Still Alive

It's been a fair few days since I last blogged, it's probably the longest that I've gone without blogging ever since I started.

It's because of this that I'm a bad boyfriend.

Sometimes, especially when the days are short, I lose all my energy. That isn't all, I also just want to shut myself down, hide myself away and ignore the world. When I'm forced to leave my house I find myself wishing for the sudden painful death of the people around me purely because they are annoying me.

My body shows it's tension in my neck a jaw, so I sit in pain from a stiff neck and jaw muscles. My crewmate knows this well, so 'would you like some chewing gum?' is her coded way of showing that she has spotted my growing anger. Chewing gum, you see, helps with loosening the jaw.

The lack of energy for anything besides moaning means that my writing 'muse', such as it is, disappears off on holiday – I hope it's sunny there.

I find myself 'self-medicating', this is why I find myself playing computer games, the simplicity of pointing and clicking fosters a rhythm in my brain that I equate with the sorts of effects I used to get when I was indulging in meditation.

And this is why I'm a bad boyfriend, because I can suddenly become no fun to be around – and you can guess what the above effects have on my sex-drive.

So this is why I don't have a girlfriend, or why I can't keep one – because at some point I just stop liking them, like I stop liking the rest of humanity, and that's that…

I'll slip in and out of this state of mind between now and Spring, I have more reason than most to hate Christmas.

So if I vanish for a few days, hopefully I'm alright – it's just that I've not got the energy to put finger to keyboard. I've a few things lined up to write about, but it's all about getting in the right frame of mind for it.


Pondering 'Sheriff Fatman' by Carter USM is very much a product of it's time – if it were written now I wonder what the lyrics would be? Listen to it here.

EDITED: To make it clear that I don't have a girlfriend, and this is just one reason why – I realised that I was getting across the completely wrong message. Blame the hormones…

22 thoughts on “Still Alive”

  1. Gah! I know that feeling (Not the bit about being a bad boyfriend, just the rest)Enjoy your games, and hang on in there. Only a few months till the world starts again.Lola x

  2. It sounds quite normal to me. Being left alone to wait for it to wear off is by far the best remedy. Your girlfriend seems to have understood that, which is very good.Stay in and hibernate, you know it makes sense. And today has been like dusk all day so why would you want to go out?

    Only other people have a problem with it – we don't!

  3. Hi there,Just to say that I am a lurker who really enjoys reading your blog, I love the clear writing and the insight it gives into another health service beaurocracy (I work for the mental health service in NZ and have trouble sometimes coping with the unco ordinated and irrational nature of the systems and especially the dissonance between what we say we do and what we actually do. Somehow reassuring to know that this happens in other sections of other health services alongside the obvious commitment and competence of workers like yourself.

    As a long term depressive myself I am so sorry to hear that you have these horrid symptoms of SAD Im sure you dont need me to suggest a light box you will know all about these and have reasons for not using it or have tried it unsuccessfully. However I have just completed a 10 day course that might be of interest/use. I went on a 10 day Vipassna meditation retreat. This is a fairly heavy duty meditation training (get up at 4am final session finishes at 9 and just 3 breaks during the day, although for sleep addicts like myself there are spots where it is possible to sneak off for a nap) it has not really lessened my anxiety/depression, but it has sort of enabled me to accept it more easily and continue to function, and even live a bit, alongside it allowing it but also allowing me (as compared to trying to escape or repress it which are previous failed approaches). They run these courses internationally in loads of countries including UK and they have great financial integrity, you pay what you want to pay after the course, there is no pressure, but they do let you know the actual cost of providing a course (relatively minimal as all the teaching and service work is voluntary) so you can relate your payment to that.

  4. I should have made it clearer that I don't have a girlfriend. Re-reading it and I can see why I have given *completely* the wrong impression.

  5. Days like this (winter) is one of the reasons l liked (still like even though l moan) working nights l reckon. You only see the dark and sleep through the day so the “gloom and dark” is acceptable because it is natural. No doubt some psychiatrist would find something wrong with that theory.May be worth starting the meditation up again swop it every so often with the computer games just for variety in numbness.

    Sounds like you got lucky with partners, both work and personal both are understanding.

