Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Guilt of Happiness

Perhaps the strangest thing about depression is how it makes you feel guilty for being happy. Escape the clutches of depression for any length of time and its spectre will stand in the corner of your eye, tapping its foot and tutting disapprovingly.

Depression is the wife/girlfriend character from any Adam Sandler film.

I’m currently having a good spell following a lengthy funk. A bunch of good stuff has happened and it promises to continue into the summer. And I realised that I was embarrassed to talk or write about it. It feels as if so much of my character is predicated on being miserable that I’m ashamed to be anything but.

Depression makes me feel like I don’t deserve to be happy. Arguably its most dangerous weapon is how it convinces me that any morsel of happiness I achieve will undoubtedly slip through my fingers like so much sand. As soon as good things happen I anticipate their demise.

My book is getting published! (It will fail).

My friends are back from the other side of the world! (Soon they won’t need you anymore).

A girl wasn’t repulsed by me! (She’ll come to her senses soon enough).

Eating that cake was a great idea! (Don't look in the mirror).

Looking back, I can see how this attitude has caused me to sabotage good things. If it’s going to crumble anyway, I might as well make it happen sooner rather than later, right? All too often on this blog I play the victim, but for every perceived injustice against me there is a failure for which I alone am responsible.

I’m scared that if I continue along this road I will eventually put up a shield from which happiness will bounce like the cheque I wrote to buy that helicopter. I’m scared that I will never allow myself to be happy.

I can't let this be my fate.

So here I am, on my blog commonly dedicated to romantic failure, narcissistically miserable diatribes, cringe-worthy social awkwardness, and pictures of ugly cats, to tell you that, for now at least, I am quite happy. Maybe it won’t last. But right now it is a good thing.

1 comment:

  1. I get this. You can't believe that anything good will last because you're a shitty person who doesn't deserve it. You're a fraud. They'll find you out.

    So go the voices.

    A friend gave me some excellent (if hard to take) advice years back. "Don't listen to the depression. IT LIES."

    If only it were that easy!