Can you be depressed without blaming yourself?I know, this is not the major conundrum of the average life, though severe depression can hit anyone. But it is for those of us who are bipolar or chronically depressed, or subject to the lows of illness, such as migraines or chronic pain- so as I think about it, a lot of us have this problem.
There could be other approaches for me, such as really thinking about the classic koan, "What was your original face before your mother and father were born?" That points me to the highly hereditary nature of the kind of brain I have, which is called an illness or disorder. Dis-order seems to fit pretty well.
If you start thinking how your parents were made by their culture and the events of their lives, you get insight into how they made you. If I really sink into all that, and understand that this is how I was made before I had anything to say about it, that can solve the riddle above. It is not my fault that I experience long periodic depressions. I don't choose to feel like that.
And actually, that kind of penetration into the issue suggests to me that my habit of self-blame was also conditioned into me. Therefore -
It doesn't make sense to blame yourself for your self-blame.
But it is perfectly logical that you do that. Of course you do. You were conditioned to blame yourself. So don't blame yourself for blaming yourself. But obviously you have to blame yourself, because it is perfectly logical that, given your heredity and conditioning, you will do that.You have to love it.
There is something profound here that I won't attempt to explain any further. But on a lighter note, it reminds me of the value of lightening up. Though I don't know if you can do that by force of will . . .
[image: tree peonies as van Gogh might have seen them in his worst mood]