Over the past year, I've experienced a growing sense of depression that is new to me.
I'm familiar with Black Dog depression. We've struggled before and we'll struggle again.
This is different. This isn't about me or the people I love or things I've done or haven't done or the things being done or not done to me.
This is about a more pervasive sense that something I have no control over has gone profoundly wrong. Something that curdles my world and taints my life, that makes me feel powerless and abused.
The Germans have a word for it: Weltschmerz - literally worldhurt.
Brexit, Trump, Grenfell Tower, Brexit, Trump, Las Vegas shootings, Brexit, Trump, routine sexual abuse of the vulnerable by the powerful, Brexit, Trump, refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, Brexit, Trump...
It goes on and on.
Yet that isn't the Weltschmerz.
Bad things have always happened to good people.
The Weltschmerz, at least my Weltschmerz, comes from the gleeful smugness of the people doing the bad things, the normalization of their abhorrent behaviour that labels it as regrettable but not aberrant. The slowly dawning understanding the evil has seeped through the fabric of the world until we are all stained by it.
THIS IS NOT HOW MY WORLD IS SUPPOSED TO BE.
Depression destroys our ability to take action. It hollows us out, presses us down, isolates us from each other. I've been feeling that happen and looking for a way out.
The best escape route I can find is another feeling that only the Germans have a word for:
I'm looking forward to this:
It doesn't make me a nice person.
But it gets me through the day.
Most of the time.