Han Byung Chul, South-Korean-German philosopher who usually writes about the isolation and mental illnesses people suffer as a consequence of an aggressive an competitive capitalist system.
Is it obscene to share your depressive, negative thoughts with a vast audience of unknown people who sympathize with the feelings you express in your posts from the other side of a computer screen or device? Yeah, I think it is.
And even so, I write this blog. And there was a time when I shared everything I felt on my Facebook profile, because I’m usually incapable of any intimacy. It’s hard for me to have a one-on-one conversation where I explain my feelings right away.
I know the messages are not always hopeless. I also try to send messages of encouragement, redemption, self-awareness… But there are days when I’m sad. Terribly sad. So sad I wish I didn’t exist. Or rather frustrated. Yes, the word is frustration. And anger.
I’m angry at this world -or at least at this society I’m part of- that made us loners but at the same time so eager for affection, that when we need to ask for it our judgemental self makes us feel as if we were being selfish, too demanding, and as if we were making others waste their precious time. And it’s true that sometimes we become selfish and unable to give. We can only take and take. And the more we take, the emptier we feel.
Affection is awkward, even love can be awkward -I’m not talking about romantic love-, but just hugging or caressing someone when you need to. I have a hard time doing that, for instance. And according to my cultural background (I’m a Latin Mediterranean), apparently, I should be really affectionate. But that’s just a cliché.
You may remember, dearest reader, that not long ago I wrote a post about suicide. I didn’t explain then why I did it (trying to commit suicide, not writing the post).
Usually people kill themselves out of unrequited love, money debts, or simply because they can’t find any meaning to their lives.
I did it because I wanted to kill my ego. And now I dare you call me nuts. And no, this is not something I reflected upon long after I did it. I already knew what the motive was when I was doing it.
I felt divided, “disassociated”, medically speaking. My other self was just tormenting me and I needed to put an end to it. The funny thing is, just as I was doing it, and the mere fact that I was aware of the reason, gave me a feeling of relief I’ve never experienced before.
What I found out later, is that it’s possible to kill/tame your ego, that little son-of-a-bitch that spends its life boycotting yours while it seems all you can do is powerlessly witnessing it. Not that the global system makes it easy fot you… but, believe me, you can.
The key is loving yourself a little more, not letting anything or anyone drag you down, and share that love with others. When you’re feeling down, let those feelings linger just as much as it’s needed; do not repress them or try to escape them. Cry your guts out. Scream, write down what makes you feel frustrated. Call someone. Most of the time they’ll be busy and that sucks. But if they’re good people, they’ll tell you they can take care of your needs right after they’re done with what they’re doing. Trust them and trust your own judgement when it comes to choosing friends.
If you’re left alone -because that can and will happen-, try to do something you enjoy (watch a movie -a lighthearted one, please, or something with an encouraging message-, draw, do crochet… whatever).
Play sports, preferably something amusing or martial arts (don’t waste your time lifting dumbbells, unless you’re already practising some sport and you do it every now and then to keep fit; that’s plain boring, sorry). We’re all lazy, and we tend to live more in our heads than to fulfill our bodily needs, but I can guarantee you won’t regret it.
Try to enjoy the simplest things in life: a good meal, cuddling with your pet…
No, it’s definetely not easy and it requires courage. Each and every day.
And yeah, self-help sucks, blah, blah, blah. I know there are people who can’t even afford to be depressed because their lives basically consist of trying to survive everyday. And I’m not just talking about the poor. I’m also talking about the ill, the lonely…
I don’t know what it is to lack the basics (I mean from a materialistic perspective), but I can understand how scared and angry at people and God I would be if this fucked up world had set up such fate for me (sometimes it looks as if Fate was invented by the wealthy and the privileged to justify their status).
I really wouldn’t know what to tell these people, except maybe “try not to despair”. Believe it or not, there are mostly good people out there. Oblivious, neglectful, but all in all good. And they are willing to reach out a hand for you.
*A psychological South Korean TV romantic comedy series from 2015.