Sunday, March 21, 2010

Depression

Suffering from feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness? Lacking the motivation and energy to carry out even mundane, daily tasks? Thinking your job and responsibilities are "below you"? Feeling guilt for not doing better, feeling better despite your privileges? Feeling underappreciated and angry because people don't recognize your "potential"? Getting impatient with small talk? Losing interest in travelling, shopping, movies, going out? Unable to concentrate on books, articles, debates that used to draw you in? Low self esteem making you prone to taking offence and perceiving yourself rejected, or avoiding close relationships all together? No inspiration to write anything at all?

It leaves you no option but to address itself, like a blocked pipe. Depression is when the joy of living and working is gone, but just an idea of how it used to be and how it should be remains. Like a hard, empty shell.

And you think you are smarter than everyone else - people who are more or less content with their jobs, religious or political convictions, achievements, sports teams, families? Because everything is mundane to you except your small stuffy world. You are some genius, some enlightened intellectual, some higher conscience. What on earth deserves your invaluable energies?

What a toxic blend of over-confidence in theory and crippling fear in practice.

I have been feeling this way over the past year or so. It wasn't always obvious to me or others, but it was like constant background noise. Sometimes it got louder. And I feared that shutting my ears to it would mean being content with something ordinary. Now I realize that I still fear that. I fear crossing that border... and growing up? Facing my own limits and weakness?

But there are so many things to do, so many people to meet, so many places to see. No time for hard feelings or fear. Life is too short.

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