Monday, 11 August 2014

Silence Broken

This evening I went to a preview screening of the film of one of my favourite books 'Hector and the Search for Happiness' by Francois Lelord which has seen me reach for my laptop and tickle it back into action with a few words and thoughts.

It is no coincidence that I haven't written here for over two years.  The past 24 months have been dark and I have been unhappy.  Actually, sod it, I've been very unhappy.  I'd go so far as to say I've been depressed - and have got the prescriptions to prove it.   I've had dark days weeks months when each time the sun insists on rising yet another day, it feels like a forceful punch in the face.  Which leaves one bruised and in pain.  Twice I've considered not meeting the dawn again and it's fearful blow.  Twice, thankfully, I've realised 'who the f*ck do I think I am?' and 'how dare you put your loved ones through that sh*t" and so I've rumbled on.  With the black clouds, the black dogs the black, bla, blah - until it becomes so utterly boring that I can't face it anymore.  How funny is that?!  I got bored of being depressed!

The endless fractures and hospital appointments haven't helped, nor the weight gain due to broken bones but something (other than a bone) clicked and I realised I had a choice.  I could stop caring, stop fighting and give in to the waves of unhappiness and loneliness. I could stop.  Full stop.

Or I could touch the rawness of being fucked up and depressed and realise that, actually, I've been here before when it was twenty times worse and I crawled back, inch by aching inch.  I am a fighter.  I may struggle with depression.  I may struggle with a history of disordered eating and all kinds of other stuff but, let's face it, who doesn't have a cloak of peculiarities around their shoulders?  And so, here I am.  I'm back and whilst everyday may not be a carpet of rose petals (which would make a frightful mess, just saying), I'm alive.  I'm feeling.  I'm here.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Happiness On A Stik!

Today provided the inevitable sunny breakthrough that I have learnt to trust will eventually dispel the stormy clouds that can settle above my head.  Don't get me wrong - the past couple of weeks have not been totally bleak - I've spent time with loved ones and had some thought provoking meetings but I've struggled to keep a few demons firmly back in their box, compounded with fighting off a boring cold.  

Happiness is however never that far away and is often on our own doorstep - and in this case, quite literally.  Today I happened to fall upon a tour of newly commissioned street art in my own corner of London with the artist Stik.  Interpretations of masterpieces housed in Dulwich Picture Gallery, stripped to their basic human essence, adorn six walls tucked amongst the backstreets of suburbia for everyone to enjoy for free.  I saw my neighbourhood with new eyes, learnt a huge amount in the process and was reminded to keep things simple.  Life need not be complicated - and that includes happiness.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Happiness Is A Chemical Formula

It is obvious that happiness is dependent on an utter myriad of factors which differ for each individual which, perhaps, makes it one of the most intriguing and enduringly debated subjects for mankind.  Of course elements of happiness are affected by our emotions and events it is, however, also a chemical thing - or so I convinced myself this morning.
Serotonin is known to influence one's mental state, as is the release of endorphins and also a hefty dose of Vitamin D.  In order to concoct this happy cocktail, I donned my trainers early this morning and went for a long run through my local park, bathed in glorious sunshine and surrounded by budding flowers.  Not the most scientific of formulas but one that seems to work - if you don't believe me, pop on your running shoes and give it a go - and before the bank holiday rain sets in.
Happy Monday.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Happiness is a hot tub!

Happiness today was being so pleased with myself (and yes, I confess, slightly smug) and relaxed after an enjoyable swimming lesson, that I totally forgot that I had scary looking goggle indentations on my face and was only sporting a swimming costume, and yet managed to enjoy chatting to an utter cutie in the hot tub.  Not exactly my natural environment - but perhaps it should be!
Roll on next Monday!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Happiness is....making others happy

I have an amazing job.  Without disclosing too many details, I play a tiny part in helping some incredible organisations to achieve their goals and to improve the lives of countless people in the UK.  A day doesn't pass when I don't feel humbled by the stories I hear and feel honoured to be able to effect a small change. Perhaps the most enjoyable element for me, is calling a charity to convey the good news that they are to receive a grant towards their work.
Today was one of those days of sharing good news.  A very happy day.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Happiness Is.....Freedom

Happiness for me, on this springtime Saturday, is not having to be anywhere at any set time.  I can simply drift and amble as my mood takes me.  Utter bliss.
It is all too easy during the working week to get caught up in the constant, and tiring, scurrying from gym, to work, to appointments, to see friends, to bed - only to then repeat it again the next day.
Today I purposefully have not made any plans and the freedom this brings is, quite literally, liberating.  I only have to please myself and see where my wandering mind and feet lead me.
What is perhaps the most pleasing thing for me to realise, is that just six months ago, I would have felt anxious at the prospect of such a day and would be setting myself a list of tasks.  With hindsight, I realise that I was avoiding being left alone with my thoughts.  Bonkers as it sounds, I now take delight in that I am happy in my own company and can relax by watching the world pass by.
I may not be an OAP but I am enjoying having my own personal Freedom Pass.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Happiness is.....

Sometimes it's simply for tomorrow.

I've learnt that there are some days that the black clouds settle (and I'm sure we all have our own triggers that culminate in an ominous rumbling amongst our thoughts), and that is normal.   The trick perhaps is to learn that this is just a blip and that tomorrow the sun may well be winking at us at dawn and encouraging us to play.

Happiness, I'm sure, is in what tomorrow may bring, or the next day, or the one after that....