On being chronically depressed and suicidal
Winnie Lim
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One thing that helped me when I was younger (in my 20s, 30s and 40s) was the idea of proportionality. “Life is short.” Obviously, but I started to look at this idea in a different way: Suppose I have to suffer this existence for another 40, 50, 60 years? Compared to the 13.82 billion years for which I was not alive and the eternity I will not be in the future, 80, 90, 100 years is a flash, a blip. Once you’re dead, you’re gone and never coming back — so why not let this minuscule time of life play out?

Sadly, this doesn’t work for me at 52, with several chronic illnesses that limit my ability to do the things I most enjoy. Add in the work stress and constant struggle to maintain a relatively large house and grounds all by myself, and the concept of joy is inconceivable now. But this is all because of my unique personal history and circumstances — I hope my “You have eternity to be dead, but only an infinitesimal time to live in comparison” theory can be of use to others.

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