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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Recognizing and Accepting Happiness

It’s easy to forget what happiness feels like. When you’ve been living with Depression for so long (over 10 years for me now), you quickly forget how it feels. When it does happen, it feels foreign. It confuses you. You actually spend a great deal of time trying to figure out what this feeling is called. And then it dawns on you. This is what it feels like to be happy.

A few months ago, I had two really awesome days in a row, and I realized how long it had been since that had happened. I tend to let myself get so caught up in day to day life - stress from work, an immune deficient dog, an immune deficient partner, wondering if we will ever be able to buy a house… I forgot what it was like to just enjoy my life. But then, for no reason at all, I felt content. I felt happy.

I think that for so long, for so very long, I didn’t feel real. I was miserable, constantly, every second of every day. I didn’t know what it was like to be happy, to be content. All I knew was pain and emptiness. I had been low for so long, I forgot what it was like to just feel “normal” (which is, of course, a very subjective term).

This realization was difficult to accept. How can someone forget what happiness feels like? Depression is how. While Depression is much more than just feeling sad, it is still (essentially) the opposite of happiness. In the worst of my Depression, I was perpetually unhappy. This went on for hours, days, weeks, months, years. It’s no wonder I forgot what happiness felt like – I was living in a world of never-ending sadness.

Now that I have come this far in my recovery (with a hell of a lot farther to go), I have finally remembered what it feels like to be happy and content. Do I feel that way all day, every day? No. But that’s ok. And I am extremely grateful to now be able to experience happiness and to recognize it when it happens.

How do you know when you're feeling happy?

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1 comment:

  1. Glad you have made this step and hope you keep making them even if little by little.