Are You Happy?

That is a question I’ve been getting a lot these past few months now. Are you really happy? I honestly think that question itself is so damn complex sometimes. I think about it long and hard now when someone asks me. Before the go to response was always yes. I wasn’t for a long time, but I didn’t want to bother people with my issues and it is such a simple answer to a simple question.

When my wife left me for another man, I had a weird mix of emotions. Anger, betrayal, doubt and so many others things clouded my head, but in that was happiness. I had known from the start it was heading that way before she announced she wanted a divorce and to finally just see it in front of me felt like a sigh of relief. We can find what we call happiness in a lot places.

We all look at things differently and get our pleasure from different aspects of life. One thing you find disgusting or childish I could find enjoyable and vice versa. We crave happiness. We do everything we can to try to grab it and we never want to let it go. But I realized happiness, again, is complicated. Just because something feels good or you feel you are doing the right thing doesn’t mean you are actually happy. We are told you need this or that to be happy, but aren’t we all different? People assume what will make us happy before evening asking us who we are.

I’ve decided to stop chasing happiness. I decided to just be. I chased it for so long and when I grabbed it I realized the “happiness” I wanted wasn’t real. I sacrificed what my true happiness was because of it. The worst feeling of all is I thought someone loved me and it turned out they didn’t. They thought the worst of me and might not have actually loved me at all. I thought I wanted to make everyone believe I was happy. However, I just need to be me. I need to stop chasing and just be.

A brand new door just opened in my life. It was never there before and now I have to stare at it wondering what I want to do next. A year ago I wouldn’t open it. I would pretend it wasn’t there. Now I’m more confident. I want to run through it, but will I find my happiness in it? Will it hurt me by giving me a life lesson? I don’t know, but why just stare at a door when the whole purpose of it is for it be opened?

Facing My Depression

“Why don’t you stop being depressed?” “What do you have to be sad about?” These are common things I hear from people when they find out that I have depression. They think there is a certain thing that has happened to me that can be “fixed,” but there is a small problem with depression, sometimes it can’t be repaired. There isn’t a light switch in my head that I can flip at any given moment to make this just go away.

There are different disorders for depression with a lot of symptoms, like, a lot, a lot. Yeah, sometimes your dog dies and you feel a little blue for a few months, and other times it’s been with you your whole life. Some women get perinatal depression, or postpartum depression, a serious issue after giving birth. Bipolar disorder is a form of depression because of the extreme switching of mood changes. It is considered one of the most common mental disorders, and a lot of it has to do with your genetics, and can happen at any age.

If there is one word I could use to help people understand what I feel, it would be hopelessness. I’ve had that feeling for as long as I can remember. I’ve never felt I deserved happiness. Even as a child I thought there was no point in striving to better myself as a person. I felt the world looked at me as something pathetic and not worth putting any time into. My personal accomplishments, marriage, my children; they were all something I felt I should never have, and I didn’t deserve, because something in the back of my mind would remind me daily of how horrible I am.

Telling yourself that you’ll never amount to anything, and you’ll always be unhappy, doesn’t really matter much to you after a while. Even people I disliked couldn’t penetrate my shell. However, when friends see this in you and tell you it, it hurts. When someone you love says these things about you it is beyond painful. I’ve put myself in a hole so many times and each time I’ve found myself back in it. When the people you love the most see you as the failure you think you are, the pit of despair is bottomless.

I did an excellent job of masking my issues. People had no idea there was even a problem. Comedians do an exceptional job at hiding their pain. For example, they make people relive their personal secrets in a comedic approach. All of my favorite comedians have dark senses of humor, and there is, of course, a reason for that. It helps them cope, and in return it helps us as well. When you can’t get the help you need sooner or later it will engulf you and tear you apart.

It was around a year ago when I started to really notice how much I was falling apart. I knew I was in trouble, and I knew my marriage was failing. People don’t understand how hard it is to ask for help or to even admit you need help, especially when it comes to something that exposes your own weaknesses. You don’t want people to look at you differently, and you’re afraid because of that you’ll lose them.

That was my biggest issue. I was afraid. Instead, I lost everything because I didn’t ask for help. If people truly love you, if they really value your friendship, they aren’t going to turn you away. Because of this I lost one of the most important people in my life. When she left me it put me back in the hole I was trying to crawl out of. I didn’t think I would get out, so I attempted suicide. I was lucky to fail in that attempt, which I will write about later, and to push even harder to make myself a better person. These last seven months I pushed so hard for myself and my children. I know my ex doesn’t want anything to do with me now but, while that hurts, I know I can still be happy.

It is still there though. This thing is a part of me. It will never go away. There are moments where I should be nothing but happy, but I can feel it crawling back to the forefront of my mind, a whisper almost trying to remind me that I shouldn’t be happy. I can’t go back to that. If I do, I’m not coming back and I don’t want that at all. I have the tools now and I have the willpower to finally push it back.

If you know someone is depressed, the best way you can help them is to approach the issue, not dance around it. I was hiding my issues the best way I could and it ruined many relationships. There are so many vices we can succumb to in order to hide away our problems. Don’t let that happen to them. The best thing you can do is face it and show your support.