Diary Entry 5

 

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Well, it’s the second day of depression, and I haven’t jumped off a bridge or taken any medication, so that’s good. I am still feeling quite apathetic about everything. It’s as if nothing interests me anymore, and everything is boring.  Even the words I am typing right now take a tremendous deal of effort. Everything is painful, and difficult.

I’ve never really felt like I’ve belonged anywhere before. I never had a group of friends, or people who I could hang out with and feel good around. Because I’m depressed, even as I write this, I feel the urge to stop and just lie on my bed and waste away the hours, but I’m not going to do that because it’s not good for my mental health. The urge to kill myself is getting very strong, though I’m still afraid to act on it so it’s likely I won’t be hospitalised any time soon. What was I talking about? Oh, yes. The point, again, by the way, of these diary entries, is for you, dear reader, to feel as though I am sitting with you, and having a conversation. Likely it will be a very boring sort of conversation, with a very sad and melancholy sort of person, but I hope, if you are feeling lonely yourself, or perhaps just might be interested in what I have to say, will glean some comfort or hope from my words. I’ve always been pretty much a loner. It’s strange. I just can’t seem to properly connect with people. Whenever I meet someone and speak to them, we only talk of trivialities, and there’s no deeper connection between us, no spark. I don’t think I’ve met someone ever in life with whom I’ve had an abiding connection with, a sense that we perhaps met in another life, or something like that, and have known each other before. I feel very lonely.

And it’s more than loneliness. I feel alone in my view of life and the world, which is a very bleak one. I don’t know what it is that keeps other people getting out of bed in the morning and living their lives, it’s incomprehensible to me, because everything in the world, when you are depressed, seems so pointless and meaningless. Other people live, laugh, work, eat, breathe, have families, go on holidays, and I feel myself to be entirely removed from that sphere of life, standing on the outskirts and looking in through the window. My greatest fear is that I will live a boring life, doing nothing very much in particular except working, never get married, never be a part of the normal flow of things, and then die, childless and unloved, of old age, in hospital, of cancer or heart failure. I can’t exactly explain it—but I always feel like I’m standing on the outside, looking at other people and their lives, and seeing how wonderful or at least satisfying their lives are, while I am completely lost, on my own, filled with insecurities and loneliness. I don’t know where I fit in. When I look at nature, at trees and grass, at the sky, I see only mindless apathy, an indifference beyond belief.

 

I’m also going through a pretty bad creative slump, and am so tired from lack of sleep for several nights glands inside my neck have swollen up and are very tender and painful. Really, do read this just to feel better about yourself, because all this post is is a litany of complaints on my part. I am going through a major creative slump when it comes to my writing. Normally I have a wealth of ideas—a while ago, I did—but now, the river of inspiration has run completely dry and I am left beached on the dry banks, heaving and spluttering. Writing isn’t an easy job, but it’s never been this bad before, and I am afraid I will never achieve my writing dreams. Granted, I am only nineteen, but that makes no difference; I’m too impatient and overeager, and wish I could snap my fingers to improve my writing prowess, just like that. Okay, now, just then, I felt another powerful urge to stop writing this blog post. To just give up. That’s what depression wants you to do, to relinquish everything and give yourself over to nothingness. I won’t. I will stand strong, and firm. I know I have what it takes to write a good book, but it’ll just take a great deal of time and effort, maybe even years of hard work. But I’ll get there eventually. I think in life it’s very important to follow your heart and listen to what it has to say. What feels right is generally the correct thing to do, and for me, writing does feel right, it feels like the thing I was born to do, and so I will keep following my heart, the trail of happiness, to wherever it may lead me.

 

Diary Entry 4: Depression

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Life, for me, has always seemed lonely and terrifying. I am afraid of everything. I am afraid of being ordinary, of being stupid and never achieving anything worthwhile over my lifetime. I am afraid of boredom. I am afraid of never finding someone to marry because of my mental issues and dying alone and childless. I am afraid of the night. Heck, I’m even afraid of walking down the street by myself, not because I think someone will or attack me or anything like that, but because whenever I do so, with the cars whooshing past on the roads, and everyone else going about their business, I feel a loneliness so overwhelming I can hardly bear it.

