IT’S LIKE THE FLU…
I catch depression like most people catch the flu. And it’s pretty regularly flu season in my life. Pills, in my 2-decades of experience with them, are like condoms for my emotions. Some are ribbed, some are ultra-thin, but all are Trojan Horses: while they numb the bad feelings, they also dull the desire to do anything actually about the real causes of the emotional disease.
The main causes of it in my life have always been plain as day: loneliness and a lack of a purpose. No pill solves that. One researcher who studies aboriginal tribes calls depression “a disease of civilization” in his Ted Talk.
I also believe that a great many of us are too busy to notice what we are actually feeling. When I was a web developer, my job was stimulating mentally, and I enjoyed the challenges. It occupied my time and my mind. And while it was enjoyable, I believe it also served the purpose of keeping my mind off my feelings of meaninglessness and disconnection. I think that’s true for many of us. We not only work alot, but lead very, very busy lives.
When I slowed down, depression hit harder than ever. The immediate knee-jerk reaction is of course to keep busy.
But in addition to all the time we do have to spend working to earn a living, I believe we fill a lot of our other time to avoid feeling. We are very out of touch with our emotions and feelings.
If we slowed down a bit, I think what we’re feeling would be overwhelming. We can’t just slam the breaks on our busy lives.
But what would happen if we began to slow down, one day at a time?