Monday, April 19, 2010

"I Honestly Don't Know"

I honestly don’t know what makes me happy. I’m still looking for it. I’m not very proactive like I don’t really deserve happiness because I haven’t really looked for it. I think everyone deserves it, but it’s a very philosophical question. I thought about the same thing a little while ago and I asked a lot of my friends to describe their happiness on a scale of 1 to 10 because I would have to describe mine at about a 6. A lot of people instinctively told me they are like at a nine or whatever, but I managed to talk to them a little bit and I managed to bring their score down a little bit by asking them if they were really sure if they were happy or not. I put a lot of doubt in people’s minds. There’s a sort of knee jerk reaction to tell me they were happy but when I asked them to tell me what was making them happy (their job, their social life, their romantic life) and I think those three things are the main things to think about when you answer the question. But when you look at those things, people started to change their answers. My friends thought they were happier than what the really were. I don’t know if I should be so honest with a stranger with a Dictaphone but like I was quite unhappy like maybe two years ago and I’m better now, but I was major depression. I was clinically depressed. I went to see a counselor for a while but even that was fucked up because it was like a counselor in Thailand and he’s got like certificates but I don’t know if he’s the real deal or not. But I think I like talking about myself. Also it’s quite expensive to get a therapist in a city like Bangkok. Then that contributed to the depression, the expense of it all. Then after my hour was done, he was like ‘okay, see you next week’ and he didn’t really care that I had just opened up and talked to him. So it was hard, especially being in another country. So then I started talking to a lot of my friends about it and they are really good friends but not everyone wants to know that shit. People have got their own problems. It’s tough. The best advice my therapist gave me was to exercise more because that releases whatever chemical in your brain that produces whatever chemical that’s supposed to make you happy. That was good advice. I did that and I started to feel myself getting better. Now I’m slipping a bit because I was getting happier and stopped working out as much. It made me happier and last year was the best year I’ve ever been in and I felt happier. Now I’ve let it slip so I have to get back to exercising.”

-Jimmy, 31
Teacher from Scotland, living in Bangkok for 5 years

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