Friday, April 20, 2007


(PICTURE: The author with happy juice at a Bangkok river.)
I didn’t want to make that piece on Richard Jeni (About Depression 1, below) about me. He was a great comic and deserved to stand alone. So I’m putting in this second article about my recent depression. Depression is something that seldom hits me. I seem to have been born with the good humor gene. Or perhaps, since clinical depression has been blamed on a chemical imbalance, perhaps constant good humor is also a chemical imbalance. Having a constantly high blood pressure (around 150) all my life might contribute to my good humor; it has certainly helped my sex life.

Then about a month ago I got hit with a period of depression. Three things happened at once. First I was having trouble with a computer game I joust with daily. I worried, at my advanced age, if my mental faculties were beginning to fail. (I will write more on this.)

Second, unbeknownst to me, I was coming down with a cold. Colds used to be something I experienced once in a decade. Here in Thailand I seem to be getting them once a year. Usually I can tell in advance when one is coming on but this one snuck up on me. It was a bad one.

Third, I discovered that this blog was ranked below 4 millionth in popularity. The estimated readership was one per day. That after more than two years work. Can you say “failure?”

Believe it or not, that is not what depressed me, although even I thought so. What depressed was the thought of ending this blog. It seems totally pointless to continue when there is practically no readership so ending it seemed logical. I considered the pros and cons for a couple of weeks.

So this is what I came up with; this is the bottom line: Writing this blog makes me happy! And just like that, my depression was gone. It’s somewhat like Anna Wang in that piece Interesting People below. She tried to live on $400 a month although she was a multi-billionaire because it made her happy. I will continue writing this blog that no one reads because it makes me happy. Neither decision makes sense, but so what?

So now compare me to Richard Jeni. There is some area of similarity there in that we both strive to be creative. He, if not the greatest comic in America, was certainly in the top ten. He recently won the comic of the year award. But, plagued by chronic depression, he kills himself because his calendar wasn’t full.

Depression is a terrible thing.

I, on the other hand, continue with this failed blog because, even if no one reads it, writing makes me happy.

Good humor is a marvelous thing.


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