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I‘m still here, in happiness. Or whatever you call it. It is quite unfamiliar territory I must say. The last time that I had such a sustained period of happiness I was training for an Ironman triathlon. I wouldn’t even say that was happiness, more that I just had so little energy all of the time, that zero emotion, positive or negative, could escape my very being.
I feel like I’ve found this place by accident. I’ve lived in this body for 28 years now and for whatever reason I never noticed that big wardrobe in the corner of my mind before. Not only did I not see this metaphorical wardrobe I didn’t notice that I’d walked into it*. Suddenly I am in Narnia, a kind of happiness Narnia.
I’m yet to make friends with a lion, although I would say a friendly lion is an apt metaphor for anxiety. Sitting patiently and quietly beside me, but both I and it know it could rip my face off at any moment. It hasn’t though, my face is intact. So here I am just wandering around this new world in all it’s majesty. I should also say I haven’t met an evil witch called
Tilda Swinton Jadis.
Lions and witches – and wardrobes for that matter were never my thing growing up, they fell into the realms of goblins and wizards. Not my bag. This wasn’t because I was sitting around reading Kafka and Jane Austin, in fact it was because I was never much of a reader at all. I despised it. I was more of a ‘Generation Game’ kid. Or a only-watches-TV-exclusively-all-day-and-all-the-time kid. Surprisingly, this would hamper me in school, especially when we had to read something.
I was 10, and I was doing my English SATs (Seriously Awful Tests) and we were given a booklet, and an answer booklet. The teacher told us the rules and started her watch, then she said ‘you may now open page 1’, So off I went, delving into the world of English literature. It was strange though, as there were really detailed questions and they were asking a lot, but there wasn’t a lot of relevant information in the text to go on. I wasn’t much of a reader so I didn’t want to make a fuss and ask. I just assumed that this is probably what books for 10 year olds are like – steeped in metaphor and deep meaning.
After the test I spoke with my friends of how difficult it was, but they seemed to know so much more detail than I, and I couldn’t quite figure out how. Turns out the teacher meant open page 1, and all of the other pages as well. So that means I did my full English literature exam based on a 1 paragraph synopsis – which I actually think deserves a certain amount of credit and respect. My teachers didn’t share that view.
Part of me wishes I’d actually seen or read The Lion, Witch and The Wardrobe, as I suspect this metaphorical dance between happiness, depression and anxiety has legs. Unfortunately for you and for me, the first paragraph of Wikipedia only gave me those details. Details, which you could have probably surmised from the title. Which means 17 years after learning this exact lesson, I have done precisely nothing about it.
*This is a not completely obviously reference to The Lion, Witch and The Wardrobe.