Do you wake up at 4 am? 3 am? Your brain cranking out thought after thought about the random things that happen during the waking hours for everyone else?
I’m gritty … it is what it is. **trigger warning** A mention of suicide in this writing.
For me, for millions of others who also have the information highway stuck in a loop on the regular, it happens daily. Well, nightly, but you know what I mean.
The fuckery of other people who are getting away with it.
You follow all the steps, the pillars, the hierarchy, the rules, the programs and even the advice of our peers and yet … you’re still not happy or fully fulfilled.
You count your blessings (gratitude)
You forgive everyone (even when you haven’t fully healed, but now also feel guilty that you can’t FEEL forgiveness).
You create a journal or hundreds of journals filled with all the things you wish you could say in order to change the way you think but … damn if it just isn’t manifesting those miracles.
You speak kindly to yourself, but the whispers of the ghosts of abussers and other assorted asshats are still there, itching your brain to remember them.
You find three things that are wonderful, great and full of calorie free spun sugar for every dark thought you have.
You grow to feel guilty that you can’t control your thinking the way they say you should on a YouTube video or in that self help book you read on the train.
You look in the mirror longingly with the loop of “I love you. You are powerful. You are great. You’ve got this.” as your own gaze stares back at you ~ calling bullshit on every declaration.
You write it out or fight it out ~ kickboxing feels good. Until you pull a hammy, then you’re out for the season.
I think you get the point.
Many times, all of this stuff works but … not all the time.The big-ticket-selling happiology experts are making millions by telling YOU how to be happy.
They now smell like the diet industry to me.
I used to be one of them.
I’m a reformed professor of happiness.
If I could go back in time, I would rewire and reword every single class I taught to undergrads on the topic. Alas, I can not.
The power drivers of our industry know it’s not that easy. Many of them have NO idea what it’s like to live through trauma, poverty, shite-life-awfulness, domestic abuse, violence, learning challenges, family challenges, fiscal challenges, etc.
They gathered together to say, “hey! I have a solution, so let’s all take notes, write books, and make a best seller”. They aren’t thinking about the person sitting in her small house, worried about the landlord’s verbal abuse or bosses intimidation or even the systems put in place to help her, but also treat her like shit because they are making $100K+ a year to her food stamp insecurity.
Her insecurity is a direct result of her trauma and her trauma is exasperated by their abuses. These people who “are here to help”
That’s the fucking dark side of the happiness industry.
Put any one of these people in a complete place of nothingness and watching them claw their way out of hardship, sorrow and grief pocked Unhappiness. I would love to see them dirty, on the streets I drive every day, begging with a sign, an addiction and a mental illness. Tell my petite houseless lady who was raped three times this year, that if she changes her thoughts, she changes her life.
I’m angry today because it’s so easy for them to disregard the people they know they can’t help.
Can they do it?
Live in poverty or some other hardship?
Perhaps some can.
Most have no idea.
Sell me a book if you elevated yourself out of hardship. I’ll support anyone who once lived in a traumatized world, and now, does research on healing from trauma.
The squishy upper east side, Tiffany wearing sunshine club with the country house and private schools … all of that stuff … it doesn’t make people any happier than that single mom worrying over her bills. But they will hold on to making sure the world believes they are. Happier. Lighter. Brighter. More deserving of love and comfort.
I’m thinking about the solo mom and her impossible daily decisions. Which bill to let go, so her kid can have that $50 school trip or the food cut so she can put gas in the car to get to work while washing her clothes in the sink ’cause she doesn’t have enough for the laundromat.
People are out there actually complaining that the “essential hero workers” aka/blue collar folks who can’t afford to work only one job won’t go back to work. They think $15 an hour is outrageous?
Expecting your barista to suffer financially so you can have your latte made just right before heading off to your well paid job? That’s real suffering. A suffering of the soul.
You must be because if you’re not, then you have no soul, or heart or ability to relate to the suffering of others.
That is unhappiness packed up in pretty little boxes.
And don’t even get me started on what it must be like for someone to go off to war, see all the horror shit show of that for a year or more, many times over, only to come home and have to manage the mundane life of shopping on a budget at a Walmart while standing in line listening to some person complaining about .. the essential workers lazy ethics. That person working the third shift so they can also take care of their sick mother that morning.
I was in the happiness game since it’s inception. I’ll talk about that some other time. Along with the price tag that went along with the whole educational bragging rights of the doctorate racket.
I’m up thinking about how to really and truly help the world while trying to save my own brain from thinking about all of them. I think about This is Water by David Foster Wallace … a lot.
David ended up killing himself. Don’t know why, but I do wish I had gotten to meet him.
He wrote about the trivial and mundane, along with the incidious nonsensical things that humans do to consider themselves happy.
The thing is, the pursuit of happiness as it’s being defined right now, is only making some people happy. It just doesn’t work for other people. The people I used to call peers ~ they don’t want to talk about those other people. I know, because when I was one of them after an absolute life-implosion of every facet of my own life … I became desperately hungry for some of that happiness pie.
My limo broke down and not more than a handful were willing to ride the bus with me. The rest quickly said, “who are you? are you someone I should know?”
Yep. I lived in it for a long time.
It was a trauma stew made up of frustration, regret, humiliation, shock, hurt, pain, financial ruin and rage. So much rage.
The thing is, that rage cooked all the rest of it into a solid brick of justice.
One day, I’ll write about that too. Social justice and social change.
The point I’m making is ~
If you have something to say and other people are trying to stop you from saying it, most likely .. that is the exact time you speak up and say it even louder.
If you are waking up at 3 or 4 am and don’t know what to do about it, get up. Right away, just get up and start writing it all down.
It will tell you what you need to know. You don’t have to be a writer, but you do need to find two things and only two things.
A writing instrument and something to write on.
OH … there is a third thing ~ naps
If you wake up at 3 or 4 am and you need to get up to write about all that overflow from your brain, because the world is just too loud during the daylight hours, you will also need sleep later on.
There are times during the day when you can and must sleep.
You must rest your brain. It was the #1 thing that helped me to heal from trauma and the four am wake up calls.
I told you all of this in my night time ~ midnight hour ~ witches hour ~ guardian angel/spirit guide/cat hour ~ writer’s hour people; because I will be there with you at four am, writing about writing and healing and even kvetching as a way to find that golden ticket we call happiness.
Happiness is not “out there somewhere” lining the pockets of some puffed up happiness expert.
It’s deep within that three am thought that woke you up.
You are the artist of your own life. You are the writer of your own story. You get to decide if what and who you are is making you happy or not.
Those of us who have been in both worlds know that the only way to be truly happy is to be completely, absolutely, imperfectly content with your journey through life.
It’s really that simple.
It applies to everyone.
Happiness is a secret you carry with you in the darkness.
OH … and one more thing ~ If I’m working for or with someone in the positive psychology business … they are authentic ~ the real deal ~ the genuine people who continue to drive the ethics and no bullshit truth of how people can make their lives better.
I went on a super cleanse of being aligned with anyone who is just in it for the money. SO ~ if you’re digging into my socials ~ as people on the internet often do ~ just wanted you to know that … I don’t hang out with bullshit artists. I was raised by one. I know a conman when they are grifting ~ and I know a sincere person who truly does want world peace, sunshine and happiness.
The happiness is very real. It is possible. It is worth walking through the darkness.
(c) @inkhoneypub @happinessnoir @FreeRangeFemale