“She’s like an expensive car with one of those motion-sensor force field alarms.”

I’m still struggling to entirely free myself from the grip of the Depression Monster.  I’m doing better, thanks to our Stevie Nicks party.  When I think about what she’s taught me, it helps free me from my inner asshole.  I quit beating myself up for having depression and focus on forcing it back into remission.

I watched an interview on YouTube in which Stevie Nicks was royally pissed off.  I had to view it a few times to recognize she was angry, (this is one of my known bugs.)  When it clicked, I realized she gets pissed precisely the way I do.  We both talk a whole lot of shit to cover up how powerless and hurt we’re feeling.

I’m kinda glad there’s someone else on this planet who reacts this way besides me.  When I reach that point, I’m incredibly compelled to throw out unbelievable threats against whoever has me riled.  I know as it’s coming out of my mouth how ridiculous it sounds.  I just need to say it anyway.

As I age, I’ve improved slightly.  It’s been decades since I’ve threatened to hit someone with the Empire State Building.  It’s symbolic of my rage, not literal, (although, if I could, I might need a timeout to prevent it.)  To me, I’m merely stating exactly how pissed off I am.  Others usually choose to find it amusing, (which only makes me want to replace the Empire State Building with the moon.)

Before I acquired this um… Skill…  My only way of expressing rage was crying.  This is better.  Just so you know, the best way to react to someone losing it like this is to remain silent and avoid eye contact.  Perhaps no sudden movements, too.  Please, don’t laugh, it just makes it worse.

 

NVIDIA Titan Xp Star Wars Collector’s Edition

Tomorrow morning at 7AM PST, the pre-ordering begins.  Of course, there’s a dark side version as well.  It’s red instead of green.  I was in the process of researching my new gaming build, when this popped up and said, “Strong with the force, I am.”  Gamer’s who also prefer their machine to look like a brilliant, (damn near garish) alien artifact:  May the force be with you.  Always. 💜

I’m getting ready to watch comedians on Netflix.  Laughing until my face hurts is my way of going nuclear against the Depression Monster.  I keep it in reserve for this use.  I’m not pulling out my secret weapon just yet:  Wanda Sykes.  I do need to start watching Conan again, though.  He’s like America’s Prozac.  I love him.  Okay, I’m off to laugh like there’s a prize.

“No matter how depressed I get, I could always read the sports section.”

The Depression Monster got me.  It took all of the last night and most of today to take back control.  I feel like I just finished playing professional tag for three hours.  I’d kinda like to cry, but I’m too stingy with what little energy I have remaining.  At least my thoughts are slow for a change.  Time certainly seems to pass more quickly when I’m fighting a bout of depression.

I just wish it wasn’t because everything takes far longer to pull off in this state.  M. suggested we have a Stevie Nicks party this weekend to send the Depression Monster packing as quickly as possible.  I’m totally going to marry him.  I know I agreed already, and all that.  But this was precisely the moment I knew with all my heart he’s The One.

Geez, I’m grossing myself out.  Heh.  (Mostly because I mean it.)  I don’t know what this feeling is called, but it’s the same way I feel about four chapters into every book by Stephenie Meyer.  I always think to myself, “Dammit, she did it again!  She tricked me into reading a romance novel disguised as speculative fiction!”  (Please note, I’ve read everything she’s written, and will continue because I love her.)

I pay close attention to the way M. says things.  He’s never put his foot in his mouth that I’ve noticed.  He didn’t fall into the trap of suggesting a way to “get over my depression.”  Just a way of getting through this round more quickly.  With him.  This is two new things to consider.  Usually, I send him away when I get depressed.  He figured out how to invite himself to hang out.

Damn, he’s brilliant.  I’m sure there are several ways he could have accomplished this, but a Stevie Nicks party is a home run.  Or maybe a touchdown.  Whichever one is better.  I’d be printing out Stevie Nicks quotes on pretty backgrounds and hanging them all over the place if I could get up.  Tomorrow,  I’ll gather some hardcover notebooks, my best pens, and my favorite blanket.

