I spend a lot of time in these posts looking at who I used to be, or how I am not yet who I want to be.

In this post, I want to look at who I’m not anymore, and good changes that have taken place in my life. I have a lot of things I’ve worked to change outwardly–learning how to take care of a house, for instance. But there are intangible changes too, changes that are caused by the other changes. These are a few of them.

I am not depressed.

Depression, as a general rule, is not something you can just “get over.” I never had a regular kind of depression, though, but rather, a kind that basically is ever-present under the surface but doesn’t usually interfere with daily life. If left untreated, however, it can flare up and start to act like “regular” depression. And for many years, mine was untreated.

But after finally being treated with counseling and being given tools to use when I start to feel like that, the depression is gone. Oh, I have rough days, still. I have down days. I have days where I sit and berate myself. But I honestly do not have the regular depression there. I was under the impression that it would become under control but not ever actually go away. I don’t know if it’s from hormonal changes from pregnancies and such, or what, but praise God, it’s gone!

I do not constantly feel out of phase with those around me.

I hardly remember times in my life when I didn’t feel like I was just slightly off from everyone around me. Not in an I’m-different-and-that’s-okay sort of way. More in a there’s-some-joke-or-something-and-I’m-missing-it sort of way. I think there’s a way in which a lot of people–especially teenagers–feel like that. Growing up is awkward and it’s easy to feel like everyone else “gets it” and you don’t.

But there’s the way that most people feel–watching their peers and trying to gauge their own reactions to how they think their peers want or expect them to act. And then there’s the way that someone feels when they know that things just aren’t right at home. Simple things, things like walking down the hallway at school or sitting in class listening to a lecture, become burdensome. You are filled with a sense that everyone around you is walking in a parallel reality, that though they can see you and interact with you they are from a world that has entirely different laws governing it. You might as well be walking through a reality where the very laws of physics are different, and your very ability to perceive the reality at all requires seeing it through a haze, though you know the natural citizens of the place see everything with perfect clarity. And though people never (or rarely) let on, you just know that they can all see that you’re from a different place, that everything about you is entirely alien to them.

But I don’t feel like that anymore. Though I have times that I feel like I’m attached to my parents’ house with a chain that can never be broken, overall I feel as though I’ve found my place in this reality.

I do not have to tell everyone everything.

This one is huge for me. I can’t express how big a deal it has always been to me to talk to people. Maybe it was a matter of looking to be loved, not by anyone, but by everyone. To know they all cared. Maybe it was a matter of looking for the right solution, the person I could talk to who would magically make it all disappear. Maybe it was simply that I was so weighed down by everything that I couldn’t figure out how to hold it back and it all spilled over. Honestly, I think it was all that and maybe a little more.

But I don’t need that anymore. I can’t say precisely why. Probably also for several reasons. But regardless of why, the fact is, I don’t have to talk to everyone about all my problems–repeatedly–anymore.

Oh, I still talk to people. I love to talk to people! About all kinds of things. When I have a problem, it definitely still helps me to talk to someone, and sometimes even to a couple of people to get some different points of view. But I certainly don’t have to tell everyone everything.

 

Those are just a few things that have changed. But they’re ones I’ve been noticing a lot lately as I take stock of my life as it is right now, and remember my life as it was 15, 10, even just 5 years ago. Actually, in some case, even just a year or two. And I’m praising God for those changes!

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