"But that's what you are, a quitter."
That was my depression. She has a nasty voice that sounds like mine when I'm at my meanest.
"Why did you think you could be happy for 100 days straight? Are you kidding? You're never happy."
My rational voice tried to protest by saying that I'd already proved to myself that I could do it for 64 days. But when I'm depressed, my rational voice is just a really soft mutter.
I don't even remember why I was depressed that day. Sometimes (actually, most of the time) there isn't even a valid reason. Something small might tip me off and then I'm down a dark hole faster than Alice in Wonderland.
The whole reason I had started the 100 Happy Days challenge in the first place was to help with my depression. Especially since my husband left to train with the Army for 6 months, being happy seemed like an impossible task. But structure and goals seemed to help quite a bit, so this challenge was perfect.
I'd seen some of my friends posting their challenge pictures on Facebook and wanted to give it a go. There had definitely been some sad moments in the first 64 days, but I was always able to find something to be happy about during that time, even if it was something as simple as a bowl of ice cream after finally putting my baby to bed.
Not Day 65 though. For some reason I couldn't get out of my hole long enough to find something positive about my most-likely uneventful day. I'd probably just stayed home all day, in my pajamas. Maybe I'd made goals and plans for the day and not done any of them. Maybe I just felt like a waste of space, and it was all I could do to feed my baby and keep her happy between waking up, nap time, and bedtime.
"You did nothing today, you loser. What do you have to be happy about?"
Snarky ugly depression voice. I really hate her, and she sure is loud.
Then I heard a very soft voice say, "Well, there is always tomorrow."
And suddenly, that was my happy thought for the day. Days could get really bad, but the sun always comes up the next day with new opportunities and new surprises.
Maybe I hadn't been productive or positive that day, but it didn't mean I had to stay down in the dumps forever. Tomorrow comes and we get another chance. If that doesn't make everyone happy, I don't know what will.
Today I posted my last "100 Happy Days" picture to my wall on Facebook. I'm so glad I didn't give up, and didn't pay attention to that awful mean voice in my head that kept telling me I'm a quitter. I have learned so much in the last 100 days, but most importantly that happy does not depend on your circumstances, but rather on your choices.
There have been sad days during my 100 Happy Days, but I've been able to find at least one happy thing each day, despite what may have happened. Most days I could have posted a ton of pictures of what made me happy that day.
To make sure I got my challenge done, I would start each day thinking, "I wonder what I'll post today." Then throughout the day I'd make sure to take a picture, or find a picture online to represent what happiness I'd found in the day.
So, to my obnoxious depression voice--IN YOUR FACE! I WON!
She may always be around, trying to bring me down, but now that I've been happy for 100 days, I will continue to look for the happy every single day for the rest of my life. Because once you've developed that habit, it's hard to break.