I still think of you every day.
But I’m trying not to let it hurt me with the same intensity that it used to.
And as painful as it is, it still kind of warms me to know I will always carry a part of you inside of me.
Everybody wants their own little place in the world. And maybe mine is here… Loving you from a distance…
There is a type of depression that is called existential depression. You don’t see a purpose in your life, you feel your life lacks meaning and substance, and therefore nothing appears to excite you. In some cases, this existential depression is masked. You don’t believe or realize you are depressed.
Hmmm… Finally, I found something that might explain why I feel what I feel.
…deep reflection and attempts to make sense of four main topics: death, isolation, freedom, and meaninglessness… Why it sounds familiar? Existential depression can sometimes occur during someone moves from childhood and teenage years into early adulthood and during the mid-life crisis as someone navigates the transition and makes sense of what it means to be a so-called “middle age. It doesn’t sound good, does it?
Some believe that gifted people — gifted children, and gifted adults — are more likely to experience existential depression in their lives. Those creative, gifted, and talented people who actively search and question life’s meaning are often thought to be more prone to existential depression. The deep thinkers, the scientists, the sensitive people – the gifted individuals attuned to everything around them. Gifted children may find it especially difficult to navigate life if they have that intellectual excitability or thirst for knowledge, to explore more intellectually than others who may be around them. [source: Depression Alliance]
That might explain a lot of things…
There is also a premise that existential depression may be a part of, or a form of, a spiritual crisis. When someone questions and delves intensely into their overall belief system, or what their soul’s purpose or existence in life is actually for. Existential questions may be explored around faith or religion as a whole, or someone’s previously held beliefs about the existence of god(s), whether there is life after death, or elsewhere in the wider universe. They may question how much it actually all makes sense. [Source: Depression Alliance]
This one as well…
…people, especially gifted and creative people, do learn and grow in a positive way from what they experience through traumatic experiences and life crises.
Oh, that’s why…
Existentialism is a broad philosophy around the idea that life is what we make it. That as human beings we have the freedom and responsibility to choose and create our existence.
Signs of Existential Depression
An episode of existential depression, like other forms of depression can vary in intensity and severity. Signs or symptoms of existential depression may include:
- An intense or obsessive interest in the bigger meaning of life and death. The interest in exploring this may override a person’s enjoyment and engagement with other day-to-day activities.
- Extreme distress, anxiety, and sadness about the society they live in, or the overall state of the world.
- A belief that changes in anything are both impossible and futile.
- Increasingly becoming, and feeling, disconnected, isolated, and separate from other people.
- Cutting ties with other people because they feel like connections with others are meaningless or shallow and they are on a completely different level.
- Low motivation and energy levels to do anything they would normally do.
- Questioning the purpose, point or meaning of anything, and everything, in life.
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Feelings of Meaninglessness
If someone feels like their life is completely empty of anything meaningful they are said to be in an existential vacuum, an empty place. Anyone experiencing feelings of meaningless is most likely unable to see the purpose of anything they are doing, or feel like what they are doing is worthless. For example:
- If they have just experienced bereavement, they may question the point of living if you are going to die anyway.
- If they are in a job they feel is going nowhere or they have no autonomy over what they do, they may become despondent and stop putting in any effort.
- If they are experiencing difficulties in forming relationships, they may give up on trying to cultivate connections with other people.
Existential Crisis Definition
The term existential crisis usually refers to the moment when a person metaphorically hits the wall. During a full-blown existential crisis, everything may be too much and seem pointless – from getting out of bed, to basic personal hygiene, to turning on a TV or radio and hearing what is going on in the outside world. Someone in existential crisis may experience existential aloneness, that there is no one else who can relate to how they feel in their lives. An existential crisis may occur during life stages where there is a change in, or loss of self-identity, such as adolescence, or seemingly come on suddenly. [Source: Depression Alliance]
That’s it! That’s it! That’s it! Finally!
