Heavy metal in the head

Unhappiness is tricky, isn’t it?

I mean, you never know quite what to do with it. Do you whinge endlessly about the cause(s), hoping for some miraculous catharsis through repetitio ad nauseam? Do you become angry and bitter, insulting and hurting everyone around you, perhaps expecting the same result? Do you recklessly change significant things in your life – home, relationships, career – hoping to leave the cause(s) far behind in what recovering addicts call a ‘geographical’?

Or do you bottle it up, fit a tight stopper, watch it progressively kill all the joy in your life as its pressurised poison seeps out into everything you love… and wait to die of bowel cancer and/or heart disease in 5-15 years (my personal favourite)?

Like all human beings from time to time, I’m wrestling with this old problem again. Don’t get me wrong: I have no serious reason to be unhappy. Nobody’s died. I have food and a roof over my head. My problems are trivial.

But unhappiness doesn’t scale particularly well. When it’s living in your head, it’s like having an Icelandic heavy rock band practising in your attic 24/7. The noise can’t be ignored. It can’t be put into perspective.

No matter that the rockers will be gone by Tuesday, or that they could be using three amplifiers, not one. Misery is unresponsive to comparative analysis. It only exists at level 10 out of 10. Or, more usually, 11 out of 10.

The ‘solution’ – find the root problem and fix it – is always the same. But getting there is always so very, very hard. It usually involves doing things that are courageous, difficult and/or painful to oneself and others. Sacrifice is often involved.

I guess I’ll get there. Wherever ‘there’ turns out to be, this time.

In the meantime: Sorry for lack of gardening updates.

16 Responses to “Heavy metal in the head”

  1. Rachael Says:

    Oh dear – this sounds like more than unhappiness, it sounds more like depression – are you being treated for it?

  2. Soilman Says:

    I try to avoid labels and treatment, Rachael. Once it’s ‘depression’, you’re an invalid. And doctors tend to prescribe chemical solutions to emotional problems. Sounds barmy to me.

    So far – so far – I’ve figured my way out of these things in the end without the need of either.

    Not that I’m ruling them out, mind.

  3. Rachael Says:

    Understood, but don’t let it get so bad you can’t find your way out again

  4. Svetla Says:

    If it’s minor, I would say, spend more time at the allotment (btw, are you still running?) If it’s major, I wish you the best!

  5. Soilman Says:

    Yes, still running Svetla. And to anticipate your point: Yes, it does help. Nothing like physical exhaustion to (temporarily) drive away the demons.

  6. Carrie Says:

    you are in my thoughts and in my heart.
    that was all a little too close to home for me.
    writing is great therapy xxx

  7. Tanya Walton Says:

    Hope you are soon back on your feet and feeling chirpy soilman. There is never rhyme or reason to unhappiness of this sort…it just is and it will pass in it’s own time. Hope that’s soon for you.

  8. Vivian Says:

    This is where language fails us… depression is too restrictive (and prescriptive), angst is too juvenile. Malaise, doldrums–too casual. No, there’s no need to assign a label. As for your unhappiness, how can an intelligent and perceptive person not feel overcome with unhappiness at times? It will pass… either on it’s own, or you will seek some help if you need it.

    Love your blog.

  9. rainman Says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/susan-piver/meditation-and-depression_b_1030107.html may be helpful. Or maddening. Hopefully the former.

  10. Soilman Says:

    Maddening, I’m afraid….

  11. Baldrobins Says:

    and i thought it was just me who feels this…….

  12. Beth Says:

    Sorry Soilman, that sounds grim.

    I understand your reluctance for chemicals, but I must say mine have given me a semblance or normality back. They don’t get rid of the rock band, just put down a bit of sound proofing. If things get too bad, it’s worth considering.

    ecotherapy is also good 🙂 although I do find this time of year hard in the garden, so much to do but nothing to show for it…

  13. Tom Says:

    what a great post!

    Looks like you’re doing a lot of the right things in my opinion – exercise, contact with nature, writing (excellently), refusing pharmacy.

    May I recommend reading poetry ? For some reason, I have stopped reading proper novels since about 2 months ago. I keep a book of modern poetry around the place. It’s amazing how relevant it is.

    Charles Bukowski (try Counsel). Peter Levi (try The Shearwaters, which is the most restful poetry I have ever read).

    “love, yes, but not as a task of marriage,
    and beware bad food and excessive labor;
    live in a country, you must,
    but love is not an order,
    either of woman or the land;
    take your time; and drink as much as needed
    in order to maintain continuance,
    for drink is a form of suicide
    wherein the partaker returns to a new chance
    at life; furthermore, I say,
    live alone as much as possible;
    bear children if it happens
    but try not to bear
    raising them; engage not in small arguments
    of hand and voice..” Bukowski

  14. Eel Notsa Says:

    Can I have your blog username and password if you decide to end it all?

  15. Soilman Says:

    It’s yours, Eel. If/when.

  16. Stree Says:

    First time visitor here, saw this heavy metal post and just wanted to say that I hope and am sure that whatever the looming black cloud is, it will lift.
    I too get great gouts of fedupnessosity and it takes some shifting sometimes.
    Quiet reflection and /or poetry as suggested can do the trick, not always but anything is worth a try.
    I admire and condone your stance on non chemical intervention.
    Best wishes and kind regards.

    PS. I am a gardener, thats how I ended up here.