Last Updated on June 5, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
Hello, loves! It’s time for another personal post! In this one, I’m looking specifically for some advice, related to one key element: creating happiness. Particularly daily happiness. I’ll give some more context below about where this is coming from, but a quick preview? Basically, I didn’t realize how much I’ve struggled with depression, of late. And I want to change that.
As someone who has always had some level of depression (including being medicated for it currently), being depressed feels…baseline, to me. Yet, I didn’t realize just how bad it’d gotten until my partner and I had a heart-to-heart recently. He talked about how he was worried for me. At first, I didn’t see why, getting defensive and hurt he hadn’t brought it up sooner.
Reflecting, I can see it more clearly now. For the past few years, I’ve been feeling a mix of the following, if not daily, then certainly weekly:
- Loss of interest/struggling to engage in hobbies
- Intense anger
- Sadness and crying
- Depressive spirals
- Heightened jealousy
- Lack of communication
Yeah, probably should have been obvious, yet it’d become my new normal, so I didn’t realize how bad it was. My first thought, though, when my partner bought this up?
Of course I’m depressed. Who can be happy in this timeline?
I have a LOT of privilege. But a few of my identities are those that have been attacked in our country. Being queer is one of them, though as a bisexual woman dating a man, I pass as straight easily. Being a woman has always had its challenges. Becoming disabled is something I’m still learning to work through. Financially, I have never been stable.
But, when you scale back from my personal identities and look at the state of the world right now, I think it’s not surprised my depression got worse.
A non-exhaustive list includes:
- Pandemic (ongoing and dealing with being one of the few who still takes it seriously)
- Financial struggles (debt, living in a country that has billionaires, lack of minimum wage raise, inflation)
- Rise of fascism and white supremacy in America
- The attack on queer people, especially trans youth
- The hopelessness surrounding climate change
- Losing faith in humanity seeing responses to the above
I think that is the first question I have, for anyone reading this. Amidst this backdrop, how do you hold onto happiness? How do you create it, or find it, daily?
Creating Happiness: Ideas
Though this revelation of how bad my own mental health has gotten is still fresh, I have started looking at how to take care of my mental health better. Officially leaving my toxic job and having three weeks off until the 26th of June is helping more than I can express. This is the happiest I’ve been in literal years. So, I think it’s safe to say that, for me, the toxic job was the key to how bad my depression was getting. I really hope my new job will be much better.
Here are a few things I’m also planning to explore:
- Therapy: I kept not going due to cost, but my partner and I agreed that we must figure out a way to financially bear it, because mentally I cannot. I have a new therapist I am meeting with next week, so I hope it goes well!
- If you’d like to help out, I have a Patreon ($2 a month) that I’m only two people away from ten patrons, so that’d be amazing!
- Write and read more: Working on my new WIP has been so wonderful. Dreaming about self-publishing and writing books FOR ME and moving on from trad publishing sounds more exciting by the day. Reading books always feeds my soul. So, I need to make time for those things.
- Be in nature: I have always been happiest when I am in nature, especially with trees. I need to find ways to be surrounded by trees more.
- Daily routines: Something else I’ve struggled with is not taking care of myself daily, seeing that as time wasted or too much effort. Gotta rewire that part of my brain.
All of this sounds great, in theory. And, being off from a day job where you’re locked in from 8am-5pm, I’ve been able to implement a lot of this. I do fear I won’t be able to keep it up, when I go back to working full-time. Or how I give myself grace, when I fuck up. Plus, how to adjust with limitations, like financial and time.
So, that’s why I wrote this post, about the importance, for myself, of creating happiness. I’d love to hear from you and how you do it. How do you find joy when the world is awful? For those who also have depression, how do you navigate the world with it? Is there other advice you’d offer or practices you’d recommend?
It’s weird, how obvious it was, that I haven’t been okay. Yet it took a lot for me to accept it and now, try to change it. All advice, feedback and encouragement welcome!