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Mense Horribilis
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Published Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:50 AM EDT
Apr 23 2018

The last month has been probably the worst in my life. I've lost a cat, a dog, an ex-wife; learned of the untimely passing of three friends/acquaintences months after the fact; made multiple trips to clinics and hospitals for an upper respiratory issue that apparently isn't pneumonia but an unrelenting form of bronchitis; have broken out in hive-like eruptions an ER physician said was an allergy to doxycycline but obviously isn't, since it's three weeks later and they're still there; an inability to consult with my actual physician of 46 years, who injured his back and is in rehabilitation; and a family member with majot legal problems due not to infractions of the law but the petty vindictiveness of someone whom we had embraced and cared for in times of personal tragedy.

And, of course, there's the ongoing disintegration of our republic due to daily disclosures/exposes of Trump's malfeasant administration. It's reached the point that I've considering no longer watching The Rachel Maddow Show, despite the fact it's an island of sanity in the whirlpool of ceaseless daily derangement.

In times like this, I recall the sage advice of a psychiatrist who was treating me for depression in Philadelphia in 1983. "Don't make any decisions immediately, especially when you're tired and upset. Get a good night's sleep, sit down, and ask yourself: 'What is the responsible, adult thing to do?'

"Responsible adult" seems on the verge of becoming an oxymoron these days. But, in fact, the good doctor is still in practice 35 years later, so he must know what he's talking about. He also was a dead ringer for Michael Coldsmith-Briggs III, "Archangel" in the television series Airwolf, which is probably why I gave his counsel so much weight. And over the past 35 years, I've come to realize it was the only useful advice I've ever received from a mental health professional.

So, I'm resuming my full schedule and no longer cowering in fear of whatever calamity will next befall me.

And I'm definitely going to adjust the medication.


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