Waking Up Depressed In The Mornings


Every morning, I wake up depressed.

I don’t know why this is the case. I don’t exactly have a very bad life. I know where I need to go, what each day holds, especially now that I have resumed my studies. While the prospect of the day’s work ahead of me is daunting, and sometimes makes me want to crawl back under the covers, it is not explanation enough for the overwhelming black misery that floods my heart each time I open my eyes in bed in the morning and find myself back in the world.

I think it has something to do with the mystery that we are all in, the mystery of life. When I awaken in the morning, the mystery returns along with my faculties, like an unanswered question popping back into one’s head, and I am tormented by the lack of answers, by my own sheer bewilderment in the face of life. I don’t know a thing about life or death, and neither, I think, does anyone else on this planet. And the mystery of it, the absurdity, in all its baffling glory, is so irritating sometimes it makes me miserable. I’m just not good with mysteries, with not knowing. I like to know. I’m the kind of person who hates not being told things, or not having the answers to things. I am a worrier, and a hypochondriac. I like to get to the bottom of things, quick snap. If there is a problem, I try immediately to find a solution, to resolve it. And life itself sometimes feels like the most unsolvable, infuriating problem there is. Hence the depressed mornings.

I know, I know, as they say, “Life is not a question to be answered, but a mystery to be lived,” or something like that. But I can’t help it. I can’t help the niggling sense that there’s something going on around here, something important—at least it seems that way—only no-one’s telling us anything about it. And that’s so frustrating. It really is.

Here are two very sad things, very tragic occurrences, that I’ve noticed recently, in my everyday life, just by watching the interactions of the people around me and society in general. I like sad things, because they tug at my heart, and it makes me feel more alive, somehow. I’m full to the brim with unspent empathy, you see, I’ve got endless reserves of empathy, deep reservoirs of it, and nowhere to spend it. My family members don’t really need me. They see me as more of a burden. So instead, I apply my empathy in small and silent acknowledgments of the suffering in the world around me. I think suffering is beautiful, in many ways. It’s awful, but it’s beautiful, somehow, the way a dead bird lying on the side of the road looks sad and infinitely beautiful both at the same time. Whenever I see a dead bird, lying all by itself on the side of the footpath, I feel an overwhelming melancholy sweep through my heart, along with a kind of miserable joy. I don’t know how exactly to explain that, either.

One, for instance, is that sometimes people can’t help but love those who cannot love them back. I’ve noticed this a lot, over the years. Lots of people love certain people more than those people love them. It’s a tiny tragedy, occurring in hearts all over the world: mothers who love their delinquent sons or daughters, who couldn’t care less if their mother lived or died; women who love their men, even if they are abusive or selfish or unkind; men who love their wife, love them dearly, even after she cheats on him and treats him very badly. It’s a very complex issue, you know. There’s lots of hidden wiggles and swirls and complexities to them. These things often are. And I myself have had certain experience in this field of heartbreak. My father is a strange man. He loves me, in his own way, but he is too selfish and self-centered, due to childhood trauma, to properly express his affection. Nevertheless, I love him, I love him with all my heart, because he is my father, and a daughter often can’t help but love their father, and desire his attention and approval, no matter how badly he hurts her. And now I find myself attracted—well, I don’t mingle with people often enough to meet many, anyway—to people who resemble my father, people who can’t love me properly, and who I will always love more than they love me. And that’s a very sad place to be, I can tell you that first-hand.

Another thing I have noticed is the silent suffering that goes on behind closed doors, behind walls and windows with the blinds drawn. A man who suffers alone in his house, wifeless and childless, with cancer and the daily chores of living. People who have mental breakdowns deep in the night, alone, in their bedrooms and bathrooms. Just a few days ago I was in the throes of such misery at the thought of the wonderful days of my childhood compared to the life I live now as an adult, so wracked with nostalgia, that I found myself curling up in a foetal position on my bed, in the dead of the night, and crying my eyes out and feeling as though my heart would break from the pain. It was a little bit of silliness on my part, probably, but at the time, I can assure you, it felt very real, and I felt as though I would die from the sadness.

But I didn’t. I’m alive. Time passes. It goes on. People die, and others live on. Even if the sky were to fall down, eventually, people would just begin to pick up the broken blue and white pieces and live their lives anew. All feelings, all states of mind, all suffering, all happiness, is temporary. And there’s some strange comfort in that. There really is.


2 thoughts on “Waking Up Depressed In The Mornings

  1. This month’s New Internationalist has an excellent essay in it by John F Schumaker, ‘The demoralized mind’. You may be able to read it online next month. It’s relevant to this piece and I can empathise with you. The spiritual void, filled with western consumer culture leaves me feeling utterly bereft.

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