Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Happiness is just an Illusion, Filled with Sadness and Confusion"

"One person is grateful and appreciative in life when they have many a struggle to deal with; another person constantly compares themselves to others and is discontent in life when they seemingly have nothing to complain about- thoughts on what provokes either tendency?"

Why are some people happy and some people not?  I would like to say it is the way you are raised, but I wasn't raised to be happy, I was raised to be successful.  When I was a kid if I told my dad I wanted to be a teacher or an actress or something, he would say, "No, you will become a doctor." As you can see that method really worked well with me. I somehow turned out to be the kind of person that is constantly striving for happiness.

I am amazed sometimes at people whose life seems smooth sailing, yet they are not sailing through it.  It could be that we don't really know what happens behind closed doors.  But there is also an element that if you haven't had hard times in your life while growing up they are harder to take when you do grow up.

I mean come on, some people should just be happy.  I mean I don't know, who am I to judge?  I grew up pretty privileged.  But then the shit began to hit the fan in my life as a teenager.

The first sign that it was all over was when I had my year of zits when I was sixteen.  I'm not even kidding, it was so tragic for me.  I was so vain and then suddenly I couldn't look in the mirror without cringing.  Thank god the acne went away without scars.

Then, my father started actually going blind.  That was the worst part of my life.  Of course it didn't help when my mother was falsely accused in a lawsuit.

Things were actually a lot worse then I'm making them sound because I'm just not gonna tell you the really personal details, but it got ugly, very ugly.  But I was always, even in my darkest moments, I had this weird optimism that everything was gonna be alright.    I used to tell my parents that anyone living in the slums of Detroit who saw their beautiful home would laugh at their problems.  My parents didn't think it was funny.

Did we have a lot of problems, yeah, but we also had a lot of support and love.  We stood by each other, and that's why I can get through shit, because I know my family and friends always have my back.

I carried this optimism with me during 911.  I know, I've heard, that people in the suburbs were upset.  I was in New York when it happened and I didn't cry until about a week after it happened, when I went to a candlelight vigil for some of the victims.  I wasn't on medication at the time, so I can't blame that for me not being completely sensitive to what was happening.

There was only one thing I knew:  I had to survive.  I had just been diagnosed with Manic Depression at the time and was ignoring the diagnosis, but knew in the back of my head that I was a vulnerable person.  I didn't go down to the site until months later, until I knew I was ready.  I was so strong, I'm so proud of myself.  Of course a few months later I did have a mental breakdown that could have been partly caused by the stress of living in a place that was so scared and depressed.

But let me tell you something, you would have been strong too.  You may have later fallen down on your knees too.  You don't know what you are capable of until you go through it.  But I haven't answered the question as to why some people crumble while others soar.

I had a friend who walked from the site on 911 and was so badly covered with soot that people were staring at him and crying.  He lost some people, but he didn't lose himself.  He was one of the most jovial people I knew during that time.  

I think that if you were watching all of this on T.V. and you were more upset than I was, you should evaluate some things.  First of all why are you so upset about something that doesn't directly affect you?  If you lost someone during 911 that's a different story, you the right to be as upset as you fucking want to be.  But if you are just upset because of images you saw on T.V. you should think about how the media is affecting your brain.

I think the media wanted you to be upset so you kept tuned in.  I think the government wanted you to be upset so you would support their wars.  Yes, it was a tragedy and since anyone at all could have been a target, we were all targets.  But if you couldn't get through your day without weeping or having some kind of panic because of it, think about what you were really upset about.

I guess the question is, why did some people sail through 911 and some people fell down?  I don't really know, as you can probably tell at this point.  I am exploring the idea with you, not for you.  I think I did both, I was strong until a point and then some other stuff happened in my life and it was all too much for me.  I don't blame the terrorists alone though.

You know a lot of people with Mental Illnesses who don't take their medication end up on the streets.  That could have been me.  I made it because I had love in my life whereas other people who did not, may not have had that kind of support.

Was their something inside me that made me get through it all and still I hope come out OK?  Yeah, I have a very strong belief in the good.  You can call it god if you want, you can call it a positive force in the universe, you can call it godot.  In the play, Waiting for Godot, God comes to these guys in the form of people while they are waiting for some supreme being to arrive.

God didn't show his face to me, instead there were gods all around me, including my doctors and therapists, that saved me.  And some of it is luck as well.  I have a disease that happens to have a cure: medication.  There are many people who cannot get through their lives because they have a disease that has no cure.

But what about those people with nothing to be upset about?  I think that they have too much time on their hands to be upset about little things because they don't have to concentrate on anything real.  They are petty and small and probably don't deserve happiness.

I don't mean to be mean, but come on.  If you've got it all, at least be happy.  Do it for the rest of us, if not for yourself.

And if you've got some troubles, and you can't get through it, remember somebody has it worse than you and they are getting through it.


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