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So what is happy anyway? (long)

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Old 07-17-2005, 03:56 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 317
JustDave4now HB User
So what is happy anyway? (long)

Oddly I have been giving this some thought. Now that I have been on Lith for some time now, I have learnt some new things I didn't know. For one, being happy and being content are two differnt things. People exchange them all the time, but actually they are really differnt, though you can be content and happy at the same time, but you are actually experiencing two diffent states not one. Let me explain.

Before meds, I thought of happy as a state I would wake up in, or suddenly feel. I would wake up, and the skies would be soooo blue, and the grass oh so green, and I would tingle. I would say to myself, "It is good to be alive, I feel Great" I would have this feeling for several days (I cycle quick) and I would always chalk up my good feeling to the weather or my love for my wife, or child, or to God, (I get really religeous when I am in this state) or some other thing I was happy with and called myself content.

But I wasn't..

You see, the second anything rained down on my good mood, I would become very upset and feel anxiety. I would do either two things, first I would ignore the problem, Yikes I don't have the money to pay the gas bill because I blew it on a new pair of shoes, so lets not think about it and hopefully I can get it on my next check. Or I could just fret over the issue until I would become agitated, Darn, stupid gas bill, why is so high anyway how can I expect to pay this all the time... Grummmble grumble ..Grumble..

But oddly the agitation and anxiety does not knock me free from my up mood, it only changes it from happy go lucky, to Determined and Driven to fix my issue. Now I am somehow going to take care of paying my gas bill for the rest of my life because now I am motivated. And people are going to see my system and go Wow. LOL I know this sounds odd. Then I pay the gas bill, and I pull it out of the rent money, not only do pay it, I pay over to get the next month as well. There, that Will teach you. Then my wife, who then realize what I did says "you did what!!" and I go "ummmmm". Anxiety rises, I become Driven again, and I am determined never to not pay a bill ever again, I devise a new and better system, that I am sure that everyone will marvel at, and so the cycle continues...

Of course till I crash for either the pressure of all the anxiety, or I come spiralling down into the dark pit of depression, where I spend the rest of my week.

Oddly this is happy....

Content is much shorter...

Now that I am on Lith, I no longer feel happy drop upon myself, I say it this way because I can't say I no longer feel happy, because I do, but in short bursts. I wake up, well, content. Not upset, not pumped, just curious what the new day will bring me.

Now I like my new state, a state of sameness, no waves, I don't like waves when I am content. Now lets say the gas bill gets do now, but I don't have the money because I bought a new pair of shoes and forgot the gas bill was still on my desk. Now I am anoyed, this gas bill is messing with my karma and I don't like it. So I decide there is nothing I can really do about it, Put it in the pile to be paided at the next paycheck, and chid myself for being foolish. I don't worry about it, there is nothing I can do about it till I get payed again, hopefully I wont get shut off, then I might worry more, but I continue feeling calm, and the anoyed feeling passes. When my check comes in, the first thing I do is pay my gas, the second thing I do is make sure I don't forget anything again, because it was unpleasant messing with my even keel.

I am beginning to realize, most people are content, not happy with thier lives.
Its decieving, because I though people felt like I did, except I got sad and they didn't and loss the feeling.

So do we really want to be less Happy? Isn't that a bad thing?

Um no, I don't think so because we are hung up on the word, how can happy be bad. In truth it isn't that your happy, happy feels good, its because your stuck in happy, like your emotional transmition is broken. Happy is supposed to be a burst, like the way you felt as a child on Christmas morning (if of course you observed the holiday) a tingly all over sensation that went away on December 26th.

I think most of us don't want to give up happy because we think our other option is sad or nothingness. No feeling, no joy ever again.

But until you get leveled off and find the right medication, therapy or multivitiamin in Cruises case, (what an idiot), you got to give contentment a shot, I thought I knew what it was, I was wrong. Now that I have gotten to that place, its worth giving up that Happy high. There is allot less anger, stress and anxiety.

Of couse thats me and my ramblings lol and maybe some do not see it the same way.

I look at it this way,

Does your happy make someone else you love sad?

Last edited by JustDave4now; 07-17-2005 at 04:08 AM.

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Old 07-17-2005, 04:52 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 455
goofyafter2 HB User
Re: So what is happy anyway? (long)

Dave, I really enjoyed reading your post. A lot of things in it sound familiar to me, but I just can't comprehend enough right now to put it together (LOL). pretty sad. I wonder if content is good enough. It used to be until all of this happened. Thanks for the insight.

Old 07-17-2005, 10:51 AM   #3
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Naples,FL
Posts: 828
twoeyez HB Usertwoeyez HB User
Re: So what is happy anyway? (long)

Dave :

You have a marverlous ability to sit down a wite your feeling, as they have changed in the last couple of years, since you are now on Lithium. I think I hear you saying,that true happiness comes from stability. That you are no longer cycling up or down. That as a result,you do not defer any finanicial responsibilty. And that really makes you happy and 'Stable'. Perhaps, that is what happiness is all about. knowing that a mood stabilizer (as lithium is in your case,and mine), is needed and excepted for contentment. A stable happiness.

And you know, if happiness is "to high" it will not last. It surely will,make that someone else we love sad. So, that someone else can be happy too,stability is got to be the answer.

With 35 years on Lithium, and 21 years of taking it properly, I can say that happiness is just not a word.

Continued success with your Stability = Happiness.


Old 07-17-2005, 11:58 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NY
Posts: 73
Lostdog HB User
Re: So what is happy anyway? (long)

What a great insight into life.I do not have BP but my hubby does and I can relate his moods to what you explained.He has had happy moments but was rarely ever content with life.Contentment is much more fulfilling in the long run.Happiness is as exhausting as depressive is.You know too much of a good thing is never good.Noone would want to live happy days-like the birth of a child or christmas over & over every day, because that would be as overwhelming as living a bad day over & over.I never really thought of it the way you expressed it before but it brings great insight to me.Thank you for that.
BTW-I have a 10 y/o who has BP also,and the best of times for my other children(non-bp) are some of the worst for her-vacations,christmas, visiting relatives-these "good times" are v overwhelming for my child.I hope someday she finds her contenment.

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