As I climb my way out of what I like to call My Six-Month Depression, I find that two of my closest friends are going through some serious issues and life changes. They are two very different people (understatement) but they seem to be expereiencing similar feelings of self-analysis and doubt. You know, general feeling like shit. It stems (and here I'm speaking about myself but i think it applies) from just getting old. From being 27 and wondering what there is to look forward to. There may be other issues on the surface (both of them are single while I am completely happy at all times with my marraige to Mephistopholes) but I think it boils down to the fact that we are not in high school anymore. Our failures and missteps are no longer learning experiences, to be used when we grow up, they're just failures.
I want to help. To tell both of them that it gets better. To keep on keeping on. But I realize my greeting card sentiments might not be what is needed. No one wants to hear that crap when they feel like crap. I didn't anyway. But the stupid thing is that it's true. It does get better.
Think about this way: what is the natural state for a human being to be in? Before we had all these complex emotions and careers and shit like that, we were animals looking for food. Humans didn't have time to be depressed or to feel bad about themselves because they would starve. Caveman Johnny didn't pine over lost chances or regrets, he just went out and got more food if a deer got away. The natural state is to be happy.
There has been a shift in our culture, where we exalt those who are depressed. Much of our music, art, tv, and film focuses on how "cool" it is to be depressed. I hate the movies that are just full of unhappy people who never make any struggle to change. It's not cool to self-medicate with legal or illegal drugs. There are definitely people who need medication, I'm not saying that people who take drugs are bad, but we don't need to ALL be on drugs. That is not the natural state.
Ok, I've gotten a little preachy. That's exactly what I wanted to avoid. Basically, all this can be summed up in something my Dad used to say to me when I was growing up. "Don't sweat the small stuff," he'd say when I skinned my knee or got in trouble at school. He amended it as I got older, "And it's all small stuff."