Early in my recovery I used to have a lot of bad days, and even though I was starting to have good days, I’d still slip back into the depression once in a while. It wasn’t the same kind of depression that it used to be though. It was more of just a regular sadness or tiredness instead of an overwhelming and crushing feeling.
These days I’m honestly happy or content almost every single day of my life. The only times I’m sad now are when something specifically happens, but then it’s only temporary. But if you’re somewhere in the middle of your journey in trying to recover from depression or maybe early on, it’s possible you have a mix of good days and bad days. Maybe you’re worried that having a bad day means you’re starting to relapse, but it’s totally normal to feel sad or down sometimes even when you’re starting to do better. Sadness is just one of our many human emotions.
- How to Be Happy Consistently
- 5 Beliefs I Changed to Be Happy
- 10 Things Happy People Do Differently
- 7 Common Ways to Be Happy in Life
- How to Be Happy Anytime
Here is something I wrote at the beginning of this year when I had more bad days (mixed with the good) to let you know that you don’t have to be happy all the time to be ok (and given enough time and effort put into your recovery, happiness will eventually become your new normal):
“I’ve been feeling a little down lately. I wouldn’t say depressed necessarily, but just tired, lethargic, unmotivated. I have little pockets of joy when I think I am getting happy again but then things sort of settle down and my mood falls down a few notches and I’m back to this familiar place.
Maybe that’s why I keep coming back here. Because it’s familiar. It’s safe. I know what it’s like, and I know what I’m getting myself into every day. I can expect the same results every time. It is comfortable, in a way. To sit with the sadness and not fight it. To just let it swim around you in circles while you float through the water. It’s not the same gut-wrenching depression that I’ve felt in the past, when the world felt like it was closing in and I was drowning at the bottom of a deep well.
Depression, in some ways, is like greeting an old friend. Maybe they’re not your best friend, which is why you don’t see them all the time, and they don’t bring you the joy of a loved one, but they’re still a friend and you have a history of inside jokes together that happiness just can’t understand.
There’s a certain comfort in being depressed. Sometimes being happy seems like such a commitment. It’s a lot of energy to expend, and sometimes I just want to wrap myself in a blanket and go into a cocoon state for a while to reflect and meditate and think and come out rebirthed on the other side.
I’m realizing that you don’t have to be happy all the time to be ok. Because right now I would say that I’m a little sad, but I’m ok. I’m not really concerned about my mood at all. This is not the same all-encompassing sadness that it used to be.
I am cocooning right now, and sometimes sadness sits beside me quietly. But it’s not bothering me, so I’ll let it stay. I know that I’ll be happy again one day.”
And today is now one day, and I am happy. 🙂 And if I have a brief time when I feel sad, I’m not worried that it means I’ll never be happy again. Even if you’re not happy all the time, or only a little bit of the time, there’s hope for you. You’ll be happy again one day.
Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like Being Spiritual and Happy All the Time
Sometimes I don’t feel like being spiritual and happy all the time.
Some days I feel like I don’t have anything insightful to say or any wisdom to dispense.
Last night I gladly watched people get beheaded in Game of Thrones, and this morning I spent an embarrassing amount of time watching “day in the life” videos of my favorite Youtube teen moms (#guiltypleasure).
The other night I ate an entire pint of cookie dough Ben and Jerry’s while watching Bachelor in Paradise from a very sketchy website. If I know I’m not going to see anyone, I refuse to put on pants.
And I got to thinking about how I write about happiness and life advice and spiritual things. I’m in the middle of brainstorming new post ideas, and right now my brain is split pretty firmly between ideas like “8 Quotes About How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh” and “5 Sleepy Kitten Videos to Make Your Day Better.” I did see a video recently about cats acting like humans that may or may not make for a good post. 🙂
I’m definitely inspired by people like Pema Chodron and Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr. and all those peeps, but sometimes I feel more like Leslie Knope or Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. Or maybe I’m more like the picture of a pug wrapped up like a burrito with the caption, “One day puggerpillar will turn into a beautiful puggerfly.” I’m not entirely sure yet.
But maybe that’s the point. You’re not supposed to be like anyone else. You’re supposed to be yourself.
And if the real you is messy and emotional and not always perfect and sometimes wants to eat dinosaur egg oatmeal for dinner, then rock on with your bad self. Because there is no “perfect” in the end. All the ideas we have for ourselves are of our own creation, which means we can create new ideals.
Maybe you’re on a personal journey to become a better person. Maybe you’d like to be wiser, more grounded, more spiritual, and happier with your life.
But you know what? You don’t have to be like that all the time. That’s just the goal you’re working toward, and you’re not expected to ever reach it or have a moment when everything in your life is absolutely perfect and you’re totally enlightened and have it all figured out.
So while you’re on this journey, don’t be afraid to be yourself and mess up. If you make mistakes, that’s ok. If you’re the type who is usually happy but sometimes PMS’es and turns into a werewolf every month, don’t beat yourself up. Everyone gets mad and sad and glad and secretly feels like maybe they’re actually a terrible person deep down, but you’re not.
We’re humans, not gods, so we’re not supposed to be perfect. We’re just supposed to try.
And who you are is good enough already. 🙂
If you’d like more tips for dealing with depression, check out our 30 Day Negativity Detox.