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Sep. 9th, 2001 | 10:23 pm

I found a frightening thought recently, while reading through feminista.com an on-line feminist journal.

What if the reason I've struggled with depression all of my life is because life really and truly does suck. A world where the rich are blind to the environmental destruction caused by their greed, a world where women are regularly beaten, raped, and convinced that their value derives from being able to be pretty, a world where the more white someone is the easier it is to avoid being accused of crimes, is not a happy world. This is a world of violence, cruelty, and oppression.

The closer one is to the top of the dog-pile, the easier it is to hide from the horrors perpetuated.

Alas for me, I had one fatal flaw, a flaw that kept me from climbing into those echelons of power. I cared, I felt, I tried to empathize. I know that I miss things still, I don't really know what it's like to be a poor black woman, but I do recognize that I don't know and am willing to face that at times, I too can have the racist thought, that I can, because of my white middle-class socialization, support the status quo.

The crux of my problem is to find a way to act, to strive against a world I find inherently evil, and yet still manage to not go insane from my sanity.

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Comments {5}

Life Rebooted

that is a scary thought...

from: hopeforyou
date: Sep. 10th, 2001 01:16 am (UTC)

...and what's scarier is that I agree with it. But as you say, the crux of the problem is to find a way to act, to strive against a world one finds inherently evil, and yet still manage to not go insane from one's sanity.

Some people may contend this is exactly what therapists do -- they try to show the individual who is depressed what small measure of control they can have over their own life, and to not try to take on the world's problems because they are too big for anyone. Others may contend that therapists are trying to enculturate the individual into accepting the system, corrupt as it is, and making the best of it.

I think that there is a problem inherent in the system, but what do I do with that knowledge? I think Americans are overworked, underpaid, and don't have enough happy quality time spent with friends and family. What do I do with that knowledge? I can be an activist, and fight for better pay, required longer vacations, and government funded family conflict resolution. Or I can personalize the issue and try to find my own job with good hours, good pay, and put more energy into my relationships with people.

I don't know where there is middle ground...I'm still looking. I think there really *are* things to be depressed about which are big problems affecting many. I also think that there are things I am personally depressed about which only affect me. Whether or not one is intimately related to the other, what I do does boil down to how much I really can sanely do about things within my sphere of influence.

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Stephanie Wukovitz

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from: sebab
date: Sep. 10th, 2001 09:47 am (UTC)

it does seem like the more intelligent a person is, the more likely he or she is to struggle with depression. I've noted that in the past -- I think the real trick is to be aware of what's going on and yet develop coping mechanisms.

I'm not there yet, either :-\

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Nov. 6th, 2001 01:36 am (UTC)

I was talking to my therapist today, and through some careful question managed to point out that though there's pleanty of depressing things in the world, there's also positive things. Perhaps remember the good things, and not always focusing on the next problem might ameliorate some of the depression?

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Stephanie Wukovitz


from: sebab
date: Nov. 6th, 2001 02:03 am (UTC)

oh, a lot of times I do remember the good things and it works neautifully -- I feel like I have more of my shit together now than in the past.

long way to go, though, and I suspect you know the drill.

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The Dude

what we can

from: singleton
date: Sep. 10th, 2001 05:08 pm (UTC)

i don't have any solutions for anyone
only solutions for myself.
the world can be a rotten place
a down right terrible place
but it is all we've got
each of us who cares HAS to do what we can to make our own little corner of the world a better place. There may be no real way of doing this, but we have to at least give it a shot
perhaps the meek shall inherit the earth, but we cant destroy ourselves being concerned for its condition
i will spend my life trying to make my time here as helpful and productive as possible
and thats all i can do

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