Happiness is Itchy

Dear World  

Please Kill Me, 

As far as I can tell, there are three ways the average person goes about living life… 

  1. Miserably 
  1. Manufactured Happiness 
  1. Engaged Happiness 

Now, for the first, the “Miserable” (les Misérables… if you’re fancy), not much needs to be explained. They’re the people you see grunting on the street, yelling at cashiers, mean-mugging strangers, and/or consistently in a complaining mood. There isn’t much that can be said about these kinds of people that most of you don’t already know.  

Essentially (or more fairly, presumably), these folks have a particular itch up their bum that they just can’t seem to scratch. This can be anything from a rough night of sleep, to a troubled life, or even an underlying mental health issue that they’ve failed to forthrightly address. It’s kind of unfair to lump them all into a category (but f*ck it, I’m going to do it anyway).  

Though the impulse may be to care for and assist these people, the sad fact is that we can’t. They won’t allow us to. For one reason or another, they’ve chosen to address their respective state of misery outwardly—seeing themselves as “victims” of the world as opposed to players on the chessboard of life.   

In their minds, each day is a punishment from which there is no escape. Their unfortunate solution boils down to the fantastical belief that the world (you, me, and Dupree) are against them in every instance of existence.  

The truth is, happiness doesn’t elude them, so much as, they elude happiness. For them, it’s a hill to climb and they refuse to glance in that direction. Due to this, each day is a fight that begins with them already lying on the mat—beaten, bloodied, broken, and defeated. The only way out of this state, is via their own willingness to stand up and face their true opponent… themselves.  

Sometimes, they’ll ask for assistance (the right thing to do) but without their fervent and uncompromising participation in the healing/building process, they’re out to sea—with no hope, no paddle, and an itchy bum. Avoid these folks if you can. Limit contact if you can’t. The underlying danger here is that their inner misery tends to be infectious.  

The second group are whom I find to be the most common. Those who manufacture their own happiness. Don’t let the misleading title fool you. Though it sounds like these people somehow build their happiness from the ground up, the truth is that a lot of it lies within their own minds.  

These are the people who talk big with little evident result, downplay negative realities, and tend to suffer from unseen depression, anxiety, or some other thing (I’m not a psychiatrist, so please excuse my use of the word “thing” to describe medical conditions). On the surface, they seem to have life pretty much figured out and themselves all together well.  

However, when you get a few drinks in them, they can become these insufferable complaining machines—unintelligibly bitching and moaning about this or that. Honestly, they may not even need the shots of courage. Talk to them long enough and the true nature of their problems will eek out like droplets from a broken faucet.   

Instead of addressing these issues, they like to redirect the focus, “My boss this…,” “My landlord that…,” “My bum itches…. I don’t know why,” –these diatribes are usually followed by some statement of obvious denial (ex: “It’s in God’s hands, not mine,” “Fake it, til’ you make it,” “Life only gives you what you can take,” “Itchy bums are all in our minds,” etc… etc… etc…  

For the record, this is by no means meant to insult this particular group of people (okay… maybe a little). Rather, this identification serves to point out some obvious flaws in popular logic. Understandably, not everyone has or wants the bandwidth to take life how it truly is. Additionally, it tends to work for some.  

However, the problem I find is that sooner or later, they’ll unwittingly glide into misery. You can ignore an itchy bum all you want. At the end of the day, you’ll either need to scratch it or apply ointment. Any perceived happiness built, is basically a house of cards. One day, the wind will blow hard enough that all you’ll be left with is brutal reality.  

Fortunately, these people can be helped. I won’t say it’s simple, but if they’re willing to acknowledge their reality, as opposed to leaning on excuses and delusion, things can get better for them rather quickly. It won’t be a magic carpet ride—but at least they won’t have an itchy assh*le.  

If this is you, seek out someone you trust and tell them what’s really going on. The right person won’t judge, dismiss, or mock you. They’ll simply help you scratch the itch. If you know someone like this, don’t help unless you’re asked. Just be willing to listen when they need an ear. Other than that, mind your own ass crack. 

The third group is rarer than the first two. Despite being what many of us strive for, living in engaged happiness is a tricky thing for anyone to wrap their minds and lifestyles around. That’s because (and I’m sorry if I’m bursting any bubbles here) it takes constant work and aforementioned active engagement.  

Contrary to popular belief, people actively engaged with their own happiness can also have itchy assh*les. The difference between them, and the two other groups mentioned above, is that they make it their mission to address the agitation in the upper regions of their rectum. They seek to address or mitigate the issue to the best of their ability.  

Problems that can be solved, are. Problems that can’t be, are accepted and overcome—with the understanding that, should a solution present itself, they’ll do everything in their power to adopt and execute sed solution. Their lives aren’t perfect (no matter if they seem to be).  

Instead, they understand that life has ways of being… life. An unfortunate instance or situation doesn’t define them. A loss doesn’t annihilate their ambition. Struggle doesn’t last forever. And they know that an itchy ass doesn’t have to itch for all time. This, of course, doesn’t come easy. Nothing worth having ever does. It takes time. Practice. And more often than not, it takes having survived misery and delusion (the first two groups) to understand themselves, their actions, and their emotions.  

Additionally, they have realistic goals, dreams, and plans that keep them playing the game. They use positivity as an ointment to relieve the itch and keep them on track.  They’re simultaneously engaged in achieving happiness and attacking their problems with every tool they can get their hands on (I realize I’ve been using the “itchy assh*le” analogy and that “any tool they can get their hands on” may trigger some explicit visuals… I REGRET NOTHING #SaysMoreAboutYouThanMe).  

Anyway, these are just observations that I’ve made in my travels. I thought it may help to share them with any of you struggling to cope in these weird (to put it mildly) times. Maybe it’ll help. Maybe it won’t. But, if you take anything away from this elongated screed, it should be this: Don’t ignore the itch. Scratch it.  

Seek out your goals, aim for them, chase them down, and don’t let an itchy assh*le derail you from true happiness. You’ll be glad you did. 

Until Next Time,

— Antwan Crump

Need something to read while you scratch your bum? Why not Bedlam: A Collection of Things? (4 out of 5 dentists agree… That it’s a book.)

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