Happiness is a Journey not a Destination

Danielle - West Caldwell, New Jersey
Entered on July 4, 2008

This I Believe

Happiness is a journey not a destination. For years I was trapped in a dark downward spiral, misery was a standard emotion, I didn’t want to do anything or see anyone. I fought with everyone, including myself. I craved attention, but I couldn’t stop pushing my loved ones away. I had an illness; I still do, I suffer from depression. There were times I thought I would never feel anything other then pain. There were days I couldn’t bare the thought of getting out of bed, and just the suggestion of talking to someone made me sick. I tried to force myself to break out of my self-induced isolation, but it seamed like the harder I tried the worse I became. Psychiatrists and doctors tried to diagnose exactly what was wrong, but even the doctors couldn’t agree. When it came time getting help, I pushed it away and I simulated “happiness” for as long as I needed to make everyone let their guards down. As I appeared rejuvenated on the outside, I was crashing inside.

I was constantly forcing myself not to be sad, but I felt like my happiness would never be reached. And I asked myself… can happiness be reached? Is happiness a time, or a place? Do you ever really reach a moment where you know you’re happy? The answer is no, at least for me it is. You can’t just wake up one morning and feel like a whole new person, you can’t expect your life to improve if you don’t try to change anything in it. Happiness doesn’t just happen.

I stopped viewing happiness as an accomplishment I had yet to achieve, and started viewing it as something to live my life by. I don’t know if I have reached that point, where I’m undeniably happy, but I’ve reached contentment. And compared to living my life in darkness, contentment is bliss.