I was sick. I felt like I was going to die…or if not die, at least curl up in a ball and not move again for a long, long time. I spent two days in bed, hardly moving at all. For all I know, I might have been dead. I sure was sick.

But at the end of the day, I was still happy. Even though I couldn’t write on this blog or go to work or do anything much at all.

“How could I be? Why would I be?” You may be asking yourself.
Well, it’s pretty simple. I was still happy because my source of happiness is not dictated by my surroundings or the events in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I was not happy about being sick. But that thing in my life—the sickness—did not destroy my happiness or my overall outlook on life.

Too many times we let the circumstances that surround us dictate our attitude—control whether we are happy or not happy. We forget that tomorrow is another day and we might feel better. That applies to both our physical and our mental states of well-being.

A brief history of personal despair

I went through a period several years ago where I could not see an end to the misery I was feeling. My life felt completely out of control and there was nothing I could do to stop it from plummeting downward deeper and deeper into this pit.

I still kind of remember the day that I hit the bottom…

It was a Tuesday—not really, but for storytelling purposes, it was Tuesday!

I had spent the previous three or four nights sitting out at the cemetery where my younger brother is buried. I had been writing my last will and suicide notes and telling my little brother that I would be joining him soon.

As a regular church attender and a born-again Christian, I knew the church’s position on suicide, but I also felt that God would not condemn me to everlasting torture in hell because of the torture and bottomed-out despair I had been enduring for the last two or three years.

Honestly, it felt like each day was worse than the one before. I had no idea how I could live another day.

And then, Tuesday came along.

It was like the dark veil that had been hanging over me was removed. It was the weirdest thing I had ever experienced. I can’t even really explain it to you in words, but I will try.

It was like all the sadness and despair vanished. I know I had a lot of people praying for me. I am certain that had a lot to do with what I will call my “healing.”

Being healed of life-crushing depression

I won’t tell you that my life was immediately all roses and sunshine… I had a lot of people I needed to make amends with, because, honestly, I had treated them very poorly during my “bout” of depression.

Most people easily forgave me because they had been the same ones who had been praying for me. There were a few people that I had to regain their trust because I had seriously damaged those relationships. Was it my fault? Yes and no. I was suffering with a serious, untreated illness (depression). At the same time, I still believe that we are ultimately responsible for our actions and words.

As time goes on, I know that when a person is suffering, they are not always in control of their behaviors. When I think back on this time in my life, I can honestly say there was not ever a time when I had no control over the words I said or the people I hurt with those words or actions.

I just DID NOT care.

That is what depression did to me. It turned me into a person who did not care—about anything or anyone.

Fast Forward 10 years

Now it is 2019 and 10 years has passed since that horrible time in my life when I was sure that if it didn’t end, that I would end it.

I am so glad I survived it.

I can also tell you that I have never been depressed like that again. Never. In fact, I hardly ever even feel sad. I mean, I feel sadness like any “normal” person does. But I don’t get overwhelming sadness anymore. If I do start to feel depressed, it has not lasted more than a day or two and that is sure something to be happy about!

So now, if I am sick or tired or things don’t go the way I planned, I don’t get all worked up about it. I take the day or the happening or the sickness and I refuse to give it power over me.

It isn’t always easy.

There are times I would like to just give in and let sadness overcome me, but I don’t ever want to be that person again—that person who didn’t care, that person who didn’t think she could face another day.

Now when I start to feel sad about something that really shouldn’t make me feel that way, I remember where I was ten years ago and I take back my power. Like I said, it isn’t always easy, but I would rather be the person who can overcome than the one who is overwhelmed by everything.

Choosing happiness

I believe happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy even when things get me down. Even when things don’t go my way or as I plan. I choose to be happy today.

How about you? What will you choose today? Leave your comments below!

Karin Nauber Uncategorized

26 Replies

  1. Hello Karin,

    This is an interesting writeup, very educative as well. Many time I let my guard down and let depression get to me using literally simple situations, sometimes it’s crazy enough to realise these situation are figment of my own imagination and thoughts. I’m gradually getting to know my way out now but not yet completely. Its really good to be on your website and I’m gonna keep a tab on it for more posts. Thanks for sharing this, it’s really helpful. 

    1. Thanks fo visiting my site, Ayodeji! You got it right…when we let our guard down, that depression can creep in and try to tear us down. Thankfully, we have hope in knowing that others have been through things and can help us through our own struggles.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  2. This is a lovely article and i am happy to view your page in order to learn from this insightful writeup. nothing can be compared to happiness from within irregardless of the challenges of life.  we have all been pained or sad in one way or the other but our ability to face and solve them matters alot.