It’s as if everyone else has an in-built self-comforting device that I wasn’t born with. I can’t soothe myself. I don’t think, since the day I was born, I have ever felt completely calm and collected in my entire life. I’m pretty sure even as a baby in my mother’s womb I was having some kind of panic attack, getting riled up over something only an unborn baby could fret about, like choking on the umbilical cord or coming out between my mother’s legs the wrong way, headfirst instead of feet. I get anxious about my looks, because I feel like I shorn sheep now that I’ve cut my hair really short, and the sense of ugliness is something I carry around with me like a dirty shawl, old and unkempt. I can barely even pick up a book and read it these days because all words do is remind me of the writing dreams I once had and which now seem so very much out of reach and impossible.

I’m a mess. I’m neurotic, insane (I’ve had a psychotic episode before, where I thought I was an angel sent on a mission by God, and was found wandering the city late at night by the police) and crazy. I’m a tight spring, always coiled up, and I feel completely alone in my misery. As a child, books and films soothed me, but now that I am older, reality has pushed itself right into my face, and it’s leering at me, grinning a mouth of dirty teeth, and I can’t look away from it, I simply cannot. I’m too afraid to kill myself at this point, but I don’t feel as though I can continue living in reality any longer. Even the words I am typing right now are disgusting to me, because I am in a state of mind where I loathe everything I write and everything I think or say is pathetic and useless.

 The best way I describe what it feels like to be suicidal is that it’s like you’re dangling over a precipice, and holding onto a string. The string is keeping you from dropping to your death, but only just, and with every passing second the string starts to break apart further, so that any moment, it could snap completely and send you plummeting into the abyss. I am holding onto that string, with my eyes tightly shut, hoping it will not break, yet terrified that it will.

To try and not kill myself, I have been trying to remind myself of all the wonderful things life still holds for me. I still have people I would like to meet, friends I can make. I might start a family one day, have a loving husband and children of my own. While I doubt I will get published, I will have some sort of job or work eventually, and perhaps gain some satisfaction from that. Sometimes, I will save up enough money to go on holidays, and that would be nice. Yes, just a nice, ordinary life, with its small joys and hopes, is what I am looking for; and it is these things I am clinging onto while every part of me screams at me to down a whole heap of pills in one go or jump off the bridge near my house. Writing on this blog, too, is helping me, and perhaps it will help anyone else out there who is struggling with depression or self-loathing.

When I get depressed, I hate everything about myself. I hate what I write. I hate the words I say—they seem boring and pathetic. I hate my own thoughts, I hate the way I sit, the way I move, I hate my own reflection, I hate the sound of my own voice. I don’t understand people who seem so calm and happy all the time. What is their secret, I wonder? What is it that makes me different from them? Am I just strange, defective? Broken?

The problem is, I don’t know who I am. I really don’t. I’m turning 20 this year, and still have no idea who I want to be or what I want to do with my life. Since my studies haven’t started, I have very few friends and people I can talk to, and even when I go to public places, like the shopping centre or the library, where I am surrounded by people, I still feel sad and lonely because I have no-one to talk to or confide in. I don’t know what it means to be human, and I’m puzzled as to why I was born in the first place. I’m puzzled as to why people have children, and I’m puzzled as to how everyone can be happy and satisfied with their ordinary lives, when I feel as though only something extraordinary could ever possibly make me happy.

What I hate most of all is my own ordinariness. I will live a boring, lower-or-middle-class life, spend my days engaged in ordinary activities, and then one day end up at hospital, dying in a great deal of pain. Is there more to life than this? Surely there is. Surely there must be something out there in the world which is fresh and exciting. Surely I can’t possibly languish in this hell-hole for the rest of my life. But what is there, except for reality, for trees and food, parks and stations, buses and trains? No matter who dies or cries or screams, life goes on, as it has always done, and always will.

There’s no-one I can turn to. In life, you are truly alone. Or perhaps that’s just me. Other people have boyfriends, spouses, husbands, family members they can rely on, but I feel no affinity with my mother and brother, no connection to them whatsoever. No knight-in=shining-armour is going to come waltzing into my life on the back of a white horse and come save me, that’s just not how reality works. Reality is the worst. It is ugly and terrible. Flowers bloom for a little while, but then they must wither, and that is reality, withered flowers, dead and gone. I wish I knew who I was. I wish I had never been born. I wish I had some answers. I wish I didn’t want to kill myself. I wish I could wave a magic wand, and make all the pain and loneliness, all the confusion and despair, just disappear.

