September 15th 2011 was R U OK? Day in Australia.

It's a day designated to raising awareness of depression and suicide, trying to make it more acceptable for people to talk about these issues openly, such that more people seek help before it's 'too late'.

In the past a few friendships began when I asked someone if they were OK. It is likely these friendships ended because I was less OK or stable than the individuals I approached were.

I guess 'R U OK?' is meant to be relateable to the young and those who text a lot, and it's a simple way of breaking the ice. Greater awareness and reduced stigma are admirable goals, but I wonder how easy it is for people with psychological difficulties to talk about possibly complex emotions on the spot.

R U OK? What it makes me think of is that you either have to answer in the affirmative, or be prepared that panicked individuals might want to put things in the hands of 'professionals', not realizing that you may have been through all that, and it either didn't help, or actually contributed to further lack of trust in life and human beings. Those who haven't 'been through all that' might be helped, if their problems fit into certain easily definable categories, but even while some people are aiming at greater awareness of issues, there is still a very great stigma in society which hinders authentic communication. I would guess that although most people don't realize it, they consider depression a character issue, not a medical or health issue. This affects how people with depression think and communicate about themselves, as well as how they are perceived.

'Character', degree of difficulty, and even consciousness itself (and the conscious control we have over our lives) are not things that can be scientifically measured, but most people have hidden beliefs or judgments regarding the people they meet, their first impressions, and many believe they are good judges of character.

Anyway, no one asked me if I am OK on R U OK? Day. I've been saying for years that I am not OK, so it is probably obvious by now that I'm not. But, maybe not. I have been surprised again and again by the comments of people who have somehow assumed I am doing better now.

I would (still) like to die now. There are days in the whole cycle when I feel desperate, like I am willing to try anything to manage to die, but if I am just going to botch it it is better to force myself to be realistic.

With my habits, is it really likely I will live to 90? Surely I must be at least halfway out?

When I check out lists of resources, look at depression questionnaires and all the rest, I feel left out right from the start. My situation just doesn't seem to fit.

Sometimes I really wish I had someone to talk to, but it's kind of pointless seeking it out when by now I can see the possible directions a conversation can go in.

Occasionally I reread some of what I have written, and I guess I have to concede that even my 'psychoanalysis', the most organized bit of writing on my site, is a mess. It is maybe like what I wrote years earlier, about not having enough energy to express myself well enough to be understood. Or is it that I am understood, but no one really cares? Or, maybe it seems to everyone that nothing can be done, or that I am noncompliant.

It's not that I want to drag everyone down. I was just trying to narrow the search, to possibly find others I could communicate with and go further with, by giving enough relevant information, by putting enough out there that others could find me. Because the 'normal' channels for accessing help are not likely to help me, I have been trying in my own way to find ways to help myself. I have some clue about boundaries and what is appropriate with particular people. At times with some unconventional people I have pushed the boundaries somewhat, but I do quickly become uncomfortable when I realize I have gone too far. At the same time, I think I can hold my own in conversation - it's really just a case of finding people with compatible communication styles or enough of a common knowledge or experience base. Or am I totally out of touch with reality?

I don't look at site statistics or logs. I do check total data transfer, which gives me some indication that I am getting a large amount of traffic to my site. And yet absolutely no one is saying anything directly to me. Years ago, when my site was less extensive, occasionally people wrote to give me feedback, and these emails were much appreciated. Now, I have no idea what anyone who visits thinks about what I put out there. I can't expect anything, I know, but it seems at least a little unbalanced.

Note: It is rare that I would neglect to answer an email sent to me. If anyone has sent me email I haven't responded to, the most likely explanation is that I did not receive the email.

A few recent pictures: glace half full (490k), dorian red, real girl and stalemate.

I know, after all these years, I am still saying the same old things. Even though I meant for this part of my site to contain more organized, thoughtful articles, it has ended up being a continuation of my diary. It's partly a way to pass time until I die. I think it's also a way of answering the question: R U OK?

-Xesce, 22/09/11















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