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To be me, or to be happy, that is the question

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posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 05:02 AM
As I mentioned recently in another thread, lately I've been having some pretty horrible dreams which play on all of my greatest insecurities and leave me waking up feeling just numb- like a poorly thought out background character in the drama of other people's lives (which is really bad for me, because for the most part I'm an insufferable egotist).
But that's not the part that's been getting to me. That's just part of my life. It's entirely possible that I'm an undiagnosed manic depressive, or else that I'm just a bit tempermental from some of the stuff I've had to deal with over the years, so I'm used to the occasional bout of depression and crisis of purpose.

But it was in the process of getting over this recent problem that I ran into something that really leaves me thinking (though still feeling a bit better somehow).

I just arbitrarily invented a little ritual to help myself focus- i didn't really have any faith in it or understand there to be anything significant about the actions themselves- i just did a few simple things that served no purpose other than expressing to myself my intention to break my routine and clear my mind.

And afterwards I went to bed and walked myself through your typical generic meditation- focus on different parts of the body sweeping from head to toe a couple times, then imagine getting up and going through a door to some "happy place" and meet yourself- all that good stuff. (it seems silly now that I'm saying it, but again, it wasn't objectively significant, it was just a matter of helping myself focus on some things that needed to be addressed).

And I actually did manage to shut up that little philosopher inside my head who is constantly listing and attempting to solve problems, judging everything, and making fun of everything (the same one who at this moment keeps hedging everything I say about the meditation i practiced).

So, with him quieted by the conviction that I'm going to imagine a perfect moment where I really have no use for him, I step back in to this beach trip i had with my family not all that long ago.

And there's my brother, except he's healthy and no longer showing any signs of his fight with addiction or other problems, and his wife is smiling and they are playing with the kids. And my other brother is pretty much who he always is, except he's not hurting anyone. And my dad's there, but he's not worried or disgusted by anything and though he's a bit older in this vision he's in good health.

And this is all very nice and peaceful and helps me be calm and quiet for quite some time, until at long last I realize that I'm actually missing from the picture. So I put myself into it, except I can't see myself looking the way I do in this perfect little world- so I back myself up to a healthier clean shaven image I haven't had since I left the USMC and try to proceed. Obviously I'd be talking to my dad... but then I can't imagine what we would talk about if there were no problems to be solved.

Obviously I'm very tempted to start wrestling with these questions in depth but I restrain myself, as that would defeat the whole point of the exercise. And that's when the answer pretty much falls right into my lap: I have very simple concepts of everyone else which although they don't encompass everything about these people does pretty well describe the main thrust of their lives- one of my brothers is a parent, the other is a playboy, my dad's the patriarch, etc.

But then there's me. I've always said that I live for a good emergency. That's been the main thrust of my life- watching out for and trying to deal with the next crisis, not always for myself but for everyone I know. And when there's down time I sit around on places like ATS and look for a crisis out in the world. So there's really no place for me in this perfect little vision, but for a few more minutes I am able to ignore that problem and just observe this quiet little world and not look for problems to solve in it. I get the impulse of course but I just remind myself I won't find any (even though I know better- of course there will always be problems- but that in and of itself means there's no point freaking out about not fitting into this vision- so circular logic saves my peace for a few moments). Then i walk myself back out of it before my need for a problem ruins the whole thing.

And afterwards, I did think briefly about it, and I realized something a little confusing. For me to really feel at peace, I've got to find somebody else to be. Being me won't work. Because the place where I feel at peace is apparently a place where looking for a crisis to deal with isn't the focus of my life (don't get me wrong, I'm great in a crisis, whether mental or emotional or physical, and I find time to enjoy a few moments in the midst of them even- I have great memories outside of hospitals in between rounds of family diplomacy when it looked like my grandmother was about to die [which would have triggered a custody battle over my little cousin]), but despite the fact that my life has groomed me to excel at such things and find some good times in the midst of it all, it just doesn't give me peace or security, which my recent dreams seem to indicate that I sorely need.

And so I would need to find a new role. Problem is, I've built a whole persona and lifestyle around my current role, to the point that I'd have to willingly unmake a lot of what I am to change.

