What Makes The Bipolar Writer Happy?

I have been thinking a lot lately about the things that make me happy. I am such introvert. The only thing that makes me happy is sitting in a coffee shop writing. When does it look like when I imagine myself happy?

I imagine myself sitting in coffee shops all over the world lost in my latest literary work. I can imagine fleshing out my latest protagonist. Or working on the rising action my latest screenplay. Things like that make me smile. It’s always with my headphones on and listening to my favorite music or even my latest audiobook. That is what makes me happy. It is my peaceful place. A place where I am happy— but I am not there yet.

The truth is I have been working so hard because I still feel I have to make up those lost years of my diagnosis. It is hard to imagine that I could get through those years of so much unhappiness. Can someone like me still feel happy?

So much of my life lately has been about scheduling. I have to schedule in school, my blog, my writing, and of course my freelance work every week. I spend so much time on my computer most days that forget. I forget that a key part of my recovery is finding peace. It’s still the winter time even here in California (it was about 30 degrees when I left my house this morning.) I chalk some of my feelings with my anxiety and depression to this time of the year. I am a summer person and life is always better from May to September.

At times I am right on the edge of being happy. I am right there, but something happens. It sets me back and it makes me believe that happiness is unattainable. Lately, it has been the increase in my anxiety and the panic attacks. I default setting when it comes to my social anxiety, which is to hide away my life. Again, it can be the time of year that is affecting me. Today its depression, my old friend, that is keeping me from feeling happy about where I am at in my recovery.

What is crazy about the whole thing is that I was feeling these types of feelings last year. The person that I am now is so different. I am so much stronger now than I was a year ago. A year ago I had to take a semester off because my health was going in the wrong direction. I lost the feel of life for weeks— again. But I came out on top and finished the year strong. In the pit of my stomach, I still feel as if I can’t find happiness.

I used to think happiness for someone like me was impossible. How can I find happiness when there has always been a darkness in my life? There are things now that make me happy in a single moment. Waking up knowing that I helped someone like myself with my blog feel a little less alone in this world. Those things resemble happiness in my life.

The times when I can get out of my own head and so that I can write at my favorite coffee shop, even if now I have to drink tea. Coffee used to make me happy. At the same time making the switch that I did was worth it. My stomach has thanked me so much these last two months.

I was writing a chapter in my memoir today about this very topic and I couldn’t define the things that make me happy. I haven’t been happy in the sense that there is real balance in my life. It seems I solve one thing, my depression, and move back to my other issues. My anxiety is the best example. I have only felt depressed lately because I can’t find things to make me happy. Or it could be I am not letting the things that make me happy shine some light on my day.

I sit there at times and write for hours. Productive hours. Why can’t I find peace in that? The music I listen to when I write has always made it easier to get through my day. Why can’t I find peace? I know there is happiness out there for me, and I am missing something. It could be something I lost a long time ago.

The one good thing about life is that we can always turn over a new leaf. I have amazing goals this year, but I am ready to add one more, to find peace in this life. To find out what it is like to be happy. Traveling? Coffee shops? Finding a real hobby like photography? At some point, I will find the right thing that makes me happy in this life. In the meantime, I will continue to work on my mental health and recovery.

I thought of one thing that is coming up that will make me happy. The return of baseball season. I am always happier when I can watch baseball in my downtime.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoNicole Harrington

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34 Replies to “What Makes The Bipolar Writer Happy?”

  1. I was miserable for many, many years… Until, after my diagnosis, I still had a long journey to find what may me happy. Blogging made me happy. My go to “Crocheting” made me happy. My very small, close friends make me happy. But, after that… It’s chalked up to being an introvert. My anxiety tends to spike when I am in stores, and I refuse to go to the movies. I just freeze up unless my close friends are there for me. I think that’s why my roommate and I get along so great. LOL!
    Maybe, finding a hobby will lighten your mood. You suggested photography, and that’s an awesome hobby.
    You will eventually find your happiness, like all things, it takes time.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Maybe write down the basics of all that you have accomplished (ie that you can type) on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. Add all the things that you have done that make you happy. Then on the hard days pick one and read it. You’ll be happier! Put the jar in a prominent place. Add to it as you accomplish something or something new makes you happy. Don’t throw away the papers when you have read them. Save them and when the jar is empty…start all over again.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. What an amazing post; I just wrote something very similar; although you have a much better way of putting to words. I really related to your post because right I am in a depressive states and it so hard to get myself out of it; but I am glad I am not alone. Thank for your blog that is helping so many people.

    Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I sometimes wonder if there is too much pressure on people to be ‘happy’, to find inner peace etc etc. It’s almost as if, when we don’t find it, we have, in some way, failed. We try therapists, self-help, books, Youtube videos, motivational speakers and yet what they all promise eludes us – the way to be happy all the time. The only thing I have found which helps is to accept when I am depressed or sad or anxious; accept it for what it is and accept that it will pass. x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happiness is not a noun. It is a fleeting thing and we often don’t see it when it comes. You have joy in what you have accomplished that some people would have said couldn’t be done. Don’t look for happiness. That’s not how it comes. Finishing a task can bring it. I think we expect too much…some huge wash of feeling when it may just be when you sit back and say “I did it!”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I truly believe expectation sets our mind up for unhappiness. Anxiety doesn’t allows us to just be content. Anxiety needs to be dealt with.. needs to be put in its place. Like a gremlin.. put the lid on the anxiety box. Don’t feed it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This piece speaks a million words to me. When I was younger I could dive in and feel everything full force….yes…sometimes I was branded “La Loca” (female version of the crazy one) I wore my heart on my sleeve…I could share this easily, passionately in my writing…well everything I did….but recently I often feel empty. What used to bring me happiness is like a revolving door for me and as I grow older it seems that I have a harder time finding those activities or hobbies that really fill that void…but I think that this will always be a continuous struggle with so much pressure in today’s world and my own issues. I have come to terms with it and do what I can, when I can…and yes continuously finding things like Photography, writing, and traveling that get me that much closer each and every time. This was so honest and I truly enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Finding happiness can feel so elusive when every day is different and you have to adjust to what your mental illness will bring that day. I am glad to hear that this piece spoke to you.

      Liked by 1 person

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