I’ve always been a people pleaser. Maybe because I have always loved people and so making them happy, I thought would make me happy. Wrong. It is wholly unsustainable to make other people happy, nor is it in fact possible. People make themselves happy. Let me redefine that. People can bring joy, connection, companionship, love and respect to others, but to truly make someone happy? Impossible. We have to make ourselves happy. We can only make ourselves happy.
I spent years and years trying to make someone else happy. I’m not even sure I knew specifically who it even was. A mysterious ideal maybe, of what I should be doing, saying, being. What bullshit. I was so far into it, getting more miserable with ever fleeting glimpses of true joy and pleasure in my own sense of self that I was fading. And fast. This made me so…angry. God I was mad, raging red and full of hot hot heat. It was THEIR fault, not mine. Why can’t THEY be more this or less that. Why aren’t they trying to make ME happy when I am so clearly trying to make them happy. Aren’t THEY happy yet? Haven’t I done enough? Where is my reward and glory?
It has taken me literally YEARS to realise that there was NOTHING ANYBODY could have done. Why?
Because I was so desperately disconnected to myself, I wasn’t even sure I knew how to make myself happy, what did I even like that went beyond a face and façade of the escapism found in another bottle of wine, take-away box or packet of cigarettes. Watching mindless television or unmemorable nights spent in pubs or racing round town getting to the third social engagement of the night. Keeping ‘busy’.
I was exhausted. I was so tenderly, twistedly, tormented by running on the spot truly believing that I was getting somewhere, anywhere. Further up the ladder, further away from the low level, increasingly high level anxiety. The unchanging landscape of my life left me bored out of my mind, punctuated only by euphoric moments on recreational drugs with my best friends who were probably in their own sinking ships, where the serotonin flooding my brain cleared enough space for me to feel. TO FEEL. That THIS is what it is about – connection on a tangible, tactile, close, basic level. Proximity to love and tribal community was but a whisper and it felt like home.
But the crashing come down and hangover only impacted harder with the crushing reality of a new week starting, the post-holiday blues kicking in and it all beginning again. Like you’d never been away. Never skipped a beat.
Suffering silently behind the smoking and laughing and alcohol blurred benders of being a ‘laugh’ and ‘loud’ and ‘fun’.
I was in serious trouble. I had to do something.
Like a lighthouse in a perfect storm I saw a lifeline and knew from somewhere else that this was my chance. I went to a festival that cracked me open just a chink. Enough to let the light flood in and bathe my aching soul. I had to DO something. That was it. ACTION. It must be taken, because when you are so shit scared and the two options laid out bare in front of you are carry on and die or finally stop and do something else. Change the course, reroute, turn HARD LEFT.
I quit. I had so much tied up with my job and what I had laid at its feet to fix for me and my own sense of identity that one or the other had to go. Job or sense of self. Pick. I chose self. The wild woman is not dead yet…merely sleeping a long fucking deep arsed sleep.
I was bruised and blaming. THEY were still at fault, I was free-falling and winging every tiny thing.
Book the flight. Go. Fly. Gain ground and time and distance. PERSPECTIVE. Go live in the future where they have sunshine in their voices and smiles in the sea.