    As for me, I choose to be happy always

    1. Thanks for visiting my site, Ola. I am glad you enjoyed the article. I invite you to visit the site often! Thank you.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  3. The most interesting thing to me here in your article is knowing that happiness is a choice. Yes it is. It is true that the journey of life isn’t always smooth. There are always some rough edges but you have to choose your attitudes towards any current situation you finds yourself and that’s way too important in every man’s life. 

    1. Thanks for visiting my site, Kenechi! Yes, happiness is a choice! It’s essential when we are dealing with the unsavory parts of life.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts through your post. I understand how you felt when you experienced depression after losing someone so close to you. I lost my mother 8 years ago, she was only 54 years old when she died, and it was very sudden. It was very hard to move on since then. I had to drop out of architecture college, and tried to find something to do. After about 5 years of misery, I decided to go out and choose to be happy again. I found a part time job where I met my husband. I am very happy since. Although I still feel the pain every now and then, I am so glad that I decided to move on and chose the happy route. Life does get better over time!

    1. Thanks for visiting my site and for commenting! I think losing a person who is important to us like a parent or a sibling can be very devastating. I am glad you were able to pull yourself back up out of your despair. I still think about my little brother every day. I still miss him every day and he has been gone since 1980. Such a good kid taken way too soon from us. But I feel that he would want me to be happy and I think he would even be a little mad at me that I spent so many years mourning!

      I hope by sharing my stories others will feel hope and happiness, too!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  5. Personal despair can be disastrous because most of the time it’s self inflicted. This leads at times to depression like you described above and if left unchecked might be destructive too. I find your blogging insightful to read. It’s really good to have people share their life experiences in other to help others. Keep up the good works. Thumbs up. 

    1. Thanks for visiting my site, Stella. I know what you mean about despair being disastrous. I also know about the self-inflicted sort! I am happy to share my story because I want people to know there is hope!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  6. I am certainly glad you are feeling better. Thanks for sharing your story. I think it will help others to know and understand that we are stronger then we realize. I have had challenges in my life where at the time, I had no idea how I would get through, but I did. And now I know I can survive almost anything, just like you. I’m so glad you are feeling joy and happiness in your life! 

    1. Thank you for visiting my site, Wendy. I am glad you enjoyed the article. You are correct. So many times we do not realize how strong we are until we are tested. Somehow we do manage to get through. My goal now is to share the hope and joy I have come to realize was always there, I just had to reach out.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  7. Great article on happiness and thanks for the motivational words in the article it makes me feel so good

    all the words in this article makes me think back about all that has happened to me and also what is still happening

    this article gives me more reason to choose happiness over sadness and also strengthen my faith to carry on. Thanks ones again 

    1. Thanks for visiting my site. I am glad my article was inspirational to you and that it gave you some good reasons to choose happiness. Happiness is a choice! Maybe that should be my logo! 🙂

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  8. Hi there!

    This is a great food for thought with emphasis of depression and happiness. Thanks for sharing this, I just came across it and I just felt like chipping in some comments. Depression and happiness are two things people battle with on earth. The best way to go about depression is choose happiness irrespective of the circumstances that surround you at that particular point in time. One should be Happy everyday cos God can turn things around without you even being aware.This article is great. It will definitely help someone out there who’s going through depression. Thanks once for sharing this. Cheer’s

    1. Hi Tony! Thanks for visiting my site and for your generous and thoughtful comment! It isn’t always easy to be happy, but it is a choice we can make!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  9. Your post, has tugged my heart strings…my second daughter goes through weeks of depression and she is only 14 years, as a mother, I do not know how to approach her for fear of whether it will worsen or not. I only just found out from a teacher at her school who she reached out to, and this teacher phoned me. My daughter is middle child, the most responsible one of my girls and is a perfectionist to a tee, and she excels in everything she does. Yet, the saddness for me, is she does not think that she is good enough, and is the first to put herself down. She struggles to even show any physical or emotional feelings.

    I too go to church and pray everyday for my children and sometimes I wonder if my prayers hit a brick wall, because of my own imperfections. I do try to be the best mum I can. So many questions that run through a parents mind, like: “Is it because I am a bad parent?” or “how could I have not noticed?”

    Thank you for your article, after reading your story, it has given me hope for my little girl. When did you yourself realise that you had depression, did your loved ones know? How can I help my daughter?

    1. Hello Ilaisaane. I am so sorry that your daughter goes through depression. 

      I think I first recall having depression when I was around 9 years old. I don’t know if my loved ones knew it or not because I always laughed and joked around no matter how I felt.

      We were regular church attenders and sometimes it felt like that almost made the depression worse because I felt like everything I did and thought was wrong! I know, of course, that wasn’t the case, but sometimes these thoughts are relentless.

