Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Over the Horizon

The epiphany of the week (and maybe the decade; it is about 40 years overdue) is that I am NOT fundamentally depressive. Sure, I feel emotional pain; everyone does. For the most part I deal with it better than most people. But I have finally come to grips with the fact that the despair and depression that have haunted me for forty years are not intrinsic to my personality. It turns out that the Black Dog wears a diamond studded collar, and that it is ALL about money.

Long term money worries drove me to the edge of the abyss in February of 1976, and money has been the root of the problem EVERY TIME I have looked over the edge since then. EVERY TIME. I have been REALLY unhappy at various times in my life, but the only thing that has EVER triggered the depression is money.

This clarifies my current situation a great deal. To recap: I am unemployed, 60 years old, and have no credentials or provable job skills.

Option One: Throw myself into the job market, and take a job I don't like for a small fraction of what I used to make. Reduce expenses to balance income, cutting out nearly all sources of joy and meaning in my life in the process. This living death will continue for many years, until I am too sick to work, and then I will either die or my life will transition to something even more horrible.

Option Two: Continue living as I am now until the money is gone, and then kill myself. (Or, alternatively transition to Option One at this point, which is pretty much the same thing, anyway.)

This does not look like a difficult choice to me: Five to twenty years of general misery, against two years of being authentically happy. I end up dead at the end either way. So Option Two is pretty attractive, except that the other person who holds voting stock on the issue probably won't go for it. Quite. (Sorry, if you aren't married to me, you don't get a vote.)

This brings up Option Three, otherwise known as, "The Quest for an Escape Hatch". Which looks a LOT like Option Two, except it postulates the possibility of an alternative ending, and both requires and allows a certain dedication of resources to finding such a thing. I have a couple of ideas in mind. The odds are poor, but that's OK; I get to enjoy life for at least two years along the way.

Uncle Hyena
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