When last seen

Just to let the 3.6 Loyal Readers know, I am still alive and (more or less) functioning. For some months past, I have had a number of illnesses that nagged at me and prevented me from doing much in the way of useful work, and it finally became clear that I would have to shut down and give my full attention to getting well.

I seem to have kicked the worst of the major depression that afflicted me earlier in the year (despite the happiness due to cows and ice cream), thanks to a concentrated bout of cognitive behavioral therapy. My G.P., at any rate, says I look noticeably happier; though I still get the mopes too easily. There have been assorted physical maladies as well, too tedious to report, and none life-threatening or requiring surgery. This weekend I have spent largely horizontal, trying to talk a severe back pain into going away so that I could rest. (The Beloved Other could hardly sleep at all last night because I had to keep getting up, taking medication, moving about, etc., etc. I feel considerably worse for her than for myself.) Of course the medication required has been industriously burning a hole in my belly, which gives me the curious feeling of having one continuous ache going right through my body from front to back: as if a Hong Kong architect were trying to carve a dragon hole in my torso.

I have made tentative arrangements for a sort of miniature writing retreat after my recovery, when I hope to get some real work done. In the meantime, I offer my sad and humble apologies to you all.


  1. No need to apologize, glad to hear you’re better.

  2. I’ve never dealt with major depression myself, but I have various friends and family who have, so–I am very glad indeed to hear that you’ve been able to fight off the worst of it. It’s definitely one of those things that refuses to simply get better on its own, alas.

    I hope that the various physical ailments may also be mostly sorted out, so that you can write once again–I’ve yet to read something by you that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.

  3. Andrew Brew says

    Well-come back from the (amost) dead, Mr. Simon. It warms my heart to see you about the traps again. I have dealt with depression in the first person, and it is a good thing to have behind one (as opposed to in front or all around – better is to have no acquaintance with it at all, but that is not a decision we can make, alas.)

  4. Sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather.

    I love CBT for depression, mainly because I’ve never been able to tolerate any meds, but maybe mostly because it gives me CONTROL: once I realize I’m in that state (a bit too frequently for my taste), I fight back.

    Depression LIES. It’s main tool is to tell you there’s nothing you can do which will change anything. For which it gets the 2 x 4. So far, that works. It takes time, and effort, and I have to keep reminding myself I’ve done this before, but so far it always works. Getting extra rest helps, too – can’t fight exhausted.

    Keep at it.

  5. It’s good to hear from you! I was starting to think you had become a Carthusian monk.

    I’m glad that the worst is behind you and you’re feeling (at least somewhat) better.

    ¡Mucho ánimo!

  6. Stephen K says

    All the best, Mr. Simon.

  7. katherine laurange says

    Good to hear from you. Wishing you well.

  8. Good to hear from you! Click on my name above to go to a post on my tumblr (i wish I could just post the picture here) featuring my daughter’s excitement (really!) about the excellent resources she has for her junior research paper, including my treasured hard copy of writing down the dragon.

    And a blessed Advent to you!

  9. Suburbanbanshee says

    I am glad you are feeling somewhat better.

    Re: medication and your stomach — probably these are things you have researched, but maybe this will help? Johns Hopkins’ medical school says that lying down is actually not desirable, when you’ve just taken a pill that disagrees with you. I guess the principle is to let gravity be your friend, and push the pill along. (Don’t know if this is something you can do, short of buying a tilt-a-bed like the Minbari used on Babylon 5. But you’re in pretty bad pain, so it might be worth trying something.)

    They also recommend a heating pad or hot water bottle applied externally. (I have never tried this.)

    • I’m not lying down on account of my stomach, but to help relax my back muscles, and usually not right after taking any medication. The trouble, it appears, is just that since I have had an ulcer before, my belly is susceptible to the effects of NSAIDs. At the moment, on my doctor’s advice, I am taking ibuprofen for the pain (when necessary) and quaffing Gaviscon to protect my stomach lining. It slows down the uptake of the drug, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing in this case.

      On the bright side, the pain in my back is now localized to one spot between the shoulder blades. As long as I don’t do a lot of bending and heavy lifting whilst recuperating, the rest of my back muscles should behave themselves from now on.

      Thanks for your concern and your suggestions! (And the same to everyone else who commented.)

  10. As ever, I am sadly dilatory about checking into this site. So belated condolences on your illness. I am glad to read that CBT has helped you. When I went mad just after the birth of my daughter it was a help to me as well.

    God bless you and keep you well.

Speak Your Mind