Happiness is relative

I was looking at one of my social media profiles, and in it, I described myself as a very happy Catholic wife.

I recognized that it was only partially true, but I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I have lost much of my former ability to write clearly and concisely.

I am happily married for sure. We have moments of misunderstanding from time to time, often when one or both of us is really tired or stressed out (or when I’m in the throes of PMS hell.) But if you asked me on any given day, I would say that I’m very happily married.

But happiness in general? That’s relative, of course. I deal with depression so bad that a social security doctor said my depression alone qualifies me for disability. And then I have MS on top of that, which also brings its own depression, especially because I’ve lost the ability to work full-time and had to give up a lot of dreams.

So no, I’m not happy all the time. I don’t claim to be.

However, I do try to find ways not to focus on the things that make me depressed or sad. That doesn’t mean that I’m being fake in any way. It just means that I don’t have the luxury of giving in to the extent of my depression and illness. If I did, I’d never be able to get out of bed.

It often feels like my life got set on the extra-hard challenge mode. As is true with most video games, I get knocked back a lot, but I have to keep trying. To call it a battle is entirely accurate, if not an understatement.

But I find that the more I fight the battle and the less I let myself get carried away with complaining and feeling down, the easier it is to carry these burdens. The easier it is to distract myself from them. The absolute worst thing for me is to get in the mode where I’m always focused on the negative, because it becomes my entire mindset before I know it.

I still haven’t completely been able to let go of all my anxiety or to accept my new limitations. I tend to ignore my limitations and push through them, which ultimately makes me worse.

I’m hoping that I’ll get approved for disability soon, because maybe then I’ll be able to give myself permission that I really can’t work. In the meantime, I keep wanting to work more than I really can. I beat myself up for not being able to cure my MS with diet and exercise, with not being able to muster up the motivation to do a lot of work.

Writing work, in particular, now takes me so long that it completely frustrates me, because I remember what my abilities used to be. But I still keep trying to do it, even if it only provides a couple hundred bucks a month.

In truth, my abilities were better before I tried to work full-time this summer. I can’t figure out how that even works — how simply working full-time with very little sleep for only a couple months would have had such a lasting effect on my brain.

So I obviously haven’t made peace with everything yet. I feel like I’m somewhere on the path. And even if some aspects of my life are happy, that doesn’t mean that all of them are. But I do feel like even despite the things that aren’t great, I’m working through my issues. My life is not what I expected, for sure, but most of the time, I don’t feel too sorry for myself.

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