Lately I have been depressed and unhappy. Yep, they are different things. Sometimes related, sure, but still separate. My depression may ride on the coattails of unhappiness often, but I can be unhappy without being depressed. Right now, though, it’s a double whammy.

For me depression has been a lifelong struggle–that’s not hyperbole–and usually manifests in some combo with anxiety. Depression, anxiety, stress, fear, grief, unhappiness, self-harm, eating disorders, obsessive thinking, compulsive behaviors, and self-hate all like to hang out together. A couple show up, for whatever reason, and then more follow. But lessening one can lessen the others. The problem? Who has the energy and confidence to do that when they are depressed?!

Now my unhappiness, where does that come from? Currently, frustration with myself, disappointment in others, unfulfilled wishes, and evaporated plans. But what really has me unhappy now is that I shouldn’t be unhappy. I mean, what do I have to be unhappy about? I have friends who have serious shit to be unhappy about, and I feel like a big, bratty baby when I think about their hardships compared to mine. Yes, things didn’t turn out as I hoped. Yes, people have hurt me. Yes, relationships are faltering. Yes, I have failed. But, seriously, I still have my health, friends, family, second chances, and–most importantly–myself. Knowing this makes me feel guilty for being unhappy. I’m here and able to feel unhappy, and I should be happy about that.

So, I focus on the happy. Which will lessen the unhappiness. And in turn allow the depression to hit the road. Or at least that’s the plan.

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