2002 February, MarchMay, June, July (and, back to Millstone)

Date last altered: Friday, 16 October 2009

February 14th: Things are changing, and some of the causes and cures of depression are in the news, for example this about SSRIs sometimes being the cause of problems for women and breast cancer. It has been stressful lately: no job, Mater Horribilis, nowhere private.

February 28th: Not feeling too swift these days. My pathetic decision at the hospital, regarding my mother's affliction, is affecting me. Probably I said what I did on the premise that they were going to admit her. Silly me.

Too many decisions made with haste, or a concurrent lack of judgement, in my life. For example, I made a fool of myself in Woody's, a local bar/eatery on Elgin, just a couple of days ago. Couldn't keep my eyes off a particular, beautiful woman, black of course. When I left, I handed her a note with a card that had been stowed in my bag (techies carry bags, don't you know). Probably freaked her out. She was safe, however, because she was one of a group of three women gossiping with gusto, whilst I was eating and reading. Always reading, aren't I, because I'd otherwise be forced to think. 

God, this is awful. Tentacles of depression, I suspect, crawling out independent of the Celexa's influence. And, on the other hand, few suspect this, because I can laugh at jokes, understand PBS TV programmes, and suck in the news, both on the web and in the papers: in other words, I can converse and think, but am in fact attempting to hide, with febrile chatter, from fellow humans.

RIP: Spike Milligan, 83, indeed. Major manic depressive and irreverent comedian of superb quality. And John Thaw, a brilliant actor, only recently turned 60. Here are Obituaries, of them and of others of certain significance to me.

Emails and mail that indicate that, yes, Lynn, Peter, Sarah and Brendan will be here in July. So, three months to find a job and a good place to live (failed, of course). That would mean I could offer board and lodging, free of charge. Will be nice indeed to have them all here for Dad's birthday on July 9th. Even if they won't be here for Mum's birthday, would she even care? Or remember, given that she thinks Peter is dead?

March 5th: The blind leading the blind. Today, I am due to take Mama to see Dr Julian Rambert, to see if he can do something with her physical ailments. Not likely to try with the mental or straitjacket cures that the local PsychoGeriatrics, who are lurking off stage, can offer.

March 7th: If one has access to my pages regarding my mother, then it is clear that old age, or even middle age, can produce memory problems. My history of depression, with its concomitant inability to memorise anything easily, makes me wonder what I can expect in due course, as I pass the sixth decade signpost. What I clearly have of late is a propensity to feel paranoid. Mind you, my recent history, if only you knew it, would show that that is a normal response!

March 12th: First time that I have missed a booked shrink appointment. Was it by forgetfulness, or by subterranean thoughts? Have read a lot lately about taking personal responsibility, about not being passive flotsam. Funny that I have never felt that I could do a job, except that once I start, I often surprise myself with my abilities. Part of the depression syndrome, isn't that so?

March 20th: First day of spring, and, of course, it is snowing in Ottawa! Lots going on in the world, but very little on the job search front. That, obviously, is the key to improving my situation. Not as easy as it seems, and worrying. I often see the same faces in the places I visit, all in the same boat as I: jobless and depressed.

March 21st: Well, three days until I am into my seventh decade. Not seventy, but sixty years old on the 24th. 

May 10th: A friend of mine, originally met in a coffee shop on Elgin, Dr George Pollard, a socio-metrician, wonders whether I have been suffering from sugar problems. This was deduced from my statements about crashing in the evenings. Fruit intake would not cause such a response, but sugar in coffees and sweetened carbohydrates, such as found in company tuck shops, does. Consequently, I may have had problems relating to diet, and not to depression. That's George's view, and it needs thinking about. As he says, there is a whole industry based on the fears of millions believing they are depressives. One can think of other diseases where business interests, and ROI, have a significant effect on the patient's perspective. Of course, it's not just health that business interests need returns for expenditure.

I have been wondering about my diagnosis, which took all of thirty minutes in an office on Bank Street. Indubitably, I have had problems, and I don't doubt there is a valid mental aspect, but I shall have to think about my condition in relation to other factors. A need for research, undoubtedly.

At least I am not like that nut bar, Lucas Helder, shopped by his father, who travelled over the States leaving pipe bombs in mailboxes. He was trying to leave a smiley face on the map of the continental US.

May 14th: Weird weather, supposed to snow here, but it did not. Where is the tulip festival? Suspended, I fear. Mater? In cloud cuckoo land, where else? No means of having a proper conversation if it concerns anything she has an opinion about. Me? I have stopped using my Celexa half-a-pill-a-day. There have been quantifiable changes. Dreaming at night, forsooth. And other stuff, to explain later.

May 20th: Found my Direct Access CD folders, at last. And, in consequence, nearly creased myself trying to place my fridge dolly upside down so that it would fit in my storage locker.

I have been thinking lots lately about my condition. Temporarily stopping my medication, Celexa, has produced changes in my general attitude. Emotions are more apparent. Anger, lust, sympathy, empathy, what have you, just burst out. Well, not exactly that, but one gets the point, hein?

Not that I intend to ever have another lady friend, even if I want or believe I could find one. My history of behavioural problems involving my two wives and, also, my daughters, are not to be forgotten. And especially not discounted.

