You’re Not Depressed, You’re Distracted

· July 1, 2016

The author Facundo Cabral wrote what you might call “a story about life,” about everything that escapes from us, about all the innocence we lost when we were first crushed by difficult experiences. This story is called You’re Not Depressed, You’re Distracted.

He tells us about hope, struggle, how to reconceptualize pain, and how to take life responsibly but not so seriously, because that’s when everything starts to get distorted. He talks about surrounding ourselves with the appropriate people and giving new meaning to our lives through love and contemplation. And he talks about how nothing is really that important as long as you’re living your life…

Sometimes we think that we’re sad or unhappy about something concrete because we’ve lost something we thought was the driving force of our lives. We think we have nothing to fight for anymore. We feel depressed, but we’re not appreciating everything we have around us.

watercolor woman melting

We feel depressed when we don’t notice everything we have

“Distracted from the life that surrounds you, you have a heart, a brain, a soul, and a spirit…so how can you feel poor and unhappy? Distracted from the life that surrounds you: dolphins, forests, oceans, mountains, rivers.

Don’t fall victim to the same thing your brother did, the one who suffers for one human being in a world where there are 5,600,000,000 others. It’s also not that bad to live alone; I do it well, choosing what I want to do at every instant, and thanks to my solitude, I know myself, which is fundamental for me to live.

Don’t fall victim to the same thing your father did, who feels old because he is 70, forgetting that Moses led the exodus when he was 80, and Rubinstein  interpreted Chopin like no one else at 90, just to name two well-known examples. You’re not depressed, you’re distracted…

That’s why you feel like you’ve lost something, which is isn’t even possible because everything you have was given to you. You didn’t make a single hair on your head, so you can’t be the owner of anything. Also, life doesn’t take things away from you, it frees you of things, it makes you lighter so you can fly higher and be more complete.

Everything from the cradle to the grave is a school, and what you call problems are actually lessons. Life is dynamic, it’s always in constant motion, so you should only pay attention to the present. That’s why my mother said “I am in charge of the present, the future is God’s business.” That’s why Jesus said “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

You haven’t lost anyone. The ones who have died have just gone ahead of us, because we’re all going where they went. And the best part of them, their Love, lives on in your heart.”

-Facundo Cabral-

Throughout the story, he tells us that what we think is depression is sometimes just a distraction from the world. He says it from an artistic and poetic perspective because that’s the one he has, but it’s also logical and reasonable from a psychological point of view.

Sometimes we get so hurt that we feel insecure. We feel an existential emptiness and struggle, hurt by the past, and we start to avoid some really beautiful situations. We put off taking a walk with friends, meeting people, and fighting for a new job, and little by little we fall into a depression.

We’re distracted by negative things

Our thoughts or cognitive schemas cause us to evaluate the world negatively. Plus, we don’t do anything to reinforce the positive things. We get used to darkness, to monotonous but comfortable misery, and we believe that there’s no other way to live in the world. You watch television and think that the world doesn’t care about you because that’s the real world, because it’s been so long since you’ve actually gone out to see the real world.

But that’s why you’re not really depressed, you’re just distracted by negative things that won’t let you see the beauty of the world. Distracted by people who aren’t passionate about anything, distracted by value judgments, oughts, memories, and heartbreak.

Stop being distracted by things that blind you

“You won’t find happiness, and it’s so easy. You should just listen to your heart before your head intervenes, which is conditioned by memory, which complicates everything with old things of the past, with prejudice that makes you sick, that imprisons you. A head that divides, that impoverishes, is one that doesn’t accept life the way it is or how it should be.

Do only what you love, and you’ll be happy. People who do what they love are blessedly condemned to success, which will come when it’s supposed to come, because what’s supposed to be will be, and it will come naturally.

Reconcile with yourself, stand in front of the mirror, and think about how the creature that you’re seeing was made by God, and choose right now to be happy, because happiness is an acquisition, not something that comes to you from the outside. Nor is happiness a right, it’s a must, because if you’re not happy, you’re just embittering your surroundings.

One man, who had no talents or values, ordered the murder of six million Jews. There are so many things to enjoy, and our time on Earth is so short that suffering is a waste of time.”

park bench

Suffering is a waste of time. Because even if you can’t avoid feeling pain throughout your life, like the piercing pain that you feel in your soul when you lose a loved one, for example, prolonged suffering is something you can choose to accept or discard.

You can choose to stop being distracted by negativity, since it occupies your life and distracts you from truly living. It distracts you from taking care of yourself, and causes you to play the victim when bad things happen to you.

You’re not depressed, you just can’t be bothered to look at all the love around you; you’re too fixated on the ulterior motives and misfortunes of the world. You’re preoccupied with thinking about guilt, a load other people said you had to carry, but all this does is keep you from enjoying the world, which goes on whether you feel this weight or not. You should choose how you want to live in it.

You’re not depressed, you’re distracted. But remember that innocence is stimulating, because everything is a reflection, everything is a party, and that’s why you can’t be carrying bags full of unnecessary ideas and people.

Now you know why you’re distracted, not depressed.