I’ve been thinking so hard about happiness. What makes it, why we want it. Why we want other people to be it. How it is pounded into our heads relentlessly: “Must be happy, must be happy, must be happy.” Then I read this brilliant book called Introvert Power and I loosened my grip some.

Like, a LOT.

I am a naturally medium jubilant sort of gal. I am generally pretty happy, but also quite introspective and thoughtful. I like to soul search. I like to listen to other people search their own souls. I’m a hand holder. An encourager. A truth teller. I like to cry, to listen to sad songs over and over. I’m not afraid of sad anymore. Some of these are old me, some are new me that is really old me but had been drunk for twenty years and got forgotten.

But what I really have been thinking about is maybe not so much the happiness, but the need to be it. The need of other people for you and me to be it. All the time. Chin up. Don’t be so down. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Stop being sad. Don’t dwell. Turn that frown upside down. Be better. Be better. Be better.

I am better, y’know? I’m not drunk out on my porch two to five nights a week. I’m better.

I also get super sad. Really down deep into the me of it all. I have all this alcoholism and depression and bipolar shit winding it’s way through my genes like a relentless crazy plague. But I like to think about it. I like to feel the feeling of being search-y and looking and not afraid to shine the light right there on all that ugly shit.

I saw my therapist one on one two weeks ago. We talked about some very very very hard things that sucked so much to say out loud. So much that it makes me cry writing about it now. But again in that grateful way that makes it almost over. I said it out loud which means I’m not keeping secrets. Not anymore.

Because I said some of it out loud and I didn’t die. And she didn’t tell me to get out, or laugh. She held me while I cried and stroked my hair and suddenly I was safe. Safer than I’d been since I was fifteen and buried myself where no one could hurt me again.

So maybe I’m not happy every day. Maybe just not. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not OK.

I’m more OK than I have ever ever been all grown up. More right with myself than I’ve been since I was five and got a little forgotten about. Strong enough to say hard things and to trust people with my secrets. Safe enough to be happy when I know it, and OK with just regular Saturdays.