Unhappiness Was Home

How I learned to change my perspective.

Written by Alex Santiago

Unhappiness Was Home

01 Alex was comfortable with being unhappy, labelling it “divine discontent”.

02 Despite this unhappiness, he wanted to change.

03 When the people around him helped him to reflect, he was able to refocus and let go.

Like all great stories, this too started with a question.

“Why are you always so damn unhappy?” my wife asked.

And, honestly, I didn’t have a response at the time. 

Of course, this question made me slightly lose my mind. Months and months of wondering why. “Why am I unhappy?” “Why do I seek this feeling out?” “Why am I so ‘good’ at feeling this way?” 

The thing is, I began to find comfort in it. Unhappiness was home. I practically celebrated it. I found an idea years ago that made it ok to be unhappy: Divine Discontent.

That was my solution. I was good at what I did with life because of my discontentment. I thought my unhappiness made me happy. I felt crazy saying it over and over again to myself, “I’m seeking unhappiness,” and I started to question that maybe I was a monster.

But I didn’t want to be one. I wanted to live every moment. I wanted to live for the people who count on me, who look up to me, and who I’m responsible for. I ask my children to do one simple thing: Be a good person. Yet there I was, celebrating not being a good person. A hypocrite selling ideas he didn’t believe in.

Thankfully, the people around me kept me in check. They pushed me to focus on who I wanted to be rather than who I had become. I was blind to my own doing, and I didn’t want that anymore.

They pushed me to focus on who I wanted to be rather than who I had become.

That was my moment of truth: Taking a step back and focusing on the long-term quality of life rather than blindly believing in divine discontent and someone else’s dream. 

I learned to let go. 

So what’s your moment of truth? What are you reflecting on? Why are you here? 

Whatever that is, I hope you seek it. Because your mind deserves more. Your loved ones deserve more. You deserve more.

Original Series

Support our work

We’re on a mission to change how the world perceives mental health.