I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting here on this blog. Truth to be told my depression is currently so bad that I can barely write and when I do it’s so black and dark I can barely get myself to read it over, let alone edit it for public consumption.
I’ve just got over a two week stretch with a chest infection and bad asthma. It wasn’t helped when the first Doctor I saw gave me the wrong antibiotic for a chest infection and it got worse for a week before the right one started fixing it. I’ve been taking so much medication that my body is a mass of bad side-effects. I just tried to have some crackers, cheese and dip for a snack but the skin on the roof of my mouth is sore and it felt like eating daggers. I’m shaking constantly from the steroids and other drugs. I’m also having really bad postural hypotension so standing up is a slow and dizzying process.
At the moment my depression truly has me in it’s grip. I don’t see any reason to keep on living.
I think I make my biggest mistake of the day first thing every morning. I don’t think I can be blamed that my autonomic nervous system kept my heart and lungs working during the night. No, that’s not my fault, but every morning I wake up and open my eyes. Big mistake. On most days that also means I’m starting the process that gets me off to work.
Why do I do it? It seems the only point to getting through today is to earn some money so I can survive until tomorrow. So what do I do tomorrow? Exactly the same thing. I don’t particularly want to survive. What’s so good about today? What is so good about tomorrow? History tells me it will be no better than today. Isn’t there a definition of insanity that includes doing the same thing time after time and expecting a different result? I’m going through the same lonely, isolated, boring uninspired day time after time and I’m not quite crazy enough to think it will ever change.
My days are spent alone, working (which I don’t enjoy), eating (which I find bland, tasteless and without pleasure), watching mediocre TV and movies (they all bore me) and sleeping.
I have absolutely no social life. There might be an acquaintance or two but I have no friends. I sometimes think I have a friend or two but then I ask one to do something and I discover how much I mean to the people who call themselves friends.
Oh, you’re going to say, tomorrow could be better. Somebody might phone and invite me out for a coffee or dinner. I might meet a woman who will light up my life.
No. Nobody cares enough about me to think of me when looking for a coffee or dinner companion. In the last 12 months I had 3 social invitations.
I have an old acquaintance who rings me up once or twice a year for some IT help where I do some stuff for him and he buys me lunch. Three weeks ago I asked him to create a small graphic for me. I’m still waiting. He also has a habit of arranging a social meeting of some sort and then cancelling on the day. He’s done that the last four times we have had arrangements. He thinks were friends. The awful truth is that he’s one of the few people I’m closest to.
A woman in my life. That would be fun. If history is anything to go by then the one thing I can rely on is that the moment my depression hits you can’t see a woman for dust. When the going gets tough they are gone. Every single relationship I’ve had of more than three months has died the moment I get depressed – it doesn’t even take major depression, just a bad few days.
I have a brother who lives with his wife several thousand miles from me. I have a hard relationship with Graeme, we never really developed a relationship before he vanished off to University. To make matters worse he’s far from garrulous, the same quiet as my father. So we don’t talk much. It’s easier with his wife but not him. I do care for him and would love to talk to him more often but I do understand why it’s weeks between phone calls.
So this is my life. I despise it. I hate every minute. I wish I was dead.
The problem is that suicide isn’t painless. Not only is it extremely hard to organise without a lot of pain to me (they make it very hard to get the right drugs and give you no real advice on dosages) but I imagine it would cause pain to my daughter, my brother and his wife. It might give some of my acquaintances some pain but frankly I don’t care about that.
The GP who I saw for my chest infection asked about my cigarette smoking. “Do you think you can give up?” she said. “Why? I’m not sure lung cancer wouldn’t be too bad. I bet you get great drugs.” Truthfully, I probably will give up soon but it will be fear of a slow death from emphysema that does it, not one of the fast ones.
I know that life is getting bad when some person serving behind a counter says “How are you?” and they get both barrels. They don’t actually want to hear an answer, they just don’t want to say something subservient like “Can I help you?”. So I give them an answer, a detailed answer that includes exactly how long I’ve been suffering from depression, how often I’ve suffered in the past, exactly how much I hate the dietary restrictions and side effects of the drugs that don’t really fix me and precisely how angry I get at stupid shop assistants who ask stupid questions and don’t even really want to know the answer. The person who really regretted opening his mouth was the pharmacist who was standing there with my box of anti-depressants, antibiotics and asthma medication in his hand who had almost certainly heard me coughing up yellow sputum into half a dozen tissues while I waited for him. He smiled and said “How are you going Mr Williams?” I called for the store manager and then proceeded to tell the manager in front of him exactly what I thought of the guy and the incredibly low level of training the store gave.
By the end of the five minutes I was sobbing almost uncontrollably. I was sobbing because it doesn’t make a difference. The guy won’t change his unthinking habit. I’ll leave the store and still be alone. I will still go through days of pain bereft of pleasure. It will be weeks before anyone other than my daughter says to me “How are you?” and actually means it.
I wish suicide was painless.