My Path to a Happier Place

Over the past couple of months, I have been involved in a group therapy curriculum that focuses on achieving goals through gainful activities.  It also emphasizes staying in a routine and building structure.  Much needed stuff to stave off depression and anxiety, or so it turns out.  I was a damn mess not that long ago, and now I feel like anything is possible.

I am keeping my house clean, cooking every single night, socializing, blogging regularly, and my spirits are high.  I don’t feel like I owe this to anything but what I learned in group therapy.  I’ve learned to keep a planner handy, and to schedule myself activities each night for the following day.  I’ve learned that it’s better to stay busy and it keeps you from wallowing.

As I have been doing increasingly better, I also find that I am changing directions, in a way.  I am becoming more accepting of my traditional role in my romantic relationship.  Actually, it would be easier and more succinct to say, I’ve accepted it.

And I don’t think it had sunk in that I had accepted it a long time ago, until I had a comment-conversation with the lovely blogger, Kim.  I don’t know why I didn’t come to it sooner, the term “traditional” to describe what DSB and I are.  In all those months of therapy, I couldn’t have an “ah-ha!” moment?

Turns out free conversation between bloggie friends might have better results than paid therapy, at least sometimes.  Both of my recent therapists told me that “traditional” gender roles just do not work in a relationship.  I call bullshit.

So DSB doesn’t do the dishes, or cook (very often), or clean, or take out the trash.  So what?

He does work out in the shop nearly every day, takes care of the lawn/leaves/snow, and is generally an all-around handyman.  And he kills spiders, mice, snakes, and all matter of creepy-crawly things.  It’s basically called division of labor.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair, but I know that he does a lot of things that I just couldn’t or sometimes wouldn’t, do.  And that’s how he feels about housework.

I told DSB today that it was a lot easier to be happy than to be sad or depressed or anxious.  I told him it was almost a choice to just accept what is going on around you.  A choice to be happy.  Another “ah-ha” moment.  Now, I don’t believe for a second that you “choose” to be depressed or anxious or manic, for that matter.  I do believe those are chemical processes.

But what I also believe, is that we can make our own happiness.  By accepting, by loving, by getting it out there.  We can make ourselves feel better, if just for ten minutes, by doing something small.  And pretty soon those ten minutes here or there add up.  I know that, even in the darkest of my depression (which I know will recur, and I will be ready), if I could do one nice thing for myself, I felt, temporarily, a little better.

Unfortunately, the brain often doesn’t have access to these thoughts when actually in the throes of depression.  Which is why I’m writing it all down so I can read later, silly.

I really do feel like I have been saved by a schedule, by acceptance, and by love.  This go-round, I won.  And next time, I’ll be ready.

6 thoughts on “My Path to a Happier Place

  1. Omgosh! I just had the exact conversation about an hour ago..about happiness being a choice. It won’t change the situations and hard stuff we face, but we can choose to be happy in the meantime anyway…weird..we may be kindred sould my dear! Speak your reality..hugs


  2. Acceptance of self, Shirley, is key to happiness. Fortysumthin’ bra burnin’ years back the current culture was… never did understand it. Was always told by a beloved paternal Gma and my beloved padre…you can do ANYTHING you choose. Neither of them really judged that much. And I always wondered what all the squall was about. If ya want it, do it. If ya don’t, why bother?

    Traditional roles. Really? Never has QofB quite understood the trauma/drama of the venue. Do what you do… and do it hella well. Dream and scheme, and when ya cannot do it yerself….well, that’s what tradeoffs are all about.

    Thus, one can be a damned good anything one chooses, and never pick up a power tool. Because we all know how ugly it could be. In the meantime, looking ’round ya and finding a niche that suits ya, and your loved one(s)… it counts for inner peace.

    I am rambling, as usual, and will stop. maybe. Stereotypical role types are a hard ideation to get past. Just put on the boots, then figure it out…. In the meantime, cosmic culture will take a nap.

    Welcome to another mile down the road of manurity, mija…. XOXO


  3. You are applying common sense to something that isn’t sensible. I admire your spirit. I think I’ve kind of given up. Modern babblespeak overwhelms me. And commonsense isn’t (never was) common. I keep wondering why people don’t actually listen to each other. They would learn so much.


    • Thanks, Marilyn. You’re right, commonsense is not common, unfortunately. And the world is lacking, for it. I think that people listen, but they do not hear, if that makes sense. Sometimes it’s like talking to a blank wall, isn’t it?


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