Interior decoration in a derelict ruin

Okay…Wednesday, morning, smartphone, my room, starting before leaving for the bus, all that tedious nonsense.

There, that’s out of the way.

I’m really not doing too well, even for me.  Yesterday was quite stressful, for internal and external reasons, though some of the external reasons mean it was a good day for the office.  Meanwhile, I banged my own head (deliberately) so hard and so often that I got a headache, on top of a worse-than-usual day for back pain and sleep the night before.

Near the end of the day, I took to whacking the back of my hand with a heavyish metal tool.  My boss, who knows that sometimes I will thump my legs and sides and things when they are in pain and spasm, asked me, “Is that where it hurts?”

I replied, after a moment, “It is, now.”. He laughed, but I’m not sure he quite got my point or why I was doing what I was doing.  It was an attempt to distract myself not just from other physical pain, but from stress and anger and the overwhelming sensory chaos of the room by inducing pain.  It works for a moment at a time, and this method doesn’t tend to leave marks, other than some bruises at times.  There are other ways that last longer, but they leave marks, some of which can last a long time…some of which, even, are more or less permanent.

I’m trying.  I’m still taking Saint John’s Wort, and I know at a personal and professional level that it’s too soon to expect any major results, but I fear it’s making me feel worse.  I suppose if it at least triggers something, even something catastrophic, that’s better than my present status as some sort of specter* or ringwraith or phantom‒an undead, but without a purpose.

I’m not a zombie; they tend to be mindless, and in a sense, are far less tortured figures than an undead that is aware of itself, that retains a mind and a personality, but is unable to grow or obtain new life.

I’m trying to treat my allergies and respiratory issues, and studying and working on some breathing techniques that seem to be good, but it feels like rearranging the furniture in a house where the roof has already fallen in, the windows are all broken, there’s no light or water or heat, and winter is coming.  I wish I could just lie on the (figurative) sofa and let the cold take me.

I don’t actually have a sofa, though.  Shame.

If I were my patient‒as I’ve said before, I think‒I would consider referring myself for inpatient psychiatric treatment**, but since this particular patient doesn’t have insurance and lives in a state, in a nation, with shitty, shitty mental healthcare, especially for those who are not wealthy, the options are not great.

Better just to let go.

Hang on, I need to go to the bus stop.


Okay, I’m at the bus stop now.

My back is really feeling tight and sore today.  It’s very irritating.  I’m trying to do the things that will help it, such as particular stretches and exercises and whatnot.  I’m not riding the bike, I’m using my shoe inserts and knee and ankle braces, all that.  I have roll-ons and creams and the like that are supposed to help, and I take a rather large (and probably toxic) quantity of OTC analgesics/anti-inflammatories.  I even have a semi-portable massage chair at the office, which I bought, and a foot massager I was given as a gift to go along with it.

Nothing is working very well.

The trouble is, there’s no reason to assume that there actually is an answer or remedy for certain kinds of pain.  We have not been honed by nature with a figurative eye toward having a long, healthy, satisfying life, free of severe physical and psychological pain.  We’ve been honed by nature to be able to survive long enough to reproduce successfully and keep our offspring alive until they can fend for themselves.

The thing about chronic pain, both physical and psychological, is that they are invisible to evolution (more or less) because they tend to develop after the age and time of reproduction has passed.  Pain is useful in the short term, especially when we’re young, because it makes us avoid and fix (when we can) damage that might take us out of the gene pool.  Ditto for fear‒assuming that all these things are present in appropriate or relatively moderate levels, of course.

But the functions that work to improve reproductive success when younger, or at least don’t harm it, can persist and worsen and become pathological as time passes, but that won’t reduce the presence of any genes for these functions.  And, of course, the prevalence and levels of most attributes follow a roughly bell-curve distribution in a population.  Most people cluster near the local mean of any given trait, but there are always outliers, and with enough people, there will be individuals who are outliers in more than one, even independently varying trait.

And then, of course, there can be traits that are good for one thing but bad in another way, and which persist or are selected for because the short-term, reproductive good outweighs the downside from the “viewpoint” of natural selection.  The sickle cell trait confers relative resistance to malaria, but having two copies of it can consign one to a truly hellish existence.

Similarly, it may be that attributes that tend to associate with high intelligence‒systematizing ability, certain kinds of imagination, inventiveness, ability to solve certain kinds of problems, certain kinds of intense focus, and so on that can be extremely useful for any group and for individuals, and lead to reproductive success and more general success, especially in modern society‒may lead, when aggregated together in the right way in some individuals, to autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and/or a tendency toward depression, anxiety, and self-harm.

Who knows?

The bus is coming soon.  I’ve gotta go.  In more ways than one, I really feel like I really need just to go.

*I’m often torn about the spelling of this word.  I prefer the “old-world” spelling with the “tre” rather than the “ter”, but I worry that it comes across as pretentious.

**Because prescribing a large dose of fentanyl and phenobarbital and digoxin and Valium would be frowned upon by medical and legal “authorities”.  And I don’t have access to such things now.

3 thoughts on “Interior decoration in a derelict ruin

  1. If you’re keeping a tally, I prefer “spectre,” mainly because I used to read the old DC comic, The Spectre.

  2. Stay strong you are needed and wanted. The pain can eat at your soul. But you know this don’t like hearing your hurting yourself. But it does fool the brain for a few. Just be safe and hold on. Till the next time TTFN

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