Do you ever wake up happy?      Every morning, you struggle to muster the motivation to lift your head from the pillow. You sigh and...

   Do you ever wake up happy?
   Every morning, you struggle to muster the motivation to lift your head from the pillow. You sigh and you drag your feet around your cold, lonely little flat with no purpose or desire to seize the day. You dread work not because your job is stressful or you hate your colleagues, but because you feel like spending ten hours outside of the house every day is somehow holding you back from devoting necessary time to following your dream. What is that dream, you wonder? Who the fuck knows anymore? Fame, money, love… something like that.
   You feel like maybe there’s potential for greatness within you, but you don’t quite know whether it will ever reveal itself. There’s a talent for something lying in wait within you, a real uniqueness that could one day propel you into the world you’ve always dreamed of inhabiting, but what it is is a mystery to you. You try to create, to be creative, but you hate all the stories you write and you don’t have the confidence to act anymore. Long ago, you slipped into a pattern of spending most of your day at work and coming home to watch pornography and write mediocre, unentertaining stories about yourself in the third – or worse, the second – person, and you can’t get out of it now. Everything you write sounds like something your heroes would scoff at when you read it back to yourself. If they ever wasted their time reading it.
   You’re not sure anymore whether you hate yourself or you’re just being eaten alive by self-pity. You’re certain you don’t hate everyone else as much as you try to convince yourself you do, or else you wouldn’t be so desperate all the time to impress them, or to take back the bad things you’ve done. You wouldn’t cringe thrice daily, each time remembering some long-passed story about a teenage sexual encounter or a relationship regret. So often, you ask yourself if the world would be a better place if you weren’t in it; then you wonder if anyone gives enough of a shit about the things you’ve done to wish you’d never existed. Probably not. So why are you pondering it?
   More times than you can remember, you’ve promised yourself that you’ll change. You’ll somehow become overnight that guy that everyone turns to for a good, honest laugh or a wise, insightful byte of advice, and you’ll stop pushing everyone away with your lack of empathy or your mixed emotional messages. You’ll become the type of man you only see in films or in books and never in real life – a real hero. But you never have become that man, and until you do, you plan just to continue to make mistakes and then let regret eat away at you after each one.
   Too often, you wish you were back with that one girlfriend who you ruined it with all that time ago. You’ve had girlfriends since her and you have options now, you’re sure you do, but all you want is her. But then, if you really think about it, you can’t even stand the idea of ever seeing her again. If you hated her then, can you imagine how much you’d hate her now? Fuck. She must be a nightmare these days. You need to get a new girlfriend – someone sweet, and kind, and beautiful, and caring. The problem being, of course, that sweet, kind, beautiful, caring girls have better options than a miserable old man trapped in a twenty-odd-year-old’s body. And besides, where do you expect to meet these women when all your time is spent at work, commuting or on the Internet? Twitter isn’t going to help you, it’s full of angry feminists and retarded pro-lifers. The Internet is a swamp that the scum of the earth fly around and all the losers like you sink into.
   At least the paranoia is dying down. You can console yourself with the revelation that you can make it all the way to work these days without thinking some stranger is going to kill you. Most days. You wonder, is this how everyone feels? Is this how we were built? Were we designed to be permanently punishing ourselves in our heads? Forever self-loathing? So many of us seem to do it. It’s an epidemic. Maybe, you often think, it’s the case that mental illness has such stigma attached to it because it’s everyone’s best kept secret, and we’re all terrified that it will get out. It’s certain that on this one aspect of your life, you don’t feel alone. Everyone is at least a little fucked up, you know it; because without it, we’re just not human.
   But still, you feel alone. Like everyone else, you are lonely. It wouldn’t surprise you to find that the whole world was a creation of your mind to stop you going insane, and nor would it surprise you to find that you were a creation of someone else’s mind. You feel like everyone is together in being completely separate. You long for the touch of someone whose love is unconditional and everlasting, but you’re not even sure that exists. Who has time for romance, these days? Who has the energy to kid themselves so?
   Above all this, in so many spare moments, the deepest of all your thoughts, is a voice that repeats itself over and over and over. It’s a voice that you know chants its mantra in everybody’s heads, and only a brave few have fully embraced. It’s a voice whose philosophy you preach, but don’t practice. But you have always wished you could. It whispers, again and again:
Get the fuck over it. Live your fucking life.