Why is it that no matter how many positive things happen I take them with a grain of salt? I can never let myself be truly happy because either I feel like I don’t deserve it, or I feel like there’s a boogeyman waiting on the other side to do his best to snatch it all away from me. It’s not like I haven’t worked hard on corralling those feelings of inadequacy, on taming the wild beasts that tend to gather wantonly in the corners of my scattered mind.
And for stretches of time I can live that feeling, that adrenaline carrying me pretty far, but as always happens I come crashing back to the feelings of hopelessness I started out with in the first place. Why? So I’m okay… for now, but what does that mean for a little ways in the future, when this euphoria has worn off?
I told someone today that I’m always optimistic, and on the outside I am. I rarely show these signs of breaking down, this shadow of myself that haunts my dreams and my alone times. I always seem to be optimistic because I can project the feeling that nothing bothers me, when in reality every single thing bothers me, every little thing worries me, and I’m always on pins and needles. Do you know how much work it takes to pull off this disaffected lunatic veneer? A lot. Why do I even do it? Well, I do it because the alternative is worse.
The alternative is me staring at walls more often than not, or looking completely lost. But even more than that, the alternative is having to explain why I’m not smiling, accepting looks of pity from others, and a plethora of people “praying” for me. I don’t want any of that. I don’t know what I want, but I know that’s not it. I know I want to be more honest with my expressions and demeanor, but I can’t put it all out there.
That’s the real issue, isn’t it? How much can I just be myself in a world where absolutely no one is themselves all of the time? What mix of emotions can I show without being seen as dark, depressed, or simply out of it? Maybe in the end none of it matters, what other people think. Perhaps letting more people in on what I’m really thinking and feeling will be a step in the positive direction for me, so I’m not just being okay for now, so I’m not just putting on the face so much that I do it out of habit, so maybe I can finally be unabashedly optimistic without a caveat.
Or maybe I’m just built to be a pessimist, to think that the world will cave in any time something good happens. I used to tell people that if I set myself up for something bad to happen then if positive things happened they would be a pleasant surprise, but if the worst occurred I wouldn’t be floored. Back then it seemed like a realistic way to look at things, but along the way it became an excuse, a chance for me to stop being okay, even when good things happened. And I’d like to be okay with good things happening. I’d like to at some point feel like I deserve it, that it’s not going to fall apart the second I let it flow warm through my soul.
So I’m okay… for now, and I hope that will be good enough until I find a way to change my expectations.