Why am I sad when everything is good?

Thursday 12th February 2009,

I wake up at 7:45 in my girlfriend’s apartment where I live for a few months while my new apartment on fashionable Östermalm is renovated. We have not had sex for seven days and for the first time during our over two-year relationship, I have not felt any sexual desire for this good looking, cute and feminine girl. I don’t really feel like doing anything at the moment. This morning she seems to be more alert and she takes the initiative, which normally would have made me crazy with desire. I remember a picture when she sits on top of me shining with enthusiasm. I get a small glimpse of life – she was really lovely, right there.

It is gray and cold outside, but I still choose to walk to work. Hopefully the cold will help me wake up a little. When I walk through the entrance to the prestigious, global management consulting firm, I feel a longing to get away, preferably to a childhood sunny summer day on Käringön. Strange, I was so proud and happy when I got this well-payed job just six months earlier.

I have ended up on a project where we as a team are consulting a large global industrial company to see how they govern their organization. It sounds exciting, but for me as a junior consultant it’s mostly about reading about the company’s various country organizations, look at which FTEs (Full Time Equivalents, ie employees) that are redundant, to decide where the company can fire people to make more money. People I will never meet, they are just numbers in my Excel spreadsheet. Organizing the team, I have a quite nice project leader from northern Sweden and an intelligent and pleasant colleague from the southern part of the country who started at the same time as me. Nothing wrong with the people in this place, nor how they take care of us employees. But I can not say that my motivation is on top for what we do.

I can not say that I feel much meaning for anything right now. I am 26 years old and it already feels like life’s happy days are over. Already I’m worrying about my age. I remember the years of my youth in bright light. The carefree student years in Lund with friends and parties. Exchange year in Australia with sun, thrilling adventures and interesting encounters. Everything has gone smoothly so why do I complain now? I have a wonderful girlfriend, a family that cares, lots of friends and a prestigious job with a cool business card. Somehow I still feel like a prisoner in the rat race. I guess there are some years of work now before it’s time for the villa, Volvo, children and doggy. Why is this not exciting? What is the meaning of this life? I feel very lonely even though there are so many people in my life.

My parents have a wise friend named Pelle Gedin, an old book publisher who is almost 80 years old but with much curiosity and vitality remaining. He has tipped me to go to a psychiatrist, he believes that all people should. I feel an urgent need to do something with my life. As long as I can remember I have endeavored to make my life better, but now I’m not at all happy and have no idea how to get out of this. Tonight I’ll write him a letter.

Click here to read the Letter to psychiatrists to be in 2009.

Letter to my psychiatrist to be, 2009
How important is sex?
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