Last Friday night I had fun for the first time in the ten months, one week and one day since my marriage ended. There have been moments with dear friends in that time when I have laughed but the hollow sound of it only reminded me how deeply unhappy I was. Friday night, the laughter filled me up – right down to my toes and lapping around my heart. I felt it rather than heard it.

I asked myself, as I lay catatonic on the sofa next day with a banging red wine headache if, in fact, the fun had been because of the delicious cherry/berry/peppery red and the divine food. It wasn't. No matter how heady the mixture of good wine and food shared with intelligent people equipped with excellent dry wit – there had been a shift in me. A subtle yet significant shift. I could feel new life taking root at the edges of my empty shell. Deep inside my heart and soul the siren's wail waned and a silvery angel chorus – barely audible but definitely tuning up – trilled.

Human beings need company, contact, and when lives have been turned upside down and inside out then trampled on just to ensure they're completely devastated, finding happy again is unimaginable.

There are those that say happiness is a choice. (My absent husband for one.) Decide to be happy and you will be. For them perhaps that's true. After the last ten months I wouldn't even begin to judge that belief or anything ever again. I've experienced an excess of judgement towards me since I found myself having to create a new life, teaching me it has no place in a kind, loving world. For which, among many other things, I am grateful. And in most, if not all, cases when we judge others, there is a finger pointing right back at ourselves.

For me, the daub of happiness brush-stroking my heart and stoking the cold ashes of grief into a tiny, smouldering flame of hope just happened. I didn't choose it.

Some have said that because I have largely come from a place throughout this ordeal of love and compassion, along with the oceans of tears I've cried, rather than bitterness and anger, happiness couldn't help but find me again. That I did choose it. Maybe that's true too. I haven't a clue about much anymore. Except that I loved feeling my shell being newly repainted in easy conversation and genuine laughter. And I want more of it.