The anxiety of happy…
This is going to sound a little strange, but I have an enormous struggle with being happy. No, I don’t mean my struggle of getting to a happy place, that’s a whole other can of worms. My challenge is with the rent and bills at Casa Feliz. Chateau Heureux. Content Estates. Da Happy Shack. It is like the neighborhood I was living in while I was in distress was gentrified and now I can’t handle the cost of living. There is a poem in there somewhere, but I digress. I must admit that I am writing this as a little self therapy to not let this time of positivity get all mucked up in my brain. This is basically an attempt to keep the momentum of this burgeoning creativity and productivity on an upward swing.
I have let things fall apart in past because I somehow let the happy stress me out. It damn near sounds counterintuitive. Here are my hurdles:
- “waiting or the other shoe to drop”- When you are used to things failing it is easy to get a mindset that every good thing will fall apart or has some sort of catch to it. It is hard to relinquish old thinking habits. Rome wasn’t built in a day nor was the empire destroyed on one either. It takes time to break down those thinking patterns. I don’t know who put it in our heads that anything in this world has the ability to morph itself in one day outside of really bad sci-fi movies and novels, of course.
- “Pressure busts pipes” – There is extreme internal and external pressure to maintain normal. You dont want to disappoint the people who are rooting for you. You don’t want to give your detractors reason to look down their nose at you again. You don’t want to disappoint YOU. That is a heavy burden to carry. Guess what carrying a bunch of heavy shit makes one feel? Tired perhaps? Stressed mayhaps? Unhappy you say? Bingo! (Bingo is fun though, let’s not get that twisted.)
- “Do I deserve this?” – Some days your brain convinces you that you are not worthy of a good life, real love, success and all other manner of positive things. No matter how much progress you make in recovery or therapy, sometimes those sneaky little mental tapes will play in your head. All it takes is one tired or stressful day to slip you up and give you cause to listen to them on repeat. You ever gotten a song stuck in your head? Same shit, except imagine you brain being the music player.
- “I’m okay now” – This is the culprit that strikes me the most. When you have an infection and are prescribed antibiotics, what does the doctor always say? “Take the entire bottle as directed, even if you start to feel better.” A common thing that happens to people with all sorts of mental illnesses is that once the meds or the therapy starts actually working, we stop. When you are in your “good place” you start getting magnanimous ideas that you can conquer this on your own. I have done it a million times. It has crashed and burned every single time.
I am now handling my happy a lot more responsibly. Daily, I tell myself that I deserve it because I fought hard for it. I am just as human as you guys, so some days I don’t believe it, but I keep saying it anyway. I am a firm believer in the effectiveness of mantras. Speaking and writing is my passion, so it is no wonder that sets of positive spoken words daily help me to cope and maintain all this happiness that looks so good on me.
What are things that have caused you to lose grip on your happy? How did you handle it?