I was misanthropic before I even knew what it was to be misanthropic. I was young and a dilettante in life, I was rowing clumsily in the lake of wisdom, appropriating feelings that were never mine. What did I have to be misanthropic about, then? Sure, it made me feel special and different, and somewhat aware, but it never occurred to me to question the origins of my ersatz despair. And I wonder, how many of us walk around with apocryphal pathologies that we trained our minds to believe. How many of us have sacrificed real, unmitigated happiness because we deluded ourselves into believing something we never really felt? But then again, how many of those schmaltzy feelings were later vindicated?
Depression is one of those feelings. When you’ve hit rock bottom and you have nothing to look forward to, then yes, depression is a normal feeling. It doesn’t need any explaining for a person to come to the obvious conclusion that certain situations in life leave us feeling utterly miserable. And that’s completely normal. But how can someone be depressed when they have myriads of stuff to look forward to? That’s when it enters the realm of mental illness. As does bipolarity. How many of us have juggled differing personalities, as a result of being trapped in complex, diametrically opposed circumstances? Whilst feelings of elation and misery are a juxtaposition, it doesn’t mean we cannot entertain both at the same time.
But many of us fake it, because we believe it to be true. We feel placated by our desire to have something to label what we’re experiencing at a particular moment. We feel vindicated without actually being vindicated. But my opportune run-in with my deep-rooted fears helped me understand the drive behind general misanthropy. I hated what had become of the human race, so morally depleted and consumed by their glib desires. So utterly bereft of any substance or real direction. Always at loggerheads with one another, one cutthroat religion battling another. It was all fun and games until I realized that that’s not what misanthropy is about. It’s normal to take one single glance at this cesspit and philosophize what I just did.
My real foray into misanthropy came at a cost. Delving into my own arsenal of bitter emotions, I grappled with something that I couldn’t really situate. The noble savage absconds from his primal abode to fight for the death, and he’s not really noble of course. He’s consumed by irreverent motives, he endeavors to leave the battlefield without hearing a single plea for mercy. Because he’s bludgeoned them all, and mercy isn’t something he understands. He’s good when you know him, but he will still bludgeon you on that battlefield. It’s a game, with distinct results at the end. Either you, or him. That’s when you know, misanthropy is a valid feeling.