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.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.