The Reality Of Depression

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Well. The depression has returned. It came back three days ago, and I have a feeling the beast will be staying for a long while this time, biding its time, sitting on my chest like an unwelcome dog. I haven’t slept in three days, and feel like hell. Even the slightest, tiniest of tasks, like sipping a bit of water from a cup, or relieving my bladder, takes a monumental effort; I’ve got heart palpitations from anxiety, and nausea and dizziness to boot. Nothing I write is the least bit good, and my writing dreams are dust. When I get like this, I see nothing—no future, no past, no present, just endless pain and misery, for eternity.

There’s no hope. Granted, I’m not suicidal yet, I don’t have any plans to kill myself, but it is likely I’ll be hospitalised before the week is out if my mood keeps up. I’m just sick and tired of everything. Sick and tired of writing and never getting anywhere with it. Of staying home, and feeling like I have no future, no career, no hopes or dreams, nothing to look forward to or be happy about. Everything is colourless and dull; there’s nothing more depressing than the world outside, with its cars trundling down the streets, the empty pavements, the grey leaden sky, the people on the buses and trains, living in their own separate houses. Every word I write is a barbed thorn, digging into my flesh. Depression isn’t anything to laugh at; it’s black, it’s dark and all-consuming. It is the lack of hope itself, the world become a pencil-drawing instead of a rich, colourful canvas. I can’t remember the last time I was truly happy.

When I get particularly depressed, as I am now, a dark, thick self-loathing overtakes my mind and body completely. I can’t look inside mirrors, and every word I say, every movement I make, is pathetic and disgusting. I can’t stand being alive. I can’t stand my own presence. All I want to do is lie down, in a dark room, take a few hundred pills, and go to sleep forever, so I will no longer have to bear reality and all its sharp edges. I want to step out of my body, shed it like a butterfly does it chrysalis, and flutter away on angels’ wings to heaven, to somewhere pleasant, without pain or fear or despair. When I get depressed, I wish I had never been born.

I really feel quite ill. The only purpose of this post is to shed some light on the reality of depression. I feel sick and nauseous, deep down to my very core; the lymph nodes at my neck are all tender and swollen, and I can’t breathe, as if there’s a pillow clamped to my chest. I have a pretty good idea for a book, but not the writing skills to bring it to execution, and I cannot help but feel that my dream of becoming a writer is out of reach for good. When I get depressed, everything is irritating and unbearable; the light of the sun, my family’s attempts to speak to me; all books and films become boring and banal. .

Whenever I get depressed, I wonder how it is that everyone else can remain so happy and calm, and go about their days with such faith and motivation. Why is it that only some people have demons? What makes one person more susceptible to the blues than someone else? It doesn’t make any sense, and I am full of jealousy towards those who live their lives happily, untroubled and carefree, because it seems to be a state I can never attain.

I don’t know how much longer I can keep this no-sleeping business up. Twice, I have run through my head suicidal methods—there’s pills I’ve been taking for depression, paracetamol in the drawers in the kitchen, which I can overdose on, and close to where I live a bridge that overlooks a reservoir of water which I can jump off from if I need to. It’s hard to explain to someone who isn’t depressed why I would want to take such a drastic step. I’m still afraid of doing it so far, but some part of me wants to do it, desperately, because I can’t stand being myself, being conscious and existing, for a moment longer. Life has become unbearable; it’s as though someone has crammed a lump of something disgusting into my mouth, and I want to spit it out—by which I mean, kill myself. I do sincerely wish I had never been born. I wish I could return to a better place, to my childhood, when everything was fun and exciting. I’m lost in life, and I don’t know who I am, or where I am going; I want to find satisfaction, contentment, happiness, but all these things seem as out of reach as the sun, and instead of smiling all I feel like doing is throwing up.

