A Cure for Self-Inflicted Misery

Daily Prompt Placebo Effect If you could create a painless, inexpensive cure for a single ailment, what would you cure and why?

Self-inflicted misery is one of the most prevalent ailments. I’d create a cure for that. A cure already exists, but it’s not painless and is not always inexpensive. My cure would allow patients to see things as they really are and to find the power to make choices that would allow them to escape the misery.

Why do I believe this is important? Life brings with it enough misery, miseries over which we have no control and with which we must contend. Adding self-inflicted misery to the misery already existent in life is just, uh, well, masochistic?

Many people who suffer from self-inflicted misery have no idea that they have created their misery culture themselves and are making it worse by identifying with their own suffering. It’s very difficult for these patients to see anything else, another life, other possibilities. They often use friends and loved ones for moments of pain relief and catharsis before they turn around and crawl back to the hell-hole they’re digging for themselves. Sooner or later, friends and loved ones give up, seeing there’s not going to be any improvement and that the patient seems to LIKE hurting themselves.

For example — a young woman is in an emotionally abusive relationship with a boyfriend she’s been with for a decade. She thinks, “Wow, every evening, when he’s about to come home, I get terrible anxiety. What do I do wrong? How can I fix it so he doesn’t get upset with me? I know he loves me and he always calms down after he smokes a bowl. I’ll just do better. Then it will be OK.”

If she had my remedy, she’d think, “Wow, every evening, when he’s about to come home, I get terrible anxiety. Why? OH it’s because he goes apeshit when he gets here, says mean and hurtful things, yells at me, and then he smokes a bowl and calms down. That’s a crappy way to live. He’s either mean or wasted. This is not a relationship. I don’t want to be in this situation any more.”

My cure would make the patient see that — for whatever reason (which doesn’t actually matter) — the guy is an asshole to her. My cure would help her realize that she can find a life without him. My cure would give everyone suffering from  self-inflicted misery the ability to understand that the past is the past, and their life is in the future.

It would cure the incorrigible drunk; instead of thinking, “Oh man, I gotta’ get a drink. I feel awful,” the drunk would think, “Whoa, this shit is killing me. No wonder I feel awful.” The junkie, the meth head and other substance abusers would experience similar epiphanies.

My remedy would be not only a cure but a diagnostic tool. It could be administered to a miserable person and if they suddenly began to seen objective reality as it is, and begin preparing to take action, it would be clear that their ailment is self-inflicted misery.

My cure would save millions of dollars. It would repair broken families. It would empower pain addicts to transcend their solipsistic preoccupations by showing them that suffering is an absurd way for them to define themselves and is no more real than joy, enthusiasm, happiness, peace, generosity or kindness.

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln.

P.S. WordPress, a placebo is not a cure. It’s the illusion of a cure. I hope you know that, but just in case…


14 thoughts on “A Cure for Self-Inflicted Misery

  1. I like to call it a “pity party.” Too many people would rather wallow in feeling sorry for themselves and having others join them. It validates their own weak character flaws in overcoming personal problems.

    • Yep. And then you confront them and they say, “You don’t understand.” And that is a true statement. I don’t understand and I don’t want to be “understanding.” I want them to go away.

      • I know a few people like this. They think their problems are supposed to be shared with the rest of the world and that we are all supposed to drop everything we are doing at the moment and give them the “poor puppy” routine. Its sad, but sorry, your problems aren’t unique to the world. Get on with your life! 😝

  2. Could it be that such people are just lonely people, having no-one to talk to and so they send out a rescue line for sympathy, although it is not the solution to their problems. I knew someone like that and she annoyed everyone and no-one took her problems seriously, we just humoured her.

    • Loneliness is not self-inflicted misery, so my remedy wouldn’t help them. My remedy is for people who actively hurt themselves and then complain about the pain. Lonely people can often be helped by companionship and sympathy and they might even know they’re lonely.

    • I think it often stems from self-delusion. The last thing those people want is to lose their delusions. I’ve been in that situation, too. It’s not always easy to see things as they are.

  3. Really related to this post, as I am always seeing the self-inflicted misery and telling that one, you are the one creating this …. GROW UP. I know entire families who get off on negativity, which to me, is a plague. Life is tough enough sometimes without pouring on icky maple syrup called “oh let’s play victim”. Martha, truly right on with what you wrote! I could not agree with you more. Thank you. Love, Amy ❤

    • Thank you, Amy! Interestingly, often when you call someone on this, you end up being attacked. It’s a lot like confronting someone about their addiction. I truly wish I had a magic wand (I’d have used it on myself a few times, too!).

      • I agree. It’s tricky. I must listen to my Heart as to the choices I can make. My most sought after behavior is just to not include people like this into my private life. Yet there too, even in my private life this bubbles up to the surface at times. Honestly, as well with me tool. I have not been dealt an easy hand in Life, and there are times it just gets to be too much. Yet the sulking does not last long, as I speak to self, cheerleading me. Loving me. Encouraging me. Yes, Luv, you CAN do this. (smile)

  4. “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
    Abraham Lincoln suffered terrible bouts of melancholy. I wonder, in what context did he say that?
    I know…go Google it.

    • I have depression. I completely agree with Lincoln. I imagine somewhere along the line he had to reach an understanding of his own mind like I’ve had to, you know, make the distinction between unhappiness and feeling melancholy. I don’t know how to explain that very well, but for me it’s been that lesson. Maybe for him, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s