If you went back in time 6 years you'd find that I had a general sadness about me. It wasn't pervasive and all-encompassing, but it was clearly there. The reason was plain; my family had broken up. The Smoosh (as that incarnation was called): redheadlass, femetal, and zensidhe, and I, had recently parted ways and gone back to the original two couples we'd been, and even though we parted on friendly terms and even though we were still socializing together it was a huge blow. My family and my relationships are parts of my self identity, and to suddenly lose half of my family was terrible. Additionally, I sincerely (and foolishly) worried that my time as an actively polyamorous person was over. And as a bonus, my work schedule was, to put it nicely, problematic.
So if you went back 6 years and told me about where I am today - not the circumstances that lead up to it but instead just the situation, with the four of us back together, happier & closer together in a much more stable relationship, and the fundamental problems that had plagued the Smoosh well behind us - I would be dumbstruck and elated. Back together? Intractable problems solved? Even my work situation fixed? Fantasy!
And yet that's where I find myself now; in a situation that not long ago would've been the absolute best case scenario. I love my family dearly, and appreciate them more than I know how to fully convey. These are three people who I know will go to the mat for me because they've done so when I needed it most. They've carried me through the darkest times of my life and shown nothing but love, patience, and true compassion. I love the more stable configuration where everyone is closer, happy to be with each other, and there are no swords are hanging over anyone's head. It just works. While it may look much the same from the outside, from the inside it's built on such an improved foundation that the name change from the Smoosh to the Horde is really necessary. (I'm ignoring for the moment the recent changes in me personally, since that's a bit off topic.)
So why then am I having such a hard time finding joy? Why am I on medication and in therapy? Why do I cry at random, why does my hand twitch and shake, why have I gotten exactly one full night of sleep in 3 1/2 months, and why does a sense of sadness and loss color every aspect of my life? Because I once again have had half of my heart ripped away, and even the strongest heart can't sustain you when half of it is missing.
My current situation would be heaven if I'd jumped straight to it from where I was six years ago, but that's not how it happened. Life is vectors, not static values, and in the last year (and in particular the last 4 months) my vectors have involved so much deep loss that it's crippling.
I was recently clued into a useful metaphor about turtles. A turtle kept in a small habitat will stay small, and will happily live its life adjusted to its environs. If it moves into a bigger environment it'll grow to suit its new home. The problem is that if you then move it back to the smaller habitat, it dies.
I'm happy to report that I have no intention of dying, but I don't know what to do about this hole, and at the same time there's a sense of guilt over my seeming inability to feel truly happy and complete in a situation that would be the envy of so many - including earlier me.
Somehow, knowing that it's all a matter of perspective and therefore literally all in my head doesn't make it any easier.