Depression is Greater Then Happiness

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Early morning sunrises and coffee make me happy. I remember a couple of years ago driving back to school early on Monday mornings and soaking up the sunset. I was not upset that I had a two hour drive ahead of me, that it was early, or two or three classes later that day. All I was paying attention to was the way the sun was rising in the east. Maybe it was the way the light penetrated the darkness and brought warmth to the cool air that brought a smile to my face. I like to think that it had something to do with being in the presence of God. I loved seeing the sun rise in the morning.
The only problem was I hardly ever see the sun rise any more.

I think it would be safe to say that happiness is associated with light and depression is equated to darkness. We always see light associate with good things.  Which then makes darkness bad. I feel like the light or happiness is having a hard time penetrating the darkness or depression. Unfortunately it seems that depression and fear are easier to be consumed with then happiness and trust. Depression for me is fear of the unknown, the uncertainty that plays in my head about the future. This darkness over takes my vision and I find myself stumbling around with my hands in front of my trying to find my way. I get momentary glimpses of light to see where I am headed but just as I start to see darkness creeps in and takes over.
Why is it that depression is more prevalent then happiness?

Depression and Exercising

I use to weight 181lbs. I was in great shape and was working out every day. Now I weigh 194lbs and haven’t done a push up in five months. I am afraid to even see if I can do ten push ups and bench 100lbs. It took  me so long to get at a certain level of strength and fitness and yet it disappeared so fast. I often wish that it was in reverse. I wish the same could be said about happiness and the anxiety of fear. Happiness seems to be very fleeting and hopeless (Ya, I just compared something that is happy to something that is depressing). I wish it was different. But it is almost like you have to work harder to find happiness in life. But depression seems to be there for the taking. You can see why the Spring the amount of suicides goes up. I was reminded of this yesterday when a friend of my sisters committed suicide on his college campus. You would think winter is the time for most suicides, but experts say that spring time is the highest because Spring is the time when things are suppose to get better, you are suppose to feel happier, instead you feel the same, you feel hopeless. I wish depression wasn’t so easy to fall into.

This season of my life seems to have its ups and downs. And where there is happiness there seems to be depression. What I am learning daily is how to deal with depression, at least the depression that I struggle with, anxiety and fear. I am learning to be patient about what is to come. And after 8 months of learning this patience, I think God is still teaching me.

Its easy to think about the future, but very hard to live in the present.

How are you living in the present?


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Kyle Reed

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Kyle Reed is a connector looking to connect with others. A 20 Something that is blogging his way through life and looking to connect through community. Also a team member of the 8BIT Network and brand evangelist. Find me on twitter: @kylelreed, lets chat.
  • Shelby

    I am a worrier, i worry about things constantly, what i’m having for lunch? what school work i gotta do, what plans i have tomorrow, are my grandparents okay? is my brother okay? is my mom still alive? When is my paper due? How am i gonna buy dinner tonight? is that person i almost ran over on my bike okay?

    Thats like 30 seconds of thought for me, and i struggle with being consumed by worry and wondering if everything is okay, and alright and good. Its one of the things that often keeps me from living in the present, I have to forcefully stop thinking once in a while and let my mind fill with God and His love and grace and peace. Just stopping and picking up his word and letting it fill my mind is the best way i live in the present.

  • Zac

    I think your title needs tweaked a bit. It sounds like you like Depression more than happiness, when I feel that you were trying to convey that its more readily available and easy. Its easier to feel bad about your situation rather than deal with improving it.

    I tweeted a quote this morning that sort of deals with living in the present.

    “To a man on a mountain road by night, a glimpse of the next 3 feet of road may matter more than a vision of the horizon” – C.S. Lewis

    My wife and I have been told by God to leave our church. Last Sunday was probably the last day we will go there, and we are basically like Abraham right now taking Isaac up to be sacrificed. We don’t know exactly what God has in store for us, but we are obeying. This quote reminded me of that. We don’t have a clear vision of where God is taking us, but we are taking each step carefully and asking God for his guidance.

