About six months ago, I sat in this very chair and was reading an article about the effects of depression on your body. As I read, I began to realize exactly where I was in life; in the clutches of crippling depression. Insomnia, heart problems, headaches, fatigue, weight gain, a weakened immune system… It was like reading a list of the problems I was facing on a daily basis. The worst part was, I didn’t realize I was miserable.
I had been programmed by those around me to think that I couldn’t be happier, because it would reflect poorly on them if society knew how unhappy I was.
The mind can be tricked, but the body, not so much. You can be in a horrific car accident and break every bone, and while you can tell yourself that you’re not in pain or that everything is fine, that body cast will paint a much different picture.
There I was, for years on end, absolutely miserable. Hating everyone I dealt with, just wanting to be alone, crying myself to sleep at night, my hair was falling out, I was 80 pounds overweight, I developed ulcers and, within the past year, even started to get migraine headaches. But I kept telling myself I had to be happy.
But inside I knew I was miserable. You can’t be around people on a daily basis that you hate with every fiber of your being and somehow be “happy.” You can’t throw your life away and expect anything good to come back to you. Ever. It just doesn’t work that way. If you want good in your life, you have to put it there yourself.
Luckily, circumstance decreed otherwise and those people have been eliminated from my life forever, and in less than three months my whole world is changing. I have lost 17 pounds, I haven’t had a single migraine headache since early December, I can actually sleep at night and wake refreshed in the morning, my blood pressure is dropping, my ulcers are finally straightening up, my hair stopped falling out and I don’t feel the overwhelming, non-stop feelings of misery, doom and depression that I felt for seven years. Just by the elimination of people I hated from my life.
From the time I was 15 I always said I would never live to see 40. It was just a premonition, nothing concrete ever happened to give me that foresight. But now I realize there was some truth to it. At the age of 40 years and six months, I actually started to live. The old me is dead. The “me” that hated to get up in the morning because my bed was the only place I felt “happy,” that couldn’t function due to headaches so bad I became disoriented, that laid in bed awake every night for four or five hours before a small amount of sleep would overtake me and then I could have nightmares about the unhappiness in my life. That “me” didn’t make it far past 40.
So, to anyone who reads this, I’m pleading with you, don’t lie to yourself. Life is too short and precious to be spent being miserable. Don’t throw your life away. If there’s anything in your life that is making you miserable and unhappy, get rid of it. It’s not worth it, no matter what it is. There is so much happiness to be had in the world today, don’t let anything, and especially anyone, ruin it for you. You’re worth more than that. I lost seven years of my life to crippling depression and I’ll never get those seven years back. But, if I live as long as my grandfather did, I could have 52 years ahead of me to enjoy life and actually be happy. I plan on taking advantage of them.
Don’t let society, or anyone’s manipulations, make you unhappy. Don’t allow yourself to be used and abused and taken advantage of just so someone else can be happy. It isn’t worth it on any level. Your life is your own. To live as you want.
I want to say that I thank God for the life I was given, I thank my friends and family for seeing me through it and I thank providence for getting me out of the misery I was in for all those years. Many a night I laid in bed and begged the Lord to end my life before the sun would rise again. Now the sun has truly risen. I wouldn’t trade my life right now for anything or anyone, and I am happier than I have been in probably 15 years. And a whole lot healthier. With a lot more support and love than I have ever had. How many times lately I have said “today was a really good day.” Those were so few and far between in the previous seven years I could have counted them on one hand and had fingers left over. Life is what you make it. And this is mine.
In closing, you are given one earthly life. What you do with it is up to you. If you want to get into a situation where every day feels like it would be better if it were your last, then you need to wake up and understand that there’s more to life than that. There are wonderful people and places and things to enjoy. Hobbies and food and drink and movies and shows… Why allow anyone, or anything, to make you unhappy? Let it go. Take a deep breath, and walk out into the world. And enjoy it.