How many times will it take doing the wrong thing before learning from our mistakes? For me, it seems immeasurable. At some point or another, I have to ask myself… why? It’s not like I enjoy inducing pain upon myself yet for whatever reason when a familiar situation arises and I have the opportunity to address it differently than before, I still fall into the same patterns.
The intrinsic internal struggle of choosing what I want rather than what I needsupports humans’ tendency to pick pleasure over pain. However, to our own demise, the things that feel good usually aren’t good for us. The same can be said about things that feel terrible. For example: going to the gym, no matter how tedious or difficult, is more beneficial than a night on the town getting shit-faced. A big difference between the two activities is that the first (though the initially painful) can cultivate long-term health fitness. The second can generate instant gratification but nothing long lasting. My perception of happiness, pleasure, and all things good is rooted in this momentary existence.
It’s like ecstasy. Total enchantment followed by a comedown. So again my question is why. Why risk facing extended periods of sadness, grief, or depression for a vanishing euphoria. I’m not looking for the answers biologically. I am curious about why someone would instinctively subject themselves to something they know very well will not provide any long-term satisfaction. During my quest for answers, I fumbled through some favorite quotes of mine under the penname R.M. Drake. The quote reads,
“And just like that, before it even began it was over. The moment I thought I belonged, I found myself back where I started and I thought… how in the hell could anyone keep their sanity playing this game. And the answer was simple. We were all will willing to die a little for a chance to be loved.”
The quote quite eloquently answers my why question. Whether we crave human connection, validation, or actualization, we are all willing to indulge ourselves.
Why?Because we want to feel good. And we want to feel good all the fucking time. It’s an addiction. Sometimes I wonder if my own debauchery will stunt my progress. As the Queen of Indulgence in my Vices, I’ve become aware of two consistent feelings after my pleasure seeking antics. The first is an awful lingering feeling. It’s a mirage in a desert. It’s as though I am trying to grasp a hold onto something that no longer exists. It’s kind of like a comedown. It’s the feeling you get when you wake up in the morning and you are struggling terribly to recall the paradise you dreamed of. The second thing I feel is guilty- usually a result of whatever selfish ego centric decision I made.
My goal is to seek awareness and ultimately ditching this foolish fantasy. I think if we can strive for humility when it comes to indulgence in our vices, we will feel more balanced. Sure, everyone wants to feel loved. Everyone wants to feel wanted. Everyone wants to feel good all the time but it’s unrealistic and inevitable that we are eventually going to feel shitty. We are going to mourn. We are going to cry. We are going to feel dejected. We are going to feel hopelessly despaired. The sooner we can accept that not every moment is going to be rainbows and butterflies, the better emotionally balanced I think we will be. Moments of discomfort, misery, and loneliness are really quite normal. I think when we learn that it’s okay to not be okay, we will truly find peace within ourselves.
Photo Credit: Helen Estrada