 

Diary Entry 3

Nothing much has been happening in my life lately, and I couldn’t think of a good topic to write about, so this will be another rambling entry, a peek into the life and mind of another human being. I haven’t been sleeping well these past few days, and it’s been bothering me. I can’t seem to get comfortable. I don’t much like beds, strangely enough; I find them to be dull and lonely places, and much prefer sleeping in public places, on transport and at libraries. There’s just something so awful about sleeping by yourself in a stuffy bed in a room all by yourself that I ended up watching three Youtube videos last night—each of them of a woman holiday in Virginia Islands, Venice and Morocco—before spending the rest of the night lying in bed trying to fall asleep and failing terribly. To be honest, very few things interest me these days, not books I used to like, not films. All of reality is starting to feel dull, except for my own reading of nursing topics, such as health assessments and anatomy. There’ s just something so fascinating about disease, and the human body; all of life is such a miracle, even when things go wrong. I think it would be good for my studies to start soon, if only so I can have some human interaction and make some more friends. These days, since I have nothing much to do except study nursing topics and do a bit of creative writing, I try and leave the house and go to the library everyday, just for a change of environment and so that I can be around other people. I might be introverted, but even the most  shy and hermit=like of introverts would grow depressed spending hours by themselves in an empty hours for days on end, as I have been doing.

Let’s see. What else is there to talk about. The purpose of pieces like this is for you to feel almost as though you are having a conversation with me, in person, though in reality it’s really basically my substitute for friendship at the moment, since I don’t have many friends and likely won’t be making any new ones anytime soon. I find it very hard to find good friends. Sometimes, people just don’t get along, no matter how polite and affable both parties are, it’s a very strange and peculiar thing. In fact, apart from friends I’ve made online (and mostly through this blog), I don’t think I’ve ever met someone I felt completely comfortable and happy around. Maybe my father, perhaps, but he has long left the arena of my life, so there’s no point in dwelling on that anymore. Good human company is rare. That’s why I spend so much of my time alone. I wish I could get a cat. I love cats, and they make great company, in a soft and silent way. I wonder what it is about myself that makes it hard for me to find friends? Is it my personality? I’m a very quiet, subdued, calm person, who likes writing and daydreaming, so I think people I would get along with would be particularly kind or sensitive people, who can see beyond an introverted exterior into the heart of the person within. If I ever get a boyfriend, he would certainly have to be a very kind and patient man.

It worries me, my introverted nature. I don’t know how I am going to cope with the constant social interaction as a nurse, though I suppose I could just act as a medical professional and get the job done without engaging in too much social chit-chat. Oh, here’s something interesting that happened recently: after a long drought, I picked up my creative writing again. Only a little of it, because writing fiction for too long tires me out, but I’m writing again, at the very least, which is always a good thing. I don’t know what I want at the moment. I feel  kind of quiet and lost, like an orphan sitting on the steps of a house holding a cat in her lap, silently looking out at the world moving past around her. Lately I’ve been realising how very ordinary I am, and how I will simply live and die, and that will be that. It’s not a nice thought. Surely there must be something more to life than the world we see before our eyes?

Where is my place in this world? Where do I belong? In books, in worlds of the imagination—but even they, these days, are starting to feel empty. I don’t know quite how to explain it, but even books these days are starting to seem ordinary, because they were created by human hands and human minds. I want something otherworldly to happen to the world. I want magic to be real and true. I want angels to descend from the skies and hell fires to burn in people’s fireplaces. There was once a time when even a Vegemite sandwich was a source of novelty and delight for me, but now, everything seems so—so irritatingly ordinary. I don’t know if I am making much sense. Maybe it would be a good idea for me to spend a little money and go watch a movie or something, just to spice things up a little, or at least make plans to save for traveling somewhere so I do not entirely lose my zest for life. Existence just seems very pointless, really, and all our efforts, all pleasures and joys, silly and meaningless. Not even cupcakes cheer me up. It’s not good.

 

A Special Feeling

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I am going to attempt to describe something I have felt many times before but have never properly put into words. It’s a feeling, what I’m trying to describe, or more of a mood, of sorts. It’s hard to put into words, it really is: it’s like trying to explain the taste of salt to someone who has never had any before, or colours to a person born blind and in the dark. There’s something transcendent and untouchable about it. The spirit animal of this feeling would be an albatross, drifting upon the winds against an overcast sky at a beach. That, my friends, is the “feeling” of this feeling. Okay. Here goes.

