This winter I have been obliged to think about what lifts my spirits. I struggle a lot with depression, especially in the cold, grey months of the year and especially when my body is unwell. There’s been a lot of that lately. I’ve come to the conclusion that while there are no 100% reliable magic bullets for anything, excitement is about as close as it gets.
Excitement is apathy’s natural predator. It also deals with invasive problems like despair and disenchantment. When there is excitement there is often also hope, activity and room for joy. Having things to be excited about can pull me out of terrible headspaces.
There is, in here somewhere, an excitable inner child. It’s complicated. Like most younger humans I had a fair capacity for throwing myself wholeheartedly at things. Excitement is also something I remember getting told off for, a lot. On the grounds that I would end up in tears if I got too excited, or would make myself sick, or wouldn’t be able to sleep.
There was a night at an event last year when I was so excited about so many things that I really couldn’t sleep and just lay there being excited. That wasn’t really a problem. And yes, sometimes if I get really emotional I cry, and that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with crying. As for the throwing up – I don’t think that ever really happened and it’s a risk I’m prepared to take.
I need that inner child excitement, unfettered by anyone else’s beliefs and expectations. I need the people who make me feel excited. I need to do things I can feel excited about. Perhaps most importantly, I need the space to be someone I can feel excited about. I need to squeal and roll around with pure delight. I need to be so excited that I can’t actually sleep. I always did.
For me, that particular emotion is not only powerful but is the foundation for most of my other positive feelings. An absence of excitement will leach the joy and hope out of me. I’m now trying to work out what I can do on my own to cultivate more excitement in myself, and who I can collaborate with to create more excitement generally.