WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)
There is a large bunch of bloggers who have put a graphic on their blog proclaiming that they will post once a day or once a week for the entire year.
I’m not one of them.
Sorry, but I like to publish posts that have value and meaning. I can’t do that every day or every week. When I post I like to think it is worth reading and there are times that this depressed, worn out writer can barely manage to drag himself out of bed and put in a day’s work.
Lately I’ve been suffering. Four weeks ago I stopped taking my anti-depressants and stopped seeing my therapist and the one real change was that my energy levels dropped. Getting to work was hard enough, writing and editing a blog post impossible.
One of the things I decided a while ago was that I’m not going to make any promises about posting to this blog and I’m not going to feel guilty when I don’t. I think quality is more important than posting too often.
The Princess Who Never Smiled by Viktor Vasnetsov (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Drag, drag, drag.
I don’t know why I bother to get out of bed. I don’t want to do this anymore. Can I please get off?
I have three days of long weekend and nothing happening. Nothing will happen tomorrow, nothing will happen the day after that. On the holiday Monday nothing will happen.
There are two possibilities for tomorrow. It will either be pain or boredom. The day after that there are two possibilities, pain or boredom. As far back as I can remember every day has been either pain or boredom. As far into the future that I look I see only pain or boredom.
I’ve decided to stop taking the anti-depressants. They don’t fix anything and I hate the side effects and dietary restrictions.
(I find it amusing that they call them side effects – with modern anti-depressants the side effects are actually more reliable than any effect they have on depression. Ninety-six percent of all people who start taking antidepressants experience a change in their sexual function and the best they hope for is around 20% of people taking an SSRI will gain a benefit.)
Can I die?
Will somebody please kill me?
If I curl up in this corner and sob quietly will I still get paid? Can I pay my rent if all I ever do is cry?
I like the idea of getting on a plane to the US, going to a gun show in one of those gun-toting redneck states to get a nice large pistol and taking a hike out into the woods.
Would riding my scooter under a truck hurt? It looks easy. Seventy kilometres an hour down the Gore Hill Freeway – just one little twitch and I’m under a truck.
Do I have to play this game? Can’t I lose gracefully?
I could disagree
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.
Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was just reading an incredibly interesting web page about a new sort of guitar cable – an analogue optical guitar cable.
The company that has developed it is getting ready for the NAMM show – the biggest music industry trade show of the year. I’d say they are looking for a company to manufacture the cable under license.
They have certainly spent some money on developing the product they even have patents pending so they probably hired a patent attorney. They spent some money on a promotional video. They have a well designed logo and the product looks well designed.
I also assume that even a small booth at NAMM costs a fair bit. The two original inventors have also expanded the team.
The one thing they haven’t spent money on is a technical writer for their web page. The errors in grammar and sentence construction are one thing but I suspect that the person who wrote it may not have English as their first language – there is some strange word misuse such as “resolve” for “resolution” or “solution”.
I should be dead now. I’ve been close. My life could have ended several times over the past forty years or so, a victim of depression, the mental illness problem that society constantly denies. I’ve been picked up out of the gutter by Ambulance officers having a massive asthma attack while stoned off my face on a combination of booze, pills and grass. I’ve imagined jumping off a balcony, I’ve thought of driving into a sandstone cliff, I’ve looked at a pile of pills.
Most people realise that suicide is the largest killer of young men under 25. Not many people know that suicide becomes a larger and larger killer the older you are – when measured as deaths per thousand of the population suicide is a bigger problem in older men, it’s just that other causes of death outrank it so we only hear about the young, where it stands out.
I had my first bout of depression when I was in high school though at the time I didn’t realise it was depression and nobody else did either. My mum realised I was not in a good place one day when she was driving me to school. I said:
I don't believe this is Wednesday morning, it feels like Monday morning.
It must have been the way I said it or something because she asked:
Why? What does Monday morning feel like?
Monday mornings I want to be dead.
Oh, that doesn't sound good.
I guess not.
