The happiness quest

I’m about to write something new today about a life-changing adventure I experienced over this past weekend. I opened up my blog and saw this rambling, unfinished post from 13th June. This was written during one of my many and frequent depression lows, and as I sit here thinking about the incredibly positive things I have recently experienced, I feel even more driven to have fewer posts about my mental health battles, and more about the things that create a better existence.
So, before I write about my iSUP adventure, I offer this unedited, unfinished post from a desperately unhappy me, nearly one month ago. At the time, I had no idea I would go on my adventure…

——v— from 13 June 2015 —v———–
I’ve tried starting this post several times over and not managed to get past the first sentence. Happiness. I have a tricky relationship with happiness. Depression and ADHD are forever throwing stones at my happiness. My general upbeat, optimistic attitude helps to keep me afloat, but there are times the stones gather and

Ugh. I could start this post again, but I’m wearing out my delete key. Writing about happiness is hard to do, not just because of the elusive nature of happy, but it’s difficult to avoid sounding like a world-class turd on the topic.

I’m on a happiness quest, of sorts. I know it’s within me already and it’s the external events and experiences that hide it, bruise it, or temporarily squash it into a sad blob on the floor, but there are some fundamental things I can put into place to help make my happiness a little stronger and more resilient.

Letting go of the past is hard, for even the strongest person, and I’m not one who dwells much in the past. It’s pointless to replay and present new what-ifs; the results are in and the past doesn’t change no matter how many ways you rehash it. I used to feel terribly guilty about a few events and sometimes they still come to mind when I least expect it, but I recognise the futility of replaying these moments and can typically regain my present moment control. I’m anxious enough about the future without ganging up on myself with a past I can’t change as well.

I find happiness in success. Money doesn’t equal success, in fact all successes are welcome, for example: I consider it a success remembering to take my pills in the morning. When I have plenty of clean underwear to choose from. After a shower. When I get through my email inbox (that sucker causes me anxiety regularly). Making a sale – no matter how large or small – of my work. I’m happy when I don’t break the yoke of a fried egg before it lands on my toast. All of these make me happy. All are successes that most people think nothing of unless they go wrong. I prefer to be thankful for these little victories and when they go wrong – as sometimes they do – accept it and move on. During depression lows, it can be difficult to do that, but I try.

Increasing my happiness is the current quest. I’ve started yoga again, which is something I know I can do very well with practice. I’m determined to feel better about myself and function better in my body.