Don't Remember The Other
Only recently found this board, so pardon me if I'm bringing up anew something that's already been discussed to death in the past. I read through some of the old posts, but my failing concentration precludes a thorough examination of the board's history.
It seems there are several others here who, like me, have been chronically depressed for years. I've got the whole dysthemic thing going on all the time, with an average of three severe bouts a year thrown in as a sort of unholy bonus. Been this way since my early teens, for nearly twenty years now. I've done (and stopped) the self-mutilation and suicide attempts (I'm really bad at suicide), countless drugs & combos, a dozen shrinks...by now I've learned enough about my condition to be able to live through it, although I can't always function. I do what I can and must to get by, and have learned to accept that the occasional job or relationship will be lost to the beast.
What I don't know anymore is: what's on the other side? What is it like to be happy? When people talk about things they "enjoy" or people they "love", what do they mean? For me, things either "are" or "aren't". If I have a plate of food in front of me, the food "is", but that's all. I don't quite understand when people get excited about the same food being "good" or "bad", don't know what that means. Is pleasure simply the absence of pain (and vice versa) or is it something more? I can *almost* grasp aesthetic beauty sometimes, but that budding subjectivism is quickly eradicated by the knowledge that nothing, upon examination, really means anything anyway. So I plow through this existence surrounded by objects and situations that simply don't have meaning or value...I don't even remember the last time I really *felt* anything, except the horrifying despair that accompanies and defines the melancholia.
What is happiness? I ask to those of you who know it. What is pleasure, desire, ambition, confidence, love? What are these things, and what brings them to you?