Tuesday, December 11, 2012


First things: some good news before the rest of this post depresses the crap out of everyone. There's now visible movement in my left cheek. It's not the whole cheek (or indeed the whole of my lips), but it's a good sign. I am also confident that my double vision continues to change; it seems to me that the displacement is slightly less diagonal and slightly more vertical. Given that I can now see what I have been feeling for a while in my left cheek, I don't think I'm deluded.

Now, the less-than-good: I've been profoundly depressed since late October. Medicaid got renewed (although their inncompetence is mind-boggling), so I have a prescription of happy pills to help turn me back into someone other than a moping ninny, but they sure as hell haven't kicked in yet.

The chronic depression is not unusual after a stroke, and even though I know that what I'm feeling is partly a biochemical thing, knowledge doesn't do anything to allay the sense of futility I have. Back in the UK, I was working towards coming home, but now I am here, I have to ask what now?

It would help, perhaps, to believe in anything other than entropy, but I don't, and having a stroke certainly hasn't changed that. Knowing that I have occasionally helped people, amused people now and then, and been liked, and even loved, is some solace, but that doesn't change the sense that had I died last year I would have been mourned and perhaps missed, but little if anything would change for anyone.

This is far from easy to write, both because I suspect my current rather bleak view on life is infectious, and because it's hard to admit how utterly useless I feel most of the time, but I always intended for these updates to be as honest as I could manage, and skipping is a coward's option. I've been working to smile to for over a year, and all I have to show for it is a twitch in my cheek. My balance is terrible, the tremor remains, and the worst is that it is now so hard to read. I'm not sure what's left to me, or of me.

Being with friends helps, because I have to sustain the front that I'm doing OK, that I am managing with everything, and if I practice being OK with how broken I am, maybe I will be. It is weird writing about how bad I feel, knowing that many of the people that I work so hard to convince that everything is going swimmingly will read this. The truth is that I need help and I am tired of not asking for help. I hate that I need help, I hate that I am so faulty, but I need convincing that life is worth living.

Before anyone panics, I am hardly about to go and top myself; that would be rude, stupid and awkward; it would cause unnecessary pain, and would be a shitty thing to do to whoever found me. I think it's very uncivilized that our society has no acceptable way of saying I think I'm done here, but it doesn't, so that's that.

(Not surprisingly this provoked a response from many people, and the reaction was universally helpful. I'm doing better now (Jan 2013), but can't deny that I was doing very poorly in November and December of last year.)