It started like any new thing in my life. I was quite excited with it and felt motivated. And looking back over the photos, I remember the momentum of this continued until the 20th day where I just felt I'd had enough of it. Suddenly, on day 21, I just couldn't be bothered with it anymore. And I wasn't that fussed I didn't finish. I just felt I had to be 'real' and if 20 days was my capacity to keep up a positive attitude then no big deal really.
Sometimes I feel it is a little exhausting to be that positive 24/7. As I mentioned in the first blog of 100 happy days, for me, my life is a rollercoaster of emotion and so much can happen in one day! I'm slowly learning in my walk of faith (with God) to take one day at a time and if I have a few days where I want to enter my metaphorical cave, I'm not going to beat myself up about it. The only danger for me is not allowing myself to dwell too long in that dark place or I find it harder and harder to climb out!
I remember when first dealing with the depression side of things. I used to get really frustrated when people would ask me what the reason for being depressed was. 'What's causing it?' people would ask. I just felt these people didn't understand it at all. But then someone lent me a book about 'the human givens' approach. This was before my walk with God became a central part of my life.
And I learnt from that, that actually, there is always a trigger for depression, but what I hadn't realised was happening, is that I would feel like I'd suddenly ended up in this dark place with no idea how I got there. But when I received this revelation, each time it started happening I was able to look back and say, 'this event here started me on a downward spiral'. 'That event there was the trigger'. And I learnt that as long I caught it at the beginning, as long as I didn't let it go too far, I could dig myself out before I felt completely buried with no hope whatsoever.
These days I pray through it and allow God to handle it. But of course I still have days where I won't let Him in to help. Whether you believe in God or not, it's all about choices. You can choose to wallow or you can choose to do something about it. It's never that easy and sometimes I just enjoy wallowing, it's comfortable. I guess it comes down to balance again. Don't beat yourself up if you need to just rest, feel a bit negative, want to indulge in some wallowing. But equally, don't let it go too far and continue to the point of a depression you have no idea how to come back from.
It's all about managing it. The more you go through it, the more you learn how to deal with it. As with any hard thing in life. As we used to say when I once worked as a prison officer (just thought I'd throw that in there!) if you don't know how to do something, then do it as often as you can! The more you practice, the more you refine it.
So let's leave it there and finish off with some happy reminiscing on my part as I show you my top ten of the 20 happy days.
Daisy: So what does your Jesus look like?
Me: Well, you know, quite traditional I suppose. Long white tunic, beard, longish shaggy hair. That kinda thing.
Sertia: Oh yeah, that look's kinda trendy at the moment.
Me: What, you mean like a hipster?...
Me: Jesus was a hipster!
Daisy: That's gonna go viral, someone's gonna make a song out of that...
Cue the words 'Jesus was a hipster' in a sing song voice!
It made me chuckle at the time. Then when I googled it later, I found this phrase had been knocking about on the internet for a fair while already! I found some images but here's one I made myself!
It was just such a great day and a perfect way to have some quality time with my husband. Arcade Fire and Band of Skulls were also brilliant. I do love a good festival or gig.
So, there you have it. I hope you've enjoyed an insight into the things that make me happy. Please do get in touch if any of you have undertaken the challenge. I'd love to know how you got on.
Here are those helpful links:
More on the 'Human Givens' approach:
Photo credit for 'the cave beam led my way':
For more info on 'The Forum', Southend-on-Sea's library and our Focal Point gallery:
The Abel and Cole recipe for the halloumi and melon salad:
Lemon whoopee pie recipe (mine came from a baking recipe book but this will work just the same):