Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the return of the happy girl. part one.

One of the first posts I wrote was about someone named The Happy Girl. I'd like to tell you a little bit more about her:

One day she went missing.

But back before she went missing, people really seemed to like The Happy Girl. She was fun and nice and always smiling.

She was me, but a long time ago.

And then things changed.

I quit jobs. I started new jobs. I was always searching for something better. But it wasn't always better. Sometimes it was worse. Or different. Or just not right. Actually, it was always just not right. Some jobs were better than others, but most were just frustrating. And all of them left me disheartened.

I was a go-getter. A doer. A completer of things and tasks. Successful. Accomplished. Confident.

And then I started to lose my ompfh. I started to lose my fire.

My can-do attitude turned into a why-bother attitude. I questioned if I was as great as I'd always thought I was.

If I was so smart and capable and organized, then why couldn't I find a job I actually liked? What was my passion? And why hadn't I found it yet?

And then I had a baby.

Which was followed by a full year of sleeplessness. And not just the regular sleeplessness that comes with a newborn. This was full-on torture-like sleep deprivation where I never slept more than four hours in a row for an entire year. It got to the point where I could actually relate to Christian Bale in The Machinist. That kind of sleeplessness.

And that full year of sleeplessness was followed by two more years of toddler exhaustion. And spurts of sleeplessness. Teething, colds, flu. All of them disrupt a child's sleep. And so too the mother's sleep. Exhaustion and sleeplessness. Oh, and I forgot to mention boredom. And isolation. I was a real stay-at-home mom. I really did. Stay. At. Home.

In all of this, The Happy Girl evaporated. Disappeared. She was consumed by frustration. Self-loathing. Self-doubt. Haplessness. Laziness. She was tired. Dead tired.

And The Happy Girl was long in her grave when the depression and anger showed up too.

And then I wondered what to do. Was she really dead? And if she wasn't dead, I wondered where The Happy Girl had gone and what I was going to do to get her back. Or was she gone for good?

And just when I'd pushed everyone in my life to the limits, I finally decided to see a psychologist. What a great decision that was. All of the sudden I had someone I could pay to let me cry for an hour in her office who didn't stare at me like I was growing another head. Even better, she told me I was normal. That I was fine. That I wouldn't always feel like this.

And so.

I made some changes. I started thinking differently. I started eating right. I started moving my body. I started a blog.

I started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. (Not that light.)

I started feeling like I could find The Happy Girl again.

She's slowly creeping back into my life.

And I'm happy about that.

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