Happiness...The Road that Winds its Funky Ass as Far Away From Us As it Can..
..until we finally catch on that happiness starts from inside of ourselves..
I need to quit talking on the phone to people because I get revelations like this. I think people these days are unhappier than ever before because they refuse to deal with themselves. We buy all kinds of unnecessary sheet, we surround ourselves with an entourage of "Yes (Wo)Men", we get THE position and we toot up on Facebook about what all is magnificent in our lives...and deep down in the pits of our stomachs, we are unhappy as hell.
People have access to more distractions than ever, and it serves as a nice temporary fix. I think of those distractions as being a Band Aid. Band Aids are used to cover an injury while it heals...and we even have different sizes and colors to make things look good while it heals. However, would you put a Band Aid on a dislocated shoulder? Would you put a Band Aid on a stab wound? In those instances, you would seek a treatment that would put that shoulder back in place. You would clean the stab wound and stitch it up before you cover it with a sterile dressing.
You see what I did there?
The same applies to our happiness. You can't place a superficial covering over a deep wound. Well, you could, but I guaran-damn-tee you that you'll never heal. I think it's safe to say that you can't solve anything without really getting down to the root cause of your problem. If I walked into Methodist North complaining of dizziness, nausea, weakness and feeling faint...they can't diagnose me without finding out 1) how long I felt that way, 2) what happened leading up to the onslaught of sickness, 3) taking my vitals and 4) finding out what meds I've been taking or what meds I'm allergic to.
Waitaminute. I said "Methodist North". Change that horse-pital to Methodist Germantown. Ol' North would ask me why I'm there and invite me to have one of several seats...for 30-45 minutes..like they did a couple weeks ago.
As I was...
But yeah, let's apply those four aforementioned steps to our personal lives.
1) How long have you felt that way?
You have to sit down and think...when did your happiness fade? Sometimes, it is an easy thing to pinpoint, such as the death of a loved one. Sometimes, you have to really sit and think, such as when you broke up with a particular person..but it was also during the time you struggled with trying to figure out your goals in life. The most difficult part of this step is having to scroll back through your life...and not through the greatest hits albums of life either...the parts that didn't even make the charts. Who wants to identify when they first had issues with being alone? Shit, you need to. If you don't find the root cause, then you're bound to keep engaging in unhealthy activities.
2) What happened leading up to the onslaught of sickness?
Tis similar to the first question, but not the same. Did you realize you weren't happy with life after the person you thought you loved dearly told you that you weren't shit? Were you triggered or did you lose the beautiful decorations of life and have to look at that ugly concrete wall? I know a rough relationship and breakup made me have one of several nice, plush seats. After the distraction of that other person was gone, I didn't have much else to do but look at my life. It's like when Jones moved that poster to the side on Shawshank Redemption and realized it was a BIG ASS HOLE behind it.
Yeah. The relationship was a poster. The BIG ASS HOLE was my life. I could have put another poster over it, but it doesn't change that there is a BIG ASS HOLE behind it.
Being broke also makes you get in touch with your issues too. Ain't got no money to blow so all you can do is sit there and ponder because you don't have cable.
3) Take your vitals
You have to really assess your life. Yeah, you may have got to pondering during steps one and two, but now is when you get the documented sheet. At the horse-pital, you get your temperature checked, your blood pressure taken, you get weighed, they do the oxygen-on-your-fingertip thing, and they listen to your chesticles. Usually any irregularities in those vitals signal something's amiss...especially in case you may have forgotten (by accident or on purpose) what was afoot.
In life, we have instances in which our problems can be identified as soon as those "vitals" are taken. Sudden death, loss, sexual abuse, family drama, etc...you can almost guarantee that the diminished happiness and peace stemmed from something along those lines. Again I draw from the Band Aid story..what woman (or man) could come into your life and instantly distract you from the fact that the last person you loved dearly died suddenly? Sorry, but she (or he) can't distract you forever. When the SuperHuman Pet Tricks are over and done, you still have to deal with your loss. How many jobs will you work before you realize that all the money you spend on your kids doesn't make up for your absence?
4) What meds have you been taking or are allergic to?
As soon as I get the paperwork to see the doctor, I have to write that I'm allergic to aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Depending where I am, I have to mention that I kinda swell up and stop breathing right when I take them. In life, you have to ask yourself, what are you doing to mask the pain? Drinking, sex, drugs, school, extra jobs, The Bible, chronic dating, etc. Every now and then, you'll find out that the meds are what is making you sick. Hell, I found out my allergies when I swole up and fell the hell out. I knew not to do that anymore. The same in life...you may be preventing healing by taking the wrong meds or the wrong doses. Working is fine..but when you hide in that job, you're masking something. Not shading those getting all the loot from overtime, but how much of it is "I want to take care of my family" and how much of it is "I can't stand being home with that crazy bastard"?
I'm not saying that you are always to blame when things in life aren't going well. But what I do think is that you have to work on seizing your joy and peace. We've all been hurt by someone or something, but nobody can make our emotional status better but us. Who is going to get you down that emotional road better than you? Others will tell us that it's okay to seek an improved state of being in someone or some thing. But as the title suggests, you have to start your journey on your own. Others will have you walking down Shelby Drive in flip flops during the Ice Storm looking for some elusive shit...but you have to be the one to take a stand and say "hell no". YOU are your biggest supporter and you should be your greatest lover.
I just learned that recently. Better late than never.