The happiness facelift

I remain ridiculously thrilled with this "happy" selfie

I’m still ridiculously thrilled with this “happy” selfie – despite the frown lines between my eyebrows!

I wrote a blog last year called Chucking the Happy Pills. It was about realising how unhappy I was four years ago (when HouseGoesHome first kicked off).

The blog noted ….

People sometimes ask me what HouseGoesHome was like in its early days: patchy quality; frequently bleak; poorly illustrated.

I remember my mother-in-law nervously suggesting to my ex-husband that it was “a little dark.”

Looking back, I ache for the woman who wrote those posts in that primordial blog swamp. She was a mess.

For example, three years ago I wrote Al’s On-Line Therapy Service, it went like this:

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.

It’s a bit scary to understand just how very, very bad the place was that I was inhabiting three, two, one years ago …

DD has been looking at old photographs of me and reckons he doesn’t recognise the woman in them.

He thinks I look completely different in the old pics.

And when I look at them, I’m pretty startled by the face staring back at me too – it’s a haunted, unattractive person.

I’ve decided that happiness – while not quite as effective as a facelift – is a pretty good non-surgical second option. Especially for a single mum whose children enjoy far too many (expensive) after-school activities for her to even contemplate going under the knife …. much as she hates her saggy jowls.

Oh I still have my Can-I-be-bothered-getting-out-of-bed-if-the-kids-aren’t-here? moments, but generally I’m blissed out by the joy of living despite being forty-goddamn-seven.

I’m even pretty balanced about kids being on holidays with my ex and his squeeze this week.

Heck, I went as far to help the youngest bake brownies for their road trip. I may have let her sift an inch of icing sugar on top of them all, which may have created a sticky snowstorm all over the seats of his squeeze’s car, but I swear, it was an accident …

What’s your most recent “happy” moment?

Song of the day: Steve Winwood “Back in the high life again”

 

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “The happiness facelift

  1. Hey Alana!
    I remember reading that post and I completely related to it. In fact, I still do.

    You have been through so much and have done so with much grace. I’m so pleased you’re back in such a good place.

  2. What a beautiful, happy image! My happy moments are when I can drop my son of at his dad’s house and go in for a cup of tea and we (including his new partner) can all discuss what’s going on maturely in my son’s life. It was a long road but I’m glad everyone is happy about it now!

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