Then we’ll sit on the blanket in front of the TV and watch my ocean scenes Bluray, and write poetry.  (M. will probably write poems about surgery.)    Then a live concert DVD or three.  Yes, this will send the Depression Monster running in tears.  Perfect.  I love reading poetry written by people who insist they can’t write a poem.

They don’t know the rules, or what’s expected.  It frees their creativity.  Some people are naturally poetic.  I think of them as graceful minded.  I like being near people like this.  I’m probably hoping it’ll rub off on me.  I have a lot of faith in osmosis, apparently.  I’m off to read.  🙃

You got a problem with paba?

The Depression Monster is kicking my ass.  I’m doing surprisingly well, despite.  Well, in that I’m too numb for it to touch my spirit.  The buffer has always existed, but it’s only recently occurred why.  I’m delighted by this new insight.  I’ve decided to accept it without analyzing it (to death.)  My understanding is enough.  How rare.  But I don’t dare linger here.  The brain zaps from Prozac withdrawal are happening every few moments, now.  It feels a lot like being excessively high on cannabis.  It’s almost out of me forever.  Yay.

I’m glad I went on the marijuana tour last year, or this would probably freak me out.  (Okay, definitely.)  I was awed by the amount of weed I was able to consume without consequences during the tour.  I watched the younger tourists consume far more simultaneously, also without repercussion.  It had the intended effect of eliminating rote fears.  Something about cannabis works the same way Prozac does on my brain.  Does this mean I’m going to replace Prozac with pot?  Nope.   😂  Fuck drugs.

While I had no compunction with legally consuming in the past, I’ve grown since.  People who were off my radar then are now present in my world, and their influence is intense.  I could legally smoke a joint in front of both Michelle Obama and Lisa Bloom (my imaginary personal life coaches) without feeling like I was hovering over a pit of doom.  I couldn’t do it in front of  Stevie Nicks, though.  I can’t even do it knowing Stevie Nicks exists.  So here we are.  Post pot life.  I’m glad I experimented, but fuck feeling like I’m hovering over a pit of doom just to get high.

It’s not even ironic.  Stevie Nicks specifically said to avoid cocaine, bourbon, and weed because she used the hell out of them, and it almost killed her.  She added Klonopin to the list of never do’s, too, stating it was the worst of them.  Through watching her documentary DVD’s and the interviews on YouTube, I learned of this dark chapter of her story.  It made me grieve for what she endured.  (That’s the only part that didn’t surprise me.  😂)   Do as I learned, not as I did before learning.  That’s fucking powerful.  I’m amazed by this turn of events, but not upset.

I’m pretty confident I was born high enough.  I don’t need mood altering substances to tease reality.  I can just read a Stephen King novel.  Or Clive Barker, who is rapidly gaining my loyalty as a reader.  I abandoned Tess of d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy quickly, and read Duma Key by Stephen King, instead.  If you’re an artist, read Duma Key.  You’re welcome.  (It’s an excellent story, regardless.)  I’m done reading fiction that centers on women as victims.  I’m basically abstaining from the Lifetime Channel variety of novels forever.  ‘Cuz holy shit.  It’s like forced empathy training for sociopaths, (as if that would work.)

What?  Your novel is about a woman who got raped?  (Visualize me running away, screaming “Fuck!”)  I don’t even watch TV anymore.  I have four TV’s, two of which are newer 4k LG’s with HDR.  I’m going to give away the other two.  The new ones are still useful for movies and video games.  And to watch Will and Grace when it starts, of course.  My other show, Better Things, I buy to stream via Amazon.  I’m going to give away my Fire TV, too, since I just realized I haven’t used it since I set it up a year ago.  Oops.  Roku made it redundant.  I haven’t even looked at the Apple 4k whatever.  I’m good.

I need to give away my excess computers, too.  My house AI can stay once I adjust her, but all the single card computers can go.  I don’t need to know the humidity level of my bedroom while I’m  sleeping, for starters.  I regret I’ve crossed the line between smart home and smart ass home.  Sigh.  I thought I would love it, but it turns out I find it incredibly annoying between the hours of 2 and 4 AM.  Even Wanda Sykes couldn’t make me laugh during that time…  On second thought, she probably could.  😂  But until she shows up to try, I’ll be sleeping during those hours.  I’m off to debug de-feature.

