When I was depressed, one of the things that helped me most was making lists. I made lists of things that made me happy, things I was grateful for, things I was proud of. I took part in the 100 Happy Days challenge, taking a photograph of a happy moment every day for 100 days. This all sounds terribly unromantic. See, happiness isn’t something that’s supposed to be quantified, it’s supposed to just happen. That, if you’ll excuse my language, is bollocks.
If there’s one thing I learned from my depression, it’s that sometimes, your idea of happiness is all wrong. On paper, I should have been very happy indeed. This only made it harder for me to admit that I wasn’t, which in turn made me even more unhappy. If you take just one thing from my blog, ever, let it be this: don’t ever let anyone else tell you how you should experience your happiness. By making my lists and taking my photos and really, really trying to see the positives in my life, I allowed myself to take pleasure in things that I’d normally take for granted. Someone much clever than me once said to enjoy the little things, because someday you’d look back and realise that they were the big things. The truth is, that life isn’t made up of cocktails and parties and shopping sprees…those things are just the icing. Life is made up of the days that don’t make it to the blog. Beautiful, silly little days like today.
Days where you can wake up in the dark and crawl back into the arms of the person you love. Where you can wrap yourself in your duvet and be sure that no one in the universe has ever been as comfy as you are right now. Where you eschew the bowl of cereal in favour of making pancakes, because some things are worth a little extra effort, and pancakes is definitely one of them. Take a long, scalding hot shower, even though you know it’s probably bad for your skin. Use a soap that smells so good that you forget you’re in your tiny, dingy little bathroom. Wear a brightly coloured lipstick that makes you smile. Pair your comfy shirt with a pair of heels that make you feel amazing. Hang out. Laugh. Kiss. Go for pizza and wine and put the world to rights. Meet someone new. Go see that film that everyone’s talking about. Don’t ever be afraid to be deliriously happy about something, just because someone else might dismiss it as trivial. The ordinary can be extraordinary, if only you take the time to notice. I hope you all have a very, very happy Sunday.