Monday, June 17, 2013

H is for Happy

I read quite a few blogs and I’ve found a very obvious similarity amongst many of the writers: they suffer from depression. Often, horrible, debilitating depression that leaves them lying on the couch for days, unshowered and unfed. And I totally feel for them.

I was depressed once. I was at work one day and suddenly I started crying and I couldn’t stop. People kept asking what was wrong and I’d sob, “I don’t know.” Work sent me home and X kept asking what was wrong and was it anything he’d done and I snapped at him with “why does it always have to be about you?” which was totally unfair but I really just wanted him to shut the hell up. And I cried and cried and cried for weeks and weeks.

Eventually, X convinced me to go to the doctor and she told me I was depressed and gave me some drugs. I took the drugs and went from crying to nothing. I felt nothing. I would watch ER (that’s how long ago this was), a show that demanded some feeling, but I’d feel nothing. Friends would tell me of their recent engagement or pregnancy and I’d feel nothing. I’d hear of other friends being in the hospital with spreading cancer and I’d feel nothing. It was awful; I’d take the crying compared to that anytime. So back to the doctor where she changed the prescription and it worked. I went off it when I got pregnant a few months later and since then I’ve been fine.

Some pretty crappy stuff has happened since then and I’ve totally felt unhappy and helpless but I know there’s a reason for these feelings and it’s not random like it was before. So, I feel for those bloggers and those friends that suffer from depression…

And sometimes I feel guilty (maybe guilty is not the right word, but it's a complicated feeling whatever it is) because it’s unfair that these people can’t feel all the happiness and peace that I feel. I’m not judging or saying you’re doing it wrong, I’m just talking about my own experience.

I made a conscious decision a couple of years ago to actually feel joy. I used to, in times of happiness, start preparing myself for whatever bad thing I knew was coming. I’d try not to put my joy into words for fear of jinxing it and I’d catalogue all the horrible things that were bound to happen and start feeling those feelings so I wouldn’t be shocked later on.

Bad things are going to happen. There are going to be deaths and divorces and kids doing stupid things and toe-stubbings. And when I hear of those things or experience them for myself, I’ll have all kinds of feelings regarding them, but right now I feel happy. I love my life. I love my kids and my friends and my job and all the people and things and places I surround myself with. I have clothing and shelter and (far too much) food and enough of all Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on every level of the pyramid. I’m good.
I'm not afraid of "jinxing" how great my life is right now because I know that it can't stay like this forever. Eventually, some unhappy thing is going to happen, and I hope I handle it with strength and grace, but until then I'm enjoying the crap out of my joy. So I’m going to feel happy and peace and hope that all those depressed bloggers and friends are able to someday get to this place.

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