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When everything is functional

When everything becomes functional, there is no joy.When there is no joy, there is no life.
When there is no life, there is only void.
When there is only void, all is dark.

Depression takes many forms. This is the dark one that arises when everything becomes functional. Your life goes out of balance. You do more that is functional: to work, to earn, to get fit, even to be spiritual. You see everything as functional. And there is less that brings you joy.

This is the path to despair, the absence of joy, the end of hope.

When you tread this solemn path, you begin with good intentions. To work hard, to achieve, to succeed. You put other things on hold so that you can focus. Focus is good, they say. But you focus more than enough. You focus to the exclusion of all else.

You become your function, your function is you. There is no life.

The dark in this place is joyless. You can function, because that’s what you’ve decided to focus on. But you have no joy. Little by little, the dark steals in. The moments of sadness that you can’t explain.

Yet how can you return to where there is light? You have to function, you tell yourself. You push harder to work, the achieve, to succeed.

And inside your joy is crumbling away. You don’t want it to go. You are sad without it. And yet how to bring it back it when you are in the dark already?

The moments of sadness are joined by the clouds of numb. You sleepwalk through your day. Jokes feel joyless. The sunset is just colours. The wind in your face is just movement. Everything is alive, but nothing is alive to you.

You are not alive to you.

But you can catch yourself.

Sometimes, you taste joy again in the company of a friend. It awakens like a great machine from its rusted slumber. The sounds of the world come to you, alive, at least a little. Your friend’s smile is worth everything.

And you remember. You remember that functional is just one thing, and you are a being of many things.

The things that bring you joy awaken as the great machine slowly comes alive.

The music that awakens your heart. The people that you care about are still there – and they care that you are too. The sunset becomes prettier.

And you breathe, and you know your way back. You walk away from the death path of functional.

It is a slow journey, since you have walked far enough along it already. Your feet are tired and you are sad being so far from joy.

But you walk away and into the light. Your friends are still there. You find yourself with them.

What first step out of the darkness can you take?

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