No, I Wasn’t Always This Happy – How Depression Brought Me Here

This blog has been around almost a year and most posts have been about resources that add to our joy- music, vacations, nature, body positivity, what to do when you feel alone. Yet except for a little description of the 5 levels of pleasure, I haven’t spoken about happiness itself. Or about my experience with being happy.
So let’s get to it. It’s time you understood how this happened.

Why am I so passionate about happiness?

Why do I want to celebrate, empower, and support warriors to live happiness?
It’s not because I’ve been happy all my life. It’s true, I was born with a positive disposition. But no, it hasn’t all been rainbows and cupcakes for me (forgive me, I just watched Trolls).

 

I’m living happiness because of happiness’s opposite. And no, that’s not sadness. It’s depression. Because you can feel happy and sad at the same time but you can’t be happy and depressed at the same time because when you’re depressed, you can’t feel anything.

Depression – Say What?

Like I said, I was born with a good-natured personality. But that didn’t matter when I got to ninth grade. After a year of arguing with my parents about which high school to attend, gaining confusion about the faith in which I was raised, and suppressing anger toward a real fuddy-duddy teacher and then the whole establishment, I snapped within the first week of the school year. Everything went dark.

 

I barely remember that time period – I don’t know if I dissociated it out as I was living it or blocked it after, to keep the dark memories away.

 

What I do remember, though, is enough to give me the chills. It makes me cry every time I think about it because all I felt was pain. I felt sad, hopeless, distrustful, worthless, angry, and alone.

 

That loneliness made it all worse. Growing up, my family was very sheltered. We didn’t have a TV and we didn’t use the Internet.

I know! But we lived just fine. At least until depression struck, because then I had no resources. No Project Semicolon, no TWLOHA, no The Mighty. When I hated my body, I had no Project Heal and NEDA. When I wanted to die, there was no one to tell me to Stay. When I had no energy to do anything but cry silently, to suffer in the dark, there was no one there for me and no one I could reach out to. At least not that I knew of. No Crisis Text Line, no support hotline. And no one had taught me how to self-care, no one had taught me how to cope, except to survive.
So that’s what I did. Survived. Lived in the darkness and stayed alive, wondering why.

This Is How Things Got Better

After many long months, a friend helped me see light. How?

She sent me this letter. (I blocked out her name for her privacy, and had to filter the letter a bit to make it clear, but the content’s all real. My family and friend’s call me by my Hebrew nickname, Basie [spelled wrong here].)

And I kept it all these years (that’s 8 and counting).

What Did Her Letter Mean?

To be honest, I did think she was a little nuts. Because funny thing – we weren’t even friends then. She was just a random girl in my class; I barely knew her name.
You can bet we became friends after this. She saved my life.

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Her words were so real, so sincere, so caring and without motive (I think, lol) that I just looked at it and wanted to smile. I suddenly realized that it made a difference if I smiled. That meant it must make a difference if I lived, if I went to school, if I was happy.
I mattered. And that was all I needed to know.

Becoming A Joyrior – A Warrior for Joy

Depression hits anyone. No one could have looked at the 10 year old me and known that in a few years, I’d be in the blackest pit of hopelessness. I couldn’t have dreamed it in my nightmares.

 

But I did get there. And I got out because someone reached out to tell me I mattered.

 

Life is worth living, and happiness is real. You’re not alone. There is so much love, support, hope. There is something to live for. A reason to Stay.

 

Depression is not the end. Pain is not the end. You matter.

 

If you’re in trouble, check out our support page. You never have to do this alone.
And there you go. That’s how I got to love being happy and that’s what brought me here, spreading joy as much as I can.
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