Excerpt The Intelligence of Happiness

Overlooking the warning signs, I found myself on the wrong side of depression and now guide readers to recognize and overcome it so we can reclaim our ultimate joy in life. Happy World Mental Health Day, let's get happy!

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I hate it when the curtains open, but just slightly less than I hate leaving the bed. I’ve
lost track of why I should even interact with life.


What’s the bloody point anyway, right?


I patiently wait to feel any inkling of interest. I am diligent in my slumbersome
solitude. It’s just an AWOL situation; I am simply absent without leave. The tickle of
ambition that used to get me up before sunrise faded so fast without warning.


I am just sleeping my way through this “rough patch.” I don’t remember how I was the
girl I managed to be just days, weeks, and many years before this moment.


I dominated, always.


I set goals, I tried, I failed.


I never hesitated to adjust the sails and keep moving forward. Just fail forward, learn
something from it, and it won’t have been a waste of my time.


I grow accustomed to my tight chest. It might just be dehydration or low blood
pressure. Sure, it’s that again. I should take it easy, I should rest. I look at messages as
if responding to them would be like producing an article for Harvard. It’s daunting. The
“Hey Gi, how are you?” is now loaded, it’s dangerous. It fires at me from a space of
cuteness and lands in my cognition as an explosive.


I could write back, “I’m fine,” but I’ve never been one to lie to myself, so I don’t write
anything at all. Wearing denial like an haute couture ensemble was never my cup of tea.


I am not fine.


Yet still, I will not say I’m depressed.


This word depression lives a double life between nonchalantly being used, and at other
times being dramatized. So, I think it might be helpful to clarify just what depression is
because it is none of the above.

Depression is a mood disorder that is naturally unstable, meaning it can change from
time to time and is inconsistent in how and why it prevails. Self-esteem, however, can
remain unchanged for an entire lifetime. Low Self-esteem is stable unless given the
attention and care to improve it. Depression, being a bit more volatile, can be
unpredictable in how it comes and goes.


If we aren’t careful, everything can become a mirror of the disgusting inadequacy that
is a conditioned life view. Our Self-esteem lowers, our Self-efficacy is jaded, and we
simply fail to recognize who we are, what we desire, and even what happiness is.
Feeling like a failure, ashamed and never good enough, unworthy of love. Then you
begin hating yourself for hating yourself, and you’ll use your extraordinary conscious
evolution and intellectual capacity to think about this thought.


The vicious cycle continues of decaying in depression unless we can recognize it in our
Self and in our loved ones.

It is the leading cause of disability worldwide with an economic impact of approximately $210 billion per year.

A statistic that stretches beyond the boundary of boardrooms into homes, personal
lives, and families. Parents are losing children to suicide, friends are losing their peers,
and even children themselves face the unimaginable loss of their heroes. A business’s
bottom line is impacted by people coping with depression, but the bottom line is
addressing depression is important for our entire world.


Pay attention to your mood. If you become nonresponsive and your care to perceive life
diminishes, then proceed with caution.


I thought there was a whole marathon of down moods to be lived before I reached
depression. I thought there would be a climb up an emotional Mount Everest and a trek
through the Sahara Desert of negativity. I completely underestimated how much it can
just ambush you.


Feel it, own it, tell your Self the truth.


Don’t lift those heavy thoughts as if they are feathers. Don’t carry on until they break
you.

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