Still Crazy After All These Years

October 29, 2009

You know how I ask you to indulge me every now and then? Well, this is one of those times. Stop your damned groaning and just deal with it. 

A person that I consider to be a good friend shared with me some of the pain she is currently going through. As I read her words, I realized that I could have written the exact same thing. It was really quite remarkable. Unfortunately, although I feel terrible for her, I am probably the least equipped person in the world to help someone else. So, I thought if I can’t help, at least I can share my own experience and maybe in some odd way, that will help. Kind of a “safety in numbers” thing. 

My most recent doctor told me I am severely depressed. Of course, I already knew this so it came as no surprise. I am a fully functionally but there is no joy in Mudville. Sleep is one of my best companions. My wife is an angel and endures the process which is imminently unfair to her. Still, when we married, this is what we both signed up for. She just happened to get the short end of the stick. 

Honestly, I would have preferred that the doctor had said “severely depressed” in a nicer way. It’s like telling an ugly person, “Jesus Christ! You make the Elephant Man look like a hot piece of ass”. Maybe there just isn’t a nice way to say. It reminds me of another doctor whispering into his tape machine some years ago, “white male, moderately obese”. Moderately obese? Are you fu**ing kidding me? I weighed like 210 at the time and I’m 6’1”. He might as well have said, “white male, kind of looks like John Candy”. Funny how certain words carry more weight than others. 

My newest doctor then went on to ask if I were suicidal and, if not, had I at least put together any kind of plan. I told him no on both counts. Is there a scenario where people say yes? “Well doc, I have been thinking about it and I am leaning towards the David Carradine method. You know, rub one off one more time and then be found in all of my glory”. I guess they have to ask but it seems a little surreal. 

I have been to a psychologist maybe 10 to 15 times in my life. I totally understand why people do it. Who doesn’t want to sit around and talk about nothing but themselves for an hour at a time? It is the ultimate narcissistic endeavor. Not to be demeaning, but these doctors are, in essence, prostitutes of the mind. That let you skull fu** them for 60 minutes. Does it work? Does getting a $25 hummer from Shaniqua downtown solve your problems at home? I don’t know. 

My friend told me about all of the methods she has pursued in achieving a better state of mind. It was an impressive list and I was awed by the amount of work she has put into making herself feel healed. It is a shame that her hard work has not paid off yet. My approach has been to ask for the newest pill. I am a child of the ‘70’s so chemistry is something I have a lot of confidence in. Big Pharma absolutely loves people like me and we are an ever growing army. I know very few people that don’t drug up in one fashion or another. 

I guess where all this leads to is a big honking group of unhappy people. When you ask why, none of us can ever really answer the question. It is an answer that is just always over the horizon and slightly out of reach. I suspect that many of us are consumed by aspiration and can’t quite accept that Nirvana is a cruel hoax. 

So why write about any of this? Because my friend hurts and I just want her to know that I hurt for her. I can’t say these words to her because I don’t have it in me. When I see her next, I am sure I will say something caustic and cynical. Maybe something like, “Heard any good suicide stories lately?” But somewhere deep inside, I will be pulling for her to find a place where she can be comfortable. I think she deserves it. I think we all do. 

Well, this was quite uncomfortable, wasn’t it? As always, thanks for playing along. TL

EDIT: My wife thinks maybe I put too much out there. You know what? Sometime you just have to throw your dick on the table and say, “look at it”. I felt this was one of those times. (I would not encourage you to do this at work or in mixed company).

2nd EDIT: I often wonder why people read this blog. After all, I spend the vast majority of my time alienating people and just generally trying to cause trouble. Now I know the answer.

You people are all crazy! And this makes me happy. Thank you.