Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Discovering Happiness

I'm going to pretend for a little bit that this blog isn't seen by lots of people - many of whom I don't even know. I'm not going to try to include a lot of photos to catch your eye or try to make you laugh. Not this time.

I don't talk about this to many people because it is, frankly, embarrassing but I struggle with sadness. Depression is the technical gross word for it. I like to just say I'm sad - it's less depressing sounding. Bunnies can be sad. Kittens. Pandas. Cute things can be sad. Lately, I've been much sadder than I can remember being in the last few years.

Mostly, I become sad for no real reason. Feeling lonely is the main cause. But I've felt lonely in a room full of people celebrating me. I can feel lonely if I write a blog and no one comments on it or send a text that doesn't get a response. I can feel sad and lonely when someone is shouting compliments at me. I can feel sad when it's cold and grey (which is alot in Seattle, right?) or when I work at home and have no one to talk to. I can feel sad when a purring cat is nuzzling me.

When I'm sad I want to have a concrete reason for it - someone or something to blame. The weather. My job. Where we live. My weight. My husband. My friends. Not having many hobbies. In actuality, it's no one or no things' fault that I'm sad, but my own. I need to change my thinking and my outlook. I need to find happiness in the small and the large. I need to do more. See more. Live more. You can't be sad when you have no time to realize you are, right?

But how does one change their thinking and discover real happiness? Happiness that runs deep. Is there more to it than changing outlook? Do I need to change my surroundings? Wait for the sun to come out?

What makes you happy? How do you combat sadness?


Justin Steyer said...

Sad... Well written though - I combat sadness by having you around me every day!

PS: You might have seen that YOU just posted a comment... but that was because I didn't realize you were still logged in when I posted it.

Jill said...

Awe, your husband is so sweet!

I get sad sometimes too. More when I lived in the PNW so maybe that was partially weather. January was always a bad month for me. I tried to combat it by finding fun things to do during the winter, like a photography class or joining the watershed stewards.

Now, I feel happy when I know that my friends/family are looking forward to seeing me when I return. And when my students make a breakthrough in class. Or when people comment on my blog or send me emails/letters.

I hope you find at least a little bit of happiness today! Maybe start growing some seedlings? I always feel happy when I see seeds sprout and grow!

OurSoundHome said...

Hi friend. Love you! I understand how it's easy to find other things, or people, to blame your sadness on. I think that's natural and ultimately can be good to make positive changes in life. However, I don't think you should point the finger at yourself, either, and think it's your fault and should be easily fixed. Depression / sadness is a real thing and sometimes needs extra help that you can't just fix on your own.

For me, I find myself most happy when I am living my life with purpose, exploring the things I feel like I am meant to do. Things that make me, me.

heather.sambrook said...

Liz, I'm so glad you wrote about this. I am sad you're feeling this way, but everyone has to be sad sometimes. Otherwise, how do you know to enjoy when you are really happy?

I really believe that everyone gets sad and that being happy is very hard work. It takes constant maintainance and is very fragile. Acknowledging the sadness and working to change it is the best thing you can do though. Sometimes just knowing I tried to do something to make myself feel better helps.

Thanks for being so open with this. I hate when people hide behind their perfect lifes and perpetuate lies of it on facebook and never share their struggles. Just knowing that everyone goes through this can be comforting too.

Thanks, Liz.

Liz said...

Justin - Love you!
Jill - I find happiness in every day, but when I'm sad it can be crippling sometimes. I'm looking forward to your return!
Sara - Love you, too! Thanks
Heather - Not every post is going to be sparkly. Haha. I'm excited for the Heather blog unveiling!