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Activism and ... Unhappiness

I am very unhappy that you have asked me this question. I used to believe that if you weren’t miserable, you weren’t politically conscious. So I used to make myself even more unhappy than I was in order to make myself more politically right-on.

Thankfully I can now just allow myself to be depressed.

Man

I don’t know. Perhaps activism is a way of keeping your unhappiness at bay. You can cultivate an image of being a great activist while actually being extremely unhappy. A sort of life-long kind of low-level depression but activism is a way of making yourself feel better.

The idea of the dichotomy: at times in my life I have appeared sorted, a good activist, that’s not how I have actually felt. Activism can be a way of validating oneself, feeling bad about myself, but feeling this is something that I can do moderately well so keep doing it. Like my therapy.

It has made me briefly happy, and I suppose there are things I can look back on and feel good about. Public face and private face: you can do a remarkable amount of activism when you are exceedingly unhappy. Woman

It stops me from doing things. Feeling overwhelmed.

Man

I have a sense that if I had nothing personal to worry about, and if I didn’t spend so much energy on being anxious about my family and friends, then it would be really pleasurable to be worrying about other people’s problems.

I feel quite jealous of people who wander the world doing good, battling with injustice. It must be great just being in the moment. I think it is great to be angry rather than unhappy.

Hmmm, much more useful too. I must remember to be more angry. Being unhappy takes so much time, its like a leech sucking at me.

Woman

Topics: Activism