Is pleasure the same as happiness? I don’t think so. For me, pleasure is transitory, associated with a specific event. Chocolate gives me pleasure. Sometimes. Fresh raspberries give me pleasure all the time though they’re only available to me in July (I’m aware I can buy hothouse or southern hemisphere raspberries all year round. I choose not to, most of the time).
I’ve been away from happiness for some time now. Crisis impairs it a little, and we’ve been in crisis here for what feels like forever. Let’s say from September 2021 until mid-June 2022. That’s a long time. Short, in universal and lifetime terms, but long when you’re living it.
I’ve been finding it hard to shake off. It doesn’t help that crisis tends to send my neuroses flailing. I am, however, starting to calm. I’m starting to level. My neuroses are starting to retreat to their corners.
The first and most important step was to stop beating myself up for reacting in a human way. Large chunks of my brain still try and demand perfection, and sometimes I still listen. It’s hard to let that voice go. My eating disorder has been with me for forty-two years in varying degrees of severity. It’s the longest relationship of my life, excluding my family of origin. My mental illness is also my family.
It’s hard to let go of things that hurt us. I’m not sure why. It’s a flaw in the system, for sure.
The first step is identifying the problem. That’s perhaps easier for me than most – my brain is almost always the problem.
The second step is doing something productive to fix things, but we tend to fall short there as a species as well. Too easily enticed away from hard work by shiny things.
Maybe we’ve more in common with birds than we thought. Though sharing the ability to fly would’ve been my first choice.
pleasure, one finds a measure of contentment in the structure and control of an ascetic life. a dull, almost-joy comes from a life dedicated to denial. in the final analysis, however, embracing and consuming the wonders of this world tastes better.
(don’t search Google Images using the word “pleasure”
unless you’re open-minded about results)