Midlife

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Therapist: So how are you feeling?

Me: Fine.

Therapist: Are you happy?

Me: Happy? What do you mean?

Therapist: Happy. Are you happy?

Me: I don't know. I'm not unhappy.  I don't know if I have ever been happy though.

Therapist: Would you say that you are depressed?

Me: No. I'm not depressed. I know depressed, this isn't depressed.

Therapist: Have you considered the mood stabilizers?

Me: Yes...And No. I read up on them and the side effects are unacceptable. The Pristiq is doing fine at controlling the depression. I'm not adding a mood stabilizer that might make things far worse. Maybe I am just not meant to be happy in the way other people think of happy.


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What is happy, my internet friends? Where does satisfaction with some of your life become enough? When does one stop looking for or expecting something that is not meant for you, by virtue of brain chemistry? When does the desire for that something spill over into the unobtainable which keeps you chasing the elusive desire that it might be just over there...just beyond that house, around the corner?

I'm not talking about giving up, but acceptance of how it is?

Is this the midlife crisis? Trying to figure out how to reach some kind equilibrium?



4 Baleful Regards:

Rebeka St John said...

From my experience, I've learned to just try and maintain something that's in the middle. I try not to get too excited or too down (I usually fail), but I try.

The midlife crisis thing is a myth from what I've learned. And I think that "happiness" is different for everyone. I think we all have moments of joy here and there. When people say they are happy, I think they are more nutjobs than anything else. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Some days I am really happy. I look at myself and my life, and I realize that all the little things that make up my day are good. My husband loves me, my kids are healthy and strong, my house is warm and reasonably clean, my job makes me feel good about my abilities, my body fits into my clothes, my friends make me laugh. And I stop and think, "This right here is a good life." Sometimes it's just a day. Sometimes I can hold onto it for a week at a time. And then my mom unleashes her crazy on one of my kids, or my boss rips my report to shreds, or my MIL gets sick, or I can't make the mortgage payment without dipping into the savings acct, and then I don't feel so happy anymore. For a while. Until one day I do, again. But to answer your question directly, I'm a 37 year old married mother of 2, and I do, on occasion, feel happy. For me it feels like gratitude and acceptance and hope.

2amsomewhere said...

Folk Singer Will Putman, probably borrowing the metaphor from author Wallace Stegner, described it as reaching one's "maximum angle of repose."

I've felt that way many times as well. The older I get, the more I believe that there is no universal answer to finding happiness.

I think that Csikszentmihalyi's studies on the notion of "flow" point to a truth of sort.

Being lost in the act of focused creation somehow allows us to transcend our darkness, and although we may not feel a state of "happiness" in the moment, we look back on those moments with greatest satisfaction.

Amanda said...

I don't know happy. But, I have a sneak feeling that this, this emotion I have, I've had for some time, isn't it. But, really... I'm just not sure.

 
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