      I don’t know if asking your daughter about her depression or feelings will help or not, but I don’t think it would hurt. It will show her that you are concerned about her. Be there for her if she needs a hug or a talk. Teenagers have so many things going on the way it is, but if you just let her know that you are there for her, that might be a way to start to reach out.

      And for sure, keep praying. Your prayers are being heard. Sometimes God answers our prayers in ways that we don’t expect or necessarily want, but it is the best way.

      Have you taken your daughter to see a counselor? It might be something she can do to get things off her chest. It sounds like she has a teacher whom she trusts to share things with.

      Also, I do not like medications, but sometimes chemical imbalances can benefit from medications or homeopathic remedies. I would suggest looking up some information on natural ways to help with depression and hormonal imbalances because it could really help her, too.

      I want to say that I am not a psychologist, I am just a person who wants to do her best to help others. I will be praying for you and your daughter, too!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  10. Interesting, I once read a definition of happiness as being ” overcoming obstacles toward a known goal”.I do know that loss can cause depression, grief, and sadness.The greater the loss the more emotional charge is tied up in it.I also know that by using little techniques like “taking a walk”can help. If you take a walk and look around at the objects your are passing you at first will become very tired. Then as your attention focuses more on the outside you will brighten up.A similar little technique called “look them over” really helps if you have to deal with people on a daily basis.Just go to a mall, sit down and look at the people passing. Just keep watching them. After a while, hopefully, you should come to the conclusion that people are not all bad.

    1. Thanks for visiting my site, Tom!  Your tips are great pieces of advice and I appreciate you sharing them! I think, for me, happiness is a state of being, a way of being. I may not always be laughing, but my heart can still have joy in it which to me, is happiness.

      I believe that most people are very good, they are just disillusioned. I hope that by writing about my life and struggles and triumphs, others will find joy!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  11. Hi Karin,

    I found your post to be very inspirational. I share a similar time in my life when everything seemed to come to ahead. What got me through was a voracious search for knowledge – both about my self and the human condition.

    That helped very much; yet I believe my strong will and faith in goodness carried me through the valley of shadow of death.

    There’s still a lot of room for improvement, but I know that I’ve come a long way; and every mile you travel serves to support and encourage the next one.

    Thank you for such an inspirational post, you are inspirational!

    Jose

    1. Jose, thanks for visiting my site. I am glad you found the post inspirational. 

      In the 1970s or 1980s there was a cigarette advertisement that said, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” I think of that when I think of how far so many of us have come. And even though we have come a long way, we still have much to learn and farther still to go.

      I am glad you found things that help carry you through your low time in your life. I think each of us is given experiences that, if we can “survive” them, make us much stronger people.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  12. This is such a great post. I can relate to it, In fact I myself went into depression three times in my life. The first time it happened to me I remember where I was and even the weather. In fact it was raining so heavy out that nobody would know that I was in fact crying.But a man came up to me and said “I know where you are looking for”. I hadn’t stopped him for directions but I followed him anyway. He brought be to the Samaritans. I remember leaving the building and seriously it was like a massive light had been put over me. It lasted forever. But about 11 years later while out driving my cab, I had put my phone under my leg to stop it from getting stolen. I picked up the phone only to find that I had accidentally reset my phone and deleted everything on it, including photos of my children who were in foster care. The light that was shining over me went out and enough was enough I decided I would end it. My friend talked me out of it,

    You said in your post that you didn’t care. But to be honest you did care, though you might not see it at the time. Hopefully that light will never go out for you and will pave the way forward now and in the years to come, but if ever you feel that you are in a bad place my advice to you is to go to your church and talk with your pastor and he will help you when you need it and like I said hopefully you won’t need it.

    May God Bless you and shine His light on you   

    1. Hello David and thank you so much for visiting my site. I am so glad you are still here and didn’t end it. Depression can be such a horrible beast that tears our minds apart with despair. I do believe that the prayers of others and my deep faith in Christ was the only thing that saved me from myself.

      I write now to share joy and sometimes the hard road that leads to joy. 

      God bless you and best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  13. I found some common ground in your article and I appreciate you being open about it. You’re right, it is very difficult sometimes to see past the sadness or to not let it take you over. Sometimes,  I feel like it’s an everyday struggle. But it is a good feeling knowing that others have overcome it and it seems to come easier. I thought you did a good job in describing what happened to you. Thank you for sharing! 

    1. Thanks for visiting and for your comments, Randi. It was a very difficult time, but I feel like when I came out the other side, I had a new insight that I wouldn’t have had without this horrible experience. I believe that we have these experiences so that we can help others through their tough times.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

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