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  • Ok so: it's 7.a.m. and I'm sitting here googling existentialist angst with my face covered in nappy cream, and wondering what the blazes I've got to be unhappy about?

    But unhappy I am. I've spent the night wrestling with thoughts of oblivion and despair. I wake up covered in spots (hence the nappy cream) and I look out of the window to see another perfect day dawning over beautiful France and I think - so?

    I find Emily Dickinson a great help here.

    There is a pain—so utter—
    It swallows substance up—
    Then covers the Abyss with Trance—
    So Memory can step
    Around—across—upon it—
    As one within a Swoon—
    Goes safely—where an open eye—
    Would drop Him—Bone by Bone.

    According to existentialist philosophy, I am living "inauthentically", in other words, not in accordance with my true, authentic self. Not acknowledging my freedom.

    I am in tune with existentialism and its recognition of the absurd. It chimes with both my experience and my understanding of life. I studied Sartre at university and while I don't admire everything about him I do admire his determination to look at everything without prejudice.

    A religious analysis of my situation would probably be that I have failed to acknowledge a higher power.

    But then I hear on the radio that all anxiety and despair is merely "biochemistry of the brain". They watch it happening on MRI scans.

    So, I can take a pill, go to church or throw myself in the river...

    Just writing this down has helped. I think I'll go for a walk. I am free.
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