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Taking Responsibility For My Happiness

I had a rough weekend, and my husband has a hard time too. I don’t like the way my illness affects him, and I wish it didn’t. Sometimes I don’t tell him what I hear because I don’t want him to worry about me, but he always wants to know about it when I hear voices. We talked quite a bit over the weekend about managing the voices. Neither of us wants to split up over this, so I know that I can’t give up.

Yesterday I sent John an email while we were sitting next to each other getting a pedicure. I heard some voices before we walked into the nail salon, and I had started responding in my head to what I was hearing. I took some notes on my phone about what I heard and emailed the notes to John afterward. They were talking about taking responsibility, and I heard someone say We want you to take responsibility for causing the downfall of his company. That means telling the truth. I tried to explain this to John by telling him how I had submitted an online tip about a former boss when I lived in DC. My voices were telling me that this tip caused the company’s downfall. I have no idea if that’s true. I never heard anything about it from my boss. My husband said it was ridiculous.

I thought about what it means to take responsibility for something. In Buddhism, we take responsibility for our own lives and our own happiness, particularly by not blaming other people for our circumstances, and by not seeking happiness outside ourselves. I have a tendency to be swayed by what I hear. Especially this weekend. I let the voices affect me, and became depressed and at one point, even a little paranoid. The paranoia went away. The depression also passed, but I need to be able to cheer myself up, and not allow myself to be influenced by what I hear. A few months ago, I met with a Buddhist leader and discussed my issues. She really encouraged me not to give up on myself. I won’t!

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