Sunday, January 24, 2016


I saw one of those incredibly annoying and ignorant things on Facebook the other day about choosing to be happy. It was a picture of two people on a train. One was sitting by a window which gave him a view of fabulous scenery while the other was sitting on the opposite side of the aisle which gave nothing but a view of a steep rock mountain wall, inches from his face. And of course the guy by the scenery window was all happy and bluebirdy groovy and the guy by the rock wall was not happy and it was clear that they had each been free to pick which side of the train to sit on and thus, it is JUST THAT EASY to choose to be happy.
Hey freak! Just choose the seat by the window with the good scenery and open your eyes! Right?

You know what's strange? On my bad days, I almost agree with that. I already feel so guilty and down on myself that I can well believe that it's nobody's fault but my own that I am depressed or anxious. That if I could just pull my spirits up by their metaphorical bootstraps, I, too, could be as happy and un-depressed and un-anxious as anyone on this planet. Because honestly- what do I have to be depressed or anxious about?
Very little.

But then I have a good day and I realize that's a bunch of fucking bullshit. A good day where I do absolutely nothing different than any other day and yet, it all seems absolutely lovely to me. Not lovely in a manic way. I don't want to go buy ten pairs of shoes or stay up for days. The bed looks as good to me as it does any other day. I am looking at the same things. Doing the same chores. Walking the same floors. And I swear to you, my eyes are always open to the goodness, the beauty.
The difference is- some days I can see it but none of it brings me any pleasure, while other days, there is pleasure to be found in all of it.

Does that make sense?

Well, here are a few of the things which have I have seen today that have been good to my eyes, my heart, my spirits. The things that brought me pleasure.

These beautiful chickens. They are beloved to me. I swear they are. Even on my worst days they bring me peace and contentment as they go about their day. On my good days, they bring me joy. Look at the way Mick stands tall among his hens, keeping watch.

Blue skies and my husband and Vergil, working so hard to help this house I adore stay alive and well. They work for twelve hours at a time with one break for breakfast and one tiny break in the afternoon to eat a muffin. Yes. A muffin.

This silly cat who, on her best nights, only bites me a little bit.

Garden greens and tomatoes and sweet onions, cooking on my stove.

There's a venison meatloaf and sweet potatoes baking. I feel very Florida in our menu tonight and am quite certain that over the many years this house has been inhabited, that these same foods have been cooked and eaten so many times before. The men have finally finished for today and Vergil is on his way home to his sweet wife and darling baby. I got a lot of things done today around here but nothing special. The usual stuff involving laundry and chicken tending and sweeping and trash-taking.
And yet, I have been sitting on the side of the train where the scenery is breath-taking. And all the while, knowing without doubt that I could just as easily be sitting on the side where there is nothing to see but hard flat gray stone.
I didn't choose this seat anymore than I would ever choose to sit on the other side of the train.
I just woke up and here I was.

And what a pleasure and a joy it is.

No one chooses depression or anxiety and if someone tells you that you can, walk away. I don't care if it's your mama, your priest, your therapist, Rumi, or the Dalai Lama. Yes. There are things we can do to make ourselves feel better but simply choosing to is not one of them.

That's my tip for today.

All Love...Ms. Moon


  1. No one chooses depression or anxiety and if someone tells you that you can, walk away. I don't care if it's your mama, your priest, your therapist, Rumi, or the Dalai Lama. Yes. There are things we can do to make ourselves feel better but simply choosing to is not one of them.


  2. Hmm. Something about that meme sounds a bit elitist. You can't just choose to pop into first class, either.

    And it also reminds me of my friend's post from the other day about the gleeful delight of rich people on public transport. Which wasn't a metaphor at all, but still.

  3. I get extremely frustrated when people think you can " snap" out of depression. These people often make terrible comments that only make the depressed person feel even worse about themselves.

  4. John Gray- Thank you, dear brother man.

    Jo- I hear you.

  5. I am so glad you are having some good days. Here's to more of them, I hope.

  6. You have said it perfectly...the feeling of being the one to blame for the blue days and the expansive wonder and glory of the good ones (oh, and why don't we own *them* as well?!)... Hmm, it applies to the migraine cycles as well. I am partial to the wonder and glory days, and thank all that is holy for them. It seems to me those quickie quotes of happiness are taken so far out of their context as to be useless hallmark moments. Those greens look gooooood! Hugs from chilly old Vermont where we are wondering what all our snow is doing down there in Virginia, etc.!

