It’s been months since I’ve wrote something in this blog outside of a minor entry several weeks back ripping into the few evil hockey parents. I think about it every day, but I just can’t bring myself to write anything. I can’t find it. This week, I’ve had a few people reach out to me telling me to get back to writing, that it helps them. One person told me they dreamt about my writing, and asked if I could start again soon. Another asked me when the next piece was coming. Another person asked to meet with me about my experiences fighting with my life. I had another friend tell me I need to start writing again, to save my life, and to help save his. I have all these amazing people around me that look forward to reading goneawayboys, and that thoroughly seem to enjoy my writing, and are always applauding me for it… Yet, I have a hard time believing in it myself, and finding that quality and that safety to it. I just write. It’s amazing, and humbling to know that some people find great value in reading this blog, and for those of you, I am very sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you through this blog. I just needed some time to piece myself back together the last little while after nearly losing it. Thank you, as always for your overwhelming support.
In the past I’ve said that I often will only write when I feel down, amidst a lull, when I need a boost. On the flip side, I didn’t feel the need to write when things were going well. That’s what I used to believe, anyways. I’m coming to the realization that, that is just complete and utter bullshit. I don’t write because I don’t want to do anything, except keep to my withdrawn self. I don’t write because I feel like I don’t have the mental wherewithal to put anything of magnitude together. I feel tired. Weak. Exhausted. Scared. Withdrawn. Empty. Lost. I don’t write because… because I am feeling depressed.
Why? Why am I depressed? Well, I don’t know that answer as much as I would like too. Simple question, right? … I think I often lack the things that should create, and attribute to personal happiness. Or maybe I haven’t made the choice to find happiness yet? I don’t know what happiness really means? Or, maybe it’s because my family has a history of mental disorders? Or, it’s just the hamster wheel running dangerously low on serotonin for the last fucking decade or so! Simple Question… Yes, but complicated answer that I just haven’t quite figured out yet, and I don’t know that I ever will… If it were easy, I’d be able to solve this problem, because trust me when I feel like this, I don’t want too…. But, I feel like I sometimes have no control of it, I can only try to contain.
I’ve made myself believe that I only write when I need a lift, when things are going to shit. That’s false. I write when I am feeling better, when I have that drive, that energy, I write when I feel like I can help make a difference in not only myself, but maybe someone else. I write when I give a shit about someone other than my own self, and their own demons. I write when I feel like a human being. I write when I feel.
I can’t write when I can’t seem to find myself outside of the fucking pits, when I don’t care about really anything, or anyone’s feelings other than my own, and I hardly care about my own. I just succumb to my depression. It’s like being back into a corner, with someone you know you can fight with a little bit of effort, but you just can’t find it in yourself… you back into the corner, and your stuck. Out of batteries. Out of juice. On empty. It’s almost impossible to get out, or so it seems at times, at the worst of times. I can’t write and be honest with you, when I am not honest with myself. When I asked myself if I knew what things attributed to my happiness really were, to be frank… I have no idea what they are. I drew a blank. This blog, writing, having people read it, the reaction, the comments, the feedback, hell, the fucking pats on the back. That’s happiness for me. That’s it. That truly is it. Making a difference. The one thing.
“Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy—a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind’s fullest power, not the joy of faking reality, but of achieving values that are real, not the joy of a drunkard, but of a producer. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions”
Writing in goneawayboys and posting it publicly is that joy without penalty, the achievement; it’s what happiness really is for me. The scary part is… The only thing that truly defines happiness for me right now is…Writing… What… Really…
When I am feeling at my worst, I become very elusive with others, and especially to myself. I can’t find, or come to terms with what creates happiness for myself. I know that it is writing, but when I am feeling empty, and disengaged, I can’t find that… even though I know, if I just get off the couch and turn on some music, read something, I’ll feel inspired and I’ll write something, and in turn, I find happiness. Even if for a moment. When you suffer from depression, you learn to take as many moments of happiness as you absolutely can. Because, not often can I find them.
