Addicted to melancholy

Lately, I’ve been noticing that I kind of am addicted to sad stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I have a positive look on life. I’m pretty happy right now, it’s just that I really like sad music. I like feeling some sort of sadness. Melancholic. It makes me feel alive and it’s the only feeling besides anger, that I recognize when I’m feeling it. Other feelings just confuse me.

I didn’t have a happy childhood. Ever since I can remember, I felt sad, alone and hurt. As I got older, I felt a lot of emptiness. I can remember this one day at school. The teacher thought us about the basic feelings humans express. I remember asking her: “Is feeling empty also a feeling?” Some girl smirked when I asked this question. The teacher didn’t really know what to answer.

At this time, I just move into my first institution. I don’t know how to call this in English, it’s like a foster home, but with many different social workers working in shifts. In other words: There were a lot of “surrogate mothers”.

Anyway, growing older and older, I kind of accepted these sad, melancholic feelings as a part of who I am. I love New Wave, I find the darker compositions of Mozart the most beautiful and I have never ever composed a happy song on my piano. They’re all a bit sad, melancholic.

You may think that I’m depressed by saying all this. I’m not. I love life and try to get as much out of it as I can. I joke a lot and laugh a lot. Hell, when I’m talking about my worries to friends I tend to laugh a lot while talking about it and even make jokes around these situations. Often my friend stares at me like: “The fuck are you laughing about, what you just told me isn’t funny at all!” But that’s how I cope with things, make some dark jokes about it.

Speaking of humour, even that is very dark when I’m using it. I love controversial jokes. And I think I know why I don’t get offended by these dark jokes, when someone else makes them. Because I’ve been in some dark places in my life, I have been through a lot of stuff. And I’m sure many of you have been too. So to cope with all these things, I make jokes around them. Melancholic jokes but hey, that’s how I simply roll.

I have trouble pointing my finger at what I’m exactly feeling. I can only recognize fear, anger, feeling good and this melancholic sadness. I know why I can’t recognize what I feel and I’ll write another post about this later.

Feeling good makes me a bit uncomfortable. Because I’m not used to it. But this melancholy, it is so familiar. Melancholy isn’t always bad, though. Why should it? It’s not holding me from doing my daily routine. No! In fact, it sometimes helps me doing stuff. When I feel melancholic, I write the best poems. I compose the best songs I can compose and it is my paintbrush when I’m painting. Yes, a lot of my work is melancholic. My poems often are. My drawings often are and my music often is.

And I think I’m not the only one who has experienced this. Look at Van Gogh, a brilliant painter, but often melancholic when it comes to his personality. My God, it even cost him an ear!

A lot of Picasso’s paintings were melancholic. When Mozart’s father died his music became darker and darker. Melancholic, indeed. “The scream” from Edvard Munch tells you enough. And of course I’m not forgetting Edgar Allen Poe… I can sum up many historical geniuses that let their feelings speak through art and music, which a lot of it was melancholic. Or just had a melancholic type of personality.

I don’t know. Is there something wrong with me for welcoming this dark feeling? I once had a fight with a friend. He said to me: “You’re really dark, you know that right? It’s almost twisted.”

“Yes. You can be sure about that. My heart is as black as the night, but at least it’s not made out of stone,” I answered (I actually yelled. It was a pretty messy fight). What I was trying to say, is that I grew familiar with the dark things in life. And I welcome it, because these dark things are part of life too.

“But, the beautiful happy things do too, no?” Yes and also these things I happily welcome in my life. I just have to learn to accept happiness and try not to feel so uncomfortable when I’m feeling happiness.

I know that in the beginning of this post I mentioned that I live a happy life. Well, it’s pretty good at the moment. But sometimes I tend to seek sadness. Things that make me feel melancholic. Sometimes, I just love to put on some sad music and just sit at my desk. Thinking, staring and smoking. This melancholic feeling just suits me so well. I think that would’ve been different if I had a happier childhood. This feeling stood at my side since I can remember. And that’s why I love feeling it.

Most of the times I don’t know what I feel. As I said before, I can tell when I’m angry, when I’m feeling good and when I’m feeling melancholic. If I feel something that is unknown to me, I often get stomach aches. Or a headache. Or I feel this weird pressure on my heart. It makes me angry, not to know what I’m feeling. So why not choose the feeling I’m most familiar with? Why not summon that, so I at least know what I’m feeling?

Do you think I’m depressed yet? Because I’m not, believe me. I’m just a human being that grew up with a certain feeling, which I can’t let go. Really, it’s hard to explain this in a way that I don’t sound like a depressed person that brings everyone down. I’m simply explaining that this melancholic feeling is like a friend to me. And I like the word.

People I know might frown if they’d read this. Because they don’t know me as a melancholic person. I dress up very colourful, (but I do have to admit I’m addicted to long, black dresses and the colour black in general). I laugh a lot and I don’t talk in a melancholic way. Only when I’m at my darkest. And everyone has been in that dark place inside of them at least once in his or her life.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. Maybe to look for others who experience the same addiction? Who sees it as a familiarity too? Anyway, a while ago I said to myself: “Come on… your soul just is black, don’t fight it. Embrace it. At least it’s not made out of stone. And hey, your beating every Goth that’s out there and you don’t even have to dress like one!”

My addiction to this melancholic feeling doesn’t mean I’m a mean person. No, in fact, I love people. I love animals and I love life. My studies are all about helping people. Seeing and making others happy, makes me happy. Maybe… because I don’t know how to make myself feel happy?

Maybe it is kind of sad that I have to live of the happiness of others… you can say, it’s melancholic. And isn’t that just beautiful?

Sadness by Johann Heinrich Füssli
Artwork by Johann Heinrich Füssli

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