It’s Monday morning yet again, despite my best efforts‒the beginning of yet another pointless work week in the dreary tail bit of the year, when the sun sets at 5:31 pm local time, thanks to the outmoded “daylight savings time”, making people like me, who are already dysthymic/depressive and are also subject to some seasonal affective problems that much more unstable. Spread the word: daylight savings time causes significant morbidity and mortality* and does no one much, if any, good.
I’m writing this on my cell phone again, or “smartphone” if you will (though dumbphone seems like a better term given the way most humans use theirs). I deliberately didn’t bring my laptop to the house with me over the weekend. It’s not as though I’m writing stories anymore; I’m just writing this ridiculous blog. So there’s no particular impetus to make the writing process easier for me, as using the laptop does. I might as well use the smaller, lighter device when I don’t feel like carrying the heavier one.
I had a reasonably boring weekend, which I guess is a good thing. I watched a few movies, and I went on some comparatively long walks‒I think I totaled about 12 miles over the course of the two days. I also spoke with my sister on the phone on Sunday, and that was good.
That’s about it. That’s the extent of my non-work life. It’s the best I have to offer, and it’s as like as not just to get worse as time passes. But I was able to force myself to get almost eight hours of sleep on Friday night and Saturday night, thanks to Benadryl and melatonin. Oh, and of course, I did my laundry on Sunday, as I always do.
Sorry, I know this is really boring so far. I don’t know what to tell you. I didn’t really have any subject in mind for today, other than my brief diatribe about daylight savings time and depression/seasonal affective disorder. Obviously, it’s a topic that affects me significantly (no pun intended), but there’s otherwise not much for me to say about it.
Eliezer Yudkowsky has an interesting bit of insight into it that he gives as an illustrative case in his excellent book Inadequate Equilibria, dealing with, among other things, the reasons why no one has done research on much stronger light-based treatments for SAD. But you can’t expect depressed people to take initiative to do remarkable things to help themselves, since a major part of the problem with depressive disorders is comparative inability to take positive action.
If anyone out there has any requests for subjects or topics for me to discuss in a blog post, I’d be more than willing to consider them, though if it’s not a subject about which I have any expertise, I may not be able to do anything worthwhile with it. Still, I have a fairly broad knowledge base regarding general science, especially biology and physics. I like mathematics, though I’m not that deeply knowledgeable about esoterica thereof‒a regretted failure of my youthful imagination when I was in college. Similar things could be said about the deep aspects of computer science; I wish I had known how interesting the subjects were back then and so had pursued them more than I did.
Of course, I have a fair amount of personal knowledge in the reading and writing of fantasy/science fiction/horror, though I haven’t read any new stuff in a while. I haven’t even read any of my own books in a long time. I think the most recent horror I’ve read was Revival by Stephen King, which was pretty good. I haven’t read much if anything in the way of new fantasy since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I’m reasonably well versed in slightly older comic book lore, especially Marvel. And of course, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings are among my favorite books.
I enjoy Shakespeare, but I don’t consider myself any kind of scholar of the Bard. I like his works and his words in a fairly straightforward fashion. I also like Poe quite a lot, as you might have guessed from my recitation videos of some of his poems.
Anyway, that’s a quick summary of some of the subjects upon which I might at least feel justified in opining. So, if anyone has any suggestions or requests in these or even other, tangentially related subjects, I would appreciate them. I like to feel useful or productive in at least some way, so I can justify my existence to myself. It isn’t easy. I’m a much harsher judge of my usefulness or worth than Scrooge at his worst, and I expect no ghosts of past, present, and/or future to visit me to give me some epiphany that changes my character.
It would be nice if some rescue mission were to happen to save my soul, but I don’t see it as plausible, and I don’t think anyone thinks it’s in their interest‒or anyone else’s‒to save me, in any case. So in the meantime I’m just stumbling along like a wind up robot that’s been forgotten by the child that wound it up, legs moving and shifting until the mechanism breaks or the spring finishes untightening. And damn, that’s an annoyingly efficient spring.
*I don’t have the data for this, but I strongly suspect that, if the sun set at least a little later‒say an hour later, even‒things would be slightly easier for people with SAD. It might be difficult to tease out the statistics, but SAD doesn’t just kill by increasing rates of suicide, though I’m pretty sure it does that. People experiencing exacerbations of depression have higher rates of numerous other illnesses and accidents beyond the obvious.