Tag Archives: depression

Screw depression

Screw depression. Really. It sucks. If anything in the world is unfair, it’s depression. My own brain literally just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, and the result is a compromised, stunted experience of life.

I suffer from depression. It’s been a part of my life for a long time, though it took years to work out that I might have a problem. Once I sought medical help, I discovered that antidepressants are truly magnificent.

Unfortunately, dealing with my own depression is not just a matter of taking medication. Over time, I am learning that depression has shaped the way I see the world. It has affected many of the habits I’ve developed during my life. It is without doubt the most limiting characteristic I have.

Depression makes me extremely effort-averse – productivity is a chore, rather than a path to achievement. Even though I now understand that my aversion to effort is a result of depression, it seems well nigh impossible for me to change my own behaviour.

I’ve been accused of being lazy at various stages of my life, and I’ve even believed it much of the time. But I’m not lazy. I’m depressed. When I’m not depressed, I’m capable of sustained hard work, which I enjoy greatly. When I am depressed, it’s almost impossible to get started.

I’m full of interesting ideas for what I’d like to do with my life. Almost none of those ideas ever see an attempt at implementation. That’s the result of depression convincing me that hard work is unpleasant, when the exact opposite is true: Hard work is invigorating and satisfying. I know that intellectually, but that’s apparently not enough to overcome the negative emotions I’ve learned to associate with effort.

Depression is the one part of my life I wish I could remove. I detest it. It makes me ordinary, when in my imagination I am extraordinary. It holds me back from pushing my own boundaries and expanding my life experience. It tells me I will probably fail and that failure will be a bad thing, when in fact failure is my most useful tool for learning and growing.

Screw depression. Seriously. Screw it.

The irony of it all, of course, is that depression is a part of who I am.

I’m fighting with myself.

My worst habit: surrendering control

We all strive to live independent lives in which we make decisions freely and avoid being controlled by other people, circumstances and objects, right?

Nope. That’s completely wrong. My experience is that we spend our lives surrendering our freedom to just about anyone or anything at just about any time. At least I seem to.

Some examples for illustration:

1. I work in a job that requires me to be at work between 8am and 5pm. Why? I can’t think of a single reason why that’s a good idea. And yet I do it.

I’d much rather work shorter hours at flexible times with the ability to work remotely, even if it cost me a portion of my earnings. And yet I seem wiling to surrender control of the most useful time of every weekday of my life to someone else, simply because they pay me a salary.

2. I have lots of stuff. Possessions have to be stored, maintained, insured and used. In that way, any material possessions I have that I don’t really need are simply black holes that take away my time, money and space. In being reluctant to reduce the amount of stuff I have, I am allowing my possessions to control me.

3. I complain about circumstances that I can change, but I don’t change them. Do I think I have the perfect job for me? No. Do I manage my money well? No. Do I live where I want to? No. Do I manage my time well enough to do the things I want to do? No.

I do complain about those circumstances though, and that’s ridiculous. I am the only person in the world who has the power to change them. Yet I instead surrender control of my own life to the circumstances I find myself in.

Looking at the above, which is just a small sample of the ways in which I surrender control in my life, I am able to draw some conclusions. I allow other people, circumstances and objects to control my time, space, attention, emotions, money and location. More or less my entire life.

Consequently, I’m depressed. In context, that’s really not surprising at all.

I want to live an independent life in which I make decisions freely and avoid being controlled by other people, circumstances and objects. My choices don’t reflect that desire, however, and that’s a source of significant daily internal conflict.

Perhaps it’s time to take control of my life. Even if I do it wrong (whatever that means); even if I fail; even if it’s scary as hell.