Happily Depressed

Joel Kaskinen
2 min readDec 7, 2021


I listened to a podcast episode today called “Happily Depressed”. It resonated with me so deeply, this concept of being so depressed and so fine with it.

I’m high. Sitting in the sunroom. Crying into Camilla, thinking how fucking happy I am in Sioux Falls. Deeply, tremendously happy.

I’m thinking about how good it is here. “It’s a pretty nice place here, huh?”, I ask myself. That question is promptly followed by a thought. “A pretty good place to die”, I answer.

Then I smile.

This is the most content and comfortable I’ve been in years. Yet I feel so far away from myself. Truly, I don’t understand the dichotomy that is my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suicidal. I’m not going to harm myself. But the thought of dying isn’t a unique one. And tonight, it’s just hovering in the shadows of my mind. But mostly, I’m thinking about how feeling good enough to die in a place probably says something about your relationship to it. I think I’m home for now, but I don’t think any of that makes any sense.

So I’m writing to process.

Maybe it’s the news about RJ. I’m so devastated for Emily and those boys. Maybe it’s the news that sweet Javi is gone. Alone in his depression, alone in the wilderness, and alone in his last moments. Maybe it’s the combination of losses.

Whatever it is, it’s got me feeling happily depressed. Sad and melancholy, wrapped in tinsel and blankets of hope. Isn’t that what home is supposed to feel like?

If I know anything, it’s that I wanna be smiling when I die.