My unofficial mantra had always been if everyone else is happy, if everything else is taken care of, I would then be free to be happy in whatever way that meant. I could spend all day Saturday playing video games in my pajamas, eating pizza and drinking beer, if I wanted to. I kinda want to.
The problem is, and it took me about twenty years to figure this out, I’d never get to this state. The state of guilt free happiness. I was piling project after project on myself. Buying stuff incessantly. Volunteering my time. Trying to please everyone, and doing a really shitty job at it quite frankly because I’m also self-involved, lazy and a procrastinator. I’m also kind of a loner and definitely an introvert – I think that’s why I liked the idea that if everything was taken care of, and everyone was happy, life would leave me alone.
Well as I approached, and passed mid-life I became, have become, increasingly unhappy and depressed. For lack of a better way to describe it, I have lost interest in anything that was me and everyone was suffering for it. I’m not happy in my marriage. I feel trapped and alone. There’s no right or wrong here. There’s just how I feel. And enough is enough.
I’m not sure what tense to write this in, because this is happening live. I’m going through this now. Some of this is in the past, you’ll catch on to that, to provide some context. I jump around a lot. It’s just how my mind is working as I try to make sense of it all. Writing for me is the easiest way (remember I’m intrinsically lazy) for me to get whatever is inside me, out, before it kills me. It’s unpolished. I’m unpolished. I write off the cuff, and I edit sparingly…
Here I am soundly in the middle of the road in so many ways.
I didn’t pick twenty-nineteen to be my self help year, like some delusional New Year’s Eve party goer after their fourth champagne cocktail. I needed to help myself otherwise I wasn’t going to make it. I have a job, spouse, kids, mortgage…I have it all. But I need to change for myself.
I’m not happy.
Or I wasn’t happy.
I don’t know what I am. Except I am hopeful now, which I haven’t been for a long time. I’ve taken some really big steps already, and some small ones, and some that will probably make you cringe or pass judgement. It’s all okay. I’ve got a therapist. I’ve stepped down from a few unrewarding obligations that I wasn’t able to contribute to in a manner or extent that I’d like to. I’m exercising now…
Nobody, save for a handful of strangers that I’ve never met in really life, and a few that I have, really knows what I’ve been going through and continue to go through. Now you’ll know too because I feel the need to share, not only to get it out of me, but also somehow make it real. I’m a maker. I make things. It has to be tangible. I’d like to be able to go back and read, to see how far I’ve come. A dusty journal on a nightstand doesn’t work for me. I’ve been going it alone for too long and the journal is like that, going it alone. Whereas writing here gives me strength and courage.
I’ll close with that word “courage“. I keep going back to it. It’s borne of vulnerability. And I think those are a couple of the keys to my finding happiness.
I’m tired as hell.