16 Jul 2011

my own happiness project

I'd thought about this post for a few weeks now and have been thinking, shall I post it? Or shall I not? Anyway, I've pushed the inevitable push button now! The thing is, I was diagnosed with depression a few months ago and have been undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for the past month and a half. Now, I know mental illness is a taboo subject and I'm not trying to show off about having depression - it's something I'm not proud of at all. I've always liked the idea of being an 'alpha female' and tried so hard to portray that during high school and university, so admitting that "yes, I do have a mental illness" is not an easy thing for me. Yet, it's something that has affected my life day in day out; affected my study; affected my friendships; affected my family...I could go on.

Anyway, enough about depression (it really is a horrible thing and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy). Having had these CBT sessions, I realised that I need to get a hold of this horrible illness which was forcing barriers around myself without me even knowing, and do something about it. This is where my own happiness project comes in. I got this idea from Caribbean Princess so I don't claim this is an original idea myself. I bought the book to do with this project and have been eagerly gaining ideas from it. Throughout my CBT sessions, a recurring theme was the fact that I did a lot of things to make other people happy without any thought for my own happiness. Typing that out, it makes me seem more selfless than I am - believe me, I do regard myself as selfish!

But, jokes aside, let's focus more on the project in hand. I was going to use my jade Finchley Filofax for this but opted instead; for this, sorta ugly notebook:

Depending on how successful this project is for me in maintaining my own personal happiness, I may resort to using a Filofax in the future. I chose this notebook for two reasons: first, this:

Sorry about the blurriness! My camera wasn't in focus :(

A sort of flap thing inside the cover bit which can hold bits and bobs. I like holding onto things before I stick them in - be they cinema tickets or whatever. Going to the cinema, gigs, even eating out can all be points of happiness for me for various reasons including the company or the event itself - so I thought it would come in handy for holding them in before I can stick it in with a memo about that event. This is so that I can read over it in a month's time, two month's time, whatever - and appreciate that yes, I was happy then and if I was, then I can surely be happy now too!

So, the first reason down. The second and last reason? The paper quality. The paper is from the 'Oxford' brand and I have found it to be the best paper I have ever used (maybe I've only used cr*p paper before? Who knows.) as ink had never bled on it for me and it never shows on the other side either.

So, this is just the beginning of my happiness project. To find out how I progress with this project, be sure to subscribe to my blog ;) (Cheeky plug, I know!)

The first step? To write down the things that have really been good for me: i.e. my support network - my family and my best friends (I'm blessed to have more than one, something which I will always be grateful for at this time especially), etc.


  1. Ok Paperlovestory I am so proud of you for sharing your story with all of us. It takes a lot of strength and courage to do this as mental illness is still very taboo in our society. My research area covers mental health as I think the area is under-researched compared to other areas like cancer.
    Good luck with the CBT and with your happiness project. I will be rooting for you!

  2. Thanks CP. I feel that doing a Happiness Project would be a good idea as at least I'm trying to actively tackle the problem :)