Treating Existential Depression
Talk and seek help: Seek a psychotherapist or similar type of therapy that can help with ways of exploring the search for the meaning of life in a healthy way. Many health professionals and therapists already use an existential approach as part of treatment or a method to help people in their lives. There are also therapists who specialize in existential psychotherapy. Existential therapy may help you to:
- Focus on what is possible: It may not be possible to change everything in the world that you would like to right now. Break it down and start with baby steps to move forward into what is possible.
- Process grief: If you have been through death or experienced some other kind of major loss of something big in your life, find ways to work through it. Grieving is progress that involves stages of working through acknowledging, accepting and moving on to a different reality.
- Find your passion: If you have lost interest in things you used to do, explore something new. Think back to what you loved doing and creating when you were very young. It might have been something like learning to cook something new, and something you can do right now. Alternatively, follow up on something you have always had a slight curiosity about but never quite got around to learning more.
- Accept yourself and others: If you have become disconnected or have feelings of isolation from others because you feel different, accept that people can be unique. Find things about yourself and others that you can celebrate, embrace, and learn from.
- Think about it as a journey: It may sound cliché, but one of the key things about existentialism is that we make our own path or journey in life. If you are overwhelmed or stuck with where you are and what to do next, accept that you may have hit a road bump before you take your next small step.
Existential Depression: Bottom Line
The bottom line with any form of depression, existential depression included, is that there is hope and a way out. This form of depression often comes from a very deep place within very sensitive and gifted individuals and existential therapists are out there to help.
[Source: Depression Alliance]
It is certainly educational and definitely worth keeping in mind. I will contemplate it for a few days and I might incorporate these rules in my habits and thoughts and see what happens.
To be continued…
Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.
Unfortunately, not so many people want to own their mistakes. They rather blame people and circumstances (or even God) for whatever misfortunes that befall them. I know there are events that are unexplainable and bad things happened to good people and God doesn’t always work in mysterious ways and things don’t always happen for a reason, but those are exceptions to the rule and not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being mature enough to take responsibility for one’s own actions, one’s own life, being able to admit to oneself that we are not perfect; we stumble and fall and do mess up sometimes but it is all part of the growing up process. Stand up, dust yourself and move on. Life doesn’t always deal us with fair cards and they say fate is not even-handed Life isn’t fair, so you have to play the best game you can with the cards you’re dealt. It’s up to you what to do next. Either you keep lying down where you fell and moan and complain or charge it to experience and start all over again. Your choice.
Remember, Destiny plays its cards in a way that no one can comprehend. It’s okay to be down sometimes (or all the time if you wish) as long as it doesn’t stop you from making the most of what there is. Blaming anyone will not bring anybody anywhere or anything but sorrow, self-pity, hatred, and bitterness. Those are dangerous preoccupation. It eats you from the inside and hinders you from living up to your full potential. I am not a happy person and very far from satisfied but those little inconveniences don’t stop me from moving forward and taking pleasure from what is worthwhile. I never allow myself to be beaten by the circumstances no matter how difficult it could be sometimes. Adversity builds character but much depends on the individual also. Either you will let the experience beat you or make you into a strong capable human being. Again, your choice.
Someone said adversity builds character, but someone else said adversity reveals character. I’m pleasantly surprised with my resilience. I persevere, and not just blindly. I take the best, get rid of the rest, and move on, realizing that you can make a choice to take the good. – Brooke Shields
Hardships build character. Character equals backbone. Backbone means strong. Who likes invertebrates (people)? Lack of character means a whole load of unsavory traits nobody could live with let alone tolerate in the long run. Those are the ones who cannot stand for themselves and always need others to fall back on or to blame. They are either always go with the flow, don’t have their own opinions, or disrespectful, dishonest, unreliable, backstabbers and manipulators. The ones who stand on other people’s backs to look tall and belittle others to feel good about themselves. Don’t get me wrong. Character doesn’t mean being self-absorbed and strong is not equals to being a bully. Character includes compassion, empathy, courage, patience, humility, and doing things with heart and soul. My father always said: put your heart and soul in everything you do or don’t do it at all. I agree. The difference between chefs who have given exactly the same ingredients to cook is the way they execute the task. The one who prepares the food with respect and put their heart and soul into it is the one who is going to produce a delicious meal. Love what you do no matter how small and unimportant the task might be and you will be surprised how great the result is.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ―
As Roy T. Bennett once said, always remember to:
Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Focus on your character, not your reputation.
Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.
Now, let’s go out there and practice it.
- Scrape – Learning from the challenges that come our way (or those we create) and then proving what we learned by doing much better than before.
- Scratch – The act of working our way back when we fall down and gaining strength of integrity from what we experience. (source: Jon Mertz)
You oughta be thankful a whole heaping lot for the people and places you’re lucky you’re not.
Indeed. There is a lot to be thankful for. But_ we don’t always do that. We tend to take everything for granted and complain when it rains. Maybe because it is easy to get used to trouble-free and unchallenging existence that a little bit of change in the weather can put most people off. Especially the ones who never have to fight for survival. But it could be applied to anyone regardless of background and status in life. For example, people always say I have a nice house but to me, it is something normal, ordinary. I live in it and see it every day that I get used to its appearance that I don’t see the beauty of it anymore. Likewise with those men who are married to beautiful women and still eyeing other pretty females or even having affairs. They wake up every morning next to those pretty faces that after a time it becomes common. When the novelty is over, we quickly get used to good things and tend to take them for granted. We forget that there are so many people in the world who will gladly be in our place. Even when the media made us aware of those less fortunate, we watch them from our living rooms in a detached manner thinking, believing their fate will never hit close to home. You know… the “it could never happen to me” attitude?
Till it happens, then, suddenly our (petty) problems become the center of the world because it’s us and not somebody else. All of a sudden, the things we frown upon and disregard become important and we want, we demand that the world show compassion and understand our situations and offer us a helping hand or even bail us out.
Like I said before, happiness is not meant for me but I take pleasures in little things. Most of them don’t cost money. Whatever happened in my life, I hold myself responsible and never blame anyone. Though I severe connections with people who cross the line over and over again, I don’t hold grudges and never allow myself to be bitter and vindictive. In fact, I don’t do so much effort in that area, I just been made that way. I see the world in the eyes of a child and each day is a tabula rasa waiting to be explored and each person is innocent unless proven guilty no matter what others said about him. I don’t judge appearance, I judge character. I never lost my sense of wonder and enjoy new places and new things. I am thankful for what I have and acknowledge that compared to some, I am indeed very fortunate. I never experience jealousy or envy towards others because I believe that each and every one of us is unique in our own way. I never let bad experience dictates my frame of mind and never linger on it. I always pick myself up and move on, stronger than before. I don’t need confirmation of others of my worth and don’t need anyone to be whole and complete. I don’t crave people’s approval and don’t seek admiration. I know myself.
How about you?
Are you satisfied with your life?
If you could change a thing, what it is?
This is me since I decided to stay away. Your absence created a giant hole inside of me that can never be replaced. I tried to patch the gap but nothing fits. Only you can fill this special place. I think of you every single second I breathe and it hurts! It hurts not seeing you grow up. It hurts not being part of your life but I’m helpless. The price I have to pay to see you is something I can’t afford. What can I teach you if being with you means I have to give up my self-respect and dignity? How can I be any use to you if holding you in my arms means I have to forget the person that I am and abandon everything I believe in? No, I can’t do that. Not even for you. I cannot compromise my self-respect for love. I have to keep my integrity right down to the end or otherwise what is the use of living? My pride is all I’ve got. I will not surrender my self-worth. Never. So, I will love you from a distance and hope you will have the freedom to grow up to be your true self, not the one society and your upbringing dictates. You will never know how much I long for you but it doesn’t matter because I know. It’s for me enough. Be happy always. Be safe.
You will always be a part of me.
