I’ve been trying to work on myself for a while now – to become less miserable. That might sound embarrassingly self-indulgent, but certain events of the last few years have left me in a state of semi-permanent anxiety that I can’t seem to shake off, and I know that if I don’t fight back, it risks swallowing me up.
Did you know that the word ‘menopause’ is actually a synonym for ‘misery’?
So I’ve become one of those social media gluttons who laps up every piece of holier-than-thou advice published on the Net detailing new ways to enrich my life so that ultimately I will become a happier person. From the minute I wake up and snap open my lap tap, I am instantly engaged in any new article on nutrition, meditation, exercise, or how to harness greater happiness and more successful relationships.
This morning’s article was what a REAL dietician eats in one whole day – suffice it to say, I’m prepared to make subtle changes to my lifestyle, but I realise that morphing into a completely different personality just ain’t gonna happen.
But I am capable of celebrating other people’s successes in my quest for eternal happiness, virtually, and then applying their strategies to my own life. Well…until the reality check, when it dawns on me again, that living organically, in a permanent state of happiness, isn’t for everyone.
You see, I’m not necessarily one of those people that feels happy when I’m happy.
Take meditation, the newest recommendation for perpetual happiness. I downloaded the App and tried to relax, sat comfortably and contemplated my navel. But I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering; from thoughts of food, to work worries, to what I was going to do afterwards. After five minutes I began to fidget and couldn’t take the content seriously enough for it to have any life-changing effect on me.
And the guy had a really strange voice and accent as well…
I bought brown rice to cook on Friday in yet another of my efforts to purify the Maccas-lined intestines of my family, but in my excitement at getting one over my intolerant-to-healthy-food loved ones, I completely forgot that it takes fifteen hours to cook the damned stuff so by the time we sat down to eat we’d stuffed our faces with the last morsels of junk food we’d retrieved from the back of the kitchen cupboards.
In fact, whenever I’ve attempted to maintain a half-full glass, something always knocks the fucker over.
Last week I attended a forum about mental health and one of the panel recommended that we should wake up every day feeling grateful.
Sounds simple, right?
And I’ve really tried this week. But I don’t sleep well – if at all these days, thanks to night sweats, anxiety, terrifying dreams and a very needy, furry friend who insists that licking me in the middle of the night is the best time to show affection – which means I’m so grouchy by dawn, my first thoughts are generally about…
Never drinking again…
Praying it’s the weekend…
Deciding if I need to wee again?
So I’ve come to the conclusion that just like we need those ‘happy’, ‘life is great’ people in our life, we also need realists; trojans of common-sensical balance.
Perhaps, some people are just meant to be miserable.
And the art of being miserable is given a bad rap. We’re constantly told that negativity makes us a bigger target for nasty diseases, bad karma, the shit side of the law of attraction, but let me assure you, when good stuff happens to miserable people like me, the high is that much higher.