It only comes during the early hours of the morning, when the sun is only just beginning to rise, and the world is cool and quiet. It’s magic, I think. It’s dewdrops and anticipation and dying stars. Everything just sort of feels mysterious and wonderful, like when you stare at a spiderweb after it rains, the raindrops glistening on its silken strands. You are alone in the world, and yet, you are not. You are with the characters inside books. You are with long-dead authors who inscribed the words of their novels at these particular times, in the wee hours of the morning. You are with everyone on this entire planet, breathing in and out, full of life, of blood and sunlight.

There is no horror at this time of the day. No nightmares. It is a quiet time, when the baby lies in the cradle and is still asleep. The world is the baby, still asleep, still dreaming, and you are its mother, watching on, full of love and silent awe at this beautiful creature. This is the time of rich, earthy soils, so dark it is like the richest, most moist chocolate cake in the world, and of the tips of noses peeking out of burrows, investigative, inquisitive. It is the time of beetles that buzz and spin like clockwork and angels hiding in cathedrals. You are standing on the ground, inside your home, but you are also floating, like a star, hanging in the middle of the tapestry of life, everything glowing in bright pinpoints. When you make wishes at this time, they will almost certainly come true.

The best place to be standing when this feeling sweeps over you is at a door that overlooks a garden or some grass, with a cup of hot chocolate in your hand and a nice, comfy cardigan wrapped around you. Because when the sun comes up, the feeling, the magic, disappears, like Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage and horses and gown. The sun comes up, and it burns everything out; or, if it ends up being overcast, gloom settles, like an overgrown blanket, over the land, and everything is thick and stuffy. What this feeling is, ultimately, is pure childhood. As a child, for you, all was wondrous and fascinating, and at this time of the day, you return to that place again, woven back into that safe, snug pocket when every bumblebee was a shooting star and even the cracks in the pavement looked up at you like smiles. Oh, it’s so difficult to describe it, so hard to put into words; if only feelings could be distilled, like water, and then given to other people to be drunk, so they could experience it as well: this feeling is a kind of otherworldly loneliness: you feel completely alone, yet the world is so beautiful, all around you, soft and sleeping, just starting to stir, that you don’t mind it at all. It is happiness, a time when you spent your hours reading books and watching cartoons and playing make-believe, too in love with life to breathe or speak. It is the feeling you had as a child about Easter eggs, those striped and spotted colourful things hidden in nooks and crannies, chocolate delights waiting to be found. The colour of this feeling is the colour of water itself, smooth and beautiful, bright and sparkling.

Treasure this feeling, if you know what I am talking about, if my attempts at putting it into words has reached you in some way, because I do believe it is the closest thing humans have to real magic, and that, my friends, is something quite special.

A Rambling Diary Entry

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What to write about? For once, my ideas ran dry when I put my fingers to the keys, and I found myself completely at a loss as to what to say. So I’ll just let this piece be a stream of consciousness, kind of like a diary entry, and I hope you find some worth in it.

It’s strange, but I feel as though only now am I beginning to see life clearly and properly. As a kid, everything was so fun and every little thing a “big deal”, but now, as I’ve grown older, I’m finding life to be quite ordinary and mundane, even the exciting things, like going on holidays. Granted, I haven’t been going on holidays, but I have been watching tours of countries of Europe on Youtube, and that is almost just as good as visiting the places yourself, and it seems to me something even as fun as travelling could get boring after a while, if you do it for long enough. None of the books I read I find interesting anymore, nor do I find any movies particularly riveting. Life has turned into a blank canvas, and there’s no-one to paint on it to make it look more interesting, not even myself.

What is life, anyway? A blip, really, a short little nick on the surface of consciousness. One moment we are alive, the next we are dead and gone, returned as matter to the universe, to rot in the ground and float away as ashes on the wind. It just seems so pointless, sometimes, though I know people say that life is meant to be an adventure and you’re meant to go along it for the ride. But what if the ride is going very slowly, or has completely stopped? Then what? I’m still very young, and have years ahead of me, and suddenly I’m not looking forward to them with anticipation but with dread, because they promise only more boredom, the same old mundane reality as before. Wouldn’t it be amazing if something truly out of the ordinary happened, like a mass quarantine to prevent the spread of a disease, or something like that? Not anything that would truly hurt people very much, just something to spice things up a little, the way a fire drill might make school more exciting. Or if the Hunger games really started to happen? No, I take that back: that would be horrific, not exciting; but you get my drift. I just desperately want something to happen, something to break the monotony.

