06/30/2019 — Dialogue with depression
A dialogue between present me (~18 years) and a depressed version of me (~15 years). It is inspired by the current book I am reading, ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius where he writes a dialogue to himself from time to time.
Me: So you seem to be suffering I see.
Depressed me: Suffering yes, but also very empty. It seems to fluctuate between a some kind of boredom. A boredom where you don’t feel like there’s much to do, but instead of wanting to escape, you give in. And just like boredom, it makes you tired even though you are doing ‘nothing’. And the other state I seem to be in from time to time is that of agitation combined with sadness. A continuous change from anger to sadness. It is exhausting, but it feels better than that state of ‘depressive boredom’.
Me: I see, that state of ‘depressive boredom’. We are all bored from time to time and the general characteristic during those times seems to be a lose of something to do. And although that sounds perfectly accurate, in your case, however, you seem to have nothing much to do because you don’t know what to do. And why don’t you know what to do? Because you don’t have clear, realistic goals you can always fall back to.
And this, also, seems to explain your vulnerability to becoming both stressed and depressed; the things happening around you are mostly your temporal goals driven by mere basic instincts like wanting to be of social value. And of course most people seek to fulfill some feeling of being socially valuable, but in your case, you also seem to be focusing on things that are too much outside your control, which explains your second state, namely a fluctuation between stress and anger. Remember that the wise man is, what Seneca the Younger called, being self-content. To be happy with the way things are and yet also be happy to progress towards, what I said in the beginning, having certain goals to aim for.
And the second thing you seem to need to learn is that the ‘principle of opposition by Carl Jung’, namely that every hope has a fear. Combine this with the teachings of ancient philosophy and summarize it with the quote
‘Attached to many externals, we are weighed down and dragged along with them.’ — Epictetus,