Has there ever been a time you were truly happy?

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My mother presented this question to me last night during a phone conversation and it actually got me to thinking about how I could truly and honestly answer that question.

I’m half way through my life and at this point I can honestly say, after taking some time to lay in bed and think about it, that I have never, ever been genuinely happy, ever.

Now, there were times I was content and maybe even close to happy.  However, looking back on those times, I realized the happiness was coming from a time in my life that was not true reality, more like a House of Cards that eventually all came crumbling down.  It was not real.

The one time I remember actually being content enough to borderline true happiness was the last three months I was pregnant, back in early 2004.  Weird, I know, to think the third trimester of a very LARGE pregnancy would make any women feel happy, but I was.  I had been taken off work by my doctor, due to a painful gallstone which eventually prompted the removal of my whole gallbladder years later.  During that time, I just watched my food intake and was able to keep the pain under control.

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My Abyssinian/Siamese mix I had back in 2004

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My Abyssinian baby boy back in 2004

Those days in the first three months of 2004 were peaceful, calm and quite serene.  I would get up, not rushed, not fatigued and cuddle with my cats, then maybe go eat something and walk around the mall a bit, or just sit at home and play a video game. I felt no urgency to be somewhere, no worry about paying bills.  Money was actually flowing in pretty good at that time because I was getting a disability check from my employer, using PTO time for being off work (so I was still getting a paycheck) and getting $1400 a month from AFLAC for disability.  So I was basically getting a paycheck and then some.  I was truly content and seemingly without a care in the world.

Thinking about it now, as I mentioned before, I was in a dream world, a world that wasn’t truly reality.  I remember reality hitting VERY hard after the baby was born.  The reality of a divorce, suddenly becoming a single mother and dealing with being a mother while living under my own mother’s roof (cliff notes version, a mother can’t be a mother while still living in their own mother’s house…impossible).

But to answer that initial question, have I ever been truly happy, the answer would be universally NO.  I’m constantly in a state of agitation and worry.  I’m constantly feeling pain of some sort, whether in my heart, through my emotions or actual physical pain.  Thankfully the latter is much less since my 67 lb weight loss however, the 67 lb weight loss just adds to the psychological obsession that I have to make sure I never gain the weight back again.  It also means the other forms of pain are only emphasized.

I know it is all me. I know we all create our own paths and our own happiness and I’m not saying that I have moments, and by moments, I mean literally, just seconds, of content-ness.  (yeah, I made that word up, deal)

For instance, each evening, when I’m done with cooking dinner, doing my workout, cleaning up the apartment a bit, making sure The Boy is bathed and teeth brushed, telling The Boy to bath and brush his teeth 5-10 times in a row, getting The Boy to bed, making sure I’M bathed and I’m actually sitting down on the couch with my tablet and my cat, ready to crumble into a short state of vegetation because I realize I have to go to bed to start the routine all over again, sometimes, in that short state of vegetation, I will have a moment of content.  The cat helps.  Pets are truly therapy.IMG_20131210_222227

I have never really strived to reach pure happiness because I really don’t think it exists.  I know some say being a parent brings happiness and I won’t deny that it does, sometimes, but sometimes, for me, the most being a parent and being a single parent has brought me is the realization that my sanity can be pushed just a little more each day to the brink of utter and massive detonation.

starsToday, I did reach 30 stars on my Starbucks Rewards Program.  Now, I’m officially a Starbucks Gold Member (as long as I keep purchasing Starbucks for the next 12 months and keep the stars coming).  In a way, that granted me a bit of joy.  I do enjoy my Starbucks Pike Blend (never the frothy foo-foo coffee drinks…just straight Pike for me!)

fav-broccoli-cheddar-soup-doublewide_desktopHappiness is different for each individual person.  I, personally, thought losing the most weight I’ve ever lost in my life and being able to actually see my ribs would make me happy.  SURPRISE SURPRISE!  I’m still miserable.  But hey, at least my feet don’t hurt any more and I can squeeze into size 8 skinny jeans!  But in return, I never get to enjoy a Bread Bowl filled with Broccoli and Cheese soup from Panera Bread, ever…ever again.

So, I wonder, if you sit and think about the initial question, “Have you ever been TRULY happy?”, first be honest with the part of the question that says “TRULY”.  Then try and tell me you’ve been there.  You’ll see things different when the rose-colored glasses are removed and you notice that everything is shit brown.

Blegh.

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3 thoughts on “Has there ever been a time you were truly happy?

  1. Have I ever been truly happy? Yes. I have had times of turmoil like anyone else, and times where I have had to call hotline numbers because my mind was racing with some very bad ideas. I’ve learned over the years that the good times and bad times wax and wane like the moon.
    One happy time was actually during what should have been a depressed time. I was 9, my parents were going through a bad divorce (screaming, cops, threats, DCFS pulling me out of class – nasty), I became a latchkey kid that suddenly had to take care of an autistic younger brother, we were on welfare, I was in a new school… And we lived in an old house with no utilities for the first few months. There was a well in the backyard that we would pump water out of and we had a fire pit in the yard (this was a pop. 600 village) that we would use to heat the water for cooking/ baths. My mother was going through a nervous breakdown, post-split from my father. However, I was 9 and relishing having the house to myself in the afternoon, no TV (my father was a TV hog who had it on constantly and I would have to crawl under the TV to avoid getting in his way and pissing him off), and getting to stay up until midnight roasting marshmallows over the fire with my mom after she got home because she needed someone to talk to and I was all there was.

  2. Another moment of true happiness – Last year, I was working at Goodwill (I’d been there 3.5 years). They went through a corporate reorganization, we all had to re-apply for our own jobs. I was laid off. Now, a month beforehand, I had been talking with a local runaway/ homeless youth shelter about volunteering. The coordinator was super busy so he kept forgetting me and I had to stay on top of it, calling back every couple of weeks to see if they’d sent in the paperwork (working with kids, paid or not requires intensive background checks). Middle of May last year, after being laid off, they call me in to come pick up the paperwork I needed to take in for fingerprinting. While picking up said paperwork, the coordinator told me they had a position open up and asked if I’d be interested, that they were doing interviews the following week. So, I formally applied for it and got the job. So, since May of last year I have been getting paid to work a job I had intended to do for free. The fact that this seldom happens to people is not lost on me. And part of why they hired me? My boss was impressed with my constantly getting on him about that paperwork, lol.

  3. I haven’t been truly happy since I was a kid before high school. I think everyone’s reality and happiness is a house of cards. Some people’s cards just might be a little better.
    I think about this happiness business a lot and I’ve semi-concluded that a lot of it has to do with feeling competent within your society. I don’t know if you can call that happiness.
    A lot of people just brainwash themselves to be happy. Whatever works I guess. That was an honest post. I don’t think many unhappy people ever admit that they are unhappy or refuse to believe it anyway because people know that if they are unhappy, nothing else matters.

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