Relaxing on my yoga mat after a twisty practice, I found myself deeply happy, thinking about the priviledge I have to be able to move freely in my body, to have the freedom to practice on a daily basis, to be healthy.
Lying in bed later on, tightly held by my wonderful boyfriend, I once again thought about how lucky I am to be surrounded by amazing people, to be able to count on family and friends in happiness and in sorrow.
Arriving at work the next morning, I discovered waiting for me to be found a lovely book with an eloquent title: “Happiness is Everywhere”, a gift from a close friend who thought about me when she saw it at a book sales. Deeply touched by the intention, and even more by the little note she left inside, “I believe this cute book was perfect for you!”, I felt a rush of gratitude towards her, and life in general.
I was almost moved to tears realizing how lucky am I that people think about me when reading about happiness. Because it hasn’t always been the case. Because bubbly people can suffer from depression too.
When the sky gets gray, we know that eventually the sun will be back. Most of the time. I lost that hope more than once in my life. Without any notice, depression hit me, and it felt as if I was falling into a hole. A foggy hole, where I couldn’t think clearly anymore, where I couldn’t see all the helping hands my friends were offering me.
When depression hit, it often came along with its close friend, anxiety. Strongly desiring to quit the uncomfortable state of emptiness brought by depression, I was activating myself more and more. Anxiety was my quick fix to depression, providing me a quick relief from dark thoughts, taking all the space available. Until I wasn’t able to keep up with that too busy schedule, these multiple projects I was getting into to prevent myself from thinking too much. When anxiety could no longer “help” me fight depression, it was the point of no-return: I had to stop everything I was involved in, to take a break for a few weeks, sometimes a few months, before being able to start functioning again.
Some things you can only realize once you’ve been through. Depression was one of them for me. It is only after suffering from it three times at separate moments in my life that I understood what I had happened to me, why suddenly I was becoming more anxious, why I wasn’t able to relate as I usually do with loved ones, why work seemed like an unsurmontable hill to climb. Surrounded by a great team of professionals, and a loving family, I now look back and finally connect the dots between those episodes of my life where I couldn’t explain what was going on.
Through yoga, friendships and therapy, I can now say that I have come a long way. I do not know how I got that lucky, but everyday I am thankful for the life that I get to live, the opportunities that are offered to me, and the love around me. I am more self-aware than I have ever been, and I am now able to notice that those gray days are probably more related to some unbalanced chemicals in my brain than to something I am doing wrong, that I do not have to change jobs, home, or friends to be happy once more. It will eventually come back, if I let it be.
And nowadays, on those foggy days where I can’t think clearly, when I am losing hope of seeing the sun once more, I can read again my precious book to remind me that happiness is everywhere, just waiting to be found.
Happiness is Everywhere – The little book
“Where does happiness come from?
What makes happiness start?
How does it come out of nowhere and into a person’s heart?
Sometimes it’s part of a dream that comes true.
Or perhaps it’s just doing what we like to do.
Happiness comes from laughing – laughing together…
And from a bright change in some unpleasant weather.
Happiness comes from a prayer we’ve said
It’s the feeling we get when we’re tucked into bed.
We’re happy because of a new friend we’ve met…
Or because of a gift we had hoped we would get.
Sometimes happiness comes without any warning.
It may beam in our window first thing in the morning.
Happiness comes from a secret we shared,
Or from a special surprise we prepared.
We often find happiness in learning new things…
In a job we’ve done well and the praise that it brings.
It is found in the wonder of blue sky above…
In the magic of being with someone we love.
And when happiness seems to be nowhere around,
Remember…it’s waiting just to be found.”