“The Bright Sessions is a science fiction podcast that follows a group of therapy patients. But these are not your typical patients – each has a unique supernatural ability. The show documents their struggles and discoveries as well as the motivations of their mysterious therapist, Dr. Bright.”
Over a year ago I published a post titled: “What Makes You Happy?” I had asked people what made them smile and compiled their answers into a single post. At the time it was so beautiful to see paragraphs of the good things in life and knowing that everything mentioned is special to someone. I knew that even if I didn’t have a small patch of happiness of my own like those people, reading about it was enough. Looking back all this time later it saddens me that the magic I once felt in the post doesn’t exist anymore.
Recently my therapist asked me what made me happy, or at least what made me smile. A simple question that obviously shouldn’t have left me as stumped as it did. I tripped along my words in confusion until I found a reasonable answer: I said that reading makes me happy. Which was a lie. A couple years ago, whenever I would read, it would transport me to the world the author created, holding me hostage until the last page. Today, they do nothing for me. In fact, I only responded with reading out of habit. Isn’t it pathetic that I only ever had one hobby, and even that I can’t stand?
Essentially, I don’t have a happy place. Nowhere to hide inside my mind or even outside it. I don’t know if I ever will find one, and if I do, if it will change everything about me that makes me so sad. Sometimes, I don’t think I can wait.
When I moved away from home at the end of 2015, I turned to the book world in earnest. After all, I was living in a new place away from everything and everyone I had ever known. So a hundred fictional worlds became my haven. Going through the school year, I wasn’t bothered at all by my new and intense loneliness- because I had my books to turn to. Looking back at myself, I was only delaying the inevitable.
Listen- I was already sad. I had endured years of self-harm, suddenly moving to another country, moving back to my home and then moving away once more. It had obviously rattled something inside me. But this time instead of wearing my frustration on my sleeve, I chose to put on an indifferent front in hopes of riding through college and the new move. It was like my sadness was lurking behind my hardback novels, waiting for me to get bored of my new home to finally pounce on me. And that is exactly what happened.
Books were my only hobby, the only thing I was “good” at, per se. But beginning in 2017, I developed an unusual aversion to reading. I tried to pick up a book, but the words seemed so pointless, the stories foolish and quite simply, stupid. After that realization, it seemed like everything that I was holding back was rushing towards me, no punches held. And I have never felt as hopeless and utterly sad as I do now.
The upside to this pathetic tale? I finally mustered the courage to seek professional help for my depression. So far, it’s going really, really good. I’m still sad, I still sometimes wish that I wouldn’t wake up, wish that I was dead more often than not. But on good days I can see the other side of this sadness. And on those days I listen to loud music and smile and hope for more.
Drinking a hot vanilla latte on the coldest day in fall. Jamming out to your favorite hit in the car with your best friends. Watching the season premiere of your TV show. Re-reading that book for the seventh time. Racing your friends along the beach’s shore. Taking long walks on the trail behind the park.
It’s human nature to look at the negative side of things, it’s like we’re born pessimists.
Sometimes it’s easier to look at what’s wrong rather than what’s right. It’s easier to stay unhappy rather than smile. So I sent a message out asking for what made people happy, and here are what they said:
“Quotes from authors and music” -Selene
“Playing the piano and hanging out with my friends.” -Shashank
“Losing myself in a world not necessarily my own, be it music, movies, books, games, fics, art. It’s like a respite break, it allows you to relieve the burdens of everyday, even just for a brief time, and recharge and refresh, rebuild the energy and tools you need to deal with it. Imagination is a beautiful thing and it allows you to escape when you wouldn’t necessarily be able to otherwise.” -Aleisha Continue reading “What Makes You Happy?”
Imagine this: Your friend wants to introduce you to a group of people she knows. It’ll be fun!, she insists. Reluctantly, you go along with it. Not for you, only to make her happy. Okay, you’re with this group now. For the first five minutes, everything’s going fine. They’re nice people, they aren’t too bad. And then, one of them says something obscure and seemingly random, and everyone starts to laugh (You know those kind of laughs that gets people bent over, hands on their stomach, gasping for air? Those laughs that are so loud, they’re almost silent, where the joke is so funny that tears are running down their face? The laughs that make people go, Stop it! Stop talking, oh my God, because it’s so funny that it’s actually hurting them? That kind of laughter). Everyone is laughing, and you’re standing there. You’re out of it. You don’t even understand why the hell your friend dragged you here when you obviously don’t belong. Continue reading “What Does Being an INFJ Mean to Me?”