The Weight of the World on Our Shoulders
By: Holly Powell
I spend the majority of my day inside. If I’m not indoors I’m walking feverishly to get to an enclosed space whether it be a building at school, my house or, in a pinch, even my car. I will admit that I have driven just a little farther to go to a drive through Starbucks instead of having to make the trek from the comfort of my vehicle across the rain soaked parking lot into a cafe. We are blessed here in the Northwest, we don’t even have to leave our cars to gas them up. The most time I spend outside on the vast majority of my days is walking to and from my vehicle. It’s not that I dislike the outdoors. Quite the contrary in fact, my summers are spent doing all manner of outdoor activities, camping, hiking, boating, rafting, and walking along the beach. My weekends, even in winter, are filled with walks and trips to every dog park in town with my youngest daughter, an Australian Shepherd named June. I like the outdoors but I am also busy, as it seems we all are these days. If I did suffer from depression I could easily see taking a pill instead of following the “Therapeutic Lifestyle Change” program outlined in the article “A Path Out of Depression” by Stephen Ilardi. Unless this lifestyle plan comes with tips and tricks as to how to accomplish the task of banishing depression in five easy minutes a day all from the comfort of your own desk on break from work or school, then it simply can not be taken as an alternative to a pill I can down while I drink coffee in my car on my way to whatever indoor activity is necessary that day to make myself more worthy of societal praise.
To quote the great Daft Punk, “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” that is what we are all expected to be, nothing and no one is ever good enough. People put unnecessary pressure on themselves, and others, to be and do everything and do it not to the best of their own ability but rather to the best of any ability. We are more and more confronted and crushed by the expectations of our own society. It’s no wonder instances of depression are on the rise. Why are we doing this to ourselves? People can’t just be accomplished in one thing anymore.
I must be a model employee, an ideal student, a dutiful wife, and a foolproof mother (to human children), all while being flawlessly gorgeous if I am to be of any worth. Gender representation and ideologies have perpetuated this view of women in the guise of gender equality. We asked for the right to be able to do anything and ended up with the expectation to do it all at once. The “TLC” lifestyle plan adds yet another set of expectations to our juggling act. It tells us that by following their much more involved set of lifestyle changes we too can beat depression, as though taking a pill is just not good enough anymore either. Sure if I had the time I would love to be out doing, and moving, and socializing, and most of all getting adequate sleep but that is not the world we live in (unfortunately). Being unable to do these things because of the great expectations that are a part of modern life is a shame, another one that will add to why so many of us think we’re not good enough. If I didn’t have to write this blog post, or if I could only be “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” then maybe I could take the path out of depression.