Fear of Happiness

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Cherophobia can be defined as the fear of happiness, joy, bliss, or celebrating. Chero is a Greek word, which means to rejoice happiness or gaiety whereas Phobia in Greek means fear. Cherophobia or fear of happiness is the name given to a specific fear.

Causes of Cherophobia or Fear of Happiness

Cherophobia or fear of happiness generally emerges from a blend of external events especially traumatic incidents and internal predispositions which can be genetics or hereditary. Cherophobia or fear of happiness can be traced back to a particular triggering event; generally a traumatic incident happened at a very young age. Cherophobia or fear of happiness have more perplexing causes that are not entirely known right now. It is believed that genetics, hereditary qualities, and brain chemistry consolidate with life experiences to play a noteworthy part in the development of cherophobia or fear of happiness.

Ah, happiness, that elusive state. Philosophers, theologians, psychologists, even economists, have long sought to define it, and since the 1990s, a whole branch of psychology—positive psychology—has been dedicated to pinning it down and propagating it. More than simply positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life—that is, with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction.

Research shows that happiness is not the result of bouncing from one joy to the next; achieving happiness typically involves times of considerable discomfort.  Money is important to happiness, but only to a certain point. Money buys freedom from worry about the basics in life—housing, food, clothing. Genetic makeup, life circumstances, achievements, marital status, social relationships, even your neighbors—all influence how happy you are. Or can be.

From Psychology Today

 

 

Whilst in the Other World…

Why has the world become an asylum for the criminally and socially insane? On the day that some deranged ISIS follower blew himself up along with twenty-two other people, the angry woman in an English department, I once worked at, got madder, and madder, and madder.

 

“I am so busy,” she announced to the three of us who were not her. “People have been noticing that you three have been going for coffee!”

 

She was on to us. He eyes were revolving in their sockets. Her hair, a throwback to Fleetwood Mac (after acid), was far more deranged than it had been for some weeks. Just to talk to her was to invite a plague of locusts and poisonous toads to descend upon you. I felt sorry for her at first, but time has again taught me that indulging the madness of the socially-insane only exacerbates it.

This woman from the heath was in screaming mode.

So, the crux of her current madness was coffee and where it should be drunk. Twenty-two people had been murdered in Manchester and this delusional old hippy was angry about coffee.

 

I dreamt I had died the other night and that I had been sent to Mallorca. I couldn’t work out whether this was positive or a negative. Take the collection of people who are masquerading themselves as normal in this place. Many of the mentally ill have that hang-dog expression that denotes a lifetime’s devotion to the task of  living amongst others who constantly profess to feelings of happiness. There are smiles on faces and feet can often skip along rather than trudge. I have often seen young teachers look this way; for a term or two. Others, who are more experienced, smile forlornly and wait for it to pass. It’s not the norm for a smile, real smile, to appear on the face of anyone, who has been teaching for more than two years, until Friday morning at the earliest. It has a brief summer until Sunday morning and then fades into the dusk of the week to come.

 

I don’t fully trust people who are constantly happy.

They are either faking it, vying for promotion, know some salatious gossip, or are on drugs. Prozac! However, there is a line. We are mostly only human and there are things that ought to bring some cheer into our hearts. At one ‘happy-flappy’ school, we were informed that we should be happy because we were doing God’s work. Isn’t that cheating?

For the chronically unhappy though, teaching is not a profession to enter into. The job drains you of al those vitals that keep you afloat. In many places I have worked at, I have seen other teachers wearing the same look of penitence. Perhaps this is the look they believe they should wear. It is the look of erosion, the look that has been brought about through the daily wear and tear of the teaching day. It is the look of a people who have accepted the unfulfilling nature of life and have decided to continue with it anyway. They go grey; not just in the hair but in the skin. Teaching is torture and what is worse is that it is self-torture that involves hitting ones head over and over again with a flattened stone or flaying the skin off one’s back. The more you torture oneself the better one must be as a teacher.

Torture and Taught You’ sound a little too similar don’t they?

