Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Depression Redux; Not a Poem

It's been so long since I blogged.  Readership has fallen off the cliff, as there is no continuing story, though I do get some hits from random net searches about certain subjects discussed here.

So how am I doing?  Close to 10 Kilorats, or on a scale of -10 to +10, I am hovering around -10.  I'm presently alone as my wife is in NY visiting her ailing mother.  I don't know what to do with myself.  I try AA for positive brainwashing and then despair of any miracle.  Sometimes I do treat myself with drink, which helps numb the pain temporarily.  I am psychotically depressed; my fantasies of suicide are sometimes so intrusive I can think of little else.  I have no sense of self as I write this; it's as if my self has abandoned myself.  Does this make any sense?

Luckily my dog is with me.  I would trade places with him in a heartbeat.  Oh to be an American pet!

What will become of what's left of me?  Saw my shrink today, he added another med to the new one I'm taking (Safris).  I have no hope or faith in meds.

Strangely last Saturday I had a brief respite from my state after rapping with two men after an AA meeting.  For two hours we discussed depression, essentially, and I became so involved in the discussion that it lifted me up and I was able to go home and do some things around the house, even wrote a poem and mastered Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue."  The next morning, however, the transient return to myself slipped away and now I am worse off for having tasted that again, I fear.

I may be complicit in my own destruction for lack of willpower.  Strange, when younger I had a great deal of it, but now I find myself regressed to an infantilized oral state, like a suckling infant, willing to put anything in my mouth for comfort.  I gluttonized yesterday on quesadillas and frozen meals to the point of pain.  Just wanted to put something in my mouth to fill the emptiness, I suppose.

My daughters call out of concern, one nearly daily.  I chat with Kathleen at night by computer (she is deaf, you know).  I haven't written anything here in ages.  I don't know what to do with or about myself.  In writing it appears I might exist.  When I stop typing it's as if I don't.  In a way I may be beyond suicidal; it's as if the soul has died within my body and I walk around like a zombie.  I have been pithed like a frog and no Craigness remains that I can tell.

Strangely I had a poem accepted for publication by Qarrtsiluni which I must have submitted one day while feeling a mite better. 

And did I mention my cervical stenosis acting up?  No longer is it just my pinkies going numb, all my fingers go numb and wake me if I sleep with my neck in the wrong position.  Sometimes it is difficult to type.  This is indeed scary. 

So forgetful I can't remember the books I read.  Even movies I've watched.  Then it comes back to me somewhere in the re-run that something is familiar and I stop--or go on.

Self-pity?  I suppose I have some.  But not too much.  I don't think I'm the only one with such a devastating depression, nor the last one, nor is my suffering completely unique, although it feels so.  Other people in AA try to assure me that they've been through what I'm going through but I don't believe it, in general, at least not for two years like this.  And remember that the days in those years are interminable, so the whole thing seems an infinite nightmare.

I stay alive for my loved ones.  This much I do.  I don't want to cause them pain.  But I can also see a point beyond that, where I don't care anymore.  Sometimes I fear I've reached it.  Then I remind myself I can't do that.  Then the fantasies return with vengeance.  Then I remind myself.  Then they return.  A terrible cycle.  No exit.

Would I rather be dead?  Oh yes.  But a friend said to me, "You can't be sure it would be any better on the other side."  Now that's a terrible thought.  To be as sick as I am now if my existence continued, that's horrible.  I prefer to believe in some kind of redemption, some kind of heaven where I could be miraculously cured, resurrected from the dung heap of my own dark delusions.

I really have nothing to say.  I ought to be institutionalized but that's not easy anymore except for the criminally insane.  Hospitalization didn't help me last time.  As my shrink opines, the only reason for that is to protect me from myself but I have not attempted suicide despite my 13 soul-wrenching major depressions of six months or more.

Everyone has suggestions, suggestions I lack the will to follow.  I need to go to some kind of regimented health farm where I might work in the fields or laundry or have my body regimented in some way until my mind returns.  Sadly I know of no such thing; there are only these 30-day rehab units at great expense, focusing on addiction more than depression.

How I ramble on.  I sincerely hope no one reads this. 

I feel incapable of anything.  Think I'll go have a cigarette I don't enjoy.  And below, an attempt at a poem.

10 Kilorats,

Craig Erick


This is my last poem before I die.
I set the font for this but it reverts
to one I don’t want.
I prefer Palatino Linotype.
Isn’t that pitiful?

I have a fillet knife.
I know to cut the radial artery
lengthwise for a sure death.
I’m a doctor, after all.
Fuck you.

Once I was a golden boy,
the globe at my feet.
I knew the vibrations of hummingbirds
and the secret enigma of snails.
I knew a lot.

Why five-line stanzas?  Why me?
I go to AA for three days then drink.
Drink makes me better, drink makes me worse.
My daughter pleads with me not to do it.
My wife says she’ll come home early from New York.

I promise my daughter.
I tell my wife to stay and keep her itinerary.
This is confessional poetry at its worst,
no more than journalling.
I have betrayed poetry.  This is not a poem.

You wide-eyed innocents
who have yet to pay Charon for a boat ride--
You are but shades, shades, shades.
The gloom of your conviviality
screams like a rodent in the night.

Poor owl, he’s not to blame.
Nor is the night.  The night is always there
to camouflage our pain.
Did you know aphids are born pregnant?
We are all pregnant with abortions.

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