Mum thought that this feeling was due to me “not fitting in” at school. Not fitting in was actually the three years of constant, savage bullying I underwent at Killara High. Killara High is a general public high school in a fairly affluent upper middle class section of Sydney. At the time it had a fairly good academic reputation and was certainly considered one of the best general public high schools in NSW (as distinct from selective public high schools like North Sydney Boys where my friend Robin was bullied).
markdown-example-w-preview (Photo credit: ChrisL_AK)
I have a confession to make. I’m a total nerd when it comes to text and text to HTML conversion systems. You see plain text is just so easy to type and plain text files never cause problems years later when save formats change. Then you just need a way of encoding format in the plain text files.
If you work in a good command line environment there are also a large number of tools that work on plain text files. Unix was actually developed as a document management system – that was how Thompson and Ritchie got the funding to do it from their bosses at Bell.
It was a Unix system, man and mm files, that was my first introduction to specifying formatting in a text file. The drawback of systems such as those that we used under Unix was that they were hard to read – here’s an example of a man file:
\&\fIperldoc\fR looks up a piece of documentation in .pod format that is embedded
in the perl installation tree or in a perl script, and displays it via
pod2man | nroff \-man | $PAGER\*(C'\fR. (In addition, if running under HP-UX,col -x*(C’\fR will be used.) This is primarily used for the documentation for
the perl library modules.
This is a particularly convoluted example but you get the idea – not easy to read.
When web pages came along several projects struggled with a way of making it easier to write web pages with systems that allowed the user to write in simpler syntaxes that were easily translated into HTML. BBCode, from the Universal BBS, was one of the first.
Sanity is In (Photo credit: Cocoabiscuit)
Today’s Daily Prompt: “Share a story about the furthest you’ve ever traveled from home.”
Well, the Daily Prompt is repeating itself again. Back in July they asked the same question. Then in my response I skimmed across a number of places that felt distant from home – some physically, some spiritually, some mentally.
This time I’d like to give you a piece of semi-biographical prose. Semi-biographical as I can’t really remember a lot about the time. It was April last year and I suffered a serious mental collapse. I ended up a long way from anywhere I could call “home” .
Facebook log (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I posted the text below to my Facebook account yesterday. I don’t think it requires any more comment from me but I thought you might like to read it.
This long status update is by way of goodbye.
I have decided to (at least temporarily) close my Facebook account. I’m also not going to be tweeting or using LinkedIn.
I will be posting to my blog.
Just a quick post to let you know that Canon have released their Christmas papercraft collection.
They always have a great range of papercraft from easy to challenging. If you want easy then there are some Santa tree ornaments or if you want a challenge then there is the Dancing Santa mechanical toy.
Well worth a visit to grab a few models and other ideas. Remember to get them now before Canon remove them for something else.
Halloween (Photo credit: Pedro J. Ferreira)
Today’s Daily Prompt: “If bloggers had their own Halloween and could go from blog to blog collecting “treats,” what would your blog hand out?”
Treats? My first thought was ‘hugs’. Of course I can’t hand out real hugs and virtual ones aren’t that useful.
How about uplifting aphorisms? That’s a nice idea. Sayings like “Everyone is a talented and valuable individual in their own way” or “You can do it, just try.”
A beautiful photo they can use. Here’s a search on Flickr for photos that are Creative Commons and tagged interesting. I could try and figure out how to give them a URL and copy to one of the first 50 at random.
How about handing out a little bit of what your blog focusses on? One of my topics is explaining how major depression really feels and how it differs from “sad”, “feeling down” or “feeling depressed”. I could take my posts and shorten them into one or two hundred word nuggets and give one to every trick or treater.
I know what I’d really like to do. I’d like to give each visitor a random post and ask them to rate it. I really want to know which of my posts people like the best and then offer them both the old good ones and more of the same when they first visit. But that’s more for me.
Creative and enabling thoughts. Brian Eno has a great collection of creativity triggers called “Oblique Strategies” so I could hand one of those out to every visitor. You can get one now by visiting this site. Mine was “Do the washing up”. I have the box set, the fifth edition is available at Eno’s shop for a reasonable 30 pounds.
Then I’m also a lover of good grammar and words. I could collect together a long list of hints and hand one out to each visitor. How to sort out “to” and “too” or “they’re” and “their” might be a start. Then hints from my old editors like “Replace ‘very’ – it adds nothing.”
I think either of those last two. Something small and useful.