It's useless. Absolutely useless.
I know some of you would try and comfort me, so let me tell you before you do that it won't work. And that's something, I guess, that I'm actually sad about. It's weird. One of the weirdest things that ever happened to me. I've never been prone to depression in my whole life, not even as an adolescent, so this has me dumbfounded. What is this thing? Why is it happening to me? And how to fight it?
Well, if you're interested to join me on a journey out of the picturesque pit of Rock Bottom, you're most welcome to read on. I'll have to warn you, though. Tugging me out is not an option, too much holiday yummies, I suspect. But you can watch me climb (and perhaps fall back a couple of times...) and cheer with the crowd. It should be quite a spectacle.I'm essentially a researcher, so after long months (I'm ashamed to admit just how long exactly) of feeling as depressed as a dead fly on a windowsill I decided to investigate. This is pretty much the only thing I can feel passionate about, it seems, so I guess I don't have much of an option. Not caring for such a long time is way more boring than you can imagine, so attaboy, let's take this pathetic little round, it might take us somewhere.
Of course, it starts with me trying to figure out just where I am. Thinking about how I got here makes me feel all kinds of things and sadness again, so I'll leave that question be for the moment. So let's see the what.
What am I sad about? It's not so much about a thing than the general state of all things, me included, that makes me as sad as I've ever been. Not that things are bad. Most of my life right now is really good. Of course, that depends on what you call good. You see, I have a really good job, I have all I'm really needing, I have an amazing marriage, and I have some really really good friends. I'm also quite fit these days, and my health is as good as that of any 30 year-old's. All the actually bad things about my life are quite small compared to all these, and I don't really think about them at all. Those aren't what makes me sad or depressed. Then what is?
This... this... this quality of things in the whole world. I see people suffering around me (for various reasons), I see things happening, good and bad, without us really having any influence over the balance, and I see that what seems good is often painted over and even if it's real it fades away relatively quickly. There's nothing in this world that frees us from this circle, nothing that makes our efforts meaningful.
I've tried coming up with examples, only to be disproved the next moment. I've tried finding happiness in the good there is, only to discover that the moment you start to care you're also going to get hurt. It always comes back to the same thing. That I just can't bring myself to care. Once I do, I'm in for the bad stuff.
It might be the curse of living in a place like Switzerland. I guess if you have nothing, your every thought and act become meaningful since you can only gain. And once you do, you can indulge in that treasure and even share it because you know it can't last. You can plan your next endeavour toward some more happiness. Whereas here... I can see people hunting wealth and gain in a frenzy, never stopping to enjoy the moment. Always wanting more, wanting something else. Herding them all up for that one day, at the end, when they can lie back and say they have it all. And die in peace.
And it's all meaningless. I'm not like that, I don't care about these things. If it sometimes seems I do it's because of where I come from. It's because I still remember, sometimes, what it is like to enjoy the moment, share in it and not think about the moment it will all fade away. Because, where I come from, it always fades away.
The fact that societies such as the Swiss one have managed to devise a way so that moments last a little longer only teaches you one lesson. A false one. That you can keep collecting these moments, locking them up, to be enjoyed later. They teach you that stopping to cherish one right now is a risk, you might miss some others that could be oh so useful later on...
I'm not like that. I don't know how to herd. I never had anything to lock up. I had other things, different things, things that seem to have no value in societies like this. Or they only do when you're old, reminiscing sitting on your treasure chest.
Seeing all this makes me sad. Without the little moments of happiness and the big moments of inner warmth this life has no meaning for me. If people can't cherish those moments, I have nothing to strive for. If I have to bear the thought of losing it all one day, people I love, health, energy, I have to know that I can stop for a moment right now and enjoy it. Otherwise there's nothing but the sadness at that future catastrophe. If I'm expected to do my job properly, people have to care too. They have to believe in the now, the importance of their children learning now and not about what the next decade will bring for them. They have to stop planning. They have to stop. Now.
I know what they're planning for. It's a future where similarly busy, unhappy people are planning a future for busy, unhappy people. And it makes me sad. Inconsolable.
I have to start somewhere. I can't just very well tell them to stop.
Thinking about it made it a little less hopeless. It's still very far from bright or reassuring. It's still more than I can care about, it's still bleak. But now I know where I am. I'm on the main street of Rock Bottom, and I have to find which way is up. That, I hope, is something I can do.