    I think when you start to feel like your life isn’t where you want it to be, you need to forget the big picture for a second and think about the little things, the small victories, the growth you are experiencing, the stuff you are learning. God is preparing you for something great, but sometimes the timing isn’t where you want it. Worrying about the future can cause you to miss what is going on in the moment. Enjoy the present, and let God prepare your future.

    • Kyle Reed

      Very well said Zac.
      That CS Lewis quote is exactly what i needed to hear.

      sidenote: you are right I need to change the title, i can see what you are saying

  • Danny Bixby

    Maybe you should try to see more sunrises? ;)

    I have a hard time living in the present as well. I have such high expectations and hopes for the future that I ignore the present.

    But this is foolish.

    The present is the only point where I’ll interact with God.

    I need to make it count.

  • Kelsey

    I don’t know if there is an easy answer to this. But I understand what you mean. It’s much easier to let fear and anxieties take over and to sink into depression when life disappoints or when you have no idea where you’re going. I don’t know if it has to do with the world that we live in or what, but it seems impossible to be happy all the time.
    Struggling with fear and anxiety has also been a big thing for me. I’ve been depressed badly once that I can remember. And in that time people would tell me to just choose to be happy, that it’s a choice. But I seriously couldn’t do that.
    I thank God that he’s helped me through that time by drawing closer to him and relying on him. I’m better now; not 100% all the time, but I have a much happier outlook on life.
    So, when someone asks, I don’t exactly know how to answer. But I can say that I’ve been there, and that there will always be good days and bad days. I’ve also learned that these are opportunities to grow in faith, (even though they suck and you could care less at that time!).
    I live in the presence by literally taking one a day a time, enjoying the little blessings of life, laughing whenever I can and by trusting that God is ultimately in control.
    I would also recommend watching a sunrise!

  • Shellie (baylormum)

    Wow. You are never boring with your posts.

    First read-thru (yes, I read it twice), I see a young person who is struggling with identity. Not that you don’t know who you are, but who you are to become. Geez, Kyle, I’m almost 53 and wonder the same thing every day. Really.

    Addiction led me down a road with no sunrises for a reaallly long time. Now, some 1000+ days clean, I am still wondering. Why? Why did I suddenly starting abusing pain meds? I mean, I have never even smoked pot! I lost not one, but 2 jobs. Right in the middle of paying for Baylor. My license is on probation. Most employers won’t even talk to me. There are days when the weight of our financial burdens are stifling. And I take on the guilt (and shame). “If” I hadn’t done this or that, we wouldn’t be in this mess. “If” gets me NO WHERE. I hate the present right now. I can’t work in WA because I can’t afford the $$$$ it costs to reciprocate my license. It just seems like I’m still on that hamster wheel.

    Who am I to become? I am a work-in-progress. And I try to stay upbeat about that. I will never be perfect while on this Earth. I’m better at accepting that now. Recovery has brought me back to the God who has never left my side. Like a parent who shakes his/her head when the teen is in trouble again. I am still loved. Why? All the things I’ve done & yet to do. Already forgiven!!

    I know I have days when I feel dark & gloomy. No sunrise for my day. Poor pitiful me. I have to remember, that I am not alone. I have God to talk to. I have a sponsor & girlfriends I can call. Sometimes the phone weighs a ton, but it is another lesson in humility. Like you living where you are. So many lessons. So little understanding of why. I want answers & I want them now! Funny how God seems to do things His way. I don’t know how, but I know God knows what’s best for me (and for you).

    Dream on, Kyle. “We think you gotta lot of potential”. (paraphrasing Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman)

  • Jason

    Sometimes I often wonder if depression is the default position and the moments of happiness I experience in life are the exception to the rule. It’s so easy to not only look to the future but dwell on the past and completely ignore the present.

    And, let’s face it, if the present isn’t that great it’s not like you’ll find it easy to find joy in your situations. Doubly hard when God’s gone on radio silence and you just have to trust that He’s working regardless of the lack of promise in your situation.

    I hadn’t heard what you wrote about suicides going up in the spring but it makes perfect sense. You see things coming to life, you see rebirth with your eyes and yet nothing happens to bring you alive again.