… that’s what I always say to myself when I feel so bad I want to give up.
When it hurts so much I literally double up from the pain.
I tell myself every time I encounter injustice and people treat me bad because of who I am.
It’s okay, don’t cry.
I say to myself when people that matter to me forget I exist.
And I miss them terribly.
It’s okay to feel sad, lonely, miserable, isolated and misunderstood.
It’s okay not to sleep. It’s okay not to eat. It’s okay to suffer and it’s okay not to feel safe.
For years I tell myself it’s okay. What’s happening to me is normal. It’s okay.
Yesterday I thought:
It’s not okay.
It’s not okay that I have so much pain physically.
And emotionally I’m empty.
Psychologically I’m a wreck.
It’s not okay that my family betrayed me, my ex abused me and people took advantage of my generosity.
It’s not okay that I don’t see my children much and it’s not okay that the person I care about the most is taken away from me.
It’s not okay.
In fact, I feel bad and some days I want to end it all.
And today I am really convinced that it’s the right thing to do.
I have only one wish:
That I see my Sunshine once more and hold her again in my arms and kiss those soft cheeks.
Then I’m going to sleep.
The sad part is, that I will probably end up loving you without you for much longer than I loved you when I knew you. Some people might find that strange. But the truth of it is that the amount of love you feel for someone and the impact they have on you as a person is in no way relative to the amount of time you have known them. ―
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…
“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.”
Empty nest loneliness the importance of purpose faith human contact and the feeling of emptiness were all clichés and alien to me up until recently. Self- imposed solitude is different from_ I would not say having no choice because we always have a choice_ let’s say between a rock and a hard place, being able to choose without compromising one’s own self-respect integrity and dignity. I heard about loneliness in the elderly and social isolation and I thought I will never experience being lonely because I love and value my self-imposed solitude so much but lately I might be willing to admit that I’ve been wrong, or rather I underestimate the consequences of getting old and having illness that hinder not only the mobility but freedom in general and of course social contact. Who wants to burdens others with what’s wrong with one’s life anyway? How could you explain that your agenda is governed by what’s happening with you physically and mentally. How could you say to someone that I could not meet you for coffee because I don’t have a circadian rhythm, I sleep when I am able to sleep and most of the time awake because of intense pain. How could you explain that? And even if they understand, you will never be able to find someone who is willing to sacrifice their schedules to fit and accommodate yours. Besides, it’s not humane to even consider asking that from anyone.
Someone who’s lonely finds it hard to reach out. There’s a stigma surrounding loneliness, and older people tend not to ask for help because they have too much pride.
Yeah, the pride… the pride… I’m guilty of the charge. I don’t want to impose I don’t want to be needy. I don’t want to disrupt other people’s lives in order to enrich mine. I am afraid to ask in case they might say no. Yes, I am scared of rejection, aren’t we all? I’ve been on my own for so long I don’t know how to reach out. I am not sure if I even want to for the fear of what they might ask or expect in return. Silly I know but It is what it is, and it ain’t nothin’ else… Everything is clearly, openly, plainly delivered.
Where to tie my sanity around? I had a prospect a few months ago but it was taken away. I still have difficulties moving on regarding that setback. How about faith… I’ve lost my faith in organized religion a long time ago and I am not sure if I still believe in God. My faith in humanity is dangling on a very, very thin thread. What else to believe?
What else to do but makes the most of what little there is. On your own without bothering others. Sometimes I wonder how much of my physical complaints are brought by loneliness and isolation and how much by stress. Strange that social contact stresses me more than isolation and loneliness that’s why I decided to isolate myself in the first place. Have you experienced walking in the city during the holiday season? Or even on weekends? Jesus! It’s murder out there! Yesterday I was in the mall in Germany and I ended up getting more stressed than ever I decided not to buy anything at all because I could not focus. Too many people! No place to sit at the food court. Queue in the parking garage. Chaos on the roads. Better to stay at home. And there, the circle is complete.
Back to square one.
And here I’m going to stop.
I don’t know what to say anymore.
Till next time.
If you decide to just go with the flow, you’ll end up where the flow goes, which is usually downhill, often leading to a big pile of sludge and a life of unhappiness. You’ll end up doing what everyone else is doing.
And I thought if you go with a flow you will have a peaceful life, good neighbors and lots of friends. Everyone would like you and you will be happy. Take it from me who always swim against the current- not because I am dying to be different for the sake of being different (I would never do that) it seems the only way for me to float- it’s never easy. You know… road less taken/traveled whatever.
One Lauren Alaina sings:
You won’t make yourself a name if you follow the rules
History gets made when you’re acting a fool
So don’t hold it back and just run it
Show what you got and just own it
No, they can’t tear you apart
Don’t follow anyone
March to the rhythm of a different drum
Why do we analyze, break out, and criticize the crazy ones?
