What makes you happy?

I knew that feeling “yucky” again was only a matter of time.  I didn’t really believe I was ‘back to my old self.’  Not really.  That’s one of the things I took away from the last session of Healing Hearts.  It’s when you think you are doing better that it hits you in the face and you are ten steps behind again.

Depression or feeling lost has been a friend of mine since I was probably 13 years old.  I’ve always struggled with my self-image, what I wanted to do, belonging.  I’ve always questioned if I was serving my purpose in life.  I remember when I was first approached by my doctor about starting anti-depressants.  I thought it was going to change who I was … who God had designed me to be.  My pain was a part of me.  Was it right to change that pain?  To eliminate a part of me that felt the strongest?

An amazing friend took me out for dinner at Chi Chi’s (have no idea why I still remember that part of the story).  He told me that he lives with ADD … he took medicine to help him focus.  He never ever told anyone …. he was so embarrassed.  But it was at that moment that I realized I loved him even more for being honest about who he was, “flaws” and all.  It wasn’t something to be ashamed of.  It wasn’t something that changed who he was.  His soul was still present.  It helped him to be a better him.  It was just a means for him to be who God had made him.

So I found myself starting the anti-depressants my freshman year of college.  You know what?  I’m just a better me.  I’m a me that can get out of bed each day, who doesn’t get swallowed up in the pits of life.  The reality of it is though … the small pill doesn’t fix everything.  I still have my pits, my down falls and my really shitty days.  I have a week or two that I just don’t want to.  That’s just where I find myself right now.  But it’s a phase.  I won’t let it last forever.

I took a lot of time in college trying to figure out what made me happy.  I had to find a way to survive.  I couldn’t stop the waves of depression from taking hold of my life, but I could find ways that would help me kick it faster.  So I joined a step aerobics class.  Yep, on my lunch I was steppin’ to the oldies with some of my professors!  I started taking frequent trips to the craft store.  I remember painting dozens of little jewelry boxes.  I have no clue why, but it made me feel better.

Of course I tried other ways that didn’t work out like I had hoped.  I drank too much.  I tried to fix others rather than looking at myself. What do you really learn if you don’t fail first?  I learned to embrace my pain.  Embrace my short comings and the darkest part of my life.  When you embrace them, they become blessings.  They become the moments in life when God’s grace feels the closest.

So yes.  My mood stinks right now.  I don’t feel like I want to do much of anything.  BUT I am trying to find a way to kick myself out of it.  I see a grief counselor and I am open with her on how I am feeling.  Brutally honest.  The grief support group that Jaden and I attended in the fall is starting up again on Monday.  I have found 10 or 15 mins here or there to work on knitting some hats for the Craft Hope Project.  I talk with my husband when the kids are in bed.  I ask for extra hugs.  I call my mom … sometimes a few times a day.  I treat myself to a Starbucks coffee.  I keep myself busy … change the scenery every once in a while.  Like yesterday, the babies and I played in the basement rather than the living room … it was a change of pace.  Felt kind of nice.

I bear my soul on this blog.  I’m not 100% sure why.  Perhaps it’s because I know I’m not alone in the way I feel.  Perhaps it’s to let someone else know they aren’t alone.  Whatever the reason, it’s just sort of what I do.  My family has been through hell and back … we need to take care of each other.  Heck, you could say that about all of humanity.  We need to take care of each other.  That includes you taking care of yourself.  Whatever that might be … I hope you find it.

Love, Mel


  1. So true in so many facets of life. It’s refreshing to hear someone bear the soul and help so many ppl in the process. Thanks for sharing, as always!

    Aimee 🙂

  2. I’m glad you have been open to the idea in the past of anti-depressants. They’re not for everyone though…. They weren’t for me. I don’t WANT them. I want to just be me.

    I hope your phase passes quickly so you can go back to enjoying all that is around you. Take care!

  3. I love your honesty. I haven’t been through nearly what you’ve experienced, but I can relate to how you are feeling right now. I’m in a yucky mood right now and can’t seem to pull myself out–though I will say that the sunshine today is helping! I hope your mood changes soon so you can enjoy life again. (((HUGS)))

  4. You are definitely not alone.

    I take medication for anxiety and depression. I also try to do things to help me feel better or lift my spirit like reading scriptures, crafting, playing with my cat, or watching a favorite show. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

    I will pray for you that you will start to feel better 🙂

  5. Hi melissa.this is jackie coleman.I know we haven’t talked in a while but I feel the same way u do most of the time.yea I haven’t lost a child but the depression and life alone is a lot of work to deal with.my doc always tells me keep yourself occupied but when it comes down to it u can only keep yourself occupied for so long. I have a 4 year old and these days his attitude is just unbarrable some days. I’m tired of punishing him and scolding him all the ttime.and the talking back is just out ragous.just makes me want to crawl in a hole.but if I do that my little man won’t have anything or anybody to look up to.so that said just keep your head up high and think of possitive. Thing and just remember that things happen for a reason. God just thought it was time for your little guy for good reasons and not bad.he didn’t want to take him from u to hurt u. He did it for the little guys own sake.well if u ever want to talk give me a call or u can find me on face book

  6. Thanks for being honest and sharing your deepest thoughts, I admire you for all you do and continue to do to honor your Sons memory. I too have dark days nand use the magic pill to help me deal with lifes struggles .

  7. Thank you for sharing with us! You definitely are not the only one to go through depression and it always helps to hear others stories. Especially in a down time and you need to hear how they are being helped.

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