Life as a hedonist with anhedonia

Hedonism is defined as the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole purpose of life. Anhedonia is the inability to experience pleasure.  I have recently learned that anhedonia is a symptom of depression, not specifically a form of it.


Many years ago one of the ways I would have describe myself, if asked, was as a hedonist.  Obviously, I was much younger then and was convinced I knew everything.  Reality has a way of asserting itself and resistance is futile.  Stubbornness will, eventually, wear you down, one way or another.  It was ironic, to me, seeing the term anhedonia in a report that followed a battery of psychological tests I had taken.  It really has taken some time to absorb the full impact.


I have been fortunate to learn, through life and experience, that I actually KNOW very little.  I think things, believe things, have faith in things; none of which is actual knowledge.  All of which influence behavior, communication and attitudes.  The benefit of accepting that I know very little is it makes me an easier person to be around.  The idea that you can be right and I can be right at the same time, even though we disagree, is very freeing.  When I knew everything life became smaller and smaller.  It is difficult, nearly to the point of impossible, to find pleasure or happiness when life becomes so small.


What befuddles me these days is that I only realize I haven’t enjoyed something until I start enjoying it again!  Is that a paradox?  Or just ironic?  Whatever it is, that’s my experience.


It feels good to be shedding the limits of anhedonia. It is the difference between going through the motions of life cause someone said it’s the right thing to do and doing things because, by god, I like and therefore choose to do them! There have been so many pleasurable and happy moments in the last couple of weeks that I almost wonder if they really happened to me.  And, wonder of wonders, people were involved.  I’m cautious about naming names and being more specific because I really don’t want anything to mar the memories.  There actually is a post on my site already about last Friday, can’t remember the title off hand, will fix this at edit.

  As a closet geek I have experienced great pleasure these last few days getting expanded performance out of two of my favorite electronic gadgets.  Seems I can spend hours fiddling with these things and never notice time passing.  The downside is being late and/or rushed for other commitments.  Looks like discipline and organizational skills must be called upon, upgraded, re-installed.  Holy cow!  Would you believe I’m looking forward to it!


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