Monday, April 02, 2007

On happiness

I've been talking to my therapist a lot about my feelings of happiness lately. You see, I've been feeling happy...and there are times when I've been feeling sad. The sad pieces scare me. We had a really great session 2 weeks ago about my experience of my depression and how frightened it had made me. It was good to talk about and acknowledge.

I told my therapist about a dream I'd had in which I was being shot at by a shady guy in a car. I'd survived but many people in the diner/bus I was in did not, including the guys who'd gone out to protect the place. It makes sense that there is a part of me that really would like to shatter the tranquility that I am experiencing.

On Friday night, when S was staying over, I had another dream. I was staying in a very grand house when suddenly looking out the window I saw a mushroom cloud on the horizon. I knew, because someone in my dream shouted it, that London had been hit with a nuclear bomb. The beautiful place that I was staying at was no longer safe and was being attacked by villagers who somehow believed we were a part of a conspiracy to have more bombs go off.

London, for those of you who haven't been around for awhile, was where I went a year ago. It was a transformational trip, in that I was really relaxed, I met great people, and I felt happy and just had fun for the first time for over a year. I went home acknowledging that I didn't want to live life as I had been. I wanted to have fun and explore my life. It was shortly after London that I met S.

It feels really clear to me that, once again, there is a part of me that finds the idea of being happy so dangerous that I need to destroy the very city out of which this glimpse of happiness came. The angry villagers need to destroy a beautiful and safe sanctuary because of a delusion and not because there is a real threat.

One circumstance that both of these dreams have in common...I had them both while I was sleeping with S. The experience of sleeping with S is wonderful. Even when there isn't much room, it is so cool to reach over and put my hand on his shoulder or chest or to feel him touching my head or arm or leg. It is reassuring and safe...and, obviously, to some part of me, very dangerous.

I find myself struggling to defeat whatever this is...this piece of me that thinks that being happy is not safe. It feels connected to the piece of me that worries so severely about making a mistake which will cause me to lose S that I take any comment about my actions as huge.

I know that this is connected to something that Steven Mitchell talked about in Can Love Last? He talked about how it is that as a relationship grows, it gets harder and harder for people to share intimately who they are with the people they love because the stakes get higher. The risk of making yourself vulnerable to someone you love is so frightening that you may actually sabotage your relationship to avoid being hurt.

In some strange way, being happy and staying happy is much more intimate and causes greater fear than a relationship where I may feel disappointed or even ambiguous. I want to learn to embrace happiness in all parts of let go of the need to protect myself when there is no need.

Okay, then...2 posts in one day. I'm going to bed.

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