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Life Moves Pretty Fast
Posted by dirkgently1066
8th Apr 2014

It seems like such a simple question; what makes you happy?

If you were to ask most people, they could probably answer straight away. Give it a try now. Go on, I'll wait right here.

All done? I suspect you got a few different answers; money, chocolate, sex, shopping. Different strokes for different folks.

So, what makes me happy?

Nothing.

Now, that is patently false. Clearly some things make me happy, I don't walk the Earth with a perma-scowl. Why just last week I am certain that I laughed at something.

I can think of specific instances where I was happy. My wedding day, the birth of my children...er, I'm all out.

Aside from specific instances, there are only two sustained periods of my life when I remember being genuinely happy.

Firstly in 2001, as a single man living with friends with no more responsibilities than wondering what time to get up.

Secondly, when I entered therapy.

There are many myths surrounding anxiety and depression. I did not understand these conditions myself and I certainly would not have considered them illnesses. As a society, we throw around words like 'stress' and 'depression' in common language. But this flippant usage only serves to undermine the seriousness of the condition.

Being depressed is not about feeling sad. At it's worst, it is about feeling nothing at all. Nothing matters, there is no point to anything. In fact since therapy, I have experienced far more instances of being 'sad' than I did before therapy. But this is a positive, it meant that I was able to grieve, to empathise. To feel.

Perhaps we have it all wrong. Perhaps the children are the teachers. When I watch my children play, they take such simple delight from the world; a bird running in the garden, a bus going past them on the street, a pretty flower. There is beauty and wonder all around us if only we are stop to see it.

Life is not a destination to be reached as quickly as possible. It is a journey, one to be savoured and experienced along the way.

So, what makes me happy?

I don't know. But I want to learn.

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@Dirkgently1066

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