The I in Happiness

I had a long conversation earlier/yesternight with a friend about life and such over crepes. Oh how I love conversations! One of the things we talked about was about my ‘depression era.’ A few probably had noticed it.

Two years back, when I just gave birth to Mati, I believe I had depression but you know how our culture does not understand depression. So it was something I did not openly discussed. I guess that made it worse because I really did not know how to handle it, and I was keeping it to myself because I did not know how to explain it in the first place.

Depression is an awful thing to experience. I had that hollow empty feeling that I tried to pull myself up, but I felt helpless. And, I would feel bad of why I could not help myself so I would ended up hating myself of why I could not cheer myself up, and so I ended up more depressed — down into the pits. With 3 kids, I had to force myself to be happy which just made it most depressing.

It is something I do not wish to happen to any one. It is something I do not want to go back to. But looking at it now, it probably is one of the best things that happen to me. I would like to believe I ‘grow up’ a lot after that, and see things & life differently.

There are a few things I learned from it. But they are something I could not explain because you need to experience them to really understand them. I’ll try to paint a picture of what I learn:

We usually define our life based on:
* what we have — our house, our car, our shiny stuff, our couch, and such
* who we have — our family
The ‘what we have’ and ‘who we have’ are our happiness. But sometimes we forget the I, the you, yourself. As they would say that the ‘You complete me’ saying is false. Because You (need to) complete yourself before getting into a relationship.

My understanding now is that to anchor your happiness on another person is selfish. Making someone be responsible for your own happiness is unfair to that someone. I mean just imagine what you are demanding from another person — your happiness. It is like just asking them to give their life to you.

We can probably trace it to our culture — the individualist/internalist versus the group-list/externalist. But I will not make it harder for myself so I will skip that.

So in my case, I blamed Mark of why I was depressed before. But I am now thankful to the High Heavens above for giving me that depression because it made me realize that I am responsible of my own happiness. The ‘what I have’ and ‘who I have’ are just icings on the cake.

I’m not really sure of my analogy. Let’s just say, Happiness is something you have to find by yourself within you. Happiness is not about waiting for that another person to give it to you. Ano ka hello???

Because if you are happy and feel complete on your won, you do not need much ‘what I have’ to fill in the holes and your ‘who I have’ will not be pressured for your happiness, but instead you will contribute to theirs.

The analogy still sucks so I will stop.