Over the years people have offered many possible explanations for this state: “You have a chemical imbalance.” . . . “You’re manic-depressant.” . . . “You think too much.” . . . “You drink too much.” . . . “You’re too sensitive.” . . . “It’s your karma.” . . . And even: “Well, a lot of this life is just really fucking sad.”
Often it’ll hit me for no apparent reason. I’ll be walking down the street and I’ll suddenly be overwhelmed by waves of melancholy sadness.
Well, that’s not exactly true. There’s usually some kind of reason that triggers it. A sad memory will flash across my mind. Or a sad scene will flash across my eyes (I’ll spot some lonely old man in broken health staggering down the street). And then the editing machine in my mind will start churning out one sad image after another. It’s as if my life has been a relentless series of unending misery. It’s weird how my mind does that. When I’m in a funk it’s like the good times never existed.
Generally I don’t do anything about it. I just wait it out. “This too shall pass.” And usually after an hour or two it passes and I’m off to something else. Soaring joy or anger or slapstick comedy. Whatever.
I guess I’m leery of most therapies. Often the cure seems worse than the sickness. And I’ve seen some of my seriously depressed friends end up more damaged by their therapists than by their depression. I just accept my depression as a weird kink in my wiring. Like a ruptured muscle in my soul, or something. (Don’t get me wrong: if you’ve found therapies that work for you, more power to you. I guess I’m just a person who takes his own counsel. For better or worse.)
The Hindus maintain there’s a metaphorical wheel inside our chest with all the different emotions on it. And the wheel is constantly spinning. And we randomly experience all the different emotions through the course of our days as it spins. Sadness. Happiness. Fear. Envy. Love. Depression. Etc. Maybe it’s something like that.