Eat Pray Love

‘I took on depression like it was the fight of my life, which, of course, it was. I became a student of my own depressed experience, trying to unthread its causes. What was the root of all this despair? Was it psychological? (Mom and Dad’s fault?) Was it just temporal, a “bad time” in my life? (When divorce ends, will the depression end with it?) Was it genetic? (Melancholy, called by many names, has run through my family for generations, along with its sad bride, alcoholism.) Was it cultural? (Is this just the fallout of a post-feminist American career girl trying to find balance in an increasingly stressful and alienating urban world?) Was it astrological? (Am I so sad because I’m a thin-skinned Cancer whose major signs are all ruled by unstable Gemini?) Was it artistic? (Don’t creative people always suffer from depression because we’re so supersensitive and special?) Was it evolutionary? (Do I carry in me the residual panic that comes after millennia of my species’ attempting to survive a brutal world?) Was it karmic? (Are all these spasms of grief just the consequences of bad behaviour in previous lifetimes, the last obstacles before liberation?) Was it hormonal? Dietary? Philosophical? Seasonal? Environmental? Was I tapping into a universal yearning for God? Did I have a chemical imbalance? Or did I just need to get laid?’

–Elizabeth Gilbert

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