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The One Who Sends Sunshine Through the Clouds of My Depression

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Everything’s been dark lately.

I don’t mean literally. I live in the tropics, and it’s the tail-end of summer right now. We get 12 hours of sunlight every day.

But wherever I go, whatever I do, there’s a shadow on everything. On praise from my manager. On jokes from my friends. On the taste of a perfectly grilled cheeseburger.

Every bit of joy is fleeting and shallow, achieving nothing more than a few seconds’ respite from the heavy emptiness. They last long enough for me to smile and pretend everything is alright. They boost me just long enough to say without a hint of weakness I can keep on going, keep on doing what I’ve been doing for the last few months.

Some days feel impossible. The rest are just difficult.

But then she smiles. She calls my name as I walk by. She stops to chat for five minutes — about the book I got her, or some new frozen yogurt place she wants to try.

And suddenly I am genuinely happy. The smile isn’t faked. The laughter isn’t forced. The next few hours are light and easy.

It isn’t just because she’s beautiful. It isn’t just because she doesn’t stop smiling.

Her hope is infectious. Her dreams are inspiring. Her optimism is uplifting. To her, things can only get better. And she makes me believe it, if only for a few hours.

She is my ray of sunshine in a time when there are clouds everywhere I turn.

Sometimes she is all that gets me through a day. And she doesn’t even realize it.

But she is my sunshine.

I pray you find yours as well.

Originally published: July 5, 2016
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