BEING HAPPY CAN BE HARD WORK

❤“Our happiness level is the result of a complex interaction of genes, behaviors and life circumstances. A big part of how we feel is under our control, meaning the way you spend your time and the thoughts you allow really impact your mood and long term happiness.” (Onyama)


Hi there! Have you had a good week? Mom and I are well but we are getting pretty tired of the same old thing day in and day out. I admit to having a lethargy that’s hard to shake. My mind tells me to get myself in gear but my body just isn’t listening. Maybe it’s just FEBRUARY that’s the problem. It’s known for being blah. I think I have a handle on keeping my head above water aka above the depression line. My whole family, on my mother’s side,  is afflicted with DEPRESSION. It is genetic and comes from my grandfather’s side. Back in the day before there were medications and understanding that it is a disease, several relatives succumbed to it by taking their own lives. Of course, depression, to a certain degree, comes knocking on all our doors from time to time. I became so depressed after my first husband of 35 years died of brain cancer. He was only 53 and I was 49 when he became ill. We had just bought a “handyman special” house. It was our first home. The kids were through college and married. We were happy as clams in the mudflats!  Doug was a jack of all trades, so we were confident we could make it into something special for our retirement years. He began the work by replacing all the windows and tearing the old siding off the house to replace it with new. He also was renovating the inside. Bare studs were showing everywhere. The kitchen was remodeled and looked lovely but the rest of the house was unbelievable. We were living in squalor! I wondered at the time why he didn’t finish one job before starting another. I left for a week to go to my youngest brother’s wedding. I came back to find chaos everywhere. My daughter said to me that her dad was acting strange. It took forever for him to do what used to come naturally. He went to the doctor but they couldn’t find anything wrong. One day he acted like he was having a stroke so I quickly got him in the car and rushed him to the ER at the closest hospital. They rushed him into a treatment room and began to “work” on him. He never worked again. His life was taken over by the lymphoma and chemo and radiation and it’s side effects. I was working at the time so I was kept busy trying to cope. I eventually went part time at my job so I could be at home. I prayed a LOT. Meanwhile I had to get the house put back together and make it handicap accessible. His livelihood as a self employed person left us financially ‘in the soup”. It didn’t take long to breeze through our savings when you have to hire. I had excellent health insurance with my job so most of his many hospital stays and treatments, etc. were covered. Five long years later he died on January 12th. Before his death I had coped with life pretty well. My mother and two brothers had been diagnosed with depression and put on medication. I have always been a person of faith. I felt it would sustain me and it did but I was struggling. Finally my doctor convinced me that I had to accept two issues that needed to be addressed: chemical imbalance in my brain and an under active thyroid.  I agreed to go on medication for both and it made a huge impact on the quality of my day to day life. It didn’t do much for filling the void in my heart though. God took care of that, to some degree, when he put Roger in my life. ❤️ He had been in the army, with men under him for over twenty years, and he has a bark. It took the family awhile to get used to him but now he’s recognized as a lovable character. 



Well, this post is a little different than my usual postings of Island scenes and what’s going on outside my kitchen window. Valentine’s Day is on Sunday but I don’t need a special day on the calendar to remind me that I love and am loved. I am blessed twice over to have had Doug and now to have Roger. We tell each other everyday of the year “I love you.”
❤️ 

Comments

  1. I'm so sorry to read about your first husband's illness and passing, life has been tough for you. I'm happy you have the love of a good man and your family. Blessed twice over, those are lovely words and you are right about not needing a special day to say the three little words that mean so much.

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  2. Thank you for sharing that part of your life with us. I am sorry you lost your first love. And I admire your strength in persevering and finding someone to fill that hole in your life. I know exactly what you mean about the medication. I finally addressed my chemical imbalance a few years ago, and am so happy I did. Have a cozy day!

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  3. I am so sorry what you had to go through with your first husband. Losing him was hard enough but you had a long struggle towards the end. I am grateful that you got the medical help you needed and have found someone who has brought love and stability back into your life. Stay well and loved.

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  4. Whew, that type face is hard to read! That must have been a very difficult time in your life, losing your husband so young. I’m glad you have been able to manage depression. These certainly have been trying times to test us all! We have had a very gloomy winter with constant rainy days and, with no Covid shots forthcoming to free us a bit, it does get to me. Happy Valentines Day!

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  5. I am so sorry for the loss of your first husband. Enjoy the blessing of a second love in your life.

    Happy Valentine's Day ~ FlowerLady

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story and your heart. You are blessed to have found love a second time. Hope each day gets brighter.

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  7. Two good men in your life to be thankful for! So sad that your first husband had to suffer through cancer. I hope you are able to keep depression at bay. We have a light we use just about every morning and we find it makes a difference in our moods....but maybe you need a blood draw to see what is happening with your thyroid levels:). Stay warm!

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  8. I’m so sorry to hear about your first husband’s illness and death. I’m glad you found love again. It’s a blessing. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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  9. So sorry to hear about your first husband, but, I'm glad you have Roger, now and the medications you need to maintain your health. Hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day!

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  10. You are indeed twice blessed with the me in your life. Love is a blessing in our lives but comes with a heavy price of the grief for the loss of those we love. Your story is a great reminder on this Valentine’s Day to appreciate every day in love.

    Take care.

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  11. This must have been a very tough post to write,Susan, and so sorry to read about Doug's illness and passing. Glad you are feeling better from how you describe him in your posts, Roger sounds like a wonderful second love.

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  12. Oh, Susan...what a time that must have been. But it is wonderful that you have had two good men in your life. Depression runs in my family, too. From my mother's side. How do I say this--a big percentage of people do not understand depression at all. Do not realize they have more control over their blood pressure than we do the chemicals in our brain. But that is a whole different post...

    Roger and I tell each other I love you every day, too...

    And yes, love does come at a heavy price...when Roger first came home from the stroke, all I could think at night is that one day it will happen for one of us, and one won't come home.

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  13. I am so glad you shared about your first husband, Doug, your fixer-up, and then his being stricken with illness in the midst of that. What a trial for both of you! And then for you and Roger to have found each other. Many good comments here that I agree with. What you've written provides a good reminder to truly love our loved ones. We just simply don't know how long we have on this earth, or what tomorrow holds. Thank you for this post.

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  14. Just found your blog.
    We have 3 things in common because my name is Sue, I too take medication to correct the chemical imbalance that causes the horrible blackness of depression and my husband died far too young at age 61 with a really nasty type of lymphoma after all sorts of treatments that went on for 2 years.
    It's a strange common world we live in! :-)

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  15. they say it can be very cathartic to write about a love lost, i hope it was for you. they also say that people who love deeply will find love again after the first love is lost. i take great comfort in that. thanks for sharing your story, i take comfort in the fact that you found love for a second time!!

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