Feb 18, 2017

Unhappiness

I'm always stressed about something. It's rare for a day to go by without me thinking about how I am doomed to fail; if not right now, then certainly in my future. Everyday I think I'm not good enough, and that I never will be.

I hate feeling sorry for myself. This leads me to feel as though I'm overreacting about everything that I feel. I'm feeling sad? I have no reason to, I'm just a pathetic excuse of a person.

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On a recent episode of Chapo Trap House, Amber A'Lee Frost and Will Menaker discussed the life and ideas of the late Mark Fisher. They read excerpts from one of his pieces, entitled "Good for Nothing." This paragraph really stood out to me: 

My depression was always tied up with the conviction that I was literally good for nothing. I spent most of my life up to the age of thirty believing that I would never work. In my twenties I drifted between postgraduate study, periods of unemployment and temporary jobs. In each of these roles, I felt that I didn’t really belong – in postgraduate study, because I was a dilettante who had somehow faked his way through, not a proper scholar; in unemployment, because I wasn’t really unemployed, like those who were honestly seeking work, but a shirker; and in temporary jobs, because I felt I was performing incompetently, and in any case I didn’t really belong in these office or factory jobs, not because I was ‘too good’ for them, but – very much to the contrary – because I was over-educated and useless, taking the job of someone who needed and deserved it more than I did. Even when I was on a psychiatric ward, I felt I was not really depressed – I was only simulating the condition in order to avoid work, or in the infernally paradoxical logic of depression, I was simulating it in order to conceal the fact that I was not capable of working, and that there was no place at all for me in society.

Now, I have to say that I am not and never have been depressed to the extent that Fisher was. However, a lot of what he says in this piece, and especially this paragraph, really resonated with me. I think it's really common to feel like you're good for nothing, that nothing will ever become of you, that you will never have a job or be successful, especially in the context of late stage capitalism. This is how I've been feeling for a while now, and being in college -- a place in which I am supposed to make decisions about my future -- the feeling is stronger than ever. It's agonizing.

What really grabbed my attention was the line about how he felt as though he were simulating depression in order to avoid work. I always feel as though I am just really pathetic and making up silly excuses.

There are times where I get slight glimmers of hope -- I feel optimistic about my future, and I tell myself that I am smart and valuable. But it's nothing more than just a brief moment, and I feel like I'm never going to be good enough.

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