Of all things to write about, here I am writing about happiness again. The pursuit of happiness, entitlement to happiness and the absence of happiness, struggling to understand happiness. The reason is that I remember this young woman I used to know that not long ago who experienced a complete loss of happiness. She reached the point where she was so depressed she found it hard to get out or even get up and do anything. That includes eat, clean, etc. Her father had died a little while ago and she felt lost in financial worries, unemployment and responsibility for her mother. She also felt alone and helpless. People who knew her tried to help her, talk to her, get to her a doctor, get her a job. They tried to get her up and out of the house, offered to come in and clean. I was part of the team willing to clean and sort out her papers. Lord do I know about a life spent trying to sort out scattered papers. But we couldn’t. She refused the help saying she was ashamed and people didn’t feel that they could force themselves into her house to help her.
The scary thing about her situation was how relatable to me it seemed. How easily one could slip into that state of mind with no one to catch you. At that time and I silently thanked God for my pushy family in front of whom I simply could not break down. My strict Mom who would not tolerate sleeping in all day or a dirty house. So I would vacuum while she scrubbed and the place would be clean.
I read an article somewhere that many women are unnecessarily cruel to themselves in terms of what they say to themselves in their heads. In order to see how hard you are on yourself, check and see if you would say the same things to somebody else, a friend or a sister. In my case, I found out that I wouldn’t say many of these things to another human being let alone to a friend or sister. And here I am thinking these things to myself. How ridiculous.
Things have been pretty good for a while now. I believe it when people say that happiness is a muscle you have to practise using. I had a bad day within a week of coming back from Geneva and I was worried, thinking that I could not keep up my spirits despite recently having had my batteries recharged. It was the same old thoughts of feeling useless, cut off from family and friends and struggling to fit in that plagued me. But the 2nd time I started my day full of frustrations, I was actually able to move beyond it. I actually turned a day around because I didn’t want to ruin HD’s, and that showed me that I do have a certain power.
I can’t always be happy and upbeat and I’m not going to like everything in my life, but I don’t have to be useless when there’s so much to be done and I certainly don’t have to ruin someone else’s day. No matter how much I would rather have work to go to right now and derive a sense of satisfaction out of that, there is always something for me to do to occupy myself. Last month I actually made a collage. Yes that is amazing for me, I literally got myself out of a funk by cutting and pasting pictures from a magazine on to paper. Feeling like an artistic genius with no one to judge you is awesome.
So I guess those recent bluesy days just happened because I was adjusting to life back here and not because I am slipping down the well of despair. Yay!