Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Brief history of myself, don't want to make too much of it, but it'll be evident and crop up time to time, reflective of my writing. I have had depression since I can remember, literally, since I can remember. I have memories of not even being in school yet, and wanting to burst out crying, just like that. I have always been searching for a way/ways to enjoy my life. It is a struggle. Prescriptions have never worked, nor exercise, nor material things, attempts at talk therapy. Now, the good news, I have had much much luck with what I've learned at the website TheHappinessProject. Immense luck. I'm hopeful...
I have been led to the most amazing blogsite. I've been following it for a month now, and I have made more cognitive progress here than I've made in years of appointments with talk therapists. The Happines Project is a book/website that I had heard about. I finally decided to find out more about it, rather than just skimming magazine articles on it. This book was on the NYT's bestseller list, www.happiness-project.com.
Yes, The Happiness Project. That one. And it's not what you'd expect it to be. Not cheesey, or hokey. There is so much information on there, you'll be able to find at least one thing that speaks to you. Gretchen, the author, has been blogging in her search for happiness, what it is, ways to find it. She has one minute videos that are astounding in their content. Her side-bars contain "tips of the day", actions that are easy enough to instantly implement into your day, that make a world of difference. She has motivating quotes. What I enjoy the most are her daily blog entries, and her book reviews, where she reports back on all things happiness.
The inspiring thing for me is that I have come to believe what she says, that it takes conscious effort to be happy. One can't merely wish for it, or blame others for not having it: it is something we work for, and dig around, to help us find. Just searching for it will lighten our load, since it will change our thinking and mindset. Gretchen has columns of quotes, columns of action tips, all different ways to change your life. My plan of attack against the depression that has taken too many years away from my life, is to select a daily quote from Gretchen's site that motivates me, along with an action tip, that I will implement that day.
The pearl I walked away with today, after visiting her blog, the one that speaks volumes of truth to me is a quote from Saint Therese of Lisieux, "...for the love of my God, and the love of my brothers and sisters, I take care to appear happy and especially to be so." Amen. Even though my depression is beginning again to feel insurmountable, I'll work hard to "come through" for my family. Just because I'm down, doesn't mean the whole house has to feel down. Like I told you, it's hard work.
The action tip that I'm going to implement in my life today is, based on her daily tip today, is "hug more, kiss more, touch more." I feel my teenage son needs more physical evidence of my caring for him, so I will plan on snatching a quick hug in before he leaves for school, while we're still in the house. He's grown too tall and too embarrassed to allow me to hug him when I drop him off in the mornings. I'll plan for it at home.
As Gretchen sums it up, "It is easy to be heavy, hard to be light", this change in automatic thinking will take work, but anything worth your while does. I'll let you know how I'm doing.