I hear everything.

The Depression Monster has me in a Full Nelson.  (I had to use Wikipedia.)  I’m no longer able to ignore him, but I’m flipping him the bird.  I’ve learned studying Stevie Nicks requires a commitment of sorts.  You have to accept the fact it’s going to hurt sometimes, or you have to move on.  I didn’t even need to think about it.  I like earning my passage into her world.  It’s calmer.  I also like how it doesn’t matter that I’m out of sync in time.

I’m on the second documentary now.  It’s called Stevie Nicks:  In Your Dreams.  I’m at the point where Katrina happened.  Fuck.  I wasn’t ready.  You can tell Stevie directed and edited.  It’s raw where it needs to be, and soft where it’s not.  I suppose this is a trigger warning.  Pause when you see the first hint of Katrina coming next.  It will be obvious now.  Make sure you’re in a safe place to ugly cry.  Get tissues and a few bottles of water.  Round up your pets, and your favorite blanket.  Then take a deep breath, and hit play.  You’re welcome.  (I do this because I love you.)

This hasn’t happened since I spent hours listening to Amy Lee (Hartzell) sing, Hello and Like You on repeat, while I wept with her over losing our little sisters.  It’s a good thing I eat intensity for breakfast.  I never thought I’d say that.  I’m so used to people telling me I’m too intense, (and having it sound like, “fuck off.”)  I’m glad it keeps proving valuable where it matters.  I slept on Tuesday night, so I should be good for a while.  I started writing my short horror story last night.  In hindsight, it may have been better to do it in the morning.

I learned some secrets about fear years ago.  It has a ceiling.  There’s nothing beyond scared shitless.  Further, I discovered there’s a limit to how long you can remain terrified.  I’m sure with practice you could extend it, but for most of us, it’s a relatively rare event.  It’s intense until you run out of energy.  Then it’s surreal.  It stays surreal while you recover a bit.  Then it repeats a few times, like a chorus.  But it has diminishing returns.  Your initial level of terror is greater than your fourth course.  Eventually, it just becomes hysterically funny.

Don’t look at me, I didn’t create these rules, I’m just reporting them.  This is how humans process prolonged fear.  At least the ones who don’t pop straight away, that is.  It’s not good news, but I believe it’s better to know up front.  I hate surprises.  So anyway, my point is I’ve learned how to cope with fear.  I don’t flee at the sight of it.  It’s a bitch, but so am I.  And you can refocus your eyes, I’m done giving myself a pep talk.  I plan on writing more tonight.  Last night I wrote two pages, then deleted them and started over.  I thought about an outline, then didn’t create one.  Finally,  I wrote two better pages.

Creative writing clearly had a far greater influence on my writing than English Grammar.  I love rules, except where creativity is involved, at which point it reverses.  Rules are for one type of thinking.  Creativity is for the other.  They don’t mix.  Mixing them should cause profound halitosis.  That’s how serious I am.  Incidentally, when my orchestra instructor tried to tell me how to feel about Beethoven, I noticed he had funky breath.  (I don’t believe in coincidences.  I’m far more impressed by irony.)

This is the closest I’ve ever leaned into my blog.  I’m incredibly impressionable, so it’s likely Stevie Nicks’ influence on me.  I’m becoming a little more open.  I didn’t see any of this coming.  Despite the tears, I’m having a fabulous time.  It’s a little like following a rabbit down a hole if you know what I mean. 😉  I have a long night ahead.  I’m off to get to it.

Do you know how hard it’s getting to tell people I know you?

I’m having a decent day.  I made a big decision.  I’ve decided not to seek medical care in the future.  As a service connected, disabled veteran, I’m entitled to health care at the VA Medical Center.  I’m also still on the health plan for my software company. (I no longer work there, but I still own 50%.)  I’ve never used it.  In the past, I’ve gotten all my care at the VA.  I’m no longer willing to put myself through the experience.  I’m hoping this will make the nightmares stop.  At least the VA nightmares.  I’m confident it will work as I usually have them the night before an appointment, or if I’m having an episode of depression.

