Hello and good morning. It’s Thursday, the 27th of April, the week after my son’s birthday, and I’m already in the office as I write this blog post‒because I never left the office last night. It got to be late enough that, if I caught the next train, I probably wouldn’t have reached the house before nine, whether I took the bus(es) from the train station or walked. That is what happened Monday night and Tuesday night.
Of course, If I’d had the bike at the train station I might have reached the house earlier, but I didn’t, and I don’t regret that. Given that every time I ride that bike, it triggers a flare and a new (but not improved) alteration of my back and leg and foot pain, I think I’m going to keep it for “special occasions” or something like that, even though I’ll be paying for it for three or four more months or something like that.
Pretty pathetic, isn’t it?
Even if I’d caught an earlier train, I don’t think I would have had the energy to get back to the house from the train station, and had I reached the house, I don’t think I would’ve had the energy to come back to the office this morning. I had sort of planned all along to stay here, because if I went back to the house, I didn’t think I’d be coming in today, and I wasn’t sure if I would be coming in ever again (if you know what I mean). I guess maybe it was a kind of semi-conscious self-preservation thing, in a way. But, of course, that can’t work forever.
It’s not a big deal if I stay one night in the office. It’s not like it will produce a noticeable effect, outwardly. I always wear one of 2 kinds of black shirts, the same kind of black pants (or trousers if you prefer), the same brand of black socks and one of three brands of black shoes. Once you find something that’s comfortable for you, I say, you might as well wear that.
I prefer black because you don’t have to worry about matching anything; black goes with everything, particularly other black things. It’s also a nice, outward representation of my character, my heart, my outlook, what have you. And if I ever have to pass as a Sith Lord, I can do that. I only wear black nowadays. Even my underwear(!).
In any case, though, I don’t mean to stay at the office tonight, though if there were a shower here I might be tempted. I feel very grimy and sticky, and that’s a particularly unpleasant feeling for me. But it is dreary to have the daily ritual of going back to a place that feels no more like home than does the office or the train, and not much more like home than the bus, frankly.
Nothing feels like home, anymore. The planet Earth doesn’t feel like home‒not that it ever really has, to be honest.
I find myself strangely envying my former coworker who just died. That may seem insensitive, but it’s simply true. He didn’t die instantly, with the initial heart attack, which sometimes happens. He had a few weeks or more of being ill and having all other responsibilities taken away, and his family (and friends), aware of his ill health, got to come and be near him for one last time. That might be nice. I sometimes think that, if I were known to be dying of cancer (for instance), maybe my children would come and see me.
I don’t know what other sort of thing might engender that outcome, and I certainly don’t want to try to force my way into their lives. They deserve autonomy and to be free from my odious self, who already screwed up everything in his own life, and caused them pain in the process. But I would dearly love to spend time with them.
Of course, I do have a potentially terminal condition, and I don’t just mean “life itself” which is uniformly terminal as far as we can see. I mean depression. Depression has a direct lifetime mortality rate of about 15%, or at least that was the statistic the last time I checked. That’s not counting the many things depression makes one more likely to have‒people with depression are more prone to various kinds of physical illnesses and to worse outcomes if they get those illnesses, and they are also more prone than others to drug and alcohol problems.
But I’m talking here about direct self-destruction: suicide, from the Latin “sui” meaning self, and the “cide” part that always means killing, as in fungicide, herbicide, insecticide, anthropocide, etc. “Suicide” almost feels like it ought to be the opposite of “sui generis” but that’s not correct, and in fact they probably often go together, subjectively speaking. Maybe it would be the opposite of “sui genesis”. Could it also be called “sui exodus”?
Anyway, my point is that depression has mortality rates comparable to many cancers, but there are no Ronald McDonald houses for it (as far as I know). It’s not a sexy/tragic/dramatic disorder worthy of Hallmark movies and that kind of twaddle. It just sucks all around, because its very nature is to suck and to make everything in the universe feel like it sucks. Maybe in this it’s like the very curvature of spacetime; tending to bend inward on itself and collapse, unless it is infused with a uniform, positive energy, in which case there will be a tendency to expand.
Believe me, I don’t have a uniform positive energy. Maybe I used to, but my cosmological constant has long since quantum tunneled into a vacuum state so close to zero that it makes that of the universe, tiny as it is, appear flipping gargantuan. I don’t know if I have a negative cosmological constant, which would make a kind of human anti de Sitter space. Then I would collapse rapidly, which might be nice in and of itself. Also, you could mathematically demonstrate the holographic principle on me using certain areas of string theory.
Maybe the state of suffering from depression is rather like being a human anti de Sitter space. And the speed of collapse depends on how large the negative lambda is, but collapse is inevitable unless it changes signs.
Incidentally, it appears that people on the autism spectrum‒which I suspect I am, though I don’t have an “official”* diagnosis‒suffer from depression, including chronic depression AKA persistent depressive disorder AKA dysthymia (which I do have), at a significantly higher rate than the general population, are harder to treat, and also, if I recall, are more likely to commit suicide, and certainly to engage in self-harm.
I could have told you that. Wait, I just did!
Okay, well, that’s more than enough for this Thursday. I don’t know what I’ll do tomorrow or the next day. I’m scheduled to work on those days, and I suppose I will, since I don’t like to inconvenience the people around me. But as I told a coworker yesterday, I’ve been staying alive for quite a long time mainly just not to inconvenience other people, and there’s only so much longer I’m going to be able to do it. I don’t have any other drive to stay alive; there is nothing to which I look forward. I’m tired. Sleeping on the floor in the office is no worse than sleeping at the house, but that’s not saying much at all.
Someday, perhaps soon, my sign off on a Thursday will be “TT” rather than TTFN, because I won’t expect to return. But for now, the expression remains:
*It’s an odd notion, the “official” diagnosis of anything. I mean, it’s useful for things like insurance and statistics and science, and certainly there is some value in the judgment of experts on such matters, but it is not something handed down from Mount Sinai (the medical school or the Ten Commandments place). No one can speak ex cathedra on medical diagnoses, or on any fact of nature, frankly. So don’t put too much stock in them**.
**Unless it’s good chicken stock. Good chicken stock is tasty.