HappinessCategory: General   Sep 27th 2015  09:02AM   0

It's important to have something to look forward to. For some people, sensitive types or those prone to depression, it's vital.

I learned this from one of my favorite patrons. A recently retired gent who had a serious degenerative disease and loyal wife with whom he was not in love. She was in love with him, however, and in it for the long haul, so he had no intention of leaving her. We traveled together for 3-5 days at a time, every 8 weeks, for about 1.5 years. He liked to plan well in advance because it gave him something to look forward to in-between dates. Health-wise and quality of life-wise, he was facing a slow, steady deterioration and eventual incapacitation. What lay ahead in this man's not-so-distant future would terrify most people. He'd learned to stay mostly in the present. He'd come from nothing, made a huge success of his life, and found great joy in his extended family, friends, and philanthropy. 

As for love, romance, and erotic passion (the things I think make life worth living), he had me. We had a good thing, as good as it gets in my business and it made us both happy for a time. We were both prone to depression (experienced with it, I should say, while successfully circumnavigating it), his a side effect of the disease and mine a genetic predisposition. Mine contributed to my alcoholism and my alcoholism made it much worse, though I've overcome both to a degree most depressive alcoholics don't. I've been incredibly lucky that way, but "success" with clinical depression &/or alcoholism does not equate to happiness. Sometimes "success" is just an extended period without a drink or suicide attempt.

It's been suggested to me, more than once, that my website doesn't portray my true nature or spirit very well. That I come across as harsh and unhappy here, when in person I'm extremely warm, upbeat, and lighthearted. I am all those things, it is true, including harsh and unhappy, albeit briefly and sporadically. The thing is, that's when I tend to blog, unfortunately (or perhaps stupidly, lol). When I'm frustrated or unhappy about something. Which means this blog doesn't paint a full picture of me ... instead, showing my worst side, repeatedly from post to post! 


I'm proud of how far I've come, to be honest. Having learned to utilize many tricks and methods to keep depression at bay, the top two being to have (a) a firm purpose in life and (b) something to look forward to. The former is a constant (complex and multilayered, its details are better left to another blog post), but the latter somewhat elusive.

I've spent the past 2 years on a passion project that has yet to generate the interest it deserves. It's hard to stay motivated putting so much energy into something for so long, getting absolutely nothing back in return. It's a little emotionally devastating. I've also recently had to face a few facts about my potential as a genuine romantic partner. About the odds I'll ever be in a fulfilling, loving relationship or (dare I say it) marriage. 

I've had some interest in that regard recently, not that I have time or room for it in my life right now. But as it turns out, my current unavailability doesn't matter. The point becomes moot as soon as said romantic interest finds out what I do and what I've done for so much of my life. Between my past addictions, history of clinical depression, and 20 years of "sex industry" work, well ... that's all she wrote. Don't get me wrong, these men still desire, admire, and respect me. They just can't welcome me into the fold, unable to see me as a permanent part of their life or extended circle. They can't imagine their friends and family accepting someone like me, and that's no small thing to men of a certain age. By 50, a man's circle is well-established. Having a wife who "fits in" is a practical concern and I don't fault them that. I'm a practical woman, myself.

I consider men lacking significant financial security to have a kind of "baggage" I'm not willing to take on. I loved a man in 2007 but broke up with him for largely that reason (he had no real interest in building or creating wealth or abundance). I have to expect any potential life mate to have his own definition of unacceptable baggage. My history of professional companionship is, by and large, considered to be just that. A history of addiction and depression is more of the same. Degenerative disease is baggage. Crazy in-laws are baggage. Some baggage is worth the trouble, but everyone has their limits and everyone is entitled to them.

