I feel that some good thoughts and advice for living a happy life are needed on this forum. 1. Rid your life of toxic people. Toxic people drain your energy and replace it with darkness. Toxic people can range from outright verbally/emotionally/physically abusive to "friends" who tease you "in fun" even though its not fun to you. If they won't stop when you ask them, they are toxic people. Toxic people can be found at work, on the internet, anywhere you go. If you are a toxic person, change. I was on my way to being one without even realizing it, and my roommates have taught me how to interact with other people in a healthy way. I understand that you can't always rid yourself completely of toxic people if they happen to be family, but you can learn coping mechanisms. The "For Dummies" series has some very good self-help books out there. They are written by actual PhD's and have actual clinical advice contained within. You can control your interactions with toxic people instead of them controlling you. I keep my parents at arms-length because it is healthier for me. 2. Keep busy, get involved. Volunteer somewhere. Do things for others. Love the way you want to be loved. Give unselfishly without expecting anything in return. This will help you establish meaningful relationships with others. The reason gathering in Churches gives people a feeling of well-being isn't the religion, it is the feelings of togetherness. We are a social species. If you surround yourself with nothing, the nothing will take over within. 3. Take care of yourself. It is okay to say to people "I can't be there for you right now, I need to fix me." Go in a hole for a little while and lick your wounds. Let people back in slowly in small increments that you can handle. 4. Find the balance. Find a healthy balance between doing things for others and taking care of yourself. Meaningful relationships are important, but you can't reap the full benefits if you aren't keeping yourself healthy and sound. 5. Change the way you think. The way you think can influence your emotions. If you use words like "always" and "never" and "forever" you leave yourself no lee-way. "I will never feel better." is untrue because you can't know the future, but how many think like this? This is not a healthy way to think. Don't underestimate the power of positive thinking. I know that it is HARD to change your inner dialogue, especially for people with severe depression because it has become a very ingrained habit. Life has taught you to feel helpless. But you can control your inner dialogue if you work hard and train yourself. Use the power within yourself to create instead of destroy. Yes, sometimes life SUCKS. Sometimes REALLY HORRIBLE, AWFUL and TRAGIC things happen beyond our control, but they don't have to define you. You can go beyond the tragedies in your life and write your own story. Those things are chapters in the book of your life. You can't un-write what is already written. Things have happened, they are done, and I have learned and grown from them. I am thankful for the people I know and the people I've had the privilege of knowing for a time. I am happy I have been allowed to know them and to be a part of their lives, and I wonder what awesome people I might meet in the future. We all have a purpose even if we don't know it, and no purpose is small. You never really know how you influence the people around you, and who's life you might touch. I know I want to see what happens next, so turn the page and lets go!