Yesterday I went to Disneyland with my guy to celebrate his 23rd birthday a little early. This has become the tradition now in my family, any time there is a birthday or Mother’s Day or Labor Day etc., we stuff the whole family in the car and head on down to the hallowed streets of Walt Disney. There is something about all being together and forgetting everything that momentarily pulls us apart that really makes us so utterly elated. What can possibly be better than stuffing your face with all of the foods you tried not to eat during the week and enjoying the overall splendor around you? Nothing I tell you, nothing.
I mention this because I was reminded yesterday how important it is to have your very own “happy place”. It doesn’t matter where it is, could be sitting on the beach or moshing at a concert, wherever that place is, make sure to visit often. This is especially important for anyone who suffers from Depression or Anxiety. Having a place that reminds you of the goodness of life and makes you feel blessed to be living another day is absolutely vital to finding your way through. Imagine walking through a dense forest, so thick that you can’t even see the sun. Not seeing the sun and walking alone for so long would naturally create feelings of Depression or Anxiety of not ever seeing the light again. Suddenly, you see splatters of sun reflecting on the forest floor from the sky above. This gives you hope and lets you know that the sun still does, in fact, exist. It gives you the strength to keep going and finally find your way home. That little spot of light in the darkness is your “happy place”.
“Happy places” can vary depending on the person and their interests but for me it happens to be Disneyland. I know right, ‘so original Bree, the place manufactures happy,’ but it really is. I hate feeling alone and this is definitely the place to shed that feeling by being shoved and kicked in lines and crowds. It surprisingly reminds me that I am alive and that others around me, from so many different walks of life, are all going through their own personal problems and struggles. Even if their only struggle is getting to Peter Pan before the line goes from 50 minutes to an hour….for a day, they are just like me in a way. For me, Disneyland is the place that I can go and not worry. Not worry about Depression/Anxiety, family problems, job duties, or even being a ‘proper’ adult. I could literally wear a head to toe costume if I wanted and not be looked at like a crazed lunatic. Thank goodness for Annual Passes because I can literally visit whenever I’m feeling like I need a pick me up day. It never fails!
Your “happy place” doesn’t even have to be an activity that is highly populated with lots going on. It can be a quiet park sitting under a tree or the library, hiding in the book stacks reading your favorite novel. A “happy place” is as simple as anything, or any place, that raises those Endorphin levels even just a little. Anything that reminds you of the light that exists and that you can still find your way home. I know that this can be hard, especially for an individual so wrapped up in Depression that they don’t even want to get out of bed anymore, however it is sorely needed for everyone. Even if you just work on getting out of your covers and going to your favorite coffee shop for your favorite Raspberry Scone, that is an accomplishment in itself. Depression makes you want to be by yourself but honestly, being around people, strangers even, helps with feelings of loneliness. Don’t be discouraged if you are still in the thicket of the forest, just remember that there IS an end and as long as you have hope and courage, you will find it.
To all my fellow Disney lovers, here is a picture of me as a little girl riding the Carousal in Fantasyland. I’ve been a Disney girl since Day 1! Focus on having one happy day and I promise more will come!