Alone In This World

(pre-comment: if you've never personally dealt with depression, you may not understand)

One of the things I'm coming to find in this life is that, at the end of the day, we're all alone in this world. Even if we're surrounded by friends, they're external to our lives and will never be inside the darkest of places: our own heads.

We see this play out in many ways. Maybe it's the unintentional neglect of a friendship that highlights loneliness. Maybe it's the negativity of "friends" in reaction to new ideas. Maybe it's just that inner voice, reminding you of the darkness within. No matter how you cut it, we are all alone with ourselves.

As an extrovert, this is a daunting realization and reality. As someone who also deals with depression, it's even more distressing. What's worse, in this age of social media, we get a false sense of connection to others which in many cases leads to patterns of addiction and withdrawal. These are not interesting times, but rather dark and depressing ones. As a society, we seem to have lost the strong mantel of the rugged individual and are, instead, subjugated to group think, the PC movement, and trigger warnings for mamny-pamby children who are no longer equipped to deal with the outside world. As if there is, or should be, a right not to be offended. I digress...

Where I struggle today is with my place in this world, or if there even is a place for me. Things are constantly changing, as is expected, but it's not change that troubles me so much as my lack of feeling like I fit or belong. This has been a constant theme throughout my career, and even now I struggle with whether I simply expect too much, unreasonably, or if I'm right to persist in trying to bend life to my own whims and desires.

I fear there's not a way to know. And so, here I sit, feeling at odds with everything, nearly broken, surely battered, unsure what the future may hold or how I should even proceed.

For those who also struggle with depression, I'm sure you can identify. It's the old refrain of "why am I here?" and "should I even be here?" I'm thankful I have my family to keep me grounded in something, even if I feel grumpy and miserable most of the time. Watching the kids grow gives me at least a sliver of hope that I might leave a small bit of good behind when my final day has dawned.

Every day is a struggle. Some more than others. The struggle is real and the anguish sometimes is unbearable. It's hard to define some semblance of self-worth that carries any water. This is probably not a good state of mind or being, but it's where I'm at.

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