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.
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!