I really think there must be something wrong with me. My emotional retardation is such that I can never simply enjoy happiness when I find it. Just when things are going well, a smile on my face sets off an alarm. Suddenly aware of my contented state and knowing that it can never last, I begin to anticipate impending misery thus bringing about a self-fulfilling prophecy. And the happier I am the more profound the effect. As soon as I get caught up in the moment, a voice warns me that a fall from this emotional height would be devastating. I begin to imagine all the possible bad endings to my bliss and I am left waiting for the other shoe to drop and bring the whole house down. Such is the anxiety of my contentment.
My only recourse seems to be self-medication. A good and proper dose of the right substance keeps the higher functions occupied while letting the reptile brain bask in the buzz like a lizard on a warm rock in the sunshine. Sure it's only a temporary fix and the same problems will still be waiting, possibly worsening, during my mental vacation. But right now, who gives a shit? The appeal is obvious. Happiness is a warm crack pipe. It's no wonder that alcoholics and other addicts return again and again to that sweet release from the uncertainty, the randomness, and the sheer boredom of day-to-day living, replacing it with a pharmacological fixed grin. The psychological craving for the narcotic effect lingers even after the physical sickness of withdrawal has passed. Once you've smoothed out the bumps, taking away life's highs and lows, there is nothing left to do but kick back and enjoy the ride. From one of my favorite films, Drugstore Cowboy: "Most people don't know how they're gonna feel from one moment to the next. But a dope fiend has a pretty good idea. All you gotta do is look at the labels on the little bottles." What a comfort. Fortunately, I don't have an addictive personality else I would have been lost long ago.