You try your damnedest to portray an essence of happiness, of strength, accomplishment. Anything the world throws at you, you can handle it. And you do, for the most part. You have gotten so good about hiding behind the tough exterior, that it almost seems real. You walk around with your shoulders back, a smile on your face and you handle it.
Then, a trigger. You feel your exterior crack ever so slightly. Still, you press on. Add a couple of more “to dos” to your list to quiet the thoughts in your head, and press.
Then several triggers… An action by an extended family member that hits too close to home, unearthing a world of hurt from your childhood. A nonchalant comment from a co-worker that makes you question the caliber of person you recently befriended. The holidays.
You slowly start to lose interest in the things that used to make you happy… you eat instead. Eating garbage makes you feel like garbage. You are tired. Little by little, you feel the pink and yellow happy being sucked out of you as if through a straw. You compare your mood to the dark rain clouds looming overhead, about to open up any minute. Everything grates on your nerves… you are constantly irritated. There is always so much to do and it never seems like there are enough hours in the day. The hobbies that were once creative releases of anxious energy now seem chore-like.
And there you have it… The sadness, the anxiousness, the depression. It weighs in on your heart, your mind. It isn’t the first time you lost your battle. It won’t be the last.
But it is just a battle. One teeny factor in your everyday life. Not infinite, not absolute.
Find something shiny, and hold on tight… One uninterrupted hour in the bath with a good book. A 60 degree day in the middle of December. Seeing your daughter’s face light up when she discovers “Dingle” her Elf on the Shelf and the result of his nightly shenanigans. The taste of a freshly peeled grapefruit. A compliment. The grateful, welling tears of someone less fortunate that you were able to help. Playing basketball in the driveway with your son. A cup of tea. A great big bear hug, at just the right moment from your spouse.
Every morning, set a goal, no matter what the size…. I will get out of bed today… I will not cry today… I will make a list of 10 things I am grateful for… I will make someone smile today… I will do something physical today…. If you accomplish that goal, you have won. If not, try again tomorrow. That is the thing about tomorrows; they are new, fresh, and are just asking for a re-try.
Find good in the simplest of things and hold on to that, not the hurt, the pain. Is it still there? Of course. But each moment is defining, and it does not have to be negative. You have a choice, whether you think you do or not.