So, I found this blog post that I wrote in 2011, but never published. I never published it because I am a pretty private person. But I decided to publish it now for two reasons….
1. it kind of goes along with my This is Everything contest. Taking a look at what you have in your life every day, and seeing the small moments of beauty.
2. I have come into contact with quite a few people that struggle with depression and anxiety in my life, some that are open about it, and some who are more private, like myself. Some of these people, by looking at them, you would have no idea they were dealing with anything like depression. I think it can only help people to have a world where the stigma for these kinds of things is gone. So, I will resist the urge to delete this immediately, in hopes that it may spark even one conversation.
I had to change the part about having two kids to having THREE kids. Who knew? But other than that, the words are the same as when I wrote them 4 years ago.
All of my life I have struggled with being happy. Wait…scratch that. I have struggled with maintaining happiness for any real amount of time. I would look around me, and see how so many people seemingly bounced through life, with a smile on their face, and a sunny outlook, and I was completely baffled. It seemed so foreign to me, as I dragged myself through many days, like a weary Eeyore, that had lost my tail once again. It troubled me to think that it wasn’t that there was something different about my life, as much as there was something different about me. That was disheartening. And so, I tried to make myself conform. Be happy, damn it! Life is great. You have three awesome kids, a safe place to live, a husband that loves you. Why are you not happy? Just be happy! I am sure you can imagine how well that worked. It took me a long time to comprehend the fact that I was just wired differently. A mix of depression and temperament mean I am not going to be the happy go lucky, glass half full, every dark cloud has a silver lining person. Ever. But that doesn’t mean that I can not be happy. It just means it may take me a little extra work to recognize and acknowledge the moments that I am. I see everything in pictures. My brain is nothing but piles and piles of snapshots. It is how I think and remember (which I suppose could explain why I was drawn to photography). Every once in awhile, I will take notice of a moment, and realize that I am smiling, and feel….dare I say it….happy. And I can’t help but wonder if they happen more often than I realize, and I just don’t stop to notice. And that if maybe, I could take each of those bright moments, and make sure to pay attention to them, I could connect together a string of happy moments, like beads……or twinkle lights. I mean, who doesn’t love twinkle lights? And, though I may not be constantly basking in a warm state of contentment, I can look back at the glow of the past moments, and know that there will be another one somewhere down the road. It’s a sparkling lifeline on days when I wake up with the familiar gray cloud hanging over me.
I have begun making a conscious effort to take notice of those moments, and grab real snapshots of them with my iphone when possible. I want to share a couple of my moments*…..and would really like to hear from you. What was the last little moment, that you felt that happy warm glow? Do you have a picture?
*Yes, one of my happy moments involves a sprinkly doughnut. Don’t judge, doughnuts are delicious. They are cake that you can hold in your hand. Come on.