Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness. -Buddha Per Merriam-Webster Dictionary, happiness means a state of well-being and contentment and/or a pleasurable satisfying experience. Is it fair to say that happiness can only be experienced for a moment or just because of something? I’d beg to differ. I believe that happiness is an everyday choice that lies within the individual. Nothing or no one can make you happy as a person until you decide that is what you want. Happiness starts with you, it does not start with your relationships, not with your job, not with your money, or etc.

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The reason that happiness means so me to me because I experienced the pain of depression for ten long years. That is ten years of my life that I cannot get back. I was lost and I felt so hopeless. I was at a point in my life where no one could help me. I could not help myself because I was unable to function like a normal person. It appeared to me that every few months or every other year a tragedy was coming my way. I lost three children after giving birth to them, I lost my baby sister two days after she had surgery, I fell asleep driving and totaled my car (I walked away without any injuries), I experienced a bitter divorced, not to mention, I attempted suicide seven times. But I am still here.

After all this, I decided to seek counseling with a Psychiatrist. He started me on a regimen of medications. In the beginning of the medication process, I could not tell if they were working or not. I followed the therapy process of medication and counseling together for a few months. The counseling sessions ended. Now, I am just taking the medications. For a few years, I felt good, but I notice that the medications began to have less effect on me.
One day, I decided this enough of taking medications that are not having any impact on me.
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So, I asked myself what is that I can do for myself to have a better life and be happy? I decided to flush all the medications down the toilet and relocate. I began to address my own issues about my life and face reality. That’s when I realize that life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we react it.

I choose to be happy knowing that there is going to be stress in life, but it is my choice how I allow it to affect me. Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response (Mildred Barthel). I have made a promise to myself that I will never allow depression to overtake my life again. Therefore, every day that my Lord allows me to wake up again, I put a positive thought in my head up raising and remind myself why I am grateful and appreciative to be alive. One positive thought and a smile on your face can change your entire day. What does happiness mean to you? Do you think that happiness is a conscious choice or an automatic response?

I am in charge of how I feel, I choose happiness. Happiness means everything to me; therefore, I will always choose it.