Existential Boredom

My therapist used to observe that I sometimes seemed to be afflicted with “existential boredom.” As someone with introverted, quiet, mellow tendencies, I don’t often crave noise and excitement. I can keep myself occupied and entertained quite easily. In other words, I don’t often get bored.

However, I do find myself feeling like there is no excitement or meaning in my life. The things I do (though I am currently serving 45 hours a week or more with AmeriCorps) seem to hold no significance. The years left in my life appear to stretch out before me, monotonous and never-ending. The future overwhelms me. When I begin to feel down, I do not see that I hold any value for this world. My existence seems dull, pointless.

It’s difficult to articulate how crushing this feeling is, especially when I haven’t felt it in a while. One day I can feel just fine. I feel optimistic about my future, even. And the next… falling into a black hole and clawing at the sides as I try to stay not to sink further.

Part of it is having a lot of free time on my hands. I work long days but when the weekend rolls around, if I don’t have enough plans, I crumble. I crave free time, but when faced with it, I panic. Sometimes I feel like I am constantly trying to keep my mind and body busy so I can run away from the depression. Some days are harder than others. Today is a hard day.

Can anyone else relate to existential boredom? Does anyone else struggle when they find themselves with a lot of free time?

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4 thoughts on “Existential Boredom

  1. Boredom is just the uneasy time before our subconscious yearnings and desires return to our conscious state of mind, – but that actually makes boredom quite an important feeling.

    I don’t get bored very often myself, but if I do and I don’t feel the passion to do anything with the feeling, like being creative, getting out, reading or learning something new, I like to get in my car, roll down the windows, stick on some decent music and just take a drive out into the countryside, just 1/2 an hour usually does the trick, and then when I return home that simple, quick change of environment has usually unlocked an idea or memory of something I wanted to do or achieve.

    -If I just do nothing I can end up feeling pretty vapid.

    ps – I often listen to “Giant Drag” when I’m in the car, I don’t know if music is your thing, or whether you’re familiar with her work, but both her albums are phenomenal, and I feel you both have many things in common.

    Take care, E

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