Why is Happiness so Hard?
The last couple of months have been difficult. They have been hard for reasons I cannot fathom into words because I do not know the correct vocabulary to describe the empty pit in my stomach, the yearning in my chest for something more.
More. I always need more.
I have everything in this world but my brain, my chest, my heart, my throat, my limbs, my being is always grasping for more.
Maybe more isn’t want I need. It’s not what I’m searching for. No, what I’m ultimately wanting is to feel at ease. To feel okay. To feel worthy. To feel utter happiness.
There are dark clouds inside my mind that like to take a backseat most of the time but never fully leave my head. They precipitate ideas that I am not good enough, I do not deserve what I have: the people in my life, the progress I have made.
Let me briefly explain to you what I have in this life, and why I am so mad at myself.
I have a mother who would give everything in her being to wipe the clouds from my brain, to give me even just a moment of sincere happiness.
I have a father who would cut down every single tree that is blocking the sun from reaching my dark thoughts.
I have a brother who will stand by me through every panic attack, mental breakdown, and through all of my second, third, and fourth thoughts about making decisions, and then tell me “You did so great, Rebecca”.
I have best friends who are genuinely interested in my life, how I’m doing, what my goals are, and where I’m feeling on this spectrum of intense anxiety and depression.
I have an amazing boyfriend who has dealt with every instance of my thoughts betraying myself, who has stood by me as I question his feelings for me because I am too insecure to believe that he could actually care for me.
I have four walls surrounding me and a roof over my head. I have cats who check up on me when they hear my silently crying at night. I have a job that is keeping my head financially above water. I am getting an advanced education. I am healthy. I am surrounded by beauty. I have every reason to feel intense happiness, to be content.
But those dark clouds keep rolling in.
Those clouds tell me that mom and dad are sick of my mental disparities. My brother will only tell me I am doing great for so long, and does he really mean it? They tell me that my friends do not really care about me and my wellbeing. They tell me that my boyfriend is getting sick of me, is obviously going to leave me, and that it’s best to cut ties before you get hurt. Hurt yourself before anyone else can, right?
My thoughts are irrational and I am aware of this fact. I know that what they are telling me is not real, that they are wrong. But then why do I feel the sadness that they bring? If I can understand that the rain that falls from those clouds is just my depression creeping in, why do I let the feelings of dread, worthlessness, and sadness wash over me? How frustrating it is to be clued into what parts of your mind are lying to you, and yet still believe the emotions that they emit.
And this is why I’m mad. Mad at myself. Because I am allowing these beliefs, these thoughts, these lies overtake me. And I don’t know how to stop. And others are feeling at fault for my mood changes, and I’m angry that I’m allowing my own problems to create tears in relationships that I am so thankful for. I can’t stop this cycle and it hurts.
I once went to a psychic and she told me something I’ll never forget. She told me,
“Rebecca, why won’t you let yourself be happy? Someone could ask you to paint a room, all four walls. You’d finish and they would be so happy with how it came out, they would praise you for your hard work, and you would reply, “Yeah, it’s okay, but I didn’t paint the ceiling.”
My friends, my family, my boyfriend, they all ask me why I am so sad, if they are any cause of this despair that I drag along each day. My beautiful support system feels at fault and that hurts me.
I don’t know how to fix myself. But I’m working on it. But for now, I want to say something to those in my life:
I am sorry. I am so sorry that whatever is happening inside of my head is affecting our connection. I need you to know that you are not doing anything to make me feel like this. You are what is keeping me afloat.
To my family, I am sorry that I am so absent. I am trying my best to not allow my self-deprecation show, because I am embarrassed that I have come so far and have taken steps backwards. Thank you for always being there for me when I need it, and thank you for giving me my space when I’m not feeling like myself.
To my friends, I am sorry for my distance. I am sorry that I have not talked more to you about this. I am trying my hardest to figure it out. Thank you for your unwavering support for me and for always picking up your phone when I call.
To my boyfriend, I am sorry that this side of me has shown itself so early in our relationship. It is not something I was expecting to happen. Thank you for your acceptance of me in dark moments and for telling me that things like this aren’t going to make you run away.
Why is happiness so hard for me? Because I’ve got my arms spread out, with ropes tied around them; anxiety yanking one way, depression yanking me the other, both as hard as they can. My fists are clenched and I’m trying to break free, but sometimes they are stronger than me. Because I am not fully “better”, and I’m not sure I ever will be. Because trusting people is hard for me. Because I do not fully like who I am as a person.
But even when these dark clouds become so large that they haze over my eyes, I always manage to see some glimpse of light, a shimmer of gold reaching through. And that is enough to snap me out, to remind me that I will be okay.
So thank you. Thank you for always reaching out for me. Thank you for poking your head through the darkness, for cutting away at the ropes around my wrist. Thank you for your constant reassurance.
This honest reflection comes from Rebecca, who has submitted both art and a Coping entry to us before. In her own words:
“We are all continuous and beautiful works in progress”
Always remember you are not alone.
You are loved.
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