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Friday, February 4, 2011

The "H" Word

Yesterday I used the "H" word.  "Happy".  I said I wasn't happy.  I was surprised when I typed those words.  Saying I'm not happy is such a loaded concept for me.  I was raised in an environment where being unhappy or admitting you were unhappy was viewed as an affront to God.  How dare you not be satisfied with what you've been given?  I don't think I was a very happy child.  I thought there was something wrong with me. 

I grew up.  I had relationships.  They didn't work out.  In anger I was called "crazy".  Being crazy was also a loaded concept for me.  I took Prozac for a while.  I had an eating disorder.  I went to therapy and treatment.  Did that mean I was crazy?

I grew up some more.  I got married.  I had kids.  I went to college.  I worked really hard in school and jobs.  If I ever stopped to question if I was happy or not, I would quickly say I was.   

I had weight loss surgery.  The big thing I believed that kept me from happiness, my weight and perhaps more importantly, a sense of normalcy with food, has finally been dealt with. Did it bring happiness?

Yes and no.  Yes, I love being a smaller size.  I love even more not being plagued by food demons.  I feel a great deal of peace in that issue.  But no, I don't "feel" different.  I'm still the same person.  My life didn't become perfect just because I lost weight.

Am I fundamentally unhappy?  No.  Do I sometimes experience bouts of dissatisfaction that lead me to write posts proclaiming my unhappiness?  Apparently.  Am I happy?  Yes, yes.  Usually I am.

Is it annoying when people use a ton of rhetorical questions to make a point?  Resoundingly, YES!

Do I wish things in my life were different?  Sometimes.  And this is where I get stuck sometimes.  I look at your lives and the lives of others around me and I think, "Gee, their husband has a full-time job."  Or, "They have enough money to sneak off for a weekend trip." or "They have health insurance." or "They get to take their kids to Disneyworld." or "They have beautiful homes."

But of course I know that you can't look at the lives of others and know how things really are for them.  No one's life is exempt from misfortune and pain.

So please disregard my post from yesterday.  I'm not unhappy.  I was under the influence of hormones.  I feel much better today.  I have everything I need and some things I want.  Who can ask for more than that?

17 comments:

Nella said...

Great one! I am "HAPPY" for you!

Catherine55 said...

Did I enjoy this post? Yes! :) Glad you're thinking through all these kinds of things and it sounds like you've got good perspective.

I just caught up on your last few posts, and can relate to wanting the old BF to see you. I really wanted to run into my ex (PP) too, and it was satisfying on some levels to have him stammer over the change in my appearance.

On the happiness front, I think that the fact that you are conquering one major issue (weight) that made you less happy just makes it more likely that you'll be able to knock off other issues too. I feel like that in my own life -- and weight was the issue I always felt most powerless against. Being able not to feel bad about my body, weight, food, etc. has been really freeing and empowering in a lot of ways.

Have a great weekend!

trisha said...

Good therapeutic post amanda... I think all of us can relate in one way or another...

Libby said...

Oh Amanda, you are so right. Happiness is a choice. And you never know what is happening behind the closed doors of others. I have worked for filthy rich (like hundreds of millions) people and they were some of the most miserable people I knew.

Although there is something wonderful about having all the creature comforts, happiness - true happiness - comes from within. Some of the happiest people I have ever met were Indians (as in India) who had nothing. It is all a matter of perspective.

I am glad that you are working through!

Amanda said...

Fantastic post! I knew we shouldn't be worried about you. That at that moment yesterday you were just working through thoughts. We all have moments like these and a I applaud you for sharing them with us!

Shannon said...

you know if you have those days just email me.

Cassie said...

Another great post :) Sounds like you are working through everything. Keep smiling and remember all those good things in your life.

MandaPanda said...

I love your posts because somehow you can always put into words exactly what I'm thinking. We are very similar in a lot of ways. Someone else made the ocmment that happiness is a choice. I believe that. It looks like you're choosing to find happiness and that's the best choice you can make! :)

Jess said...

This is a super post! You are strong! I love that about you.

Lee Ann said...

Great post, I agree with you, happiness is a choice, but at the same time, we're all human and we sometimes have bad days and need to *feel* what we're feeling...and those emotions aren't always rainbows and sunshine. I think part of my problem for awhile was that I'd eat as way to deny myself the right to feel anything negative. If I ate I didn't feel whatever I was feeling---jealous, mad, resentful, bitter, whatever. Sometimes you need to feel those feelings, acknowledge them, work through them, and *then* you can be happy. If that makes sense.

Bonnie said...

Hormones can be a bitch. Glad you are feeling better today.

Rachel said...

I love your posts, your introspection and your honesty...I can relate to your comment about not being happy being perceived as an affront to God. I think when we confront our emotions...good and bad, we emerge stronger. I love reading your posts and I love when you post on my blog.

Kinzie said...

I love this post and I love your description of you life after the band and how you are still the same person. It is so very true. I am "happier" I think and when I really focus on the positives of life after band (all the things you mentioned) I am happy happy happy. But in reality, things have not changed and we don't have the crutch any longer. Is that good or bad. I think for me it is good. Maybe I think clearer. Maybe there are things I just lived with before that I can try to change now? Maybe...hmmm. Anyway, just wanted to say that we all have those days, but you bounced back nicely which is what matters. Hang in there.

To Band or not To Band? said...

The grass is always greener..........until it's your job to trim the edges and mow that sucker, and then you realize that your little piece of brown lawn that doesn't grow........is worth it!!

MLM said...

i love this post and felt like some of my own thoughts made it into your post..

Something About Kellie said...

I love the honesty of your posts. I often feel 'unhappy' but not really unhappy just ... something. I'm not sure what it is or what is lacking but I am hoping to find out along this journey. :)

LDswims said...

I am sorry for commenting so late in the game but I did not see this until just now and since I love you to pieces, I have to chime in with this.

Happiness is fleeting, contentment is real.

And if ever I've known someone able to embrace her contentedness, it's you.

We are happy that things happen, happy at events, happy for big successes and great introductions. But happiness is not truly sustainable. Contented-ness, on the other hand, is. It allows us to want for me and to endure tough times. It allows us to appreciate the happy events and look forward to more, but to appreciate what we have day in and day out - and those little things are the things to embrace.

I have never seen you as one to be losing weight to find happiness, you are smarter than that, to be bold. But I do think you understand that losing weight can lead to a different type of contentment than what you have experienced and that is something to strive for. Won't make a happier person, but will make longer lasting impact on overall everything.

Anywho. Love you to pieces, don't think I saw the post from the day before, either, but what you said in this post made me think I needed to share these thoughts.