Romanticizing My Depression

As a Bipolar bear I've spent most of my life in extremes - mercifully that's not true anymore.  But I vivdly remember being so low that I was raw, every nerve ending was an open wound.  A healthy person would do something to perk up under these conditions.  Not me, I wanted to push the envelope further, find the secret cellar underneath the basement.  And since music has always been the one surest route to my emotional landscape - nothing did the job quite like really morbid, gut-wrenching compositions.  Keith Jarrett's masterpiece - Concert at Koln was a reliable stand-by, Joni Mitchell always fit the bill, the naked soul of The Original Five Blind Boys From Alabama was almost unbearably real.  Tears fell like rain, until there were no tears left, until I was all cried out.  In a very odd way it was immensely satisfying.
ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
18 Responses Aug 4, 2007

Well said, Myo. Brava! <br />
<br />
And if Schopenhauer said that, he must have just gotten laid or something. Everything else he said was relentlessly pessimistic.


Hi Brut! This morning I read that, when Charlie Parker was touring France, Jean Paul Sartre was very eager to meet him. After being introduced, Parker said to Sartre, "Nice to meet you, Mr. Sartre, I enjoy your playing very much."

yesterday my fortune cookie said "music is the thing that makes the parts of our bodies melt together:<br />
curiouser and curiouser. <br />
Good morning, El!

I'm a music nerd myself. I once saw The Sun Ra Arkestra - Sun Ra was much admired by John Cage. Then again, Monk admired Stravinsky, but I digress.

Nothing quite like hearing Schopenhauer referenced - I do enjoy a literate response.

Ouch! That would deserve a wallow all its own.<br />
Getting well is a process. Learn the lesson, then move to the next, and never, never stop learning.

I think that's precisely the point. By encouraging the sorrow, (instead of masking it with booze or something else), you can process and deal with it. Then you are truly ready to get back to work. If you go back to work when you're not yet ready, you may accidentally slice off a finger in a band saw - like a friend of mine.

This sounds like a binge and purge without the food. I don't know the extremes of bipolar. Depression is hard enough. I do understand the "immensely satisfying" part of this. Wallowing can serve a purpose and the tears can be emotionally cleansing as long as, like you said, you stop whining and get to work.

Hostility towards me won't help you. I've wrestled with Manic Depression for 38 years - been in mental hospitals, prison, lost everything several times, fired from jobs, yada yada. I burned through it and found a way to live a happy, productive, and fulfilling life.<br />
You can do it too if you stop whining and get to work.

I'm as bipolar as they come and it sucks, sucks, sucks. One day I'm great and the next, I'm burning down my life, somebody call a firetruck! Med's don't work, life doesn't work, everything is jacked up all the time. I'm so sick of it I can't wait for it to be over. Romanticize that.

I will do that. Thank you!

Any excuse to plug Keith Jarrett is a good one - search your I-tunes library for his recording of the Bob Dylan classic - My Back Pages - buddy - that's a 3-handkerchief affair - beyond belief.

Agreed. However, I'm just going to stop commenting on this now, because you've forgotten more about jazz than I'll ever know! ;)

Like reading a book at 20, then reading it again at 40. It can seem like a totally different book because you are so different.

No, you're right; that is quite true. I think that perhaps the extremity of one's emotions can sometimes have the ability to almost blind one to the nuances on either end of the spectrum.

An extremely good point. However, with Jarrett's masterpiece, Concert at Koln, I would say that the truly breathtaking element - in addition to technical virtuosity and improvisational genius - is the ability to touch all elements of the emotional landscape - from the most fragile and exquisite beauty to raw, intense passion. But hey, that's just me! ;- )

I just spent the morning listening to Keith Jarrett's Koln concert, and found it as beautifully uplifting and inspiring as you did gut-wrenching. Obviously, the feelings evoked by powerful music has everything to do with one's emotional perspective upon hearing it.