So, I shouldn’t put this over my head? Or my baby’s head?
At least it’s recyclable.
I have been really, really busy lately. It’s cool, I guess, I’d rather have stuff to do than have nothing to do. There have been times in my life when I had nothing to do, and that never leads to anything good. The thing is, I have had a few days off sprinkled in about the last few weeks of frantic fourteen hour days, and on those days I accomplished precisely nothing.
I have recognized in myself a familiar old companion that has been with me for such a long time.
I used to be ashamed of depression. I thought that something was wrong with me, and that meant that I was less valuable or less reliable as an individual. I thought that if people found out they’d laugh at me. I thought that if people found out they’d think less of me. I thought that if people found out I’d be labeled as broken.
The thing is, folks, something is wrong with me. Something is wrong with all of us.
We are all striving against our own best interests. Depression is bad enough, that condition in which you just can’t muster the whatever-you-require at the moment to do anything other than sit and wish you were anywhere or anyone or anything else; sometimes I think I’d rather be an old rock out in the middle of an old forest that nobody visits, maybe then I could find a little peace. Depression is bad enough, when the simplest things can become overwhelming forces of crushing anxiety and doubt and lack of confidence and even concern. Depression is bad enough, and I know that many people run away from it, and it seems to be gaining ground on us all.
Throw in a completely toxic ethic and it seems that modern humankind is out for their own destruction.
I have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember. I have also struggled with just not fitting in in general. I have struggled with failure at every turn, with pathologically taking everything personally, with a sometimes crude sense of humor, with a debilitating lack of self-confidence, and many, many other things. I have struggled in life more than I have not struggled. There are multiple hypotheses as to just what exactly is wrong with me, but nothing has been nailed down.
The leading and most comprehensive hypothesis is that I am just a human. With all that entails.
Humans are social animals. The foundations of everything we do can be traced back to and explained by the need for social constructs and conventions. Language, the great liberator, is the most impactful invention humankind has ever produced. Our societies are driven by communication, our economies are built on the flow of information from one person to the next. Our consumer goods are extensions of communication – I buy this fancy stuff when the plain stuff would do because I like the way it makes me feel when I communicate to others that I am successful and that I can afford the stuff they can’t. Just imagine where we’d be if we were unable to share information with one another. It’s terrifying!
It seems like we are all on this collision course with pain and fear and hate. We wake up too early, most of us don’t have healthy sleep patterns. We go to work and slog through our days wishing we could be anywhere else; those of us fortunate enough to have jobs that we love, or even like, or even don’t hate with an existential passion born of the very depths of our psyche, invariably seem to find ways to make ourselves miserable. We hustle, bustle, grind and fake it just to make it through to the weekend, or whatever serves as your regularly scheduled period of rest and rejuvenation, just to find ourselves too tired or grumpy or depressed, or too preoccupied with something crappy that happened during the week, to actually enjoy the fruits of our labors.
I don’t even know what I’m getting at here, I’m just tired and bummed out and exhausted. I can’t stop thinking about all the shitty things we’ve done to one another, all the shitty things we do to ourselves in the pursuit of something that has been right there all along and is only inaccessible to us because of the system that we have set up.
Why do we vote in politicians based on a shared ethic, an ethic that we claim is grounded in and serves decency and righteousness, only to have them enact laws that enable gross human rights violations across the globe, and then vote the same people in the next time around? Why do we shun members of our families and communities, pressure them and shame them and revile them, to the detriment of their mental and emotional health, in the name of goodness and virtue, have we not all been taught to love the sinner and hate the sin? Why do we create barriers and boundaries and bulwarks to separate us, can we not see that we are all in this together? Why do we believe the persecution narratives and the adopt the defensive stances when coming together is what we need, and indeed what is happening whether we want it to or not!
Man, I really thought I was going to strike a chord tonight folks, but I’m just too tired and, honestly, depressed, to keep trying. I’m going to post this as is and hope that maybe somebody stuck in there and picked up what I was putting down.
I hope you’re all well, and I appreciate your time and attention. I challenge you all to go and be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be! See ya soon, folks.