301 // The Best Kind of Depression

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When I lived in Vienna, I would often get visitors and in what would often turn out to be the most ludicrous panic* that the visitors would have nothing to do I would take them to the zoo. And what a zoo to take them to, set amongst the grounds of one of the grandest palaces in the world, it is stunning in beauty and rich with history. Probably because it happens to be the oldest zoo in the western world, coming in at just under 300 years old. The biggest problem with the zoo though is the fact it is a zoo. A place where they capture and contain animals for the enjoyment of a more wealthy and more dominant species.

Still, it is a nice day out. Oh, and definitely grab a langos, you won’t regret it. OK, this is turning into a travel blog, when in reality it should be about the fact someone seems to have tied a brick to my heart with an impenetrable zip tie and it now just swings there like some old sneakers on a telephone line.

I have been trying everything. I have quite literally changed my life. I have moved from a big city to the middle of the countryside, I have switched from a very busy life to a quiet one, I have started reading instead of watching, and I’ve even begun meditating*. Most of all though, I’m enjoying the change of pace and the new things in my life. I think that is down to the fact I have made sure to do things.

Having moved to the countryside I have noticed people asking ‘what do you do out there?’ and I’m glad they asked because I realised I have done a lot more doing. When people ask me that question though, what they really mean to ask is ‘What happens to you out there?’ because most people want to experience things happening to them. They don’t want to do things. They want to have moving images and sounds hit them,  they want someone to give them a message or serve them drinks or cook them a meal or for a band to play music to them. The loaded question is right, not a lot happens to me out here but I certainly do more.

I am writing, I am reading, I am cooking, I am listening, I am doing all of these things. They don’t happen to me. This is important because if you search for tips on how to beat depression these kinds of things will be top of all most all of the poorly researched and shallow blogs helpful lists online. Strangely though, I don’t seem to be undepressed. Don’t get me wrong I am functioning and I am better in many ways, but that heavy feeling in my chest remains, as does the arbitrary despair.

I can’t shake that feeling, and almost daily it feels like not only is this swinging brick having more influence but Miley Cyrus seems to be doing reshoots of Wrecking Ball on it.

It is the best form of depression I have had in a long time, however. I really have (along with the help of many others) managed to craft a really good life out in the country, not to mention this is only the beginning. But it is the best form of depression in the sense that Schonnbrunn Zoo is the best form of animal captivity.

Not great, but if it is going to exist then it is not the worst way it could happen.

Paul Green

*As Vienna is packed full of history, was largely untouched by World War 2 and thus has the majority of its historical buildings intact, not to mention it was the European birthplace of the coffee house. All in all there’s endless things to see and do. 

*I downloaded an app called Headspace and did the first session… I’ll pick up my Shaolin Monk certificate next week. 

Read more, it’s good for you.

Mentally Ill People Are Dangerous (And Why Trump Is Not Stupid)

A Ghost Story (A Mental Film Review)

The Mental Health Digest (29/10/17)


  1. ejb117

    Maybe you should write about your thoughts on Headspace when you’ve got into it a bit more. I tried it a while ago, then ground to a halt with it but more recently gave a couple of other meditation apps a go. I can’t say I was overly convinced by them and for the past few weeks have been thinking of giving Headspace a ‘proper’ go again. But I still haven’t done so yet…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Robin

    I can’t speak to what might be causing this heavy feeling for you–I only know that when it happened to me, I was feeling deeply unworthy and like I had to do a lot of “good deeds” in order to earn love and approval. I ended up nearly convincing myself I was happy for a few years because I was doing so much. Wasn’t until I really examined my motives that I learned otherwise…then I was able to start disassembling some of the negative feelings.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rose

    Hi, have you been taking a peek into my mind? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how even though life is generally great, I am still struggling with depression/anxiety. I love my job, but I feel anxious every day when I leave the house for it. I have great friends and a supportive family, but I still have a constant struggle with feeling loved/wanted/valued. On one hand, it’s nice to know that life can still be really sweet even while struggling with these negative feelings. On the other hand, it is a bit discouraging to feel so low even when things are great. I’m still trying to figure it out, but your post helped put some of those feelings into words. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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