I hope someday you will have a chance to read this and know that I care. In my mind, we share a lot of happy moments. In my dream I watch you grow up to be a beautiful person I know you will one day become. On your first Christmas, I imagined I gave you a little box, a present, and watched how you’ve tried to open it and kissed the smile on your innocent face when you succeeded. I would love to take you everywhere with me and teach you the importance of little things and share with you my love for nature and freedom. I realized it is far-fetched but I imagine we are kindred-spirit. Perhaps you will not even know me but I love you just the same. Fly free and soar high my Oona. You will always be loved.
~ from your eccentric but loving Glam-Ma
I must confess I am still finding my way around this new year. In my mind I know that 2019 is a thing of the past, gone, never to be seen again. But deep down inside part of me is still there, reluctant to leave, wanting to know if there is nothing I could have done better or change.
Maybe because like any other year, the turning of the calendar from old to new bears a significant resemblance to each other, nothing special to mark the changes, everything seems the same but then again not. It’s like time passes quickly in a very slow manner it’s almost boring.
Here you are pumped to the max with resolutions and good intentions, seemingly inspired dreaming of all the things that can be done differently just to wake up each morning to find out that despite all your efforts nothing change at all and nothing will likely to change unless you make a drastic decision to suddenly quit your job, drop everything and move somewhere else.
How crazy is that?
I came across an article that is related to what I’m thinking about the new year and changes. It says:
Please keep what happened in 2019 in 2019. Put a lock on it. Bury it if you have to. Make a list of things that make you happy you’re alive and breathing. Things that make you want to get out of bed. Do something this year that you’ve been thinking of doing for years. It’s okay to feel bad at the beginning of every year. Even if it was a bad year, it leaves a hole in your life. It wasn’t a waste. Really. So much happened, so much didn’t happen. Turn your head to the front. New chances are here; new beginnings are here, a new year. Don’t fall into the same routine. Just don’t. What’s done is done. Whatever happened happened. What will happen from now is in your hands. What are you going to do now?
Maybe one of these days, I will wake up one morning to find out that I finally arrive in 2020 and ready for battle. Clear-headed, no hangover…
(I wrote this post originally in 2015 and came across it again accidentally when a viewer clicked it and I saw that it is still current. I changed the date, but the rest is the same.)
Cancer… My best friend has cancer. She told me via a Christmas card, which she dutifully sends every year even though I don’t answer most of them. Seven years ago since I saw her. We just moved into our current abode and there was no furniture yet inside aside from a couple of kitchen chairs.
No, we didn’t have a fallout or something. I am just like that. I am not adept at keeping connections. I burn bridges with or without reasons. She was actually my boss who decided it is better to keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Something with the husband. There was nothing there but it’s the thoughts that count. From there a genuine friendship has blossomed and since then I could do no wrong in her eyes. She fired a few employees including her own sister because they could not get along with me. She has forgiven me for all the trespasses I did against her person without me asking for it. The foolishness of the youth… Water under the bridge now.
She was a chain smoker. Now she has lung cancer. I called her immediately the minute I received the card and told her I was coming the day after. I bought a big bouquet of flowers I know she likes and rung her doorbell. Because I got a heads up, seeing her with a nasal cannula didn’t shock me but the color of her skin did. I thought those snow dwellers from the north in GOT were just the products of makeup techniques from efficient production artists but she looks exactly like them_ gray with a bluish tint as if she has been buried under the snow and been dug up just recently. Shocking!
She doesn’t have cancer. I misread the card. She has COPD instead and needs to have a lung transplant very soon. (what’s the difference) but there is no donor. She’s not even on the list. And even then, her kidney is not functioning properly to have an operation. Her face is swollen from too much cortisol. She said she had an open heart surgery a while back and has to take legions of medicines. I gave her a summary of my own woes, she told me I look good despite… The husband said I barely changed.
