Depression Cure: Real Life

Reddit discussion, August 2017
reprinted with permission

Does anyone have stories/advice on times you’ve lost all your passions and interests, but then genuinely found new ones? And especially, has anyone ever “converted out” of being a geek/nerd? Please let me know your story or thoughts! I’d really appreciate it.

I feel empty and I haven’t had passion or interest in anything for years. Before I had depression (I’m 25, I’m talking childhood/preteenhood here) I liked typical geeky stuff, anime, pokemon, a few other scarce games, cartoons and animated movies. So I considered that my identity until recently. I realized this stuff just doesn’t suck me in anymore. I also can never keep it up. I’m sometimes ready to give up and find a new lifestyle but I don’t know what it is.

I know, I know. I can’t “find it” I just have to let it happen. The next step is to just explore. I’ve tried yoga, being a “foodie”, cooking… nothing sticks. Life feels so boring I want to just find genuine interest in something already, ANYTHING. I am not religious but sometimes I end up crying isolated, bored, alone, and saying “please help, God” over and over again (with all respect please don’t suggest joining a church/other spiritual organization, I don’t really consider that a path to a new hobby).

PLEASE tell me there are stories of people who got into something and can say they belong to a new identity, community, or niche. And how long did it take for you to finally stop going through the motions and actually want to do the new interest all the time?

About fifteen years ago I was depressed. Then I put my lifestyle on the Paleo diet, so to speak. Now I am much happier.

Try doing something out in the real world. You’re descended from a million-year plus line of foraging hominids and your body, brain, and psyche are finely tuned for living on an extended camping, hunting, and fishing trip with your loved ones.

A few generations of urban life isn’t enough to make you happy or suited to living in a zoo cage and feeding your soul on a diet of children’s entertainments.

Try going hiking. Learn how to light a campfire. Develop some bushcraft skills. Get some camping experience. Go canoeing or kayaking. Learn to fish and hunt and forage for wild food; going out into the wild, killing dinner, and bringing it home to your mate is deeply satisfying.

You’ll get tired, sunburnt, bitten by insects, sweatingly hot, shiveringly cold, wet, muddy, completely exhausted and hilariously uncomfortable. You will have nights of sleepless misery. Every rustle in the woods at night will convince your hindbrain that you are about to be eaten alive by wild beasts.

And it’ll all be a wonderful adventure. An actual adventure, the sort of thing most people never experience, the sort of thing games try to give you a false sense of. You’ll enjoy how much better whisky tastes straight from the bottle by a fire on the beach. You will level up IRL and increase your personal stats. You’ll lose weight, get a tan, and become stronger than you’ve ever been. The little things in life will seem much easier.

And you might die, but hey, that’s life.