I’m having a bit of a bad time right now.

A couple days ago my wife’s best friend buried her mother.  I buried my mother in law in January. I buried my biological mother in December.  None of them went well. There were long years of severe disability. Long years of anger and paranoia followed by complete dementia and physical incapacity.

Every other male of my age or more in either my married, biological or adoptive family is long dead. I am just about the oldest person I know now. Being the “patriarch” just means you’re the next one to die.

My short term memory is gone. I am a creature of lists and alarms.

The doctors are getting excited about all the body parts they’ll get to replace, starting with cataract surgery and knee replacement surgery. My right knee started aching continually from the first rains of December until now.  I just got a cortisone shot that will keep the pain down as long as I don’t use it too much. To make things perfect, my right arm has raging tennis elbow.  I have a wrist brace and a forearm strap that keeps the pain manageable as long as I don’t use it too much.

But then I’m also pre-diabetic. So I’m supposed to exercise more and not eat sweets.  I don’t eat sweets now and haven’t for years. I have some arthritis in every major joint in my body and a few minor ones. That exercise is getting more difficult on a daily basis.

I quit my job almost 3 years ago because I could no longer juggle five things in my head at a time.  I also quit because I couldn’t deal with the constant pressure to “produce” under mutually conflicting demands. I also quit because I had no future there. There was never a promotion track for someone who was technically competent but lacking “people skills”.

So now I’m working as a substitute teacher. The pay is vastly less but so is the stress. But the greatly reduced pay itself is a cause of stress. The same stupid bills to pay on a lot less revenue. I am very glad I am not a materialist.

Things that used to make me happy now make me cry. I have to be careful about what I watch. Shows that used to cheer me up now leave me feeling that I wish life could have been that way and feeling very down about it. Just started watching “In This Corner of the World” and not sure if I should continue. It may be too sad for me to handle. It has gotten more difficult to enjoy love stories even. Dark fantasies and noir are my mainstays now.

Maybe I should go back onto the Prozac. I quit it a year ago because while it kept me from the depths of despair, it also kept me from being truly happy about anything. While I was on Prozac, I couldn’t cry.

There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Age doesn’t reverse itself and I am aging early.  I just have to learn to see in the dark.