Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Frequently, it's a bit of a shock to see the tired, scruffy, unkempt old man in the bathroom mirror. I don't know why that should be, because he doesn't look any worse than I feel.

I wake up feeling as if I hadn't slept at all. I have a small, insistent headache, and I know that anything I take to relieve it will make it rebound with a vengeance. So, I ignore it - after all this time, it's only white noise. My back hurts from the middle of my neck to my sacrum, and before I remember that it won't do any good, I shake my left hand repeatedly, trying to get more feeling into those three numb fingers. The fingers are a different injury; the back is just forty years of warehouse work.

If my smartphone tells me I have things to do today, I will make it into the tub where I can shower a few of the aches and pains down the plug 'ole - not all of them, though. I won't be working in a  warehouse today. I don't do that anymore - I cower in washrooms now. Maybe today, I'll have a support group to attend, or a Dialectical Behavioural Therapy workshop, or perhaps I'll be answering the phone at 411 Seniors' Centre for four hours.

If there's nothing on my calendar, I will probably creep from my bed to the sofa, dragging my tired backside across the carpet like a rude chihuahua, and I will lie in front of the tv, drifting in an out of consciousness for the rest of the day. I've seen all of Ben Hur, but never at one sitting.

The Tall Lady has been my exclusive support for the last four years, and in my lucid moments, I think that's grossly unfair - in her lucid moments, she probably does too. In that time, I've sent out around a dozen job applications, mostly for volunteer positions, and most of those have been successful. My applications for paid employment have all disappeared without an echo.

I don't have the attention span to read anymore, but it appears that I've begun to write again - now, what do I do with it?

I've found a GP named Larry Barzelai, who is kind, competent, and actually seems to give a damn. My pal Larry referred me to a very good psychiatrist named Jeffery Claman about six months ago. The three of us have been tinkering with my meds and my moods since then, and we've reached a point where I feel better than I have since my little knock on the bean - now, what do I do with it?

My days feel like a game of Snakes and Ladders; the snakes are everywhere, the ladders seem too far apart, the dice just won't roll the way I want them to, but, still, the game goes on.

Maybe I won't ever be cured, but I think that I'm getting better...

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