Al’s On-Line Therapy Service

Are you happy? Are you unhappy? Are you sure? How can you tell? I think there should be a pill that people take – just once, mid-life – that shows what true happiness feels like. I don’t mean blurry alcohol or drug induced euphoria, with its subsequent hangover and regrets. (I’m giving that one a whirl at a school mums’ dinner tonight.) I’m talking garden-variety, no-frills happiness. It would give people perspective. I reckon most people have forgotten how to recognise happiness/unhappiness. Popping a garden-variety happy pill would give clarity. Depressed people would understand they needed counselling/medication. Non-depressed people would recognise that their life is pretty damn good, all things considered. A few months ago, I described my emotional state to a friend as “approaching contentment, with occasional flashes of joy”. I thought that was as good as it got. Leaving work had set me adrift, it was a release but an unsettling one. As the weeks passed, I began to understand how deeply unhappy I was/had been, but I didn’t know how to fix it. How do you “get happy”? I tried counselling, cried a lot. I popped St John’s Wort, didn’t notice any difference. Time was the biggest healer. I finally started to relax. Well, as much as I’ll ever relax. I began to enjoy people again, instead of avoiding them. Am I happy now? Well, I’m happier than I was. That’s progress.   

DIET TRANSGRESSIONS: I am so bloody hungry. Three months of this won’t be a mood enhancer. In fact, my current mood is veering towards the very cross. Fortunately/unfortunately, the Sprogs don’t seem to have noticed this, and continue to ask annoying questions at inappropriate times.

Things I really wanted to eat yesterday but didn’t (aside from my own arm): a friend’s toasted banana bread, a giant chocolate Santa given to the kids, leftover Latina spinach and ricotta ravioli, wedges from the BBQ chicken shop.

TONIGHT’S MENU: Dare I say it, more chicken tagine. I might make it into pies for the Sprogs, to mix things up a bit.

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