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[DISCLAIMER: The following should not be construed as professional advice. If you are chronically depressed, get help. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, go here or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) IMMEDIATELY Life is a beautiful gift though it might feel like a turd sandwich going down your throat right now.]
I have to admit it: I get depressed. I guess depression is the word for it it. Getting out of bed is a chore. Life seems pointless. Leaving the house is worse than staying in because I generally have nowhere to go but to the park or to the library -- you know, places where the homeless hang out. Hanging out with homeless people is more depressing than sitting at home alone and wondering how long it will be until I, too, am homeless.
They say it's important to "get out there." But where do you go? The days of putting on your best suit and pounding pavement with a briefcase full of crisp, updated CVs are gone. You can't just saunter in to a place of business and hand them your résumé anymore. Your cunning in getting past security will be futile; the receptionist will nervously inform you that they only accept online applications.
You can only "work the network" for so long. At some point, if that doesn't pan out, you are left with no options beyond the job lottery -- submitting applications into the online tsunami of them hoping for a phone call. I get about one phone call a week if I spend all my time doing that. (It used to be two, but the economy has really gone downhill.)
All of this is very depressing. I don't know if I'm a textbook case of depression yet, but I don't bother to shave anymore. My hair is a mess. The mirror, my mortal enemy, mocks me at every opportunity. All I want to do is sleep. The only thing that's kept me from developing a (more severe) drinking problem is lack of money. I accept the fact that I am a total. fucking. loser. How did I get here? Does it really matter?
Exercise helps. Going for a long bike ride makes me feel good for an hour or two. Lifting weights isn't really my thing (but I do it anyway) because it makes me think of prison (not that I have any first-hand experience with that). Swimming would be nice, but it's out of my price range. Yoga always calms me and cools my searing rage.
Ah yes, the rage: They say it's a symptom of depression. What unemployed soul hasn't experienced its awesome power? When I lift weights, I imagine smashing some investment banker's Ferrari with one of those heavy municipal garbage cans. The rage is what makes you say, "Fuck sadness! Let's kick some ass!" Then the flames die down to a smoulder as you realize that kicking any ass but your own is a waste of time. And you're back to Square One: Depression.
I don't buy all that bullshit about depression being some sort of natural chemical imbalance. That's just another con job to sell pharmaceuticals, modern day snake oil sales. The only reason that I am depressed is that I do not have a job. This was never a problem for me before. Did I have bad days? Sure. Did I feel sad? Yeah, usually when something bad happened to somebody else. The only time that depression has continued for weeks and months on end is during periods of unemployment.
I guess that makes things easy in a way. If I can get a job, it will cure my depression.
Here's to hoping...
Update: By the way, I have found hypnosis to be highly effective. If you have a few bucks lying around, it might be worth trying a recording or two. (Disclosure: I am an affiliate of the linked-to product and stand to gain financially if you purchase it through that link.)