All of my life, since the time I was around 12 years old, I have suffered from some degree of depression.
Granted. My life has been kinda hard to deal with. Major trauma and abuse as a pre-teen, the aftermath as a teen, the loss of my first child, a debilitating illness, the divorce of my parents, my own tumultuous marriage and divorce, and my father's brain tumor and botched surgery. All before my 33rd birthday. I'm sure those things have not helped.
It's rare that I've been in that childlike state of happiness for a good period of time. But it dawned on me the other day that I haven't slept all day lately. I'm not doing yo-yo's on the scale. I haven't felt the overwhelming sadness that makes days seem dark and endless.
For a good long while now, I've been unlocking the keys to my own happiness. And paying attention. And using them. CONSISTENTLY.
I have normal bouts of feeling overwhelmed, or sometimes I feel sad about certain things. But not to the degree as in the past, where I felt like life was pointless and I was useless. Not the all-encompassing sadness that makes life feel gray and ugly.
Reading the earliest posts to this blog gives a window into the depression I suffered with. I was conflicted, angry, felt that life was totally unfair and I was infuriated at the lack of justice I have received over my life, and why no one could help me, even though they wanted to.
PLEASE, someone just FIX THIS.
But I found, over the past year or so, what I believe to be the secret to this peace that has overcome me.
I quit waiting for "others" to fix me. I stopped looking outside of myself for the answers, for the peace, for the happiness, for the relief. I stopped asking WHY ME. I learned that life is random, for no reason. Some people are dealt shit cards while others seemingly have it easy. Being angry over it is a waste of energy and slows down the recovery. I also learned that as bad as my life seems to me at times, I'd never want to trade with anyone else. Ever.
I stopped looking outside of myself for completion. The answer has always been right here. I began taking care of myself, in every sense. I'm my own cheerleader, caretaker, and I even know how to take myself out on a date.
The results have been pretty astounding. I don't recognize the person I was a year ago, and even less 2 or more years ago. Resentful. Angry. Sad. Depressed. Overweight and unhealthy. Just trying to get by. Hoping my children's lives turned out better than mine, because mine was seemingly destined for failure and misery.
I've transformed my body into something I feel I am worthy of. One that feels strong all day every day, one that I'm comfortable in, one that will give me the best chance of a long and healthy life with my family. This makes me happy.
I've rediscovered my passion for all things music. I've tapped into the joy and energy that lives at live shows and I take it with me. I've fallen in love, over and over again, just by discovering new songs and music. This makes me happy.
I've invested in friendships and relationships with people who make me laugh, who support me, who have my back, and bring constant fun and joy into my life. This makes me happy.
I do my best, each and every day, to be the best mother I can be, and to enjoy every second with my babies. The four of us are a team and have so much fun together. This makes me happy.
It's about choices, and action. It's about new perspectives. It's about letting things go. It's about taking chances. It's about stretching limits. It's about thinking outside of the box.
Somehow, something clicked, and I learned how to meet my own needs, fill up my own soul, be HAPPY.