Slipping Slowly into Madness

I hesitate to write this blog post. Usually my strategy in life is to stay positive, keep chugging ahead, and things will work out. By all measurable statistics that’s exactly how things are going. I have a job that pays well and is full of opportunity, I have a loving and caring wife, I have a house that is well on its way to being paid off, I have money in the bank, and based on pretty much anything else one might objectively and statistically measure success by I’m doing good. The problem is I don’t feel that way. There’s a gap.

I feel like an idiot and a selfish asshole for even complaining. So much is going good for me, but some days I feel hollow. It’s almost like a depression that I can usually get over in a few hours by changing my way of thinking or just forgetting about it. The problem is I’m tired of “just forgetting about it”, and I’m tired of this feeling creeping up on me. The conflict is horrible and it’s not fair for anyone who has to put up with it (mostly my wife).

Sometime this feeling effects my personal life too. There are days when I can’t even begin to give my wife the attention and love she deserves. I’m too selfish and too self concerned with some fucked up feeling of being unfulfilled. God it’s fucked. Worst still is that I am a master at covering it up. I can throw a smile on my face and make almost anyone think I am the most confident and happy person on the face of the goddam planet. Hell, maybe sometimes I am.

The Problem, the Uncertainty

The cause of these undefined feelings are hard to nail down. Is it my life, my career, genetic, mommy and daddy issues, marital, spiritual, or some combination thereof? I have no fucking clue. Sometimes right when I feel like I might have a solution or the culprit of my emptiness identified I realize the actions required to rid myself of those feelings are risky at best – stupid at worst.

Why does the human existence have to be so fucking complicated. Maybe it isn’t – maybe I’m just making it complicated. I don’t know…

Honestly, part of me is afraid. Afraid of making a stupid decision. Afraid of making the wrong decision – especially when my current existence by most people’s standards is pretty fucking good (see paragraph one). I wish someone would just say to me: “Do it. Take the risk. Do “X”. That’s what you should do and you will be happy for it.” I’m no idiot though.

There’s no magical person out there that can tell me what I really need to do to feel full to the brim with satisfaction. If I wanted that kind of lie I would buy a fucking Joel Osteen book.

Vegabond

Also, I keep coming back to this idea of selling everything I own and just traveling and working by doing whatever I can do. Of course I would do a lot more planning than that before I actually took the plunge, but the idea keeps falling back to the forefront of my mind. I haven’t fully developed a plan here, but it keeps haunting me. Is this common? Does anyone else have this?

Every time I meet someone from another country I feel like I become twice as informed. Just having the slightest insight into another person’s thoughts from another place is probably the most interesting thing on the planet. That is definitely a shortcoming of the American lifestyle, but I’ll leave that rant for another post.

What’s keeping me from just doing it? Comfort and the feeling I’ll be giving up so much, in such a good spot, for a big mistake. It could be the biggest mistake or the greatest achievement of my life. The problem: I’m not good with risk. I’ve been calculated and conservative my entire life, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m trading the security of mediocrity for the potential for a life worth living. Any advice?

Marriage

My marriage is rocky. I need to put in some work. We were married too early and been together too long. Sometimes I think that is both a lucky thing and simultaneously the worst thing.

To make things worse: I met a Brazilian woman while I was out of town at dinner the other night. She is 30, interesting, educated, had an amazing accent, eccentric, and was of course beautiful. We hit it off really well, too well, and I developed a shameful crush for her – and she for me. Those elementary school feelings will quickly leave and luckily she is going back to Brazil and I will never see her again, but sometimes I feel like being married so young to a women I’ve known so long has lead to missed opportunities. That’s probably the voice of ignorance speaking, but I know it is partially true. Maybe that’s a blog for another time too.

My wife is great and almost any shortcomings in our relationship are my fault. My failure to accept her for her own personality, my failure to give her attention when needed, and my failure to not marry her if that was the case. I’ve thought about this many times and even if I wanted to I could never bring myself to leave her. It’s the Irish in me, I’ve been told, we will live with something and be unhappy forever if that’s what it takes.

The End

This is getting long and I haven’t even read over it to see if my stream of consciousness writing makes any sense what-so-ever. I feel a little better and if you have bothered to read this far I appreciate it.

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4 thoughts on “Slipping Slowly into Madness

  1. Rattlesnake

    I feel a similar way sometimes… I think it is normal to question your decisions and ponder whether or not you would be better off/happier doing something else. I’m not nearly as successful as you (I’m still in my first year of university despite being 20), but it can be depressing to have to do the same every day. I took a year off to work, and going to work every day, doing the same thing, feeling like I never accomplish anything because I always have to start over every morning, et cetera. I felt crushed by routine, if that makes any sense. What kept me sane were my little “projects”; even if I never finished any of them, I felt like I was working on something that had progress (as opposed to doing the same thing cyclically at work).

    Reply
    1. Atticus Post author

      Yeah, I have a ton of little projects that certainly helps keep me sane. I’ll deep on chugging – the great thing about college that I remember is being around so many ambitious people. Possibilities seemed limitless and everything possible. That is a feeling and freedom I miss.

      I suppose I still have it, but its not as clear as it was then. Makes you reconsider how you define “success” and wealth. Wealthy with money, intelligence, life experience, a feeling of accomplishment, etc.

      Reply
  2. Jon

    I think your feelings about all this are completely normal. You have high expectations for life, as you should!

    I don’t know what that means in terms of actual decisions, and I don’t think anyone can give you a ‘voice of experience’ here.

    It may be worth realizing that this very inner-feeling you’re describing probably has a lot to do with the very international and exploratory life you’ve been living and describing here over the past several years. Could you have more of it without risking the loss of other things that are important to you? I don’t know. I’m pretty sure that no one does. But while you’re feeling the angst you describe, it’s good to realize that, more than most people, you’re already living a lot of the kind of life you’re envisioning (with your many travel experiences). Not completely and radically – but at a pretty high level. And the angst itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing – maybe it’s the seed of additional fulfilling experiences ahead. (I’m not talking about the Brazilian chick. 🙂 )

    Reply
    1. Atticus

      Thanks Jon. As always you are the voice of reason and come through with very solid advice. Sometimes it just helps to get these little rants down on paper (blog) to start feeling better about them. One of the advantages of blogging anonymously I guess – you can sound crazy with minimal risk haha.

      Reply

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