Thursday, October 25, 2012

Depression 2

I was gladdened to find this morning a comment from a friend on my previous entry regarding "depression." I call her a friend, though I have never met her -- but this is what friends do, isn't it -- whether you've met them or not -- they take the time to say something, and they cause you to recognize that someone out there is listening, and even cares. 

My friend chides me gently about my (mis)use of the term 'depression' -- and I deserve that, so I don't mind.  Really, I'm more peeved than depresssed.  I'm more lazy than depressed.  Adjusting to events and realities that do not coincide with my own plans has never been my strong suit.  Transitions, adjustments -- yuck. 

At the same time, I'm still not convinced that clinical depression is a symptom of MS.  I mean, being a bit depressed by the troubles caused by MS would seem only natural -- again, a circumstantial reaction rather than a brain chemistry disorder.  Oddly enough, I find very little about MS to be depressing in my own case.  Of all things in my life, it seems the least depressing.  In fact, I kind of like it.  It's interesting.  And it is no fault of my own.  This helps to put the blame for various failings on something outside of my control -- whereas I have no choice other than to hold myself accountable for failings that cannot be ascribed to the disease.

But in any case, thank you, Scatterbrain, for reading, and for listening, for caring and for commenting.  Cheers!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Some few years ago when I was writing the initial draft of Everyone Here is Jim Dandy I addressed the subject of depression in people with MS. More particularly, my investigations centered on whether depression is or could be a byproduct of MS due to neurological changes in the brain, or whether depression is just depression pure and simple -- playing no favorites. If I remember correctly, I surmised the latter case to be the more likely. Everyone gets depressed, and the most common type of depression is of a situational nature -- something has gone wrong, a failed love affair, a broken heart, trouble in the workplace, trouble with the wife, trouble with illness (any illness), financial trouble (oh, that’s a good one). Trouble in River City.

I’m thinking about this again because, frankly, I’m depressed. And I don’t think this is the fault of weird brain chemistry or short-circuiting. I think it’s because I’m going broke. In fact, I’m sure it is. And that’s depressing. It’s depressing to live in paradise and be broke at the same time. Even more depressing is the thought of having to leave paradise because you can’t afford to live there anymore. And I’ll tell you this, folks -- if you can’t afford to live on the island of Bali, you have got to be very broke indeed.

But there you have it. Little did we imagine when we took my life savings and moved to this little island on the other side of the world that this chunk of money would be gone within four years. The plan had been for it to last until I began to collect Social Security. Oh well, back to the drawing board. I am three years short still of Social Security, and so this math don’t add up any better than Mitt Romney’s.

What to do? Is returning to the United States an answer? It somehow automatically seems so, but that is no doubt because one is simply remembering a stable situation from the past and imaging that it still exists somehow -- as if it had simply been left behind like a suitcase in storage. It is with a sinking sensation then that one realizes in a suddenly very real way that time has marched on, the world has changed, nothing has been preserved. You can’t go home again. In short, Oh shit, I fucked up! Nope, I can’t walk back into Providence Medical Center and start my old job again. In fact, at 59 years of age, I doubt whether I could walk into any place in America and start any job whatsoever.

What to do, what to do? Work in Bali? At what? Driving a taxi? Picking up white rocks from the beach at Ketewel to sell to the warehouse down the road? Shoulder a shovel and join the guys on the Bypass as they wait for a truck to stop and take them for a day?

Hmm, this is sounding more depressing by the moment. Because it is more depressing by the moment.

How about if I go without eating for a year? That should save a bit. Or maybe quit cigarettes. Or on second thought, no. Some things are indispensable.

I haven’t a clue. That’s the depressing thing. And it’s a scary thing too.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

New Directions

Been a while since I wrote anything here. I guess that's mainly because these entries, for the past year or so, have been articles that also appeared in The Bali Times newspaper. My efforts had been focused on producing a weekly column for that paper, into which I put considerable effort. Mysteriously, however, The Bali Times suddenly disappeared some weeks ago, then reappeared a couple weeks later in a new form, minus any of the editorial columns that had previously appeared (most notably mine and Vyt Karazija's second page columns). Nothing was ever said to either of us by the management of the paper - we simply disappeared! The paper now consists of straight, rather abbreviated news pieces which can be read in the Jakarta Post or the Jakarta Globe, plus a four page insert in Bahasa Indonesia (apparently with an eye toward that rare Indonesian reader who prefers to spend 10,000 Rupiah for four pages to 6,000 Rupiah for an entire newspaper).

In any case, a recalibrration of intent becomes necessary such that I may begin to fill these blog pages with something new.

In addition, I had recently been working on my book, Everything Here is Jim Dandy (living with MS) for publication on, and that proved to be a time consuming task. None of these things are as easy as they look on the surface, and so a certain amount of struggle was involved. But that's done now and the book has so far sold one copy, earning me a grand total of 3 dollars and 18 cents. I've not yet decided where to spend this windfall.

My agent back in the States spend nearly three years trying to sell Jim Dandy to a publisher, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Thus sounds the death toll of poor Jim, consigned now to his lonely grave in cyberspace. Too bad. I think the book might have been enjoyed by many MS readers, and really by readers in general as well, since it's focus was not on MS alone but on MS as a symptom of life as we all face it. But anyway . . . .

So, where to go from here? We'll have to wait and see. At this point in time, I haven't the foggiest.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Book Now Available Online

Finally I can invite my visitors to read my book about living with multiple sclerosis (and life in general).  The book is called Everyone Here is Jim Dandy.  You can find this at

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Almost There

I've been struggling for some time now to get my book onto Create Space, but I think we're almost there now.  The book, about living with MS, is called Everyone Here is Jim Dandy (just like this blog).  The main trouble has been with downloading my Word file for the book onto createspace, which itself is because my subscription to Word expired long ago.  It was therefore necessary to use the kind services of my agent in the US -- many thanks to Neil Salkind for his tireless attention to my tiring requests.  Once the thing is officially complete, I will post a link on this blog so that readers can find the book in