Diary of Surrender, Week 3: Don’t Confuse Rebellion with Depression

The patriarchy is on its death bead and you can still be glamorous while eating dinner in your pajamas.

Adeline Dimond


Photo by mark chaves on Unsplash

I’m writing a diary about my year of giving up, although I may give up on this too. Who knows? You can read about why I’m giving up here, and the previous week of saying fuck it here. (The term “week” is used loosely).

I don’t love breaking the fourth wall of this website-that-shall-not-be named, around which we have all gathered to tell our stories. But today I can’t help myself: I really hate some of the comments I’m getting on these diary entries. (And the original post about why I’m giving up). Most the comments are great, but when reading my plan on giving up, some folks are declaring that “I sound really depressed” (in other words, I’m doing it wrong). And because I’ve expressed dismay about aging, my diminishing looks, and by extension whether I’m hot enough to keep dating, that I’m a victim of the “the patriarchy” (whatever that means).

If people think I’m depressed, that means my writing sucks and I haven’t clearly explained what I’m doing. Let me try again: it’s not depression, it’s a rebellion. I didn’t want to spell this out so clearly, but I guess good writing sometimes requires a two-by-four in the reader’s face?

So to be very clear: I am not depressed. I am rejecting a bunch of cultural bullshit that tells me I should continue to chase goals that aren’t coming my way even after a lot of hard work. I reject the notion that I just need to work harder, cut out even more carbs, swipe more often. I’m no longer dating and no longer trying to lose weight, because these two activities make me feel bad about myself. I am rebelling.

And sure, I’m tired and a bit sad about it all. But isn’t being tired and sad the crucial liminal space before we morph into something better? Caterpillars are goopy, soupy mess before they become butterflies. They aren’t journaling their to-do lists, counting carbs or swiping right. My being tired and throwing up my hands in defeat shouldn’t trigger any one, so the only logical conclusion is that the commenters telling me that I’m depressed are foot soldiers in the culture I’m trying to reject. And I see…