Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews

If you’re happy and you know it…

Please explain how this works.

This is adorable. Like a punch in the face.

I’ve lived with depression for over twenty years. During the vast majority of that time, I’ve been on any number of psychiatric medications.

It’s a weird feeling, finding yourself happy and then questioning its authenticity. In the past few weeks, I’ve found myself revisiting this whole idea, because I’ve been consistently waking up happy. Like, really, really happy.

Not to scale.

Here’s the weird thing about having a mood disorder AND being on medication AND having anxiety — There is no simple way to merely accept a good mood. Allow me to show you:

  • I’m SO HAPPY!
  • YEAH!
  • …wait, am I happy?
  • Shut up.
  • I think I’m happy. I have no reason not to be happy.
  • But I take meds. This could be med-induced happy. Not happy happy.
  • How will I know what happy happy feels like?
  • Not sure. Does it matter?
  • It shouldn’t. But it does. I want to know.
  • Let’s take a look at this happy. It’s pretty great. Should it be this great?
  • Why shouldn’t it be great? When is happy not great?
  • When it becomes too happy. Am I too happy?
  • Too happy? Like, on the cusp of manic happy?
  • …maybe.
  • …maybe not.
  • Right. I’m overthinking this.

The next several minutes are spent talking myself down from being worried about being happy. There might be additional time spent, then, forgiving myself for all of this inner dialogue in an attempt to stave off self-loathing. Lastly, I will reluctantly congratulate myself on noticing all of this.

So, yeah, obviously, it’s really simple. Pssh.

After much deliberation, I’m pretty fucking happy.

But make sure to feel guilty, angry, doubtful, and worried about it first.


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Genes vs. Jeans