Sunday, 9 November 2008

H is for... Happy

Happiness is an emotion which, for a long time, only existed in my memory. I suppose I must have had a happy childhood, but I'm not sure. I can't remember a lot of it. I may still have my innocence, but my childhood... I don't know when that disappeared. I remember being one and a half, lying on the floor of my old house reading a book. I remember most of my secondary school, most of my primary school and my sixth form, by which time I was no longer a child, and no longer happy.

Being in love makes me happy. I was brought back from the brink of a pointless existence by my ability to love, and to feel it back. I now realise that my declaration of celibacy at the age of 11 was probably a little premature, as I started thinking about sex a couple of months later, and got a crush on a girl. I didn't have wet dreams, I didn't masturbate. My ideas about sex all seemed to involve being sealed into a special machine in order to have sex for years on end (if that's not a fetish, I don't know what is). But above all that, I felt my heart squeeze.

And then I stopped being happy.

I dragged my way through school following heartache after heartache. I never asked anyone out, because rejection destroys me. I tried once; it took me a year to get the courage to do it, and I got a rejection, prompting a brief suicide attempt. Where was the love? I was in love (or thought I was), but it was only making me sad. I had counselling for years. I was even put on drugs at university, but they had no effect. I think I can get by without putting stuff into my body.

The happiest times of my life have been when I experience reciprocated love. With Rebecca, I felt more free, more alive. (In fact, towards the end with Rebecca I felt like I needed to tread carefully. I was a different person back then. Maybe I was happy, but deludedly so. Whatever. It's in the past.) With Drinker, more recently, things have been fantastic. My inspiration has come back - I've left my previous job and now in training for another. I'm writing a lot more, and my muse has returned - you should hear the songs.

I'm not generally a happy person. Not really at all. My default setting is "mediocre". But over the last year or so, I've started to appreciate more things. I'm enjoying more things - when I look back at me, between the age of 14-20, I didn't really enjoy much at all. Fair enough, I was a teenager. But still. Now, I've carved myself a niche. Starting ILB was a good decision because, apart from anything else, I can express myself without fear or regret here. I'm not trying to appease anyone.

And so I let my loving side come out, I wrote about it, and I fell in love. And now I'm in a better place.

So I may not be happy by nature, but by conviction, I'm beginning to think it. Maybe at some point in the future I'll begin to feel it, not in short bursts like I usually do, but over longer periods of contented time.

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