This story is not about me. It is about someone who is exactly like me in every possible way.
When I was five I was happy, when I was ten I was not. By twelve I was joyous again but at fourteen I was as maligned as ever. At fifteen I was content and at sixteen I wanted to kill myself. From there I fluctuated for a few years between various states of happiness and misery until, following a somewhat extended period of happiness, at eighteen I wanted to kill myself again. Upon reaching nineteen I was determined to end my agony but, when I realized that the easy way I had had in mind was much too drastic, I decided that the hard road was the only way to go and that I would have to begin my life again, starting from the bottom up.
I recite my history so candidly and concisely so that you may accurately determine both the tumultuous personal experience I’ve had in such a short lifetime, and, understand that presently, this tumult, although still obviously fresh in my memory, is currently of little consequence to me, or at least, as little consequence as I can make it. Because, you see, as much as I try to keep the past in the past, there is still always the threat of slipping back into established patterns, and as I’ve said before, starting now, I am determined to be very happy.
Of course, it is very difficult, because on the surface, it’s a very easy existence, being depressed. It is to appear completely devoid of exhaustive emotion and actively consists of lying in bed all day, with everybody in your vicinity walking on eggshells, doing their best not to disturb you, for fear of exacerbating your condition. I say “on the surface” because nobody could say that what goes on inside the mind and body of a depressed person is by any means an easy load to bear. One’s mind revolting from the most basic evolutionary state of self preservation. Indeed, it is so conflicting a state, that all of one’s thoughts clash together, creating the familiar white noise of a mind so overcome with activity and emotion, that it is mistaken, by the body, as being completely devoid of it.
But as I said, twice now, I’m determined to become exceedingly happy, from this moment forth. I also mentioned that I know it will be a difficult journey, but I feel that I should elaborate on this point, for to merely describe it as the hard road, as I have already done, probably does not do the uphill battle I have ahead of me justice. Picture a long, winding road, very hilly, very rocky, some water barriers to cross, and hoards of less than savory people to battle. For, although I have seemed to, at present, overcome my depression, I am still very far from overcoming the more formidable opponent of my anxiety.
Imagine, as fiction would have us believe, that everybody did indeed have a Jiminy Cricket type conscience character in their life. Imagine that, this character lived on your shoulder, in close proximity to your ear, constantly whispering instructions and opinions on every thing that could ever thought to be involved in your life. Now imagine that regardless of whether objectively you know something would indeed bring joy to your life, that Jiminy would not have it, and constantly convinced you that it would increase your agony. That is the state of my mind, because, you see, everything I really truly want in my life, I’m horribly afraid of.
I’m lonely and long for numerous, meaningful, enjoyable, and equal friendships, but find myself so debilitated by shyness that it takes almost more than I can muster to talk to someone I have not been previously acquainted with. Having passed this first hurdle I must then display the aspects of my personality that would most induce the other party in to desiring to continue a relation of some kind with me. However on what these aspects are, my own mind draws a blank, and I must defer to Jiminy for conversation topics. It should be mentioned that my Jiminy also enjoys embarrassing me to the fullest extent and , at the end of a meeting, I have either portrayed myself as being the most uptight, unfriendly, all knowing and unyielding type of person, or I have displayed the opposite; someone who is so eager to please and appear pleasant that they accomplish something that could not be farther from that desired outcome. My only small reprieve is that this anxiety only applies to social interactions, and that if I know exactly what is expected of me, I perform exceedingly well. However, it seems that if I don’t know what to do, I will always be doomed to choose the wrong course of action, with regards to people. One can not help but see my predicament then because, as social creatures, everything in a persons life, has to do with other people.
Other than this immense fear of other people, I can easily say that the only other thing I fear, is everything else. Of course this also does not put me in a good position for achieving happiness because when one cares so much about everything at all times it is obviously very difficult to be carefree, and what can happiness be if its not carefree? This is the most arduous battle I know I will have to fight because for someone who worries constantly the state of carelessness is incomprehensible, and as a result, to me, long lasting happiness is incomprehensible.
And all of this brings me to my present state, at nineteen, not wanting to die, but not wanting to go on living my life either. Therefore I want to create a new kind of life, one that can bring me happiness, but unable to even begin to accomplish those things which I know would make me happy. I know I am not happy, I know I want to be happy, but I know not, how to be happy.