patient, suffer diarrhea like a victim of some E. coli infected water, or on the contrary get as bunged up as someone who lives on cheese alone.
One may well ask, how did you get out of law school, keep a job as a practicing lawyer, or keep this bagpipe thing going? There are likely a couple of answers. First, it is not particularly unusual for one who suffers depression to be a high-functioning person. The default defensive position of a depressive is to put on a happy front: nothing wrong with me, just have a look. But most importantly, this battle is not just mine. This is also Lily’s – my incredible, beautiful, smart, supportive and intuitive wife of 49 years, at this writing. Loves me without reservation, helps me at every turn, won’t tolerate bullshit, supports and actually pushes me into all that I do. I am truly blessed (here is an atheist mouthing the overtones of religiosity, but indulge me here). It reminds me of some wag’s wisecrack that behind every successful man stands a surprised-looking woman.
The plain truth is that it’s hard to find a simple answer. There are plenty of examples of high-functioning depressives, but I was not always one of those. Dysfunctional would best describe my general performance in many aspects of my life . . . Since I have been diagnosed and appropriately treated with the correct medications, my life has changed. That awful torment, fear, self-pity, anxiety and hypochondria are so much better. I have no embarrassment about this. I have never concealed this aspect of my life, but neither have I taken out billboard ads to trumpet my situation. I’m glad that by some combination of luck and serendipity, I got better. Maybe there is someone reading this who will see that there is a way out. Trust me, to live like that is God-awful. I say, if drugs make me better, and they do, then bring them on.
Stay tuned for the fourth and final exclusive excerpt from Bill Livingstone’s memoir, Preposterous, Tales to Follow, which is now on sale from Bill Livingstone’s website.
Bill Livingstone will be the official Guest of Honour at the 70th annual Glengarry Highland Games, August 4-5, in Maxville, Ontario, and a limited number of books will be available for purchase there, with the author signing copies.
Preposterous, Tales to Follow will be launched officially at an event at Piping Live! on Thursday, August 10th.