Have I figured out the meaning of life?

Have I figured out the meaning of life? When I’m battling major depression, this is what keeps me going.

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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As humans, it is in our nature to question our own existence. I mean, really, why are we here? I suspect that the answer is a difficult one for many to uncover. However, I also have my suspicions that there’s more than one answer to this question. Perhaps it’s as individual as humans themselves.

From my perspective. the answer has somewhat come to light over the course of my lifetime. With that said, my answer may not correspond with other people’s definition. Regardless, it bears thinking about. And I thought it might be helpful to share.

The meaning of life, or at least as I understand it, has come to me after continuously battling mental illness. When coupled with my brain’s tendency to be in overdrive nearly every moment of every day, I was bound to reach a conclusion at some point.

How, you ask? Interestingly, I have decided on its meaning, not through a dictionary definition, but rather, the instability that comes with a horrible dread of a depressive episode. Likewise, I posed this question during the more peaceful moments in between.

How to manage a depressive episode

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Truth is, if I had not contemplated the meaning of life both in my darkest hours and at my happiest times, I believe the answer would have eluded me, quite possibly for the remainder of my life.

Firstly, as most people with depression can attest, one is often stuck ruminating over why they are even here in the first place. Similarly, they can often question the point to it all. I know I do; frustratingly so, it occupies my neurocircuitry whenever I suffer a bout of major depression.

Negative self-talk and depression.

The beauty of this darkness? I actively seek to answer the question: what’s life’s purpose?

This question often crosses my mind organically, no matter my mental state and thankfully, I’ve come up with a conclusion that I think many may agree with.

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So, without further ado, here goes nothing: Have I figured out the meaning of life?

Humans have a beautiful ability to connect to one another in a very significant form of kindness.

At its core is a little thing called Love. This emotion, with the strength of gravity, pulls us towards those whom we have a “Humans have a beautiful ability to connect to one another in a very significant form of kindness, and deep affinity for.

But connection and love are more than just mere feelings. They are natural survival mechanisms that have allowed humanity to form families and social networks. Because of it, we have survived for thousands of years.

Because its strength is so strong, so undeniable, it is the very essence for life itself.”

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I believe that this is the formula for the meaning of life. Love, connection and unity equal stronger, longer and more robust relationships. In my view, this is a beautiful gift.

Think of it: when we have this formula going for us, we are much less likely to feel lonely and isolated. Personally, I find that when I do a gratefulness inventory, my episodes of depression seem to be shorter.

Finally, while I know firsthand that major depression can feel really lonely and isolating, I also know that I do have many strong connections and thus many reasons to ride the wave of mental illness. The people I have in my life are truly amazing! So, have I figured out the meaning of life? You decide.

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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

2 thoughts on “Have I figured out the meaning of life?

  1. Are you trained (other than personal experience) in the mental health field? Why do you think you are an authority? If it’s all by personal experience than I would be a winner at what you do.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I have a background in addictions counseling and spent nearly 20 years working with people with severe mental illness, cognitive delay and behavioral difficulties.

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