As I skim materials I’ve written in months and years past, I realize my collected works could well be called Jeremiad. That is,  “a prolonged lamentation or mournful complaint.” Also, “a cautionary or angry harangue.” Those definitions come from Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. In fact, I’ve been known, right here on this blog, to refer to various of my writings as diatribes, screed, and philippics.

Given that I use this blog as an outlet with which to express my thoughts and opinions, it’s safe to assume that my world-view isn’t particularly effervescent. In some ways, I’d like to change that. But in others, I think changing my world-view would be tantamount to replacing the person who lives in my skin. Both objectives could be persuasively argued, I think. Staying true to oneself is an admirable position to take, on the one hand, but self-improvement has its value, as well. And “staying true to oneself” requires knowing what is true of oneself, a state of being I’ve frequently noted does not apply to me; that is, I don’t who I am, at my core. That’s a topic for another time, though. Or, rather, other times.

It’s relatively rare that I write cheerful, uplifting, or otherwise counter-depressive. I suppose that’s natural, given my innately morose disposition. But am I really innately morose? I think not, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding. Try as I sometimes do, I cannot snuff out the eternal optimism that grows like kudzu inside my head. Yet, wrapped around that optimistic kudzu, cynicism in the form of aggressive English ivy fights for control.

I make light of my bleakness but it’s not really suited to facetiousness. Despite the fact that my somber writing may mirror who I am, it shouldn’t. Humans are meant to enjoy the world we inhabit, not to wallow in despondency. But writing that struggles to escape that sense of dispiritedness and desolation is actually, I’d argue, a good sign. It demonstrates that one continues to fight and refuses to give in to the gloom and melancholia that breeds within.

During the entirety of 2014, I wrote my Thoughts for the Day every single day of the year. Many of them were affirmations. A few were especially dull and depressing. But more were positive than negative. And I guess that’s true of my posts, in general. A mixed bag. Yet for some reason I tend to gravitate toward the ones that suggest dejection. Maybe they represent better writing. Or maybe they suggest a need for salve. And that might be the thing that draws me to them. I think I will continue to reflect on all this. I’ve been doing it for years and I see no compelling reason to stop now.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Depression, Emotion, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.