Sunday, 3 September 2023

Is this what happiness feels like?

When you're deep in depression or anxiety, you don't think about happiness. All you wish for is to not be depressed and anxious. To not feel like a burden. To not feel like you're about to lose your mind. All your effort is spent on trying to survive that you don't have any energy left to pursue happiness.

I took a short walk down my avenue this morning to grab my mandatory morning coffee. It has been almost two weeks since I got back to Berkeley for Fall Term. I'm a student of Berkeley but I never felt like I was a part of the campus experience. In foreign places, I see myself as more of an observer. And I like it. I can be anyone I want. Perhaps, this is how I have always seen myself. A wallflower. Someone who observes the party rather than partakes in it. But somehow, at home, there's no way of escaping the expectations to be a certain person and act a certain way.

As I walked down Channing Way, just two streets south of campus, I observed the undergrads chatting away and and queuing for pizza. I took in a deep breath of the crisp Californian air. And for a fleeting moment, with my coffee in hand, I thought to myself, "I am happy." 

I have recently started thinking about the future. My future. It may not seem like much to most people. "Isn't it normal to think about your future?" you might ask. No, it is not for someone who has been trying to survive. For someone who has been trying to find the motivation to get out of bed every day. Thinking about the future was a huge thing for me. For the past four years, it was as though my life was put on pause. Yes, I still showed up to work and social events. And I still give my best in everything that I did. (Cites high functioning depression / anxiety.) But internally, I felt hollow. I didn't know what I was living for or what I wanted to achieve in life. So yes, thinking about the future was a huge thing for me. It showed me that I was finally at the end of the tunnel. It was me saying f*ck you to depression. 

But healing is not all rosy. When you finally start thinking about the future, that's when you realise that you have been lagging behind. You may have missed certain opportunities because you simply didn't have the energy to even notice them. You may have gone down the wrong path because you have just been going with the flow. When you look around, you realise that other people are thriving. But you? You have just started to wash your wounds, get back up on your feet and walk. You may have to take a few detours to get back on track. And by the time you do, you are no longer that passionate, full-of-energy and youthful person that you once were. And it's tempting to give up. To settle with mediocrity because "it's too late anyway." This has been my constant struggle since I walked out of the tunnel.

Everyone has their own journey. My boyfriend reminded me of this when I shared with him about my mental struggles. And I think it's a very beautiful thing. My journey, though off the beaten path, makes me uniquely me. It makes me passionate and empathetic about certain things that I would otherwise not have been. And it gives me the stories to inspire others. What matters most is that I'm loved and supported for whatever path that I am on. And with that knowledge, I came to realise that I am very much on time. 

I want to help people who forgot what happiness feels like to find it again. I will be creating more of such content and I'm always open for a chat on my socials! Let me know how I can help ☺

No comments

Post a Comment

© Melody Sim | All rights reserved.