Friday, November 13, 2009

Deciding to be happy

I have decided to decide to be happy - ok, no-one gets to walk through the flowers under the sun every day of their life, but I have decided to be happier.

Taking this decision is, I think, an important change for me.

I had previously believed a number of things about my illnesses (for want of a better word), which I no longer believe to be true.

I still believe that I suffer from clinical depression - that is, I don't believe it's all psychological, I believe there is probably a chemical element to my sadness, adiction and anxiety. But, I now accept that's it's down to me to do something about it.

I used to sneer at self-help books, and part of me believed that depression was a political act - it's your duty to be depressed in this world of war, injustice, suffering, Manchester United title wins and so on.

Not any more.

I came back from the library today with three, count 'em!, self help books. All recommended by the local alcohol and drugs service.

They are:

10 Days To Great Self Esteem by Dr David Burns
Self Esteem by Gael Lindenfield, and,
Overcoming Low Self-Esteem by Melanie Fennell

I'll let you know how I get along with those, I feel uncharacteristically excited about reading them.

I heard an interesting show on the radio about happiness, three journalists but one was a doctor and another a Positive Psychologist.

Again, I used to sneer at the idea that you could control the way you feel and I actually considered it cheating in some way. Not any more.

The positive psychologist was interesting. Practise feeling good and you probably will.

She kept a gratitude diary she said, and I'm not yet ready to go that far, but I am pleased with a couple of things in the last couple of days.

I have managed to break a couple of unhelpful routines; I spend much less time sitting in the moping seat for example.
I've attended nearly all my appointments and kept up with my blogging.

So, I'm not swinging from the tree tops in the unalloyed joy of an Oran Utang's giant ginger hug, (Anybeth) but I am coming round to the idea of taking part in this battle. I'm more accepting of things I can't change and learning a little to ignore some of the things that were previously making me anxious.

Long way to travel I guess but I feel like I've started.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

The Cardiff Drunk.

1 comment:

Anybeth said...

indeed! suit up for the battle that is your life. It's your job to live it, and if you can do it happy, that's better than the alternative.
ps. I like self-help books.