As I rode down the street I used to travel every day, I tilted my head up to take in the view. The beautiful canopy trees reached out from both sides of the street as if they were playing the childhood game ‘London Bridge’ with the passing cars. The air was warm and the sun was bright. I missed this.
This street made my heart happy. I enjoyed living in this town and would happily go back. I was amazed that after so long I could still get the same feeling I did the first time I drove down this road. I can remember it so clearly.
I had lived here for several years. And the sad truth is, that feeling faded while I did. It became normal. The same view day after day, as I drove home after a stressful day of work. It was hard to capture the magic during rush hour traffic, coming off a 1-2 hour commute. I stopped pausing to look up.
It’s human nature to get distracted by life or caught up in the details. The magic is still there, but you forget how to see it. Maybe happiness is in the big picture. How often do we think to ourselves “If I could just live here..” or “If I just had this…” or “If I were just…”. But even if you had those things, there too, would come a day when you get used to it. The excitement fades. The newness wears off. It becomes normal. It won’t always feel the same as it did when you were looking in from the outside.
I feel that when people are depressed they tend to view life in this way. A magical setting or situation that would be the cure to all that ails them. Failing to realize that the picture can’t sustain itself. It’s either a warped view of reality, or something else is missing that we aren’t able to see.
Are our expectations just so high that we don’t realize what we have when it’s right in front of us?? Does “happiness” turn out to be a disappointment, never living up to the image we had in our heads? Or is it the missing piece that makes the perfect situation still seem empty?
What are we missing? What is the invisible wall that blocks us from the life others are living? Why are we outside the box? What is so hard about feeling an emotion?? We have plenty of them (all the bad ones)! It doesn’t make sense.
Depression is an illness, a mental condition. It is not controllable; occasionally manageable, at best. It’s not a switch you can flip on or off. It’s a mental state that runs your life regardless of what you try to do, or how you try to think. Depression is bigger than you.
Chasing happiness in the midst of depression is like looking for that brass ring to grab onto. Sometimes you get your fingers on it, but they slip off again before you can really hang on. 🎠