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The Hours…

by susan5

I sort of don’t want to write here, because whenever I read other people’s posts, I realise that I have so little to really complain about.  But, at the same time, I just find it so hard to continue living my life.  Again, and I know lots of people write this, but I don’t really want or expect any kind of comments on this post, I just need to say these things, because I have no one else to say them to, and I’m tired of the same shit just cycling around my head all day and all night.  So here I go, getting it out.  I just don’t know if I can face another day of this meaningless garbage.  It’s seems like such a stupid reason to want to die, but I’m just so absolutely, agonisingly bored of my existence.  There is nothing, anymore, that gives me a thrill, a sense of anticipation, satisfaction, joy.  There is no one in my life that I feel strongly about.  I don’t have that innate sense of self-preservation, self-love that we’re supposed to be born with.  I don’t have any pain, any problems, I just don’t want to have to wake up tomorrow and sleepwalk my way through another pointless day, and another one after that.  It’s not a slump.  I’m not “depressed” in the clinical sense, well, maybe I am, but if I am, it’s an unrelenting condition.  I mean, I’m going to die anyway–obviously, so, why am I obliged to keep on living?  Why is it necessary for me to drag myself through this life that I didn’t want and I’m not interested in?   Medicate the shit out of me, if you want, I’m still going to end up in the same place. And now, you know, I’m not completely heartless and self-obsessed.  I know that there are a lot of people out there with real shit to deal with, and I wish, I’d love it, if I could help them see through to the sunny side of things.  But who am I to tell someone to hold on, things will get better? I was told that if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all–so here I sit, silent and alone, not wanting to drag anyone down with me, but not having anywhere in particular to go on my own.  So when is it okay to just say: I’ve had enough? And that’s all.  My existential cry into the dark.  I’ll go to bed now, and get up again tomorrow morning, but it’s hard.  It’s so fucking hard.  And my god, I have nothing but respect for those of you who drag yourselves through each day for whatever reasons you have–other people, responsibilities, hope.  So, all I can say, is good luck, and take care, and if I can’t make it through another day, I hope the world will understand, and not judge me too harshly.


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nook242 7/18/2009 - 6:37 pm

try to take up a hobby i guess. try something new. dont end your life just yet.

Struggling To Survive 7/18/2009 - 9:30 pm

The Hours;

It sounds to me like you’re suffering from a classic long-term depression. All of the joy and purpose leached out of life. Massive hopelessness, and a feeling that things will never get better.

But there are so many medications these days and so many differing types of counseling — I would urgently suggest that you ask for a change of medication and perhaps consider getting a different form of counseling.

You don’t have to drag yourself through things day after day — there is help out there that will work for you, even if you have to search some more. Be patient with the search.

Best wishes,
Struggling To Survive (who’s been there)

balletbook 7/19/2009 - 3:15 pm

I so agree with you. Reading all these make me realize I am so fortunate. I have not been abused and I have not any past reason for me to be depressed or think of suicide, except genetics.

Thank you for writing.

Struggling To Survive 7/20/2009 - 10:32 pm

Dear The Hours & balletbook:

When you find the right medication and/or counseling, your life will have joy and color again. So don’t give up the search for the correct treatment!

I was happy to offer you some thoughts and hope that you will preserve your precious and valuable life.

Struggling To Survive (been there)

susan5 7/21/2009 - 3:47 am

Thanks for your comments, Struggling to Survive, but doctors and medication are not an option for me at the moment. I’m living in another country with no medical insurance, and I don’t even speak the language. But I’ve tried most of the anti-depressants over the years, and none of them ever agreed with me. And I’ve never met a shrink I felt I could speak to frankly. I’m not classically depressed, as I can hold down a job, and can get through the days, so what do I have to complain about? I just don’t want to get through the days anymore, because they exhaust me and bore me to tears. I don’t think there’s a pill out there that can solve that. I’m not saying that’s true for everyone, but, unfortunately, it is for me.

no one special 7/22/2009 - 5:09 pm


After I read your post above I googled “ennui suicide” and I found the blog post that I am linking below.


Ennui, boredom, suicide, and creativity
From “The Crack-Up” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work –the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside- the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once. There is another sort of blow that comes from within –that you don’t feel until it’s too late to do anything about it, until you realize with finality that in some regard you will never be as good a man again. The first sort of breakage seems to happen quick –the second kind happens almost without your knowing it but it is realized suddenly indeed.”

