moment on Friday night.
I had two of my best friends in the whole world next to me. We were holding hands, we had our arms around each other. A band that we used to go see when we were in college was playing a reunion show. I knew all of the words to the songs. I sang. I danced. I smiled. It was incredible.
In that moment, I felt like myself. I felt so grateful to be exactly where I was. I didn't think about anything besides the lyrics to the song, how happy I was to be with people I loved so much, dancing and smiling like I was a freshman in college without a care in the world.
I fell asleep around 4am after not only a great show, but a lengthy catch up session with two more friends back at my best friend's apartment. After we finally exhausted all people and topics we could possibly gossip about, I passed out on the couch in my clothes from the night. I didn't even notice I forgot to get Blake Bear out of my suitcase. When I woke up in the morning and realized this, I was afraid I was going to panic. I had wondered what the first night sleeping without him would feel like. Almost three months have passed and this was my first night falling asleep without the bear nestled in my chest and gripped tightly in my arms. Surprisingly, I felt ok. I survived.
But now the weekend is finished. My best friends are at their houses and I'm in mine. The concert is over, we're no longer dancing, and the songs are just a faint buzz in the back of my mind. Just as I've experienced before after an exciting day, the pendulum has swung the other way. Now I'm on the opposite side of joy.
The debilitating sadness comes in waves now. Instead of being in a perpetual state of shittiness like I was initially, I'm able to experience truly happy moments like I did on Friday night. In those moments I feel like I'm really me again. My heart is light and my mind is clear. I feel part of the world and connected to other people in real and meaningful ways. But then, the tide sucks me back in. I detach from the beautiful world I was starting to feel a part of. Suddenly my brain gets clouded with a million different memories, questions, thoughts, and fears. My heart starts weighing a ton, my chest throbs from the strain. And then I'm lost again. The idea that I thought "I'm really me again" seems strange and artificial. Who am I anyway?
So as I'm riding this wave of sadness, the only thing that comforts me is knowing that just like my moment of happiness, this too shall pass. I will find myself back on the joy side of the pendulum again and the depressive feelings I'm experiencing now will seem far away. I've realized that you can't remain sad forever, just as it's equally as impossible to live in a consistent state of happiness. Moments like Friday night feel as good as they do because I know what it feels like to be devoid of all pleasure and consumed by pain. It takes plummeting to new lows to truly appreciate times when I feel good again.