July 17th, 2014. That’s the date of my last post. Almost a year! Time has moved on so quickly. And I’m sure you’re all asking, how come I’ve not posted during the interim period? Well what can I say, except, I’ve “not been myself”.
This then begs the question, who have I been? Or is that taking it too literally? I mean, we all know what it means to, “not be ourselves”, don’t we? Hmmm…
Anyway, let’s not follow that particular philosophical argument, if only to avoid boring shitless, not only myself, but you the readers. So we’ll settle for it in it’s figurative sense. Okay? No? Well tough shit, for as the author of this post I’m omnipotent, a veritable God! So onwards…
If you didn’t already know, the general thrust of my life over the past twelve months has been of two significant life events: 1) I was made redundant (and “forced”, so to speak”, to retire); and 2) in September of last year, my mom died.
Now, what I’m about say is pure conjecture, inasmuch as, I can’t possibly prove what I’m saying. It’s guesswork, though hopefully, of the educated kind. Still, it’s my life, my experience, so I’m the only person who has the ultimate authority to make such a diagnosis.
I thought I was depressed. Influenced by the popular and widely spread psychological understanding of such events, I took it on trust, I was somehow, “ill”, and needed treatment.
The change in me was particularly apparent over the Christmas period, and “worsened” through the New Year and into the Spring. Throughout this period, I became markedly withdrawn, retreating further into myself than is usual (which is saying something, trust me). Suffice it to say, my “mojo” went walkabout, had disappeared, gone awol, it had FUCKED OFF! And so, after consulting with a doctor, I was prescribed anti-depressants, Serlatrine, to be precise which, as an aside, sounds like a particularly low-level knight of the round table: Sir Latrine! Anyway…
Nothing much happened. Despite taking the medication over a period of four months with a steady increase in dosage, the status quo was maintained. No highs. No lows. No joy. A flat existence. And so, and without the Doctor’s approval (he urged me to stick with the treatment) I weaned off the drugs.
Here I am. A few weeks after the decision, and what else can I say except, I’m good. Indeed, I’m better than good, I’m optimistic. Hopeful. That’s all we need isn’t it? A non-specific optimism, just a feeling that whatever life throws at us, we’ll cope?
I don’t think I was ill. I was blighted by an existential crises, a normal, to be expected, temporary lack of meaning, to be resolved only by time and gentle contemplation. I didn’t need the medication. It was acting in my worst interests, dampening both the highs and lows of my emotional life, leaving me practically indifferent to life in general. In short, I’d stopped caring.
And so, I’m beginning to believe we have periods in our lives where we have to retreat, to engage in a kind of mental hibernation, in which we become necessarily self-absorbed. And as long as at some point we’re able to extract ourselves from within, to pull our heads, so to speak, out of our arses, then we can move forward, leaving behind the waft of shit, and instead, get to enjoy the fragrance of roses once more (Jesus Christ, corny, or what?)
The Old Codger (rocking on!)