It’s hard to believe that I can spend so much time thinking about how to be happy without actually being happy.
We’re in therapy right now. I guess this comes with the necessary bout of defensiveness. Dealing with the assumptions running around in people’s heads about what could be wrong with us.
I suppose there was a time when I thought that too. This is America after all. No whining. Just a pressure cooker set for the course of a lifetime.
Now I look at couples that aren’t in therapy together and wonder what might be wrong with them. So many conversations they could be having. A guaranteed hour of stripped down exposure and connection. Checking in even if you think you don’t need it.
It’s like everything. If we can imagine it then it’s like we already know. Except we don’t. Because the experience carries weight like bricks and the thought is just a convenient way to sidestep real work.
If I wanted to get in the best shape of my life I would hire a trainer.
If I want to have the best relationship possible I would go to therapy.
Anyway, now that I’ve laid the foundation for my position, we can talk about why.
I don’t think it’s a large secret that I tend to run on the depressed side. Or that my anxiety lives inside my blood and knows the route to every corner of my body.
I’ve also written extensively on why I don’t take medication. Which means I’m left to my own discoveries on how to make up the additional 70% of serotonin my brain neglects to produce every day.
I’m not an adrenaline junky. I would have to knock myself unconscious and fall out of a plane to say I went skydiving. But I am a junky for newness.
You can only kiss someone for the first time once. I know this and yet I am expected to carry on.
In the past I’ve found great success circumnavigating my condition by going from one relationship to another. The rush, the uncertainty, the joy in putting yourself out there and being granted permission to enter a new person’s life. It has a never-ending loop of something new. Until the loop itself becomes predictable. And the progression of intimacy is just a blueprint waiting to be followed. And the broken hearts stacking up inside my stomach become too much to look past.
There comes a point, about 3-6 months in, when you see your partner’s face and you don’t feel the way you did the first time. This is the time when people say it’s normal in relationships.
It’s also normal not to have sex often.
And to go to bed at different times.
And to spend meals on your phones.
And to not talk about how you’re feeling.
It’s hard to know how the world ended up as it did. With all the possibilities and all the things that could have been made we’ve ended up with this big flaming turd. For the sake of self-preservation, one must assume there is a hidden method to it all. Or at least that all the scenarios have already played out. During one simulation everyone lived abundantly and shared and operated without ego and took care of the planet living in this utopia. Then the itch of being a human and being alive took over, as it always does – like our new car that won’t let us swerve into another lane without slapping us back – and everyone started fucking everyone else’s wives and then all the men killed each other.
In all this time we haven’t figured out how to be in relationships. How to deal with conflict. How to remain vulnerable even when we have everything to lose.
Or we have and just forgot.
It wasn’t just depression that was causing me to go from one relationship to another, looking for a certain high to keep me going. It was the sheer lack of tools I possessed to increase intimacy after the initial infatuation was gone.
And now I’m here, 2.5 years into marriage, still trying to figure out ways to blame relationships for my lack of happiness. Even though we have built a family, a home, an empire, and a bond. Even though this moment in time marks the absolute richest life I have ever lived by an exponent of 99 I don’t know how to find that juice.
I think of juice because I feel dry. My insides are concrete.
Wherever the love is, my heart moves just a little bit the other way.
I want to dip my head in the glowing warmth. Let my heart be touched. I honestly do. I just don’t have control.
All of this right under your nose. As I live out one of the greatest lifetimes there could be. As I push and pull to be a better person, a loving partner, a man who can be wrong and not feel like his existence has been put out like a cigarette butt.
Along time ago I learned how to detach from emotional situations. I assumed I was independent and just not a person getting crushed by the drama of being human and having feelings. Turns out I’ve just left my body. Turned off the parts I didn’t like. Because I feel so much. So much that I can barely handle it.