Last night my friend and I went to one of my favorite restaurants in Orlando, Jiko – The Cooking Place. It’s located inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and has African influences throughout the restaurant. The restaurant’s serene quiet atmosphere always leads to a wonderful yet emotional evening.
For reasons beyond my understanding, my dinners at Jiko always lead to deep conversations. The topics can be about me or my dining companions, but they are always much deeper than the normal dinner chit chat. Last night’s discussion dealt with my fear of being happy, and things got intense.
Yes, I have a fear of being happy, cherophobia. It isn’t clear to me if this phobia developed as a result of the accident or if it is guilt from surviving the accident. Regardless, I can count on more than 2 hands the number of times that I told myself to restrain my happy because it could lead to something bad happening. A small rational part of me knows that the world does not work like that. My happiness does not lead to a bad event happening in my life or someone else’s life. It’s not a simple give and take equation. And yet, I believe it. My friend asked me to try to allow myself to be happy and to stop putting myself down, so I’m going to work on it. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Photo credit: The pictures of the animals were taken my friend, Sawyer Stroud, who I enjoyed last night’s dinner and many other wonderful evenings at Jiko.