Is Happiness Possible?

by Monica DeMill 2 years ago in advice

Have your bad days, but don’t stay in them.

Is Happiness Possible?

I was diagnosed with depression about a month ago.

“This is it,” I said to myself. “This is where he tells me nothing is wrong, I don’t have depression, and all of my worries were for nothing.”

Luckily, that’s not how it went, and he prescribed me anti-depressants. And of course, he made sure to remind me at least three times that it wasn’t a sign of weakness.

Would it have been better if he HAD told me nothing was wrong? Of course I would’ve felt humiliated, but why am I relieved that I have depression? Maybe it’s because I felt crazy. Some days I convinced myself it was all in my head, and nothing was wrong.

But okay. I’ve been diagnosed. Now what?

I could choose to let it define me. “Well, this is who I am now, so I guess I should be depressed all the time,” or, I could try and keep fighting it, even if I know it hasn’t gone away no matter how much I try. And of course sometimes I want to give up. “I’ll never be happy, why am I trying?” But can I be happy?

I have my good days. I have a cat and a loving husband. Sometimes my husband and I will just lay in bed and laugh at each other’s corny jokes. He treats me like a princess; opens doors for me, brings me food, gives me massages late at night when I’ve had a long day at work. He is my happiness, and I definitely feel happy around him and the thought of him.

So why do I still have bad days? I have everything I want. So why am I still unhappy? Is happiness possible?

I am a religious person. I pray—probably less often than I should...—and I go to church, and I believe in God. I know He’s always with me, and I’m always told I can’t be unhappy when I realize that God is always on my side and knows what I’m going through. And I know that.

So why am I still unhappy most of the time?

I looked up the word “happiness” and there was a Wikipedia line that struck me: “In psychology, happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”

So I looked some more. I found a website called “psychologytoday.com,” and they have some really amazing articles on this sort of stuff. One line in particular was interesting to me. “Research shows that happiness is not the result of bouncing from one joy to the next; achieving happiness typically involves times of considerable discomfort.”

How cool is that?

We can’t know sadness if we don’t know happiness. Happiness involves times of considerable discomfort, but it always comes back in some form. While the discomfort may seem like a lifetime, you do reach a point of contentment for a bit. That is considered happiness. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming joy. It’s okay if you’re just content to lay in bed all day or take that warm bath. You don’t have to be jumping for joy to FEEL happiness.

You can be happy.

I can be happy.

People tell me happiness is a choice, and that if I’m sad—well, I chose to be there.

But that’s wrong.

Happiness is a choice, to some extent. I can choose to get upset about something, sure. Like somebody bumping into me on the streets. Or getting the wrong meal at a restaurant. However, there are some things that depression takes out of my reach, and it’s hard to explain to people when they ask why I’m suddenly so down or “moody,” because I don’t know. I literally have no excuse for why I’m down sometimes.

And that’s okay. Depression is not something that can be controlled 100 percent of the time.

Of course it bugs me when people tell me to “get out of the funk” I’m in. But I could choose to let that bug me, or I could find my way to contentment, or happiness.

If you have to lay in bed all day to find that contentment, then do it. But DO NOT let depression define you or eat you.

I’ve found that working out has really helped. Or drawing. Find your little thing. Exercise! It sounds terrible when you just wanna be in bed all day, but I mean AFTER that. After you’ve somewhat recovered, make yourself do something.

Have your bad days, but don’t stay in them.

You can choose to let depression define you, or you can choose to do something about it.

advice
Monica DeMill
Monica DeMill
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Monica DeMill

I have a loving husband, two adorable cats, I work full time, and I love making people smile!

The world is my oyster but I hate seafood.

See all posts by Monica DeMill