Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I Want To Be Happy?- The Journey To Happiness

"You just need to cheer up." "Why can't you just be happy?" "Try and be happier." "Don't be sad."

Argh!!! These sorts of phrases were the worst thing I could of heard while struggling with depression. It's not just other people either, I used to tell myself "I just want to be happy." But now I can look back I know I didn't want to be happy and I couldn't just become happy. This sounds negative but hear me out...

Depression is like being at zero, sometimes it feels subzero and happiness is like being at ten, it can even feel like it hits an 11. So how can I be a zero and go 0-10 just like that. It's like going from the start line to the finish line without running the race. As much as I thought I wanted to be happy, I didn't. As much as people thought I needed to be happy, I didn't. What I needed was to work my way up to happy.

At first I needed to feel something. Anything! I needed to be overwhelmed so that I knew my feelings were coming back to me. I needed to feel frightened to give me some fight. I had to feel pain to understand why I'd been at zero. It's sounds so strange but in the beginning I'd have given anything to feel sad. This is why I find it so hurtful when people associate depression with being sad. Sad would have been such an achievement and made sense to me, as I know that feeling. Sadness is a natural feeling and not a mental illness.

After reaching this point of overwhelming and hurtful emotions, I then needed to feel hopeful and wanting, even angsty would work. Something that made me understand that I needed to feel better than I am and fight for it. This would help me to be accepting of how I felt and know that I can be so much more than these feelings. They were not going to take me over and I could do this.

Once this determination and desire for emotional wellness kicks in I would shortly have a neutral feeling. Feeling calmer and more relaxed. Feeling a little more in control. Feeling stable. It's already been a long journey to get to a calm place but each of these steps were needed. 

Once I am neutral I am balanced. I am at a point where I am more in control of tipping the balance up or down. I feel easier about myself. I have reached an understanding and I am so grateful to be at this point. This point would be enough for me. It's almost blissful after the previous stages. It's a holiday for the mind. This is starting to feel like happiness.

I then begin to feel content and carefree as I am in charge of me and my emotions. I have ups and downs but know they are not as far down as I was. I am grateful and relaxed. Then and only then do I have the ability to feel true happiness.

So when someone is depressed remember we cannot "just be happy" and we don't need to "be happy". We need to feel something. We need to feel all emotions and relearn them. We have felt numbness of emotion in a way that made all emotions foreign to us. We have been overwhelmed by emotion and had to learn to control them again. We need to feel. Then we need to be OK. We need to take our time and work our way up, sometimes falling backwards several times, sometimes hitting zero harder than before but we need to journey. We can't be rushed or forced. We can't "just be happy" but we will get there.

Much love,
Becky xx


Steven Williams said...

Excellent way to look at it. I feels like a hopeless journey to try to go from numb to happy.

Becky said...

thank you. Whenever anyone told me I needed to be happy if felt like someone telling me I needed to be a billionaire. it was too unachieveable to be helpful at that time xx