Maybe I Don’t Want To Be Happy

Originially published on rebellesociety.com 3.26.14

I might be a large, heaping disaster.

When I get hit by the first world blues, I struggle to find words for how I feel. I’m afraid I’m fucked. I’m obsessed with novelty and don’t have the tools to appreciate entire life cycles. The world then turns into torture. I’ll always be looking and never finding. It scares me.

Most people have the problem of not taking enough time to figure themselves out. They work for other people, take care of other people, and think about other people.

I sometimes go for 8-10 hour stretches of time where I don’t even realize other people around me are real. I think about myself more often than I think about others. I know the color of every shit, how I feel after each type of food or drink, the exact time I need to fall sleep in order to wake up and feel optimal, the six different types of exercise I need to distribute equally across a week to avoid getting bored with fitness, and what essential oils are good for my mental instabilities.

All I fucking do is think about myself. I think about how people perceive me. I think about my legacy. I think I am the most important person in the goddamn world.

I want to care more about other people; hang out with them and get to know what they are up to, but at the end of the day, I am more interested in my own life. Which is in part why I’m a writer, I think. At night, I sit and read my own journals from years prior and I become so fascinated with the stories and the characters that I live inside the words and marvel at all the progress and struggle.

I have been diagnosed, on several occasions, with chronic depression, severe anxiety, bipolar disorder, and OCD. I wasn’t looking for these diagnoses, in fact, I don’t really believe in them. It’s usually during a physical or a check up for a sore throat when some doctor will start asking me questions. Next thing I know I’ve got “don’t kill yourself” pamphlets in my lap and I’m getting the speech on how I need to be medicated because it’s too hard a path to walk alone.

I’m on this quest for happiness and freedom of expression. I always say that I want to feel alive, I want to be courageous, and I want to experience new things. Some happiness would be nice too.

But the other day I was riding my scooter on a beautiful sunny day with the wind in my face and beautiful fucking birds flying next to me and all I could think about was how sad I felt.  “Dude, what’s your fucking problem?” I asked myself. “If you can’t feel this than you can’t feel anything, ” I continued.

So it dawned on me that I might not actually want to be happy. Because I know how to be happy.

I know about brain chemistry, I know that if I exercise my body will produce serotonin and endorphins stronger than any anti-depressant, I know that if I eat clean foods I will have more clarity in my thinking, I know that if I meditate for 10 minutes morning and night I feel calm most of the day, and I know that if I write first thing in the morning before I touch electronics I feel free like a child playing in his backyard.

But I still don’t fucking do these things consistently. I go through phases. I’m Superman for a few weeks hitting everything hard and feeling like a goddamn Jedi, and then I disappear back into the gutter. The motivation is replaced by an impenetrable hole in my chest that makes it hard to even lift my arms. I stop wanting to exercise because I think it’s a stupid fucking waste of time. I avoid yoga and meditation because I don’t want to face myself because I secretly despise myself. And I stop trying new things because I know they will just become old things eventually.

I start judging people for everything, even the way they breathe. I judge them for shit I am doing at the exact second of judging them. Stupid ass walking down the street wearing a backpack listening to headphones, probably thinks he’s too good for everyone.

My therapist deals with people that have severe trauma; rape victims, schizophrenic people, people abused as children, people that have really fucking suffered. And then she listens to me talk about myself and all the things I know about myself, and what I’m doing, and how I’m feeling, and all the shit I’m struggling with that doesn’t even physically exist in the world, but only in my head — my incredibly untrustworthy and depressed head.

And at the end of one of these days I just want to punch myself in the face and go to sleep and wake up free of crippling thoughts.

I know I’m privileged, I know I live an incredibly life, I know there is beauty all around me that I can take in, but what if I just don’t fucking want to? Because clearly if I wanted to, I would. Instead, it seems, I’m much more comfortable diagnosing myself with cancer and MS on a daily basis and making excuses why riding my scooter 2 miles is too far because they should obviously just open a Whole Foods right outside my front door.

In the end, I’m not sure if I’m lost or on one of the greatest journeys of all time.

I’m trying to write through all the pain and uncertainty. Occasionally, I’m able to recycle my demons into art. And that creation can be a safe hold for some else’s suffering. That is when I feel the greatest connection to the people around me.

Sometimes, my words are the only things I can trust, because they are the thread that connects me to reality.

And still, maybe I don’t want to be happy. Maybe I just want to be true.

For now, I’m going to try to pay more attention to other people. I’m going to start creating newness in all of my reoccurring experiences. If you’re my friend, please don’t let me talk anymore, just let me listen.

Spread the word!