November 5, 2015

Choose

I'd really taken up a deep hostility for anything or anyone telling me to CHOOSE HAPPINESS. For awhile there I could barely choose to take a shower or to leave the house. What is happiness? Don't talk to me about it and my ability to choose it. CHOOSE HAPPINESS can be a really harmful sentiment for someone going through depression. Happiness is going to mean something different for everyone and I am not a believer in living a life only seeking happiness.  

But strange things happen when you decide to take care of your mental health. You start to feel better and you don't have to put so much energy into everyday tasks i.e. showering and leaving the house. All of the sudden you have the ability to choose things, one of those things being "happiness". For me, choosing happiness looks more like refusing to continually rip open old wounds. It's allowing myself the contentedness I genuinely feel about my life instead of the debilitating fear of what others think about me. It's choosing not to compare myself to others. It's taking the time to make art because I actually want to.

If you're currently in a place where you can do little more than choose to stay in bed, I'm here for you. Your depression is making all the decisions right now and I get it. Can I tell you that it gets better? Will that make any difference right now? Maybe not. But can I also tell you, it's okay to ask for help? Too often we're ignoring our mental health because we think, "oh it's not that bad," or... "I can handle this". The thing is, it gets better when we take the necessary steps for it to get better. If you have been thinking about making that call to the doctor but have yet to pick up the phone, this is your sign to PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL. Don't let that one good day fool you into two weeks of bad days. You deserve to feel better. I'm not going to feed you the choose happiness bit. But don't choose to settle comfortably into miserableness. Choose taking care of yourself. Choose better health.

I promise it's worth it. Your depression is going to tell you you don't need help. Choose not to listen. It will be scary and uncomfortable but eventually you will see a difference. All of the sudden the good days will outnumber the bad. You'll get back to all the things you used to love. Everyday things will get easier and you'll find you have the luxury of choosing things, like happiness (and love and excitement and peace and humor and relief and hope and more). 

9 comments:

  1. This legit gives me all the feels.
    Like, i am literally at this place right now. It's not a perfect place, but it's a good one.
    Thank you so much for this.

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  2. I needed to read this today. I'm not struggling with depression as much as really difficult anxiety-- but those two often correlate. Thank you for sharing and for being encouraging to those of us who need it. - Sarah

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  3. Thank you so much for this post. I'm fighting depression for years and every person who tells me to 'just become happy', just to 'stop being sad' hurts me so much. It doesn't look like this and people seem not to know it very often...

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  4. After my first miscarriage when people would use the whole "choose happiness" bit with me it really hurt, as if my own feelings of sorrow weren't valid. I didn't want to talk to those people anymore because I felt a lack of empathy. Sure, I can choose to focus on positive things in my life, but those are hard to find when you're in such a bad place. I love the scripture, "Mourn with those that mourn." To me, it means don't try to cheer my up, stop trying to force me to think positively, and let me cry! Cry with me! That would be the best thing anyone could do.

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  5. Yes!! Thank you for putting this out there. I've had the same thoughts but just could not put it into words. This was beautiful.

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  6. Truth. I put it off for so long. The other day I looked around and for the first time in a long time, I felt joy and gratitude. It was like the TV had changed channels on its own. I really, really agree that "choosing happiness" is not always possible, and I agree that everyone should just quit saying it as if it were a matter of choosing what shoes you'll wear that day.

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  7. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I often put the doctor's visit on hold because I think I will get better on my own. I've known for awhile now that I can't get better alone. I need professional help. It hurts to say it's not enough to talk to my family and my boyfriend about my depression.

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    1. I imagine you wont see this but I didn't know how else to reply to you. It shouldn't hurt that talking to loved ones isn't enough. That's normal. Our loved ones (usually) aren't trained professionals. They don't know how to give real help to someone with depression. Going to see help is a way to get someone with education on the subject to say, "Hey look at it this way. Hey maybe you feel this way because of this. Hey what if you tried this?" I think too often we think the answers are right in front of us, but actually they're not and we need to go find them/find the people that have them. I cant tell you how many times I go to therapy thinking I don't need it anymore and I leave with new perspectives and new techniques that I never would have been able to learn on my own or just from talking to a loved one.

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  8. I cannot express enough how much I love this post. Seriously. Having experienced much of these exact feelings at moments in my life. You are dead on.

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