In my recent post, I posed a question on happiness and why is it paramount over success.
It is not known to many, but I have been diagnosed as HIV positive earlier this year. And yes, it gave me an epiphany of how I’ve lived my life. That was when I realized, my life has started over with a question “Are you okay?”
The day I was diagnosed, death knocked in front of my hospital door three times.
1st it was a morning when breathing became very painful. My pneumonia has worsened, breathing and speaking have become a painful struggle. I can only cry and look at my mom as we create our isolated haven inside my hospital room.
2nd I tried to take my medicines and ended up throwing up everything, it sank to me that my infections have peaked at a point where I can’t even swallow anything. Drinking water has become more painful than breathing. It was a time when I thought that I was already done for, and I guess I was. I was done with my life, I was prepared to give up fighting, and I was ready to die.
Third and the last time that I refused death was when the result of my blood examination have confirmed my status. It’s not like I was completely blank about my current predicament. In my mind, I already lost the fight. I was lost.
As I looked back on how my journey has been, I was able to conclude that it was a life well-lived. I was filled with happy memories and my prime days were filled with unforgettable adventures. Up until that time, I have lived with no regrets. However, there was one thing that bothered me deeply, I was never fulfilled.
My days were filled with joyous moments that made me blissful more than sad. When all those came to pass, they were all fleeting, and none those things did not give me the satisfaction I was looking for. For us to understand happiness easier, we look at what causes the opposite. One probable cause of our unhappiness is expectations. It comes in all forms and from all sources.
It starts from the foundations of our society, family expectations. Our families set expectations on us giving us a preconceived image of what reality is. Making us prejudiced about the things around us before actually experiencing them. Modern society has made it to a point where expectations surpass our realities.
I lost all these that day. When I was at the brink of death and life, the only thing I can remember yearning for is a little longer time, I wanted to say my goodbyes properly at least. At that moment, I knew I needed to be reborn. Then my mom asked me “Are you okay?” I was reminded that simple gestures of love can be fulfilling when you’ve let go of everything that’s holding you back.
I have found different kinds of happiness as I live up to my life now. Personal happiness, that doesn’t cease validation. One that is unyielding yet secure. While others may potentially be stigmatized with what happened from me, my near-death experience made me choose happiness, and break the chains that bind our society to earthly desires.