I Hate ‘Having Fun’

I Hate ‘Having Fun’

You know what I hate? I hate the concept of “having fun.” I hate the pressure to “have fun.” I hate the notion that so much of what we do is to “have fun.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge others their fun. They should have as much of it as they like. But for me, trying to have fun is just a big chore (or a big lie).

So I’m here, in Parma, Italy and I’m supposed to be chill-axing and “having fun.” Italy is a fun place, after all. All you need to do is stumble from gelato stand to pizza bar to have a good time.

But here’s the thing: I don’t have fun.

I don’t. I’m depressed. I’m anhedonic. I’m apathetic. I don’t have fun. I just don’t.

It’s not that I don’t want it, or that I wouldn’t have it if I could, it’s just that I can’t.

All the Pressure to “Have Fun”

You know what holiday bugs me? New Year’s Eve. I don’t like New Year’s Eve because there’s this insane pressure to party like it’s 1999, get blackout drunk and make out with a stranger – and absolutely love every moment of it. And if that’s your thing, then go to it, I just wish there wasn’t such pressure on the rest of us to have this tremendously “fun” time.

In life we're all supposed to "have fun" but people with depression rarely "have fun" and the pressure to have fun is even more depressing. And, of course, being here is the same. I’m supposed to love everything and cherish every moment. I can appreciate that people do and I can appreciate that I should. It’s just that I can’t. I can’t feel the things necessary to love almost anything (exclusive of my cats).

Depression and “Having Fun”

So, that all being said, what is a “good day” with depression if life is completely devoid of fun? Well, less pain is nice. I like that. Fewer tears, more energy, lighter thoughts, a hint of desire – all those things are in the win column.

But fun is not in there. It’s just not a reasonable goal for me and it certainly isn’t anywhere near a reasonable assumption. And feeling the pressure to have fun and talk about having fun and espouse the greatness of fun-having just makes depression worse.

I realize it’s a lot easier saying, “have fun,” than, “feel less depression,” but it would be nice if someone understood that’s just all I can manage.


About Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.

Natasha’s New Book

Find more of Natasha’s work in her new book: Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. Media inquiries can be emailed here.

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