Happy Being Me

For some people happiness seems to come easy. You may know or have met one of these types; they’re almost always smiling and upbeat, and have a positive outlook on life.  However, there are also those, who through no fault of their own, are quite the opposite. They feel little happiness in life and may even battle depression.

Recent or passed tragedies can play a big role in taking away someones happiness in life.  And chemical imbalances in the brain can cause a state of deep sadness and hopelessness so great that some people need professional help to overcome the depression they feel.

Then there are those, like me for example, who sometimes have to work a little harder than others to be happy.

Although I know it can be natural to experience ups and downs in our emotions— how else would we discern between happy and sad? Some mornings I wake up feeling down, even though I was in a great mood the day before.

My reasons may be different from others for why this is.  I’m currently not as fulfilled in life as I have been in the past because I haven’t reached some of the goals I set, including helping a greater number of people. However, the important thing is that I know what I need to do for my happiness to return.

I remind myself of what I’ve accomplished so far in life, listen to songs that raise my spirits, and read things that inspire me to keep moving forward on the path of spiritual growth I started when I first got sober. Then sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, my happiness returns.

Fortunately, even though I may not always be the best person I’m capable of being—lord knows I’m not perfect. I have learned to love myself.  When we love ourselves, it means we’re happy with who we are, which makes it easier to be happy in life.

Especially on days when we have to work at it.

 

 

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My Impression Of Depression

In an earlier post called “Depression Ain’t It A Bitch,” I wrote about my experience with a minor depression I went through. However, I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject. I just love people and hold those suffering from depression near and dear to my heart.

Millions of people suffer from depression, and sadly, some come to see suicide as the only option to rid themselves of the emotional pain they feel. People with depression often have feelings of worthlessness or guilt, feel hopeless, sad and empty, and have an inability to experience pleasure.

Although I have seen what hope can do in people’s lives, including my own, I can certainly to understand how overcoming depression can seem an impossible task for some.

Again I’m certainly not an expert on depression; I only know what I’ve read about it. But I learned that fighting any shame we feel and seeking professional help are key factors in overcoming depression.

Of course medication can be necessary, and new research shows great promise that through science and medicine, a cure can be found for this debilitating, and some times, deadly illness.

Go to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for more information. Thank you.

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Depression, Ain’t It A Bitch?

Don’t take the title of this post as a joke about depression; I know there are varying levels of depression with some so severe that it can result in suicide. I also know when I went through a mild depression early in my sobriety, all I wanted was for the way I was feeling to end.

I actually began to understand why some people commit suicide. I wasn’t suicidal myself, but I desperately wanted the deep sadness and dread I felt to end. I would have taken medication if necessary, but I was fortunate to talk to a therapist and they helped me believe I could be OK on my own.

I do know, however, that some people need help through therapy and medication, and I wish more people would seek support.

Through my bout with depression, I had the fortune of not only talking with a therapist, but also receiving support in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. It helped to hear how others with more severe problems than me dealt with depression and were still able to get through it. They also said how they learned to recognize warning signs of depression and became better at combating the sometimes debilitating emotions that come with it. Some even said they were eventually able to reduce any medications they were on, or stop using them all together.

There are many factors involved in depression, and I want to make it clear that some people need medication to help them because of their brain chemistry. However, studies show that along with medication, when people get professional help and talk to others who have problems with depression, they stand a better chance of recovering from it. Click on National Institute of Mental Health for information on depression.

As I said, I was fortunate because of the many people who helped me, but I also prayed for help.  Maybe just the act of praying and accepting help from others did the trick, but this period in my life would actually reinforce my growing hope that something created life and the universe for a reason. It certainly taught me to never be afraid to get help from any source possible when I need it.

 

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