Right, when I thought I had beat the feelings of sadness they came back. I wouldn’t quite say I was getting cocky, but I was doing all the things on my list and putting my mental health needs first for my family. Why was I feeling sad again? Things were going so well!
When I first started my list miraculous things happened to me and my family. We started fighting less. We enjoyed each other more. My husband and I quit sweating the small stuff. I couldn’t believe that just by doing a few simple steps by life could get better.
There was only one problem.
My depression and sadness can stop me from doing my list.
Let that shit simmer.
Whoa. You mean you can’t magically fix this shit with a pretty infographic? Shocking.
This is my personal Happy List. You may make one for yourself and it will probably look different.
No one told me to make this list. I just knew that my life was falling apart and therefore the people around me were also falling apart and I had to make a change. So I made this list. These are the things I have to do every day.
Now, the list isn’t fail proof and it changes.
For example; Go For A Walk could mean doing a work out video on YouTube or getting on the treadmill. I have to exercise for my brain. If I don’t get exercise, I can slowly feel myself go crazy. I know some people don’t enjoy the word ‘crazy’, but that is how it feels for me. My brain gets almost soft and mushy and confused. I can actually feel it happen. When this happens, I can no longer get myself to work out and it becomes part of my cycle of sadness.
In fact, all these things on my list can make me feel super shitty about myself as they can make me feel good. Weird, huh. If I do complete my list I can feel like a fucking rockstar. If I don’t do these things I feel unhealthy, unloved, unliked, unattractive, unhelpful and very very sad.
This is where my sadness can come in and therefore prevent me from doing my list.
Some days it’s so fucking hard. Some weeks a list isn’t going to do fuck all for me when I just want to hide in my bed.
At times I feel really responsible for losing my happy. Like it was all my fault. That I let this happen to me. That I become so obsessed with motherhood that I just lost everything that was ever me. I’m not going to lie to myself, I did do 80% of this. We’ll blame genes for the other 20%.
A list isn’t going to change anyone’s life. I know that. I knew that when I wrote it.
For the most part, my list works. But, what do I do when it doesn’t?
Then I just let myself be. I give myself permission to feel what I am feeling. I remind myself that tomorrow is a new day. That I have been in this place before. I have tools that can help. I am enough just the way I am. I don’t have to hustle. I don’t have to slay. I don’t have to make money for my family. I can just be me. Being me is enough.
I sometimes give myself a friendly pinch and tell myself to be selfish, get up go for a walk in the sunshine or the blizzard or the rain. I get my boots on. I throw on a hat. I say to myself, ‘this too will pass.”
And it usually does.