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Posted by lycan librarian in Uncategorized.

suffering        I was deeply struck by the suicide of Robin Williams. I recall feeling this same confusion when I heard about Bruce Springsteen’s bout of depression and Thomas Kinkaid’s death. These are men who have made a mark in the world and have bank accounts stuffed full of more money than most of us can imagine. Their work is lauded, awarded and held up as an example for others, yet they felt unfulfilled. How can that be? A change of perspective is the best cure for depression, so I question why Williams couldn’t have gone on a spiritual retreat or worked with a charity or great cause to boost his spirits and give his life a new sense of meaning. But then the voice of my life coach cuts in and rings in my ears. She told me, “You can’t judge your insides by other people’s outsides.” No matter how successful or entitled somebody else may seem, we all suffer from having to live with ourselves. We all house doubt, insecurity and occasional self-loathing. There are others who may have looked upon my depression a couple of years ago as just as ridiculous and unfathomable. I am a prolific novelist, I have a home with acreage that is paid off, a pension, a good husband and I get to travel frequently. I am fed, sheltered and own more clothes than I can wear. So what else do I need? But that elusive else, that something more that we feel is missing is what sends us into the gloomy depths of depression and nobody can assign happiness and fulfillment to anyone else, especially based on a bank account balance and/or whatever front that person is projecting.

Have we always been so unhappy, or is it just through media that we are now being made aware of how miserable people are? Are longer lives working against us because we are now outliving our wills to live? I am happy again, but it took a lot of work. Once that grey cloud formed over my head and followed me everywhere, my mind was my worst enemy and actually seemed determined to fabricate my destruction. But from somewhere within arose a gratitude for this life and I somehow kicked off that dark cloak and emerged again into the sunlight.

It’s very hard to control unhappy thoughts, but it can be done. The most important tools are to not compare yourself to others and to learn to eject those negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. If ever there was proof of Satan on this earth, it’s hanging there in the thick fog of depression that descends upon us and causes us to see ourselves as worthless.
Here’s hoping that the afterlife does not punish those who take their own lives. I sincerely believe that there is no penalty – that life in its entirety is a learning experience and that hell lies not in the afterlife, but in life right here, where we suffer and watch others suffer.



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