Just BE Happy?

The other day I went through and re-read all of my posts here on the blog. I love and hate when I do that. I love to reread my favorites, but then I cringe at the other non-favorites. 

A while back I wrote about choices and it got me thinking about how people would tell me that you have to choose happiness. Have you ever had someone say that to you? You just have to choose to be happy. It’s always irked me, and frustrated me and in the height (or depths really) of my depression, that sentiment just made me question myself and ask why I couldn’t just choose to be happy. 

Because in the thick of it, I couldn’t. 

And while many of these people were well-meaning, I sincerely doubt they know what it’s like to be truly depressed. To struggle to get out of bed in the morning, to struggle to eat, to struggle to laugh at the most adorable faces, to struggle to be happy for your family. If you’ve never been there I don’t know how to describe it to you, but if you have, then you know what I mean. I’ll bet that you also know how hard that happiness choice is.

There is truth to the statement, that at a point you can choose to be happy, but I think that you need to get to that point. When you’re up to your elbows in tears and tissues and completely distraught, that statement is so unattainable, that for me it didn’t help. 

I can honestly say that yesterday I CHOSE to be happy. It wasn’t the easiest thing and it wasn’t 100% but I did pretty good. This wasn’t the first time I’d done this but I think that it’s the first time in a while that I realized it happened. 

Yesterday happened because over the past few months even though I didn’t know how, or didn’t feel like I could, I kept trying. I kept reaching out. I kept moving forward, inch by inch. You’ll find your happy too, and it may not look like every one else’s happy, but you will get there.

From what I can tell, things are getting better. Now that I’m farther along in my journey I look back and realize that maybe I wasn’t as sad as I seemed? I don’t know. I do know that this IS a journey, that for me, depression is not a one and done deal. Unfortunately, it’s taken me about 15 years, many of which were spent denying my feelings, and multiple seasons of counseling for that to really sink in. 

So today I rejoice that I’m at a point in my journey that I can make that choice to be happy, to put away the darkness. I’m at a point where I know that I can lean on God to help me look past the darkness and see His light. I am happy to be at a point where I can be happy. 🙂

– Jess


Guard your heart above all else,

    for it determines the course of your life. – Proverbs 4:23

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