When I wrote a post for my birthday, I told you that I recently started therapy. It’s going well and I even got some homework to do. When my therapist asked me what I do in my free time and what I like to do, my list of hobbies was surprisingly short. I didn’t notice it then because it was like listing hobbies when you have to introduce yourself to a class when the teacher asks you to share something about yourself. I said I liked to read, write sometimes and that I enjoy watching TV shows.
Next week I am going on vacation and my homework is writing down 5 activities that I am going to do during my vacation that will make me happy.
I have been struggling for the past week to write one. I have nothing, zero, blank paper. I cannot think of a single thing or activity that will bring me happiness. And when we take into account that I am supposed to spend my vacation in il bel paese a.k.a Italy. You know I studied Italian and that I love Italy and their food and culture and after many years I am going to visit it again and still I cannot come up with 5 activities that I will do there that will make me happy.
To be honest, I don’t feel the level of excitement I thought I would feel about going to Italy and taking a much-needed break from my everyday life and work. To be completely honest, I am more worried about the flight getting cancelled or getting covid before the trip, than I am happy about going there.
It’s so unsettling to realize that nothing sparks happiness in me anymore. To add insult to injury, I couldn’t name the last time when I felt genuine joy about something or someone and that’s extremely unsettling because in the last few years I met my boyfriend, I found a career I like, got promoted, I accomplished a lot but it’s like all of it is meaningless because I didn’t feel anything.
My life has been a flat line, without a heartbeat curve for so long that I failed to notice it until I was confronted with the question “Tell me what or who makes you happy?”
I, a person that has been writing for most of my life, a person that always has something to say; I didn’t have an answer.
It has made me question all decisions I’ve made in the past few years. I started to look at everything differently because I don’t know if I did certain things because they brought meaning to me or because I was just trying to fill this void, take my mind off the emptiness that took over my soul.
I would become obsessed with things like cooking, working out, studying project management etc., and now there’s a different perspective to these obsessions. Maybe, unconsciously I was doing these things because I was looking for happiness in them or maybe they were just empty hobbies used to kill time between my episodes of existential crisis.
I know it’s going to take time to reverse whatever it was that happened to me that caused me to lose all feelings of happiness but the first step is recognizing the problem. I am embracing my journal again and I am trying to make decisions for the future that will include happiness as the top priority.
Therapy really is one of those things for which you can say “It’s going to get worse before it gets better” but I am not stopping. I am seeking happiness.