I started out my life kicking and screaming and bawling my eyes out. Nearly nineteen years later, I find myself practicing the same routine. Only this time, it isn't because I am in desperate need of my mother. Well, only partly. To be completely honest, I'm not exactly sure why my emotions have resulted in this rut of turmoil. Except, I do have a vague idea, all of which is much more confusing than a fussy baby.

I was never considered to be a happy child. My mother often recites the struggle it was to have a baby with colic. Dealing with postpartum and having a howling infant couldn't have been easy. After all, I was a healthy baby, why wasn't I a happy one? This trend was a continuing factor. Although I was no longer a cute little baby, I still showed signs of being utterly unhappy. I had a hard time opening up and making new friends. While the ones I had, I allowed to bully me. I spent my time after school crying. I lacked all signs of self-confidence and self-respect. The times where I was supposed to be happy, I wasn't. And when I was meant to be sad, I was numb. Emotions were not definite in my world.

I never questioned why I felt this way. I didn't understand what it meant to be depressed. I assumed being sad equated to killing yourself. After all, these were the only images I was seeing in the media. I could never relate to characters such as Eeyore, from Winnie the Pooh. He was incredibly depressed and seemed hard to be around. That could never be me, right?

Five years ago I was diagnosed with a serotonin deficiency. For those of you who do not know, serotonin is that little chemical in your brain that is needed in order for certain processes in your body to function. These things include mood, appetite, sleep, memory, temperature regulation, and sexual desire. The main thing my doctor highlighted was the fact that my lack of serotonin could result in severe sadness and depression. This diagnosis shook me to my core. Was this the reason why I had been struggling with my happiness?

Living with a serotonin deficiency has impacted my life in many, many ways. Suffering from this disorder means experiencing generalized anxiety, negative thoughts, and poor memory. These factors have influenced how I live my everyday life. For personal reasons, I have chosen not to take medication for these symptoms. I have had to find alternative ways to ease my anxiety. Essential oils have been my best friend. Lavender and Chamomile are my go to. These oils have helped ease the constant nervousness within my life. For my negative thoughts and poor memory, I have found solace in journalling. This method isn't necessarily restricted to pen and paper. From a pad of Post Its to the notepad feature in my phone, anything can be a way to document your thoughts and feelings. Although it hasn't cured my symptoms, they have given me an outlet to reflect.

I have started to learn what it means to live a healthy and happy life. Although there are still moments of struggle, being able to understand why I feel the way I do, makes the journey that much easier. It is a learning experience, to say the least. Life is worth living, I understand this now.

If you feel as if you are suffering from serotonin deficiency symptoms, please see a doctor.

If you are feeling suicidal, depressed, or just need someone to talk to there are resources to turn to. Here are two:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741