Sep. 1st, 2016 03:37 pm
[personal profile] batskeets
I like this.

I have never been the ebullient person, overflowing with volume and excitement. I enjoy things, but my expression of that isn't always pronounced. Anxiety, ADD, and Depression are words that loom in my history.

"You don't seem very excited," is something I heard a lot, growing up. As an adult, I sometimes find myself expressing more loudly, but probably more for the benefit of others than for my own sake.

If you ask me how I'm doing, I usually say, "I'm doing all right," or perhaps, "eh, hanging in there." If you were to ask me if I'm happy, I might shrug and say, "sure, I guess so." I'm not UNhappy, per se--I'm not sad on this day, and I haven't been depressed in quite a while. But am I overjoyed by the mere act of existing? Ehhh...?

I don't know if I'm happy. But, I have things and activities and people in my life that make me feel fulfilled, and that's pretty great. I feel a lot of gratitude about that.

An old and short-lived therapist of mine once suggested that my "set point" might simply be different than everyone else's--that I'm just naturally less happy, less excitable than other people. I felt vaguely ripped off, in that moment.

Don't get me wrong: therapy helped me cope. Therapy helped me understand what was happening to me, and learn how to manage it, and if I had it to do again, I absolutely would. Therapy helped me become a more fulfilled and more positive human being, and it made me aware of my own attitudes.

But, looking at this? This might be the first thing... maybe ever, which has made me feel that not being "happy" *doesn't* automatically mean that something is wrong with me.

I like this.


Date: 2016-09-02 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freyis.livejournal.com
Thanks for sharing this; I feel similarly. I can definitely be excited, joyful, ecstatic, or having a great day, but I rarely would call myself happy. I do the same thing with people asking me how I am, it's always I'm alright or okay, never good or great or happy.

I especially like this: "I don't know if I'm happy. But, I have things and activities and people in my life that make me feel fulfilled, and that's pretty great. I feel a lot of gratitude about that."

That sums it up rather well for me too.

Date: 2016-09-02 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarapada.livejournal.com
I feel like a failure a lot of the time because I'm not "happy", because I have so much in my life to be happy about. But pursuing a meaningful, compelling, busy, beautiful lie seems so much more doable (and desirable! and interesting!) than a "happy" one.

Date: 2016-09-08 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] december-clouds.livejournal.com
I like that comic too, it does sum it up well. I like "interested" and what you wrote about having things that make you feel fulfilled.

I'm not sure if I've had a happy period, or that kind of thing. I was a bundle of anxiety in my childhood. I was always scared of something.

Now things are generally stable. That's good, that's really good.

Date: 2016-09-08 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_dilate_/
That is such a nice Oatmeal. I am always hearing those same things- not enthusiastic, not happy. I always think about how it's like facebook: we see the highlight reel for everyone else but we have to watch all the b-roll for ourselves. It's easy to think others are happier.

I'm dating a guy right now who is the more extreme example of this I have ever seen. Thanks for reminding me not to shame him about his lack of "happy' or "emoting". I do tease about it and I shouldn't.

Nothing wrong with any of us.

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