Everyone struggles with personal demons. By that I mean the host of past experiences, failures, pains, regrets, and so on that one builds up over their lifetime. But I think creative people have more difficulty with these things because creatives understand the meaninglessness of rules. One of the attributes of creativity is knowing that rules, the ones we make as part of socialization, are arbitrary and often stifling. They’re a direct deterrent to creativity of any kind and it’s the job of creative people to work beyond those rules, or in the buzz phrase “think outside the box.” Creative people, whether they’re artists, inventors, or designers understand there is no box to think outside of. The box exists only for those who’ve been taught to believe there is a box, that there are “rules” to be followed and obeyed. They believe that things have to be a certain way and they’re unwilling to question that.

Creatively we are always questioning things around us. This is how art gets made, how new things are created, even new inventions; people question the reality they are presented with and try to change it. Sometimes though it can’t be changed because the universe runs on logic. A peculiar form of logic at times, but logic none the less. This logic means there are rules that cannot be avoided or broken or even bent a little like illness, death, pain, and suffering. After awhile it becomes more and more difficult to deal with that reality, that sense that some things are inevitable and ceaseless like illness. A sense of boredom, and a repugnance towards that boredom becomes one’s natural state. One understands that though things change and seem to improve, they don’t truly get better. They may be more comfortable, and in some respects less distressing. People don’t seem to suffer less than in the past, nor do they seem to be demonstrably happier than in the past. As we eliminate or nullify one form of suffering, another one takes its place. We eliminate typhoid and plague, then suffer more from cancer and heart disease. Reality remains a difficult and harrowing proposition to the extent that one becomes tired of going on with it.

I don’t mean that a person grows suicidal from this outlook, though that can happen, rather one simply is tired of the struggle to deal with what’s going on around them. As Fitzgerald says the big things one can work with, the smaller things, the everyday and its everydayness, turns to something intolerable. As one gets older the big things get fixed to one extent or another while the small things that dogged one earlier continue. Yet we have to tolerate it and continue to tolerate it as each moment passes because there is no alternative. Hopefully you don’t finally get so worn down by it that you give up trying to work against it because then you turn bitter and bitterness is all you have left for yourself and the world around you. When that happens nothing feels better, nothing seems to be what is once was. Any joy one has disappears and where something tasted good, now it tastes like ashes and disgust.

“All in the same month I became bitter about such things as the sound of the radio, the advertisements in the magazines, the screech of tracks, the dead silence of the country –contemptuous at human softness, immediately (if secretively) quarrelsome toward hardness- hating the night when I couldn’t sleep and hating the day because it went toward night. I slept on the heart side now because I knew that the sooner I could tire that out, even a little, the sooner would come that blessed hour of nightmare which, like a catharsis, would enable me to better meet the new day.”

In the face of this there are all sorts of homilies about perseverance, endurance, and keeping up hope. But little homilies don’t work, and perseverance is never truly rewarded. There are the finalities of death, decay, erosion, and entropy. Everything dies, everything ends, and everything in one way or another turns to sadness and loses all meaning. We know that it will happen, and we go around telling ourselves that it won’t happen to us or in our lifetime or in the near future or to anyone we know yet we also know this is a fiction we tell ourselves hoping it’s true. We worry about it while lying to ourselves that we don’t worry or don’t need to worry. We really don’ t need to worry; what comes to pass will come to pass.

One day the earth will come to an end though we don’ t know how and when that happens all the things we hold dear, even if they continue to exist, will mean nothing without us. This is because the meaning doesn’t lie in the things, but in us and when there is no one to be moved by a Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” or Muddy Waters “Nine Below Zero,” or any one of a million other things, everything we will have done or created or believed will be nothing. Our only remaining hope is that we somehow continue on and even this becomes suspicious when, in the midst of a low point in the daily struggle, you wonder if continuing on actually means it gets better even momentarily. What happens if you don’t continue on? What happens if you come to a halt and refuse to go on?

If there is a heaven or paradise is that the reward? Is it that there is no longer any boredom, no longer any entropy grinding things down? One of the rules of the universe is that nothing is created or destroyed merely transformed, that everything here has always been here in one form or another. Does that mean that boredom, ennui, pain, and suffering continue on in some other form? And if they do is it a better form, the opposite of their current form, or is it just another version of the same thing? Is boredom always boredom whether it’s here or somewhere else?

