Through Kierkegaard’s eyes, the “Spirt” and “Self” are one in the same. Therefore, despairing is a sickness in that “It” because it reveals the gap between the Self that is and the Self that reduces that Self’s full potentiation.

“The self is a relation which relates to itself… A human being is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity… A synthesis is a relation between two terms. Looked at in this way a human being is not yet a self … Despair is the imbalance in a relation of synthesis, in a relation which relates to itself.”

This is what following the breadcrumbs-of-despair looks like through his eyes:

“If a person in despair is, as he thinks, aware of his despair and doesn’t refer to it mindlessly as something that happens to him… and wants now on his own, all on his own, and with all his might to remove the despair, then he is still in despair and through all his seeming effort only works himself all the more deeply into a deeper despair. The imbalance in despair is not a simple imbalance but an imbalance in a relation that relates to itself and which is established by something else. So the lack of balance in that for-itself relationship also reflects itself infinitely in the relation to the power which established it.”

In despairing over something you always feel yourself. Beneath, what is found is the Self’s relation to that something:

“The relation to himself is something a human being cannot be rid of, just as little as he can be rid of himself, which for that matter is one and the same thing, since the self is indeed the relation to oneself… With despair a fire takes hold in something that cannot burn, or cannot be burned up — the self… To despair over oneself, in despair to want to be rid of oneself, is the formula for all despair.”

“Despair is an aspect of spirit, it has to do with the eternal in a person. But the eternal is something he cannot be rid of, not in all eternity…If there were nothing eternal in a man, he would simply be unable to despair… Having a self, being a self, is the greatest, the infinite, concession that has been made to man, but also eternity’s claim on him.”