  6. My personal solution has been to live in the tropics or close. Southern California works pretty well, but even here, now that it gets dark about 6, I get grumpy.You've noticed how the world is going to hell in a handbasket, right? 🙁

  7. Unlurking after all these years. You're all right. It's the rest of the world that's stupid, pretending it isn't dark. Cookies and ice cream are our friends.

  8. Ok but you got an understanding work partner, so you did 50% clear writing. You have just set yourself up for several 1000 readers to try and find the “perfect” partner for you 😉

  9. I'm a long-term lurker and serious admirer: you've taught me a lot about how to handle medical emergencies sensibly and calmly, even as a non-expert, and once or twice I've successfully put that new-found knowledge into practice. This admittedly unsolicited advice is a small-thank you in return.You know, don't give up on the girlfriend thing. I've been with my SAD-prone fella for over 11 years. His SADness is drug-resistant, lightbox-resistant, you name it, we've tried it… I don't love the depression (I know that time-for-chewing-gum face all too well!) but I do love him. I can distinguish between the two and I've learnt strategies for coping during the winter. I also know that beating up on yourself — the I'm-a-hopeless-boyfriend routine — is all part and parcel.

    I'm sure there are other loving women out there that will do the same for you. You're intelligent, witty, compassionate, independent-minded and handsome: what's not to like? If you had a different sort of long-term debility — epilepsy, or asthma, or diabetes, say — then you'd educate your partner on how best to look after you when you can't look after yourself.

    So the next time a lovely lady comes along and looks like she might be a serious prospect, brief her about your SADness: warn her what to expect, reassure her that it's nothing personal, that she can talk to her doc about it, read books, get support from friends — and tell her that you do still love her, even when you can't express it.

    I'm not saying its always easy — what meaningful long-term relationship is? — but it's always worth it when the sun comes out again for both of you.

    OK, no more preaching — but if I can do anything to help, just ask.

  10. Aw we should so get together, you and I. I get sick of people quite often. I don't have SAD like you, my dysfunction isn't season specific. But if we could sync up our times when we just want to tell everyone and everything to f off, we'd make the ideal couple.

  11. Sounds like SAD. I have a few freinds who suffer from SAD which means that at this time of year we have to adapt to that.I look forward to reading your new stuff when you feel able to type it!

  12. Let's just say that I have the application form, that I'm going to fill it in to the best of my ability and send it off, and that I won't even get an interview – as I don't have a degree.However, reading through the job spec – I'm ideally suited.

    But when did that ever make a difference?

    (Let's see, maybe I'm just being overly cynical)

  13. IMHO you need to find yourself a gal who suffers from prickly heat, cos if you have to put up with her being miserable all summer, she can put up with your SAD;-). I think I've commented before that unless forced to do summat, I spend winter in hibernation. Hey, what else are log fires for?

  14. I feel the same way around this time of year – not helped by the fact that I have M.E, but the cold nights and short days and the general dreariness that falls on the world just makes me think “why bother?”On a totally different note, you do a good job out there, even though people may not thank you, I for one, am glad that people like you exsist.

  15. Chocolate, old movies and see daylight when you can. Don't hibernate, get up in the morning, keep a regular diet with lots of vitamins. Get a creative hobby, stay away from games and computers, they mess up your head. Take it from someone who grew up where winters are completely dark, 21 hours a day. And hang in there 🙂

  16. Good luck Tom.You dont know until you try!

    If youre not in you cant win.

    If you need a reference I think there is plenty

    Of people would be more than willing to give one. Lol.

    PS What do you think of the new look LAA web?

  17. Being an ex Cockney, remembering the good old days of smog that flowed in as the curfew of the evening and the big red buses needed a man to lead the way with a paraffin lit rag on stick, and those ill gotten mornings with chill freezing the already damp clothes, I can be sympathetic but now I enjoy 68 deg. F by the beach in S.CA and I still get the blues.[no reason except it is how my brain dothe work] [ that olde herbe St. John's Wort works better than a coca leaf or hemp leaf, cheaper too]In those days, the Ambulance service was busy with lung problems, so many dying from respiratory complications, at least you have means to oxygenate and stabilize us oldies.

  18. The point-click is probably encouraging theta brainwaves, which you also get from meditating.Knitters are very good at producing theta brainwaves: it's all to do with repetitive motions. And yes, I'll happily teach you.

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