on happiness…

Happiness is when what you think, what you do, and what you say are in harmony.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi is an inspiration on many levels — certainly both as a man of piety and as a soldier of peace. But, of all the profound things Gandhi did and said, it is this quote that I keep coming back to.

It sounds so easy — just don't say or do things you don't believe in. Simple, right?

But, what if all you think about is what a terrible person you are; how you weren't good enough at school, and you suck at your job; how you're a shitty husband, and an even worse father.

What should you say? What should you do?

What I did was lash out at the smallest perceived slight. I was a real joy to be around. I could suppress it for my public persona. But, if my stress levels rose, or if I was in my "safe" space, I really let loose. The rage was venomous. The bile putrid. And, most of it was aimed squarely at those most precious to me: my wife and kids. Basically, I was trying to make the outside of me as unhappy as the inside.

After experiencing these thoughts for 30 years, and three separate diagnoses by three different psychiatrists, I finally feel like things are on the right track.

I've been on a new medicine for about a month. It's not perfect — the dose I'm on right now is making me drowsy, and I'm still having negative self talk —but, it's worlds better than where I was two months ago.

I'm finally clear headed enough to not fly off into a rage at the drop of a hat. I'm finally feeling like I can actually attempt to think of the illness as separate and apart from me. I'm finally starting to find peace of mind. Maybe happiness is next.

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