“Jen, what’s wrong with me? Honestly, I am so tired of all these things. I am tired of talking about it, thinking about it, confused by it and drained by whatever this is.” Before heading into my therapist’s office, I didn’t even know whether I should still go through with it. What’s the point anyway? All the self-pity caused me all the energy. I should be spending all these time and money doing productive things, like cleaning my house or learning another language.
“I am tired Jen. I don’t feel sad or happy. I am so lazy all the time. I can list 10 things right now that I should be doing which can make myself feel better, at least temporarily. But my body is not even responding to what my brain is instructing. What is wrong with me?”
Jen was smiling at me, with her pen and writing board in hand, “I heard you say that you are tired all the time; you lost motivation in doing the things that used to bring you joy; you are lost and giving up.” She took a deep breath, continue to smile, “this sounds like depression to me.” Duh! I thought that’s what I came here for…for the past 2 months or so. “When your body is tired, and has been none stop working and pursuing, it needs rest. And it sounds like your body is rebelling towards the judgy voice in your brain.” Jeez, so my body has its own mind or something? Do I have a teenager’s body that is just rebelling my 80 year-old brain?
But Jen is right. I have never stopped chasing “happiness” since …I lost happiness many years ago. I always thought that if I achieve my next goal, happiness will be there waiting for me. If I can get into my favorite University, then I will be happy; if I can find a decent job, then I will be happy; if I can change to a better paid job, then I will be happy; if I can get my own house, then I will be happy; if I can find my soulmate, then I will be happy; if only I can have a beautiful wedding, then I will be happy…I am so scared of not bettering myself. But it is ironic if you think about this idea of “bettering oneself”. It hints that you are not good enough as it is. You NEED to be better, maybe even like someone else kind of “better”. Because maybe if you can be like that person, then you will be happy since she is obviously happy. After so many years, I ran out of things to chase. I achieved all my preset goals but I am still not happy. It’s like climbing onto the peak of the mountain. You are rushing the entire way getting to the top because you thought the view there would be breathtaking. But when you finally get to the top, you just see more mountains and clouds which is the same view as many other mountain tops. You were so rushing to get here that you missed all the blooming flowers, running streams, and cute little chipmunks along the way. You didn’t even hear all the birds chirping on the branches and taste the sweetness in the air. You forgot that it is the climb that counts.
“Just be.” Jen said. Be here, be now, be me. For once in my life, I need to allow myself to stop doing the “shoulda-woulda-needas” but just be present as me for a while. Jen said “have you tried eating an orange? Like really whole-heartedly eating an orange? Starting with feeling the texture of the skin, smelling its scent, put a piece on your tongue, feeling the juice in your mouth. It is surprising how different it might taste like compare to eating one while watching Youtube.”
Nope. I don’t remember when was the last time I appreciated any food, slowly and intentionally. I am letting life passing me by while chasing happiness but I forgot that happiness is in me all along. I AM happiness. I am me and I can only be myself.
This is the note that Jen asked me to scribble down. I will now try to allow myself to “just be”.