What is particularly striking about his reconstruction and criticisms of the traditional account of friendship is that he finds it deficient not only by the light of his own Christian viewpoint; he also finds friendship deficient when judged from the perspective of its own self-proclaimed ethical foundations. Thus, Kierkegaard concludes that the reciprocity involved in friendship actually betrays its essential selfishness.

Despair is not for the living
but for those unable to rise and continue;
they are the only souls with a right to it.
It is an end where breath and strength and will
have vanished, leaving no way to persevere.
To sink into the abyss that is despair
is to suffer an existence far worse than death;
therefore, cling to its enemy, our ally-hope.
For life goes on,
and we must not live in despair.
We must not.

Why did things have to get so backwards in our house? Since she couldn’t be the adult, I knew that it had to be me. But that didn’t stop me from hating it–from wishing it was just over. I’d give anything to be a kid again and not to be the responsible one in the house. It was like I was trapped in a horrible virtual-reality game, except there was no way for me to quit.

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