March 26, 2013 by Liberty
One of my earliest memories is of myself in the back of my parents mini-van crying. My parents were in a store or something and I was just waiting in the vehicle. I didn’t know exactly why I was crying. I was feeling sad for some reason. I felt hopeless. I didn’t want to do it any more. I didn’t want to exist. I was sick of it.
That memory still sticks in my side today like a knife. I feel it every time I start to get a little bit less than happy. I start thinking, “I still don’t feel better,” “It’s not going to get better,” “I’m always going to feel this way.” It’s like my brain is consistently trying to tell myself that it’s not worth continuing. I eventually had to ask myself, “Why am I sad all the time?”
I felt down back then. I told myself… I can always feel bad later. I have no way to do anything about my life now (I was a child) so I might as give it a little time to see if it gets any better. I’ve repeated that line to myself time and time again through life. Like the soft whisper of a loved one as she tells you that she doesn’t love you anymore (as she pulls the knife from your back,) it hits me. I know it’s a lie I tell myself. It’s just a story to keep myself going.
We’re punished for lying in life but often times, telling the truth receives a worse punishment. I’ve never been a good liar. I don’t get all sweaty or anything but I’ve certainly not been successful. I have the unattractive tendency to be honest when someone asks me a question for the second time.
“Do you know anything about why the lamp is broken?”
“Oh… you mean that lamp. Yea. I broke it.”
It’s just never seemed that important to lie to other people about the things that I’ve done. A lie is so impossibly complicated to tell. You need to worry about what other people know. You need to worry if there is any evidence to prove you wrong. You need to remember it. For me, I just never seemed to care enough to lie to other people…
but I cared enough to lie to myself…
It will get better a told myself as I fell back into my own pseudo-charismatic self talk. I believed myself, yet again. I’ve heard the lies. I’ve seen the lies but I can’t quite follow through to the logical conclusion that I’m a liar.
I lied to get myself to survive through childhood. “Nooooo…. they weren’t insulting me. They were fooling around with me.” “Of course I should go to class. I’ll keep learning things.” “I’ll learn to deal with people after I graduate.” I fed myself so much bull it was popping out my pores in the form of pussy little pimples.
Despite all of this, I still couldn’t understand the answer to the question, “Why am I sad all the time?”
Just about every cell of my body wanted to slit my own throat throughout high school, grade school, and about a year afterward. I wanted to die more than I cared about anything in my life. I despised the person that I was. I looked into a mirror in disgust. I would play video games for days straight hoping to get some connection to a reality that I’d appreciate but I never killed myself. I wasn’t, “oooh I want to slit” sad. I was more like, “I genuinely would like to get killed. I don’t want to suffer but if I ever have the sure thing then I’ll take it.” I wasn’t panic-driven suicidal. I just wanted to die so I wouldn’t have to live any more.
Eventually, I decided, “I’m obviously too much of a pansy to kill myself” because I’d had that thought about it for so long and never followed through. If I’m not going to kill myself then I might as well surround myself in superficial stuff and become as inhuman as possible. I suddenly started putting all of my energy into getting 6 pack abs and learning how to invest in stocks to make money.
Focusing on money and appearance made me feel better but I felt guilty in some weird way. I felt like I was doing something dirty that I should be ashamed of. My whole life I was being told that looks didn’t matter. I was being told, “there are more important things than money (but go to college or you’ll die broke.”) But… when I focused on my appearance I felt better. I didn’t even improve my social skills. I was still a complete outcast but I felt better. When I got a 20% return on my investment for the first year with my money, I felt like I had everything coming together but…
Isn’t focusing on the superficial bad?
I spent my whole life inside of myself worrying. I was always taught about the importance of one connecting with god/feelings/family/non-existent bull but I only began to start feeling whole when I stopped worrying about the things that didn’t exist in reality.
I’m a happy man these days. My happiness comes from the connection I developed with reality.
I’ve slowed down with the lies a little bit. The lies held me back. The lies are complicated. I need evidence. I need to wonder if I should believe myself or not.
I’ve slowly worked to eliminate as much of the dissonance I’ve had with reality in the past. That dissonance is what was tearing me apart for all those years. By all means, I still have plenty of dissonance but it’s different. I can see that the difference between reality and my image of reality is where the majority of my problems come from.
I still get sad. But sadness connected to reality allows me to fix problems. Sadness for an indefinite or undefined reason means absolutely nothing. That goes for every single emotion. You can choose to be happy for some spiritual reason but there is no anchor into reality. You need to fight to keep it in place. On the other hand, happiness from a cookie (in more ways than one) can be returned to whenever you need it. You have a biological reason to be happy. (There are more healthy options than a cookie though.)
I’m not saying that creating a connection with reality is the only way to be happy and stay happy but it’s how I got a grip.