Pain and Happiness

It’s been a bit of a health roller coaster these past few months. As well as rheumatoid arthritis, I’ve also been dealing with a lot of stomach issues and some mental health issues: namely depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. There’s been new medication and changes of dosage, and well, it’s been a little rough.

But it’s also given me a better perspective on happiness. I think when people look back on their lives, they tend to focus on the negative. Bad times are like giant blinking lights along your personal timeline. And the only good times that really stand out are the orgasmic-ly good times, and those just aren’t as easy to remember. It’s like dread and horror are etched on our psyche, but pure joy is less easy to summon and re-embrace. So sometimes, if we look back—especially from an already depressed state—it seems like the bad outweighs the good.

Living with a chronic condition makes the good easier to see. I know that sounds wacky, but that’s what it’s been like for me. I’ve had periods of such intense pain and panic that I would rather die than live that way forever. Don’t worry, I’m not in danger. You don’t have to run for the phone. 😉 But when those feelings and sensations finally do subside, I’m happy. Right now, my body feels pretty good, and that makes me happy. I’ve learned to divide life into a series of moments, some better than others, and I realize that most of them are happy, even when the bad ones are so very bad.

It’s sort of like writing a novel. If you set out to write a book, it’s easy to fail. Books are long. It’s hard to contemplate writing that many words. But if you set out to write a chapter or a scene or a paragraph, it becomes much easier. Looking at life the same way, it’s easier to see the happier, content moments. The bad times are hard, but they are fewer than the good. That math becomes really simple, and time seems to slow down.

I hope that helps some of you.

Also, I’m totally counting these words toward my nano word count. 🙂

What content little moments make you happy?

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11 thoughts on “Pain and Happiness

  1. *hugs* So much love and support to you my dear! I’ve gone through the same (depression, anxiety, panic attacks) the past year and more and it’s been so hard to keep writing, keep working through the bad times. I failed a lot.
    I started using a mood tracker (Android: Daylio) because it helps me so much when I’m having the absolute worst kind of day to look back and go “No, it hasn’t been forever. Yesterday was better. The day before was great. There’s so many more good days than bad days here.”
    On the days when I can’t motivate myself to work because of depression, I try to just give myself some “me time” and let myself heal. It’s like being sick. People don’t realize it, but depression is just as serious as a physical illness.
    Anyway. *hugs again* Much love and healing! I hope you are feeling better!

    Oh and…
    Happy Nano to you! ❤

  2. Sometimes, it’s more attainable to complete an over-arching goal when it’s looked at and worked at in smaller chunks. Hugs to you as you work through and deal with each challenge you face 🙂

  3. Chronic pain sucks. Sometimes it makes you feel as if you’re in a black hole and can’t scramble out. But you’re young and you’re tough. I know you’ll be okay.

    For what it’s worth, when I think of the good moments many of them revolve around a sammich-stealin’ dog. 🙂 First they steal your heart, then they steal your sammich.

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