“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.” In a talk equal parts eloquent and devastating, writer Andrew Solomon takes you to the darkest corners of his mind during the years he battled depression. Continue reading
I recently came across this article on boredom written through the lens of the 19th century existentialist philosopher and social critic, Soren Kierkegaard. He argues that the nature of boredom is such that the most common coping strategies often result in a person not realizing they are bored or are boring others. Boredom is really an expression of lack of meaning, he says. Continue reading
I suspect that Robin William’s immense talent and his chronic struggle with addiction were inextricably linked in ways most of us will never understand. In the words of Gabor Mate, “The difference between passion and addiction is that between a divine spark and a flame that incinerates.” Continue reading
Karen Horney’s book is like a road map of the human psyche, detailing the ways in which we compensate for damage to the self. Her explanation of avoidance, which I’ve included below, is probably the best I’ve come across. It can apply to work, relationships, social situations and thoughts and can go unrecognized or be felt as life threatening as in the case of phobias. I recommend this book to both clients and colleagues.
Emotional pain can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Some of the more familiar are depression, addiction, anxiety and anger. I am addressing the topic of anger because, like addiction, it can mask shame, vulnerability and depression and, because it presents as the polar opposite of these issues, it is often viewed, and dealt with, as something else entirely. Continue reading
Nostalgia and Human Suffering
“You must always know the past, for there is no real WAS, there is only IS.”– William Faulkner.
I had a spare moment and decided to take the time to create a more substantial blog post- this time on the topic of nostalgia.
We need our memories to maintain a sense of self, to understand and shape our present and to project ourselves into the future. And yet, memories are never factual. They are a narrative co-created by ourselves and our world. More and more, it seems, we are taught, as individuals and as a culture, to replace the reality that does exist in memory with nostalgia.
Nostalgia is defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” In this way, nostalgia is a longing for a home that never existed since no reality, past or present is wholly happy.