For a long time, I couldn’t identify my emotions and feelings, responses and actions; I could tell I was unhappy in my marriage.

I didn’t feel like talking or smiling. I used to be lost, in what seemed like a very long time, in some thoughts… and when I’d come to, I couldn’t recall what I was thinking – it did most definitely feel like I wasn’t thinking at all.

I think I am blessed to have parents and a beautiful baby boy, now 10, to have emerged out of a lonely and hurtful marriage.

Barely into the first year of marriage, things had become difficult and different: I wasn’t getting the acceptance and support I was expecting from my spouse. I conceived in the first year of marriage and delivered a year later – exactly on the date of my first anniversary. All through my pregnancy I was estranged from my spouse and separated from him to find some sanity.

You may want to give your marriage a second chance when you have a child to care for, many of my friends did that, and for some, it worked. So, with determination to be more compromising and flexible, I tried as well. However, it always takes two in marriage to make things beautiful.

No one should be able to tell you that you have no worth; that your education, thinking, and aptitude isn’t suitable for the world out there.

No one should be able to attack or question the love you have for your child.

Nothing gives the spouse the right to ridicule you in front of family and friends.

I learned this over time.

How I acknowledged and accepted my condition

Most of the time, people suffering from depression do not realize there is a problem.

I was no different.

And sometimes not many people around us are aware of the symptoms of depression.

I distinctly remember my baby boy, wrapped protectively in my arms – then barely a year old – looking up to my face streaming with tears. I remember my baby looking so confused; I was crying my heart out to my father who saw the emotions on his grandchild’s face. He said to me I should be happy for my child, he may get scared and may latch on to my sadness somehow.

The thought was unbearable! I couldn’t make my baby sad. And I am thankful for having him in my life to be able to have thought that way. Love helped me come out of my depression!

I think that was my turning point. It somehow began changing my thoughts and beliefs and started giving me strength. I knew I had to heal myself to give happiness to my baby. I believed I could raise a happy child in a single-parent family than to grow and live with parents who couldn’t love each other anymore. He needed to learn love and compassion, and he should not be given a confusing start a happy life.

We left.

And that was a blessing that came my way.

Finding something passionate to do to pursue happiness

It was one of the first steps I took to heal myself. Gain a sense of self-worth and self-confidence. I knew I had to pursue something that would occupy my mind, channel productivity and bring the focus to my life. I started working in a K-12 school to follow my lifelong passion and relevant education.

It was not easy. When I was not at work, I couldn’t help worrying how I could be a better parent. The working parent’s guilt had subdued me in its shackles for a long time!

Perhaps it was the need of the hour, or my inner strength kept coaxing me, I didn’t give up! I remember often thinking back in my mind filled with self-doubt, that the decisions I had taken, I must see them through to a point where I would be really happy; where I could give compassion and happiness to others because I was full of compassion and love for myself.

I realized that to be able to make someone else happy; I needed to be happy myself!

Surrounding yourself with positivity

I surrounded myself with positivity. I surrounded myself with people, easy conversations, a healthy routine of work, and exercise; play and fun with my growing boy.

There is nothing special in my story, friends.

My journey is not extraordinary.

But my healing method has given me happiness. And that is what mattered the most for my family and to myself.

Surrounding yourself with positivity and actions that help you contribute to things that matter to you, is a personal choice of walking out and over depression. I read a lot of quotes about love, life and how to overcome the crushing sadness.

I knew depression would close in around me if I didn’t pull myself out of it. There is nothing wrong to feel a certain way – sadness, happiness is part of life. But when sadness begins to draw veils of perception, self-doubt, and negativity in everything you do, that is when you must  change things.

I read a lot of self-help literature, for instance on what depression is, Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret and many articles on the internet on how to be happy. I attended self-help seminars and workshops to understand myself better in context of other people’s experiences and coping mechanisms.

There was scary stuff online too – how depression could influence the brain to spiral down a path associated or leading to cognitive impairments of the brain, such as dementia.

I just didn’t want that for myself!

While the medication, support, and therapy helped, I think the most beneficial impact was my meditation and reading, activities and outlook towards life.

Loving yourself

Loving yourself is so very important!

Loving yourself gives you the will to live happily; to overcome situations and conditions; to find self-worth and contentment in the things you do.

Loving yourself enables you to grow and learn and develop a growth mindset.

Loving yourself provides the necessary scaffolding to build better relationships, and give to others with compassion that leads to contentment.

Talking about your emotions and feelings is relaxing and relieving, you realize you are not alone. We never are; it’s when we choose to trap ourselves in water-tight compartments of thoughts and perceptions that we isolate our selves from people, happiness, and contentment.

Again, my journey is not extraordinary, but my will to love myself, accept my feelings and thoughts, channeling and focusing my thoughts on productive activities and outcomes made all the difference in my life.

Here I am sharing a small part of my life’s journey with you, in the hope that you will find happiness in yours in the simplest of ways – love and compassion for yourself.

Keep well!