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happiness

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"I'll Never Be Happy Again."

Have you ever thought to yourself I'll never be happy again?

Did you accept your situation and regardless continue to work at the job you hated, stay in the marriage that became a prison, do nothing to change  the body you couldn't bear to look at?  Maybe you lost a loved one and felt that a piece of yourself died with them and didn't come back.

After months and years and more years of living in this way,we forget what happiness is altogether, and then we can no longer imagine it.  And if we can't imagine a thing, we can't attain it.

I remember a time when I had given up on happiness so completely that I was convinced happy people were faking it!  I used to think they are full of shit, why are they over there laughing, wtf? Nobody is THAT happy!

After my son was born I was miserable.  Not for lack of loving him or gratitude for my beautiful child, but because I felt so horrible in my body and mind. I had no idea how I was going to get through most days.  I would literally ask myself how am I going to get through this day?  I don't know how I did it, but I know I was very unhappy.

It's not the kind of unhappiness most people can notice in you, where you are happy today and then suddenly tomorrow you don't get out of bed.  It's a gradual overcast, a cumulative effect of dragging days, subtle losses, and little disappearing joys.  You don't even notice you are there, losing bits of yourself, until it is almost all the way gone.  And many of the people this happens to never really notice.  We have all met someone like this.

I spent the first two years of my my son's life just surviving, barely keeping my nose above the water line.  I knew it was postpartum depression deep down but I was scared out of my mind to take medicine or seek help from a doctor, (Iatrophobia, the fear of doctors, a not-so-pleasant after-effect of my Christian Science upbringing) so I tried yoga, meditation, acupuncture, cranio-sacral, St. John's Wort, talk therapy, walking, jazzercise, skin brushing...you name it, I tried it.  I would feel a tad better for a little while and hope that I had found the answer but then the crushing defeat always returned.

Years passed while I tried to claw my way out of that hole.  Knowing as I did that my children deserved to see their mother happy, to feel the warmth of my true joy, I fought for it even though I truly doubted I would ever win.   I fought hardest to maintain my faith that happiness and joy were my birthright, and that I would one day own them again.

It has been almost six years since I was officially diagnosed with PPD.

I can honestly say today that I have never been happier.

So how did I get from misery to happiness?  Was it an epiphany?  A revelation?  Did I find Jesus or develop a drug habit?

Daily vigilance.  Leaping into the unknown of divorce.  Following bliss and remembering how to have fun.  Doing it anyway, even if I was too tired or too down or too broke.

Some battles don't have a clear beginning or end.  My battle with depression and unhappiness felt like a lifetime in the trenches of some far off field.  The most important thing is, never ever give up.  Never stop fighting for happiness and health.

I promise, you will be happy again. 

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As if Noone is Watching

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/18446531 w=400&h=225]

Girl Walk // All Day from jacob krupnick on Vimeo.

Have you ever lived a period of your life in which you remained trapped in a certain mindframe or paradigm that didn't serve you?  You were doing everything you were supposed to do yet still you were unhappy?  Do you know how long  it took you to break free?

We can become prisoners of our own reality, prisoners of our own misconceptions about what life is and should be.  We make assumptions and take conventions as truth rather than following our heart's call to what we truly want.  The heart sings a song and we don't listen because our mind will not budge from its rulebook.  Our mind says things like I have to work full time, I have to make x amount of $, I have to give my children these things, I have to have this large house, I have to have a car, I have to relinquish my joyous hobby for the day to day grind that sucks my soul...I have to stay here because of family, I have to stay in this marriage for the kids, I don't have time to eat healthy, workout, declutter, play music, write poetry, laugh, cry, write letters to my best friend...

I remember my mother taking a long time to recover from leaving my father.  She knew it was the best thing to do and it had been a long time coming, but she struggled for years to come to a new place of peace about her decisions.  Then years later, in my own marriage, she told me I didn't have to be in a situation where I struggled and fought and felt unhappy.  I remember being angry with her because I felt that stepping away from something I should stick with was a ridiculous notion.  Even though it was eating me up.  She could clearly see my unhappiness, which I was unaware of because I had forgotten what my happiness looked like.  Now I see that she was right.  When the pain became too great, I finally made the change I needed to make.  And it was as simple as making a decision.  Unbelievably simple.

When you forget how it feels to be happy or free, you also are unable to envision such a life for yourself.  Without vision, we cannot alter our reality to become what we wish for.

I know many people who are trapped in this kind of mindset.  Again, it is the shoulds which enslave us, or as they say in "The Neverending Story", it is The Nothing.  It is the numb and stark position of forgetting who we truly are and what our heart truly yearns for.

I suggest we take it by the hand, that Nothing, and let it be our most beloved teacher.  I suggest we stare our unhappiness in the face and smile.  Find your bliss and the Nothing will disappear.  We have forgotten how to feel joy.  When we find it, a revolution ensues.

The longer we stay in our self-made prisons, the harder it is to get free.  But the freedom is all the sweeter, and it can happen whenever you decide to step outside the unlocked gate.

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