When depressed, my mind recalls every terrifying or soul crushing experience from my life and plays them back like a really fucked up movie.  Good times.  All my life I’ve bent over backward to avoid stepping on others.  It’s my default, and so it shall remain.  I know I’m naive.  I don’t see it changing at this point.  I acquire more information, but my mind still processes thoughts from a compassionate viewpoint.  I value life.  It hurts to care.  But pain is the only negative consequence I’ve discovered.

Seeking medical care is a nightmare for me, every single time.  It’s illogical to subject myself to trauma when I have a choice.  I’m tired of the astonishing ignorance of some medical professionals, who in 2017, still believe African Americans don’t experience pain as strongly as Caucasians.  It taught me how to cope with physical pain intense enough to render me semi-conscious.  It taught me to be wary.  It taught me never to rely on medication I can’t purchase at a convenience store.  It proved my military service doesn’t count because I have a vagina and brown skin.  I’m no longer willing to enter such a hostile environment.

I realize I’m shortening my lifespan by this decision.  I have a week of medication remaining, both for depression and hypertension.  Eight days, to be exact.  Prozac has a long half-life.  It will stay in my system for a while, but as my body transitions, I’ll have the random brain zaps from quitting cold turkey.  Honestly, when I consider how long I’ve taken it, that’s getting off incredibly easy.  I know you’re not supposed to quit a beta blocker cold turkey, but oh well.  My body can handle it.  I’ve had hypertension since I was a child.  I sincerely believe it’s a physiological reaction to my environment.  It’s like White Coat Syndrome on steroids.  When I’m running, my blood pressure is lower than when I’m walking into the VA.  I eventually refused to have my blood pressure checked at the VA.  It’s like checking for a fever while in a sauna.

The positive changes will include a return to writing poetry and songs.  Prozac stifles creativity in a noticeable way.  It’s probably why a lot of famous artists and writers die from suicide.  The tortured artist is such an accurate term.  Creativity has a cost and usually exacts its toll in tears.  I entered a poetry contest when I was a Private (PFC) in the Army.  It was the first and last contest I entered.  I won first prize, and it deeply disappointed me.  It wasn’t my best poem, just my latest when I entered.  It wasn’t very good.  For it to get first place depressed the shit out of me.  My Commander was excited I won, and I was in The Army Times, and the newspaper at home.  I didn’t go to the ceremony in D.C.  I stopped writing altogether for a few years.

While on Prozac, it’s rare I’m inspired to write a poem.  I’m looking forward to being a tortured artist again.  At least it’s the type of torture I can endure.  I’m getting ready to go on vacation.  I’m in the planning stage (which usually lasts as long as the vacation.)  I probably enjoy the planning more than the vacation most times, but I’m aiming to have a lot of fun this time.  Off to the whiteboard.

Still with the neck hole?

Content Warning:  Descriptions of severe depression, the aftermath of sexual assault.

 

 

I’m feeling much better.  Turns out, it wasn’t a round of severe depression, as evidenced by my improved condition a few days later.  I believe the suddenness (that word is spelled so redundantly) in which my happy-go-lucky stasis was shattered led me to panic and overreact.  My bad.  (Please, dear Universe, don’t use this as an excuse to teach me the difference between mild and severe depression.)  I do remember on some level.  A level I can push away at will.  Usually.

The scenario that stands out the most for me is when I was an inpatient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  I was severely depressed.  I remember walking outside to a roofless enclosure within the ward.  I don’t recall any thoughts.  I crashed in a moment.  I had to lay down on the cement.  I remember only being able to muster the necessary energy to lower myself somewhat gently.  Then that was all I had.  I could only breathe and lay there.  It was like I was paralyzed.  I couldn’t move, but I had no idea why.  I didn’t even feel upset or concerned about it because it took more than what I had.  I’m the type of person who seriously considers abandoning my apartment over a spider.  I hate bugs.  I have the willies just sharing that fact.