Easier said than done you might say (Me, I would never claim that for the simplest of reason: I don’t know any other way) not following the herd not having a herd mentality it means you are on your own and I believe not so many aspire to be alone, isolated and outcast even for being who you really are. Pretending is easy and like I said peacefully peaceful. Again I would never know. It’s always chaos in my head and out there is like running the gauntlet. You are lucky if you make it alive by the end of each day. Cruel world they say. I strongly disagree. It’s the people who is cruel not the world. The world is beautiful. At least the part that cruel people leave alone.
I’m getting sidetracked again.
How about you?
Are you part of the herd?
A dead fish?
Or something else?
Is that so?
When you hit rock bottom the only way is up?
Dangerous are the people who got nothing to lose
They up the stake and go all the way.
I feel like that sometimes.
Other times I worry about everything and nothing.
But one thing is true
The more you have, the more scared you get of losing them.
Same with people I guess.
The more you love them, the greater the fear.
Watching thriller and detective films sometimes, I curse when I learned that the leading character has a family, children especially. I think to myself: How stupid you are to have an Achilles heel. In that line of work, better to live alone and have nothing you cannot walk away from when the situation calls for it.
If I have got my wish, I am living that kind of life. Solitary. Lone wolf. Always in transition, nothing to lose, never vulnerable.
I will be a Ronin.
Yeah. I like that. A secret fantasy of mine.
I never walk into a place I don’t know how to walk out of.
And I never took a companion I cannot shoot in the head without a second thought.
“Sometimes people who don’t socialize much aren’t actually antisocial. They just have no tolerance for drama and fake people.”
This is what I want to say to anybody who accuses me of being antisocial.
I’m in a point of my life where I don’t care anymore what people think of me. I just want peace and quiet away from all the cacophony of a crowd.
“As a highly sensitive introvert, I need plenty of quiet alone time to recharge. Loud talking and music drain my energy and make me feel claustrophobic.”
“I can function quite well in public situations but find myself completely exhausted afterward. I struggled to make banal small talk with groups of people, much preferring a deeper discussion with one or two others. I can stand up and give a talk and lead a group discussion, no problem, but then I have to retreat and rest for a whole day.”
Worse still, I need at least three weeks to recuperate.
“I love my family, and I can tolerate people in my space for a little while, but if they stay for more than a day, I get stressed. Picking up on their feelings, having to be ‘on’ all the time, not having my own space to retreat to — it’s too much.”
“I cannot tolerate chaos and disorder especially in my personal space. I need everything organized and clean. I cannot do clutter. I must have the house put in order before I start for the day. Otherwise, I’m just so distracted by the extra sensory input.”
“Others seem to need a radio or TV on in the background ‘for company,’ but it drives me crazy. I love shops with no music. I can’t cope with the sound of power tools, lawnmowers, or leaf-blowers — it’s excruciating.”
“Strong smells especially from perfume or essential oils. I find them overpowering and they make me physically ill.”
“I absorb and hold on to other people’s emotions, which can leave me feeling sad, upset, or drained.”
Like now, I’ve been out too long yesterday and here I am, 6:30 in the morning and still awake typing despite taking a tranquilizer and a sleeping pill. I’m too stressed to sleep even though my body is exhausted and ready to give up.
People don’t understand that being with them takes too much effort and energy. They asked but don’t listen and all ready to judge. Better to keep away than to cause a discussion or misunderstanding even. I just don’t want to waste time explaining anymore.
“Don’t you feel lonely? I see that you always eat out alone, watch movies alone, drink in cafes and read books in libraries alone. I always see you isolating yourself in a room with your phone, alone. Doesn’t it make you sad? Lonely?”
“Loneliness doesn’t work that way for me. The reason why I’m always alone is that I don’t want to be lonely. To be with myself is appreciating my own presence, especially when others couldn’t. You see, for me, being surrounded by people but still feeling alone— that’s lonely. Having a group to go out with but not feeling like you belong— that’s lonely. I’d rather be with myself and be alone, and no— that doesn’t make me lonely. Being with myself means I don’t have to fight for attention. Being with myself means that I don’t have to pretend that I’m a different person.”
~ thalia b.
I’m someone who wouldn’t mind spending all day alone.
Only one thing would make me feel alone.
Being with people I don’t feel myself with, being at places that don’t match my soul.
Being silent when I want to talk the most.
Being lonely isn’t sitting all by myself,
It’s being confined in an atmosphere that doesn’t make me feel real.
“Suicidal feelings are not the same as giving up on life. Suicidal feelings often express a powerful and overwhelming need for a different life. Suicidal feelings can mean, in a desperate and unyielding way, a demand for something new. Listen to someone who is suicidal and you often hear a need for change so important, so indispensable, that they would rather die than go on living without the change. And when the person feels powerless to make that change happen, they become suicidal.
Help comes when the person identifies the change they want and starts to believe it can actually happen. Whether it is overcoming an impossible family situation, making a career or study change, standing up to an oppressor, gaining relief from chronic physical pain, igniting creative inspiration, feeling less alone, or beginning to value their self worth, at the root of suicidal feelings is often powerlessness to change your life – not giving up on life itself.”