Friday, September 30, 2011

6 Ways I Get Back to my Happy Self



Warning: This almost essay length post might bore you, but if you want to get to know me a little better and have some time to spare please keep on reading.

In my last post I told you that I have been recovering from an angiogram. While I had lots of time to spare laying down I was feeling lots of things, and this is one of the ways for me to sort things out in my head and organize... well which is to talk to you all. :)

First I have noticed that so many people that I contact either in person or on blogging refer to me as "very nice", "sweet", "lovely", "cheerful" and in some cases they "look up to me" and so on. Some of these descriptions of me makes me blush and humbles me at the same time. Thank you so much for thinking of me that way and I deeply appreciate that.

BUT, I just wanted to clarify that I am not this perfect angelic being or saint, even though I strive to be one someday. Maybe that will happen when I am in my 80s' or so.

I am generally a happy person 90% of the times, pretty optimistic, trying to do good and be helpful and kind to others. Although, I don't think you want run into me when I am in my other 10% of the mood (Mr. TRH might attest to that). I get mad sometimes, especially when things are not fair, I get irritated, I feel envious and can be sad.

I have been in this 10% of me in the last few days and quietly having a self-pity party.

Seems to me that it is a pattern going on that when things are starting to pick up and going well for me, I start having health issues. It has been like that ever since I was little. I remember all the field trips that I had to miss, things that I had to give up because of my medical condition.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, it was the same thing. Just before I started a new job, I got ill and I was hospitalized for a couple months. I was still able to work for this company later on, desperately hoping to save up money for Art/Design school. Guess what? Seven months later, I had problems with my leg and the doctor STRONGLY advised that I should quit working. (I am not going in to the details about my disorder and such in this post, but I wrote about some in this post and this other post).

Since I had to learn how to cope with my disorder and disappointments growing up, I think I became resilient adaptable person and I can go with the flow of life. Though sometimes... I am just tired of this same old same old routine, and want to say "enough already!"

Times like that I just have a good cry and allow myself to be sad...

But you know what? One of the gifts that Heavenly Father blessed me with is that I am quick to redirect my thoughts and get back to the other 90% of myself (the one I like much better).

There are few things that I do to get in touch with my happy self. I am not saying that you need them or anything. You might be someone that never gets sad or you already have some method that works for you. If you are someone like me, these might be some useful tips. ;)

1. I count my blessings. When I am in the self-pity mode, it is hard to do this at first. But hey, seriously, I am blessed with a husband that who loves me and goes the extra, not just mile, some many miles for me. I am blessed with my amazing kids who are healthy and happy. As a mother I am so glad that I am the one with the disorder, not them. We all live under the same roof (so many Tsunami victims/survivors are living separately from their family after 6 months!). We have food to eat each meal, other necessities and more are taken care of too. There are so many others. Sometimes I even write them down to see them, since I am a visual person.

2. I watch, read and listen to anything that lifts up my spirit. It is good to immerse myself in "good things" and soak them up. This sounds simple, but it is very effective.

3. I try not to compare myself or my situation to others. There are always people that are doing better than me; it doesn't matter if it is financial, health, career, looks, and housing. Celebrating the differences and uniqueness instead of being envious is a short cut to inner peace. Also I try to remember there is a season for everything.

4. Reach out. This has two different meanings for me.

I reach out to who would love me and listen to me no matter what. Most of the time, it is Mr. TRH that listens to me. Just letting off some steam (nicely though, you don't want the people around you to get "BURNED") makes me feel so much better.

I reach out to help other people. If my problem is not physical and I am capable, I try to do something good. Feelings of being useful, and making a difference in someone’s life energizes me even though it is something very small.

5. Well, you know me. I sew. That is one of the things that have been a constant in my life. Concentrating my energy in designing and sewing lets me forget the pain and sadness. It is very therapeutic. Also looking at the finished product gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

6. I pray. I am not going to lie, sometimes I just don't feel like it but I do pray anyways. I know in times like that it is more crucial for me to pray. My faith in God helps me to see why I am here and why I need to endure (well, preferably with a good attitude) to the end instead of being in my cave of misery.

