6 principles that will bring you happiness

It’s been a long time since I felt that pinch. That simultaneously dull and acute sting in the middle of my chest. That ache that threatens to boil over into the real world and tear down this facade. It’s been a long time since I felt it, but I immediately recognize it.

That’s that suffocating woe. That ball of despair stuck deep in your esophagus that just feels like it’s going down on a rollercoaster. Not you, just that knot in your chest. It’s in free fall, and that “womp womp” sound isn’t audible, but you can feel it in your chest. It’s agitated and wet, it’s fuzzy and sharp.

Now I don’t claim to be immune to the throes of my wild mind, or to have mastered the 6 principles that will bring you happiness. If I could, I would smash my brain with a hammer to make it shut the fuck up and stop doing this to me. What I do know is that this brain, this stupid vindictive brain, is the only one that I have.

It’s a real love hate relationship. I love to hate my brain. That piece of shit defies me constantly and tries to bury my efforts. It collapses common sense and sabotages everything I aspire to. It makes me hate everyone, when I know in reality I don’t hate them. It makes me pray for death, swift and quick, when there’s nothing worth dying for.

My brain and mind are confined to the same space, battling for control. My mind trying to subdue the animal instinct to violence and self destruction; trying to stop me from dying in a shitty hotel room, full of Percocet and bourbon with a subpar hooker like a third rate Chris Farley. My baseline is depravity and decimation, and without vigilance, I return to it.

It’s strange how I spent so much of my life assuring myself I was a good person, never understanding why I did shitty things. Now I’ve become the good person I knew I was, but my mind is pushing me to do even worse things than I had before. Some days are better than others, and other days are my own personal war.

Sometimes I wish I was able to believe in god. To offload responsibility and fate into the hands of a supreme being, beyond mortal comprehension, sure seems like a nice way to ostrich my head in the sand. But I’ve been blessed and cursed with self awareness, and the desire to make sense of the chaos. Answering the tough questions by saying “because magic” doesn’t work for me.

But oh, to lay down in simplistic bliss, unaware and unwilling to face my demons head on. The ongoing struggle is tiring. Sometimes I wonder if I can keep fighting, but more often I’m just rolling my eyes and thinking “this again?”

It’s a bizarre place to be, but not unfamiliar. I often feel like a house of cards, and there’s constantly a light breeze. Maybe I’m blowing it up to be more than it truly is. Maybe I’m too wrapped up in narcissistic indulgence of self pity to see that not only are my problems small, but they’re unimportant. The world spins on, people die, babies are born.

But that’s just the nature of being human, isn’t it? We bend and fold out entire lives and experience around our sense of who we are, or, more importantly, who we think we are. And who we think we are is usually defined by the struggles we have overcome. So logically, if you still struggle, your sense of self is damaged. But the truth is, there is no real self anyway.

I had this image stuck in my head the other day. You ever see a time lapse of a flower growing and blooming and then wilting? I’d like to see that in a person. Just a few seconds taking them from birth to death. I mean, our lives are far less than a few seconds in the scale of the universe.

Now picture it with all of humanity. The entire history of mankind on a planar graph, rising and falling, as tides. I am a speck in that graph, and my struggles mean nothing. There is no me against the backdrop of humanity.

Where does that leave me? In the same place, but knowing that it’s up to me. What I do, where I go, how to feel, those are all decisions I make. My brain isn’t me. All that bullshit trying to drag me to baseline? Those are all just part of the human machine, but my consciousness is my own.

I choose what to do with the information I learn, and today I’ll choose to stay sober.

This Post Has No Pictures

This post doesn’t have any pictures. It won’t have any fancy links, or interesting facts. It doesn’t have formal structure, or much structure at all, really. It’s a minor miracle it groups words into sentences and paragraphs.

There is a reason for it, though. I’m writing this post because I don’t write enough. And it just so happens that things like pictures and links and structure are what stop me most of the time. Writing blog posts reminds me that everything we do is judged and measured.

The reason I write is for impact. I want to give something valuable to people in the form of life advice. Not because I think I’m perfect, or some kind of fucking guru, but because I’ve been deep in the shit and I always manage to climb out. That has to be worth something to all the other people who are deep in shit. Be a fucking light to those in the dark, and all that nonsense.

The problem is, I get caught in HOW to write blogs instead of WHY. I start worrying about search parameters and reach. Which tags will be most valuable to google. It starts to ruin the intention.

Once I start worrying about how my little cogs fit into the internet machine, I get slowed down. I don’t write when I feel it, but when I think I can expand my reach, which is antithetical to the idea of heartfelt expression. Trying to do that shit while I give advice is like patting my head and rubbing my belly.

This is where I get a ways into a post and realize I’ve been rambling without going anywhere.

I think what it all comes down to is that I shouldn’t let details derail my ideas. Sure, I can increase reach by reading how to structure my posts so people react better, but maybe it won’t increase my reach, because it won’t sound like my voice. And if I can’t use my voice to tell my story, will it even come off as authentic enough to make a difference in someone’s life?

I spent so much of my life suicidal and obliterated drunk. There’s entire chunks of my life that are a blur. I’ve felt anxiety that prevented me from completing simple tasks. I used to picture myself as being on a small island, a floating chunk of rock and grass, elevated above and separate from everyone. Humanity sat within one ring, and my little island floated on another. Eternally apart from everyone; never understood and never belonging.

These are feelings, and states of being, and drives that I’ve learned to manage. While I still visit sometimes, I don’t live in those states of mind. When one begins to creep up on me, I can spot it and take precautions to make sure it doesn’t take control.

What the fuck does this have to do with everything else? Well, if I’ve experienced those challenges and hardships in my life, and I’ve learned to crawl out of that hole, then I should be sharing that every chance I get. There’s too many people who need to know they’re not alone.

So I’ll do my best not to let myself get caught in the minutiae of proper blogging techniques, because somebody needs to read this. Maybe it’s you. Maybe you’re reading this right now and you’ve been wrestling with feelings of worthlessness, or a feeling of separateness; like no one can possibly identify with you and what it’s like to be you. I understand, because I’ve been there. It’s a lonely place.

But you’re not alone, and that’s the point. My inability to put out regularly spaced blog posts stems from my own feelings of worthlessness. My desire for perfection, which leads to my inability to complete anything, because if I’m not perfect, then I’m a failure. You’re not alone. I see you.

I see you, and I love you. I think you should know that you deserve love.


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