Healthy Relationships,  Home Management,  Life Balance,  Uncategorized

I Have A Decent Life But Still Not Happy

“I have a decent life, but I’m still not happy.” This is a phrase that I used to play in my head all the time. I thought that there was something wrong with me. I have a loving husband, 4 healthy children, a safe place to live, and I don’t work and yet, I have everything I need. How can this be possible? There are women out there who would love to have my life yet I’m unhappy with it. 

We watch celebrities as their lives unravel in front of the world and wonder “what could they be so depressed or unhappy about?”. We may even say “If I had a fraction of what she/he has I would….” The truth is they didn’t have true joy. They had things that made them happy.

Guys, forewarning, this is not a teaching blog post but hopefully this will give you some encouragement. Or you might just feel sorry for me in the end. Lol

My Story

So here’s some of my back story. I have been with my husband for 15 years but married for 10. I struggled with depression for most of those years. It wasn’t until I got to a crossroads in my marriage when I finally decided to change my life. Without giving you intimate details here’s how this went. 

I was unhappy when I met my husband, but didn’t know why. But what I did know is that he made me happy when he was around. But as soon as he left my eyesight, my happiness left. I thought that if he was with me all the time, I could be happy all the time. I know, I know, but that was my thought process at the time. 

After he started staying over more, my unhappiness was showing its head and causing trouble. But you know what my unhappy brain told me? Certainly if we were married, things would be so much better. Then, when that didn’t work; let’s have kids. I hope you see where I’m going with this.

I was putting things and people in place to feed my unhappiness. But it was like a drug, eventually my body got used to it and started acting up again. Now I don’t know about you, but my unhappiness brought on debilitating depression, anger, resentment, feelings of loneliness, the whole works. And you can only imagine what that did for my marriage.

It’s Up To Me

Fast forward some years. Back to the crossroads. My unhappiness came full circle and told me I would be happier alone. At that point, I started listening to a book on Audible called Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl. Now there were a lot of ideas that I thought were outdated, but something she said had me thinking. And it’s something my step-mom would have told me if she knew what we were going through. 

In the book, Debi said, now don’t quote me on this, but she had the idea that if I did leave my spouse, what was I to gain. There would still be sadness and loneliness but possibly poverty and emotionally unbalanced children added to it. Then she reminded me what a privilege it was to be able to not work and still get my needs met. 

Now, I know this wasn’t enough time to truly evaluate 10 years of marriage and 20+ years of my life, but I gave myself 30 days. I started with therapy, and to say that changed my life is an understatement. If you haven’t already, just try it. Try it!

Okay back to the story. She helped me identify that I had some other underlying issues that needed to be addressed. After 30 days of therapy, additional medication (I was already taking anxiety and depression meds), and self-discovery, I was able to find the happiness I was looking for.

Now after being able to transition off of all meds for the last 2 years, I can truly say that I have more than happiness, I have joy. True joy. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments where feelings of unhappiness creep back in, but I am to a point where it is so easy to get back to being happy. I can now acknowledge my feelings(I’m sad), accept them(It’s okay to be sad), and move on(that was beyond my control).

What I learned

I know I mentioned earlier that I gave myself 30 days to evaluate my unhappiness, but this whole journey to joy took me 5 years. I have been working on myself for 5 years. I know this might sound like a long time but it’s nothing compared to the 20+ years of unhappiness.

Through this journey I learned a lot but I’m only going to share a few in this post. I’m sharing because I want you to know that you are not alone. You can have everything and still be unhappy and it doesn’t make you crazy, selfish, or ungrateful. It makes you human. I also want you to not suffer as long as I did. I don’t want you to just exist, I want you to thrive and live on purpose and experience an immeasurable amount of joy.

What I’ve learned is that you have to create your own happiness. It’s all about shifting your mindset to think thoughts that bring you joy. In the book Living A Life in Balance, the author warns to beware. Stating that the mind is a trickster, shape shifter, and an illusionist. And Kaia Roman, in her book The Joy Plan, called her inner critic “the bitch in her head” and that you can practice tuning out this negative voice. In her book after each chapter, she gives a tip to some up each chapter. Kaia’s first Joy Plan Tip is that “When you pay enough attention to something, you’ll get it-whether it’s something you want or something you don’t want.”.

Your mind can play tricks on you so you have to learn to control your thoughts. You have to tell it who you are and who you are not, but the only way to do that is to know who you are. I have learned on my self discovery journey that I truly didn’t know myself. I thought I knew but I had no clue. It wasn’t easy trying to figure out what makes me smile, why I do the things I do, Why I think the way I think, how I like my eggs(Runaway Bride 😄), my triggers, and so on.

I also learned that my actions and words had a mirroring effect on how my husband treated me and how our children behaved. Once I started respecting myself and setting boundaries, things started getting better. But I couldn’t set these boundaries without first knowing myself. 

If you are struggling to find your joy, I suggest sticking around a bit and reading a few more blog posts about finding joy. May you find the joy you are searching for on your journey.

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