They are not the kind of people who will lie or flatter you for whatever reasons. No, they belonged to the near-extinct group of honest people who will tell you how things exactly are without offending. That’s why probably we get along just fine. They told me they encountered my ex and his girlfriend in the supermarket. I said it’s the wife, not the girlfriend. They gave me a look that said: whatever. And then the husband said when it comes to a wife matter, my ex did a few steps back instead of forward and my best friend said the new wife is a far cry from me and very, very different when it comes to appearance. That was a shock. I find the woman ten times more beautiful than I am, taller too, whiter and with miles-long legs. My best friend said if I find long legs (she has) an asset then so be it but not in any way it would help the appearance of the new wife. Then she ran out of words to describe her and I supplied them by directly quoting the mother of D. when she described the same woman: grey mouse, she said. My best friend jumped on that and added a few more of her own.
They would go on and on if I didn’t change the subject. It happened that I don’t agree with them. D. said it is because I have very low self-esteem. That when it comes to comparing myself to others, I always sell myself short. Maybe, maybe not.
Anyway, it was getting dark and I could see that our visit tired my best friend so I grabbed my coat and said goodbye. I will not want to exhaust our welcome. They complimented our fine carriage and we drove off.
I’m not sure if I am going to see her alive again. I am afraid that the next time we meet, she will be inside a casket. Sad but it’s the truth.
Another era about to disappear.
Getting old sucks.
Do Not Define Me
A person, as an artist, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices. A free spirit and open-minded thinker.
Hmmm… My son once described me to his friends as a MILF. To my face he said I’m a bohemian. My ex said to one of his ladies that I was magic, but to me, he said I was a short fat and ugly gold-digging flirt head hunter who was holier than thou one of a kind spirit who got nothing to offer to a man. A man-hater frigid who pretends to be intelligent but otherwise stupid who got a limited taste in music and to top it all manic-depressive. Let’s not talk about how my daughter sees me. That would be a long and complicated story. The point of all of these…
The point is_ we are a lot of things to a lot of people. Each of them has their own version of us. None of those matches the image we have of ourselves in our heads. Not even close.
I see myself as a plain Jane of average intelligence. Aloof and introvert, shy melancholic and highly sensitive.
So many people will disagree. For most, I am confident, assertive smart outgoing social.
Alpha they say.
I’m not an Alpha. I’m not even Bravo Charlie or Delta. Just kidding. I’m more of an Omega. Really.
No. Seriously, I don’t give a damn how people see me. As long as their opinions are not interfering with my existence, they can draw/paint every picture they want.
My husband puts me on a pedestal. For him, I can do no wrong.
Easy you might say. No, it isn’t. You don’t get feedback that way. You don’t get constructive criticism which helps you to grow and improve as a person.
He was brought up in this fashion, believing he is a shining golden boy who is perfect in every way. The result? He has a problem with anything that defies that image of him, hindering him to grow to his full potential and evolve as a human being supposed to be through years of experience and making mistakes. The consequences of that upbringing he is still reaping to this day via his work, social contacts, relationships in general. Whenever troubles reach his shore, he automatically assumes that it is because of an external factor, others, not him, never him.
I don’t want to be like that. Just hand me a mirror.
I want the truth.
But what is the truth?
Everybody has their own truths.
You know… That image again we have in our heads? That doesn’t match with the ones they have in theirs? That.
Now, the circle is complete.
It’s how I fill the time when nothing’s happening. Thinking too much, flirting with Melancholy.
Is it possible to feel sad all the time?
Someone said to me (a long time ago) that it’s okay for people to feel down once in a while but not all the time (note that this person only knows me online via my blog) as is the case with me. She said that all my articles tend to lean more on the dark side rather than on the sunny side of life. Always rain, no sunshine. Too heavy to consume and digest on a daily basis, she said.
If she means I’m pessimistic and negative, I disagree. I’m always positive to the point of I tend to see bad days as ordinary days and learned not only to dance in the rain but make the most of it.
A little bit of storm will never stop me on my way. I’m used to getting wet.
So, why my blog posts are mostly not everyone’s cup of tea?
Maybe that’s why.
I don’t find happy times worth mentioning. They are few and far between and what is happiness anyway? If you don’t feel like killing yourself today, are you happy? If you smile because something touches your heart, are you happy? If nothing out of the ordinary happens and life goes on the way it was, are you happy? If you had sex after three months or longer without and feel no different than yesterday, are you happy?
