I went to bed pretty early last night and woke up right before my alarm went off. I was already feeling more depressed than usual (I don’t know why), so I got out of bed and took a walk around the block. Less than a mile, but the air was crisp and the sky was overcast and everything felt congruous with my mood. (Plus I read an email from a friend about “fat girl fetishes” before I even got out of bed, and feel that I need to work on not being so fat.)

So lately, I’ve had little desire to be social at all. It’s possible that I just don’t feel like expending the energy necessary to plan or think about social outings – after all, I was pretty sociable this weekend. I can just picture myself turning into a middle-aged miser who goes to work and then sits around the house reading or watching TV. This is extremely easy to picture, actually, because currently most of my weekdays consist of going to work, and then sitting around the house reading and watching TV.

This morning, while I was still in bed, I had a flashback to when I was living on campus at Lipscomb. I had forgotten that I used to get depressed there. I had no friends and no car, and even though I could walk to Green Hills I really only did that to go to the grocery store or the Donut Den. Plus I felt ugly and fat most of the time, and I never had any money. I definitely had some good days – I remember how I used to open the window in the dorm as far as I could, and watch Harold and Maude to make myself feel better….or the many times I would wrap up in my cloak and take a carafe of hot water plus a mug to a deserted place on campus to read. But…the depression I experienced then was circumstancial, and when I moved to West End I don’t remember it lingering.

I know that whatever depression I feel now is also circumstantial and I don’t expect it to linger for years, or anything. I’d very much like to get rid of it, though.

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2 thoughts on “

  1. You have too much drive (whether you feel it now or not) and ability to become a middle-aged miser. I know who you are. Don’t give up on things looking brighter.

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  2. I find depression to be pretty arbitrary. I could be in situation x one year and feel unhappy, and then be in the same situation x another year and feel happy.

    It provides opportunity for some interesting thought experiments, though. If you could take a half-gramme of soma and alleviate your depression, would you do it? Or would that be the same as putting pennies in a fusebox, in that it would defeat the point of unpleasant feelings, which is to impel one to certain actions?

    Suppose you could switch off certain unmet desires, so that you wouldn’t feel pain from the absence of what you wish you had. Would you do it? I feel that through the aging process, some of my desires lessened, and I don’t regret their absence.

    I don’t pretend, as some people do, that happiness is a choice, but I think that through experience and/or aging and through rearranging one’s cognitive framework, one can get to a point where desires weaken or go away. Note, however, that there is a difference between desire and motivation. They are controlled by different neurotransmitters, and I think one can have one without the other. One can want something one doesn’t feel motivated to pursue, and I suspect one can pursue something one doesn’t actually want very badly — i.e., one doesn’t really feel much pain from its absence.

    So then, what is the point of desire? Maybe it magnifies enjoyment when one obtains the object of one’s desire. “The fulfilling or Satisfaction of this Desire, produces the Sensation of Pleasure, great or small in exact proportion to the Desire. Therefore the Sensation of Pleasure is equal, or in exact proportion to the Sensation of Pain.” https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Dissertation_on_Liberty_and_Necessity,_Pleasure_and_Pain

    I don’t know if I agree with all that; I think it’s possible to feel pain without pleasure, or pleasure without pain. Or maybe the pleasure I feel now is payback for the pain of the past. Hmm, maybe by suffering now, you’re depositing into an account from which you can draw pleasure in the future; or paying for pleasure you bought on credit earlier. Could human psychology work in such a bank-like way?

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