Ramblings

Where’s my happiness? Part 2

Will Meyerhofer, JD MSW

Will Meyerhofer, JD MSW

Last week I shared my search for happiness story with you. (The tl;dr version is – I was unhappy. Found peace. Now I’m happy.) Thank you to everyone who wrote me, for all the love, support, and internet hugs!

This week, I’m so thrilled to welcome a very special guest, Will Meyerhofer, JD MSW, to continue this conversation about self-esteem. I’ve been following (read internet stalking) Will for some time, so I’m really excited that he agreed to sit down for a chat with me.

Here’s what you need to know about Will: he is the author of “Way Worse than Being a Dentist: the Lawyer’s Quest for Meaning” which was published in the fall of 2011. He has also written a book introducing and elaborating upon the central concepts of psychotherapy, “Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy,” which was reissued as a paperback in December, 2011. Will writes regularly for Above The Law, and maintains a blog about life, the law and psychotherapy, at www.thepeoplestherapist.com.  He attended Harvard College, the NYU School of Law, and the Hunter College School of Social Work. From 1997-1999, Will worked as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell. Since 2005 he’s been a psychotherapist with a private practice in downtown Manhattan and a somewhat inadvertent speciality in working with lawyers. Will’s new book, a comic novel about a psychotherapist who falls in love with a blue alien from outer space, is called “Bad Therapist:  A Romance.”  For more information about Will and his practice, please visit www.aquietroom.com.

Now without further ado… (more…)

What is this thing called happiness, and where do I find mine?

 

Some time ago, running a million miles an hour, I realized that I was really unhappy.

I mean, really, really unhappy. While on paper, everything looked fine (work, home, relationships), in the pit of my stomach I knew something was wrong.

First, I blamed everything around me: the hours I was working, the type of work I was doing, the difficult clients, and uncooperative economy. Then my beloved dog died, and I wrote off my unhappiness to grief.  It took some time to recover, but when the grief went away, I was still really unhappy.

I threw myself into one hobby after another, looking for something that would make me happy.

I learned to cook, to code, to sew. I watched everything I could find on Netflix. I read one book after another and still … nothing. I watched a ton of TED Talks and still nothing resonated. I read Godin, and Gladwell, and Daniel Pink… still nothing.

Then I tried the self-help arena. I practiced daily affirmations and learned about the law of attraction. I read article after article about happiness and passion and what it means and how to find it… nothing worked.

Hypnosis? Tried it. It was nice for a few minutes, but no lasting effects.

I let a friend drag me to some kind of seminar, which turned out to be a cult. (I’m not kidding).

I tried returning to my religious upbringing, and when that didn’t work, I investigated other religions. I even went to see a shaman who chanted, waved feathers at me, and then and spit-sprayed me with fire and rum. (I promise this is all true).

I was determined to find a solution.
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