Months ago when I started learning about Stoic philosophy, it was supposed to be just an experiment. I’ve been researching life philosophies and naturalistic spirituality for about a year now, looking for bits and pieces that make sense, cobbling together the beginnings of a system for myself.
Then, about two weeks after I decided to track and share my progress with a blog, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Whump.
Suddenly my fledgling personal philosophy is carrying a much heavier load. And yet, things are generally holding together. Things are, at least, not falling entirely apart.
I’ve heard people speculate that having chronic depression or anxiety can actually help you get through Bad Times, because you’re essentially already programmed for feeling like shit. I guess this might sort of be true. But I think the key is whether or not you have tools in place to deal with your chronic mental dickery.
This is the main role philosophy and spirituality play for me. They keep the less helpful parts of my brain from overpowering everything else. Stoicism allows me to turn my anxiety into just one part of an adaptive system for thinking about my life.