I'd have to decide to walk away from trouble and sometimes refuse to help people- but I can't really even imagine that as an option. I don't tell people I don't have the gas money to come help, or that there's nothing I can do- even if there realistically isn't. I just jump in, and often enough I get lucky. I get up at 1 am, and beg borrow or steal the gas money, and do 90 up the i-10 to get to my mom before the cops figure out where she's hiding, and when they pull me over, i somehow convince them that I'm not headed to the area they're canvasing... then text her directions on how to sneak out to meet me. (true story)
Then we stop for coffee and have a really great time coming off the adrenaline rush of it all before we get back to the grim realities of the situation that still have to be dealt with...
if i'm late for my exam the next day and haven't slept, so be it. I whine about it, but part of me loves it and can't imagine not doing it.

I'd probably also have to clean up a lot. It's one thing to be profane and swimming in a sea of vices and outwardly proud of being borderline nuts when your whole game is doing crazy stuff, and usually getting away with it only because you intimidate people.
But a lot of that would probably have to get toned down for me to switch to being all about a career, or a philosophy, or a cause, or a family or whatever... unless i started a family as messed up as the one that produced me, and that would probably be a bad idea.

Anyway, I'll wrap up this little rant pretty quick now. My point is not really to gripe or to ask for advice. I'm not all that troubled by it- I slept peacefully and had pleasant dreams the night that I had this little mental experience. And I already know that I'm not going to stop being me. I'm just gonna do what I do and keep an eye on the paths that are open to me, not worry about becoming someone who my life just hasn't led me to be. Even if I theoretically were able to not be the way I am, why the hell would I choose that? It's tantamount to suicide, just not as quick and painless.

It's just a disorganized and perhaps impenatrably personalized illustration of my realization that the misery or turmoil that we might not always like in our lives can actually be an integral part of our being. And oddly enough, although I totally realize that this sounds like a realization of inescapable doom and misery, I've found it pretty relaxing, because it takes away the question of "what did I do wrong to get into this mess" and leaves me with, "well, that's life. see if you can't get into a rhythm with it, cause the alternative is essentially death- if not for your body then at least for your identity" I guess its more pleasant to see in that light because, afterall, things have gotta be REALLY screwed for dying to sound better than living (emphasis on the ING. I can see the appeal of death over life perhaps, but the process itself is precisely the part of life that makes you wish you were dead- and if the only way out is through, why not stave off going in for as long as possible, right?) I guess more simply put, it's not really that somebody would want to die, it's that they'd prefer they had never lived. But you're here now and the process of dying is exactly what makes life so hard, so I don't really get suicidal. I just sort of marvel at the situation. At least until I get depressed again.

Yeah, i know, i can see the confusion already, and I'm guessing not a lot of people are gonna follow this all the way through- my mind is kind of funny like that. Just wanted to express it though. Thanks for putting up with it.

posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 05:50 AM

It's just a disorganized and perhaps impenatrably personalized illustration of my realization that the misery or turmoil that we might not always like in our lives can actually be an integral part of our being. And oddly enough, although I totally realize that this sounds like a realization of inescapable doom and misery, I've found it pretty relaxing, because it takes away the question of "what did I do wrong to get into this mess" and leaves me with, "well, that's life. see if you can't get into a rhythm with it

THAT right there..struck me. It resonates. I ALWAYS wonder where did I go wrong, then think oh, perhaps there is a hidden reason for it. Perhaps the happiness at some point will balance the sadness and depression. Perhaps it is truly a part of what Iam, and I should try to embrace it, or roll with it, as opposed to fighting it.
I told a friend that my glass is always half empty. And he pointed out that it didn't matter whether half empty, or half full..just what was in the glass that counted. It swings from champagne to raw sewage...but it's still MY glass..and I'll fill it with what I want to.
Your dream sounds like you seek more balance, not change who you are...just tip the scale a bit more. Unresolved family issues? I don't know...
The fact that you are great in a crisis is admirable, as most of us are panic stricken idiots , myself included.
Perhaps channel that trait into something that helps create the balance for you?
I know you were just kinda speaking aloud and not looking for advice, so consider my post me just speaking my thoughts aloud too.
I won't touch the suicide mention..too close to home.


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