Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness With Addictive Behaviour
Our generation is full of self-hate and misery. I know that in my recovery I have found myself in self-hate mode, self-pity mode and yes, self-sabotage mode. Our generation is not used to contentment and for some of us, when happiness enters our lives we are petrified of this foreign feeling. Think about this: do you find yourself sabotaging your happiness in one way or another? We seem to want to manifest our own pain, and it’s time to stop complaining about our wounded lives and do something about it! No poor me, poor me, pour me a drink mentality!
Waking up, taking a cocktail of medication and going on with our days has become completely normal in today’s society. We are inundated with medications, anti-anxiety pills, anti-depressants; and mood stabilisers can be found in kitchen cabinets across the world. It is the norm…
Ultimately it has become ‘normal’ to be miserable. We are conditioned to look at the ‘bad’ in our lives and brush aside the good. I find myself doing it constantly. (Depression and mental disorder is obviously another matter altogether. I’m talking about self-indulgent sadness – think emo culture.)
Depression: A Crutch
After much self-analysing, I suspect my behaviour bounces back to being self-indulgent because I am so accustomed to the darkness and comfortable within my own self-hate. With this in mind, when happiness does creep into my life I wait for it to get ripped out from under me. So before the heartbreak can even so much as come within an inch of me – I manifest the hurt so that it doesn’t take me by surprise.
It’s almost like killing yourself before nature can; like wanting to beat nature at its own game.
It is simple to sit and wallow in our own misery, devour our own self-annihilation, complain about how much we hate our lives; hate our relationships and hate our lives. The difficulty lies in embracing our own happiness and joy. It’s easy to sabotage our lives. Embracing, accepting and creating happiness takes a lot of strength.
This is Reality
This is not about ‘The Secret,’ that little book that tells you if you think happy thoughts happy things will come your way. No. This is reality. This is about the fact that we do live in harsh times and we do struggle with everyday anxiety, but we don’t need to forget about the happiness that we have and can have.
We just need to stop and breathe. Take it all in. Separate the good from the bad, and embrace the positive. We need to tell ourselves that it is okay to be happy and if we need help getting it, then we should get help.
Identify the Pain
Identify what is making you unhappy. Is it the bad choices you seem to make when it comes to relationships? Is it your career choice? Your family drama? Your past demons that keep on haunting? Whatever it is that takes you to that sinister place deep within yourself – acknowledge it.
If it is affecting you to the point of constant anxiety, unmanageability, depression and self-loathing then change it; but you have to want to change it. Just like Lara did.
Lara’s Story: Taking back your Life
*Lara found herself in a dangerous place. She had made a series of bad decisions when it came to relationships and had found herself the victim of severe emotional abuse. She eventually came out of the relationship only to find herself free and content.
For the 4 years that she had dated the man who took complete control over her every move, from telling her how to dress, how to speak, to tell her where to go and who she could speak to… At the end of the relationship, Lara was suddenly free to do what she wanted. For the 4 years that they were together Lara was not allowed to even sip alcohol, and so when she gained her freedom she went out with the few friends she had left and downed a bottle of vodka as a ‘screw you’ to her ex.
The Want versus the Need
But the vodka kept flowing for 2 more years. Her nights out became a series of black-outs, horrible drunken mistakes, more dangerous men and eventually, she became what her ex was… a threat to herself. One day she woke up after a blackout, walked to her mother’s room and said ‘I need help.’ She checked herself into an institution to deal with her binge-drinking and, more importantly, her past.
‘When we were dating, all I knew was sadness and fear,’ Lara tells me, ‘then all of a sudden I had my life back and didn’t know what to do. I went out and had fun and I found myself in a genuinely good place. I had friends again. I was happy…’
Lara takes a deep breath as she begins analyzing her destruction:
‘Then I got out of control and began ruining myself because, to be honest, I was uncomfortable being happy. I was scared of being free so I went out of my way to feel anxiety, stress and pain again. I knew I needed help, but I never wanted it.’
Lara takes another deep breath and smiles a half-smile, ‘until I woke up one day and realised that happiness wouldn’t be such a bad idea.’
Say Goodbye to Sadness
When you realise you want happiness when you are ready to leave the depression and sadness that is your crutch behind, when you are ready to embrace life, then that is when you will find your happiness.
So next time you feel that warm fuzzy ‘happy’ feeling, don’t be frightened; yes, it may not be the norm to be happy in this day and age – but who wants to be normal anyway?