Today seems like a very appropriate day

Denver Cuss

Today seems like a very appropriate day to write about my happiness and mental health. This is because as of today, I am officially no longer taking antidepressants. I slowly weaned myself off these meds. I know everyone’s experience of antidepressants is different and for some people they are very beneficial, but for me, while I couldn’t feel extremely low, the same went for feeling extremely happy – I just didn’t. I wasn’t okay with that. So as of today, I am relying on myself to feel okay, and while that is extremely intimidating, I have proven to myself just how strong I can be in troubling situations, and I’m proud of my resilience.

I’m a jazz vocalist living in London with amazing friends, a boyfriend who is startlingly suited to me, and great things lined up for my life. Unfortunately, these things don’t seem to matter when anxiety hits. I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression for most of my life, the depressive part having manifested itself more recently. I’m extremely proud of what I’ve achieved despite my issues, even if I’m honest and admit I am not always open to new methods of self-improvement.

Being a musician with anxiety is bizarre at times; to most, the idea of standing on a stage, completely exposed as you pour your heart out, is a nightmare. To me, it’s one of the only places I feel 100% comfortable. On stage, I am entirely myself. It’s strange how calming I find the feeling of being watched by hundreds of people as I throw every part of myself into a performance. All my problems drain away when I sing jazz. All the things I needn’t worry about, but still do, are stripped away and all that’s left is a comfortable feeling of self awareness, and genuine passion.

There are small and brief ways to ease the discomfort of anxiety, which is where being a singer comes in handy as breathing exercises are often useful mid-panic. Nothing seems permanent though. The main thing I’d like to learn is how to think more positively. Part of my anxiety is a frustrating difficulty to see much other than the negative in every situation. I feel that I’ve come very far from where I was last year- the thought of making a phone call to anyone other than immediate family made me want to cry. I have made significant progress, but I still think I have further to go, and I think it starts with somewhat of a reboot of how my brain works. The power of positive thinking is written about all the time (my boyfriend is an avid reader of self-improvement books and is a huge positive force in my life), and I think that becoming a Happynesshub Hero could just be the thing that helps me to remember that my life, while far from perfect, is absolutely worth cherishing and appreciating.

By | 2017-01-13T13:53:15+00:00 April 10th, 2016|11 Comments

About the Author:

“I’m Denver. I’m a jazz vocalist studying at the London College of Music. I like traveling, learning more about compassionate lifestyles (I have been vegan for about a year), and sharing what’s going on in my head.”

11 Comments

  1. CatherineR April 11, 2016 at 10:25 am - Reply

    I just wanted to say a big thank you Denver for your incredible honesty and openness. There are so many people out there who will resonate with what you’re going through and just hearing that they are not alone will mean a great deal. It is a great privilege that you are willing to share your experiences with us.

  2. Marta April 11, 2016 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Denver, thank you so much for your story. Insightful, empowering and fascinating. Thank you for sharing your strengths and vulnerabilities. With such striking difference between the way you felt a year ago and the way you are feeling now, it will be well worth waiting to see how things will unfold for you, and what your blog posts will be like in a year. Most importantly however, as someone beautifully said once: “now is now”. And in the now, all is well.

  3. Matt April 11, 2016 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Hi Denver, glad to be a fellow HappynessHub Hero. I stopped taking antidepressants a while ago also because of the positive emotions they inhibit also. I was advised by a good friend to try taking Magnesium Supplements and so read up on it. Well worth a read with proven benefits in mental health. Stay Positive x

  4. Soo Poole April 11, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Denver. I’m so pleased that you feel that you can give up the meds. This is the hardest but most positive thing we can do when we’re feeling as we do sometimes. You may have to look hard but I find that there’s positivity in everything and everything happens for a reason.
    You are a strong young lady and you have lots of support should you need it.
    I wish there had been a site like this when I needed one. It’s great to know you’re not alone.
    Remember, there’s usually a natural option for most things too.
    lotsaluv n stuff xxx

  5. LisaG April 11, 2016 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Denver my darling.. .so brave to speak out so eloquently with a part of your life which is so personal to help others and by doing so helping you in the process. You are an inspiration my sweet 😊 and I am so proud of you xxx

  6. Sallyann Keizer April 11, 2016 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    Denver what a beautiful way to articulate where you are at. Thank for your courage and your honesty I know it will help others. I am looking forward to sharing this special journey with you. We are all here for support. Xxx I can’t wait to hear you sing!!!! Love xxx

  7. Mitch April 11, 2016 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    Hi Denver, I might be one of the few people to comment here who is not surprised by the level of courage and eloquence displayed in your blog as I know only too well the depth of your mental fortitude. I am delighted that you have found a place where you can receive support from others who have been through, or are going through a similar experience and so proud to think that, in return, others might draw strength from your words. You are beautiful, bright and extremely talented and above all that, you are a strong woman who is taking control of her life. Keep positive thoughts in your back pocket for when you need them and continue sharing your passion for music with the world. You’re already a star; now let the rest of the world see that. Love you XXXX

  8. Maureen Cuss April 11, 2016 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Supremely proud of our daughter, you weaned yourself of your meds by your self darling, with all your emotions and feelings, you consistently studied hard, got great grades and worked every weekend. You have great friends and you deserve those friendships. Your family and boyfriend adore you love, and will ALWAYS support you.What an inspirational, strong woman you are. Onwards and upwards my beautiful butterfly. What a wonderful, exciting life is open to you xxxxxxx

  9. Maria April 12, 2016 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    What a truly inspirational brave and wonderful young lady you are. I am blown away by your strength and honesty and wish you the very best of everything in life. Continues success in your career and for your onward and upward progress as you realise yourself just how talented, gracious and wonderful you actually are. I love your music, it sends shivers down my spine and is so pure and so honest. Fondest regards.XXXX

  10. Aris April 12, 2016 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Hi Denver! I just wanted to say that I am impressed by your openness and your bravery!

  11. Alan Duggan April 14, 2016 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Denver, I’m so happy to hear that great news. It is a testament to your strength of character and it brings a smile to my face when I think that you have found a source of strength & healing in music, which comes so naturally to you. Music is so powerful in many ways. We’re as proud as punch of you! Very best wishes from Justina & I.

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