Dancing Under a Shit Star
I, like you, probably, found myself born under a shit star.
Like you, probably, I tear at my face every morning I wake up and realize I have yet perhaps 50 more years of this circus train to ride.
Like you, probably, I flip flop lonely streets, wondering how on a planet with 8 billion beautiful brains equipped with computers in their pockets, farming avocados is yet still the best idea our collective intelligence has come up with so far.
Or maybe there’s more we can be, who knows.
I’m one of those gushy types.
I’m willing to dream the impossible dream.
I suffer from a mental health disorder known as Dysthymia. Which in Ancient Greek means, sexily enough, a “bad state of mind.”
This is a chronic form of Depression, which means I run at a pretty low level most of the time and am extremely prone to major episodes of Major Depression. An episode of Major Depression for people with Dysthymic disorder goes by the deliciously alliterative moniker of Double Depression.
Alliterative like the shit star we were born under.
I was first diagnosed with Depression at 4 years old, after my father left. Since then, I have experienced over two dozen major episodes of Depression in 26 years, some lasting several years at a time.
After college, I spent more money than I could afford trying to treat the impossible, seeking highly reputable out-of-network therapists and taking a cocktail of antidepressants to get through it. I wanted desperately to know what happy was, to know what it was like to wake up two days in a row not dreading my own consciousness.
I wanted to be what I thought was normal.
Then I had an epiphany.
Would you like to hear about my epiphany?
Of course you do.
Why would you ever turn down an epiphany?
My epiphany was that I realized the reason I dread my own consciousness so much is because there’s so much to fucking dread!
It’s not a lie!
Your brain isn’t making it up!
The world is on fire!
Everything is truly awful!
So it was a fairly tectonic moment in my life when I realized that my Depression isn’t so much about my mental mixology than it was seeing how much of the fuckery needs to be dreaded.
And people with Depression pick up on dread the way your phone picks up a wifi signal.
It’s a lot to take in.
And most of the threats to our wellbeing have shitty names, like:
You don’t really want to pick up on these puttering around your apartment, but you can’t help it. Your brain, like your phone, knows to plug in automatically whenever you’re in the vicinity.
Unless, of course, you’re very good at distracting yourself.
And to be fair, there’s a lot to get distracted with once you reach a certain standard of living. Capitalism would love nothing more than for you to drain the minutes of your life away in front of a screen distracted from the mess it’s making.
After all, Netflix is only $7.99 a month.
Cheaper than opium.
The distraction of the comfortable is always why revolutions fail. Once people reach a certain standard of living, they think they no longer owe it to the rest of humanity to continue fighting. They say they need a rest from all the hard work they did to get where they are. By the time they have kids, well, it’s over.
They gave it a shot.
Better luck, next generation.
But I don’t want to be their deadend.
And maybe you don’t either.
And if you’re fighting it, then you’re gasping for air while the rest of the free world is volunteering to drown.
If you’re taken in by the dread, it’s because it’s real.
You’ve seen the surface. You know this drowning world isn’t all there is.
If you’re depressed, maybe you’re depressed because you can’t make everyone else see that they’re not breathing.