For almost as long as I can remember I have suffered from chronic minor depression. It’s always there either in the forefront or hiding in the shadows, but there. It’s characterized by hopelessness, and a deep seeded disappointment in myself. In an effort to be honest, I have purposefully indulged it, and driven myself to some dark places. At one such time I wrote an email to a male friend from a long time ago who I didn’t even date, and apologized to him for having let us both down. I never got a response.
I call it minor for one reason. I have never been suicidal. I don’t know why. I am lucky. I never let go of this irrational belief that things can get better, despite all historical evidence to the contrary.
I have at times looked forward to when I will die, hopefully of old age. Kind of like when you take a vacation and are ready to go home. You may have days left, but you forge on, and keep trying to enjoy yourself, because you know the end will be here soon enough. That’s how I feel about death. Knowing it will come, comforts me, but I don’t have to rush it.
I’m not religious, so I don’t believe that I get to go “home” in the religious sense, or to meet Jesus in heaven, which I don’t really think exists except in the possible sense that our souls may get promoted to some sort of supervisory role in an afterlife, at least I’m open to that idea. So when I say that it will be a beautiful day, it’s not because I think I’m going to meet my maker, it’s because I will have no obligation, or responsibility. There will be no reason, anymore, to try.
When you know it’s over, that’s when you can finally breath, so to speak. Not literally. Literally you might not be able to breath.
But we will all die. That’s the good news. Why rush it?
But seriously, if our spirits live on, if we are all, essentially, immortal, like many religions believe, and I think it’s possibly true, then suicide is futile. Maybe that’s the reason I’ve never considered it a viable option. It might very well be that I believe it to be impossible to kill yourself.
When I was young, and this may have been before I was depressed, I said I’ve had it almost as long as I could remember, I believed that the purpose of life was to have fun. I reasoned myself to this obvious conclusion, when I was first learning how to reason. This was the theory of a child whose mind was as yet unencumbered by the expectations of society. But It is not so different from Thomas Jefferson’s inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. Could our purpose on this world be anything other than to learn how to be happy? Isn’t that what God would want, if He was unhappy?
If we are part of God, which I also think is a reasonable theory, God would want us to be happy, out of self-interest. It makes sense that the more of us that are happy, the happier God would be. And to the extent it might be possible for us to tap into this collective, if you will, then even more of us could be happy, and God gets even happier. Happiness is contagious!
Maybe this is why people say that service makes them happy. On it’s face, you would have to sacrifice spending time on your own dreams in order to serve others. And yet, those who serve would testify to the opposite. We need everyone to be happy.
My husband thinks my unhappiness as innate. He accepts that about me, without judgement. I ought to be grateful for that but what if it’s not who I have to be? If you accept it, it means you don’t lift a finger to change it. Why I’m depressed wouldn’t matter. It’s just innate. Perhaps it is a defense mechanism for him to think so, so he doesn’t have to take it personally.
I’ll tell you something. At work I often find myself obsessed with trying to figure out why I’m unhappy. It distracts me from working.
Maybe I hate my job, or maybe their are personal reasons. Maybe I don’t like being married, or maybe I just don’t like myself (THAT’S IT!). But why?
I don’t love my job, but I’m ok with responsibilities. There are sacrifices we make to have the things we want. What makes me unhappy is when I make the sacrifices and still don’t get what I want.
Brainstorming what I want:
- Might as well put it out there. I’d rather have a dick. That alone would make me happy, I think. But it’s not going to happen.
- I don’t have enough time alone.
- People judge me, and so I feel like I need to pretend. I’d like to pretend that I’m pretending. Then I could be myself.
Maybe I need to say things that are so outlandish that people don’t know if I’m kidding.
As for solitude, that should be doable, unless I need too much. I might need less, if I felt free to be myself.
I know. I need to be more honest with my husband. If I can’t be, then I really should leave him. What’s the easier, between two things that seem impossible?
I should tell people I’m unhappy. And when they ask me why I can say “because people judge me.” They can say, “who judges you,” and I can say, “I don’t know.”
I don’t have to tell them that I would prefer to have a dick.
I’ll tell you something else, the only way I can ever focus at work, and the only way I can ever write something that is insightful and true, is if I find a way to be honest.
Wow, epiphany (and duh). I have to be honest to be happy. I don’t know if that’s good news or bad news.