I suppose once I start studying and get myself occupied doing more things than just blogging things will seem much less bleak. Occupation, I’ve found, is the true antidote to boredom, and I can’t wait to start studying and then working, hopefully as a nurse in the near future, so that I have something to do with my time. Being useful, having some utility in this world, and working steadily most days, is, I believe the secret to happiness, not wealth and riches, because that can lead to boredom and idleness. There are only so many diamond rings you can buy and designer clothes you can try on before the “rich life” becomes dull. Let’s see. What else is there to say? I made chicken bone soup today. I bought the chicken myself, cooked it, made it into some chicken sushi, then I boiled the bones with some purple coins for a couple of hours in a pot on the stove. The broth was quite thin, but it was still a pale brown and full of nutrients, so that was nice. That, in case you were wondering, was the highlight of my day yesterday, making food, because I didn’t end up writing a blog post because I didn’t know what to write about. From now on, though, I’ll try to write everyday, if only for something to do, even if most of what I write is aimless like this piece. At the very least I am still writing. I have entirely given up on my fiction writing, my ideas have completely run dry and I have not a smidge of creativity left in my brain. It’s true. I don’t know how it happened, I don’t know why, but along with the boredom has come a dearth of creative ideas. I’m really not the happiest camper at the moment, and I certainly hope you’re doing much better than I am.

 

Send Me A Miracle

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Lately, because I’ve been so bored with life, I’ve started praying to God for a miracle. Now, while I don’t entirely believe God exists, some part of me believes He does, and that was the part of me that was praying to Him these past couple of days. I wanted a miracle. No, I didn’t want Noah’s Ark to come trundling up to my front doorstep or anything like that; what I wanted was for something interesting and out of the ordinary to happen to me, just to break up the monotony of the days a little.

Isn’t that what we all want? To win a million dollars, accidentally meet a handsome stranger on the street, or land a book deal? A miracle? An ordinary but extra-ordinary happenstance? Incidentally, while I was praying, I did receive a miracle of a kind—there came a rumble of thunder from outside, signaling the arrival of a storm, though a natural miracle, while there are plenty of those in my life, wasn’t exactly what I was asking for. Because, at the end of the day, to be honest with you, as someone whose studies haven’t started and whose friendships mostly exist on the Internet, and especially since my fiction writing has taken a nosedive, I have become supremely bored with life. To give you an idea of how bored I am, writing these blog posts is the sole thing I have to truly occupy myself during the day. For the rest of the time, I visit the library, go grocery shopping, clean and prepare meals—and that’s basically it. Before writing this, I was lying on my bed, staring up at the ceiling, facing another day with nothing very much to do, which is why I decided to pray for a miracle, for something to break up the boredom, for a good solid ten minutes. These past few weeks have really made me aware just how much money is needed if you want to have some fun in this life, to go on holidays and purchase delicious food, or even to fund a little shopping spree. Without money, and work, life becomes a treadmill at a standstill, a photograph instead of a movie. I have neither of these at the moment—I’m not studying, and I have very little spending money, as well as few friends—so I’m left to my own devices for most days,  and my own company, I have found, isn’t always the best there is to be had.

I wish for things, so many things. I wish I lived in a nice house I owned, with wardrobes filled with beautiful clothes. I wish I had many friends, so I could invite them all to my house for dinner parties and other occasions. I wish I had the money to go on holidays, and trips, and to eat out at fancy restaurants. I wish I had a job that earned a good income and which I enjoyed. I wish—I wish—I wish—But these are all wishes, and while I am sure they will come true eventually, even when they do come true, I’m certain I would be bored of them, and have another whole different set of wishes to go with my boredom. Everything gets boring after a while, that’s the problem, no matter how charmed or un-charmed the life. Variety is what truly matters, and to have a variety of experiences, you have to go out and seek them, and often doing so, such as going to new places, requires a fair bit of money which I simply do not have right now. Ah, well. One must be content with the simple things in life; at the very least I am not living in a war-torn country,, or dying of thirst or starvation. But that doesn’t make it entirely better, because sometimes I feel as though I very well would rather die than suffer another moment’s worth of boredom again.

