May 13th, 2011

#2712: This is the pits.

Whatever it is, it's scarcely better than it was yesterday. I still have no appetite and I spent nearly the entire day in bed.

Yesterday's total food intake consisted of a peanut butter sandwich, half of a Big Mac (most of the fries), and a couple of sundae cones. I got up a bit ago with the intention of cooking some ravioli, but now I'm not so sure I want it.

Although it is still the worst depressive episode I have ever had in my life, at least now I'm starting to think about other things. The grass needs cutting. I ought to talk to the insurance agency about insuring the Escort. Etc.

...but I have no motivation whatsoever. This is crippling depression.

[Boss] has gone very, very far beyond the limits of common decency and understands that I'm having a serious problem that isn't my fault, and is trying to work with me; but I feel like what I'm doing is worthy of firing...and so his efforts make me feel both better and worse about all this.

Why this has to hit when I'm trying to start a new job--

You know, my parents are dead. But as long as I live here, my subconscious can pretend that Mom's still alive, like she's just gone out somewhere.

If that's what it is--delayed mourning--then eventually I'll get through it and can resume living. But if it's not--if it really is clinical depression--then I have to get help from a shrink and I have to get something that'll shut this shit off, because otherwise the only alternative is going on disability.

I need help. I don't want to lose this job over this, but from here it doesn't look like I can continue it as long as I'm struggling with this. I can't stomach the idea of even leaving the house when I feel like nothing in the world matters.

Worst part: whatever is wrong with me, I know it's temporary, that it'll go away and I'll feel better. That's the only thing that's keeping me from needing to call 911 and reporting that I'm suicidal; though I can't imagine feeling better I know I will...once I get past this, whatever the hell it is.

It might be best just to go to the hospital anyway, because while I don't want to die the thoughts keep coming to me, and I'm really worried that one will slip past my guard and end up making some kind of sense.

So I've got to come to some kind of decision about what I'm going to do. I don't see a good path forward; I also don't see any alternatives.

Not wanting to take a job 100 miles from home, not wanting to be unemployed, that's an "avoid/avoid" conflict, and those are pretty hard on a person. Og says that I'm putting far too much pressure on myself, that if the job is going to cause me this much trouble I should just walk away from it and find something else. He may be right; but besides disappointing [employer] I'd be letting my brother and sister down, too.

Og, Len, Rhonda, KT, Carl, [boss]--I'm surrounded by good people and I'm doing nothing but giving them hardship. Really, my entire life has been a parade of stupidity and selfishness and I'd probably be doing everyone a favor by offing myself.

But I can't do that. Which is why I keep coming back to Lord, take me now! I need professional help. That much is certain. Really it comes down to a question of how do I get it on a weekend?

#2713: Did it help?

My brother called me and made me promise to take a walk after I finished eating dinner--"You can't take a walk and not come back feeling better"--so I did. I walked up to the train tracks and back.

I did not really think I felt all that much better. But I logged onto WoW and ran Ormus around a bit, just working on archaeology and talking with guildies, mostly about how depressed I am. Fishing for sympathy. *sigh*

Probably I could just as easily have played Solitaire for a while as WoW, but WTF. It doesn't matter.

The weather did not help. It's cold and cloudy and miserable outside. Better weather might have helped. Also, I should have gone somewhere else, because the destination I promised to walk to took me through the neighborhood, and all I could think about was all the annoying and sad memories I have of being picked on and excluded by neighborhood kids.

But still, I did log onto WoW for the first time since...Tuesday?...and I did something constructive, so I guess that's a "win" even if it is only by degree. (More like "minute" or "second" than degree....)

* * *

During the call, my brother repeated his encouragement for me to find a publisher for the first of several novels set in my SF universe. Og has read it and said the same good things my brother did; and so my brother is advising me to talk to a professional writer (he says, "Look up Mort Castle!" who taught Creative Writing at Crete-Monee HS for a while) and see what I can do.

I suppose they're right. It's a good story; no one has had a bad word for it (except for some minor technical details).

Can I make enough money to live on, as a writer? Probably not. Most of the big name SF guys have day jobs. Can I at least supplement my income with writing? Hell yes...probably.

Still lurking in the back of my mind is the series of fantasy vignettes with the title Tales from the Rufus, which I had thought to try submitting to Knights of the Dinner Table. I have 12 vignettes finished, and there's plenty of material to go on with.

I was--before this crushing depression landed on me--beginning to have some thoughts about a "do-good robot invasion" story. The story has been done before, but not by me, and I think I could make it entertaining.

But from where I am now? I can barely summon enough energy to write this blog.

* * *

This would be amazing and inspiring to me if I wasn't so far down in the dumps.

* * *

A bit about faith.

Tests of faith--can you ever recognize them while you're in them? What is the test meant to establish? What's the penalty of failure, or is there one? How can we know what God wants or expects?

My current situation--I am never going to stop saying that I am a weak and foolish man. I have very, very few strengths, but one of them is the honesty that I've worked hard to cultivate in myself. And honestly--if the Lord is doing this for a reason, then I accept it, regardless of what that reason may be. He is the creator of the universe; He makes the rules.

My faith in Him is all that sustains me right now.

In a different situation I would probably be able to match the writer at that link "brick for brick", but from here all I can see is a lifetime of pain and suffering, and things of which I don't understand the cause; and all I can say is Thy will, Lord, not mine.

The entire point of this grinding depression may be the thought I just had: If it's for You, Lord, then let it be. I don't enjoy suffering any more than the next guy, but my faith tells me that God is making some kind of point, to someone if not to me...and even if I don't understand it now, there will come a time when I will. I guess that has to be enough.

But I'm not a paragon of faith. I cling to it because it's all I've got; because I cannot imagine a world without God in it; because I know there is something important in all this that I'm not seeing, and will see in the fullness of time...and which will ultimately make me better.

Or, perhaps, it's there for someone else's benefit. Someone else who has it worse than me. I'll never know, at least not while I draw breath.

This is why I don't want to kill myself, why I merely want the pain to stop. Wanting the pain to stop is natural and I don't think God holds it against me; the suffering may be part of His plan (and it may not be) but I also know that God feels every bit of the pain I'm feeling, and quite possibly feels it more keenly than I do. Faith tells me that if there were any other way, it would not be thus.

It has its limits, but faith is pretty strong. I'm hoping mine is strong enough to see me through this.