Happiness is a Way of Life – Written May 2015

As you may be aware, I’ve recently halved my anti depressant from 40mg to 20mg. Well it’s been about two weeks now since I started to taper down, and although I’m still really happy that I did, it’s quite clearly having a significant effect on my mood. Around 72 hours after you start tapering is the worst. You just feel tired, and depressed again, but knowing it’s a withdrawal and accepting that with a calm mind helps a lot to get through the difficult early days.

For the next week I was feeling better each day. It appeared that I was starting to stabilize on 20mg, and I was thrilled. The last 24 hours however, have been much more challenging again. I can feel my stomach sinking, my mind wondering into the now foreign lands of negativity.  Am I worried, a little, but to be perfectly honest not really. I understand it’s just another part of the withdrawal. I was on 40mg, which is the highest dose you can be on. It’s no surprise that my withdrawal is going to be more severe than say someone who was taking just 10mg.

So what can I do about it? Well the first thing is don’t worry. Easy to say, hard to do. What do we mean when we say don’t worry? A phrase so often used, yet never explained. What is the process of “not” worrying. In my opinion, the art of not worrying, is actually far more about actively doing or thinking about other things as opposed to “stopping” your worrying thoughts. It’s almost impossible to stop worrying, because the action of telling yourself not to worry, is in itself a worry. Therefor, I have found it’s far more useful to simply accept however you are feeling, and then move your mind onto something else. Something preferably enjoyable. It can be something you’re going to do, or something you did in the past. Honestly it doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is making that decision to think about something else. I guess a better way to define how to stop worrying is “Worry about something else, worry about something you enjoy or enjoyed”. Suddenly it’s not a worry, it’s a feeling of satisfaction, happiness or contentment.

I have found the act of moving your mind to a different place, far more valuable than trying to train my mind to “not worry”. You simply just don’t need to think about some things. Absolutely you may need to be aware of certain things, but at no point is mentally draining yourself by worrying about them in anyway useful.

Today has been tough for me. I can’t even say why, because really there’s nothing wrong. I’m quite happy. I’ve just got back from an absolutely awesome weekend with my best friend Tom. We skated all weekend at a few different parks. I’ve realized I have a passion for recording.  I may even upload some of the edited vids for my next blog.

Things are great. They might not feel great, but feelings are not great at feeling grateful. I know however that actually I am grateful. I am feeling great, and it’s a great feeling.

This withdrawal will probably last on and off for at least another week or so. They’ll be tough moments and tough days, but there will also be great moments and awesome days. Far more of the latter, and no withdrawal is going to stop me from enjoying my life. I’ve already given up too much time to unhappiness, I don’t plan on giving up any more.

I hope you don’t either, because happiness is not simply conditional, happiness is a mentality. Happiness is a way of life.

You only have to acknowledge it, and it’s yours.

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