Written by: Dannie De Novo, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Not too long ago, I was actually the unhappiness expert. The truth is that I was living the life that I thought everyone wanted to live. I had a good-paying job as an attorney, a husband, a house, and the most adorable baby girl.
The problem was, though, that aside from the time I spent with my baby, I was actually pretty miserable. I was depressed, lonely, and unfulfilled but still able to function at a level of basic survival from day to day, so I saw little reason to change.
The scariest part about this for me was that, growing up, I had suffered a very hard depression beginning in my teens and lasting through my early twenties. I had a terrible time with antidepressants and was hospitalized in a psych unit more than once for suicidal tendencies. Finally, after no therapy appeared to be working, I was given only one more option – electroconvulsive therapy. Not knowing any better and simply wanting to be free from the prison of my mind, at age 19, I dropped out of college and consented to weeks of the tortuous “treatment.”
The treatments were so intense and horrific that I started pretending I was no longer depressed just so everything would stop. Along the way, I often heard that if I stopped being so much like “me” and started acting more like everyone else, I wouldn’t be so depressed. So, I set out on a course to be like everyone else and attempt to live happily ever after.
But, there I was. I had everything I thought I needed, and yet, I couldn’t have been more unhappy. I remember one evening, mindlessly stirring a pot on the stove, lost in my misery. My baby (she wasn’t even a year old) was sitting on the kitchen floor playing with some pots and wooden spoons of her own. Suddenly, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes, picked up a pot and a spoon, and started mimicking me! I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I bent down and said to her, “Yes! Just like Mommy!”
And then, I fell to the floor. A crushing wave of nausea came over me and I was faint. It immediately became apparent to me that my daughter was watching me and copying everything I was doing, and what I was, in fact, doing was teaching her how to live a very depressed, lonely, anxious, unoriginal, and uninspired life. So, that day, I set out to learn what real happiness was because I could not bear the thought of my daughter ever having to go through what I had forced myself to endure for so long.
I started studying happiness at the level I had once studied law – the spiritual side, the neuroscience side, the health side – everything I could get my hands on. I studied with spiritual leaders and gurus and coaches all over the world. The next thing I knew, I was at my lawyer friend’s office signing my divorce papers when I got a call that the company I was working for was being acquired and that I was not part of the deal. It seemed like the Universe opened a new chapter for me right then and there.
I stopped being like everyone else and I began working as a happiness and success coach, coaching men and women globally. To date, I have three bestselling books. I have one international bestseller, Get in a Good Mood & Stay There, which chronicles my first steps of pulling myself out of depression, dealing with anxiety, and finding happiness. When COVID hit, I wanted to help as many as I could, so I started going on tv. I am now a resident happiness television expert on multiple stations nationwide and have done well over 80 tv appearances across the country.
I believe that by sharing my material and my stories I can help others sift through their own thoughts, pain, and anxiety and then realize that there is so much more to life. I see people needlessly suffering every day, and I have made it my mission to help those people see they can raise themselves up to levels of love and happiness they never imagined existed. As I say to my daughter, follow your heart, and the rest will follow you.
Dannie De Novo, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Dannie De Novo is a happiness coach and international bestselling author. After having battled depression and anxiety for most of her early life, Dannie set out on a course to learn what true happiness was for her and for the sake of her baby girl. Now, Dannie regularly appears on ABC, Fox, NBC, and CBS TV news and talk shows as an expert on creating happiness, combating loneliness and depression, and managing anxiety. For more about Dannie De Novo, visit www.DannieDeNovo.com.