I've had a rough year in many ways. For starters, I had major surgery in June. Insurance covered none of it, though it was absolutely necessary, as well as incredibly expensive. It cost more than the average American earns in a year. I paid for it in cash because I had the money, but it was still a blow, and not just financially. I'll be 48 soon, essentially a working adult for 30 years. That said, I've really only earned what I'd call a decent living for 4 of the past 5 (plus a couple amazing years back in Vegas in the late 90s). I was raised solidly middle-class, but my family lost everything in my teens and never got it back. I come from nothing, but I'm privileged in other ways, also smart and hardworking. I do have my challenges, including a back injury I deal with daily. In the grand scheme of things it's minor, I have friends in wheelchairs, after all, but it limits me in small ways and always will, as I'm not a candidate for spinal surgery. 

The issue for which I had surgery in June, is separate and stems from something that happened in my 20s, an injury for which I'm mostly to blame. Though permanent, I caught it in time, making it a minor issue and totally tolerable for most of my life. Three years ago, a reckless and greedy doctor treated the area after assuring me of zero risk. He was wrong and in way over his head. His shoddy work worsened the situation, causing more permanent damage I'll have to feel and deal with, off and on, till I die.

Thanks to a new and amazing surgeon I found this year, I'm now better off. Not good as new, nor even as good as I was for most my life, but better than I've been for the past 3 years (whew). I'll get by fine, and most people will never know it's there, just like with my back injury. The thing is, as I'm nearing 48, fewer options are on my table every day. Fewer opportunities coming my way, even though I may have another 40 years on this planet in this body. Sustaining these injuries, the 2nd at the hands of a now retired, multi-millionaire doctor who I cannot effectively sue or glean any reparations from at all, well ... it's just one more setback. Not just to my bank account, but to my tenuous grasp of a modicum of happiness. 

My dearest patron of the past 4+ years is very ill. He lives a great distance away with a family to care for among other major responsibilities. We're in touch daily through email, and for the past 1.5 years I've been nothing short of awed by the strength, grace, and dignity with which he's handling his ungodly physical challenges and emotionally devastating prognosis. He's a good man and always has been, but he's become something of a superhero to me through all this, and I wish I could say with certainty that I'd rise to the occasion as he has, under similar circumstances. I don't believe I would.

I'm not close with my family except for one sister. I have a 2nd sister I adore who lives far away where she's raising the 2 cutest nieces an aunt could ever ask for. I never get to see them (too busy trying to forge a viable future for myself and further my odds with this creative project). I have no kids of my own and never will. I haven't been in love in 20 years, except for those 9 months in 2007. I might not be again and if I am it may not lead anywhere. I've sustained 2, not insignificant injuries I'll live with for the rest of my life. My doctor is concerned about my stress level. He says increased cortisol wreaks havoc with other hormones, which (as I am a woman in her 40s) are wreaking enough havoc on their own. My few marketable skills are becoming less marketable daily in this economy. My passion, my art, is praised highly by experts, but will very likely never see the light of day or pay one thing for time and troubles. 

Happiness is elusive. I'm genuinely sorry my blogs don't portray the joyful person I am when I'm working, the lightheartedness I feel in the company of such wonderful gents. I consider myself damned lucky to be free of the depression that almost killed me in my 20s. I find huge inspiration in the men mentioned above, my two top patrons especially ... one I'm blessed to be in contact with and the other I'll probably never hear from again. 

When I was younger, I had a vague idea, a hopeful enticing vision, of what happiness might be like if I ever found it. I fell in love at 20 and moved in with him at 23. For a few months that year (1991), I was genuinely happy. It scared the living shit out of me. 

I was a little messed up, back then (lol, can you tell?) and eventually, like an insidious, degenerative disease, I sabotaged the whole thing. I like to think I'd be smarter about it now, that if I were lucky enough to find happiness I'd nurture it and make it grow. Spread it around as much as I could, among friends, family, and philanthropic projects. 

I'm a practical girl. I get through hardships one day at a time and remain grateful for brief moments of joy, which for the past 5 years have mostly been due to good clients and patrons. I'll try to convey that better in the future. I'll try to post here when I'm feeling upbeat and not just frustrated.

It's vital to think positive and create future opportunities, fun, fulfilling things to look forward to. Life is short and getting shorter all the time. This post is quite long, actually ... but thanks for sticking with me. I am grateful like you wouldn't believe. I'm better at showing it in person. :)

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