|What makes you happy?
||[May. 11th, 2007|02:11 pm]
One of the things that I realized could be a really tough question when battling depression is "what makes you happy?" |
I mean, it's not a very tough question is it? But what if you've been in the pit for so long that you don't remember what makes you happy?
Worse... what if some of the things that bring you relief don't actually make you happy, but just leave you feeling safe or comfortable? What if you think that sleep, or vegging out playing computer games makes you happy, but really, it's just what you do, and you've lost that memory of what it's like to be truly happy, because it hasn't happened in a long time? Or what if you can't quite imagine what it's like to be truly happy? It just seems like... "happy? What is this thing you call 'happy'?"
With my fits of depression, I've been running into problems like that, asking myself that question. I was relieved to realize there was one answer that I could always point to.
I have always, and I mean *always*, felt good when I realized I was in the groove, and figuring out some aspect of how a person thinks, feels, or acts.
An example follows, with an LJ cut for Firefly spoilers - yes, it's been out on DVD for a while, and it's a mild spoiler, but hey, maybe you don't know and don't like even minor ones.
Watching the Firefly DVDs, I was confounded by one scene. The crew is rescuing a brothel that's under attack. Malcolm ends up having sex with the Madam. We've all seen lots of love interest/romantic tension between Anarra and Malcolm all along, but I was boggled when Anarra broke down in tears after learning about it.
Of course, it's a fictional universe... but Joss Whedon is a good writer, and I can't believe he'd have let that go in without a reason. But the reasoning seemed really stupid. Anarra is a companion; that's her *job*, having sex with people, so why would she be upset by Malcolm having sex?
If she thought he would lose him, sure, she'd cry over that... but not over him getting laid.
Well, we all have blind spots about sex and relationships, so, maybe Joss just thought it was a good dramatic tension builder, Malcolm gets laid, Anarra is in tears because OMG her unrequited-beloved got laid with someone else!
And then I realize I knew - I knew I was wrong about my first thought. It wasn't an accident, it wasn't a blind spot, it was intentional. And my best guess (remembering that Joss is always willing to play games with his audience) is that Anarra figured the reason Malcolm never confessed his love for her was that she was a companion ("a whore", to use Malcolm's too frequent word)... and yet, clearly, being a whore was *not* a barrier to his affection. And therefore, it was Something Else. Obviously, she was wrong, he did not truly love her, and that's what made her cry.
Figuring that out made me inordinately pleased with myself, even though I'd be surprised if it hasn't already been leaked around message boards and written into fanfics.
Anyway. That was kind of a tangent, but it's my journal, so I'm allowed to do tangents. The point is, I realized that the puzzle of humanity, of happiness, of figuring out how people work the way they do, that's always been something that makes me happy.
Other puzzles are fun, sometimes, but really, it's working in that realm of human thought and emotion that makes me happy.
Which means the one path I've set out for myself is the right one for me to be walking.
And along the way, I hope I can figure out how to help other folks answer the same question.