I hope I don't sound preachy, but really, all these things help me to be who I am in hard times. I am also aware that there are people with mental illnesses or depression and these things won't help them like they do me.

I am just hoping that you will remember these tips and your little blogger friend on your blue days. :)

31 comments:

Jen@thecraftingfiend said...

great post! I started having health issues when pregnant - that still haven't resolved and my babe is 14months. It's hard remaining positive some days and a good cry is often in order but I love you little list on how to get back to happy

Christie @ A Lemon Squeezy Home said...

What a great post. We can probably all relate to not being happy and positive 100% of the time, because life just isn't that way! It would be too easy if we didn't have our ups and downs.

quiltzyx said...

That was a wonderful post.
It seems like we all have our pity pot to sit on at times & the hard part is getting back up again. When one of my friends was going thru' chemo, she would set a timer & allow herself (at first) an hour a day to feel sorry for herself. If she felt better in 30 minutes, she would stop the timer - sometimes she would use the rest of the time later in the day. Then she would set it for less & less time, until she didn't need it any more! She also watched comedies & funny movies & asked everyone to send her jokes. For her, laughter truly was the best medicine!

Catherine said...

This is a lovely honest post Sashiko and I'm glad you could share these thought with everyone who reads your blog. I'm sure we all let life get us down sometimes (it happens frequently for me). It is nice to remember though that there is always someone worse off than we are. It's also good to have an interest that you can bury yourself in and forget what goes inside your head. No one is perfect .

Julianna said...

Lovely post, hope you are feeling better as I write this. :)

Annie xx TheFeltFairy said...

A great post! I think there are lessons for us all in here. I think we all forget how blessed we are and totally agree that 'the grass is always greener' if you want to look around - we then miss out on our own lush green grass! love Annie x

Valerie said...

To your list of "so nice" descriptions please add "brave." Thank you for opening up and continuing to someone we all look up to.

Julia said...

Hi Sashiko and TRH,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
You are amazing and I admire you both.
Sashiko, I wish you a quick recovery and my prayers are with you, and yours.

amy/chick chick sewing said...

Thank you for the wonderful post, Sachiko. I found it very touching and inspiring. I actually cried a little when you mentioned about you being glad to have the "disorder" yourself, and not your kids... You are such a loving mother and a wife, and your family is so lucky to have you in their lives. Hope you're feeling better. I love your blog and will continue to be your "fan"! o-dai-ji-ni ne!!

Rachelle said...

This is so sweet and touching. I'm so glad you shared. And you aren't "preachy", just honest, caring, and lovely.

Juf said...

Hope things are going better soon!
Jacqueline

GerryART said...

Thank you.
hugs
Gerry

Mimi and Tilly said...

Hello Sachiko, I have only been following your blog for a short time and wasn't aware that you had experienced ill-health. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I read your earlier posts too, about your admiration for your mum and your illness. I have a long-term illness that has to be managed on a daily basis. I've had it for 8 years, and I can relate to your feelings around finding yourself feeling low sometimes. I have found all of the things you have listed as useful to help you feel better, useful too. I find being creative and writing my blog a real help. Life doesn't always look how I thought it was going to look, but it's still really great! I'm so glad to have found your blog. I also wanted to let you know, I lived in Japan for five years and loved it! Em x

seashoreknits said...

Sachiko, you are a beautiful daughter of God. A sweet woman (yes, you really are!) who inspires me every time I come to this blog. Bless you for blessing us.

folkhaven said...

Thank you for sharing so honestly about your struggles. You don't come across as "preachy" at all, and everything you wrote is something everyone needs to be reminded of at one time or another. I prayed for you today and hope you soon get back in your 90% groove. -Karen

Maureen T. said...

Thank you for your beautiful and inspiring post. I hope that you are feeling better. Big hugs from Ventura, CA!!

Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

I try to do these things, too, and it's all wonderful advice. I have to say that I envy you and your 10% because I think for me somethings it's more of of a 60/40 split! That's a lot of low days...

Colleen said...

Having suffered with getting cancer, having cancer, and the after effects I understand what you are saying. People wonder how yo can be so positive all the time. They dont know it is often a reaction to how your physical being is. I love how you stay positive and stay creative. That has often been difficult for me in the past especially when you through med side effects into the mix.

Sachiko said...

Hi all! Thank you so much for your comments.

Christie, you are right,life is not that way, eventhough you look at someone and think that they have such a pretty and easy life, you never know what is going through their mind and what they are struggling with. Also, our capacity to deal with adversity is different. That is why I wanted to share the post with my blogger friends. I think we are all in this together "going through life". I hope my post will help some people out there to endure their hard times a little more easily.

Quiltzyx-
You have such an amazing friend! I never thought about setting a timer to have a self pitty party, sounds like it is very helpful and effective. I hope your friend is doing well. Please give her my get well wishes. :)

I wish I could talk to you all and have more ideas to get back to our happy self. We need to get any help that we can, right? I hope that everyone is doing well and living their life fully and happily to the our best ability. Because the time here is so precious.

Christie said...

I think what you are describing is the normal behavior of a human being. If we didn't have times where we weren't top shape then we'd be terribly weird. I like how you deal with life and see the eternal perspective of things.I think you are a great example to others everywhere.

Sherri said...

What a wonderfully written post. So happy to know you are doing better...I was worried about you! Take good care!

Lynette @ My Craft Discovery said...

Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate the reminder of the things that help me stay happy too! :)

Irēna said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You REALLY ARE a special woman, I am so glad always to read your blog!

ShaMavic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ShaMavic said...

Thanks for your honest sharing. Lovely tips, I agree with you. A grateful heart makes alot of a difference. God bless!

Melanie @ Whimsical Creations said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for your beautiful and inspiring words. I hope that you are feeling better soon. Hugs!

Annie said...

Thank you Sachiko-san, for your beautiful post. After reading some posts about you, I have new admiration for you.

Heather Louise said...

Thank you very much for your words. They are much appreciated. I had started to retreat from the world and have my own pity party (it was going to be a huge blowout). Your words helped me cancel the party and look towards the future.

Gigi said...

Everything you do is extremely helpful and what I do too. Also, I sometimes DO have a pity party, for a short time, then (like you) do something creative, sew, cook, read...whatever. Also have some good friends who I can vent to, and they make me feel better afterwards Also, you never know what someone is going thru just by looking at them. I put on my happy face, and know that people say, "she looks fine". Well, the only person who really knows how I am all the time is the hubby. So,never assume.
A friend whose sister has 3 autistic boys was complaining to her about some things happening in her life, she stopped and said that she was sorry to complain when the sister has so much more to deal with. The sister told her that everyone has "stuff", and we all need to be there to support each other. Sorry this is so long; but have been dealing with my problems for such a long time, and most times also am 90%. So, 10% isn't too bad now is it? Blessings to you.

Gigi said...

Everything you do is extremely helpful and what I do too. Also, I sometimes DO have a pity party, for a short time, then (like you) do something creative, sew, cook, read...whatever. Also have some good friends who I can vent to, and they make me feel better afterwards Also, you never know what someone is going thru just by looking at them. I put on my happy face, and know that people say, "she looks fine". Well, the only person who really knows how I am all the time is the hubby. So,never assume.
A friend whose sister has 3 autistic boys was complaining to her about some things happening in her life, she stopped and said that she was sorry to complain when the sister has so much more to deal with. The sister told her that everyone has "stuff", and we all need to be there to support each other. Sorry this is so long; but have been dealing with my problems for such a long time, and most times also am 90%. So, 10% isn't too bad now is it? Blessings to you.

Sewing Princess said...

Thanks for sharing your medicine through difficult times. We often forget the good in our lives. I truly hope you will get better soon and I will be thinking of you.

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