Day 27 of 31 Days in July
The TBI Collection of the PTSD Poetry Project
“Happy All the Time”
It’s all I could do
Smile at people
Smile in the face of rudeness
Smile pasted on my face
A look which earned me smiles
I learned from the stuck place
This one called ‘happy’
People want to see you happy
They do not want to see your despair
Happy is all they want to see
Happy is the only person they could see
Healing brought ‘round more emotions
Happy stopped being all there was
People didn’t like to see
I had other emotions
Happy had other friends
Happy is not was it was cracked up to be
I unable to express anything else
Hurt inside in a different most painful way
I knew I should express differently
But I could not
This place of so called darkness
Was my time in the endless desert of the sun
Smiling even when I most did not want a smile upon my face
The time of night has returned
And it is a relief to finally feel
July 27, 2016
Our dogs are trained to ring the bells hanging from the doorknobs to go outside. Some days in their enthusiasm to go out they nearly knock them off the knob. This morning when I was walking through the living room I saw the front doorknob with it’s bells all lit up from the morning sun. I’d just a few minutes before opened the blinds to let in the sun.
There seems to be a story here to be told about letting in the sunlight after a long period of night. I talk about the night a lot and the uneducated will say it ‘sounds like depression’. Uneducated being the key word here because I don’t want to be rude and say ‘you’re a stupid idiot’, certainly I could. But I choose not to. Those words and the “D” in PTSD are hot in the media so much so they appear to go together. The “D” everyone is so fond of saying is depression actually stands for DISORDER. It’s no wonder the military and Canada have changed the term to PTS.
We all have periods of darkness, of long nights where things are still alive. It’s just in a different way. We can’t all have every single moment lived in the sunlight. This isn’t natural and the cycle of life is not like that. It’s the same constant refrain I read in every tumblr post and tons of other social media. It’s this talk of seeking to be happy ALL the time and ONLY thoughts of positivity.
Ok, straight talk here.
THIS IS NOT MENTAL HEALTH
Yes, it’s a fantastic goal to be happier in the moments of life. But as someone who was stuck for a very long time in ‘happy’ it is NOT all it is cracked up to be. Brain injury stuck me there and I lost time to it too. There were no other emotions except ‘happy’. This is NOT normal. It is not normal to have two friends die and not be able to grieve appropriately for their loss. I could feel the movement of emotion trying to surface but then it was simply … Gone.
Back to ‘happy’ and smiling in spite of it all. This isn’t a normal reaction to loss to just be smiling, be happy, and to three days later? Forget about it all together.
For me, the long dark night has not been what anyone would think. It has been the moments lost in the endless desert of the sun. Smiling, laughing, and forgetfulness about anything except being ‘happy’. This has been my dark night.
It was never about the loss of emotion, the inability to do anything but be ‘happy’, smiling at anything and everyone.
It is normal to be feel reactions to occurrence in life which warrant a reaction.
It is not normal to be ‘happy’ all the time.
My goal has never been to be happy every single moment, it has been to feel ALL my emotions no matter what they are.