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The Pain of Happiness

I can’t begin to explain the pain of happiness when it comes to depression. For someone (and their caregivers) who has been depressed for a long time, for the heaviness to lift, for the depression to leave and for the chance to be normal surfaces, this is the happiness and this is the pain.

My loved one felt today what it was to be happy, to be like “normal” people. The change was real and palpable and full of laughter and purpose and happiness. Then toward evening, the cloud descended. The depression was back. The tears, the begging for the happiness to stay.

Just like that it was gone. Just like that we were back to square one. Just like that all of us were plunged once again into what has become for us “the new normal.” Or should I say “the new happiness lacking normal?”

People who fight depression have got to be the strongest people in the world because they know what it is to be happy and they know what it is to have the happiness taken away. And they are wiser because they cherish those moments of happiness unlike too many of us “normal” people who often don’t even realize happiness is happening.

– Bernadette


3 Responses

  1. This is so true!! You may have done this previously but I am wondering if one of you could write a post addressing how to address a spouses depression with extended family. I struggle with wanting to protect my husbands privacy but want outside family to understand our situation for what it is.

    • That’s a really good suggestion, Jennifer. It’s something we’ve discussed in our books, but I’d be happy to do a blog post on the subject. Thank you for reading! -Amy

  2. No words, really. Just sending hugs.

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