Warning, self absorbed ramblings ahead...
About a week ago, whilst enjoying a pleasant evening at M’s, the subject of my condition came up. M and I almost always approach everything with an air of flippant tomfoolery, so when you consider that we were listening to Disco hits from the seventies at the time, you can be sure the discussion that ensued was anything but serious.
M exclaimed: “You can’t wake up every single morning and re-question the basics of your existence! It’s not sane!” She further elaborated the point with superb comedic flair by impersonating me waking up; a quizzical frizzled look on my face: “This is earth, I live in Cairo, I am human, this is my room, my name is…” get the point?! After establishing initial bearings, I would then step out of my room and begin affiliating myself with the elements that shape my life and identity. The skit was actually quite funny, and not only because M is a scathing comedian by nature, but because her words rang with a particular din of veritas.
We laughed at the idea; it seemed like a great premise for a movie. I’d of course be played by Johnny Depp. I vote Jenna Jameson for M.
My capacity (and evidently M’s) to poke fun at my torrent affair with existence has developed into a sort of self-administered substitute for clinical therapy. In the past however, different reasons forced me to seek professional help, none more imperative than the desire to “get better” and the realization that I was unable to do it alone.
My life has greatly been shaped and influenced by the ongoing dynamic of confronting, dealing, and dancing with depression, and I do believe that I am better for it. I used to question whether my depression may not in fact be a self perpetuated myth, some sort of bogey man I’ve raised and fed to add intensity and substance to my life. Back in my dark philosopher phase in college I actually believed that my depression gave me an edge, an esoteric persona. But somewhere along the way I recognized that my mood swings, my troughs and crests weren’t necessarily symptomatic of a particular possibly curable condition, but an indication of a volatile character. This was a first step towards seeing the truth behind the fiction so to speak, and I eventually learnt to acknowledge and deal with the nature of my character, its flaws and its perks.
I’ve had a successful track record with the battle against depression, but there remains much room for pontification on the frequency of its occurrence…which brings us to M’s little comedy act.
I think I do have a tendency to constantly question my identity…except, not really. True I tend to doubt myself a lot, but that’s just my inbred insecurity not a deep philosophical introspection into the essence of moi…Ultimately, it’s just about being happy. But while I’m aware of how fickle happiness can be, I’m all too aware of the very real possibility of attaining it. I’m distinguishing here between the perpetuation of fleeting moments of pleasure, and the visceral contentment that is the result of making peace with time.
If we accept that there exists the possibility of attaining happiness in life, then it should follow that the attainment of happiness must not only be a worthy goal to pursue, but that it must surely be the ultimate goal of every living individual.
One of the most important steps towards the realization of this goal is the acceptance of one’s responsibility towards oneself, and while I recognize the absolute primitiveness of this notion I find it necessary every once and again to remind myself of it. Perhaps this is what M meant in her skit, “This is earth, I live in Cairo, I am human, and I intend to be happy…!”