April 20, 2022 at 1:43 am #398464LloydParticipant
Your enthusiasm is so beautiful, thank you!
Sending so much love to both of you and the entire community. Today I’m so exhausted, uncomfortable, cynical, heartbroken, and still I’ve been able to smile.
Life is revealing itself to me every day and it’s confusing, tiring, weird and amazing. I wish it was easier. I wish I could hold onto things forever in my arms and never have to let go. Life is so painful and tragic and crazy. I’m so tired of being tired and sick of being sick. I’m proud of myself and of everyone who keeps going. I’m proud of people who did their best and weren’t able to keep going. Despite it all, I’m proud of humanity.
Sometimes it all feels like a cruel joke or game, and I lose sight of any sense of meaning. There are two sides of me, one seeped in nihilism and the other an ever-hopeful optimist. I don’t know who’s right but I really hope there is some meaning to it all.
I keep returning to my childhood. Standing around in shops looking with wonderment at mundane products, waiting for my family to buy things. The music in videogames. The smell of rain. Feeling safe around my dad, laughing at his jokes. Seeing rainbows and wondering how they worked. Feeling like an outcast in school.
I can’t believe how human i am. I cant believe how imperfect i am. I can’t believe life is so long and so short, and that everything i do or say will likely someday be no more than a flash in the pan.
I took magic mushrooms a few months back and had this insane experience ive never talked about because i dont know how to talk about it, i cant put it into words. it was like i was in a play or a novel. I felt what it means when we say “all the world’s a stage”. I saw, felt and experienced countless rooms and tunnels embodying my psyche, as labyrinthian as any other person’s. the room i was most frightened of but also incredibly drawn to was a room in a hospital with a bed in it. this room had so much gravity. it pulled everything slowly towards it and was so heavy and made myself and everything around it heavy along with it. I felt the presence of the grim reaper and I sensed that this is all for nothing. And i felt agony at the thought. I try so hard, we all try so hard to make something of our damn lives. And i just hope so desperately that it’s all for something. I hope there’s a reason for me to get out of bed in the morning and push through my pain and exasperation at the state of my body and the world in order to do something like write this out, or listen to my mum, relate to others, connect with people.
Thinking about existence and meaning has become an incredibly psychedelic and haunting experience. Why am I here? The question is so basic and so cliche but I cannot escape it.
Depression is a joke. Nothing feels real anymore. But writing this felt pretty close to real. Writing this is in a way the most real I’ve felt in a long time. It feels good to get it out and feel seen by beings so compassionate as people like you both. I’m so incredibly grateful for and in awe of people like you. Thank you <3April 20, 2022 at 5:39 am #398465HelcatParticipant
Sorry I didn’t see your previous reply until now. Please feel free to @ myusername (with no space) and your replies will go straight to my email.
Soap distillery is the name of the company that makes the candles.
I’m glad that you are practicing self-care and it has been helping you hang in there. It’s good that writing and sharing your feelings is helpful too! Please feel free continue to share your feelings.
It seems to me that when people experience loss in any form, as well as grief, there is an opportunity to re-evaluate what you want in life.
My interpretation of finding meaning in life is simply considering what is meaningful to you.
Are there any things that you would like to change in your life? Do you have any goals that you would like to achieve? What do you care about?
Not everyone has lofty ambitions or is in tune with the meaning of the universe. I think the simple things that are meaningful on a daily basis are just as important.April 20, 2022 at 10:01 am #398473anitaParticipant
You are welcome. I guess my enthusiasm was expressed in all the exclamation marks I used in my last post (!!!)
Thank you for your kind words at the end of your post and for all the love you sent at the beginning. I think that you are a talented writer and I enjoy your writing!
“Today I’m so exhausted, uncomfortable, cynical, heartbroken, and still I’ve been able to smile. Life is revealing itself to me every day and it’s confusing, tiring, weird and amazing. I wish it was easier. I wish I could hold onto things forever in my arms and never have to let go. Life is so painful and tragic and crazy. I’m so tired of being tired and sick of being sick. I’m proud of myself and of everyone who keeps going. I’m proud of people who did their best and weren’t able to keep going. Despite it all, I’m proud of humanity” –
– so beautiful! The adjectives you used for life in the above quote and in the rest of your post (in alphabetical order): amazing, confusing, crazy, cruel joke or game, flash in the pan, painful, so long and so short, tiring, tragic, weird. The adjectives you used for yourself: cynical, ever-hopeful optimist, exhausted, heartbroken, human, imperfect, proud of humanity, proud of myself, seeped in nihilism, sick of being sick, tired of being tired, uncomfortable.
About your magic mushrooms experience: “I saw, felt and experienced countless rooms and tunnels embodying my psyche… the room I was most frightened of but also incredibly drawn to, was a room in a hospital with a bed in it. This room had so much gravity. It pulled everything slowly towards it… I felt the presence of the grim reaper and I sensed that this is all for nothing. And I felt agony at the thought. I try so hard; we all try so hard to make something of our damn lives. And I just hope so desperately that it’s all for something. I hope there’s a reason for me to get out of bed in the morning and push through my pain and exasperation at the state of my body and the world”.
