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My Life Is Beautiful But It All Seems Meaningless

I just typed this search "lost desire to live" for the first time in Google as this lack of desire has been travelling with me for too long now and has prospects to seriously damage me in many manners. I read stories posted before me and I can tell you all that I can absolutely relate with you though my drive which caused this loss of desire is probably quite different from most. I am not the most hurt person in the world. I have unlimited friends, very good professional background and future, nice family history and all. Of course I have felt deficient and inferior during my teenage and even later, but hey who hasn't! I am 28 now. It all started when I was about 19 and in medical school. It just dawned on m that I had almost achieved what I dreamed and yearned to achieve all my life. Having got admitted to a medical school meant that I am most definitely going to go on this track without swaying much, without many real risks. My future life just seemed so much predictable to me, so much calm, listless, risk-less, happy- just the kind of life everybody wants to live. Without any challenges around me to keep me engaged, it seemed dull and dumb to me to continue my existence for the sake of selfish existence. It appeared I had fulfilled my destiny and I absolutely lost the desire to live.

But to die was not an option, perhaps because of my love for my family or perhaps we all have an innate desire to continue our existence anyway. Hence I designed newer and tougher professional challenges. I was in Pakistan at that time, a third world country, living a regular middle class life. I thought to travel to the best and the toughest place in the world- USA; as, USA was and is the largest economy of the world and has strongest influence on science and the history for past 100 years than any other country.

Additionally I discovered deep consolation in altruism, selflessness and my devotion towards God. I thought that to live for people and in the way of God is the most meaningful reason one can ever get to have. Thus I studied, worked and lived for the hope to better help inflicted and impoverished people around and I believed in God as strongly as one can. I started feeling happy, even ecstatic for about 3-4 years. My heart was filled with a thrill and joy.
But, as my knowledge about my own self and the world grew, I started loosing my faith in religion bit by bit. I still believe that there has to be some kind of creator for all of this matter and energy swinging around in absolute harmony but current forms of religions seem rubbish to me. In addition, my own self and other humans appear to me as machines for propagation of DNA, or, may be not even that, who have neuronal abilities to experience love, anger, hatred and such other emotions. Ultimate purpose for the collective attempts on the part of Humans to progress in the world appears just as a way to ensure their existence is not challenged and that we can stay on this planet, as a species, for as long as possible. With the loss of faith, importance of fellow humans and morality and ethical principles have shattered down for me. In the end, are just animals who are better equipped to understand and practice extremely complex communal relations. Patriotism and attachment of people to their race or religion seems like a joke, as it's mostly about random chance that where do you happen to take birth. Also, as I am seeing how more intelligent people or people in higher echelons of power play with ethics and morality, it all becomes a big and not-so-funny joke on humans.

So, now I am sitting in New York working as a scientist and will be working as a physician after few months and will probably continue to work as a gastroenterologist after few years. It is all predictable from here for me as I have carved my way towards my prospective future in a very nice manner. There are people who envy me and my life. I am living a life better than 99% of people in the world. But, as I am loosing my desire for social approval, which is one of three major drives keeping us all moving around after sex and hunger, I see nothing around me except empty space. I do not have any dreams or desires anymore as I used to have when I was a teenager or in early 20's. I get up like a physically sick person every morning, drag myself to work, spend my day in agony and wait for the sleep to take me over. So, I see my future as a dull/sluggish person just counting his days or some kind of sociopath who plays a joke on people for all of their vulnerabilities for fun. To die is again not an option, that's a coward's way out. I would rather want to reinvent myself and discover some kind of reason which would rationally allow me to have the desire to live with a thrill, have some dreams and be happy when those dreams are fulfilled. I wrote this lengthy post as to continue like this is also not an option as I need to get out of my current mode for the sake of others.

P.S: I think I have one small /big and interesting reason to live, which I had discovered in past but got irked again just now while I was writing this post and it is that "I need to solve this grand puzzle which has kept me distraught and caused the loss of desire to live in the first place". It would be a shame if I do not solve this one and find the reason to live and that may very well be a way to answer some of the even greater questions of human history.
dramir9 dramir9 26-30, M 2 Responses Feb 9, 2013

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Asalamwaleikum Dr. Amir. I'm a 22 year old student in Michigan. My family background is from India. Currently I am standing in the same place where you were standing several years ago. My final year in college is almost over and I am currently in the process of getting ready for my first medical school admission interview. Until now I have always wanted to become a doctor. This goal was clear in my mind since my childhood. Since these past two years I have started to suffer from depression and OCD. I feel inferior to everyone around me in every way despite the fact that I come from a good family and have nothing to complain about. Lately, I have started to question my purpose in life. I feel as if there is something greater out there for me. A life that is more spontaneous, adventurous and exciting. I wake up everyday unmotivated and have to pull myself through the day. Little by little I die everyday. I have contemplated committing suicide. But the thought of leaving my parents behind along with the fact that it is a sin in Islam stops me. I just wanted to let you know that I completely understand what you are going through. Allahtallah aap ko himat aur honsla bakshe.