Reading keeps me aware of others' plaints. That's enough, I think. My rationalisation is that because I am in debt, obviously have poor prospects, and other factors, it is, therefore, immoral to even contemplate having a third party involved in my life. This is a warning to myself. How could one allow someone to care and then discover how little one could bring to the table?

June 1st: On my mother's page is a note to the effect that I am in contact with Neil Russell, an advocate for those in trouble with the health and similar bureaucratic systems. He may be able to help me, too. Especially, perhaps, with an apartment. Wouldn't that be nice, if it is in a decent neighbourhood. I don't expect a miracle, but to have a place to live is tantamount to paradise.

June 18th: A couple of days after Dad has his car removed from the road by a red light runner. And, for me, the first day since last Thursday that I have fought off the Black Dog.

I have, of course, restarted my medication. I will have to make a decision about what to do with psychiatric help and my prescription. If, as I believe, all I do is cycle between levels of well-being, what can I expect? It seems to me that I have little chance of attaining my goals, unless I can grasp the big nettle and do something to remove myself from this mess. Living as I do, in a sham household, with debts almost overwhelming me, with occasional patches of sunlight, is not good enough.

At least the World Cup has been excellent, allowing me to bask in its romance and horror. So sad for the Italians, one does wonder if there was a rottenness at the heart of it all. Byron Moreno, the "terrible" referee.

July 4th: Independence Day in the United States, the empire of the contemporary world. A country that denies that it should join the International Court of the Hague.

I took Sarah and Bren to Montreal yesterday, to enable them to participate in the Jazz Festival. They'll come back with Michelle and Katharine on Saturday, two days after Lynn and Peter arrive in Ottawa.

In any event, the presence here of my elder daughter, Sarah, has brought back bittersweet memories of our history. She is a lovely lady, not a girl any more, as one would expect of someone aged 31. The recent reading of a Darwinism Today book on the Truth about Cinderella has caused me pain. This short tome indicates that even if one is kind and good, to be a stepfather implies distress for the new wife's original brood. And vice versa. Just what happened to Sarah with Peter Morgan. Good doctor, nasty stepparent to Sarah. Thinking about this causes me such pain that it is barely tolerable.

And, because I am a depressive means that even had I brought her to me, it is unlikely that I could have treated her properly. Simply that depressives have a poor history with the Cinderella syndrome. Likely to be filicidal suicides.

This polemic is part of the hugely successful Darwinism Today series and lectures originating at the LSE.

July 7th: My, my the anguish. Little chats with Sarah about things. Seems that we have reached an understanding. And to walk with her arm around me with Katharine on my shoulders was so bittersweet yesterday. It's fine to say life goes on, but I tell you plainly that the idiot mess that I have created really bites at me.

George Pollard really does not think that depression is really a part of my life. Well, be that as it may, but my personality defects have produced this situation, true? Cannot stop thinking that my lack of self belief lies at the core of all of this. Hurting Di, every three months if I remember correctly, just to try to prove that I should not be loved. Or something similar. Horrid times, rotten behaviour. At least I never hit either of my wives, but my anger was just below the surface much of the time. There is an author, T Jefferson Parker, who writes excellent books on police, Vietnam vets and others in a quasi-series. His writing relates to a lot of what I feel, his characters having flaws, that they often cannot beat, and nevertheless speak to me. Also, I like to have heroes, one such is J K Galbraith, currently fading away physically at 93, but still with a mind as sharp as a tack. And I like to read heroic stories, both from the real and fantasy worlds. Helps to live my life vicariously, since I have a patent inability to maintain relationships in real terms.

July 24th: Replied to a moving email from Sarah. And, it included my news that, holding my fingers crossed yet, I have found a job. That might, rather will, change everything.

August 8th: Job still might be available, but . . . . 

August 19th: Job is there (NR was seriously ill), but will take some time to become real. Given my pecuniary status, it will take a considerable effort to remedy my problems in effecting a concrete and rewarding solution. It's all affecting my mental state, as is my predilection to stating the facts as I see them. The straight talk of the northerner. In this dreadful world I believe that behaviour might prove to be beneficial in the long term.

Planets Over Stonehenge (a little different from that photo of Diana and friends, with my Triumph Tiger 650 in foreground on my Pondlife page)
No one can park that close these days. Those were indeed the days of Aquarius and innocence. Credit & Copyright: Philip Perkins

Explanation: Stonehenge, four thousand year old monument to the Sun, provides an appropriate setting for this delightful snapshot of the Sun's children gathering in planet Earth's sky. While the massive stone structure dates from around 2000 B.C., this arrangement of the visible planets was recorded only a few days ago on the evening of May 4th, 2002 A.D. Bright Jupiter stands highest above the horizon at the upper left. A remarkable, almost equilateral triangle formed by Saturn (left), Mars (top), and Venus (right) is placed just above the stones near picture center. Fighting the glow of the setting sun, Mercury can be spotted closest to the horizon, below and right of the planetary triad. Still easy to enjoy for casual sky gazers, this photogenic and slowly shifting planetary grouping will be joined by a young crescent Moon beginning Monday, May 13.