Recession, war, huge financial bailouts for everyone but those who really needed a bailout, rising food prices, obscenely high oil prices, dropping housing values, record-high job losses... It's enough to make even the blue bird of happiness reach for the Zoloft.
Not everything was bad about 2008; We elected a new president and with him comes a new sense of hope for many worldwide. On a personal level I had a baby, our second. Now our family is complete - Two parents, two kids, two dogs, one cat (we really should get her a friend, everyone deserves a friend). We bought a new home... in the middle of this country's biggest recession in decades. Probably not a great move in retrospect, but we're pleased with our decision even if our wallets are a lot lighter and our stress level is a lot heavier. Those closest to me are healthy, physically speaking, and it's been over a year since anyone close to me died. My husband is gainfully employed; we have food on our table and clothes on our backs. So in spite of everything outside my four walls, I should be happy. Right?
Yeah, not so much.
Somewhere along the line I seem to have lost my happy. I swear it was just here a minute ago, I just can't seem to find it. I've searched high and low... Okay, that's a lie. I haven't searched all that hard. 2008 is what I consider to be my "Blue Year". Not much in the way of finding happiness, more waiting for happiness to find me. Much too busy deeply sighing, staring off into space and weeping over Save the Animals commercials. Maybe I didn't lose my happy after all. Maybe it needs a better GPS.
If I'm being honest with myself - And I should, you catch more happy with truths than with lies. Or something like that - I've always had a hard time holding on to my happiness. To me true happiness is a slippery sucker. Holding onto a truly blissful moment is akin to being a one-armed man in an greased pig catching contest.
Okay, bad analogy.
What I'm trying to say is, I've had my ups and downs for some time now. Years. Possibly decades.
Should I seek help? Yeah, probably. Should I be taking antidepressants? I don’t know. Maybe. But here's the rub - I don't want to. Take the drugs, that is. It's not that I'm against pharmaceuticals. I'm usually the first person to suggest to friends or family that if they're depressed they should take some drugs, man. The legal, prescribed kind, of course. Wouldn't want to mess with the Fuzz while depressed and hopped up on heroin. That would be bad and sort of counter intuitive. I just don't want to go that route just yet.
Well, 1) I'm lazy. Just the idea of having to call the doctor, make an appointment, drive to the appointment, tell the doctor just how sad I am and have her look at me like Tell me one I haven't heard before, then drive back home to pick up my perscription... You're getting the idea right? To you, this doesn't seem all that bad. To me, it's a nightmare. And 2) I don't feel like messing around with antidepressants, finding which one works for me and at which dose. Not to mention the possible side effects, like decreased sex drive (I'd link to the recent news reports of that lovely side effect but again, Lazy.).
I. Just. Don't. Want. To. Deal.
This leads me to the purpose of this blog.
There has to be a better way, other options to try, and I'd like to try those first. When and if the time comes that I do indeed need to see my doctor and be put on Zoloft, Wellbutrin, or any of the other cast of mood altering characters I will pull myself up by the proverbial boot straps and call my doctor for a prescription. Until that day comes, however, I am going to try everything I can to get myself out of this funk. I'm going to try to change my life, my approach to everyday trials, and maybe try an all natural cure or two.
"Better living without the aid of pharmaceuticals" - That will be my motto for the next year or so.
This is not a resolution, not a New Year's one at any rate. Those are always doomed to fail. I mean, look at me. It's how many days after the New Year and I'm just posting this now? If this was a New Year's resolution it would have been over before it began.
Changing my life is not going to be easy. I'm 36 years old and I'm pretty set in my ways. This should be interesting.
Before I begin, I need to stress a few things. First and again, I don’t condemn the use of antidepressants or anyone who chooses to use them. Second, I know there are other websites out there dedicated to finding happiness. And those websites, for all the good information that is held there, leave me feeling like I’m being preached to. I don’t want to be preached to. This blog is about one person trying to find their happiness in any way she can. If you glean some inspiration from this, great. If you think it’s horseshit, that’s okay too. Que sera sera.
(See? Doris Day, she seemed happy. I don’t know if that’s true or not, if she really was happy, but she went on to create a foundation to help save animals and things like that make me happy. So there.)
And lastly… Well, actually there isn’t anything else. Let’s begin this experiment.
Let’s get happy.