The weather here in Nova Scotia at this time of year is wonderful. Very cool and crisp and there is frost most mornings. If the sun is shining there can be some warmth during the day. It is the kind of day that most people would long for.

But for some reason I am having a hard time finding any joy within this glorious day.

The truth is I am having a hell of a time finding joy in much of anything.

A lot of people would love to have a day to themselves to do…nothing. Everyday that I am not at work is like that for me. It is not all it is cracked up to be.

I have a job. I have money. But something is missing. Some kind of meaning. A purpose. Hell a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Don’t we all want some kind of validation for our existence? If I were to get in my car and drive away how long would it be before anyone even noticed? Quite a while I expect.

Things that would normally make me smile or laugh are not working.

I have a day off from work today and in reality I might as well be at work. Sad but true.

Being on my own is a bit tiring. There is only so much one can do.

Is there anyone else out there who is also struggling with finding joy these days?

It all feels so pointless.

Get up, putter around, go to bed. Repeat.

Music, reading, exercise, walking. None of it is doing anything for me.

I don’t even feel like eating which is a shock.

I have read various articles on what to do to try and find joy in simple things but nothing is working.

My friends, and there are not many when you are a 43 year old guy, are married and do not live close by or are too busy. What do I expect from them anyway? I know that my health and happiness are my own responsibility.

I am just having a hard time even seeing the point.

Another day closer to death.


37 thoughts on “Trying To Find Joy In …Anything

  1. I can so relate to this post… I was truly miserable for the first 48 1/2 years of my life… Last 2 months have been wonderful, and I wonder if the shoe is going to drop.

    Keeping you in my thoughts. Hate living in those dark places. Oh, all all the advice people give… is BS… and most made it far worse for me. Do what you like or do nothing.

  2. For some reason I was feeling down in the dumps today on the way to work. I ride the bus in and felt so “at a loss” and couldn’t figure out why. I ended up deciding it was because I was doing the same old thing on Monday as I always do. It was depressing. Then I thought, well, it really isn’t that bad if I thought about it. It was just boring, something I didn’t want to do, but that is the way it goes. So, I got to work and am muddling through, but doing okay. I hope you find what you need to pull yourself out of it too.

    1. My job is boring also. I keep telling myself that I am confusing boring with depressing. I’m bored to tears, not depressed. But at my age it would bedifficult to replace this income and I have 2 in college. So I’m stuck for now.
      It often seems like the same routine every day, and for what? Many days I feel like I am living, working just for others. I dread going into work doing a job I hate.
      I don’t have any solutions, just co-miserating.

      1. I get it. Not exactly sure where on the boredom/depression continuum I am. A lot of both to be sure.
        Not really sure that life is supposed to be this way. I feel guilty for feeling this way as there are so many others who have it much much worse than I do.

      2. I think they call these 1st world problems. No one is shooting at us. We have food, etc. Gives us time to think about what is the point of this life.
        We are lucky in that we do not have to think about survival, but fulfillment.
        For me running keeps me going. In some way it satisfies that urge to run away. If I could find a way to make a small living around running I’d do it. I’m working on it, but it’s not easy.

      3. It’s easy to confuse boredom with depression. I guess because it feels like there is nothing to look forward to. I’m pretty much in the same situation as you, I’m at an age that it would be dumb to change my job. I get paid a decent amount and can’t complain about it. The routine is what does it for me also. Routines and schedules bring me down. I wish for freedom. Freedom to do whatever I want to do or do nothing at all. That is not possible with a job that commands your presence. Co-miserting has made me feel a little better. Thanks!

      4. Christine, glad I could help. My boss can see my blog so I have to vent on other people’s blogs! Being unemployed maybe more excitement than I’m looking for right now!
        When I have my bad days I just try to get through them. I can’t quit my job, so I don’t have any other choice but to hag in there.

  3. Same here. Took my son to school and now back in bed. I don’t even have motivation to do anything, like clean or take care of business. The only motivation I seen to have lately is my son. He is not like me, so I try to keep us busy. He is worth the effort. I know your son is an older teen, so I don’t know how much time you spend with him. I’m sorry you are unwell.

  4. My husband suffers too from cycles of debilitating depression. I recognize it clearly in your post. I know you have shared with us that you have dysthymia, but are you sure it isn’t moderate to severe depression rather than the dysthymia’s definition of mild depression? If you have a mood disorder, it is often misdiagnosed for years. Whatever, or if you even are, medication you are taking, it sounds like it isn’t working. Please, please ask your doctor to help you with this, and if you already have, then please go to someone else. Sometimes it takes a very, very long time to find the right doctor and the right medication balance which even then still needs periodic adjustments. My heart breaks for the place you are in right now. I will keep you in my thoughts. I care, and I think your readers do too.