That’s how I remember severe depression.  It’s nothingness.  No control, no abilities, and no drive.  It’s laying on the bare ground while a Daddy Long-Legs spider crawls on my face (when typically it would have resulted in a frenzied attempt to practically peel the skin off my face.)  It took 18 months of my life to get from that point to the person who could do a task without weeping.  I remember my Mom suggested I do a load of laundry one day after I was out of the hospital.  The question filled me with panic.  I learned how to do laundry when I was 12.  I relearned when I was 28.

The second time required me to trust in myself and my abilities again, after spending so long as an inpatient.  I wish I didn’t remember that part so well.  My mom’s suggestion sent my mind racing immediately.  What else am I going to have to start doing again?  Why is this so hard?  Why are you doing this to me?  Can’t you see I’m broken?  I deeply resent the interruption to my life, the termination of my military career, and the murder of who I used to be.  All because a man decided his momentary pleasure was more valuable than my existence.  The mindset is where I focus my fury.  Those who view women as mere sex toys and worse.

Severe depression is traumatic.  The women who slept on my right at Walter Reed was undergoing ECT for depression at the time.  She was funny, I liked her.  There were people from all branches of the military at Walter Reed.  I met a lot of individuals who were there for attempting suicide, often over their sexuality.  They were always quickly processed out of the service back when it was Don’t ask, Don’t tell.  I’m glad they stopped that bullshit.  It should have been, Don’t treat humans like shit, Don’t drink and drive.  I bet my slogan would have resulted in far fewer deaths.  (Don’t worry, I’m keeping my day job.)

I just needed to clarify the varying degrees of depressive episodes.  It’s easy to get the impression PTSD is a walk in the park based on what I share when in actuality, I’ve been living with it for several years.  I’ve had psych nurses teach me all about coping skills, how to distract myself, and most importantly, how to trust my ability to endure.  Then I had the remedial course, the refresher, and the graduation ceremony, (when the nurse kindly but firmly reminds you about having the skills but needing to actually use them.)  I earned my walk in the park through endurance, experience, and a blessedly short attention span.

Side note: Thanks, J. and M.

His wife is in a coma…

The Depression Monster put me in an illegal sleeper hold.  Usually, this would have pissed me off, but I couldn’t muster the necessary energy.  Instead, I rolled with it.  I went straight for the nuclear arsenal.  I gathered my weighted blanket, my favorite tops, my bag of dice, and my pillow.  I headed for the living room and made my nest in the Lay-Z-Boy recliner.  I turned on Netflix and watched Louis C.K.’s new special.  He was wearing a suit!  He looks like he’s taking better care of himself.  (I hope I’m right.)  Within minutes, I could feel The Depression Monster begin loosening his grip.  Laughing always trips him up.  When it was over, I had a huge grin my face, and I was on the verge of belly laughing for hours after.

I wasn’t fucking around.  I don’t have time for days when I can’t lift my head without intense effort.  My PTSD begs to differ, but I’m becoming a ninja when it comes to coping with depression.  Sometimes I wonder if my PTSD is improving over time.  I push myself to my limits as often as possible because I’m convinced they stretch and loosen under stress.  I also do this with my running to satisfy my methodical inclinations.  I periodically run as fast and far as I can so I can run faster and farther in the future.  The results are easily measured.  I’d like to think the limitations caused by having PTSD are being stretched and loosened, and therefore improving.  I wish it were that simple.  The tricky part lies in being retraumatized.  I honestly don’t think it’s easy to avoid being traumatized while living on earth for more than twenty years.  It would take a lot of effort, and you’d probably be in a bubble.

Life is traumatic.  Fucked up things are happening to someone right now.  Others are being traumatized by witnessing.  Collectively, we’re the most destructive force on the planet.  Individually, many are deeply scarred by humans behaving badly.  Or accidentally.  Or unfortunately.  I’m one of the many who got pushed too far.  I say pushed too far because there are so many things that can trigger PTSD it’s mind boggling.  I found myself in a situation my mind wouldn’t believe was a reality in real time.  The process of accepting it was a lot like grieving the loss of a loved one, only it was done alone in a hostile environment.

