My dream in life is to be a composer. I have autism and ocd. I not only suspect that I have a wonderful musical talent due to the types of songs I have created in my mind which I highly suspect are just as good and just as catchy as those types of songs we hear from famous musical artists, but I would also be willing to dedicate each and every day in learning how to compose.
I would be willing to dedicate all my time all day everyday with virtually no breaks at all. Of course, I would take breaks to eat, use the bathroom, exercise, etc. It is through my level of dedication that I suspect that I would be a great musician down the road. But the only thing that can make this happen is my feelings of joy, happiness, and motivation/inspiration. I absolutely need those dopamine feel-good experiences to make my composing dream happen.
But these types of feelings are so fleeting for virtually almost everybody. But there's nothing else I can do. If I lose these feelings again, then I will have to give up on my composing again until I can regain them. Other than that, as long as I have these feelings, then I am willing to dedicate all the time in the world towards my composing dream.
I absolutely cannot stand for even one minute composing without these feelings since my composing is so important to me and to compose like a lifeless statue set in motion really angers me. How am I supposed to have joy and happiness without feeling joy and happiness? How am I supposed to have motivation and inspiration when I don't feel motivated and inspired? I can ask the same question for sadness and anger. How am I supposed to be angry and how am I supposed to be sad without feeling anger or sadness? You can't.
I have to come to the conclusion here that anyone who says that you can have a life of joy, value, happiness, inspiration, motivation, and worth while you are in a state of depression and anhedonia is all a lie. There is no other version of those things out there. This other version is all nothing but labels. I will give an analogue here.
Imagine an empty box that has no oranges in it. Imagine from there I put a label that said "oranges" on that empty box. That label is completely useless. It is not going to give me actual oranges. In that same sense, I cannot have actual joy, worth, inspiration, and motivation in my life without my good feelings. It does not matter even if I thought to myself that my life was still happy and worth living during a state of anhedonia and depression. That would be nothing but labels I would be telling myself. It would not give me actual joy, happiness, and a worthwhile life.
Therefore, any depressed or anhedonic person out there who claims that their lives were still worth living and that their lives still had joy, inspiration, etc. are only fooling themselves. They are tricked and brainwashed by what they were taught by society. These people were taught nothing but labels. Our brains fool us all the time. But I am not fooled. I am able to clearly see and know that there really is no joy or anything in a depressed/anhedonic life.
If you want to try and convince me that there is, then you have to appeal to neuroscience to do so. You are going to have to explain to me how the brain can change itself in such a way that you can have a whole new form of joy, happiness, inspiration, and a life that is worth living while you are living in a state of depression and anhedonia. Thoughts and attitudes alone of having happiness, inspiration, etc. in your life will not cut it.
As I said before, thoughts and attitudes alone yield no actual experience of joy, happiness, etc. Living a life through thoughts, attitudes, and actions alone is living like nothing more than a lifeless statue set in motion. In a way, it is like living like a robot. Therefore, there must be some actual new form of joy, happiness, etc. that the brain is somehow able to create and that the dopamine feel-good version would not be the only thing here that gives you joy, inspiration, happiness, etc.
But I've never heard this happen. Rather, what I've been hearing instead is that I just have to change my attitude and thinking and that my thinking and attitude alone will give me a whole new version of joy, happiness, etc. in my life. Thoughts and attitudes alone are just labels as I've explained earlier. I need actual joy, happiness, etc. in my life here.
Or maybe it's the case here that my brain is wired like a drug addict's and my brain depends on these dopamine feel-good experiences to give joy, value, worth, and happiness to my life. After all, that is how I lived my whole entire life. I lived my whole entire life depending on these feelings to give joy and everything to my life.
The most important thing I have relied on is my normal healthy state of mind. My entire state of reality has to be in a normal healthy state first and foremost. If my entire state of mind is in a miserable crippled state, then that is the worst thing. Once I am in a normal healthy state, then I need my good feelings from there to make my life and hobbies worth living for.
I think it might be no different than a situation where a person takes a laxative their whole entire life. This person can no longer have a bowel movement on his/her own. He/she now relies on a laxative to have a bowel movement since he/she has developed a laxative dependency. So maybe that is the case with me. Maybe I can't have joy, meaning, worth, inspiration, etc. in my life alone. Perhaps I depend on these good feelings to give my life joy, happiness, etc. since my brain has become dependent on them.
After all, this is what drug addict's typically report once they get off the drug. They report that they are like a lifeless robot or statue set in motion without their dopamine highs. But a person who has never taken a drug would report that their lives still had joy, happiness, and worth even while they didn't have their good feelings and even while they were in a state of complete depression and anhedonia.