Bipolar – Happiness

97726fe8f02ba122e9436eb80a28fb2aHappiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states may also reflect judgements by a person about their overall well-being” Wikipedia

As a person who struggles with mental illness daily I can attest to the fact that many days I’m not a happy person. I would love to be happy all the time. I wish that there was a happy pill. Not a pill like I take for my mental health, because they’re only somewhat effective, but a real, magical happy pill. But there isn’t one. No… I change my mind. I want to be able to be happy on my own. I want to experience organic happiness. Then it would come from inside me on its own be real and I wouldn’t have to depend on a pill, something manmade, for it.

Scientists say that “positive emotions affect us over and above what negative emotions do.” I hope that’s true. I don’t feel like it is, but I hope that it is. I’m going to choose to act as though I believe that it’s true because if I do, I give those positive emotions the chance to blossom and grow.

The effects of stress build up in our brain. It is thought that positive emotions “short circuit the effects of negative emotions,” like stress. That’s an amazing thing to think.

Can anxious and depressed people be happy? I suffer from them both, can I be happy? Scientists say yes.

I choose to believe it’s true… it gives me hope.

Bipolar – My Birthday

Friday was my birthday. I think for my birthday I’d like to be happy. I don’t mean that I’m all sad right now and I need cheering up, though that does happen. I mean that I’d like to be a happy person overall. That’s my birthday wish for myself. I guess it’s like a goal or a resolution. So that’s that.

I’m not panicking about school so much now. I was so afraid that I would fail when I started back to college last year that I felt like I was giving myself a nervous breakdown. I actually had to have my medications changed so that I could calm down. I was going back to school after 30 years and I wasn’t at all confident in my ability to do it. This was the biggest thing I’ve decided to do since I started a publishing company back in the 90’s. It meant that every single day was going to be different than it had been.

I got a dog about three years ago to force myself to get up and be active. She needs to be cared for and trained. I couldn’t just go aimlessly through my days anymore. Going back to school was going to be more of the same. I hate mornings. I don’t like getting up. I’m usually so sleepy in the morning that I get irritated when I have to get up early. Well, now I’m going to school and I have to do that all the time and I’m managing.

Over the last year I’ve proven to myself that I can go to college and be a successful student. I’ve even made the Dean’s List. That was a huge surprise!

So what’s going back to school got to do with being happy? I think I’d walled myself off from the world and was working really hard to stay in one place in my head so that I wouldn’t crash again. Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave any room for getting better. Getting Bailey turned out to be the first step in my being able to live in the larger world again, rather than in my own little depressed world. She drew me out and loves me and I love her back.

Today I’m feeling happy. My eldest daughter is spending most of the day with me. We’re doing homework (she goes to college too) and then I’ll watch the Super Bowl and she’ll do more homework and work on some fiction she’s writing. She doesn’t like football, but she’s being a good sport and hanging out with me while I watch it… and the commercials.

I’m happiest when I’m with people I care about. What I want to figure out is how to be happy when I’m alone, when my happiness depends on me alone. That’s the goal. It’s good to have goals. Sometimes.