Happiness is the way

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I feel like there’s a snooker ball in my sinuses.

I dont do ill very well, and I am exasperated that I can’t sleep at the moment. Every time I lie down it feels like my eyeballs are about to explode and its not a pleasant sensation.

Whilst hoovering the other day I found two ‘Vocal Zone‘ throat lozenges that my Dad appeared to have dropped when he was here last. They were still in their blister packs, and had helpfully been cut out with scissors. He loves medicinal sweets like this and used to suck ‘Megazones‘ like they were going out of fashion.

Sadly they actually did go out of fashion and maybe because they made test monkeys grow a third arm the company responsible for their production stopped making them.

After Mom died Dad stayed with me for a few weeks, during which time he came down with a nasty flu. Desperate for a substitute for his favourite remedy we had to go to the chemist to find this (truly horrible) alternative.

Since they make me think of him rather than me having any conviction that they will help or because they taste nice I’m sucking the last of the two at the moment. It doesn’t seem to be getting rid of the tickle in the back of my throat, but it’s helped improve my mood.

One of the plus sides to being sick is catching up on lots of TV and movies that I’ve been stockpiling for a rainy day. As its actually been pissing it down for almost two days straight the pastime seems apt.

Initially I started off watching things that were in tandem with my mood -and finally nailed season six of ‘The Walking Dead’.

I definitely know how the hordes of the title feel. Although my taste for brains never materialised when I caught the zombie virus a few days ago I can empathise with being reduced to a shuffling and groaning mess.

So far though the sweet relief of a bowie knife through the temple has been absent.

Unsurprisingly over the course of sixteen episodes lots of bad shit happened to everyone, endlessly – and it did little to improve my frame of mind. After this I decided upon a change of pace and popped on ‘Hector and the search for happiness‘.

To anyone that’s not seen this and likes Simon Pegg it comes highly recommended – and while I’m not sure I agree with its wording, the message of the closing sentiment is spot on.

We all have an obligation to be happy‘.

To me this seems to structured and demanding – I prefer another approach.

I used to regularly say to anyone that would listen ‘There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way‘ and feel proud of my learned wisdom.

For some reason a few years ago I stopped saying this to people, and I stopped thinking it out loud inside my head.

At times I allowed myself to completely forget, but it’s vital now that I keep coming back to it. For instance I’m writing because I’ve remembered it makes me happy. I’m amazed I forgot this, because I knew that when I was little.

I aim to continue for a long time.

I seem to have been sold a lie somewhere along the line that as we get older our understanding of how we should deal with the world grows, but now I’m not so sure that’s the true. I think in many cases as we get older our capacity for self deception increases, in line with our ability to compromise.

We do lots of things for immediate gratification that ultimately don’t make us happy in the long term, and we learn to make do with ‘average’.

I was always good at these mind you – so maybe when I say ‘we’ maybe I really mean ‘me‘.

Actually, there’s no maybe about it. It’s definitely me. I’m describing myself.

I’ve sold myself short in life more times than I can count. The trouble I have is that it’s easy to recognise this but harder to actually do something about it.

BUT – I have my plan for the next few months in the back of my head, and while I may be temporarily part of the undead horde, I will be back to normal soon. Happiness in life is very much on my agenda.

I’ve made some big strides mentally and physically lately and if being in group therapy has taught me nothing else it’s that I must be aware of my successes and not focus on what I’ve done wrong.

With this kind of re-trained thinking in mind I’m also reading ‘Yes Man‘ by Danny Wallace at the moment, which my brother bought for my birthday.

I’ve seen the film, but the book is better – and I hadn’t really thought about the true implications of saying ‘yes’ to absolutely everything regardless of whether you want to or not and just seeing where that takes you in life.

Like the author I’ve said no to a lot of things over the years.

Maybe it’s been safer, and more sensible, but has it been as interesting? Probably not. However, saying ‘no’ is also a big thing for me currently, so I can’t claim to be fully on board with the sentiment of Mr Wallace at this precise moment in time.

One thing that I did notice was that saying yes to things for him initially resulted in many many trips to the pub, and a lot of drinking.

I’ll be honest – when I’ve got ill in the past I’ve also got a bit smashed, with the self deluding rationale that I might as well make the most of a bad time and have some fun while my body is at its worst.

Being sick it seems yet another thing on the long list of stuff that I am no longer allowed to sidestep, and I have found myself unconsciously thinking about drinking in the middle of perfectly normal thoughts for the last three days.

It annoys me that the thoughts are still there, but then again why wouldn’t they be? I have been a drinker for nearly 30 years, so there’s a lot of unlearning to be done. If I’m honest from time to time I still want a cigarette and that stopped nearly 10 years ago. I only stopped drinking 10 weeks ago.

Soon however I’m going to have to consider whether my body is capable of becoming addicted to Earl Grey, because given the frequency I’m currently drinking it to take my mind off other beverages it’s a distinct possibility.

Ugh. There goes another sharp twinge behind my eyeballs. Imagine if you will lots of unhappy emojis following this sentence.

(Space set aside for reader visualisation and contemplation. Condolences may be left in the comments.)

Anyway – I still feel no closer to sleep, so I shall continue to stare blankly at something on the TV and feel sorry for myself until maybe I doze off in my armchair.

Love and hugs internet. I hope your pursuit of happiness is going well.

Davey

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