Choose Happiness

As I was sitting at work today, the pain started to make its appearance.

It’s such a familiar feeling, yet every time it happens, I find myself asking why.

Why are you doing this to me, body? What did I do to make you unhappy? Are you mad because I ate a salad? Did I not give you enough sleep? Did I drink too much wine?

I never get an answer.

The problem is that I do know. I know now, what I didn’t know for so many years. I know why I don’t feel well. I know that it happens for seemingly no reason at all. I know that it comes when I least expect it and I know that there’s basically nothing I can to do get it to leave. But that doesn’t make it any easier for me to accept.

As I sat at work, counting down the hours until I could run home to my bed and heating pad, I begin to feel isolated. Isolation is, unfortunately, also an incredibly familiar feeling these days.

I am used to people giving me shit about “always being sick.” In fact, I practically expect it from people now.

It’s not their fault, really. I shouldn’t blame them. People who don’t have chronic pain will never understand what it’s like to have chronic pain. Just like I will never understand what it’s like to be pregnant…because I’ve never been pregnant.

But no matter what I tell myself, or how many times it happens, I can’t help but feel so wronged when I get another look of disappointment as I cancel another dinner or stay in another night on the weekend.

I could try to explain myself. I could try to plead my case. But I don’t.

Like so many other days in my life, I feel that happiness is fleeting.

Sometimes it just feels like happiness refuses to choose me. I try to choose it. I try so hard. And sometimes, it just doesn’t choose me back.

I know that I’ll be OK. I know that I will have good days, and bad days. I know that other people have it much worse. And I know that in so many ways I am incredibly lucky.

But I also know what it feels like when your friends stop asking you to hang out. And I know what it feels like to try and explain why I’m not dating at age 23 in a city like Los Angeles. I know what it feels like to wonder every single day why my body decided to let me down. And I know what it feels like to lie on my couch alone, in pain, wondering how I’m ever going to achieve the things I want to achieve. I know what it feels like to wonder if I’m truly lovable. And I know what it feels like to slowly lose hope.

I don’t like feeling sorry for myself. In fact, I hate it. But today, I feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for the dating experience that I will never have. I feel sorry for the hours I have spent curled up in a ball of pain. And I feel sorry for the relationships that never had a chance. I feel sorry for the moments I spend wondering if I’m ever going to feel unbroken.

I came home today, feeling a little hopeless.

But then I was reminded that even if happiness forgets about me, I should never completely forget about it.

The thing is, I’m not going to feel happiness all day, every day. Maybe none of us will.

But I will experience happiness in little spurts, every day.

And I will never forget that happiness is out there.

Even on the days that it seems like happiness doesn’t choose me, I will always choose it.

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4 responses to “Choose Happiness

  1. Hi Lara. You won’t remember me, I came to stay with your grandparents a few times with my husband Alan when you were small. So sad to read what you are going through. Hope you feel better soon. Xx. Gill

  2. Wow. I respect you for being honest. I admire you for your outlook and attitude. And I thank you for sharing with grace. You seem to be quite an amazing human.

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