Mind you, this is not a post. It’s a meta-post, an index to the story of my grievously curious life with generalised anxiety and major depressive disorder. This lightly commented table of contents may be useful for those who want to read the story end to end. But feel free to do whatever you like with it, of course. Once the story’s out, I’m not really its master anymore. Or slave, for that matter.
Now, without further ado, it went like this. First there was the flurry of my imagined deaths.
- How I Didn’t Die of Stroke – On mistaking a severe panic attack for an actual physical thing killing me.
- How I Didn’t Die of Heart Failure – On yet another rather visceral blow of panic.
- How I Didn’t Die of Cancer – On how it feels to die a long, slow death. Often actually several of them at once.
- How I Didn’t Drown – On how things I love were killing me in my head.
Then the chronological unfolding of the story got interrupted by a series of posts on actual premature deaths of people I used to know. The primary intention was trying to puzzle out why I was so obsessed with death in the first place.
- So What’s My Problem with Death, Anyway? (1/3) – On a high school friend dying of cancer. Also a little on forgiveness.
- So What’s My Problem with Death, Anyway? (2/3) – On what a distant and yet special dead friend meant to me.
- So What’s My Problem with Death, Anyway? (3/3) – On another cancer death, this one taking me quite by surprise.
- So What’s My Problem with Death, Really? – On how all those deaths may not have been that significant after all (as long as my madness goes, that is).
After the retrospective diversion, I was back on track with another hypothesis on what might have been killing me for real.
- How I Didn’t Burn Out – A pretty self-evident title, isn’t it?
And here goes the sort of dramatic mid-point of my mad story.
- How I Didn’t Toss My Son Off a Bridge – On an absurd event that flipped into a life-threatening crisis proper.
- How I Didn’t Kill Myself – On the pros and cons of suicide, with a grudgingly optimistic conclusion.
Few assorted posts followed, dealing with the price of my keep-on-living decision.
- How I Didn’t Catch a Fish – On a day in the life of a depressed freak.
- How I Made My Wife Cry – On one of the least advisable ways of responding to people telling you relatively important things.
- How the Strangest Thing Happened to Me – On lost rays of wintry sun, glittering in snowdrifts of the deepest darkest woods.
- How I Made My Wife Cry Again – On one of the least advisable ways of telling people relatively important things.
- How I Didn’t Get Eaten by Sharks – On a week in the life of a depressed freak. Also a little on inspiration.
Then my madness came up with a new trick, nastier than anything it had tried before. This particular crisis has, however, led to some pretty useful revelations at last.
- How My Wife Didn’t Die in Labour – On imagining my wife dying while giving birth to our daughter. Also a cryptic little ode to womanhood.
- How My Son Didn’t Die of Several Wildly Improbable Illnesses – On imagining my son dying over and over. Also a little on actual insanity and slow, deep love.
- How I Didn’t Break the Neck of My Daughter – On imagining my daughter dying due to my stupidity. Also a little on fast, mindless love.
Finally, I hope you will be happy to hear that I seem to have prevailed despite the deathly shitstorm raging in my head. And while figuring out how to save myself, I might have also learned a thing that is as profound as it is trivial.
- How I Didn’t Beat the Madness – On being honest. No, wait. On trying to be honest, as much as one possibly can.
And that’s it. Enjoy if you dare!
The feature image is a reproduction of an unknown painting originally displayed without reference on the MHA Languages Club blog. Posting this low-resolution reproduction here is arguably within the limits of fair use.