This is what I think, having read and studied your post: what you describe here is the following universal human theme: the desire to be God, and the great angst about not being able to be God, no matter what we do.
Being humans, we are capable of imagining a whole lot, so we think that if we can imagine it, it must mean that we can have that which we imagine. The “countless rooms and tunnels embodying (your) psyche” are, I think, the magnificent and breath-taking rooms and tunnels of your imagination. But alas, there is one room that threatens to put an end to all of your imagined magnificence at any time, and that room is death.
You wrote: “everything I do or say will likely someday be no more than a flash in the pan” – you used the word likely, as if there is a possibility that your life (or anyone’s life) can be more than a flash in the pan. Even the most powerful people in the world today will be no more than a flash in the pan once their power ceases to be. Having had power and having lots of books written about a person makes no difference to a dead person.
“I keep returning to my childhood. Standing around in shops looking with wonderment… The smell of rain. Feeling safe around my dad, laughing at his jokes. Seeing rainbows and wondering how they worked. Feeling like an outcast in school… Why am I here?”
We are here to experience life, same as the reason why any living thing (bacterium, protozoan, fungus, plant or animal) is here: to see, to hear, to touch, to smell, to taste, to feel, to think, to desire, to imagine. Don’t allow your human ability to have a huge vocabulary, to put words into magnificent sentences, to imagine so much… don’t let these abilities delude you into believing that you are anything more than a living thing.
We imagine (and have invented) God because we desire to be magnificent and eternal. You can be the first for a while, from time to time, but you can’t be the latter.
Seeing this truth and accepting it with humility will make you less uncomfortable, less heartbroken, less tired and exhausted, and life will be easier for you (“I wish it was easier“).
“And I felt agony at the thought. I try so hard; we all try so hard to make something of our damn lives. And I just hope so desperately that it’s all for something. I hope there’s a reason for me to get out of bed” –
– when you accept this truth with humility, your agony and desperation will lessen and lessen; you will no longer be overwhelmed by the huge and impossible task of becoming God, you will no longer try so hard, or plan to try so hard to be God, spinning your wheels for nothing.
That something and reason to get out of bed is to experience life (that’s all, but it’s also a lot)!
April 22, 2022 at 4:04 pm #398680LloydParticipant
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by anita.
(^ thanks for that tip! and the company name)
thanks a lot 🙂 i want to make a distinction here (im half making this up as i go along, bear with…):
as i see it, there is meaning and there is purpose.
my purpose, which i’ve made up and might change anytime, is to spend my life doing my best to grow as a Buddhist; practicing compassion toward myself and the world, whilst making space for beauty, creativity and adventure— and to enjoy the ride. this is my purpose, my cognitive idea of what i’m trying to do with my life.
meaning meanwhile has more dubious, well, meaning in my eyes. i take it to be more emotional than purpose; it’s not a directive, it’s more of a feeling that i have good reason to stay here. it’s a sense of being tethered to this life, feeling passionately that life is something i want to live. the opposite of depression, apathy, numbness.
cynically we might say that purpose and meaning together make up a psycho-philosophical buffer against the existential angst inherent to being human. i have a hunch though that meaning is a real, spiritual thing coded into the very fibre of existence, even if i often find it hard to connect with said meaning.
granted, i 100% agree that “the simple things that are meaningful on a daily basis are just as important”. i think what i’m wrestling with, underneath much of the day-to-day stress i experience, is that while i have a fairly strong sense of purpose and orient my life and goals toward that purpose, i still despite that feel very apathetic and numb a lot of the time. it’s like this disconnect between my head and my heart; i read philosophy, watch lectures, give myself compelling reasons to be here, but sometimes on a deep emotional level i just feel utterly disinterested in life. i’m young and already i feel like the spark of passion and curiosity i had growing up is fading. the same things that used to be amazing and exciting when i was a kid now feel hollow, and the only way i can get a glimpse of that state of mind is through taking drugs, but it’s a transient experience, like opening up and smelling an old perfume bottle belonging to someone you once loved.
there are definitely things i wanna change yes. id like to recover from depression and grow into a calmer and more secure person. i’d like to connect more with the universe. i’ve been setting and pursuing compelling goals for as long as i can remember. i care a lot about my loved ones, animals, politics… i guess all this is just not enough sometimes to drown out the ever-pessimistic part of me that just couldn’t care less whether i live or die.
hope im making sense and not veering off into incomprehensibly pretentious territory … !April 24, 2022 at 8:14 am #398744HelcatParticipant
Sorry for the late reply, it’s been busy!
What you shared makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve certainly had similar experiences with depression.
I think you’re on the right path! I have faith that you will be able to overcome the challenges that you are currently facing in time.
Considering the trauma that you have experienced the emotional pain you are in makes sense. It takes time to heal and recover from these experiences. It is okay to not feel okay.
My perspective on happiness is that it’s like many ordinary moments you experience in your daily routine. Except emotions and thoughts have settled and are clear. Without this weighing you down there is a chance to experience happiness and appreciate beauty.
Humans have a negativity bias, so it can be difficult to notice good moments when things are challenging. Gratitude practice can be helpful for drawing our attention to positive experiences throughout our day. Have you tried this before? If so, did you find it helpful?
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by Helcat.