Soren Kierkegaard: “In my great melancholy, I loved life, for I love my melancholy.”
Albert Camus: “There is no love of life without despair about life.”
Kurt Cobain: “I miss the comfort in being sad.”
Kierkegaard believed in God. Camus believed in Absurdism. Cobain believed in Nirvana.
All three, I believe, are no longer with us.
“Since when did self-awareness lead to a change in behavior?” So said a character recently on one of my favorite shows.
She has a point. Enlightened souls have blind spots. Smart people do stupid things.
Of course, realizing this is an act of self-awareness. It hits close to home, considering the number of years I’ve spent in therapy. If the “talking cure” doesn’t cure, what’s it good for?
But the human mind is far from simple. When I have a sore throat, runny nose and ear pain, my doctor diagnoses me with an infection and prescribes Amoxicillin. Within a week all is well. The same can’t be said for a mood disorder.
This doesn’t mean that therapy has no value. The absence of “ah ha!” moments or earth-shattering insights during a session isn’t a sign of failure. Sometimes just being there talking and reflecting helps.
Parts of me resist logic. I appreciate my elusiveness, take pride in the chase. But I’m always a little behind. I’m reminded of Camus’ thought in The Myth of Sisyphus: “The important thing is not to be cured, but to live with one’s ailments.”
Sounds like something he learned in therapy.