Semi-literal “trigger warning” – this post will likely be a downer

Well, it’s Friday again, the second Friday in December I guess, and I’m writing my daily blog post.  I’ll be writing one tomorrow as well, since I’m working tomorrow (barring unforeseen circumstances).  So, if you like to read my blog, keep your eyes open; it should be appearing tomorrow morning, not much later than the usual time.

I’m not sure what to write about this morning.  I suppose I should probably get into more of the informational posting(s) about sugar, but I don’t think I’m in the right frame of mind for that.  I’m grumpy—as usual—this morning, and I was even imagining things about which to be angry everywhere on the way to the train station, which is where I am right now, waiting for the very first train of the day.

I woke up particularly early today—I know, what else is new, right?—and so I’m here well in advance of that first train.  There was a casually discarded Burger King beverage cup lying on the bench on which I usually sit when I got here.  I threw it away.  That was irritating, but it wasn’t the first thing to annoy me today.  Still, it’s difficult to understand why people leave such things lying about, when there are public garbage receptacles every twenty feet or so throughout the train station.

Now they’ve announced that the train I’m taking is boarding on the opposite side than usual, which is also irritating, though at least they’ve announced it well in advance.  I had to get up, after already having started writing, pack the computer away, get in the elevator, go up, cross the bridge, and then—and this is the funny-ish part—summon and wait for the elevator on the parking lot side to the second floor.

The funny part of that is that if I were as selfish or thoughtless or whatever you want to call it as everyone else seems to be, then the elevator would have been at the top already, since I was the last one to use it.  But when I ride the elevator up, I always press the ground floor button as I get off, because people are mainly going to be coming from the parking lot side, so they’ll be needing to get on the elevator at the ground floor, and I might as well save them a bit of the wait, in case they’re running behind schedule or whatever.  It’s convenient for maybe one other passenger a day, at most, but it seems like the right thing to do.

Today, however, it inconvenienced me.  It’s a bit ironic, and it is mildly annoying, in my current frame of mind, but I can’t consider it any kind of injustice.  I’m the one who chooses to do the elevator send-back-down thing, and I don’t regret it, and I’ll continue to do it.

But it is yet another annoying little fact about the world.  I’m sure that everyone has plenty of these petty complaints, of course.  The world doesn’t exist for our convenience, after all.  I could almost say that I should feel lucky enough to be alive, except that most days it doesn’t feel like luck.  At least, at this stage of my life, I don’t feel lucky to be still alive.

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it as needed, but I was unreasonably lucky to have the family and the schools that I had and went to, lucky to be able to use my creative and intellectual faculties well and with greater ease than many people, and to able to be good at a lot of things to do with art and science, and thus to be able to decide to become a doctor “at the last minute”, as it were.  I was lucky to meet my ex-wife*, and absurdly lucky to have my children, and to have been part of their lives as long as I was.

I was lucky to have very good friends whose company I enjoyed and with whom I shared many common interests.  So, even though I did have a congenital heart defect and apparently neurological defects, and certainly have had trouble with dysthymia and depression (and insomnia) starting at a pretty young age, I had many things to compensate, and overall, most of the time, I was pretty happy.

But most of that is not the case anymore.  I don’t have friends, my mother and father are dead, my siblings and other family members are far away, I can’t practice medicine, I’m not married anymore, and my kids don’t see me (and one of them doesn’t talk to me).  And I still have whatever neurological and mood disorders I’ve always had, which is not surprising, since there is no known cure for such things, though goodness knows I have tried.  And I have my chronic pain, and tinnitus, and all that jazz.

All this doesn’t really have any point.  I know I just sound like I’m moaning, and I would understand if you just found it irritating, much in the way that I find so many other things irritating.  You certainly have that right.  I’m just saying that, if one had good things in the past that countered the bad things, and then those good things go away, it’s hard to deal with the bad things afterwards, and they seem to have their volume and brightness and contrast all maxed out.

It’s a quibble I’ve always had with the line by Tennyson, that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  I’ve never thought this was absolutely, cut and dried correct, never considered it a slam dunk argument or postulate or declaration or whatever class of cliché into which it can be slotted.

To have loved—and to have been loved—and to have lost not merely because of the vicissitudes of fate, but because you yourself are just not tolerable to other people after a while, because you’re fucked in the head in ways you can’t really change…that’s a bit of a downer.

It’s always hard to lose people one loves.  It’s more than enough to engender sympathy and compassion.  We will all, ultimately, lose everyone and/or be lost by them, and that’s sad and hard, but it’s not personal (in the sense of being about you as an individual), though that’s small comfort.  But when so many people you love choose to be lost by you, despite what are honestly your best efforts, when you tried with great force and determination and thought to be the best son, the best husband, the best father, the best friend, the best doctor, and so on, that you were able to figure out how to be—well, that’s a special kind of hard.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself—at least, not exactly.  I’m not prone to cut myself much slack.  I disgust myself.  For the most part, I think I deserve every bad thing that could ever happen to me, but then, I’m my own arch enemy.  I’m the Victor von Doom to my own Reed Richards.  I’m almost an anti-narcissist, at least in some of the aspects of my personality.

I’m the person I hate most in the world.

I’ve said it before and would repeat it ad infinitum:  I would never change anything up to and including the moment my children were born, lest it change the fact that they exist.  But there are things that I would change since then.

There was a time, ten or eleven years ago, right at this time of year, when, sitting on the floor with my back against the wall of my poorly kept one-bedroom apartment, I played “Russian Roulette” using the lovely Ruger pigeon-beak grip single action .32 magnum revolver I used to own, just like this one:


I wish sometimes that I had put five more bullets in the cylinder before my spin.

*To be clear, she wasn’t my ex-wife when I met her.

One thought on “Semi-literal “trigger warning” – this post will likely be a downer

  1. We who are far away miss you too. I have always wished for the family Xmas and thanksgiving of our youth. But with all the children and so forth. I mean if wishing wish big and beautiful. I think I would wish that before money or such. I always love those get togethers. There was such fun and love built into them. I get the down thing around this time of year and being alone sucks too. We both have that covered. Well can’t change it tonight. Talk later Lance

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