    1. ^ This is the right answer. Please seek professional help, as you are clearly depressed. I have enjoyed reading your blog the past year, and could identify with many things you’ve said about minimalist living, search for life meaning, etc. But posts such as this are clearly a cry for help. I hope you can get to a better place through therapy, medication, etc. Good luck to you sir.

    2. Well, even if it is depression, it has some roots in your psychological well-being. Before one pops a antidepressant one should be clear on what is causing the problem. I’m going through the same phase and after researching many of the symptoms have concluded it to be a midlife crisis.

  5. One thing that struck me as I read your post is that you comment that you don’t have friends close by and how could they help you anyway? I’ve been reading a ton of articles lately about how the only real happiness humans find is in connection with other beings and it so rings true for me. So, I thought I’d share that with you and I hope it helps.

    1. Yes I have read such articles. I live in a very small town that does not offer a lot, if any options for people to socialize. Unless you want to go to a bar on a Friday night. Not really what I am looking for. Anything else smacks of desperation. In truth I feel that no one cares. And why should they?

      1. you could start building a new network. not easy as an adult I know. do people use in your area? I found groups there that did occasional dinners, some focused on movie nights, another for volunteering at a local park, poetry open mics, and career groups. I have tried a few and found welcoming people. Think about new ways you can connect with others.

  6. Sending you healing thoughts. Please find someone that can help you. I value your blogs too much. I lived alone for 8 years, and most times enjoyed it, but some day or weeks were terrible. I attribute that to my gratitude journal (some days all I could find to be greatful for were my senses) and rekindling a childhood dream to be a cowgirl. While I’m not sure that I became a cowgirl….I started taking small steps to get there….taking riding lessons, learning about horses, etc. Eventually, I learned to ride, had several horses, and met my husband through setting my sites on what seemed like an impossible goal. If you, indeed, have depression, there are lots of people who can help….just keep putting one foot in front of the other until you find one that fits the bill. Please keep trying. I’ve got lots of other things that make me smile and would be happy to share them if you think they might help.

    1. Thanks for your kind words and offer of advice. I often find myself wondering what it is that people actually do. I mean surely to goodness even people in this town are all not sitting around doing nothing. So what are they doing to fill the hours?

      1. Hah – Perhaps they’ve got secret lives beyond our imagination. Cross dressing, designing porn sites, etc, growing pot in their basement, taking care of their second family, etc., etc. ….The though just makes me laugh. Perhaps if you ask them, and they avert their eyes, you’ll have fodder for a book! You’re a great writer…the possibilities are endless!!!!

    2. I loved your reply. You are a very motivating person! Thanks for the uplifting words to everyone and to minimalistlifesyle too.

  7. First of all, I want you to know how much I enjoy your blog. When sorting through my email inbox, I’m always excited to see that you have written another post. It saddens me to know you have little joy in your life, especially when you bring joy to mine with your insight and experiences in minimalist living.

    I suffered from severe depression and anxiety in my teens and twenties and know what a dark and lonely place you are in. I’m so glad that you had the strength and courage to reach out to your online friends. You are definitely not alone and people do care about you, even if you have never physically met us. Friendship has no boundries in this day and age!

    Please know that I’m rooting for you to come out of this soon and I know that you will be stronger than ever!

  8. I read these words today in A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle:
    “The joy of Being, which is the only true happiness, cannot come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person, or event–through anything that happens. That joy cannot come to you–ever. It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and thus is one with who you are.”

  9. When I go through such times, I immerse myself into reading books no serious stuff – light reads. loads and loads of them. Esp chick-lit. Helps me. Hope you find one that helps you pretty soon.

  10. Mark, I’ve recently came across your blog not too long ago. It takes great courage to admit these feelings in a public space. I too am struggling with finding joy. I just want you to know that you aren’t alone. Keep writing your feelings and sharing your experiences. We’ll follow along.

  11. Hey Mark,
    Love reading your blog, and I’m sorry to hear this. Even though I’m still fairly young – I too can suffer from those “what’s the point?” days.

    The only thing that’s given true meaning to my life is God. Knowing that God created me in his image and has a plan for my life has given me a purpose. When the actions you take are no longer for you, but for something much bigger (like God) it can make everything more meaningful. God has a plan for your life too, you may need to spend some time getting to know Him and figuring out what it is.

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