The Pursuit of Happiness


I think my new meds are working.  Maybe it’s part placebo.  I don’t care.  As long as I feel better.

I haven’t cried in a long time, even if that means a little over a week.  When you’re crying several times a day every day, a little over a week without crying is a long time.

I know that part of my depression is biological – and I can feel it when I’m in a deep, dark depression.  And there’s nothing I can do about it.  But once I come out of the worst of it, and I can at least function, I’m better able to see that things can possibly get better.
So now that I’m in a much better place than I was a few weeks ago, I’m trying to hold on to it.  I’m starting to read a lot of positive psychology books and have a better outlook.  While I know I can’t “snap out of it” when I’m in an awful depression, I know I can work on myself when I’m not in the throes of the darkest days.

One of the things I’ve been trying to do is weed all of the negativity out of my life…I want to surround myself with positive people, not people who are always bringing me down or focusing on the negative.  While I can attempt to do that as much as possible, I know it’s not realistic to not encounter negativity…so I’m working on how I react to it.  I’m trying to build a positivity force field around myself and let all the negativity I encounter just bounce off it.

There are certain things about my life that I can’t change…at least right now.  I’m not exactly thrilled with where I live…I keep telling myself it’s temporary; even if we don’t move to a different town, at least a different house.  And in the meantime I’m trying to focus on all the good things I have, not what I don’t have.

I’m also trying to stay busy, which keeps me more positive and gives me less time to think negatively.  I’ve been going on bike rides every day, playing with the kids outside or inside, going to the library.  (We will not be getting a membership to the pool, as public pools are simply giant toilets with band-aids floating in them – I’m thinking of getting a small pool for the yard, though.)  While this area doesn’t have much to offer, I’m trying to take advantage of everything it does have.  It’s not easy!

I’m starting to see that, at least for me, being happy is as big of a challenge as staying married.  It’s something I have to work at diligently…before I got married, I was so naïve and thought it was just about hanging out with the person you love every day.  HA!  At the same time, I thought happy people were just naturally happy, and I wasn’t one of them.  While maybe I do have a darker side, I’m starting to think I can work on my level of happiness the same way I can work on my marriage.  Instead of focusing on the little things he does that annoy me, I try to focus on the bigger picture and how wonderful he really is…and realize I do things to annoy him, too…and it would be this way with any couple.  So in an effort to become happier, I’m trying to focus on little things, and big things, that make me happy…and trying to forget about the things that annoy or upset me.

I’m focusing on the tree in our yard that I like…on the taste of popsicles…on the funny things my kids say and do…on the fact that Andy kisses me every morning before he leaves for work…on music…on the way bike rides make me feel…on how fun it is to hang out with good friends…on the fact that we’re all healthy (well, mostly…mentally I’m not sure that I’ll ever be considered “healthy”)…

It just depends on how you look at…everything.
It’ll be a lifelong process, but I know if I keep working at it, I can become and continue to be a happy person.  Of course, there will be setbacks – I’m still a realist – but just like with marriage, the setbacks make you stronger.