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Just too depressed

June 7, 2012
Crushing to death

Pain “most strong and long”

Sometimes CPS, with all its pains and their vagaries, is too depressing for me to contemplate much. It is especially crushing on those days when the CPS has morphed once again, and evolved a new terrible sensation that I cannot control. At times like this, when it is causing yet another onerous symptom, I simply want to distract myself from its truth in any way possible. I want to forget the whole thing: its prevalence, how it’s ignored by the medical profession, how the treatments for it are so spare and so limited in choice,  and do so little. I want to escape its entire burden. There are days when I just cannot *deal*. I slink away; I hide. It’s as if having the pain is enough in itself. Must there be all the psychological burdens added on top of it?

If you’ve done any reading about the Salem Witch Trials and their aftermath, you probably have read about the torture that was used to kill Giles Corey, who was “prest to death.” (Nineteen other people were hanged, all on the basis of :”spectral evidence.”) The method used to kill Corey was an ancient English common law form of execution, used for those who had been convicted but refused to admit their guilt. It was officially called “peine forte et dure”. The condemned was put against a flat surface, had a large board placed over him, and massive, heavy rocks were placed on top of the board. He was gradually squeezed or pressed to death. It took two days for Corey to die. (The details are gruesome; I’ll let you follow the link, if you really want images in your head that will be hard to take, and difficult to shake..)

There are some days that it feels as if that is what CPS is doing to me. CPS metamorphoses over its existence – always adding yet anther rock to the pile. Three nights ago, I was sitting at my desk, and suddenly it felt as if my left hand and my left foot were actually *burning,* as in “lit on fire.” Each of my toes felt like they had been turned into candles, and were flaming at the end like tapers. What can you do in a situation like that? I doubled the gabapentin, had a gin and tried to go to sleep, listening to Jonathan Cecil’s reading of P.G. Wodehouse’s “Heart of a Goof.” (I have learned more about golf listening to this set of Wodehouse stories than I ever knew prior to his explanations of its charms. It makes me want to actually take golf lessons, something I was never before interested in doing.)

Thank God for Wodehouse. What a perfectly marvelous distraction he is! Listening to his work on my iPod as I fall asleep is like being read fairy tales for grownups. He wrote over a hundred novels, and I am working my way through as many as I can find in audio recordings. There is no pain in Wodehouse, except for the heartbreak of lost love – and you can be sure the sweethearts will always be together happily when the book ends. No one is ever ill. No one is ever broke and left that way, to die in penury and misery. The world is full of opportunity. The worst problem a person can face is that some disapproving relative will somehow appear, to glare down their nose and shake a finger harshly at the good-natured hero or heroine. In a Wodehouse book, everything will work out.The lovers always end up together, because every Wodehouse book has a happy ending.

I have been very downcast, because I cannot see any happy endings right now: not in my own personal life, which is comprised, first and foremost, of pain every day, pain that is often so bad that it overshadows everything.I cannot see it in our country’s future, or in the world’s future.

Hopelessness is the cause of depression, and for the past several days I have been feeling on the hopeless side of the coin. That is why I haven’t written. It is why I haven’t returned calls. It’s probably why I can’t clean off my desk, and why I can’t decide how to reshelve books.

Well, now that I have at least shamefacedly admitted my failure of good spirits, it is time to pick myself up and begin to work again. Can I, like Corey, not only endure the pain, but command my executioners, “More weight!”?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2012 8:24 PM

    Love this post you are so eloquent Louise! I’m sorry you’re having such a bad time, can you get outside for a little bit this evening? I’ve found sometimes just sitting out in a chair on our porch makes my mood better. You have so much to give don’t give up:)

  2. Eileen permalink
    June 7, 2012 10:35 PM

    Hey Lady……a kindred spirit in the changing moods that pain can bring. Monday I was inconsolable, crying that started in the shower and continued as I got dressed. I felt myself wanting to be with my Mom, and feel her unconditional love as she takes in her arms and makes it all better. I felt scared, angry, alone, unloved and was just miserable. Back on meds and feeling physically better tonight, but still needing my Mom…..

    • June 8, 2012 12:01 AM

      Your mom was a huge force of unconditional love for *everyone* who needed it. She certainly showed it to me! I know that there were many times that I wished I had been born a Mullen, and in your family. She’s the reason that your father always looked like an English garden gnome, delighted with being alive!

      You know that your Mom’s spirit is always with you, especially when you are inconsolable. I can feel the same connection with my maternal grandmother, who was my source of unconditional love. I can see it when I look at photos of her and me together. One of my most precious images is of her holding Jake when he was perhaps 3 or 4 months old – “Louise’s baby!” – as she lay in the bed from which she could never rise again. Her joy is radiant, shining through the photo.

      Those people loved us for our essence, for the Eileen or Louise they knew at our very earliest personhoods upon this terrestrial globe. They saw that spirit in us no matter how we grew, what changes we went through, how different our physical bodies became from our infant incarnations. They loved us, and always will. Whatever way spirits of humans may recognize each other when we are free from this flesh, you and I both know that we will feel their embrace again.

      Until then, *hugs* are all I can offer. They are a poor and seemingly cheap substitute, but they are utterly sincere.

  3. Carol Carbin permalink
    June 8, 2012 10:00 AM

    I’m sorry you’re feeling so bad, Louise. The type of day you’re having is bad enough but adding pain to the mix makes it so much worse. Look after yourself today. Tomorrow is another day and I hope it will be better for you. x

  4. Alison Martin permalink
    June 21, 2012 6:34 AM

    Louise, I so much hope your depression has lifted somewhat now. It never fails to amaze me that people with central pain are not completely incapacitated the whole time! My dear Peter can still make me laugh – in spite of all his other problems, the sense of humour is still there and I just don’t know how he manages it! Life is so unfair (and I too weep all too often). Thank you for drawing attention to the blog ….. I read the daily group messages every day but will now also check the blogs.
    It is interesting that you find audio books helpful – Peter can no longer concentrate on reading and a friend of his suggested audio (the friend has tinnitus which keeps him awake at night) …. his birthday is coming up, so I’ll see if I can find a suitable one on Amazon!
    Love and best wishes. Alison

    • Eileen permalink
      June 21, 2012 10:06 AM

      Alison, check out local libraries as well. They lend them out and I am always seeing them at yard sales for a couple bucks…!
      Eileen (went to high school with Louise)

    • June 21, 2012 12:44 PM


      Audiobooks have been a tremendous lifesaver for me. I have listened to books on neurology and brain neuroplasticity, other scientific treatises, and books I have read on paper. Jane Austen nd the Aubrey-Maturin series have been especially involving. I also listen to BBC series, which are available in podcast., As you know, they have a lot of fictional dramatizations, as well as books read by the authors. I’ve *loved* listening to all the segments of “The History of the World in 100 Objects.” and “In Our Time,” with Melvin Bragg (what a polymath!). All of the IOTs that have ever been produced are available in podcast, along with the History series, on the BBCRadio 4 and 4extra sites.

      The best thing about them is that you 1.) don’t have to hold them up; 2) can listen while exercising 3.) can listen when you are too exhausted or in too much pain to do anything else.

      I think Peter would LOVE them. They are much more edifying than crappy television.

      But my greatest audio comfort, by far, has been the Wodehouse. The stories are all comforting, and the language is just so diverting and delightful. Wodehouse is the *King* of metaphor.. Librivox has the earliest books available for free, as read by loving amateurs. Let me know if you would like info on obtaining the other recordings – or anything that I have outlined here.

      If you have CPS, the iPod is your best friend (next to a loving partner, of course.)

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