Be happy. It’s a directive sent from every angle, every day, in this self-centered society of ours. One that burdens me like a heavy cloud hanging over my instinctual self-deprecating nature. My depression and anxiety seem worse now that I’m sober. Funny to admit that. My anger, resentments, drama, loathing, worry, neuroses, and irritablity are all enhanced now sober. But so is my inherent empathy, kindness, tenderness and compassion. In fact, it is this very profound feeling that both destructs and cures me. How ironic. In an earlier post, months ago, I revealed that killing myself (a thought I have frequently in my deep dark cave of depression) would regretably also kill the part of me that I know is valuable to the world. This care and tenderness that lifts others and at times can lift me from my darkness. But in this “always be happy world” (always be closing…ABC…let’s change to ABH), I can’t rise fast enough, quick enough. My reaction time is too slow to ever be considered “happy.” And I hate that. I hate that I am not a happy person. I want to be so badly. I desire happiness. Buddhism, zen thought, would state that desires create unhappiness. So what? Just stop wanting to be happy? Stop reaching for it? Is it attainable for a dry drunk like me. Probably not. Acceptance, I know, will bring me peace. If I could only accept that “happy” is a just another word like “fair” than probably I could breathe easier. But our culture is so happy-crazed it makes acceptance hard. Maybe acceptance is difficult no matter the thing we must accept to be at peace. That sounds true. If I could wish one thing for myself, it would be happiness. Wishing for a thing is like holding your breath to me. Wishing means waiting. Waiting makes me unhappy. Or neurotic. The Dalai Lama says there are only two places where nothing can happen, yesterday and tomorrow. Today is the place for happy. Today is the time for me to accept it all, the small things, the hard things, the good things and the bad. I have abundance in my life for which I am not worthy, and yet the desire to be happy persists.