In “The Crack Up” Fitzgerald refers finally to “vitality” as the necessary natural force to overcome this and that one either has it or doesn’t. I don’t think this is true though; I don’t think it is a matter of not having something to overcome this state, I think it’s the ability to pretend that these things that wear one down don’t exist. It’s not possible to overcome them, only to, for a time, ignore their existence and pretend it has nothing to do with you.

Woody Allen said:
“It’s very hard to keep your spirits up. You’ve got to keep selling yourself a bill of goods, and some people are better at lying to themselves than others. If you face reality too much, it kills you.”

Why is it necessary to sell yourself a lie? Why must you ignore the terrible aspect of life in order to go on? And why does it seem to affect creative people more than everyone else? In articles about creativity it’s often said that there are perfectly “normal” creative people without metal problems, drug or alcohol problems, without lives out of control. I’ve never met them and I don’t know anyone who has. I suspect it’s a fiction, another patent lie that has to be told in a false attempt to give creative people hope that they can continue on. And so we go on, dragging ourselves forward to something in hopes that it may be better or that we may learn something that will help. In the end the only thing that really carries us forward is the idea that we have not yet created everything we can, that there is more for us to do, to make. And if we run out of things to create, well then we’re finally done.

George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak company, inventor of roll film and the Brownie camera committed suicide on March 14, 1932. He was suffering from spinal stenosis, a very painful and crippling deterioration of the bone. Reportedly his suicide note said “My work is done. Why wait?”

Sai Chan 7/23/2009 - 12:08 am

no one special,
Creativity and obstinacy always go in pair.
But usually without obstinacy, creativity produced fast and in large quantity will be praised and awarded.
Obstinate to create all the way in a straight line to perfection without stopping is termed stubborn, to the ordinary kind of people.
We need roundabouts, and that is social adaptability, this being called normal in society.
I’m still learning that.
Suicidals are mostly kind hearted and creative and helping, but being too much will end up being alone and dead.

We are all here in search of the glory of a glimpse of the glow of a firefly. But if you don’t go out to see, there is none at all.
Creativity is innate in you from your words layout. You just need a change, may be a new job or new environment.
You’ve now gained some friends’ support here, though not physically, but in hearts.
Alright, come on close!….a bi…g hug.
Here you go!

pulling the plug 7/24/2009 - 3:57 am

Actually, your ‘shit’ is just as real as anybody else’s. We all have our own shit to deal with, and whether it’s Michael Jackson dealing with self-image problems that have him turning himself into a physical freak even though he was an amazingly talented human, or a homeless person addicted to crack cocaine, pain is pain, misery is misery, suffering is suffering. There’s no use comparing it. Your pain hurts you. It’s like when parents who grew up poor expect you to eat crap food for dinner, and they say, “Think of the starving kids in Africa” or some shit. Like knowing that some kid in Africa has only dirt and rocks to eat is going to make you more appreciative of the crummy food they’re feeding you. No – the problem is, if your parents are feeding you crummy food when you *know* perfectly well that they can afford to feed you decently, then you have this very realistic expectation of getting decent food. Having them feed you crap is a betrayal, a letdown, and it makes you (and would make most people) angry. And obviously that’s a fairly simplistic example…

The thing is, we’re promised the moon, especially if we’re American – you can be anything you want when you grow up! The American Dream! The Secret! The Power of Positive Thinking! How to Win Friends and Influence People!

We have this stuff blasted at us from all directions from the time we’re old enough to crawl, it’s no wonder we have high expectations. Every five minutes there’s a new product we simply *must* have to be cool, hip, keep up with the Joneses, whatever. A Blackberry, or Ipod, or Wii (I don’t own any of these things, so forgive me if I’m getting the names wrong.)

The thing is, they create this HUGE, overwhelming appetite in us for all the possibilities of who we could be and what we could own. They drown us with images of rich celebrities and movies that portray the most amazing fantasy, dream lives.

And then our *real* life is: What? Drudgery? Disappointment? No adventure, no Prince Charming, no new Porsche in the driveway. Or whatever your personal hopes and dreams are.

