I watched a documentary last night titled Happy. It’s on Netflix for any of you have a subscription.
It’s a study about what makes people happy. A comment was made in the documentary about studies focusing on what makes us depressed, but not so much about what makes happy people, happy.
I always wake up with an instant thought. Sometimes, it’s about a dream I had, what I plan to do for the day, a revelation, or a song.
I have recurring dreams that are starting to get on my nerves. I know that I’m disorganized, and I have years of stashed crap in my closets to sort through. It’s the stuff I didn’t want to deal with because I was trying to keep things together emotionally. I don’t understand why my subconscious mind has to nag me while I’m trying to sleep. I know what I have to do, and I’m doing it. Slowly, but I’m doing it.
This week has been tough, because I had a dream with my sister and brother in it. My sister and I laughed and enjoyed ourselves. Those are the dreams I love. I look at them as time spent with the people I’ve lost in my life.
The dreams about my brother aren’t so pleasant. The last time I saw him alive, he was gaunt, pasty, and had a hard time walking due to Diabetic Neuropathy. He never took care of his health, and it made me extremely sad. The next time I saw him, he was lying on the floor, dead.
He appeared in the same dream. He was a ghostly figure passing in the background.
When my brother is in my dreams, it isn’t like I get to spend time with him. In some way, he dies in my dreams.
What aggravated my insomnia, was months of night after night dreams like this after he passed. Every morning, I would mentally relive the day my mom and I found him. I created an anxiety process over going to bed that I’m still working through—five years later. I didn’t want to continue experiencing those dreams because I wanted to grieve, and move on as regular people do. I was tired of the Groundhog Day experience every morning. Those dreams have become spread out, not every night, but I still have them.
Oh—where am I going with all this?
I felt the need to get it off my mind—again.
The first time I was rudely awakened this morning, I was forming a revenge plot against the barking dogs behind us.
Last night, I had a Facetime chat with my daughter. We laughed at a memory of a former neighbor. There were sheep on the land behind his house. The sheep noise bothered him, like constant dog barking drives me nuts. His retaliation was to place the speakers from his stereo, facing the property of the neighbors, and blast music that direction. If my memory serves me, it was Opera music.
Anyway, that’s neither her nor there. But it made me giggle as I was plotting my revenge and fell back to sleep—after 45 minutes of constant dog barking—at 6:30 am. All four dogs–barking their silly heads off. (For the record, they must have been reported because 45 minutes is an improvement. It used to be 8-12 hours of constant barking–I kid you not)
When I woke up the second time, the song Happy, by Pharrell Williams was playing in my mind. Go ahead, click on the link. Even on some of my real bad days, watching it has at least given me a smile. On good days, I even feel like dancing.
Progress is—recognizing what brings you down, and making a choice to wallow in it, or do something about it. I’m not talking about severe depressive episodes. The mind isn’t capable of recognizing, or caring, much less thinking–except about escaping the torture.
While it took me a week to work through this, I observed my thoughts about what brought me down. Progress is—not taking years to observe my thoughts.
(If you happened to stumble across this post, looking for a way to feel good, a way to figure out how to escape your depression, a way to find peace—I didn’t do this alone. Depression isn’t something one can snap out of. The progress I have made has been with the help of professionals—and to anybody reading this, who is ignorant enough to believe we can snap out of it–pull your head out of your ass, and have some compassion. Are you an expert?)
The documentary summarized the things which make people happy. Kind of a no-brainer to regular people, it’s what is probably lacking in quite a few people suffering some types of depression.
I see what I’m lacking in my life that prevents me from experiencing true happiness. Now I must go forth and conquer.
Ha! After I’ve had another cup of coffee, and build a bit more self confidence.