I present a facade of self assurance when really I am insecure and guilt ridden every minute I am awake. I walk past homeless people in the city – sullen eyes and sunken cheeks – and I feel ashamed of my plump body and the money I spend on losing weight. I want to hide the bulges and the evidence of my daily dabbles in excess.
It’s impossible. I reek of privilege and I know it. When I wallow in my self pity, smearing tears from my cheeks, I feel guilt for even being unhappy when outwardly things look great for me. I watch the news and see the images and hear the stories of refugees fleeing imaginable horror, acknowledge the atrocities numerous wars have seen, contemplate the injustices that have been done to our Indigenous peoples and empathise with children and women and men who have been and continue to be assaulted or abused. All of this from my comfortable, warm bed.
Knowing all of this exists and that every morning I take a little pill and I talk for an hour each fortnight, to a Professional, about my problems seems so…wrong.
Is it really necessary – and is it moral – to block from your mind all the bad things in the world in order to be happy?
I was a teenager when I was first diagnosed with depression. I can remember that I told my Dad that it seemed like lots and lots of bad things were happening more and more in the world and that made me feel people were not to be trusted and the world was a horrible place. Dad told me that bad things had always happened but perhaps I was more aware of it now that I’d gotten older. That was probably true in a lot of ways.
Today, I feel that same despair at the world.
I’m a cinephile and I often think of particular films or scenes when ordering my feelings and thoughts. I can relate this feeling strongly to a scene in one of my favourite movies: The Fifth Element. Leeloo is a supreme being who has been tasked with saving the universe from complete destruction. In one of the last scenes of the movie, she is exhausted, crying and draped across the arms of Korben Dallas, her accidental conspirator and supporter. Korben is trying to convince Leeloo that humans are worth saving.
Leeloo has learnt about the universe and it’s inhabitants through news and history. Watching her flick through the images when learning, painted a horrible story of our past and current life that made me feel sick. I saw that reel of information play through my own head when I read Facebook in the mornings or listen to the news throughout the day.
Leeloo is unconvinced that there is good in the world. Korben seems to have only one answer: we have love. I know that it went through her head as it goes through mine: what shows you this love? Have you seen what goes on in this world? These events do not show love.
I often feel that this struggle goes on inside me and I’m not entirely sure what arguments my internal Korben makes. I don’t think I know how many times Leeloo is going to be able to save me.