My best friend wrote to me in an email earlier this week something I have been replaying over and over in my head… “Happiness is a Choice“… At first I read it, and thought, ok, Well, I cho-cho-choose to be happy! … And it was as if I waited for some animated vortex to appear in the middle of the hallway and throw me a bag with happiness inside… When that didn’t happen, I waited for the genie to pop out of my Booster Juice and graciously grant me 3 wishes. After waiting several long hours, I realized neither of these things were going to happen, and I went to bed disagreeing with Mother. Happiness is not a choice. It’s subjective. It’s fake. I woke up, still pondering that same comment, then that led to me questioning myself of what happiness really is, what does it really mean. In school, in all those life management, and leadership classes we were always asked what success meant, and everyone had a different answer. But, no one ever asked the question. What IS happiness? By definition, it’s the quality, or state of being happy. Ok. Great. So what does that mean, how I do just be happy. It sounds so simple. Why can’t I find it? Why can’t we find it all the time? What am I missing here? Happy by definition is the feeling of satisfaction, pleasure and contentment. Sounds easy, but a feeling? Is a feeling permanent? Or, is this just a temporary relief from all things negative? I want to make the choice to be happy starting now ending when I die. Not just for the next 20 minutes. But, what creates this feeling… Money? Family? Friends? Materialistic things? Fancy cars? Fancy jewelry? Mansion? Strength? Self-image? It is what your friends have? Is it what Hollywood has? Is it whatever doesn’t kill us? Is it gratitude? Is it a fucking Choice?
Intrigued by this “Happiness is a Choice” … I dug a little bit further into what happiness really means outside of these wildly simplistic and vague definitions the internet has explained to me. I read the “John Galts Speech” an excerpt from Ayn Rands “Shrugged Atlas” (Ok, I read most of it… It’s 43 pages in size 12 font) Ayn Rand, Or John Galt the fictional character describes happiness as coming down to the choice of being either a rational man, or an irrational man.
“Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy—a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind’s fullest power… Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions”
“The emotional state of all those irrationalists cannot be properly designated as happiness or even as pleasure: it is merely a moment’s relief from their chronic state of terror… But neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims. Just as man is free to attempt to survive in any random manner, but will perish unless he lives as his nature requires, so he is free to seek his happiness in any mindless fraud, but the torture of frustration is all he will find, unless he seeks the happiness proper to man. The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.”
I often find myself looking for a time machine; I want to fast-forward my life 10 years. I said the same thing when I was 14, and I’ll bet I’ll say the same damn thing when I’m 34, and 44. I have a very hard time finding my own acceptance, and contentment. Galts Speech depicts happiness perfectly for me, it’s not about materials, and it’s not about money. I’m frequently thinking if I just had more money, if I just had more materials, more muscles and supermodel physiques, I could finally be happy. I’ve convinced myself I need to be wildly successful to have my family members be proud of me, for me to accept myself, and to otherwise simply avoid being a failure. If I could accomplish this… I would achieve my personal expectations, but these expectations are completely irrational and I know that… But, I make the choice to believe they are rational because well, it happened to that guy. You shouldn’t need cars, a big house, and fame or widespread success to achieve happiness. It doesn’t help the people that have all those things either; they always want something more, something is always missing, something irrational. Thus, when you are unable to achieve these irrational goals, and expectations as soon as you believe you should… It’s a temporary relief of terror, and the torture of frustration pursues. Often times, that is all I can find. I dwell on myself constantly, beating myself up about why I am not doing better for myself. I’m 24 years old. I have pretty well anything you could ever ask for, but always for me it is never enough. It’s a trap. I always want more. I got a good job, I want a better one now. I have a nice truck. I want a nicer car now. My family says they are proud of me. But, I can never believe them because I am not proud of myself. I’ll never know if Jen is proud of me. I’ll never ever know that. Ever. Yet, I feel like I need to know that to be happy. I’ll never know. It’s unrealistic, It’s irrational. It’s mindless fraud and torture. This is why I fight find consistent happiness. I struggle to create rational goals for myself, goals that are attainable that result in joy, joy without penalty or guilt. Writing in goneawayboys is often the one rational goal that I have for myself that I am able to achieve multiple times. I am able to use my mind to the fullest of power, not escape from my mind for temporary relief.
This is happiness. In order to find constant happiness for myself, I need to become more honest and rational to my self. Going back to the very beginning of this post where I used to tell myself I’d only write when I felt like shit. No. I don’t write when I feel like shit because I can’t. Otherwise, I’ll continue to be an irrational man, and be tortured by frustration, and destruction.
Mom was right; Happiness is a choice.
“Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions”