Even though I can’t bear to look at that big black hole, it still reaches out to me, and even when I turn from its reach it will stick its hand into the back of my brain and start muddling ingredients into its evil cocktail. Its brew causes one to muddle around in a fog I can only relate to medium-grade depression with brief waves of intense anger. So to try and either get away from its hand or at least ignore its presence, I turn to my own drinks of choice.

Unfortunately, not having been a stranger to either depression or drink, the distance to fall into the former and the volume required of the latter are inversely related. Normally, drink aids depression, with me the depression comes from remembering and the ale serves to forget. Numbness is the order of the era, and I suppose my main responsibility in regard to either of these is to monitor them for signs of clinical disease.

For the first time I’ve been using food as well. Previously in my life, difficult times were opportunities to lose weight, as eating became nearly impossible. But in the last year or so, I had been putting on what I thought of as happy pounds. Busy with rewarding work and fatherhood and domestic bliss, I might have enjoyed the fruits of my delight a bit too much. Ironically, it was just at the start of August that I had seriously resolved to again make my physical health a priority; I had lost three pounds in the first week alone.

The food that provides some comfort now is only junk, and it must be consumed quickly in order to sneak in between horrible thoughts. Spicy food is ideal. I think I’ve had more chips and salsa in the last few weeks than in the last few years.

We watch Hoarders to remind ourselves how crazy we have not yet become. But to see those people not so far away from the daily insanity I must endure scares me, not that I’ll become crazy enough to start piling trash in the corner, but maybe that I’ll keep drinking or eating until I have to buy yet another wardrobe.

Let’s not even mention the fact that there is a short list of people I would gladly kill for a cigarette right now.

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