Sometimes we don’t even have anything specific in mind, it’s more like this constant pressure to jump higher, live faster, achieve more. It’s what some shrinks refer to as becoming a human ‘doing’ instead of a human being

Anyway. I hope all that makes it clear that there’s at least one person out here who hears you. I’ve been in the same place, I struggle with it almost every day. Good days are when I’ve found someone to connect with, someone who cares about the same things I do, values the same (or similar) values. Who ‘gets’ me on some level, even if only in one area of my life.

I know you aren’t looking for advice, you just needed to vent. But if I were to offer any kind of suggestion, I’d suggest that you focus on the people in your life. Spend as much time as you can with anybody you feel ‘gets’ you, at all, even a little bit. Nurture that connection. People who don’t get you? Avoid them like the plague. They’ll just bring you down. That’s my experience, anyway.

And helping other people is a good thing. Writing here has helped me feel less caught up in my own stuff, makes me feel like we’re all in this together, we all struggle, we all suffer. Every time we reach out to each other even in small ways, it makes us all stronger, or at least I like to think so.

Another comment, re-reading your post: It’s a fallacy that we’re born with self-love. That’s American hyper-individualist bullshit speaking.

We are, from the moment we are born, dependent on the connections we have with other humans. Without those connections, we shrivel up and die as surely as if we were without food or water.

Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. “Self love” is a bullshit concept, in my opinion. We *feel* loved because somebody in our lives loves us and treats us well. Period. This idea that we somehow contain ‘everything we need’ is like saying you can give yourself a hug and it will be as effective as getting a hug from another person. WTF? That’s crazy shit.

My opinion? You don’t need drugs or shrinks or any of that – you need someone to love and be loved by, to hold you tight when you’re lonely, to care when you’re scared or struggling. Just like we all do. Every single human on this planet needs a place to belong, a sense of mattering, of making a difference.

If reaching out to others to help them helps you, I say, go for it. Do what you need to do. Don’t worry about the motives, just do it.

susan5 7/25/2009 - 8:32 am


Thanks for the comments. The blog extract was especially interesting to me, I think, because I’ve always been a ‘creative’ person, I suppose, and the thing that’s killing me now is that I feel like I have nothing left to say, do, or express, when once I did. And there’s no getting that back. I have a friend, though while at times he’s suicidally depressed, most of the time he’s just so excited about the beauty and possibilities in the world. And I envy him. He spends 5-6 hours a night writing, because he just has so much to say. If life, if the world no longer moves me, what purpose is there for me in it? And I hate that I feel this churlish jealousy when people near me succeed and feel happy in their lives. A friend just told me she’s expecting her second baby–and I’m such a miserable piece of shit that my first reaction was to feel like I was punched in the gut. I can no longer tolerate watching other people enjoy life. I can’t look happiness in the face because it’s such a foreign emotion to me that I feel like the world is mocking me with it. So is that the only thing left for me? Completely isolate myself from everyone who’s happier than me so that I can wallow in my own crippling dissatisfaction? I mean, I’m not a sick fuck who gets pleasure out of other people’s misery, either. I don’t want other people to be miserable, but it’s the only state that I can relate to these days. But yeah, the few people out there who I don’t have to explain myself to are the ones that keep me in the day to day. We’re social animals, after all. So, you know, thanks to you virtual folk as well, just for listening, and not asking why.

pulling the plug 7/25/2009 - 6:10 pm

Ah – I know what you mean about feeling punched in the gut when you hear about someone else’s success when you’re struggling so hard. I get that feeling all the time.

You know what? That feeling is totally normal. It’s human. All humans feel it, which is why everybody’s constantly trying to outdo each other, constantly ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ – because nobody likes that feeling, of being left out, of not having what everybody else seems to have. I even saw a study that says it’s a pretty basic part of primate nature – you give two monkeys each a banana, then give one of them a second banana. The monkey with only one banana? Goes ballistic. Goes nuts with anger, jumps up and down and makes lots of noise, may even attack the other monkey.

So, not saying we should act like the monkeys, but cut yourself some slack when you get this feeling. It’s NORMAL.

The Germans even have a word for the opposite feeling of taking pleasure at someone else’s bad luck, it’s called ‘schadenfreude’. You know when someone you don’t like very much has something bad to them, you know you’re supposed to feel sympathetic, but secretly you feel happy? Like they got what they deserved? That’s schadenfreude.

I’ve done a similar thing to what you’re doing in terms of only hanging out with people who are having as much trouble as I am. I actually think it’s a really smart move – it lets you focus your energy on whatever it is you’re needing to do just now, rather than constantly feeling miserable and beating yourself up for being a ‘failure’, or not keeping up with what everyone else has, or is doing.

