Happiness in a tablet

Happiness in a tablet. This is our world. Prozac. Paxil. Xanax. Billions are spent to advertise such drugs. And billions more are spent purchasing them. You don’t even need a specific trauma; just “general depression” or “anxiety,” a if sadness were as treatable as the common cold.

I knew depression was real, and in many cases required medical attention. I also knew we overused the word. Much of what we called “depression” was really dissatisfaction, a result of setting a bar impossibly high or expecting treasures that we weren’t willing to work for. I knew people whose unbearable source of misery was their weight, their baldness, their lack of advancement in a workplace, or their inability to find the perfect mate, even if they themselves did not behave like one. To these people, unhappiness was a condition, an intolerable state of affairs. If pills could help, pills were taken.

But pills were not going to change the fundamental problem in the construction. Wanting what you can’t have. Looking for self-worth in the mirror. Layering work on top of work and still wondering why you weren’t satisfied – before working some more.

I knew I had done all that. There was a stretch where I could have not worked more hours in the day without eliminating sleep altogether. I piled on accomplishments. i made money. I earned accolades. And the longer I went at it, the emptier I began to feel, like pumping air faster and faster into a torn tire.

But I still kept my hands on my own wheel. I didn’t turn things over to fate or faith. I recoiled from people who put their daily affairs in divine hands, saying “If God wants it, it will happen.” I kept silent when people said that.

For all the milligrams of medication I needed my entire life, I never popped a pill for my peace of mine. I love to smile. I try to avoid anger.

When you start that way, the rest of the day is a bonus.


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