I Am Depressed Because Life Is DepressingThere is a popular saying, "life is what you make of it." I disagree, not completely but to a significant degree, with this notion. I think there are certain concrete facts about life that are ignored and rejected by most people and by cultural leaders, and this serves to harm a lot of people. I think one of the most obvious concrete facts of life is this: Life is depressing. The facts of life, the realities of life, are absolutely depressing. According to the edicts of society, depression is a bad thing, a wrong thing. Society says that if you are depressed there is something wrong with you and you need to try to find a way to "overcome" your depression. At the same time, most people who feel depressed are also very unhappy with their emotional state and want to overcome their depression, to become "happy".
But from my perspective, if the factual realities of life itself are depressing, then it is perfectly normal and appropriate for me to feel depressed. I don't want to be "happy" if doing so requires me to reject the fact that life is depressing, because if i did that all i would be doing is escaping from factual and concrete reality as i perceive it. I much prefer to embrace my depressive moods and feelings, recognizing them to be perfectly valid and appropriate, while at the same time still trying to grab as much pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness out of life as i can, recognizing these positive emotions to be desirable and beneficial to me. In other words, i am willing to seek out and embrace positive and happy feelings, but at the same time i will not renounce or reject the "idea" that life is depressing, because i think this is a factual reality.
Why am i so convinced that "life is depressing" is a factual reality, rather than just an "invalid feeling", which is how society would label it? Here is my understanding of my experience of life:
Life is inherently pointless and meaningless. Nothing that you may do, achieve, or accomplish in life has any lasting value, because each of us has a death sentence hanging over us. When we die, the sum total of our life actions dies with us. It loses all meaning because we cease to exist. If i cannot experience something, it has no point or meaning to me. In death i cannot experience anything, therefore nothing i do in life has any point or meaning that goes beyond my individual lifespan. This is depressing.
When we die, we stop existing for all of cosmic eternity. There is no God, no heaven, no afterlife, no reincarnation, no ghostly comebacks, no parallel universes, etc. None of that is real. We don't have any past lives or future lives. We exist because two people had sex and we got created as a result. Our existence is purely "accidental", a one-time fluke, that can never be repeated for all of cosmic eternity. There is nothing to look forward to after death. There is only an eternity of nothingness. This is depressing. Or rather very depressing, IMO.
Everyone that we may love and care about, spouses, children, relatives, friends, pets, etc., are all doomed to suffer the same terrible fate as we are doomed to suffer. Death spares none of us. We have to deal not only with the reality of our own upcoming death, but with the fact that everyone we love or care about is going to suffer this fate as well. This is depressing.
Every living thing that we know, care about, or love, could die at any moment in time. We are consciously aware and have to deal with the fact that our most precious fellow creatures, the ones that we choose to emotionally bond with and love, could die at any moment, leaving us alone to grieve and mourn and cope with this horrific trauma. This is depressing.
None of us are "free" to do as we wish in our lives. All of us have obligations, responsibilities, and needs that consume a great deal of our time and energy, and rob us of the freedom to experience life as we want to. For example, i need money in order to survive and live a decent lifestyle, and therefore i am obligated to spend at least 40 hours each and every week for...30-40 years engaging in manual labor at a job. I am forced to waste a huge amount of time doing this, and other things, that i do not want to do. This is depressing.
Life is incredibly short and limited. Each of us could drop dead at any moment in time, regardless of age. No matter if we live 60, 70, 80 years, this amount of time is nothing, in comparison to the cosmic eternity of time that existed before we were born, and the cosmic eternity of time that will continue after we die. Our lives, our existence, is nothing but a brief moment within an eternal scale of nothingness. This is depressing.
We have absolutely no control over the quality of our lives. Any one of us could be left blind, paralyzed, mentally ill, penniless, homeless, etc., at any moment in time, due to situations and circumstances that are impossible to predict and totally out of our control. This is depressing.
I could go on to list 20 other extremely depressing facts about life, but i won't. And yes, i recognize that many people will disagree with some or all of the "facts" that i list above. I could be wrong about them, but i don't think i am. I think that people don't want to face up to these facts because they find them too depressing, terrifying, etc. They are depressing and terrifying, IMO. But they are also facts. And these facts lead me to the following conclusion:
Life is depressing, and i am depressed because i recognize life to be depressing. Because life is depressing, i feel it is logical and appropriate for me to feel depressed, as i journey through my life. I'm not glad to be depressed, i'm not "happy" about being depressed. But at the same time i don't feel that trying to "overcome" my depression is an appropriate thing to do, because life is depressing. I would have to reject the "fact", as i see it, that life is depressing, in order to decide to try to overcome my depression. And i'm not willing or interested in doing that.
Please understand, i'm not suggesting to anyone else that they not try to overcome their depression. Each of us should do in life as we feel appropriate. All i'm saying is that my personal experience of life indicates to me that life is depressing and therefore feeling depressed in life, is "normal" and appropriate. And at the same time i absolutely do try very hard to find peace, comfort, tranquility, pleasure, and happiness in life, to the degree that i am able, within the context of accepting the validity of my feeling of depression. I think every person has an obligation to himself to try to find peace, comfort, pleasure, happiness, and i hope every person tries and succeeds.
All The Best,
deepintheheart 41-45, M 9 Responses 3 Aug 24, 2011