Whatever happiness is, I don’t do happy. No happily ever after in my fairy tales. I detest happily ever after, that’s why I don’t read chick-lit or light-hearted fictions. If you know already that whatever might happens in between those pages prior to the ending will nothing but a diversion because, in the end, they will ride into the sunset, why bother?
I find it a waste of time.
Besides, it doesn’t mirror the reality of life.
In reality, the story only begins when happily ever after has ended.
But yeah… As someone said:
“I strongly believe that we must tie our sanity around something (or someone). May it be your dog, a future event, past regrets, or current obligations. We must keep ourselves anchored so we don’t easily drift away into nothingness.”
To each his own.
Whatever floats your boat.
But pessimistic I am not.
But never negative.
I prefer to be called realistic.
I’m going to make a list this year.
What is going to be?
Avoid consuming meat products.
Global warming climate change related? Absolutely! But that is not the reason why I’m doing it. Animal abuse is the propeller behind my motive. How many times I saw fragments of animal cruelty in the news and vowed not to eat meat again but time after time failed. Don’t get me wrong. I am not carnivorous by far. I preferred seafood than anything else but still… I consume meat products at least once a month. This year I will do an extra effort to ban it altogether from my menu.
Doing only the things that nourish my soul.
Done with keeping the church in the middle and duty calls. From now on, I will not be bullied/ forced/ propelled for whatever reasons to do things I don’t want to do. Yesterday I attended a Christmas brunch with people that either there because it was expected of them but clearly wanting to be somewhere else or they are there because of some obligations. A duty of commitment. That was me included. What is the point for crying out loud? I also found out that (as if I didn’t know already) whatever I do, people will never change their initial perceptions of me. Why bother then? Better stop pretending.
Concentrate on improving the quality of life and focus on personal growth and development.
My aim this year is to live the good life and practice self-care creating an environment that best suited my needs and follows the path towards not happiness but satisfaction and contentment. I want to be in touch again with my surroundings and myself, clearing the mind of unnecessary baggage and carry only those that are essentials to my being. Back to the basic is the road I wish to take which hopefully leads me to a more peaceful existence.
Listen to my body.
In an attempt to silence the chaos in my head I tend to ignore what’s my body is telling me. I go on and on till I’m so exhausted I can’t sleep nor rest. Of all the things I want to change for the better this coming new year, this is probably the hardest to do. I am used to this kind of method, torturing myself in order to feel alive, diverting myself from the chaos in my head so I can go on not living but existing. I never face my demons, I have given them free rein, carte blanché to create havoc in my thoughts forever inhabiting the corridors and rooms of my mind. To banish them is to feel empty, alone and lost. In fact, that is assuming from my part. The truth is I don’t know how it is to be without these familiar companions for they never leave. Even in my sleep, they populated my dreams or it is more appropriate to call them nightmares because that’s what they are_ miserable monsters.
But I will try anyway. Sweep away the cobwebs, open the windows and doors, let in the light and purge the air. Get rid of the skeletons, remove the clatter clean the place thoroughly disinfect the wounds and let them heal. Stop scratching go out more and smell the flowers.
That’s it I guess. I will add more if I think of some crucial changes that have to happen in order to lighten the burden of this existence most people insist to call living.
Here’s to another year!
I decided not to sweat the small stuff so I’m adding Don’t sweat the small stuff to the list.
…of the things that burden me, weighing me, stopping me reaching for the light. Time to fly, time to soar, time to reach my destination. Be free, be light, be enough.
Stop living in the past.
I always did that. One foot of mine is firmly planted in what had been, always looking back, stubbornly holding on to memories. It’s time to let go, live in the present and forget the past. Okay, forgetting is maybe a long stretch unless I suddenly get amnesia but not live there anymore. Let bygone be bygone. A very hard thing to try since it’s really a dilemma_ you can’t go back to the past but you can’t escape it either. I will give it a shot anyway. Nothing to lose everything to gain, right?
Wish me luck.