Tag Archives: Mood

The Dark Side of Happy

I recently updated my “about me” to include a few rules. One of them is that I have to tell the dark side of being happy. There is one. And, although it’s not around the majority of the time, it does drop by for a cup of tea every few weeks.

“You can’t know happy without knowing sad.” – My Dad

That’s true actually, you can’t recognize the happiest moments of your life unless you have something to compare them to. On that same token, everyone’s moments operate on a different scale. Your sad may be MUCH sadder than mine. I think that’s the case as people get older and they experience more loss and hardship. But that’s also why, as people get older, they have the opportunity to really find happiness. Because they can find it in the smallest of victories, the smallest of successes and joys. Middle school sucked. I had very little sad in my life so every tiny thing that went wrong seemed catastrophic. Back then, my biggest crush completely ignoring me was heart breaking. My definition of heartbreak shifted massively when he died in his sleep ten years later at the premature age of 24.

With every big life experience, my happy/sad scale shifts, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore the three-day stints of deep melancholy that seem to creep up on me. They happen about once every few weeks in the Winter and once every month or two in the Summer. It’s almost like I can feel when they’re coming. I can fight them off for days but something always triggers a breakdown. Last week, it was my wonderful Google Hangout session with my girlfriends. I’d been sleepless, working a lot, and having some lonely days. Then I saw their smiling, beautiful, happy faces, and my self-pity just threw me over the edge.

So accepted it. I let myself be sad for 24 hours. I forgave myself for the 20 minute cry session and for being morose for a day. Every happy person has to come down from that plateau high up in the sky. Happiness takes work and sometimes you just need a break.

After the 24 hours passed, I put on my hiking boots and started the climb back up that plateau. I talked to a few of the people who love me unconditionally. First I cried to Mike but the poor guy can only take so much. When I felt that he needed a break from listening to my whining (because that’s what it was) I just called my family and spilled my heart to whoever picked up the phone first. By now they know what I need and they just listened to all the reasons my life was “terrible.”

CarWash

Then I spent the day slowly setting up activities for the weekend. First, to perk my mood, I drove my car through a car wash. Who doesn’t love to turn up the music and watch the water swirl around?? Then, that night, I had dinner with some bike girls in the area and got closer with one really cool chick. On Saturday Mike and I went on a lovely afternoon date and that night we went line dancing! (< more on this stuff later) On Sunday I went for Indian buffet with a few new friends from work. I was the only one who could pull myself out of the funk and, for me, I knew I just needed to be around other people.

So here I arrive at Monday, completely exhausted but in a MUCH better mood. I’m cresting the happy plateau today and hopefully I’ll be able to stay up here for a few weeks. Whatever the case I know I can’t possibly understand happy without a little sad ūüôā

 

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Monday Confession: Quarter Life Crisis

A friend of mine recently commented on this post (Anxiety to Depression and Back to Life) and I realized how important it is for me to continue writing about my imperfections and how I’m working to overcome them. The purpose of this blog is to educate and inspire but it’s also to help people realize that no one person has it all right. A great person knows that and works with it. So here it goes:

Confession:¬†I think I’m having a Quarter Life Crisis. I work very hard at work, at my primary job and my secondary job. I take care of our apartment and do everything I can to keep Mike and I healthy. I feel pretty well stimulated considering the place I find myself in. But sometimes I get really really sad. I miss my friends. I miss having friends. Where did the days go when we could call each other and meet fifteen minutes later to have a coffee or a quick drink? College held amazing opportunities to be¬†around people but I had so little time to take advantage of it. Now that I have the time, I don’t have the people. I’ve been working at this for months, trying to put myself out there and make friends. There have been small victories every once in a while but 5 months into our stay in Peoria, I still find myself very much friendless.

Misconceptions:¬†I heard so many times while I was in school how awful it was to be graduated. I completely disagree. Thank goodness school is over. It was 6 years of way too much work, an emotional roller coaster. I do not miss it for a second. I now have freedom to do what I want when I want (pretty much) and I have the good fortune of finally spending my own money (instead of the bank’s)! The only crappy thing about being done with school is how my social life is suddenly and¬†completely¬†gone. Would it be different in another city? What about if I’d just gone traveling instead of settling in the US? I’ll never know. What I do know is that this happens to lots and lots of people every year. How do they merge into the adult world? It’s really fricken hard I think.

My Case:¬†¬†I know I know. I’m being dramatic. Of course I have friends! They just don’t happen to live anywhere close to me. But that’s not enough. My close friends know how much they mean to me. We do everything we can to keep in touch and make sure we continue supporting each other, but I need someone to grab a quick drink or a coffee with.

Solution: I don’t know what the solution is. Obviously what I’m doing now isn’t working so I’m going to have to change my approach. This is going to be a learning experience for me. It may take much longer for me to figure this out but I will. Just like all those years and people before me, I’ll make friends. They may not be quite as awesome or close as the friends I have scattered all over the world, but they at least they’ll get a drink with me!

Anyway, that’s my confession. That is one of the many things I’m struggling with right now. I think that recognizing problems and making steps to solve them is a continuous, life-long process. And the fact that these are the type of issues I’m dealing with in my life makes me a VERY lucky lady.

ps. Thank goodness for all the love in my life. I may not have friends here in Peoria but man there’s a lot of love floating around for me outside this town.

Happy Monday everyone! Keep on keepin’ on ūüôā