"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Day 60: Relearning Life

Two months into the project and all is going well. Though I take a step or two backwards every once in a while, it's always after having taken two or three steps forward. So progress is being made.

I think back to my worst times now, after my marriage broke up (i.e. after my wife came to her senses and left me) and wonder how I could have let myself sink so low. I was respected in my chosen field of work; I had money in the bank, two boys who adored me, and a fully functional penis. And yet there I was, huddled on my bedroom floor hacking away at my wrist with a dull paring knife. (Sometimes I think the only reason I'm alive today is that I'm too cheap to buy good cutlery.)

Lots of people had much worse childhoods than I, and they manage to make it through life without the occasional suicide attempt. People have lost everything they own, they've watched their children slowly die of cancer, they've spent their lives surrounded by war and hatred, they've been subjected to these tedious blog postings day after day, and yet they live their lives outside of the orbits of self-pity and despair.

As I sit here today and ask myself how I got to be the way I am, especially given that I don't like the way I am -- that I am, in fact, ashamed of the way I am -- I realize that I got here slowly. Year by year, month by month, day by day. Baby steps have brought me here. I crept up on craziness so slowly nobody -- least of all me -- saw it coming.

And so I'm just beginning to realize that, in a very real sense, the Happiness Project is about relearning how to live. It's about making me somebody I can be proud of.