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Feeling down? Well, bless your heart. Aren’t you a loser?

June 26, 2011

Not really, but that’s a sentiment I hear all too often.

“You can choose to be happy! You can choose to be independent and not have your mental state determined by whether your husband is around.”

And if you strip away the naivety and dismissal of logic, that sentiment is actually kinda right on. You can choose to be happy. Except when you can’t.

Some folks aren’t so lucky. Everyone is an individual, and everyone has a different breaking point. Some folks thrive on their own. Hell, I met a room full of women who believe the only point of marriage is pumping out sprogs, and the only role husband plays is providing the genetic sample to make a baby happen. Those women aren’t friends with their husbands, and though they might have their own kind of emotional bond with their husbands, their lives are no better or worse without him around. I believe there were a fair number among them who specifically married Navy officers in order to ensure their husbands would be gone. Frequently.

On the other hand, some of us actually dig our sig-o’s. Some of us enjoy the company of the person we consider our BFF. Some of us get a little down when it’s been two months since the last phone call or e-mail, and the a/c is broke dick, and the kids have cycled through two months of shared colds and fevers. We got married because we looked forward to a partnership but knowing full well the life of a milspouse means you’re often partner-less. So when our sig-o’s are gone, life is not ideal. Life is not easy. You have all the pressures of married life and all the suck of the single life. Add to that often being located away from your built-in support system, and voila! Recipe for feeling bummed.

The thing I agree with in the statement “you can choose to be happy” is that, yes, you can choose to be happy. You can choose to stick your head in the sand when the stress is overwhelming and crap is hitting rotating blades. Sure. Sometimes it even works. Worked great for me during YodaMan’s second deployment.

Regardless of the personality that can choose to be this way and follow through during multiple deployments and underways over a decade or more — whether that’s incredible strength and compartmentalization or incredible shallowness and emotional frigidity — the sentiment above has a humongous flaw: it does not take into account that everyone is different, and in so doing, it demonizes those whose thresholds don’t quite meet the exceptional standards of the speaker.

It also accuses those who are not as “strong” of not being independent. So there’s a dual insult implied here. If you can’t choose to be happy, then you are a weak, sniveling, dependent fool who turns into a mushy pit of sob and doom every time the ship leaves port.

And that, quite frankly, is a steaming pile of maggot-infested bullshit.

I can maintain my own happy self. But I do it because I have this blog to bitch and whine and get shit off my chest. This life is challenging and often frustrating, and being able to snark about it takes away some of the pressure. Even when this blog was young and fresh and pimply-faced, with nary a reader and plenty of echo, I felt better posting my wank sessions here. The venting made this life a little more tolerable.

Makes. This blog is how I survive.

Each person is entitled to his or her own method of getting through it. If that’s playing ostrich and pretending like things aren’t more difficult, sometimes lonely, occasionally frustrating, and usually chaotic, so be it. Ostriches can thrive. If that’s popping a happy pill every day, getting therapy, keeping a gratitude journal, popping out daily affirmations, etc., awesome. Go for it. More likely you’re somewhere in between, relying on the infrequent glass of wine, night off care of a babysitter, and fuck-bomb-infused bitchfest.

To each her own. Because we’re all different.

And the next time some naive or judgmental bizatch declares Thou Art Lesser Than, kick her in the girly junk. Figuratively. Literally tell her to kiss your pucker hole.

Srsly.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2011 4:20 pm

    Ya know.. there are times when I make myself cheer up – when I make myself get up, get off the couch, whatever. But I resent – RESENT- being told that I’m weak because I can’t be happy clappy, skipping in the blossoms, farting fairydust enthused. Every day is different. Some days are great! some days are just ok. and some days suck hind end.

    So when someone tries to tell me that “I can choose to be happy”… I wonder. I can choose to appear to be happy, I can choose to TRY to be happy. but that doesn’t always work. But deep down, am I? Isn’t it like being on stage, or being interviewed for a job, where we appear to be something we are not. Lying to someone else is one thing, lying to myself… pointless.

    LAW

  2. June 26, 2011 10:47 pm

    Thank you for this. This week has been full of suck and I have been pretty frustrated with everyone and everything.

  3. June 27, 2011 4:22 am

    I think there are a lot of people that are happy because they treat everyone around them horribly, then they wonder why the people they’re around can’t be happy. I’ve been trying to get this through to some of those type of people in my life, but when I try to prove my point, it doesn’t work on them, which makes me more angry & aggravated at them. I’m glad to know its not just me, thank you for writing this post.

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