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It’s just not that simple.

On the subject of thoughtless things people say…

I often see supposedly inspirational blog posts, bumper stickers, posters, etc that exhort us to simply choose to be happy. I suppose there may be people out there for whom a happy outlook on life vs. a sad outlook on life is, in some way, an issue of “mind over matter.”

But that hasn’t been my experience. Nor has it been the norm for many, many people I know who struggle with one form or another of depression and other brain illnesses.

April of “Finding Beauty in Spite of Myself” discusses this topic beautifully in her post today, Happiness is a Choice?  Thanks, April, for sharing your perspective and for striking a blow against the ignorance the general public holds regarding issues of mental health.

-Amy

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7 Responses

  1. Whilst happiness is a choice, it is also a long road. I try to write uplifting blog posts because that also helps me to stay focused and on track with my life. It took a long time and lots and lots of baby steps to get to this point in my life. I apologise to anyone who may think that my posts are flippant or disregard how they feel. It is certainly not my intention.

  2. Suzjones: Gosh, I certainly didn’t have your blog in mind when I wrote this post. I think positive and uplifting writing in terms of depression issues is really helpful. I’m glad you’ve found a place where the choice of happiness is a possibility. But I know an awful lot of people who don’t have that choice. Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. While I still don’t see happiness, or sadness as choices, I do believe in the power of thoughts. I love reading uplifting blogs such as suzjones! It keeps me from the pit, and inspires me to keep moving. My negative thoughts are what got me to where I am.

    However, if I could go to bed tonight with a choice made to be happy from the moment I wake up—-and it actually happens, I would be a believer.

    What I do believe I have a choice of, is thinking about my sadness, or not thinking about it. I’m choosing not to think about it. Maybe if I ignore it long enough it will disappear? I’ll let you know. 😉

  4. You’re absolutely right–I’m a retired social worker and a long-time survivor of depression, and the nature of clinical depression is that you cannot simply “happy think” it away. It’s not only foolish but dangerous to spout that kind of nonsense. Good thoughts.
    ^K.

  5. my heart just broke in several places reading this… because I know it’s true, and for many, many people. I wish there was more of a broad understanding… and a much larger blanket of grace and compassion…
    Thanks for your honest post,
    Rae

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