(That’s what pops in my head anytime I think about this post!)
Dealing with depression sucks. One moment I’m perfectly content and enjoying life, and then the fog starts rolling in, clouding my brain and making everything feel numb and meaningless. Finding things to smile about while in that fog becomes considerably more difficult.
One day, while going through the motions of making lunch in one such depression fog, I found myself chopping veggies for a salad. I suddenly realized we had tomatoes I could throw in, and I got inordinately excited over this small fact. “If tomatoes make me this happy, I really need to get a life,” I thought sheepishly.
But, then I realized those “small” things in life keep me going. Right now, I don’t have any major life plans or goals. I’m out of college, so that’s behind me. I’m in between jobs at the moment, so I don’t have a huge career goal. Someday I’d like to maybe get married and adopt some kids, but I’ve never had an overarching “life purpose” to work towards. So the small moments in life keep me grounded and enjoying life, particularly when depression wants to take over everything. An especially good movie, a Broadway show going on tour, meeting up with a friend for lunch, walking my dog on a cool morning, even having tomatoes for a salad – things like this make me smile and feel happy, even for a fleeting moment. And honestly, at this point I need as many reasons to smile and enjoy life as I can get.
If I only get excited over the “big” stuff, my life gets super boring very quickly. If I dismiss the small things as inconsequential and not worth smiling over, that just contributes to the cloudy days and makes it harder to break out of depression. So instead, I’ve decided to try and keep my eyes open for those little moments and actively search for reasons to smile. Sometimes I find myself slipping back into old habits and wallowing in my depression, but I try to find something that makes me happy, no matter how small or trivial. I can find reasons to smile and enjoy life all around me, I just have to take the time to notice them.