how to be happy

so like — “i just decided one day to wake up and be happy” is obviously not how that worked at all. getting to a point of being more or less content took a lot a lot A LOT of time and effort (and so goddamn much therapy) and i am not really there yet.

…that being said — for me, at least, i had to decide that i was at least going to try, and a big part of that was because the idea of getting “better” was genuinely scary.

part of it was the fact that a big part of it for me was also coming to terms with being trans, and really making an effort with being okay with possibly being a man — for a long time i resisted really doing anything about transition because i Did Not Want to be a man. i’m not entirely comfortable with that idea! but also, if that’s what’s in store for me — i truly and genuinely believe that no identity is inherently better or worse than another; it may be easier to be a good person if you’re marginalized in some way, but it isn’t a guarantee. if i’m a man, then i’ll do my best to be a good one, and that’s all anybody can do!

another part of it was that the thought of not being constantly on the verge of killing myself was SCARY. the first time i can remember thinking i should kill myself, i was ten years old. i’ve been a cutter for yeeeears. these things are/were pretty major parts of how i conceptualized myself for a long time, and learning how to be a person without them is legitimately difficult — i had a real moment the other day when i self-injured and it didn’t actually help! there’s real pleasure in removing mental stress through hurting yourself, and losing that was a loss, even if it was a necessary one!

even more foundational than that, though — one of the few comforts of being incapacitated by my own mental health issues was, even though it felt like i was failing over and over and over again, at least i knew: it was my disease! it wasn’t my fault! underneath all this fucked up bullshit, there’s still a functional person! as dumb as it is to say, i was worried for a long time that, underneath all the anxiety and depression and suicidal impulses, there just wouldn’t be anything worth saving?

anyway. maybe this is all dumb pollyanna bullshit and i’m just deluding myself merrily to avoid dealing with the fact that we’re all doomed and humanity is inherently evil and any scraps of comfort i can grasp at are lying to myself to avoid confronting the fact that society is doomed, but — i don’t think so! i think, sometimes, honestly: i might be okay! okay enough to be worth taking care of! okay enough that maybe my death won’t be an unadulterated net benefit! the jury is still out on some of it, but — maybe!

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1 Comment

  1. Not Pollyannaish at all; the comfort of negative, unhealthy thoughts and behaviors is super real and I’m really happy for you as I’m reading through this, like, it’s genuinely uplifting and I’m really blanking on a non-trite way to be like “why yes, can confirm, you DO matter! You ARE valid!” but it’s good to hear things are looking up!

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