Happy being unhappy —

Though I wouldn’t call myself an artist in any professional sense of the word, I am rather left-brained.  It would seem that often madness and emotional turmoil go hand in hand with a heightened imagination and deeper need to nurture the soul through creative endeavors.

Growing up, my father always played the Blues.

Though he doesn’t make as much music anymore, as a child I was constantly surrounded by musicians from his time touring before he met my mother.  We constructed a wall to block off the family room area and built a studio.  At one point I owned 11 basses, 1 upright bass, a mandolin, a bouzouki, a banjo, a harmonica, 2 keyboards and a host of smaller, eclectic instruments (as well as all my father’s guitars).

Also a night-owl like me, I remember my father awake until the wee hours of the morning listening to music through headphones turned up so loud that I could still hear the faint melody through my bedroom walls.  He was always so excited by the interest I had taken in making music.

I still make music every day.  I also draw, paint, record…perhaps the thing that draws me most, however, is my writing.  When I was younger, I wrote thousands of pages about the fantasy world I dreamt I lived in on my blue-rubber iBook.  I wrote so much that I had to get an external hard-drive – it’s funny to think how computers have progressed over the past 15 years.  This world I visited each day inside my head was so real to me I have to wonder if, in some other reality, it was not.  Though I have abandoned my fantasy world for a more realistic, somewhat existentialist genre of writing, my words have never lost their importance in my life.

Now fast-forward to when I was 20 years old and…

I accidentally committed myself.

But that’s another story entirely.  However, this is the one time in my life when I was prescribed psychopharmaceuticals.  For about a month, I took the medication as directed.  To be honest with you, yes, they did work.  I wasn’t depressed anymore.  I didn’t feel everything so desperately to the core of my being to the point of fearing myself.

But I didn’t feel anything anymore.

I wasn’t depressed.  I wasn’t happy.  I wasn’t excited.  I wasn’t afraid.  I couldn’t feel love.  And I could not love.  And this, to me, was just no way to live.

I wasn’t inspired anymore.  I didn’t create anymore.  I felt no drive to release the bleeding color from my mind and onto paper.  I had no passion.  So I stopped taking them.

What makes life worth living

is the fact that I feel 


so deeply that

it sets fire

to my soul —

It’s hard for many people to understand, just as I’m sure it’s easily understood by many others like me.  But I really am happy being unhappy.  And as hard as it sometimes is to survive,

I wouldn’t trade my depression

for all the happiness in the world —


7 thoughts on “Happy being unhappy —

  1. I get it. I hear this all time from my patients who suffer from depression, go on an antidepressant, then complain they feel like robots. Balance is the key. I say to them to do what is best for them. Is it better to feel so intensely that you have no filter? Or feel less ? I encourage people to stay on antidepressants if we are working on something difficult in therapy. It makes the process easier and the cognitive work can get done. After that, they can cut loose. That being said, biological depression is a bitch.


    1. I understand your point of view (especially as a therapist), but I do have to say I have always been responsible for myself and my own feelings and made sure that they do not adversely affect those around me. (Except, perhaps, my husband – my poor, poor husband.) When it comes to the question of “quality of life,” I’d have to say that in my particular situation, medication, at the time, really made life not worth living. I need to feel. When I don’t feel, I don’t create. When I don’t feel, there are no words.

      But I think it all comes down to one’s ability to manage their own situation and…”cope.” For example, I have a neighbor that lives off the State (rent/food/healthcare). Every few weeks she overdoses on psychotropics and is hauled off to the hospital. When she’s zoinked out, she will knock on my door incessantly with inane comments because she is bored and lonely. I permitted myself to ask her to stop once, and she stood on my doorstep calling me a “selfish c*nt” and a “wh*re.” So I informed her I was calling the police non-emergency number to have her removed – so she called 9-1-1 with no explanation (which I think is a crime). City and county police answered both calls. I was informed that, “I was young and healthy, she was a sick old lady – deal with it.” Actually, when I informed them that she had called me a “wh*re” one of the officers had the ignorance and callousness to ask, “Well, are you? Then don’t worry about it.”

      Now, I don’t think that’s fair. Who are these people to pass judgement on my health? I am in quite the same mental situation as her, though I choose to deal with reality. I choose to be strong. I am no stronger than she is, intrinsically, though I decide to face my problems. I am a burden to no one. Why should I have to set my own emotional well-being to the side in order to “take care” of someone who is not only a stranger but also hurtful to me and an abuser of the system? Why should I (we, the people, the government, the world) give her a free pass because, in my same situation, she decided to depend on meds and use them as an excuse for her socially (and morally) unacceptable behavior while she is strung-out?


      1. Agreed. Choosing to be strong is good, and I definitely get it. Your a creator, and your job here on earth is to create and be you. That being said there is something to be said for bad gene loading. Sometimes, not always but sometimes there is better living through chemistry. I respect your choice.


    2. I’m sure you’re right. Unfortunately, psych-care is expensive (from psychiatry to therapy) – especially without healthcare. If I were fortunate enough to have a therapist for any length of time, perhaps between us we would be able to experiment with different medications/therapies/combinations and land on something strong enough to help me while “natural” enough not to come between me and my feelings. For the time being, for better or worse, I am who I am.



      1. Oh, wow, thanks! I’m sort of new to the whole WordPress site (anybody remember LiveJournal!?), and sometimes I start clicking buttons that pop up and menus that swipe across, and I don’t have a handle on what I’m doing. So, sorry for the delayed response…

        But I totally appreciate it, and that’s very sweet of you! I don’t know what I could do for you, but I’m here as well ^^


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s