Gaining altitude


Hello, world. Apologies to those who've left me messages or texts or whathaveyou over the past week or so. Between out of town visitors prior to the holiday weekend and an episode with my nemesis The Black Hole, I've been more or less incommunicado. Fortunately, this particular Black Hole experience has not been one of those full-blown depressive sucker-punches, rather one of the milder ones that remind me how much energy I expend to keep my normal stable orbit.

I don't know what, if anything, was the trigger event this time. Doesn't always have to be one. That's what makes it a relapsing/remitting clinical depression rather than a truly emotionally-based one. Well, one of the things, anyhow. So nothing "happened," though we did pass a couple of sad anniversaries that might tangentially connect—we passed what would have been my grandfather's 102nd birthday, shortly thereafter the anniversary of my mom dying. But really, I don't think those were key, I wasn't thinking about them much. It's just my fucked-up brain chemistry.

As I've said before about this, most of the time, thanks to good medicinal intervention, I do OK. My depression is tethered to me, visualized as a black hole with an unescapable gravity well, but usually I keep a good orbital distance. Maintaining it takes energy. And if I slip a little, it takes more energy to try and climb up again. And, sooner or later, it seems, whatever engine that powers that orbital thrust breaks down. Or overheats or something. My metaphor starts to collapse here, but I just get tired. The brain realizes how much effort its been putting into not-crashing and just needs a break.

Which means gravity pulls harder. Which means when I'm ready to come out of rest mode I have to work a whole lot harder to get back up to stable orbit. Which is tiring. You see how this can be endlessly frustrating.

Now, in this case—and again, I thank the makers of Sertraline for the generally effective assist—I didn't get pulled down all that far. I'd like to orbit at, say, moon level but I got pulled down to GPS level. Sucks, but way better than ISS level. Or atmospheric. I need these metaphors to help it make sense in my head.

Anyway, I've been tired. Sleeping a lot. Screwed up my already nocturnal tendencies to be downright vampiric. But it's better today, I can tell I'm gaining some altitude, and it's a good thing because I've got to be out in the world with the Daywalkers the next few days and then in a little over a week I have to take a quick trip to California, which I'm not really looking forward to but neither am I wishing wasn't happening. I'll take that, at this point.

Meanwhile, I have been keeping up with my and Erik's Substack about the Immaculate Grid. Because no matter what, there is always baseball.

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  • Posted by Bill on September 9, 2023 (10 months ago)

    It is good to read your always-quite-elegant descriptions and explanations, Tim... and even better for us to understand (to the extent we can) what you go through. Bravo -- what a great writer you are.

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