I was having some really hard days when I wrote this. I was crying, depressed, anxious. And I wanted out. So I decided to take control of my happiness. And here is that story.
I’ve been having more days than not lately where I feel sad. More days than not where I am crying. I think about the life I cannot have right now, due to life circumstances, and I weep. I try, and fail, to make the best use of the single room I share with my husband. And I cry.
For me, this sadness is a warning that depression is coming. Dealing with this is draining. I have less and less energy for other things – the things that normally bring me happiness but now lack fulfillment for me. Hence why I have not been around as much lately.
It affects my husband too. He worries more about me. He takes time out of his day to comfort me. These things add to my feelings of guilt. And shame in some ways too.
Taking Back My Happiness
So, it has been four days straight of crying and increasing numbness to enjoyment.
And I have decided enough is enough. I have to make a change.
I’ve decided to be happy.
So, if I can’t be happy because I don’t have the space and the life I want right now, what will make me happy?
Things? I definitely can’t be spending money on non-necessities right now. And things only bring a temporary, fleeting kind of happiness.
My husband? I can’t depend on him for my happiness. That isn’t fair to either of us.
Me. The answer to what/who will make me happy is me.
So the question became not “What/who could make me happy?” but “How can I create my own happiness?”
This was an epiphany moment. I had heard advice that only one’s self could truly make one happy or that one could truly only depend on one’s self. And now I understand!
Some amount of emotion is reactionary. But at some point, I can make the decision to change. I can continue to be sad and at times apathetic, or I can choose to make myself happy.
In brainstorming and journaling, I came up with the following ways I could try to reclaim myself from the oncoming depression. Here is what I came up.
- Make the choice. (Completed!)
- Talk with a counselor. (Completed! Even MSWs need to see a counselor every once and a while too!)
- Helping others. (However, this partially depends on the willingness of others to be helped.)
- Reading books.
- Playing video games with my husband. (But I have to be careful with feelings of wasting time.)
- Meditation – maybe try five minute intervals throughout the day when feelings of sadness or apathy begin to pop up.
- Shower. Because, oh my gosh do I feel so much better and brighter after getting clean! And it can’t just be a quick in and out scrub down. This is relaxation and reflection time.
- Cleanse energy and give myself some reiki a couple times a week. Similar to feeling clean and bright after a shower, clearing my energy can leave me feeling clean and bright.
- Plug in a wax warmer and heat up some wonderful smelling melts.
- Decompress after work.
- Journal more often! Once every other night at least.
- Gratitude reflection. (Now the caveat here is that I need to be more honest and as I put it “don’t be cheap.” No cop-outs. Really truly feel the gratitude.)
And with the help of a counselor, I can also add exercise, eating healthy, getting restful sleep, and acknowledgement to my list.
What would be on your list? What things can you do to make yourself happy? Share them in a comment below!
Another way I attempted to take back control was to build a place where I could weather the extremes of life. Read more about that here.