There are times when I feel really happy, but at that time I know it’s just temporary, because I’m going to go back to being fine. And there are times where I feel unhappy, and I know it’s going to go back to normal. I’m never constantly fucking happy, ’cause that would just be insane. I don’t think anyone is constantly happy and if that is the case, I don’t want to know you. ~Felix Kjellberg, a.k.a. PewDiePie
Yes, I am a fan of PewDiePie, along with 52 million people around the world who are considerably younger than me.
Really, though, I’m a little kid in size 8 adult shoes so it shouldn’t surprise you.
PewDiePie is a Swedish YouTube celebrity who owns and operates a gaming and entertaining channel. His real name is Felix Kjellberg. I’ve been following him for quite some time. He recently made a video entitled “Forced Positivity” which really struck a chord with me.
I felt a bit guilty for posting my negative experience with my counselor. In the deep recesses of my mind, I thought “how dare you be negative on your blog? You are supposed to be positive and funny at all times. This is what ‘White Padded Room’ is all about.”
Then I saw Felix’s video today and realized that I’m not an entertainer, I’m a real human being. Like him, (minus 50 million viewers) I am human and have emotions that are on a continuum from extreme depression to extreme elation, with “fine” being in the center.
And I thought to myself why not post the negative along with the positive? We humans are all in the same boat and are incapable of being happy or elated all the time. It’s not a natural state to be in. My overall goal is to make you laugh at me or with me. For me, laughter jogs me from “depressed” or “sad” to “fine” or “happy”. These emotions are not fixed. We need them all. Our culture pushes positivity. Shit, our culture SELLS positivity.
Kjellberg quoted the following:
I believe the strong cultural focus on happiness and thinking positively is actually making us less resilient.
The next point — and this is very important to me — emotions like sadness, guilt, grief and anger are beacons for our values. We don’t get angry about stuff we don’t care about. We don’t feel sad or guilty about stuff we don’t care about. If we push these emotions away, we are choosing not to learn about ourselves. We are choosing to ignore our values and what is important to us.
And the last point, when we tell ourselves to “think positive” and to push negative or difficult emotions aside, it won’t work. It doesn’t work. ~Susan David
Semnani, N. (2016). A Harvard psychologist explains why forcing positive thinking won’t make you happy. The Washington Post.
Think about it. If you’re not positive and smiling, you’re not ok. Do you feel the pressure? I sure do. One important thing that my illness has taught me is to be honest about how I am feeling. Actually, there are other things too. I no longer feel guilty that I do not fit into society’s prescribed standard of behavior, dress, and way of thinking.
Unfortunately, because I am considered “strange” and have lived a large portion of my life in isolation, I have few friends. But I am resilient. I’ve developed a very odd pair of lenses through which I see and translate the world around me. Well, the part of the world that I can see, anyway. I have a year-round Christmas tree and 6 stuffed bears of varying ages and sizes. They all have names. I have learned to anthropomorphize inanimate objects in order to feel less lonely.
Oh shit, wait, that mouse is not dead. Hang on.
OK that’s better. This is the first rabbit I ever made. I haven’t named him yet and am totally stuck.
So anyways, the point I was trying to make, is that I was experiencing some cognitive dissonance after posting my experience with my counselor, but after watching Felix’s video this morning, I was reminded that it’s ok to be fine, thenbereallymadandwriteaboutitonabloglikeseriouslyandfunnybutoverallseriously.
Fuck you spell check.
Today the scales are tilted slightly in favor of “not fine.” And that’s ok.
Felix’s video for anyone who is interested:
This is great. I agree, there is a whole spectrum of emotions. And there is a whole spectrum of ok too! And we can be ok in some areas and not ok in others. We are human. We are growing, fluid creatures. And we are never fully self aware. Never fully aware of our own depths and fully aware of our own emotions. The fact that you’re posting this is wonderful, the fact you’re in counseling is wonderful…i think everyone can use more emotional vulernability. Myself very much included! Thank you again for sharing!
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Im a loner by nature. It disturbs me at this age, since most of my friends tell me (as do most discussions on aging) that we need a network of friends (eeek) so that if we have problems we can discuss them. noooo, we don’t.
The idea of someone calling you up once a day to make sure you’re okay, or wondering why they haven’t seen you lately, makes me nervous.
It implies that we all have to keep schedules and let people know when we’ll be out, and that means explaining WHY, and for how long…
I was tethered to that kind of life until I got married, and have never regretted snapping that cord.
Like everyone else I have blue days and good days, and I wade through lowlight winter depression yearly. Knowing why, and knowing it doesnt last forever gets me through it. So does Vitamin D.
Im an up and down sorta person, but it doesn’t show on the outside, and my battles with it are manageable.
Love the rabbit, and LOVE the happy face at the top.
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Thank you for sharing Judy! I completely agree with the idea of someone calling to see if I’m ok – makes me really nervous too and is a major pet peeve of mine. Just because society prescribes it doesn’t mean we have to swallow the pills, is what I say. Yeah, with the bird I couldn’t resist, glad you liked the rabbit which is I think 25 years old. 🙂
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Reblogged this on Pearl's Pearls and commented:
There is a lot of good, honest truth in this blog post from the White Padded Room.
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I used to fall for the “happiness is king!” ideology all the time, but I agree with you and Felix. It’s a fake.
Charles Dickens wrote a Christmas story called “The Haunted Man” in which the main character, a man haunted by strong memories of deep sorrows, gets visited by a spirit that offers him the “gift” of having all his bad/sad/hurtful/etc. memories taken away. What happens is that his good memories quickly follow. And his gift spreads to people he comes into contact with, including a family that is dear to him and whom he has always admired and envied their more positive outlook on life – and it quickly sours them too.
Everything ends well, with the gist of the story being that our hard times and hurts are as important as our easy times and joys. The joys are not as joyful without the sorrows. That we need them both.
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Thank you Pearl for your commentary! That book sounds like an excellent read. I must add it to the list I’ve recently started. 🙂
OK Harold it is! Thanks for your feedback! I will really, really try to read the book. I do have a library across the street from where I live so if I can make it outside and if they have the book I’ll give it a read. :_
The rabbit looks like a Harold. And I really like the points you made in this post. You should read the book “Veronica Decides to Die” by Paulo Coelho… really fascinating look at breaking free from the expectations of society.
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