Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Just Hope the Happiness Doesn't Annoy Anyone

Wow. I honestly cannot remember the last time I have gone so long without blogging. Perhaps never? I'm not sure.

I remember once asking my aunt why a contributor to her community blog never posted. Or commented. She was pretty much MIA all the time and I couldn't understand why. My aunt told me it was because that particular contributor had six children. "Big deal," I thought. "I've got three right now and I still have time to blog."

Insert belly laughter here.

Right now I made a conscience choice to write this blog post. I just put the bathed, nursed, happy, sleeping baby down for a nap, the preschooler is at preschool, and #5 is watching episodes of "Dora." I need a shower, I need to exercise, there are dishes to be done, laundry loads to switch, and garbage cans to bring in from the curb. My husband is in Washington D.C. for the next three days (where he just witnessed the space shuttle being flown in on the back of a huge airplane), and I'm trying to figure out how to shuffle the kids around to soccer and such this evening. I have emails to write, blog posts to comment on, and weeds to pull. The taxes need to be reviewed, the insurance company called, and the 5K fundraiser race for our elementary school signed up for (pardon my grammar).

We just got back on Sunday night from a fantastic quick get-a-way to our cousin's wedding in New Mexico. It was amazing! We had so much fun. Before that, the kids and I were in Idaho where I had the chance to get together with some high school friends. I have seriously had the best couple of weeks I've had in a really long time. The whole thing has had me reeling because, well, because...

Okay, I'll tell you a little secret: I'm happy.

I am. Happy. Not giddy, not satisfied, not dealing, not faking. I. Am. Happy. Peaceful, content, if you will.

I'm not used to feeling this way, dear reader. At all, really. In fact, it's got me quite disconcerted and slightly amazed! As you may know, I have struggled with Depression and self-worth/confidence for a really, really long time now. Years. There have been times of happiness, true, but this feels different somehow --almost like a veil has been lifted from my brain and I can see things more clearly. This is the first time I have not had Post-Partum depression (although I don't' think I had it after #2, but I can't really remember). This is the first time, these last few weeks, where I have made the choice to choose kindness --and it's worked. This is the first time where I feel I am actually in control of my anger and my yelling.

I have to write about this. It's significant, eh? To feel myself being --being! --what I've wanted to be for so very, very long. And I can hear you asking the question: How? How did you do it? What's the secret?

Well, dear reader, I'll tell you. There isn't. A secret, that is. I really don't believe there was some kind of cure-all that happened overnight, but I will give you a run-down of what I truly believe has happened:

*I recognized my Depression for what it was, and I decided to do something about it.
*I have spent years, years, years working on this.
*Therapy and medication (and placenta encapsulation --ESPECIALLY the placenta encapsulation! It works, man. It works.)
*Believing Christ when He said He could carry my burdens for me

Therapy and Church taught me that I could change my perspective. Medication and my placenta changed the chemical compositions in my brain --jump started them, so to speak. Time and Truth have given me humility, compassion, and reliance on God. I have read countless numbers of essays, scriptures, talks, presentations, and blog posts on the subjects of motherhood, wifehood, roles, happiness, depression, working in the home, etc. --all the things that affect me personally. I have sought out knowledge. I have learned from others. I have not brushed aside ideas without learning about them first.

[Side note: Read NieNie's book! Buy it here. Read it and love it. You're welcome.]

Does this mean I'm "Cured?" Hardly. Is an alcoholic cured? A porn addict? An obese person? I will always have to be on my guard. I will always have to watch what stresses I allow in my life, what company I choose to keep, what activities I choose to engage in. Not quite unlike my weight struggles (it's all related), I will have to be on top of this for the rest of my life. What's different now, however, is the power I feel within myself to CHOOSE happiness. No, it's not as simple as it sounds (depression is not overcome with one choice), but choosing happiness means:
*letting things go that just don't matter
*not caring about other's reactions/opinions when I make choices that are best for me and my family
*realizing my role, my purpose, and the plan God has for me
*gratitude daily for everything I have
*not allowing myself to complain more than is necessary
*continuing with nutrition, exercise, meds, therapy, church, prayer, activities that make me laugh

I am happy!

It feels amazing.

And ironically, this feeling has shown me what I can and cannot do. That woman with six children who didn't have time to blog? I believe I have become her. I understand. I have made the choice to mother six children, and my time --as their mother, and as Brandon's wife --is imperatively linked to my family's happiness and well-being. I've always known this (always, always), but I think, for the first time, I finally "get" it. I understand the necessity of my health and happiness directly influencing THEIR health and happiness, but instead of resenting it (resenting the idea that my attitude could have such an influence), I'm embracing it.

I am happy. Crazy, still, yes, but that's a given, considering the title of my blog, eh? Ha!

Have a happy Tuesday, dear reader. Happiness all around!


Handsfullmom said...

I'm SO glad you're feeling so lifted and happy! Wow! I hope it stays that way; you really deserve a season of joy.

Amanda D said...

Yay! Love this post.

becca said...

Like I told you at the park, you're SOUNDING better than I've heard you in years. Awesome. Better email me more about placenta encapsulation :)

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Oh Cheryl, your happiness is contagious! This is exactly what I have wished/hoped/prayed for you. Yay!!

Courtney N said...

Yeah for happiness!

Amy said...

I am happy you're happy and I'm not a bit annoyed by it!

flip flop mama said...

So glad you're happy!

Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

So happy for you!

Kathryn said...

You don't know me, but I've commented a few times. I wanted to share something with you about how your blog has -recently!- made a difference in my life.

Yesterday was a BAD day for me. I don't really know what was wrong. My kids were driving me nuts (mostly the older one -- my boy is about a month younger than your #5, and my girl is about a month older than your #6), my husband was cranky (he works nights and is in school full-time), I was cranky; it was just a miserable day.

At the lowest point, a thought came to my mind. It reminded me of a post of yours (can't find it now) about how much you love classical music and how listening to it more had improved your mood and your feelings and the spirit in your home.

I thought, maybe, just maybe, it can help me, too. So I opened Pandora and tuned it to the Rachmaninov Channel (he's one of my favorites). It worked! So I'm doing it again today. And I'm going to do it again and again and again.

Thank you. Thank you.

Cheryl said...

Kathryn, you just made my whole day! My whole week, really. I'm so glad I was able to help out in an small way. You are very welcome!

And the post you were thinking about was this one:


Chantelle said...

I found your blog through MMM's and thought I would stop by!

I am so glad that you are doing well. I struggled with often crippling depression throughout my teens and early twenties and then one day it was almost as though there was a switch flicked somewhere and I felt OK - it was amazing! And I will never forget it.

As someone who has been there, I know just how important and life altering a change of outlook such as this is. I pray that you continue to do well :-)

Take care,

Cheryl said...

Chantelle, it's amazing how different it is, right? The contrast is stark. And great! I'm so glad you clicked over from MMM --especially since now I get to read your awesome blog!