20 Habits of INFPs

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  1. Taking different routes to places because they feel more “unique” and “exciting”, like following fairy trails or something like that.
  2. Always trying very hard to focus on the other person and their face when speaking to them, in case we look like we are bored and are daydreaming, as we often are.
  3. Unable to resist the urge to try and befriend cats, and always getting disappointed when they turn out to be wild, feline creatures who do not warm up to us as much as they should.
  4. Falling in love with someone from afar. That’s it. There’s no plot twist, no ending: the only thing that happens in this love story is that the young woman or man pines beneath the balcony forever, while everyone else happily goes on with their lives, including the object of their affection.
  5. Wanting to be a writer but unable to realise this dream completely because of one’s scatterbrained nature or the reality of earning an income in this world.
  6. Scrolling through career options late into the night for the same careers or jobs—childcare worker, nurse, and other “caring” careers—just to reassure yourself that you do have some utility in this world despite your daydreamy nature.
  7. Feeling an urge to drop everything and escape to a farm somewhere and never letting this urge become a reality. Because INFPs, in case you haven’t noticed, are not good with reality.
  8. Wanting to escape into fictional worlds and lives for all eternity so the realities of life, such as earning a living in this world, never have to be faced.
  9. Feeling so lost in life in terms of career options you could scream, because it seems you were born for nothing more than sitting around in meadows, picking flowers and philosophising on the meaning of life. Unfortunately for us, no-one in their right mind would pay someone to do that.
  10. Making a decision to eat only organic and healthy food because that way one is more “in balance” with nature, but then giving it up because junk food is too tempting and you get too depressed not to rely on it sometimes.
  11. Contemplating, after realising how limited one’s career options are and how most of the ones INFPs seem suited for pay not very much at all, how bad would homelessness be, really, I mean, as long as you’re not starving it can’t be too bad, right?
  12. Wishing you were born into a different family, one that was able to nurture your sensitive, creative nature instead of trampling all over it, or worse, ignoring your “special needs” as an INFP offspring.
  13. Being unable to find things. Period. I don’t know about you, but there seriously must be an invisible wormhole following me around for much of my days, because that’s the only plausible reason I can give for losing everything I own.
  14. Gazing wistfully at other people and their lives and wondering how they manage to have it all together so well, so perfectly- poised and comfortable and happy. I can’t remember the last time I was utterly comfortable and happy in this world.
  15. Watching episodes of your favourite TV show instead of doing more important things, like chores. Actually, scratch that—reading books instead of doing chores, because reading is a much more pleasurable activity than pretty much anything else.
  16. Completing chores improperly. What do you mean, the dishes are still a little greasy? And that spot on the floor, I missed it? Well, I must have been thinking of something else.
  17. Getting lost when you go to new places and panicking to no end because when you get lost, you feel like you’ve fallen off the edge of the Earth and will never find your way home again.
  18. Rescuing tiny creatures, like slugs or ants, saving them from being flushed down the drain or drowning in a puddle of water. Because you care.
  19. Always being the friend who supports/admires/helps/compliments the other louder and more rambunctious friend, while silently daydreaming and writing on the side whenever you think the other friend isn’t looking.
  20. Having a long list of coping mechanisms for dealing with the realities of life—such as writing lists like these, eating junk food, and watching various movies—that do nothing whatsoever to help you to deal with the realities of life.

When Everything Seems Difficult

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One of the first signs that depression hasn’t completely released its hold on your life is if everything seems difficult, from the smallest of tasks, such as brushing one’s teeth, to bigger jobs, like applying for courses and making grown-up purchases. For me, it’s as if my brain has become, after the depressive episode, stuck in a kind of rut. In the past, I used to be able to write words and sentences with ease; now, they trip and stumble over each other on their way from my brain to the page, heavy and loaded with insecurities. When before I used to be able to immerse myself in fictional world for hours on end, now I find it a stretch to even write one scanty page of fiction a day.

