Why do I hate my life?
That was the topic of a forum discussion I stumbled upon a while back.
The person who started the thread wanted to know if he hates his life because he’s depressed or if he’s depressed because he hates his life.
This may sound like the classic unsolvable chicken versus egg riddle, but I think it’s actually a really crucial question to be asking if you struggle with depression.
Identifying the correct root cause (or causes) of your depression is key to beating that beast for good.
Now before we go any further, let me be clear about the fact that I’m not all-knowing and I don’t have a definite answer to the depression riddle that is going to apply to everyone.
I wish I could say that nobody is born depressed, but I’ve heard of cases of severe depression in very young children, so perhaps there are times when “you are depressed, and therefore, you hate your life” is the applicable conclusion. Perhaps there are people who are born with a brain that is incapable of feeling well.
But that’s not how my depression came to be and I want to share how things went down for me, because sometimes people can recognize themselves in another person’s experience. And if your experience mirrors mine, perhaps some of the things that helped me stop hating my life can help you too.
Do I Hate My Life Because I’m Depressed Or Am I Depressed Because I Hate My Life?
1. I Hated My Life First
I may not have been feeling full-on hatred at all times, but starting in my early twenties I was growing increasingly disgruntled.
Although everything seemed fine on the surface (I had followed the mainstream Good Life Rulebook after all), the prevailing feeling was that I was forcing myself to do stuff I didn’t feel like doing.
All. The. Time.
The commute. The job. The people.
I just didn’t want to do it day after day after day.
I didn’t like it.
It didn’t make me feel good.
And when I thought about this being my life for five or six more decades, it made me wish I would just stop waking up in the morning.
2. Living A Life That Wasn’t Right For Me Caused Me To Get Stressed
I didn’t get it at the time, but I know now that the reason my whole life felt like such a chore was because it was a bad match for my personality.
The wrong job. The wrong people. The wrong place to live. The wrong pace of life. The wrong daily routine.
I was living the wrong kind of life for me, and therefore, I didn’t like it.
But because at the time I didn’t understand why I hated my life – I just knew it felt bad – I didn’t do anything about it.
And because I didn’t do anything about it, I grew increasingly hopeless and increasingly stressed out.
Until I was pretty much just stressed all the time.
3. Being In A State of Chronic Stress Made Me Unable To Enjoy Things That I Would Ordinarily Enjoy
Stress is a physiological process that causes changes in your body and brain. If you want to know the exact details, here’s a good summary article, but the gist of it is that when you are in a state of chronic stress, it becomes impossible to enjoy things that you would enjoy if you were healthy.
And that’s the state I ended up in.
So at first I became depressed, because I hated my life. But then the depression (brought on by the stress of hating my life) made me hate my life even more because there was literally nothing left that felt good.
Do you see how it’s a cycle? Do you see how the answer to both of the depression riddle questions is yes?
Yes, I was depressed, because I hated my life.
And yes, I hated my life even more, because I was depressed.
It may seem like an endless cycle, but I’m grateful to say that it wasn’t. After more than a decade of off-and-on mental health struggles, I eventually did go on to break the cycle and here’s how I did it.
How I Beat Depression And Stopped Hating My Life
1. I Got Out Of The State Of Chronic Stress
In order for me to be physically able to enjoy life again, I had to get out of the state of chronic stress and exhaustion I was in.
I achieved this by prioritizing rest and daily exercise for several months. To make space for self care, I started saying no to everything that wasn’t absolutely essential. I did the bare minimum at work and limited socializing to my husband and kids. I started every day with an exercise session. I spent many weekend afternoons napping or staring at the ceiling.
I kept this up until I felt calm and relaxed the vast majority of the time.
2. I Made My Life More Likable
To prevent the cycle from starting all over again, I had to create a life that wouldn’t cause excessive stress and that I would actually like being in.
Somewhere along the way I discovered that I was a highly sensitive person and an INFJ personality type. I found out what kinds of lifestyles other highly sensitive people and other INFJs prefer. And I started copying them, slowly making changes to better align my life with my personality.
I made permanent changes to my pace of life and daily routines. I let most of my relationships go and changed the way I approached the ones I kept. Eventually I even changed my career.
And holy moly, it worked! I actually started liking my life!
So these days, I like my life, because I’m not depressed. And I’m not depressed, because I like my life (most days anyways).
P.S. Wanna Learn More About Creating A Life That Doesn’t Slowly Drag You Down?
Wanna learn more about creating a life that feels good to YOU? If yes, you might be interested in my free video class. You’ll learn:
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