Hi Quirky & all,
Thanks again for this space :)
Mary: I agree that depression can zap motivation & can make basic daily activities challenging, let alone finding the drive to look for meaning.
But, biochemistry & life circumstances aside, I also wonder if it’s also a bit of a chicken or egg scenario. I wonder if it’s (sometimes) a lack of personal meaning that contributes towards mental health issues, or whether mental health issues makes it harder to find personal meaning. I don’t think it’s a straightforward answer...
I completely agree with you that meaning is highly personal though :)
Quirky: I agree that meaning can’t be forced on anyone. I also agree that pressuring people to look for meaning after a traumatic event can be unhelpful or upsetting.
But I suppose it’s really an individual thing. Some people will want to look for a “higher purpose” as their way to cope, whereas other people want to focus more on managing the practicalities of daily life or asking people to listen to their stories (or even something else entirely).
I think it really depends on the person.
Highlights: this happened last night, but I want to share it today. I’m grateful for my friends.
I chatted (virtually) with a friend & we commiserated about how much we are struggling with social isolation. Even though we both agree that social isolation is necessary to contain COVID-19, we are both finding it enormously difficult.
Of course I don’t want her to be suffering, but at the same time, it’s comforting to know that other people feel the same way as me.
Frustrations: the usual...laughs, I won’t even bother repeating it as it must be so repetitive to read.
Lessons: this month (& a bit) of social isolation where I haven’t seen my friends/family in person has taught me some important lessons about how awful isolation & loneliness feels...I only talk to them virtually due to COVID-19
I’m experiencing an iota of what people with chronic isolation/loneliness feel, yet I’m already finding it so hard. So I can only imagine how awful chronic social isolation or loneliness must be
Opportunities: I know when the pandemic ends/restrictions lift, I can return to normal life & see colleagues 5 days each week & my friends/family 2-4 times each week.
But I also realise that isn’t a reality some people.
I don’t know how, but I would like to do something to combat loneliness at a community or societal level. I genuinely think it’s a societal failing.