The combination of shock and isolation led to acquiring PTSD.  Had I been able to fathom the possibility, or had I been around someone I trusted enough to allow inside my personal hell, I likely would have avoided getting PTSD.   There may be other factors that increased my susceptibility, but I’m skeptical.  On second thought, I do have a known bug:  I’ve been told I’m overly certain.  It hurt my feelings the first five or six times, then I got over myself and accepted it’s the likely truth.  This bug might have contributed, too.  It’s usually debugged in early adulthood, but my trauma occurred before I got there.

I think what people mean when they call me too certain now is I’m militant.  I like this about me.  It’s an efficient mindset.  It’s a bit cold, but warmth is sacrificed for readiness.  I’m just paranoid enough to stay ready.  (Yep.  Zombies.)  It also acts as a filter.  People who are immediately repelled by my well adjusted weird don’t like me after spending more time with me, either.  I like my rejection up front.  I just cracked myself up.

I’m so happy I can walk across the room without using The Force, today.  (I chanted, The Force is with me, I’m one with The Force while doing it earlier, of course.)  Making fun of Rogue One is as fun as watching it.  It’s the cotton candy of the Star Wars saga.  Well, except the final moment.  Even She can’t make us overlook such a vast uncanny valley.  I’m still pissed they did such a shitty job on such an important few seconds of fan candy.  Disney needs to remember fans are the only reason buying Star Wars was profitable.  Without us, it’s just another movie.  I’m off to read.

 

The speed dial is like a relationship barometer.

So here we are.  A month into 45’s regime.  The disturbance in the force is still resonating at high frequency.  A lot of Americans are wondering when Congress plans to do something other than run and hide from their constituents.  It’s frustrating because we’re discovering so many GOP politicians don’t give a shit if their constituents know they don’t represent them.  They don’t think anyone is going to hold them accountable for their actions.  They feel quite confident in the fact that they run the committees that oversee their corruption.

It’s depressing.  I know a lot of people are struggling to keep their chin up.  I’m so proud of The Resistance.  I know it’s painful having friends and loved ones who don’t share our views.  It’s agonizing to disagree so vehemently with people you care about.  The reason you care about them is that they’re loveable.  But loveable can still be frustrating as fuck!  Hang in there.  Don’t turn your back on them, they’re going to need your support no matter what happens.  Please, hang in there.  Remind yourself what made you love them in the first place, and hold that thought tightly.  We’ll get through this.

Keep up the good work.  Keep reading and listening to leaders and news sources that consistently pass fact checking.  Follow your representatives on social media to open another avenue of communication.  Keep calling and telling your representatives what you want them to do on your behalf.  If you can’t get through, leave a message.  If they shut off their phone, send a postcard or letter.  Be persistent.  Remember, not everyone we’re fighting for can do this, so if you’re able, thank you so much for lifting others with you.

I’m doing my part and following a good leader within The Resistance. If you haven’t joined yet, here is a link to an ACLU-run site that can help you get involved.  Also, don’t forget to donate to the ACLU if you’re able.  I’m using the funds I saved by canceling cable to send them a monthly amount.  I have to say, it feels great to donate money to them.  I gave to Bernie during his campaign, but that was the first time I put money into politics (willingly).  Now I’m addicted to activism with my wallet.  The best part is it’s not contributing to my “too much stuff” issue.  Bonus.  It’s got to be in my top ten adulting actions thus far.

Remember to step away when you need to, and come back refreshed.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  Don’t feel guilty for self-care.  It’s mandatory for humans who want to continue being humane.  The Obama’s are back and looking rested and ready to dig in.  Hillary Clinton has also been publicly cheering us on.  They’re with us.  But even better, we have each other.  If you need a shoulder, I have two.  You can reach out to me knowing I’m awkward and dorky and usually ruin the three jokes I know, but I care about you because you’re alive.  Being alive sucks sometimes.  When that happens, reach out.  Some days are too heavy to carry alone.

 

The whole system is breaking down.

