Happiness eludes me.
I was always kind of a moody guy, even as a kid, but I was never unhappy until tragedy struck my family when I was in my late teens. That was when my grandparents were killed in a car accident, riding in a vehicle I was driving when we were rear-ended by a tractor trailer. That sent my family spiraling into a hole of grief and depression that we've only been able to climb out of for short periods of time.
In 1998, I met Teresa, and we were inseparable for the next 6 years. We married less than a year and a half after we began dating, and those years were easily the happiest of my life. She was awesome, and we did so much together, living life fully and experiencing everything that God blessed us with. Our marriage brought us a little girl named Melody, and we loved her like no one else. Then Teresa passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart complication. Melody was 5 months old at the time, and Teresa's death and home-going left me crippled in grief, a widower at the age of 34, and a single parent of a little baby.
There were many lonely nights over the next thirteen years, and while my daughter absolutely provides me with many happy moments, given her love of life, music, and laughter, in addition to all of the things we do together, my overall demeanor is melancholic, with intense feelings of grief, depression and solitude.
I really wish I could shake it. I desire to be happy again, and my daughter and I do live full, active lives, but I can't seem to find true happiness. I feel like such a poor witness of my faith, which remains strong. As a Christ-follower since my teens, I know that I can give all of this to the Lord and He will take it and restore me. And in many ways, He has. But I still forget to give it all to Him, and my grief and depression weigh on me daily.
I hate the way this makes me feel. I can see how it impacts many aspects of my life, and how it keeps me from desiring a loving relationship with a potential partner. It keeps me from being more positive about my outlook on life. It impacts my career in negative ways. It drags me down. It affects my health. It affects my relationship with family and friends. It impacts my daughter. There really are no good aspects to holding on to these feelings.
What am doing about it? I began taking steps a while ago, but I finally joined a support group. I know I should have done this years ago, but, even now, the intensity of the grief that the group is forcing me to face is almost more than I can handle, and I'm facing sad memories that cause my heart to ache. I know I have to face these things, though.
One thing I learned, within the first few years of Teresa's death and home-going, is that a loss like this isn't something that one "gets over." This is one of those life events that becomes a part of you, a part of your story, a part of who you are and what makes you the person you are now. The realization that I wasn't going to get over Teresa's death actually allowed me to accept and deal with it.
But happiness eludes me. Maybe another major life event will bring me to a better place than where I am. But I pray that God will continue to be with me and help me deal with it.
Thanks. Have a great evening, everyone.