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The Root of My Unhappiness

Unhappiness and misery are two of the emotions I feel the most, and obviously, I don't like either one of them. Like most people, I would prefer to be happy rather than be unhappy—but things aren't as simple as that.

Unhappiness (usually coupled with sadness and a hint of depression) is an emotion I'm all too familiar with. It is the worst emotion I have ever felt—much worse than rejection—and it's hard to solve on my own. Finding a solution for it might seem easy to say (which is to just stop being unhappy), but it's quite hard to do so. First off, I have several problems that cause me to be unhappy: college activities, studies, past experiences, financial troubles, and interpersonal relationships are just some of the things that keep me up at night. Not only does the emotion make me want to hate everything, it also makes me easily annoyed to anything. When I'm unhappy, I have no will or passion to do anything, and even if I do anything, it will always end up as a garbled mess—with little to no value whatsoever.

I've tried looking for the root of my unhappiness for weeks now, and I think I have finally found the root of it—isolation. For those who don't know, I'm a hermit, and I both love and hate staying in the comfort of my own solitude. I love to be alone so that I can focus on what I'm working on, but I also hate being alone when I have nothing else to do. Just like now, I have no one to talk to on Facebook, so I decided to write this blog post to kill some time.

Isolation and fear are two different words, if you compare them; however, they go hand in hand in order to cause my unhappiness. I'll talk more about isolation in another post (as it will take more time to write), and I'll focus more on fear, because it's easier to write. I'll break each topic down to 4 parts: the problem, the effects, the solution, and the possibility of solving the problem. As I said, I'm going to focus first on fear.


Fear is the reason why I don't want to trust people with my secrets. Fear is the reason why I have trust issues. Fear is the reason why I don't want to reveal my life story with anyone. Fear is the reason why I can't say no. The feeling itself can lead to so many effects, particularly trust issues and the inability for me to say no when it comes to favors. The issue of trust is caused by fear, because in the past I have shared so many things with my "friends," only for them to betray my trust and spread my secrets out to the world—which can lead to bullying and backstabbing if the secret itself falls into the wrong hands. The fear of trusting people is a serious issue and I still don't have a clue on how to solve it, Quite frankly, I've built so many "walls" around me that almost no one even knows my deepest and darkest secrets. I can only trust a few persons in this world—my best friend Capacia and his entire family being one of the few. I guess the solution for this is for me to just learn how to trust people and trust those who are really trustworthy—not just those friends I've met and I'll immediately tell my life story to (which I did back then, and it was all my fault).

The second (and most dangerous) effect fear can do is that, in a way, it makes me prone to accept favors—no matter what the costs are. This can lead to good things, sure, but it can also lead to abuse, especially when that person doesn't do anything to repay me back. I don't know if it's related to me being a Filipino, but I have this utang na loob (debt of gratitude) system where, if I do a favor for someone, I expect them to do something for me in return. Paying back someone for something that they did is not that bad, honestly, as it's only fair. That person (probably) sacrificed their time and effort (and, in some cases, money) for you, and giving your time and effort to them is the least you can do. It might sound like an odd thing for those who's just heard about it, but it's a clear example of mutualism. You benefit from the other person if and when that person does a favor from you, and that person benefits when you do a favor from that person. It's a win-win for both parties. Nevertheless, it always doesn't end in mutualism, and if it doesn't end in mutualism, it most likely will end in parasitism.

A person who benefits off of others and doesn't do anything to repay them back is, what I could call, a parasite (or a leech, whichever one you prefer). Let me just share with you my recent encounter of it a few days ago. I was tasked by my friend to make a background for their website (which was their midterm project) in Photoshop—nothing more, nothing less. I thought, "It's just a simple Photoshop request, I can do it." Little did I know that I would so make that person's entire project from scratch I handled most (around 90% or so) of the coding and work on the project itself. I spent a lot of time working on that little website. What made the experience worse is that the person didn't know how to properly code in HTML or CSS and yet that person had extremely high expectations. That person wanted me to showcase images in a light box, display multiple pictures (originally 800, stripped down to 90, and finally 30) in a single page. "If you can think of it, and if you want it, but you can't code it, you should learn how to code it yourself," was my main thought, but I was afraid to say so out of fear. So, after spending hours and hours of work on the project, what did it leave me with?

Nothing but more feelings of unhappiness and the feeling of being used. "Why did you do it in the first place anyway?" you might ask, and the answer to that question is none other than fear, the fear of losing our 3-year friendship, to be exact. That person and I have been friends for a long time, so I'd usually do pretty much any favor they ask me. BUT that person has recently started the trend of only talking to me when they need me. Which beings us to the age-old cliché "I only exist when you need something from me."



But I digress, my true friends told me that I shouldn't do that person's bidding anymore. So, under the supervision and under the advice from my closest companions, I blocked that person and removed them from my contacts. (Honestly, I didn't block that person myself, my close friend did it, and I regret nothing.) A sigh of relief immediately followed and I felt a lighter weight on my shoulders. My best friends were right, I shouldn't subject myself to do the work of others just because I'm afraid I might lose my friendship towards that person.

And that was my bold (no pun intended) first step towards conquering my various fears which can bring me unhappiness. I hope that, under the supervision and tutelage of my close friends, I can learn how to fight the fears that go bump in the night.


But that's just the beginning.

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