Valuable Lessons From Depression

Depression has taught me most of what I know, contributed to my interest for psychology and given me loads of experience on dealing with a troubled mind, especially my own. I want to share some of the most valuable lessons that dealing with daily pain has taught me and made me think about. If you feel inspired to, comment below!

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Our Endless Strive for Happiness:
Ever since birth we have been striving for that good feeling inside that we call joy, or happiness, but what exactly is it? Some seem to be happy when they spend time with friends and some when they play video games, others always seem happy, while some will hardly ever wear a smile. So it seems that happiness is not just one thing.

My view on happiness has changes a lot after depression hit me, actually it was part of the reason I got depressed in the first place. I spent my years growing up thinking, like most people, that the grass is greener on the other side. Happiness was a goal in my life. I wanted to understand it, create it, spread it and be it, but what I didn’t know was that the idea of happiness has been talked and written about more than it has been understood. All over the internet there are articles on subjects like “ways to become a happy person”, “living a happy life” and “the key to happiness”, but as the years passed and I read more of these kinds of articles, I started to understand the illusion of happiness.

A person who’s smiling is happy, right? And a couple on their wedding day should be even happier, right? Laughing, that is a sign of happiness right? Or is it?

I don’t consider any of these happenings as happy things, they are events. Just because it is your wedding, you might not feel happier than normal, a wedding, and a marriage, is a lot of pressure! A smile might just be a sign of affection and that laugh, maybe that joke you heard was really funny!

My point is that happiness is fleeting and ever changing, one happiness is not the same as another, one situation is not the same as another. It comes like a wave and leaves like one, pulling you around without control, and that is what I find beautiful.

We humans seem obsessed with the idea of reaching this illusive state, happy, so we can forget troubles and stress, leave pain behind. We have been and are being taught that joy is good and pain is bad. Strive for what makes you feel good, that is what the parents, teachers and adults say, be successful, be happy, be whatever will serve you best. We become close minded, selfish and striving for something we will never completely reach, grasping and holding on to whatever happiness we see. We have become so focused on the neighbors green grass beyond the fence, that we have forgotten to water our own, leaving it to welt.

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I am not saying joy does not exist, but it is worth spending a whole life just striving for?

Grieving Life and Humanity: 
My grief for life is something I have tried to explain, that not everyone I’ve talked to have understood. They usually answer something like; “Well, you can’t walk around and be sad about everything” or “That seems like a depressing way to see things”, when I tell them about the sadness I feel for the world and humanity. I just can’t see it any other way!

It doesn’t make sense to me that I’d walk around acting like I’m having the time of my life with my things and friends and luxury, while people out there are starving, dying and fighting wars. Society is teaching us to look the other way, watch movies, buy expensive toys and eat sweet food, filling ourselves with pleasure chemicals so we become blinded to our silent world war. I feel connected to these people, they are my species, my global family, but the world isn’t being shared, it and all the people within are being slowly consumed, for some peoples pleasure and strive for joy.

Every object and situation I’ve ever been in contact with has someone else paid for with their body, mind, time and life. Every human being that has set foot on earth has in some way gotten me to right where I am today. I owe them everything, I am only a very small part of my own existence.

I am so very grateful for the life I have, a life I’ve been given. I haven’t earned it or deserved it, worked for it or created it. There are people who would deserve what I have so much more, but it just happens to be me, just anyone, a human being.

You might have never thought about the fact that your happiness always has and always will cost someone, maybe a penny, maybe a life. There is nothing on earth that is yours and nothing you are or have ever been entitled to, you got what you got, a place in this world!

My question is, should we be striving for personal happiness? Or is that just the drug that keeps us blinded in comfortable safety?

What do we know: 
The universe is way more complex than our minds can grasp, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try. We have been studying ourselves and our surroundings for hundreds of years and every now and then something shows up and we become certain. Like how we thought the earth was flat and the sun was orbiting earth. Yes, we get facts wrong sometimes, everyone knows that, but my question is, do we ever get facts completely right?

I became curious about the truth behind facts and how much they say about how things actually work in the world when I started to understand that my words didn’t mean exactly what your words did. This brought up questions in my head, if the things I had learned and understood could be learned and understood in other words and in other ways, what made something true?

I realized, truth is just this word we add to the things we would like to be certain about. I believe the human mind just isn’t capable of understanding what actually is. Our human mind will see what the human mind is made for, and that might be nothing like the actual reality.

So yeah, we can figure out how this and that works from a human perspective, but not a completely true perspective. We are masters at explaining what we see, but our eyes are limited to our head and our head is limited to the body and guess what, our body is limited to our mind, the hardest part to understand of them all.

Like I wrote in an earlier post, when did we forget that we are learning because we don’t actually know?

Giving up and giving in:
There are many different types of people, but something we all have, more or less, is the fighter's spirit. It is what makes you fight instead of flee. It is what tells you to argue about a point when someone is against you, it is what makes you want to do what they told you you couldn’t. Without it we would not have survived early evolution, we wouldn’t have fought for our lives and the lives of loved ones, but in this time and day, do we need to be lone fighters?

Do we need to argue our point and prove ourselves right? Do we have to fight one life to save our own? Aren’t we all the same thing, aren’t we all important to human evolution?

About a year or two ago I found myself quite lost, that was when I gave up on fighting. I was fighting depression and the thoughts in my head. I fought mornings with sleep and days with distractions, getting through it, but wanting to get away. I fought because fleeing seemed like death. I can’t flee school, I’ll end up on the street. I can’t flee life, death doesn’t seem like the way! I can’t flee pain, there isn’t any joy to fill the place. I certainly can’t flee myself, this is the only place!

Fleeing would have been my death, but luckily I did something else. I just stopped.

I started letting my thoughts come and go, whatever they were I no longer felt the need to take action. I stopped aiming for happy and started feeling my pain. I let myself sleep, I was exhausted, all the worrying had tired me out. I let all that I was fighting get right to me, got down on my knees and said; Here life, you got me, from here on I’ll let you do it your way.

That was the day I started trusting life and stopped fighting a war against myself that I would have never won!

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