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Contentment with normalcy vs. the need for happiness

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by AvantGarde » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:50 am

‘Happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim,’ said Einstein. ‘I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a pig. The ideals that have lighted my way are Kindness, Beauty and Truth.’

I'm feeling very philosophical lately, so I'll just continue my internal debate and share with you all for some sort of validation or different thoughts on the subjects.

I found myself in the midst of very desperate needs of happiness, in the past. Was it through love and sexual encounters, several kinds of activities, drug and alcohol abuse, even the bliss of non-dysphoric hypomania and the crazy franctic disconfort of mania, with the psychosis that came with it. My need for happiness transformed itself into reckless behavior and over-living, keeping myself busy all the time, making money and spending it without control or any guidance. I was alone dealing with my undiagnosed mental illnesses, but living life like it was going to end the very next day.
I have no real regrets, aside from one mistake or two, because I had to go through it all to learn what I have learned and to grow what I've grown.

Fast forward a few years, I was then diagnosed (barely, as you know) and trown to the word "recovery" like a bone to the dog that is the mental health system. I was constantly reminded that I should be well guided through the "recovery process", that I should make myself as happy as I could be because I was "recovering well".

As some of you know, I have some schizophrenia in my roll of illnesses, and that illness is viewed, because of centuries of doctors simply not understanding it, as some life long death sentence of inability to function. I proved them wrong, as many others before and after me, and was labeled as a "high functioning schizophrenic with a mood disorder" (what they forget is that the disabling part is the OCD and the mood disorder, but well, I'm "high functioning"). Then the mental health team I have on my back started saying I needed to pursue happiness, that I should be more social, get a job because money helps to bring happiness, they even implied that I should stay away from other mental patients, because it would hinder my "recovery process".

Yet again, I proved them wrong. I did not get some job just to get paid because I don't believe that having money brings happiness. My family always had money and they didn't know, and don't know, how to be happpy. I became less social, because the people around me just brought me sorrow, anxiety and stress, and being less of a social butterfly brought me happiness, I accepted myself as I am, a lonesome wolf-woman. I have decided to pursue higher education, even if it means giving up my independence for a while, because research and writing makes me happy.

But then it hit me, even with all of this going for me, I was still not happy. Now I have the desperate need to be normal, because being happy is not enough, I need more and more of it. Like the recovering addict that I am, I realized that the need for happiness is just another addiction, brought on by the consume and be happy society that we live in. That we can't even get worried and emotional because the world is in peril, because that shakes our mental health so much we become unstable.

I've decided to live in my bubble, where fascism, racism, xenophoby and homophoby don't exist. No news for me, thank you! This doesn't bring me happiness but brings me contentment and stability.

I'm now assuming myself as content to be as normal as I can be, medicated so I can be safe to myself and others, instead of chasing happiness and being lost in my life.

Ah well, could be worse
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by AvantGarde » Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:26 am

This all sounds very bitter now that I've reread it, not my intention. :lol:
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by Pancake » Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:36 am

Oh man, I agree with so much of that.

It doesn't matter what the research shows. What the science says, what most people benefit from, there just isn't a one size fits all approach to treatment, therapy, life.
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by AvantGarde » Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:54 am

Exactly!

And the recovery approach in severe mental illness is like putting a carrot on a stick in front of a donkey, unattainable, yet so alluring.

If the approach was "just try and be well", it would be much more realistic.
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by Spm24 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:34 am

AvantGarde,

Love the carrot and donkey. So very true. I am lucky that all my doc's are open minded and see that my needs are not everyone else's. That I am an individual. Not just another patient to see....

I don't think your original post was bitter sounding. I think it was a realistic expression of yourself. As you do so well, so often. Keep it up maybe I will be so eloquent one day.....
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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by AvantGarde » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:46 am

Thank you for the kind words, Shawn, as always you're a sweetheart.

Don't get me wrong, my mental health team is great. It's just a pattern I watched with several other people, too.

In my case, my pdoc treats my symptoms well, my tdoc helps me to cope and question myself, and my nurses help me get around the system :lol: I have a great team, I'm not complaining.
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by Spm24 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:52 am

AvantGarde,

I am glad you team is good. I never meant for it to appear that I was implying that you didn't have a good one.(long way to say, oops...
Yeah I have seen many people on here post about their team and I was like, wow I don't think I could handle what they have to go through. The hoops that they have to jump through just to try and get the help they so desperately want and need...
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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by AvantGarde » Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:12 am

:lol: I understood, no problem (:

Yes, you're right. I've seen so many people discarted and not helped, and in so many parts of the world mental health is just dismissed as something spiritual. We actually should be thankful for the "recovery" attitude :)
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by Spm24 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:21 am

AvantGarde,

Yes so true about other parts of the world being that way.
We over here might have our problems but some of us can and do find very competent and caring professionals. Many who are willing to forgo part of their fee when it is a hardship for the patient.
But there are many here who do not have the luck to find what they need.
It seems that the health care profession is stretched thin all over. They are overworked and not many are going into that field as are needed.
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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by AvantGarde » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:01 am

You're right, they are overworked. Not everyone sees fit to join the mental health field, it's a tough field to be in. And they can't exactly put themselves in our shoes, also, it's very hard for neurotypicals to understand what we go through on a daily basis.
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by Spm24 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:27 am

AvantGarde,

A very tough field. One that is not for the faint of heart.
Yes it is hard for them to truly understand what we go through. Plus sometimes they almost have to read our minds. (Like when I just tell them "I'm tired" that could mean so much.
They have to deal with the severe cases along with the borderline cases. Not easy. Has to be a field that they desire to be in. To be able to help those of us that need it. Heck that goes for a GP as well. Some try their best to help. But in the long run most things need to go to a specialist...
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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