It’s as if my mind has blacklisted, without asking me, all the tasks that I once found fun and enjoyable, and have now made them unbearable chores. It’s one of the reasons why I find it highly unlikely I’ll get published in my lifetime at this rate—not if even the writing of words sends me down a crazy spiral of despair! And to make matters worse, this lack of motivation and energy stretches to all domains of one’s life. Not only do I find the prospect of applying for my Diploma of Nursing next year complicated and unbearable, but I also find the very idea of finding a significant other and settling down and having a family an immense chore in the future, which, if I do manage to attain it, will require only more hard work and sweat and blood and tears. Laziness isn’t the reason for this—if that were the case, all I had to do was give myself a good talking to—but something more, a lassitude and lethargy of the soul, that makes all of existence as boring and monotonous as pushing pebbles up a hill with your fingers.

I feel terribly tiny and insignificant a lot of the time, and it is not a nice feeling. Sometimes, what I feel is anxiety—fear of homelessness, of not having food to eat or a roof over one’s head—but other times it’s this blank loneliness, wherein I feel myself to be little more than a speck of dust on the wind. In a sea of billions, I am nothing, and whether I live happily or miserably, die early or late, it matters little to the world, to the universe. Perhaps God, if He exists, cares, and a handful of people on the planet, but other than that, you and I, each and everyone of us, are tiny ants crawling across the surface of the planet, going about our daily lives, with our small cares and worries. Inevitably such thinking leads me back down into a state of depression, and I try to claw myself out of it by reminding myself that I am a miracle, and a part of nature and the Universe just like any other organism.

Life is hard. I think it’s hard because humans don’t really know what we want, and when we do get what we want, we often find we do not like it. Everything seems better when seen through the lens of “in-the-future”, but when that particular future becomes the present, we find that whatever we wanted–a family, a car, a house, a better job–actually makes life just as mundane and ordinary as when we didn’t possess it. And that’s the problem—after this depressive episode, I don’t know who I am or what I want anymore. At the moment, my only goal is to study so that I can eventually find a job and support myself financially, and that in itself will be a large mountain to surmount, but after that? Or during it? What do I want? Now that I no longer have the prospect of becoming a fiction writer in my life, I am left adrift, my identity scattered and broken. And I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put myself back together again.

 

 

 

Ways the World Could Be A Better Place For INFPs

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INFPs should have their own island. There, I said it, but it’s true: I sincerely believe that placing all INFPs on a particular island somewhere, preferably a place abundant in fresh springs and fruits, would be a good idea. So much of the world is industrialised these days, cities filled with bustling and busy people, that the entire planet has almost become a place difficult for INFPs to live on. A quiet island somewhere, a quiet retreat, dotted with clusters of libraries and crawling with cats, would be the perfect place for INFPs to live and flourish, for endless golden days.

Basic universal income should be introduced, whereby everyone is given just enough to live on—the barest minimum—so that way, artistic and creative people, as INFPs often are, can chase their dreams of becoming artists and writers without getting worried they’ll end up on the streets. Introducing a basic universal income will take the stress of money out of life for INFPs, who want very little in terms of material goods, and give us the time and opportunity to flourish in our own quiet and simple ways, without the threat of homelessness or unemployment hanging over us everyday simply because of the way we are—introverted daydreamers aren’t very hot on the job market—or our career aspirations.

The world would be a better place for INFPs if INFPs actually had their own “group” and “leader”, the way some political parties have their own leaders. Working together as  a team, we could advocate  for things for INFPs, such as the construction of quieter libraries, or a lack of discrimination towards introverted daydreamers when it comes to jobs. It would be almost like having your own family, except the famiy would be made up of thousands of other people who are INFPs but strangers, a kind of support network that I imagine would surely be very useful and comforting for many INFPs living in the world today.

Another good idea, as an alternative to the island, is to set up lots of INFP centres around the place, in every country on the globe. These would be safe havens for INFPS, filled with books, cats and other INFPs, for INFPs to go to when their home or work life in the modern world is getting unbearable (as it often does). Entry would require the applicant to fill in a Myers-Brigg test and have it turn out to be INFP, as well as the gauging of the prospective applicant’s personality  by various members of the faculty, and free food and water would be provided, just enough for a person to live on, and here INFPs, in the company of other dreamers, and plenty of books, movies and animals, pillows and dreamcatchers and comfort, would be able to rewind and recover. Everyone needs a refuge, and I can imagine little more perfect than official refuges for INFPs all over the world.