1 / An Introduction

I don't expect it to end for a while.

The thing about misery is that it's so easy to label others as unhappy fools, but that says more about me than anyone else. Why am I so worried about if someone else is miserable? It feels perverse—as if by labeling someone else as unhappy I can elevate my own position.

It's a joke.

We're all miserable and we always have been since the beginning of time. That's not me being pessimistic—every ounce of greed, lust, envy, and hatred exerted by a human has been driven by misery. For some reason, we're not satisfied with the life our Creator breathes into us. Whether or not you capitalize Creator doesn't matter—there must be a source of life just as there is a source of misery.

Every bad action—whether it's being a dick on the road or murder—comes from the same birthplace. Misery. It's a plague that tries to bring all of us down in any way possible. It wants you to spend your day planning how to make everyone around you miserable, too.

It's not easy to tell when someone else is miserable. Outer appearances are not the most reliable indicator, and I must caution you of that. It's easy to observe others and say, "That woman is miserable. She's rich, buys nice things, she's vain and cares only about her appearances—she must be so unhappy."

That's only a way to placate your miserable self for not living the life she lives. That means you desire what she has and envy her for the fact you don't have it. Do you really expect your little bit of complaining to bring you to happiness?

Misery, as you'll discover throughout this treatise, is something you understand by looking inward. You have an incentive to believe that everyone else is miserable—if they are, it seems like you're happier relative to them. It's much more difficult to look at yourself in the mirror and say with complete honesty that you're miserable and that's why you do the things you do. There's no incentive to do that. In fact, it destroys you. It kills your sense of self.

If it does, that's the best thing that could ever happen to you.

The sense of self that's killed when you realize how much of your actions are driven by your own inability to be content is a false self. All of the measures you take to placate yourself are to no avail. They're useless, yet you identify them quickly in other people. (Only for the purposes of calling them out.)

Instead of that, call yourself out. What you're about to read is a collection of observations on misery. Sometimes it's my own misery, sometimes it's the misery of others. I'll try to bring solutions to the table, though I can tell you now what it comes down to:

Intention.

Do you know how easy it would be for me to put away this writing and go back to feeling bad for myself for not writing enough? Oh, what a worthless life I might live if I could only muster up the laziness to indulge in my own misery. Maybe I could even bring a few friends along for the ride, and we could all wallow in sadness together.

It takes deliberate action every day to decide not to be miserable like so many people around me. I know they're around you, too. That's why you've picked this up and continued to read it.

Before we go any further, however, you have to make a choice. Between happiness and misery. Between good and evil. Ask yourself, and be honest with yourself as you do:

Will you choose life?

Or, will you choose death?