Pretty much stole my two cents. Right on, @SurprisedJ . I think that happiness as portrayed by the media and culture is actually shallow and superficial. True happiness for me comes mainly from
and it does seem worthwhile. I find that my case is unique, my doctors say that I am an outlier among people with the illness, well they and other professionals think so, professors seem to think that I am an outlier in the population of us “accursed” as I like to say. The thing is, I didnt choose to be capable of functioning very highly, I am a bit stuck with it and have had to learn to love it. Like tonight I will read a chapter of a book my professor whose lab I am working in wants me to read, and tomorrow I start tutoring for the GRE. Tomorrow is also a 200 rep arms workout.
I don’t really take it that easy, I am sort of hard of myself because I know that I can do things that are daunting, but it makes me happy. Take powerlifting for example- I did that because I could, and I wanted it to be recorded and put on YouTube (which it is) so that I could disprove the notion that all medications make you fat and lazy. Powerlifting is insane. It is dangerous and I did get injured after one year of training, I was out of the gym for about two months and lost a lot of weight. I met juicers and assholes, later decided that I wanted nothing to do with them.
My happiness comes from academia and personal growth- doing my personal missions (mainly exercise goals, like this year I want to get to around 200lbs without going up a waist size) and making the grade in every class, performing in every discussion, often dominating discussions, giving presentations, writing papers, taking exams, ect.- it makes me content and feel a quiet and serene feeling of personal growth, fulfilling my potential.
I feel sorry for people who need to buy a bunch of crap or take steroids to be happy. People who love shopping- people who love drugs- people who crave attention- people who feel the need to hurt others- it’s all not okay. Doing what you are capable of, doing what you are passionate about and doing it well is okay. I support all sorts of passions, from military infantry to doctoral students- as long as it is what you love and good for society.
Now, for us, we have to be aware of our limitations. This is a very serious point; if we are not aware of our limitations, we are prone to episodes and relapses, prone to breaking and becoming unglued. I do not expect everyone to be as ambitious as I am, and I know some who are simply damaged from hard lives, yet they do their best, and that is exactly the same thing that I do- I do my personal best just like they do.
It’s like what Saks said in her book- we have to find the right life. The right life is unique to each and every one of us. I am sort of following the path of Fred Frese- however, I have a side job of being really muscular and proving that we can be athletes even on high doses of antipsychotics. Fred Frese was already done with that- he is a retired Captain of the US Marine Corps. He had been there and done that already. I myself find myself capable of being jacked, which is very rare for medicated schizophrenics, so I just make it part of my persona and part of my life.
“I’m part of you!” said the chicken breasts and rice I ate for lunch. LOL
But to answer the topic, I would rather be deep than just dumb and happy. I am more deep today than happy, and I prefer it, because the happiness I feel is more serious, it’s about worlds of pain and suffering making peace with the real world, it’s about heaven and hell, a godly person would say. A philosopher or literature buff would say that I follow the archetypal hero’s journey- how flattering. I have heard that from someone I trust before. Now I’m getting abstract. Uh oh! I need a citation! I need a statistic! I need data!