Update: I seem to be back to the pattern of one “good” day followed by one “bad” day. As hard as I try, it seems I cannot turn those bad days around. No matter what I scheme, it seems that I simply lack the strength or motivation to get my life under control. Am I stuck in an endless loop of exhaustion, shame, and mad defiance? On my bad days there is virtually nothing that feels meaningful. And I cannot change that, no matter how hard I try. So, it’s natural that I do not have the necessary ambition to go the necessary length to get my life under control.
I do have high ambitions, ideals, and values. But they feel vacuous, abstract, and detached from the reality I experience when I’m in my depressed and anhedonic state. They do not seem to help me in any way. So I resort to techniques that rely on pure strength or will, or clever hacks, or sheer madness. Yet there is no sustaining force behind them, it’s mostly just intense despair and self-loathing that drives them, which is just a feeling that subsides sooner or later.
Good things sometimes happen to me. Sometimes I achieve things that are important to me. And yet they almost always feel insufficient, unsatisfactory. It’s like I’m starving and yet nothing seems to satiate me. So I desire to feel anything at all, when there is almost nothing that really moves me. Occasionally I catch a subtle feeling that seems to nourish my soul. Then I end up squeezing the source dry that seemed to touch me. Soon I end up with cold ashes.
The times when I felt true vitality seem to be confined to the distant past. I don’t know what went wrong. Each outburst of vitality seems to have ended in me getting closer to the event horizon of a black hole of disappointing nothingness. Now that I’m writing about this I remember that I have thought like this at least since I have been 18 years old. What’s really crazy is that I feel that I have become stronger. And that I have become weaker. Perhaps it’s most accurate to say that I have become calmer, more grounded, and able to endure more suffering, yet my passion and vitality have subsided.
I feel broken and I do not know what it takes to fix me. In any case, I will continue to fight until the very end.
My psychological problem analyses yield no clear solution. Each approach I try is soon sabotaged by my inability to pursue it, especially when I’m exhausted, depressed, and anhedonic. The only chance would be a method that actually worked when I am deeply exhausted, depressed, and anhedonic. And I that state I usually do not even see a real reason to fight and use such methods. Of course I know that I should do something that helps me, but I end up being sabotaged by the question “why?”! And that’s even despite the fact that I have lots of reasons. None of them however feel important when I’m in my dark states. A conclusion I am tempted to draw from these insights is that I need to learn not to care about reasons, feelings, or motivation. I need to act like a machine without its own will, simply continuing to run a program no matter how pointless it may seem. In the light I am the programmer, in the darkness I need to be the machine that runs the program.
What’s the program I need to run?
- Do some serious exercise!
- Just get some stuff done!
- Don’t get lost in distractions!
And I need to remind myself again and again that the darkness is only a transient state. After the night there is always a new dawn.
I wished I was able to pull that off. Sometimes I wished I had someone who was willing to literally beat me to it. That’s something I haven’t tried yet.