A Pervasive Sadness — Plumbing the Depths of Existential Depression by denmarkguy

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· @denmarkguy ·
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A Pervasive Sadness — Plumbing the Depths of Existential Depression
When I was a little kid, many of the adults in our extended family worried about the fact that I didn’t seem particularly *joyful* or energetic.

*“There’s a slight sadness about him, all the time,”* some would even remark.

![0174-Views6.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmRBG79xcWL5Grpyk98QuTY21tjRmkv5WEL1ToT625RDb1/0174-Views6.jpg)

I was maybe seven or eight years of age, at the time. I know I had started school, but wasn't very far into it, yet.

I suppose I never much thought about it, back then… I definitely didn’t *think* of myself as being *“sad”* although many of the things my peers thought of as *“funny”* didn’t make me feel inclined to laugh. I didn't find such things as *cruelty* and laughing at *someone else's* expense to be humorous.


![0114-Sunset-c.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmcD5Y4RfUPfKdnynnKvyhCEbD3StugCucZbgaFSTVysgq/0114-Sunset-c.jpg)


Decades passed, and when I was a young adult both friends and a couple of girlfriends remarked on my *“undertone of sadness.”* Even my ex mentioned it. Because people felt *concern,* I even went as far as to get screened for clinical depression, just in case something really *was* wrong.

It wasn’t. 

At least not in the sense that clinicians examine, evaluate and treat depression.

Because I am a somewhat *“curious”* sort of person, I decided to spend a little time trying to *understand* this thing people saw in me; to understand why I’d sometimes watch events in the world unfold, or a scene before me unfold… and feel like I was living in a constant emotional state where I felt like I was just a whisker away from tears. Not because I was overtly *sad* about anything *specific*… more like the sort of tears one could potentially feel after the 47th attempt at assembling some mechanical device, and it *still* doesn’t work. Exasperation? Hopelessness?


![0174-Views8.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmbq7uX8qMPCBj8hw9XSv12D4spvv2QbJWbJxFyBNEYZxt/0174-Views8.jpg)


I am not sure exactly when I first came across the term *“Existential depression.”* Sure, I had a basic understanding of existentialism from classic philosophers like Kierkegaard, Strindberg, Schopenhauer and others… but I didn’t really spend my time constantly *thinking* about the meaningless of existence, I just seemed to *experience* it rather pervasively.

It never got in the way of my enjoying life, friendships and other things, but I always related deeply to concepts such as the Japanese **[Mono no aware](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono_no_aware)** which isn't really culturally translatable but essentially means words to the effect of feeling *empathy for the impermanence and transience of things.*

For example, when I watch leaves fall in autumn, I experience not only the tangible *beauty* of it, but also the sensation of tiny passages of moments that will *never* happen again and with that, a faint sadness.


![0997-Snow.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmbLscGvAF2feckUoLmR6BtLZ1MVTuU2WeuitUqz8kX37o/0997-Snow.jpg)
*A couple of weeks ago... now it's almost completely gone...*


Now winter turns to spring. I find great joy in the arrival of the season of rebirth, and yet — as I sat here in my home office, looking at the last few scraps of snow melting in shady north-facing corners — I was also reminded of the fragility and impermanence of all things. Our journey through life often feels like drawing pictures with a stick, on a sandy beach: for a short spell there is something of meaning and beauty there, and then the tide comes in and washes it away… and the next morning you’d never know something had been there.

Hence the importance of *mindfulness* and taking the time to be present to actually *see* this myriad of moments that pass us by.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

***How about YOU? Do you ever pause to notice the impermanence of things? Do you feel as sadness at their passing... or are they simply "moments?" Give me a shout back... Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!***

***(All text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is ORIGINAL CONTENT, created expressly for this platform — NOT A CROSSPOST!!!)
Created at 20210301 23:05 PST
x116***
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@mister-omortson ·
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Your post was upvoted by the @mister-omortson account after manual review.
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@denmarkguy ·
Thanks for your support; I appreciate it!
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@worldofxpilar ·
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@denmarkguy ·
Thank you for coming by, and for the support!
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@sacred-agent ·
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Beautiful photos.

Thank You for Your insights...
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@eythor-photo ·
$0.06
what a beutyful post my friend. i knoe that "i hope your alright" isnt what you are after, sometimes you kynda are, sometimes not. i am the same, thank you for sharing your beutyful toughts, "existencial gloom" i think isa word here in iceland.

have as good a day as you can my friend!

eythor-photo
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@denmarkguy ·
Thank you for the nice words **@eythor-photo,** perhaps it is living in the far north in the winter that often gives rise to these emotions. I am OK, thank you!
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