  7. It's comforting to hear you say what I feel shame about at times. I keep it to myself usually but there are days when the anxiety keeps me from wanting to get up. I do what I can to help myself and the rest is what it is. Acceptance. One foot in front of the other. Only doing what is necessary. So Amen to your words.

  8. Such wise words, and I think pharmaceutical companies know full well that if you "choose" the wrong side, you can "choose" their drug, too, and they'll "help" you to the other side. And I know some of it works, and some of it doesn't, and it's all so complicated except when it's not. You make it not, and I love you for that.

  9. And here I thought where that story was going was the person with the view of the rocks was choosing to be happy!

  10. Of course it's not that easy. Those stupid memes are created by people who have no clue. I suppose there are days when we don't feel great and we push on through and get things done, and maybe even feel satisfaction as a result -- but that's not the same as "choosing to be happy," or not. That's a vast oversimplification.

  11. It's interesting how you seem to have the wisdom I need at that moment when I come here.

  12. Maybe I haven't had enough coffee, but that meme makes no goddamn sense.
    Depression knows no boundaries, it affects people of all races, male or female, rich or poor, good seat or bad seat.
    I'm so tired of people spewing opinions on shit they know nothing about.
    Said the girl who knows nothing. LOL!

  13. well, there is some truth to it. I don't mean for those who suffer depression or anxiety. but there are people who are chronically unhappy that are not depressed or suffering from anxiety because they choose to find fault with everything about their lives, nothing is ever good enough for them. they are chronic complainers. it's the glass half full/half empty thing. it's a habit as much as anything else. I absolutely do not think it applies to you.

  14. Bullshit, agreed. Anyway, the scenery changes as the train moves along. But maybe the train those guys were sitting in was a pretend train? I wouldn't put it past them.

  15. So true, Elizabeth, re drug company propaganda.

  16. I don't think we can just choose to be happy. But I think, for me, I can choose to do the things that keep the darkness away--and most of the time that works pretty well. I really benefit from my routine.
    I often berate myself when my flying anxiety kicks in and then realize as I look around at the calm people that they aren't drenched in sweat and shaking. Yeah, I'd love to choose not to sweat and shake, but it just doesn't work that way.

  17. Leisha- God. Me too. I want to tell them to snap out of being an asshole.

    jenny_o- Well, the bad ones do make the good ones that much better. Frankly, that's cold comfort on the bad days.

    Big Mamabird- The greens were delicious. And yes. "Useless Hallmark moments." Precisely.

    Marty Damon- Thank you.

    Joanne- We do what we have to do. We put one foot in front of the other. Some days it's not a very fancy dance but it's the best we can manage.
    And we should be proud of ourselves for that.

    Elizabeth- And that is certainly part of it. And yes, my god, sometimes those drugs do help. But not always. And as always, they prey on our problems. I think any one of us could live quite happily on one millionth of their advertising budget alone.
    i love you too, by the way.

    A- Haha! Rocks can be cool, right?

    Steve Reed- I agree. And I think that these memes do nothing for those of us who truly know what it's like to be so beaten on the rocks of chemical mental problems. Except to make us feel worse.

    Mwa- Good! I love you, girl.

    Heartinhand- You know a LOT! Don't you try to fool me.

    Ellen Abbott- I've known people like that. And even for them, somehow, such a chronic state of unhappiness is terribly sad. I had a friend who was like that- always complaining about her health and everything else. And then one day, she was diagnosed with cancer. Such sadness all around.

    Sabine- Oh, it was a cartoon meme. Very simply rendered to be simplistically understood. Which in itself is ridiculous for such a vastly complicated problem.

    Denise- Yes. As I said- there are definitely things we can do to make ourselves feel better but just "deciding" to absolutely does not work. For me, at least. Have you talked to a practitioner about bio-identical hormones? They have certainly helped me.

  18. Some days I feel incredibly happy. In fact, most days I feel good. Some days I am maintaining in a state of just being--not ecstatic but not sad either. And then there are the days when I just need to get over myself because I have gone down the rabbit hole. I guess that is the best way to describe the days when I go back in time and delve into memories which mean I miss family.

  19. Amen! You know to enjoy the days you wake up on the beautiful scenery side and damn right you don't choose the shitty side willingly when you find yourself sitting there.


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