On Happiness

The first therapist I ever met with supplied me with nothing more than a great story of her ridiculous suggestions as well as a single statement. Therapists are miraculous creatures, don’t get me wrong, but their job is to show you things about yourself that you already know. If you are a grave, you know you have a casket inside of you. Therapists are merely a shovel to help you dig down and feel the metal hit the wood. They are teachers of knowledge you already know, but might not be willing to accept.

She was whiter than ivory and all I could focus on was how the sunlight from the window almost reflected off of her, like she was so white she turned into glass. But I felt like the glass as she examined me and probed my brain for answers I didn’t know I had. Maybe a snow globe is the best way to describe myself. She kept shaking me and once I had furiously tried to settle myself and all my fake snow bits, she’d chuck me across the room again.

I almost aggressively explained to her that I continually think of situations ending. I feel happiness, but whenever there is a flutter in my heart or I can feel my heart pumping out of sheer ecstasy, my brain flicks into a mindset of how everything is brutally temporary. At a concert, I think of how sad I will be when they announce their last song and the walk back to the car. I think of the weeks of dullness until I can go to another one. When I am with my friends, I think of how our bonds will disintegrate like a piece of paper in water. We will someday go about our lives, not knowing each other save for a few memories back in high school. I think of leaving places and people dying every time I feel happy.

“You do not let yourself rest in happiness,” was all she said. And I cried. It is crazy to think that in her glass, I saw a mirror. I saw myself.

Happiness is a tricky concept for me to grasp because I know it. I have felt it and I do feel it, but piggy-backing happiness is the dread of endings. Theoretically, these endings should be the things that make the happiness so much more worth it, and I suppose that makes sense. Only, when all you can think about is the endings of things, it doesn’t feel too worthy.

And most of the times, that pain of losing things and fear of never feeling happy again is what drives me to not allow myself to feel happiness. To become a sheer pessimist at heart and find fault in every situation, so as to not allow myself to feel happy for any period of time. And yet, the hopeless romantic in me continually finds happiness in people and the small things the world has to offer.

With this ‘temporary’ mindset, no happiness is actually worth it. It drives me to believe that I am not worthy of this elixir that everyone else seems to be having a grand old time getting drunk on. I see it as a poison. No matter what the drug is, there is always a sobriety period that follows. That period is what I fear the most.

This also drives a bit of an unhealthy approach to my happiness. There is a part of me that seeks things and people that might not be the best for me out of the hope that some goodness might come from it. Maybe they will! I’m not saying nothing I do out of this desire to feel happy is not good. There is plenty that is. But sometimes I need to reign myself in and remind myself that although all happiness is fleeting, some situations tend to run out faster than others.

Like most things I write about, this doesn’t end positively or with some shocking philosophical idea. I am just learning how to allow myself to be happy and accept that everything has a “sell by” sticker on it. However, there is no expiration date on the memories that contain happiness. I can remember things and make my heart skip a beat when I think of the past. That is what I think the best happiness is. If the aftermath is as strong as the moment itself, then I think you know you were truly happy.

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