Seeking joy and meaning in a joyless mind and meaningless existence

Sunday, February 7, 2021


My depression has been particularly weighing on me the past few weeks and is especially bad today. Sometimes the rabbit hole of thinking spurred on by depression causes my sense of self and reality to unravel somewhat, which can lead to existential panic and increasingly disjointed thought patterns. My whole psyche is patched together by self-delusion, and sometimes the cracks start to show. One of the motivating factors for writing this is to focus and seek a semblance of sense.

"I know you don't want to be here forever, even I got things I want to do in my life."
{Shaun and Pete, Shaun of the Dead}

After an ill-advised and uninspired encounter last night, I realized simply that none of my dreams are going to come true. I'm fifty-fucking-one years old. I'm never going to have any success with my writing. I'm never going to have a significant other. I'm never even going to have a group of friends, just my usual small cadre of loyalists that I speak to and see only rarely.

I see young people achieve great success as writers, even in poetry, the form of expression most nearest and dearest to my heart. I see writers and other artists living with terrible mental illness, including soul-crushing depression, manage to rise above it enough to have their voices heard. I barely have enough mental energy to hold down a job, pay my bills, live independently and maintain a minimum standard in my self-care and living space. I don't have any extra to complete writing projects; I just endlessly scribble down all my little ideas. For those few things I actually manage to finish, I don't have the wherewithal to scramble and hustle to actually have my voice heard. I feel as if I have talent and something to say and the ability to entertain. But I struggle with finding meaning in anything, and writing something that no one will read is the height of vanity.

I'm desperate for connection, but never seem to have much success in relationships. Family and the few friends I have appreciate the idea of me more than the experience beyond the occasional brief encounters. I want to connect over shared interests so badly that I pointlessly beg my sister to watch a movie series or wheedle my friend into playing a video game franchise (both of them refused). Lately, I've been posting endless comments on "r/" YouTube videos as if anyone reads then or cares or as if they mean anything. Connection can't be forced, so it's all just a waste of time. The physical dysfunction caused by my antidepressants and other factors certainly hasn't improved as I've gotten older, so what hope is there for a relationship with no solid sexual expression and fulfillment, even if I managed to attract and not repulse a potential date.

I live my life in fantasy, and fantasies are more meaningful to me than reality. That's why every once and a while I will spend literal hours lost in a fantasy. I desperately try to make my fantasy world come true, but either fail or end up disappointed with how they look in the cold, harsh light of reality. My fantasy of writing success (specifically for a young adult adventure series) told me I should delete or heavily edit the raw and deeply personal honesty of a previous entry, but why bother? With past as precedent, I know exactly how my life will actually go:
  1. I drop dead sooner rather than later. (Given my age, I can hardly call it untimely or too young.) I haven't taken great care of myself over the years, but I also come from a general history of longevity on both sides.
  2. I continue to linger like a sleepwalker through a dream or a zombie stumbling through a barely perceived landscape. I'm good at my job (which is in fact my only real source of stability, security and fulfillment), so I will keep it, achieving moderate, perfunctory, unspectacular success until I finally come of age to retire. I haven't saved all that much, but the lucky happenstance of inheritance may keep me from being completely destitute through the hard work and prudence of others. In a dwindling sphere of isolation, I'll spend my time watching TV & movies and playing video games while probably developing into a full-time alcoholic. My days will revolve around drinking, preparing to start drinking and recovering from drinking the day before. Companionship will continue to be short-lived, transactional encounters. I'll write a little bit here and there, perhaps nursing the delusion of "one day." Finally, I'll drop dead later rather than sooner, alone and so quickly forgotten. My siblings' descendants will look upon the writing I leave behind with novel interest before packing it up somewhere until eventually it gets thrown out and even my memory has been obliterated from the world.
Ultimately, like everyone else, I'm just killing time until I die, so none of it matters anyway.