Maybe it is the death of my mother or my sister’s cancer. Maybe it is the battle two of my friends have with depression. Lately I have been thinking a lot about my mental state.
Wondering where the joy went. Wondering if this is depression.
Just yesterday one of my friends who finally conceded defeat and saw a doctor to get a prescription for antidepressant gave glowing feed back. He talked about how depression had crept up on him and only now that he is medicated does he realize how far he had slipped. Sort of like the thyroid issues I had. Only after I got medication and was bouncing up some steps did I realize how down and out I had become. Once the sluggishness lifted I realized it had been there.
Would it be the same if I started an antidepressant? Would I realize that I was depressed?
Am I depressed?
Or is this what age brings? When one realizes that hope is futile. What propelled me in younger years was the hope for a better world. Less violence, less hunger, more care for the environment. All that I now know is not going to happen as long as mankind exists. Our species is not designed to be peaceable, to be unselfish.
Even the few people who do make a difference, cure a disease, help the oppressed, save the whales, whatever, in the end and at the bottom of it all they do if for themselves. They do it to live. To justify breathing. The benefits they create are secondary in their motivation.
So not being joyful, is it an extension of the realization that we humans essentially suck? That things will not get better. Or for everything that does another will go downhill. For every peace won a war starts elsewhere. For every tree saved an acre will get cut elsewhere.
We humans can create such beauty. We are capable of goodness. Why don’t we?
There seems to be the big mas of people who just wants to eek out a living in peace but is not inclined to go out of their way to do much thinking.
Then there is a group that feels they are owed. That they own. That they are above. They are the fucker-uppers of everything.
Then there are the few who struggle for the betterment of all of the above.
Where do I fit?
Guess there is another group. The ones who see what is going on but are not the type to put themselves out there. We go and try to do as little harm as possible and as much good as possible in out little world. Which in the end does not amount to much. Except for the very few lives we have touched.
And that will have to be good enough. That IS all there is.
But I have not answered my question about being depressed.
Deriving joy from the things that used to give me joy. Why is that gone? Is it overshadowed by the sadness that I now know is life. Or am I chemically unbalanced? Should I pop some pills and see if things get better? Take the very real chance of mental addiction?
Maybe I need to try another approach first. Go back to writing. It sorts me out.
Go back to intensive outdoor work. It sorts me out.