The Illness of Wanting

Do your dreams hurt?

Mine do. Sometimes it hurts just to imagine the world, the life, and all that I feel I am missing. Do your dreams hurt, or simply inspire you?

Is it an illness to want, to want for more in life, all of it’s own? I read an article recently that spoke of depression as an illness marked by people with a constant case of the “wants”. (What do you think of that?) For me, it’s not material things, it’s not money that I want. I want for connection and a consistent sense of living life to it’s fullest. I want for a sense of being loved and cherished, even with my flaws, even with my illness and challenges. I want for better health and more energy. I want for more laughter and less emotional pain.

Don’t get me wrong, I am learning how to feel more at peace in my circumstances and I’m learning to come more into my own…but I’m still wanting. I want more.

A day later:

The wanting comes in waves. I believe all of us experience this kind of longing to some degree, but I wonder if those of us suffering from illness like depression and fibromyalgia (any chronic health issue really) feels this feeling amplified? I believe in the power of our thoughts. I believe it’s important to take these moments where the wanting and longing feels almost unbearable to spur us on for change. I also believe it is okay to share those moments, the vulnerability in it, and to let others know that you are struggling with it. What’s most important, for me, is to hold on in those moments and to remember that the intensity of it will pass. Good things are on the horizon.

11 thoughts on “The Illness of Wanting

  1. I don’t agree that depression is a constant case of “wants” ~ do you? At least for me, it’s more of not having the emotional energy to want anything, even the things I hold most dear. A physical and emotional numbness and emptiness that alternates with pain. Maybe wants unfulfilled lead to depression? I don’t know how it is for others, though. Or maybe even at different times for the same person. Or one can have wants while being depressed but that’s not the cause, or even a symptom, of the depression. I don’t know. It’s difficult to want things that we cannot have due to circumstances beyond our control. My wish for you is that at least some of your wants start coming true. *big gentle squishy hugs* (ddh77)

    • I don’t think depression can be simplified to a mindset of “wanting” but I think it is part of depression that paralyzes us into feeling that we can only want and not have. The wanting I describe, which fluctuates in intensity, is a deep longing… when I am suffering from bouts of depression the wanting can become even more intense. In reality, I am blessed and have much of what I seek within me.

      Your big gently squishy hugs are priceless and perfect in this moment. I thank you!

  2. I believe there are different types of depression. There’s psychological depression which could be because of “wanting”, but there’s also depression caused by other things. I am weaning off an antidepressant and this in itself has caused me to be very depressed. It’s a pure mood thing, it’s not because I “want” anything. It’s purely due to chemical changes.

  3. Hey there…. what an interesting post. I’ve always thought depression was a chemical imbalance of some sort. An illness of “wants”? I don’t know. But I do share the feeling of dreams that hurt with you. I understand what you mean. However, I’ve always referred to it as a “happiness that aches”. My dreams are my guide – where I want to go, what I want to do. When I feel like I’m not making it to these dreams, I stop to reflect on where I AM, and what I’ve already done. That’s the happiness that aches. I’m happy to just be here some days, and see the sunrise.. the ache comes from knowing I want to experience so much more in my life. I think we all do. When dealing with a chronic illness or even a major bout of cancer, our perspectives get reset. Through illness, we’re given a unique perspective on life and living that some people never, ever experience. Therein lies the discord. keep going… you’re dreams are right there waiting for you.

    • I am deeply moved by your comment. I love the “happiness that aches”description. Upon reading your comment, the tears immediately started to flow (in the car on my way home from a movie!). Your words here are just beautiful to me and bring me great comfort. I thank you, with all of my heart, for sharing, for your understanding and for the encouragement.

      On another note, today, I watched the rain. I just watched and loved each minute I was able to see it from a new perspective at our “new” residence. I am grateful to have had that experience.

  4. You hit the nail on the head!!!! I am saving this post to “readitlater”. I suffer from chronic pain and also care for my chronically ill Mother. In spite of God’s faithfulness, I feel like I’ve missed out on so much due to dreams I’ve been unable to fulfill for reasons mostly beyobd mty control and it HURTS!:-( God bless you for your amazing insight!!!

  5. Some depression might be a bad case of the wants, but for some of us, it’s there even if the wants are satisfied. For me, even when everything is well, and I know I *should* be happy, it’s still there.

    • I am with you, even when my life has been full of good things, depression can strike and rears its ugly head.

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