Another thought, there’s some idea out there that one can’t experience joy when one is busy blocking some kind of massive pain. It’s like they’re two sides of the same emotional coin. Which is why sometimes people on anti-depressants can become emotionally a bit ‘numb’, kind of flat and boring: Because it doesn’t just work on the sadness, it also cuts off the good stuff, too.

So. What is it you’re not facing? No pressure here to face it til you’re ready, but I’m betting there’s something painful that you really, really don’t want to look at.

For me it wasn’t that I was poor, or haven’t had kids, or have no serious relationship, or am getting older; the thing I was ‘blocking’ was that my entire family turned out to be useless sacks of shit in terms of emotional or financial support when the chips were down (well, actually, one cousin may turn out to be ok. have to wait and see – am just reconnecting with her after not seeing her for many years.)

The pain was recognizing that my family isn’t there for me. Never has been, never will be. And yet they expect everybody to be all happy and chipper and delighted to see them at holidays and birthdays and so on.

Well, when I finally figured it out I got so angry it’s a wonder I didn’t kill somebody. I was mad enough to smash the shit out of something or burn down a house a couple times, though I somehow managed to get through it without doing any of those things and without any serious damage to myself….

Now I’m sort of on the ‘other side’, the calm after the storm, and it’s lonely. It’s hard It’s scary. But I’m nowhere near as depressed, and I have a lot more resources to turn to now that I’ve learned to ask friends for help instead of expecting anything from family.

I also like life better, though there are still moments when I get really pissed and want to break something. I find that staying pissed helps. It helps me get a grip on what’s bugging me, if I can just ride the anger without actually *doing* anything with it that I’ll regret later. Just using it as a pry bar to get me out of bad situations, or change something that isn’t working. And it’s slow going, sometimes excruciatingly slow. Sometimes it feels like it’s going backwards. But it still feels like the right thing.

So just go at your own pace, to hell with what anybody else is doing, including me. Your body, mind, psyche knows what you need, and is trying to help you get it. Sometimes depression is about simply needing a time out from everything while your body/mind sort of re-orients itself toward whatever’s next for you.

Kind of like surfing, I would guess – you have to be ready for when that next wave comes, and hope you’re ready to ride the shit out of it! Or, let it pass by if it’s too big for you or not going the right direction or whatever. And be able to be ok with the times when the water is calm, flat and still. That’s the hardest part for me, too. Some people learn to meditate; for me the best thing is to just walk. Go out the door with nothing in my pockets but my house key and a kleenex (my nose always drips – TMI), and just walk. Start in some direction and just go and go until it’s time to turn back. I find this clears my head out wonderfully, gives me interesting things to look at, forces me to be ‘present’ (because I’m not listening to music or carrying a phone or anything).

But you will do whatever works for you. I think that’s the biggest thing, for all of us, as you say: Acceptance. Having people who are ok with you being and doing exactly what’s right for you, whatever you’re doing, whoever you are at this very moment, and every moment, is ok.

pulling the plug 7/25/2009 - 6:40 pm

Wow, that was really long! Sorry about that.

Calamity Jane 7/25/2009 - 7:11 pm

Hello Susan5…

I’d like to talk to you, as I again feel very similar to you… except, I tend to struggle with work, could hold down a job for years untill things got worse this year…. :\

anyways I would love to talk to you more, pls add me>?


susan5 7/27/2009 - 4:45 pm

Anyway, thanks for engaging in this lengthy debate. I still spend far too much of my awake/sober time contemplating my own annihilation. That’s just how it goes. I just think that some of us weren’t meant to be happy in this life. There’s no pharmacological/repressed-trauma/psycho-somatic reason for it–I’m just a miserable shit. I always have been. I always will be. Hell, you should have met my grandfather–the true definition of curmudgeon. But I’ve decided that I’m just going to keep going until I can’t take it anymore. It could be tomorrow, it could be 3 years from now, but, I’m sorry, life just isn’t turning out as advertised, and I’m itching for a full refund. Best of luck to all of you, as I know that no one really knows where each of us ‘is coming from’. Everyone is miserable in their own way, if I can borrow Tolstoy for a moment. I wish everyone as much happiness as they’re capable of. And that’s all any of us can really hope for.

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