Tag Archives: happiness

at the close of the day

6 Feb

Nothing like a little something from Uncle Walt to make me feel better when I’m blue. He always knows exactly what to say.

When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d;

And else, when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d, still I was not happy;

But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,

When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,

When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing, bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,

And when I thought how my dear friend, my lover, was on his way coming, O then I was happy;

O then each breath tasted sweeter—and all that day my food nourish’d me more—and the beautiful day pass’d well,

And the next came with equal joy—and with the next, at evening, came my friend;

And that night, while all was still, I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,

I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands, as directed to me, whispering, to congratulate me,

For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,

In the stillness, in the autumn moonbeams, his face was inclined toward me,

And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was happy.

pleasure pathways

4 Jan

Let’s face it, I’m not exactly a ray of sunshine.  I have depression.  I’m down a lot.

But, even when I’m not depressed I don’t seem to take a lot of pleasure from things that are supposedly fun.  Even when I’m not miserable, I’m not really happy either.  My therapist has a theory about this.  My brain might not be wired correctly to experience pleasure.  There’s research being done on the endorphin system.  Endorphins, as you probably know,  are those nice good-feeling chemicals that get released in our brains when we do something pleasurable.

Yeah, I don’t get that.  When the therapist asked me to make a list of things that I find enjoyable or times when I really felt good I couldn’t think of any.  I don’t really have a lot of hobbies because nothing is fun to me.  I don’t like to exercise because I don’t get the endorphin rush, in fact I often feel worse afterward like a crash without a high.  Coffee just makes me jittery.  These signs, among many others, have led my therapist to think that I may be one of the people whose endorphin system doesn’t release the right chemicals in the right ratio at the right time.  My reward center doesn’t pump the good stuff when it should.  And, when there is no reward there is no motivation. It kind of puts a damper on your joy.

Nobody really knows what to do about this.  There are theories about using micro-doses of opioid antagonists to treat it, but there’s no hard evidence that it works.  I’ve been started on one of these drugs but we don’t really know what kind of dosage to use.  It’s a crapshoot.

I really hope it changes something.

I want to be capable of being happy.

I want to feel good.

I want to be a real boy.

Er, girl.

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