“And I sing, I sing of awful things
the pleasure that my sadness brings
as my fingers press onto the strings
in yet another clumsy chord”

From a song by Bright Eyes, these words capture how I’ve felt many times- that there has been this pleasure in my sadness.

I’ve always sort of sensed this beauty in sadness… this understanding that if anything, experience and learning will come through it. I’ve written many, many songs that are sad but always have that element of hope. Hope shines brightest in sadness.

Yet when this whole thing started for me in November it was different. I had a lot of intense emotional pain, but there wasn’t beauty in it. I did find a lot of pleasure in it though. And I really didn’t want to get better. I was almost in love with it. It was this irritated high. I didn’t need to sleep or to eat… I stopped going to classes and I really didn’t care. I would drive around and drink, something I never would have done before. I also pushed away almost all of my friends… I felt out of control.

And yet, I didn’t want to get better. It hurt like hell but it felt so good at the same time. It was this pleasurable pain.

I would sit in coffee shops and free write for hours about the people in the cafe. For some reason, putting ink on paper seemed to calm me. I remember thinking to myself that I felt like there was a monster in my head… a weird way to put it, but that’s how it felt.

I would drive for hours every day, because driving was the other thing that calmed me. There was something about the open road, my music, and a cigarette that made me feel okay.

But the high didn’t last. It led to a LOW, and then I had already fallen so far that I couldn’t pull myself out of it alone.

I look back on that now and I see the difference between seeing beauty in sadness and getting this pleasure out of pain. One promotes self growth and the other is self destructive. I fear that I will cycle into that again, and I won’t be able to control it. For now, though, I’m focusing on starting to function again, pulling myself out of this depression, building a new foundation and trying to understand why some of these things happened. I’m trying to “learn how to live” again.

Have there been times in your life where you saw beauty in tragedy or your sadness?