I got a tattoo today. It’s actually my sixth tattoo, but this one is definitely a good one. I decided to get a tattoo of the serotonin molecule. Serotonin, the chemical that helps your brain feels happy.
I got it because I haven’t been happy lately. I’ve felt heavy, a bit sad, scared and restless. The weight of loss, and the unknown of this disease called pulmonary hypertension, refuses to leave my heart and brain alone.
Happiness is an inside job. People may add to that happiness, or subtract from it. You can add stuff to your life, thinking it will make you happier, fuller. You may define happiness by your career, your success, the amount of people who admire or love you. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make yourself happy. That’s why this serotonin molecule is so important to me.
Every day, my body is succeeding a little bit more. Filling me with happiness. I don’t have to drown under the heaviness of life. No, I instead allowed myself to feel those feelings, and then set them out to sea. Then I get to fill myself back up with happiness. This comes from knowing my own worth.
I am worthy of love. I am strong, smart and brave. I’m excellent at board games, and a pretty decent cook. I’m a good listener and good with kids. I’m a wife, a sister, a friend, a daughter. I am proud of every part of me, even my flaws, because they have made this body. And this body has fought wars with itself. It’s read thousands of books, and walked down an aisle to get married. This body has rocked many babies to sleep, hugged hundreds, and laughed until it cried. It has made meals for people who didn’t feel good, and popped the corks of bottles of champagne to celebrate with people who felt amazing.
I have LIVED. And with this body, I’ll continue to do so.
Our illness is not what defines us. It’s not who we are as people. You are so much more.
I’m working harder to be happier. Some days it’s hard. But happiness is out there. Go find it!
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.