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Saturday 12 March 2016

Not Born To Pay Bills

It is sometimes a hard thing to deal with depression as a vaguely nihilistic person.

You see a lot of motivational posts all over social media. A lot of these posts talk about purpose, meaning, so on, so forth.

It's great that people can find things like that helpful or soothing or actually motivational, you know? It's nice that the things can actually prove to be useful to folks, because everyone copes differently and everyone needs a different way forwards.

For me, all the motivational stuff makes me feel a little nauseous.

Like...I am sure some of them (if not most, if not all) are made by people who don't necessarily need the motivation they provide. They always strike me as hollow platitudes. Like there is something inherently mindlessly optimistic about it all, like someone that's never lost a limb telling me how it will feel, or someone who isn't drowning smiling calmly and telling me that it'll be okay, just picture the oxygen entering my lungs.

More than that, though - more than that is the notion that there's something beyond, and if only I believe in it, then it'll give me the strength to do the next thing. Which I can't do. Because if the recovery is built on the belief in something that can't be proven, then there's nothing to keep it all from falling down when you have that moment of doubt. All that can hold it together is your belief, your unshakeable belief...

...and you are better off devoting that to yourself.

"You were not born to just pay bills and die," one of them says. That's true. In truth? You weren't born for anything at all. You were born because of point A leading to point B, and the cell separation at point C, and the birth at point D. You're not here FOR anything. You're here BECAUSE you were conceived.

My function is to keep going. I wasn't put here with a purpose. Happiness is the one thing that should be pursued without question - though not at the cost of other people's. What else is there? All life demands is sufferance. We owe it to ourselves to make that as easy on us as possible.

Something my dad used to say, when he was very, very sick. "All I want is a peaceful life." I think that is what all people want, in a way. More than to be wildly succesful, more than to be vastly wealthy or permanently entertaining; we want to be able to breathe, to take time and to have that time to ourselves.

We spend a significant proportion of our lives doing things to try and achieve that peace. The average citizen of the UK works 1,677 hours a year. We go through school, we try and normalise, we go through everything that is expected of us just so we can get to a point where we have warmth and shelter and a lack of hunger. Then we have to keep it up - we run on the spot to keep that place. We put ourselves through daily experiences that lead to heart conditions and buildups of stress just so we have somewhere to go and sit and not be stressful anymore.

That's the life we have, the cards we are dealt. All we can do is try and change it to something better, and find our peace and our happiness as best we are able.

That's something to believe in.


  1. You write so beautifully. I would argue that every human life has a purpose - and that purpose is not to seek happiness but to create it with kindness. If only our world leaders lived by this mantra.

    1. If only...and thank you. I just try and write what is going on in my head.