Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thinking about happiness...

Hello folks. Yes, I am alive and well. I just haven't felt inspired to blog in the past few months. Not that things haven't been going on, they certainly have. Let me catch you up, and then I'll go on to some ruminations I've been doing of late.

Well, I had a whirlwind summer and fall with The Police tour. I know I've posted in the fall, but some things I didn't mention. I will have witnessed about half a dozen shows by the end of the tour. It's been an amazing experience. And, as I am not about to post pictures of myself, you'll have to take my word for this next part. I had the good fortune to find out where they were staying in one city and staked out the hotel in the less than tepid weather. I was the only one there waiting. At first none of the hotel staff said anything to me, and I didn't say anything to them, as I was afraid they would try to get me to leave. But they didn't. The chauffer was waiting for a while and we started to chat and he agreed to take a picture of me with the boys if they agreed. So finally, after about 2 1/2 hours of waiting, Stewart came out. I meekly called out and asked if I could get an autograph. He obliged, but wasn't very friendly, I must say. He also allowed the chauffer to take a picture of us. Then a few minutes later Sting came out and ... same thing, except Sting was just absolutely lovely! He was very friendly and chatted a bit. Turns out Andy didn't come out until later, so I had to keep waiting, but ended up getting autographs and pictures of all 3! I've only waited since 1981.. if nothing else, I have stamina! ;)

And I went back home and reunited with a bunch of people I reconnected with on Facebook. Including "The Guy". We went to dinner, just the two of us, and it was really nice. We stayed out a couple hours. It was comfortable, but it was casual. I didn't bring any expectations with me, and I left with none. We still keep in contact on Facebook, but I'm not expecting us to be best friends. Whatever it is, it is, and I'm okay with that.

I'm still working at the hospital, in an area I enjoy. I'm in a contract until June, so it's not permanent, but I am recognizing the value of being somewhere I want, doing something I like. It was tough at first because I stopped talking to a lot of the people I thought I was close to at work. One woman I thought was a close friend turned out not to be. In hindsight, I should have seen that. It took a while to adjust. I didn't know how to act around them, but I was able to get myself finally to a place where I can be polite, say hello, chit chat, but not go beyond that. Workplace friendships can go sour, but you still have to work together. No matter what happens, you can't take it personally or it reflects on your work. I'm just concentrating now on the work, and showing my boss I'm in the right area and I am a worthy employee. And I like that task.

But it hasn't been all rosy and enlightening. I find my circle of friends has diminished this year. My closest friend here moved away, as did another friend. My other closest friend had a baby, as did another friend. So that's 4 friends I saw frequently that I don't see much anymore. I have 2 others that I still see often, but the social life has taken a beating. I've been thinking a lot about happiness lately, and what it takes to achieve that. Some people are more prone to it, and seem to find it wherever, no matter what life throws at them, while others struggle along.

I have experienced depression. About 15 years ago, I experienced some changes and losses, and went into a depression that lasted about 3 months. I didn't want to eat, I had panic attacks almost every night and was afraid to go to sleep as a result. I was getting by on 3 1/2 to 4 hours sleep every night, lost 20 pounds. I cried all the time. Yet, deep down, I knew this was a phase I was going through, that I would get through. I never doubted that for a second. And I was right. I started behaviour therapy and learned how to relax. I learned that I could control the panic attacks, and they stopped. Immediately.

Yet, even though I have managed to avoid deep depression, I am left with an eternal grey. I ended up going on anti-depressants some time after that episode, even though I wasn't in the throes of a deep depression. And they helped. Except for the fact that I wanted to sleep all the time and they made my head queazy when I missed a dose.

I don't want to return to anti-depressants. I want to learn to be happy on my own. But I don't have the foggiest idea how to do that. I've tried to make friends, but I keep making the wrong ones, or the good ones move away. I have a history of making friends that I don't want to continue to be friends with. I either cut them out of my life, or they cut me. I'd like to have a relationship with someone, but I have no idea how to do that either. I've grown so accustomed to my being alone, that I've led myself to believe that no one I'm interested in could feel that way about me and all my quirks and hang-ups, not to mention the physical disability and all it encompasses. I have never had an easy time with friendships or relationships with family. How on earth does one get past all that crap and lead a healthy life with all that that entails?

Yet, people do. I know it's possible. But a large part of me has given up. And that's one of the biggest obstacles. Sure, I am still friendly to people. I still reach out and go to lunch with colleagues. I participate in dating websites because the idea of putting myself out there with people I actually know is beyond my comprehension. So I look at that as a half-hearted effort. Taking a real chance would be with real people, face to face. Part of my reasoning is if I have that much trouble making friends, it's going to be that much more impossible to make more than friends.

I was having coffee with a friend yesterday. This friend tends to be very negative and cynical most of the time and this really annoys me. She said "what scares me is that as I approach 30, I know that I'll be in the same boat when I'm 40". I told her she didn't know that and that she could do things in her life to change her circumstance. And at the time, I truly believed that if she just did such and such instead of whining, she'd get what she wanted. A little hypocritical, I know. Because that's exactly the way I feel about myself. I feel I've tried to do things to change my circumstances. I have game nights, dinner parties. Yet, I'm always in the same boat. So how can I judge someone who is exactly in my same position?

I have 2 more friends back in my hometown who are the same. And I get frustrated at them. I think what my frustration really represents is that I tend to find myself surrounded by people in the same boat as me, and that makes me feel more helpless about getting out of the boat. There's obviously something about me and my vibes that attracts the same. Yet how to change the vibes.

I was watching Oprah the other day. I am not a fan of Oprah, but I felt like lounging and she was there. The topic of the day was getting what you want out of life and she showcased three people and books. The books were The Secret, and The Laws of Attraction, and You Can Heal Your Life. I was bored and figured, hey, it can't hurt to check them out? So I literally did just that from the library. Well, one anyway, the other two are on request. I got my hands on The Laws of Attraction First. It made sense. Common sense. Of the "duh" variety. A very easy, quick read, with very little to say. The basic concept is you can attract what you want by changing your views on what it is that you do and don't want, and being open to that. I would have to agree. So far so good.

However, here is where they lose me. The author claims that if you want a million bucks, you can get a million bucks, just by the sheer act of believing you will get a million bucks. The concept is too simple to actually be that valid, in my humble opinion. I can believe that if you want a be married, have kids, live comfortably working in the job you enjoy, you can attain that by being positive, open and emitting that type of energy that gets picked on by others who are, in turn, attracted to that. I don't believe that just because you send out positive vibes that someone will call you that they will. And if they do, I believe it's a fluke, not the laws of attraction.

I don't really have an idea as to where this post is going, so I will wrap it up as it is already far too long and rambly. I am still trying to figure out how to get what I want out of life, but I also believe I am being realistic in thinking that I will not change drastically my personality and who I am, essentially. Or perhaps I actually will die an old, miserable maid after all ;).

5 comments:

Becca said...

Panic attacks happens to me once in a while and it's pretty scary everytime it happens. You just loose control of yourself. I've tried http://www.whatcausespanicattacks.com for help.I can see an improvement in my condition already.

Anonymous said...
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Blake said...

It was long. It was rambly. But is was a disability rant. So it fits, right? :-)

I just found your blog, but I enjoy it. Hope you will pick things back up.

Friendships are a strange thing for me also. I am lucky to have a good number of friends at Mississippi State, but I'm afraid I will lose touch with many of them after college.

Oh, and I should note just in case... I want a million bucks.

JOANN NORALS said...

M. Scott Peck:

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.Nice Comment!

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