I came to a conclusion the morning of October 19, 2018 that today was the day I was going to CHOOSE to be happy. This, stemming from a night of a long talk - with tears on my side - with my husband about how I want to live my life. The question from him was asked: “Is this how you want to live your life? Is this how you want to see your life?”
No. Well, I actually answered “I don’t know” as I started to cry again, but what I really felt was “I fear it will be.”
Years and years have gone by with my full knowledge that I am not completely happy. I’ve always had the desire to BE happy, but I’ve come to realize that we get out what we put in. At least, that’s what I think. As I am writing this, I am on the first day of my happiness journey. A fresh start into The Happy Project. So time will tell if THINKING happy is possible for me. What about my story? Let me tell you…
I have always been: an anxious person. Along with a lot of self-doubt, way too much comparison to others, depressive episodes, and a heaping amount of ADHD*. ADHD seems to be the core of my issues. I am anxious about being able to understand something and pay attention. Then I am anxious when I can’t pay attention - no matter how much I want to. Then I am depressed about not being able to fully pay attention - or feeling overstimulated. Over stimulation is a HUGE issue for me, too much noise, too much heat, too many voices talking at once, too many smells - all triggers for me. Depression creates a black hole in my head that just keeps taking and taking. I can’t get out of it no matter how hard I try.
It’s always so hard to admit to having an anxiety/depressive disorder. With ADHD I can easily tell people that this is a problem I have, we laugh about it and any sort of lapse in thought or conversation is forgiven. But, being an adult with anxiety and depression is much, much harder. Closing the gap between you and I becomes stressful when I don’t feel like being socially pleasant or happy. Acknowledging that I have a tough time being positive for my children, is not socially accepted. Saying that anxiety keeps me from taking my children places or giving them a bath by myself is awkward to admit, but that is my reality.
I LOOK okay, I LOOK like the smile on my face is genuine, I SEEM to be in control of my emotions - but on the inside I am crying, or screaming, or running over the same thought over and over again. It can be any mix of a decision I’ve made, a decision I have to make, a conversation I have to have, a conversation I had, etc.
Home is really where the heart is, and also where anxiety and depression get to unfold. Just like changing into comfy clothes, getting home has been a practice of uncovering my emotions for far too long. Beyond unloading to my husband about the day, my confessions of disappointment, wonder, and anxiety prone situations to him made him challenge me to think about accepting being this way forever.
I woke up. I woke up and thought I have two options: 1. Keep everything to yourself/dispose of issues to therapist/unload on an audience member who loves you but is overwhelmed by your mind, or 2. Change. I lived option 1 up until October 19, 2018. Keeping all this shit to myself/therapist/husband does. not. work. It causes my emotions to feel like they are out of control. Then blowing up when it starts to feel like too much.
Option 2 is change. Change is painful. Change is awkward. But, I know something positive that change will be too, long-lasting. Well, I hope it is.**
Click below to read HOW? I am planning to think Happy.
*I would like to take the time to point out that I have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PPD (Postpartum Depression), and ADHD from a clinical psychiatrist and with the help of a clinical psychologist I am seeking treatment with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).
**I am not a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. I do not imply that thinking happy will cure clinically diagnosed anxiety, depression, and/or ADHD. The information shared and written in The Happy Project should not be construed as medical advice and should not be used to supplement care from a health professional.