From my teenage years I was deeply depressed (never diagnosed, this was before it was cool) and from maybe seventeen or so close to suicidal.
It is painful just to write that sentence because it brings back memories of a time I rarely think of any more.
One thing led to another, I cheered up in my early twenties and I’ve been chirpily maudlin ever since. I actually had counseling at one point and it was not the load of tree-hugging codswallop you probably think.
Since then I’ve done many things. I’ve gotten qualifications, lived in a highland Japanese village, learned a language or two, bedded a few hoochimamas, made new friends, written a shit book, been on week-long hikes in remote and beautiful areas, and even swum on a Russian beach.
Life is full of surprises.
The best piece of advice I got in counseling was this: the future is unknown. It is irrational to assume it is all doom and gloom because it might not be. Something might come up. Or it might not. You never know.
I’m now nearing forty and I’m glad I made it this far. Life has had tragedies and pain, and right now it is near as hard as it has ever been, but it is life and it is worth it. As the tragedians liked to say, ‘We Greeks love the light’. That is, no matter how bad the vengeful gods made life for men, they battled on regardless.
I always feared growing old but now that I am, it’s fine. Life is easier with a bit of grizzled wisdom to guide you and to stop you doing and thinking stupid things. Further, once you figure out what you want from life it is obviously much easier to achieve whatever that turns out to be.
My advice to the miserable is not just ‘harden the fuck up.’ It is, ‘hang in there.’ Who knows what might happen in the future? Maybe you’ll win the lotto. Maybe Scarlet Johannson will realize what she’s been missing out on and jump your bones. Maybe St. Kilda will win the premiership. We might discover aliens or they might discover us. Maybe a tsunami will depopulate California. They might find a cheap and effective cure for some of your allergies. You might even win a prize for your model trains and get your picture in the local paper.
Failing all that, maybe sexbots will get really, really good. You just never know. Hang in there.