I’m not an expert here, so don’t expect expert advice. This is just me thinking out loud. But I seem to have noticed something over the years about unhappiness.
There are a lot of things that can make people unhappy. Some of those things are temporary external stimuli. Some of those things are internal thought processes. Some of those things are just bad wiring in your head, a bad batch of the chemical soup that your brain floats around in. And sometimes what makes a person unhappy is just that there’s nothing making them happy, and their default state isn’t neutrality.
The thing I’ve noticed is this: when people are chronically unhappy, when people are dealing with whatever mix of those factors exists in their life, it almost always means they are in the wrong life.
Fate dishes you up a lot of defaults. A lot of automatic paths. Some people get lucky in that the path they get dealt by default also happens to be a path that works for them, and they’re mostly happy. Some people get unlucky. Their path, no matter how it looks to other people or “society” or whatever, isn’t the path that makes them happy.
Some “unhappiness remedies” are good and healthy, for what they are. If you have problems in your life, you should fix them. If your brain soup is bad, then pharmacology can help you. Therapy is great. Finding hobbies that spark joy to fill the hours is a wonderful thing. I’m not disparaging any of those, and in fact, I advocate for versions of those in other writings here. But sometimes – and I’m suspecting more often than people realize – all of those things are band-aids that are keeping you in a life that you fundamentally don’t fit in. And they treat the symptoms, but they can never truly cure the underlying cause of your unhappiness, which is that you aren’t supposed to be here.
There are so many possible lives you could be living, it’s incredible. You couldn’t even imagine them all. All the wondrous and diverse ways you could exist! You’re aware of your own path, and the bundle of paths that deviate from yours by maybe 5-10% along any given metric. That’s such a tiny fraction of the ways you could exist! Is it so strange to imagine that maybe, just maybe, you’re unhappy because the fundamental joys of your heart aren’t found in the one tiny corner of existence you defaulted into?
If you’re only a little bit off, maybe a little therapy, a little yoga, and a little Xanax would be great for you. If you’re on the absolute brink of total collapse, maybe you don’t need a vast and arduous ladder built entirely of support programs, forced hobbies, group therapy, and a cocktail of drugs. Maybe you need to join the circus.
I don’t know for sure. But I think that there is a magical place for you, a place where your joy comes more naturally. Maybe you don’t need to force yourself to fit in the place you are.