 

I’m experiencing debilitating depression right now.  I’ve only been this low a few times in my life.  I’m almost sure this is resulting from my hyperthyroid condition.  Usually, I’m constantly on vibrate.  My body trembles all the time as a result of Grave’s Disease.  I only notice when playing my violin or writing manually.  This is the third time I’ve experienced a rapid reversal from hyper to hypothyroid.  It feels like gravity has increased significantly.

It took me a while to type that paragraph because sitting upright is requiring incredible effort.  I don’t feel particularly sad.  Hormones are fascinating.  They have a shocking amount of control over my body.  The effort required to hold my head upright is astonishing.   I’m a little amused.  I’m so detached from my body at the moment, it feels like I’m playing a video game created by Stanley Kubrick.

I realize I’m not supposed to enjoy debilitating episodes of depression.  But like most other aspects of life, I don’t do it the usual way.  My normal is happy-go-lucky.  When I’m at my lowest, I transform into Negative Nancy at first.  I’m embarrassed that I fall into this trap every single time, but I begin an episode of depression with a pity party.  At least they only last about an hour.  That’s as long as I can feel sorry for myself before it starts amusing me.

I end all pity parties with a long shower.  I had my post-pity shower at 2:31 AM.  Then I finished reading Daemon by Daniel Suarez.  It was brilliant.  It was like Ready Player One for hackers.  It was my first novel by this author, and he’s already achieved auto-buy status, which is almost as good as Ernest Cline’s record.  (He achieved auto-buy status on his first novel, Ready Player One.)  If you’re a hacker and a gamer, read these books you must.  I read Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving just prior.  I remain in awe of his superpower of writing.  Every time I read a book by John Irving, he moves into the top position in my author rankings.  The title is merited, despite the fact that it’s basically rotated between Charles Dickens, J.K. Rowling, and Irving; depending on whom I last read. (Irving dropped a “Not to put too fine a point on it” in Avenue of Mysteries, much to my delight!)

I walked on the treadmill while still lingering in the world of Daemon.  It was thought provoking and triggered my inner mad-scientist a bit.  Then my mind started pointing out unbelievable aspects of the story, and I was ejected.  I’m rereading Seven Eves by Neal Stephenson now.  He’s a master at balancing imagination and believability.  He pings on my neurodiversity radar because his writing language is highly comprehensible to me.  I’ve read everything he’s published.  I’m now in my cynical-about-everything mode.  People who cope with depression know all about the way our rose-colored glasses get hijacked.  I’m superb at debugging code when I’m in this mode.  Unfortunately, holding my head up is so hard right now.

The small correction to my hormonal balance from walking is noticeable, but it didn’t free me completely.  I traded my energy for a little boost.  It was worth it.  This state is amusing in a different way.  I have incredibly dark thoughts about ways of ending myself, but no compulsion to act on them.  It’s bizarre but mildly entertaining.  I laugh at my self-imposed requirement of not making a mess when I kill myself.  Considerate to the end.

I can’t help but laugh at myself.  I’m still taking my Prozac as prescribed.  I’m not worried about coping when I run out.  Knowing me, I’ll learn yoga or something similar to help compensate a bit.  I did get a call from the clinic where I was scheduled for a mammogram.  She wanted to reschedule, and I could tell she felt frustrated by my decision not to do so.  Her compassion is beautiful, though.

I’m not allowed to make life and death decisions while enduring a depressive episode for obvious reasons.  I settle for designing Rube Goldberg suicide machines, then never building them.  I know, I do depression wrong.  Despite my head resting uncomfortably on my shoulder for support, I’m having a relatively good time.  I’m almost positive I got the smart-ass gene from both donor parents.  (I don’t think geneticists are actually searching for it, but I think it’s important to isolate if we’re going to go with designer babies, so if that’s your field, please get on that.  There can never be too many comedians, or those who appreciate them.)

I can sense I need to force myself to get up and eat soon or suffer the consequences.  This is where my “Just Do It” poster comes in handy.  I wrote “Anyway” on a post-it note and stuck it to the poster.  It needed a little more oomph.  The Depression Monster also has tiny hands.  I’m off to eat, then read.