I actually had someone tell me straight out that she was unhappy, wanted to be happier, but was unwilling to do a single thing to change. Not. One. Thing. Yeah, let me just get my magic wand.
Another who finishes every thought with either, "It's just one thing after another" or "I can't win." I've got news for him - life is one thing after another. It's true for everyone. But that's no reason to refuse to see the good that's also there.
And another who has been announcing for literally nearly a decade that she is on the verge of death and that the last week has been the worst week anyone has ever had and that she is in the worst pain anyone could ever experience. Well holy hell, you can't be dying for years (unless you count the fact that you are technically moving toward death from the instant you are born). And pain and trauma can only escalate so much - every single week simply cannot be the worst week ever. And guess what? Everyone in her life keeps a wide berth because they're freaking worn out with it.
It's my job to listen and to hold all that sorrow and rage and disappointment and to guide people toward something a little more productive than just feeling bad. But when I watch people building a self-fulfilling prophecy, refusing to take any responsibility, and essentially vowing to stay unhappy, it wears on me. And for whatever reason, I wasn't getting through. Sometimes I can. Actually, often I can - I'm a pretty decent shrink. But when the wave is that high, it tells me one thing. I need a break. I need to re-group, breathe, and clear my head. Even if only for a few days.
My house is clean, my laundry is done, my paperwork is caught up, my car is packed, my reservations are made, and I'm headed out to the South Carolina coast for a long weekend. Just me and the ocean air. Because I know one thing - I'm in charge of my own happiness.