Dogwards!

2 years ago with 8 comments in Uncategorized
My sister Abby has a three-legged chocolate lab named Trip. “Trip” isn’t quite as cruel a name as it sounds (though it is short for “Tripod”1) because the dog actually gets around quite well, using his single rear leg as a pogo stick. If he lollops and flounders a bit from time to time, he doesn’t seem to mind. Trip was born with four legs. During the day ...

How To Screw Without Stripping

3 years ago with 20 comments in Uncategorized
I own a punching bag full of women’s clothing. If I ever told that to my therapist, she’d probably get that hungry look. But there’s nothing symbolic about it, I swear. The guy who used to own the bag, a schoolmate of mine in college, went to the basement of the girls’ dorm at the end of the semester, collected everything from the box of castoffs, and stuffed it all ...

What Makes the Heart Burn

3 years ago with 12 comments in Uncategorized
I just finished reading Pope Francis’ big interview. I’m not planning to comment on the Pope’s liberalism or conservativism or whatever. He’s profoundly orthodox and profoundly human, and I’m very glad for both. Since most people are not going to have time to read the whole thing, here is my collection of favorite excerpts. I tried to stay away from the bits that ...

Enlarging the Concept Of the Human

4 years ago with 15 comments in Uncategorized
Gosh, William Lynch just gets better and better: The sick [i.e. the mentally ill] deeply fear that they are not human. They interpret an endless variety of problems and distresses as nonhuman. I remember I used to feel that it would be a relief to have the kind of problems that “normal” people had: in high school, worrying about girls; in college, about grades; later, about money. ...

Images Of Hope

4 years ago with 4 comments in Uncategorized
I’ve got no words for you today, so I give you the words of Fr. William F. Lynch. These are excerpts from Images of Hope, which I have been reading on and off since about March. It was one of the very few things that helped at all when things were darkest. It contains some of the most breathtakingly dead-on observations about depression I’ve ever seen, and no small amount of ...

Interlude: On Hope

4 years ago with 14 comments in Uncategorized
I’m sitting in the parking lot of the shrink’s office. This is why I got a laptop: I am so often in transit that if I waited until I was settled at my desk, I’d never get any writing done. I think the woman two spaces away is in the same boat. She’s parked in her car, running the AC and eating something with a plastic fork. Poor thing, poor both of us. I’ll write ...

The Gift of a Burden

4 years ago with 25 comments in Uncategorized
It’s amazing how telling people about your SSA changes your perspective on the matter. I just reconnected with my old friend J. I called because he had just broken off his engagement and I thought he might be a mess about it. Turned out he was more or less okay; eventually the conversation turned, like they usually do with J. (even when he is not engaged, he tends to have marriage on ...

It’s The Hope

4 years ago with 27 comments in Uncategorized
It’s not the despair…I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.1 Seems like nearly everybody knows about my SSA these days. My landlord knows, for goodness’ sake. My landlord, H., also happens to be a coworker and an old friend, and someone who’s been through a lot himself — even before I knew some of the details, I always thought he had the ...