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I originally wrote this blog post the day my novel Surviving Midas launched, but I did not want the sentiment to shadow over a very happy day. But, I still think this perspective is important.
Sometimes our happiest days are coated with a level of melancholy. We fear we will lose that happiness we find so rare in our lives. Then, before we know it, our fears have taken over our joy. So how can I ever be truly happy?
Happiness is Hard
Happiness is hard when you are struggling with fear. And I don’t mean it’s hard to get happy–it is, but that’s a topic for another time. What I mean is, when you are actually happy, it’s hard to be in that state, because happiness is a good feeling.
And what if it ends?
What if that elusive surge of dopamine you feel from a huge accomplishment ends in disaster? What if all you ever hoped for and saw coming to fruition dies on the vine? The following devastation is so much more dramatic when this occurs because you allowed yourself to hope. So you avoid happiness, maybe even going as far as self-sabotaging it.
I’ve been on the healing from anxiety journey for a long time now. Maybe not as long as some, but three years is a long time for me. One of the things I really struggled with (and still do if I’m being honest) is not judging the anxiety. Yes, it feels uncomfortable but it, like any other emotion, is just a feeling. It does not mean the world is ending. It does not mean I’m going insane or dying. It just is.
And guess what?
Happiness is too.
Both are feelings. Both arise from triggers. Sure, one makes you feel like you can fly while the other makes you want to vomit, but both are fleeting.
Today, I am happy! Today, my book, Surviving Midas, launches after years of preparation and hard work! This is just step one of another journey, but I am thrilled to be starting out, seeking out the challenge!
But I’m also not going to weigh the entire experience on this fleeting moment. Tomorrow might not be as great or things might get hard around month three. Here’s the deal though: this moment of happiness, of supreme joy is still worth having. I am thankful for this moment and I hope to have many more!
I will not, however, measure my life on how many incidents of happiness come. I will not chase after this fleeting dose of dopamine. Something so fleeting cannot receive that much weight because the times of trouble will come–this is a fact–and the disturbance of the loss of happiness will be felt if importance has been ascribed to the feeling. So, I will look at it for what it is: temporary. And I will measure my life more accurately.
RW Hague is a registered nurse with over eight years of experience within the medical field. Using her medical expertise, she writes stories that are gritty and compelling.