There's one thing about myself I've never understood, a personality trait that never quiet made sense to me. Why is that I get so much pleasure out of being miserable? Whenever something sad happens in my life, I snatch the sadness and hold it close, doing my best not to let go, not to let it squirm free of my fierce grip. I don't move on, I don't look forward to the future, but I dwell, as long as I possibly can, on whatever most recently broke my heart. I feel so content crying, sobbing, and wearing dark make-up, that I fear that next step: I fear once again facing happiness.
There was a time in my life that I identified solely with my depression. I was never a particularly happy child. I was serious when I was kid, and very realistic. As I began growing up, I developed an affinity for tales of death and sorrow. I loved reading books that made me cry, and I loved reading realistic poetry about suffering. I began writing poetry when I was in eight grade, and, right away, I focused on sadness. Something about the grimness of life always appealed to me. I wasn't much fond of life in general, and seldom saw past that which was not well with the world. I thought I was a realist who saw the truth clearer than most.
Then, at the age of 15, as I began my sophomore year of highschool, I experienced heartbreak, loneliness, and depression like I never had before. My whole life changed that year as I dove into despair with no way out. I wore only black with thick eyeliner, and each day, I was crying for help, asking for someone to notice me. The only thing that made me me, the one thing I understood about myself was that I was miserable.
After I overcame depression, I was lost. I didn't know where to go. I was no longer in misery, and I was much more optimistic (also, realistic) than I ever was before. I had no direction on life, no identity, no understanding of who I am or what I think of the world. I had more questions than ever before, and I was very confused. Every once in a while, I'd still dwell on sadness, and I chased after heartbreak. It made me feel complete and human like nothing else could. But, as I grew up, it got more difficult. I cried less often, and fewer things could bring me to tears (thus, I was really surprised recently when Kozol's Savage Inequalities made me weep). I'd become a realist: a real realist, someone who knows good and bad, not the pubescent emo "realist" I once was. As I grew older, I learned that things are transient and impermanent, and that life goes on regardless. I've begun praying and following the principle of wu-wei, and I've found it easier to get over things, to move on, and to enjoy life.
Then why does this make me feel lost? I am honestly disappointed when I notice myself getting over something or someone. I feel trapped when I can't cry. I feel confused when I am moving on. What am I supposed to do when logic, instinct, and desire tells me to suffer, yet I feel fine? It would be a lie to say that I enjoy feeling sad. That's an oxymoron. It's no fun to cry, to suffer, to feel torn, empty, desperate, hopeless. I don't enjoy being weak, unable to move, unable to focus, to study, to get out of bed in the morning. There's nothing pleasant about torture, nothing good about being miserable. Only these are all sensations I understand. But feeling fine, feeling neither optimistic nor pessimistic, neither regretting what happened nor looking forward to what will happen: what is that? This is everything I want, everything I've worked to feel, This is my goal and destination, and I should feel amazing; yet, somehow, I am just not happy. I miss my sacred sorrow.
"I know the sorrow is sacred,And I'll never break youI'll softly save you."-- On the Arrow by AFI