Horace Jackson is a returning citizen who has often had trouble finding love, and it hasn’t been until he’s spent 2014 reevaluating his relationship life in which he has come to one startling conclusion…he is a chronically unhappy person. Jackson hopes that this story will help other people, especially returning citizens, who are in the same situation.
“Happiness is attainable,” he said, “but it took me almost twenty years of misery to figure it out.”
He added he had been in and out of trouble for all of his adult life starting with his first arrest when he was only 19. He said he went to state prison in Pennsylvania for four years for assault and battery of an elderly person whom a neighborhood friend had a disagreement with. Upon his release he violated his probation and caught a new charge for selling drugs and received another prison sentence; but this time he was sent to federal prison.
By the time he was in his mid to late 20s, Jackson was a seasoned veteran of the prison system. He eventually went back to prison for a five-year stent, and after successfully completing his probation he moved to Prince George’s County to live with an elderly aunt. Through her he managed to secure a job as a custodian — which he still has three years later.
And through those decades just covered, Jackson said he always had a hard time dealing with people. Some may have blamed his rough childhood in rural Pennsylvania; some may have blamed the system, or his time in prison. Whomever you choose to believe, Jackson says he still doesn’t know — and now finds the issue to be moot.
“I don’t really know where it all came from,” he said, “and I guess it doesn’t matter at this point. I just couldn’t really get together like a normal person.” Who said that he knew there were days where he was not happy, and there were days where he definitely was not sad. He eventually sought help and was able to rule out bipolar disorder, but definitely had a mental imbalance that kept him from being happy a majority of the time.
* Often find it hard to trust other people. Horace says he was so unhappy that he found it difficult to trust other people. Girlfriends, relatives, friends, and co-workers were often distrusted and it was often him versus the world. All of his bad breaks and all of his misfortunes he believed it was because everyone was out to get him.
* Swim in jealousy and resentment. People who are chronically unhappy often find themselves comparing themselves to other people. They often believe that the positive life they should have is being taken by those around him. They feel like not everyone will be happy in life; sadly, they also feel like they are the ones who will be unhappy.
* Fear and worry reigns the day. Chronically unhappy people often believe that what could go wrong will go wrong more often than they think of positive; and rather then “feeling” this emotion like most people, they tend to “live” that emotion.
* Find it hard to see anything right in the world. they have absolutely no problem with finding everything that’s wrong in the world. A chronically unhappy person doesn’t put their energies into positive tangible things as often as someone who doesn’t feel that way.
* Often view life as tough. When a chronically unhappy person is down it tends to be harder for that person to be up. They often view themselves as a victim of life and view their circumstances and the only result of the life they have been given.
There are many more things that you could associate too unhappy person, but the point is that someone who is chronically unhappy have a severely difficult time feeling any other emotion. And Jackson says that even when he is “happy” he still feels a little bit of his old self.
Horace Jackson feels that being a return citizen who once had a hard time staying out of jail, it can become extremely easy to look at things on the negative side more often than not.
He said the first thing he had to do was to figure out why he looked at the world in such a negative light, then he had to figure out how to change that thinking. For him it is volunteering and working hard. Both of those things lead to him being active at his church.
“There have been times in my life where I didn’t know how to be happy,” he said, “but today I can safely say that there are more moments where I actually am truly and genuinely happy. And I look at that as a success at the end of the day.”