 

So, I digress. Angry woman was throwing a wobbler and winding up the other departmental members. She was on the edge and ready to jump. OOOPS! She began to freefall into name-calling and fearsome accusations. She even squared up to another female teacher in the way that Anthony Perkins would have done when dressed as his mother in Psycho. I didn’t know how she got to this place, but I recognised some symptoms from my own experience. That’s why I changed my life. I should have attempted to counsel her, to make contact, to reach out as a fellow traveler would do, but, having tried that, I thought it was of no use. Wherever she was, she was in the right and we were in the wrong. Perhaps she was right.

 

A few days have passed now without meaningful communication between our colleague and ourselves. There are middle-distance gazing episodes as people cross in corridors and there is the shutting of doors and the openly secret liaisons between herself and other members of her sect, but there is not recognisable human interaction. The other followers are planning something. It is an open attempt at usurping the head-teacher and replacing him with one of their good old boys or gals. This is their school and they will have it back in its rightful hands.

 

Personally, I am partial to a little revolution and overthrow. I like the sense of something happening, the-cloak-and-dagger dramas and the hushed voices in darkened rooms. There is something conspiratorially creative about a coup d’etat even when one is caught on the wrong side of it, as I have been on a number of occasions. Nevertheless, it brings in fresh blood and refreshes the moaning-minnies with  new courage and reason d’etre. Unfortunately, you have to invest some energy or passion into the affair or it will simply disappear into dust.

If this revolution was televised, it would get a mid-afternoon slot between some Australian soap about kangaroo doctors and Celebrity Lets’s find and sell Some Junk programme. It would make for tea and digestive viewing. I came here for a little peace and the chance to find myself. Instead, I appear to have landed in the middle of an ongoing conflict between the old and the new. Everyday madness is everyday reality.

 

Heaven or Hell? I can’t work out.

 

I go to bars and access their Wi-Fi networks.  The cost for doing this is the cost of a beer. Lots of times I happen to fall into conversations with complete strangers. They have been here since the days of the Raj and I have been here since metaphorical yesterday. The sunshine, the beer, the occasional cockroach, the more frequent mad teacher, and the otherness which is not otherness at all but something so strangely familiar that it is hard to not think that this is all a dream that I have yet to wake from.

 

I am here as it is part of my recovery from spending time in La La Land looking for my marbles. So, I speak from a position of strength on the issues of mental illness, but my illness belonged solely to me and I didn’t seek to colonise the world with it, making every other thing resemble that which had consumed me. I have been standing outside of myself for such a long time that I think of myself in the third-person. I am a work in progress and every day, in every way, I am a getting better and better type of person. By the time I am dead, I’ll be fine and dandy.

 

Many of the strangers I speak to say that they love it in Mallorca. They drift around the bars in the early evening and chat to each other. They talk about community and get quietly sozzelled into the twilight and then they wander back off to their homes or apartments.  That’s what people did in The Stand. They didn’t necessarily get half-cut, although I am sure that some did, they just went home to die. In many ways, I am living in ‘Kingdom’, the world created by Stephen King. I am here in this twilight zone talking to people who are wandering off into their own dusks. Not a bad way to do that, bar by bar, chat by chat, siesta by siesta. I had dreamt that this would be my long walk into retirement, but I don’t think it is.

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I am not ready to be old, or dead, or confused.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by

mike2all

This is the story of what happened to me when anxiety took a grip. I lost my senses, I lost my job, and I lost me. I then turned to writing to find those things that had gone missing. How can you teach when you believe that education is a business that is failing in its primary remit of helping to create a better society? Indeed, how can you teach when you believe that you have nothing of value to pass on? The book/blog is the story of my recovery from the absolute darkness of the early days. It is an Odyssey through my life over the last twelve months and a retracing of my steps to discover how I found myself there. More than all of that, it is a re-evaluation and a rejoicing of all that which I call life. Happy reading and I hope it helps. There is madness, Everyday Madness, and not all of it comes from within.

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