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Friday, January 11, 2019

Depression and the like: An awful discovery of what some have to fight all their lives


To be alone in a crowd is the 
loneliest feeling 
in the world.


Social isolation is a state of complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society. It differs from loneliness, which reflects a temporary lack of contact with other humans.

I had that experience when recovering from my eye surgery last month. The repair of a macular hole in my right eye required me to be in a 'face down' position for most of a full week. (That's me with my head face-down and a tumbler of coffee with a glass--not paper--straw while watching television with the help of a special mirror reflecting every commercial so I don't miss anything important.

IT REALLY SUCKS though--the position, not the straw thing. I did get a few rest breaks, like eating big-person style. but still had to sleep on my stomach and look at my shoes when standing, walking or riding in a car.

I did create a blog post with laptop screen on my legs and keyboard in full accordion-playing position, but really, this is not what you want to do unless you have no choice, The
means however, justify the end as the hole in my macula was pushed back to its normal seeing position by the magic gas inserted in the space between the cornea and its covering. (Oh, the gas required me to wear a green medical bracelet warning anyone that I could NOT fly or drive across mountains or my head would explode (my euphenism for possible blindness as the bubble would expand.)

The feeling of not being part or any crowd, family or social happening is surprisingly uneasy, and this was just a temporary thing for me. You can have a conversation but you are talking to the floor while someone speaking to you has nothing but a balding head as a target. And you don't hear as well either. (Note to the dating: don't try this at home or some intimate restaurant outing.)

It does make you realize how crippling not being part of any social network is. It is a lonely, negative feeling. And to think that there are literally millions of people who, for other reasons most likely, aren't in the world around them. It is a depressive state that happens to humans and animals from monkeys to mice and more.

It gives some rationale to a courtesy that should be more common... a nod, greeting or smile to any passerby could be their miracle for the day. And while I know this is not a cure, I can say any smile makes someone better, even if it is just the you. 

So two takeaways for me: smile more, don't have a macular hole and don't be depressed. We can only control one of those actions but hey, if you are a major league baseball player, one out of three hits could put you in the Hall of Fame. Be a Hall of Famer. 


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