Happy Wednesday my beauties!
This is the third, and final installment of my Secrets Series – if you haven’t read them, I would suggest going back and reading: Introduction – The Secret that Weighs Far Less, Secrets – Happenstance, or Secrets – Foundation of My Self, They are pretty short reads as well!
I would also love for you take a look at my more recent post titled “Circling Back – Fate or Coincidence?” It’s a fun, thought-provoking 3 minute read – tell me what you think! 🙂
This secret is a bit longer than others because in it I tell a part of my story, my history and background. So please, bear with me.
“That’s how stories happen — with a turning point, an unexpected twist. There’s only one kind of happiness, but misfortune comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.”
― Haruki Murakami,
I have built my entire life around finding happiness. Not many of you know my story, but it is the foundation of my self. The unhappiness I have experienced, I was able to learn from. All around me I built the story of my self with the sole intention of finding that form of happiness I never experienced.
I find truth in the quote that “Happiness Finds Misery.” I’ve come to accept this habit of mine, but you will not see me breathe a sigh of relief in this revelation.
Having a background in Psychology and Sociology doesn’t help the self-critical, over-analyzing tendencies. I know I can counter with common phrases that you make your own happiness, cut out poisonous relationships, adapt to your environment, stay positive, you are what you make it, etc. I get it, I know the rules.
But my secret remains the same: When I am happy, I search for misfortune.
My husband says the way I think is poisonous – I refuse to be happy. But when you’ve never been happy before, and you finally have the capacity to do so, you begin to search for what is familiar. And that’s what I do – I search for misfortune to remind me that I am breathing. Because breathing is all that I have been in control of.
As a child I learned what it meant to be adopted out, and re-adopted into my biological family. I came back to a family that was both old and new. In the span of two years I watched my half-brother deteriorate, and take his last breath at only four years old. Leukemia was to blame, but no one blamed the hospital that misdiagnosed him.
By the time I was 8 I learned two types of love – the love of a child, and that of a lover. It was not until last year did I learn the difference between two important words – molest and rape. Over the years I learned what mental illness did to a parent, and how gambling fills emotional voids, but not the refrigerator. I learned what homelessness felt like – no food, running water, or electricity. I learned what happens when you ignore the mail that says “overdue notice.” At 11 I watched my grandmother die, and by the time I was 16 I learned how it felt when your mother chose money and dependency over her only living child. By 16 I also learned what anti-depressants did and how it felt to be labelled with PTSD and Dysthymia.
In high school I learned how to over-achieve, and how it felt to have high-functioning depression. I learned how to pour my heart and soul into every extracurricular activity and job, and to thank my friends for letting me sleep on their couch until graduation. During the day I was the cheerleader, tennis-playing, ASB official, honor roll and leadership student whom could be counted on, for anything. At night I drank, and drank, and cried. I cried some more when I realized I’d have to change my name and social security number. My mother went crazy and my identity was destroyed in her vain efforts of materialism.
When I graduated I experienced my first sense of happiness and accomplishment. My efforts got me into a prestigious university, and away from home. But that’s when I broke. I was so happy, had came so far. But it was too much. I tried committing suicide the beginning of my sophomore year. I didn’t think it was a big deal because no one pay any heed to my struggles in high school. But something had changed.
By my junior year I started dating a friend of mine, and by the time I graduated I had won four things: a dual-degree, a fiance, happiness, and my first feeling of freedom.
It has been two years since I graduated from college and I know two things for certain: happiness is like water, and freedom is what you make it.
So why is it that I say happiness finds misfortune? I am 90 percent certain I think this way because my husband says that it’s my poisonous mentality. That other 10 percent is because frankly, I think it’s just a habit. I have thrived in an environment that did not nurture. And from that I found resiliency and success.
When I have been placed in an environment that nurtures my happiness, I refute it. I cannot, no matter how hard I try, accept that I can find happiness so easily. All of my life I grasped for it, I pushed through the quagmire that was my life. And I finally have it before me – it’s tangible, yet surreal. Instead of accepting what is now before me, I fight it. I look for an out, I look for reasons to be unhappy. Whose fault is this other than my own?
This is the secret which hurts me the most that in happiness I find misfortune.
I’m afraid it will some day break me, and my marriage.
– Moderate Millennial