My Happiness Project

“I have come to realize that people that struggle with Happiness tend to be Angels.  These are people that really care a lot about wanting to be Happy, about wanting a better world, about wanting to help others, and wanting to live a life of purpose.” – Ada Johnson

I am going to be 40 in less than six months and this has caused me to start having a critical look at my life and as can be expected for the perfectionists in me, I started with the things I would like to do better at.  The number one thing I want to be better at when my life begins in less than six months is to Be Happier! 

Compared to most people I know, I am a happy person.  I have worked hard to pursue happiness so far and I have achieved many truly euphoric moments in my life.  Unfortunately, I also do get very melancholic to the point of not seeing why I should continue living and it is this part of my happiness or lack of it, that I want to improve!  As a renowned over achiever, I not only want to improve in this area, I want to master it!  I want to be so good at it that I write a book to help others get better at it!

Armed with my ambitious goal and a new reason to be happy (helping others live a happier life makes me happy ?) With these thoughts, I headed to Amazon and put a couple of books on Happiness in my shopping cart.  After much deliberation, I ordered two of them to start with, and after even more deliberation, I decided to read “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen first.  “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson is next!

Already excited about what I am learning about being happy in the “The Happiness Project”, I decided to commence my very own “Happiness Project” and in my true super woman form, I decided, I will do in six months what Gretchen did in I year! At the beginning of my six months, I put up an Instagram post about it to have people hold me accountable and jumped in ready to achieve great things and blog about it and of course be happy because blogging makes me happy!  In fact, any kind of writing for the consumption of others make me happy!

Well after week one, where I was supposed to Boost my Energy by going to sleep earlier, exercising better, organizing my closet and act more energetic allow me to disappoint you greatly by stating that I only achieved one of all these things and it is neither exercise better nor sleep earlier!  And no, I did not organize my closet, it is still impassable!  In my defense, I did organize my children’s closet and made it to the gym once during my first week.  I also attempted to get to bed earlier and listened to my sleep doctor’s orders to switch of my phones prior to going to bed on a few days that week.  He however wanted me to do it at least 1.5 hours before bed time, the best I did was 1 hour before!

Actually, since I am doing Gretchen’s one month in two week, I have one more week to achieve these goals, but who am I fooling?  Its Thursday of week 2, I am not doing any better, however, I can happily say that I have been somewhat happier since last week with no crying spells,  no major depressive episodes and a renewed hope of pursuing dreams and living happy now and in the future!  Therefore it is with much happiness that I report to you that my happiness project is going great so far and this project is going to be uniquely mine.  Stay tuned for further updates!

After my Instagram post, lots of people called me brave for being able to publicly acknowledge that I suffer from Clinical Depression, to them I say thanks and its high time we are all brave enough to talk openly about our emotional and mental health.  When I look at the suicide statistics around the world, I can’t help but wonder if our collective silence on this matter is contributing to these scary numbers. 

A lot of my friends and family have called or texted to check in on me, and to them I say, don’t worry I am fine, in fact I am doing much better these days that I have most of my life and this includes my childhood when I cried myself sick on some days for no apparent reason at all.  You don’t have to worry too much about me, thanks to my Christian faith, I am way too afraid of hell to commit suicide.

Yes I said it, “SUICIDE”  the big bad word that stigmatizes people from wanting to use the word “depression”.  More of us have thought about the big bad word that will admit it openly.  I myself can tell you that I have thought about it quite a bit, but I thank God for Jesus and for God making sure that even if the fear of hell is not enough, I have two handsome breathing reasons while excusing myself from this sometimes dark world is not an option.  If the world is so bad, it means I have more reason to stay here to help my two sons navigate it better so you see, I am good.

My Handsome Kings, my reason.
Some of Nigerian friends have advised me to not post “these type of things” on social media, to them I say I need to, I am doing it for me, and for any other person who can look at me and say “if she is rocking this life with depression, I can too!”  Or if she is being this open about suffering from depression I can too.  Quite honestly I just made that up because, I don’t really know why I am doing it.  I know that I have this real urge to do it.   Anyways to reiterate, I freaking feel like doing it and its my life so I can do what I like so go ahead and do you! #BeHappyNow

Cheers!

According to WebMD here are a few signs that you or someone you know might be clinically depressed

  • Restlessness or feeling slowed down
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  • Significant weight loss or gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month)
  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
  • Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day (called anhedonia, this symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others)

WebMD also notes that “Major depression can sometimes occur from one generation to the next in families, but often it may affect people with no family history of the illness.”

According International Suicide Statistics. “Over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year. The global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 population. On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.”

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