Yesterday a friend asked me if I was happy and it sparked off a bit of a debate (with myself). Is happiness actually happiness as we all know it? Or is it customised to us individually?
Some of us experience (apparent) happiness, as contentment, believing this is happiness, whilst others have to experience euphoria before they can convince themselves this is happiness. Some people locate happiness with just having the giggles, or tranquility, or by buzzing from things such as booze, drugs, sex, shopping sprees etc..
Then I thought about mania, and mixed episodes, because both are states of mind present in bipolar episodes where extreme highs (which many people who have yet to understand bipolar sometimes assume is happiness, because on the outside we can portray over-excitement, hyperactivity, impulsivity and often “buzz”.
So, I tried to recall a time when I was, what I thought was “happy”, and it was oddly a bit of a struggle. Yes I laugh a lot, but usually at dark stuff or when I’m (ahem) tipsy. When I was in comedy I found I wrote my funniest material when I was down, and stand up gives the illusion that we’re having a laugh all the time.
“Yes of course I’m happy” I tell him.
Apparently the biggest lie the British tell is when we’re asked “Are you OK?” and we answer “Fine”, which leads me to believe that we fool eachother that we’re OK when we’re not, so maybe, we pretend to be happier than we are. Draining as it can be we think we’re better company when we’re “happy”. Which is possibly why the British drinking culture is as it is, however, on a nine month stint on the wagon I was actually at my “happiest” or so I thought, it was as though I was still drunk and people often thought I was, until I was whisked to the funny farm (blind folded). Turns out my “happiest” was probably my worst!
I haven’t been keeping up with moodscope.com which is naughty especially since they sent me a lovely email saying they loved my blog following the Tape the top forty post, but give it a go because it works it out for you!