By Chris Alvarez
Helen Keller once said, “Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” I thought I was the happiest person on earth lounging on the couch, alone, and drunk, delighted yet miserable. I had given up on work, life and finding a way to better myself.
This was my reality. I was living in Manhattan trying to work except I was exceptionally drunk and miserable most of the time. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I wanted to work on Wall Street but couldn’t figure out how to get the right job, I thought I wanted to work in advertising but couldn’t figure out how to get into the industry. I wanted to make money because I thought that accumulating wealth alone would make me happy.
After constantly changing my mind on what I wanted to do I eventually became a little irrational and began to seek adventure instead of money. I nearly joined the Navy in my search for something to make me happy. (I thought that being a spoiled drunk would make me happy but no one would cosign my insanity and support me financially.)
Apparently I had no idea how to achieve true happiness. I didn’t know myself and without knowing myself I couldn’t know happiness. One Friday morning in March 2010 I had a moment of clarity and realized how miserable I was. For a split second I knew that I would never know true happiness unless I knew myself. Forty-eight hours later I was living at Beit T’Shuvah.
Nearly eighteen months have passed and I have learned to do something I love, and in turn happiness has found me. Of course I still would like to make a lot of money but not for my old selfish reasons. Now my motives are more selfless; to be able to bring the message I have received to others that need it. By making others happy I better myself and attain a level happiness that I never knew existed. I was happy until I got to rehab. No! I didn’t know happiness until I got to rehab.