The past month has been quite emotionally draining for me as I pondered on the death of Anthony Bourdain. I know there have been other tragedies of high profile persons and it’s not that I haven’t given it much thought, but Mr. Bourdain’s death was personal to me.

I love to eat, that’s why I loved watching his shows. It was personal to me not only because I felt a connection with him every time I watched his shows but because I too, suffered from depression.

The only thing that I would attribute to as to why I am in a much better position right now than any of them those who has passed away in this manner, is that I was lucky. I was just lucky to have been saved right on time.

And every time I hear about someone’s passing because of suicide, I thought, “we lost another one to the black dog.”

I was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2011, and I had my shares of depressive episodes in my life, one that almost lead me to successfully end it. It was probably the only successful thing I could have done during those times, but even at that , I failed.

Living with depression is not easy. There are moments when I just do not want to face the world, not talking to anyone and just shut down all systems in my body. I cannot describe the feeling when depression kicks in. I started finding my happiness in a pill.

The day was just not the same without my anti-depressants. I call it my “happy pill.” I started to rely on an encapsulated happiness that was to be my lifeline. My happy pill never failed to do its job, to give me that heady feeling of carelessness and total abandon.

After a failed suicide, I realized I had more to do in my life than let the “black dog” chase after me. Even at that, I sucked. That’s when I knew I hit rock bottom. And when you hit rock-bottom, there’s nowhere else to go but up.

I changed my happy pills from an encapsulated mixture of happiness-inducing chemicals to meaningful doable actions. And it was a way lot cheaper too. The auditory hallucinations of laughter that came with the anti-depressants became real laughter.

Yes, I am a pill-popping diva, but not in the way you’re thinking of me to be, not anymore. I used to literally pop pills to be happy and not be depressed. Now, my happy pills are composed of the people who support and love me and the environment that I chose to be at. I know I might not be able to fully heal from depression, but I know I can manage it.

So what are my new happy pills?

These doable actions have taken over my pill-popping routines. Guess what, you don’t need to be depressed to have your set of happy pills. I know this might seem simple to you, but to me, it means a lot.

  1. Take leisure walks with a loved one.
  2. Avoid taking in any work-related calls or emails during evenings or on weekends. Intend to do it all the time.
  3. Have a girls night out, without guilt.
  4. Choose story-telling instead of watching television. (You don’t know how much of this your kids will enjoy.)
  5. Avoid taking phone calls during dinner and try to enjoy your food more. Savor every bite.
  6. Write a long letter or in today’s case, long emails. If you don’t have someone to write to, better yet, send a letter to yourself.
  7. Do something creative with your hands. (You may forgotten about a special skill or a hobby like knitting or bead work.)
  8. Connecting to the one true Source of life.

So right now, don’t you dare steal my happy pill. I need it. It makes me happy in the truest sense of the word without it messing my body and mind.

Originally published at


  • Mary Anne Trinchera Lim

    Writer, Entrepreneur , Empowerment Advocate

    Helping make the world a better place by empowering people through writing. MaryAnne is a multi-passionate creative and entrepreneur in a love affair with writing. She writes to empower and inspire women. As an entrepreneur, she helps businesses achieve their business goals by providing assistance to business owners with mundane tasks. As a result of what she does, business owners are able to create for themselves work-life balance and focus on the more important things in their business. Her advocacies stemmed from her personal experiences with domestic violence and mental health issues. As a survivor of one of the world's climate-related tragedies, through writing, she hopes to help heal a part of the world that has experienced what she went through.