Saturday, October 7, 2017

Suicidal Depression & Nutrient Malabsorption

Shun the Messenger

We kicked off our snow boots in the mud room and padded into the warm kitchen in woolly socks, carrying dishes for the community potluck.

At which point normalcy stumbled into the long winter's night. The wife of the hosting couple had drunk herself into a rage-a-thon, interspersed with blubbering.

The husband, looking shame-faced, but smiling rigidly, was skulking around the periphery, gathering up down jackets, knit caps and mittens.

I had ridden with friends. Realizing I was trapped for the duration, I sent out a quiet bleat to the universe for snow tires of my own. 

The friends, with whom I'd arrived in a big SUV, were Love-and-Light practitioners. Never be negative or pragmatic. Imagine Ascended Master intervention; do not succumb to the scene in front of our noses.

They offered affirmations and frantic gaiety.

I didn't know the woman well, newly arrived at far north latitude. She turned to me and explained that she planned to kill herself before the night was out.

"Oh?" I nodded kindly. "Have you decided on a method yet?"

And began a discourse on the messiness and/or pain of various approaches. 

The driver of my group was making noises like a steam engine at malfunction. 

She wailed, "I don't know why I feel so desperate!"

I nodded again and waited till she asked a question.

"Why?! Make it stop!! Why? WHY?!!"

She was given to histrionics, and if not catered to, shaming of the listener to manipulate desired outcome.

"Why?.. Well, the immediate answer would be that you're rip-roaring drunk."

My driver tried to grab me by the arm and drag me out of the room. I shook him off.

The booze-blasted woman, slurred out, "No, let her speak." 

"The more hope-filled answer would be that you're experiencing malabsorption: missing the anti-stress B-Vitamins and calming minerals. The problem is biochemical.

"You're gut is all chewed up by a food allergy; it hurts. You and others in that situation self-medicate to stop the pain. With booze, drugs, shopping, gambling, sex, obsessive use of electronics... Whatever."

She blinked and though soused, mumbled,"What do I do?"

"Well, very few of us on God's green earth care for the answer.

"It involves finding other treats than chocolate eclairs, most pizza, spanakopita, pretzels and chips. Hot dogs at ball games. Lots of hot button foods."

"I can't do that!"

"Not many have the moxie or the scrape-bottom motivation. I hear you."

I started to turn away. 

"Wait! How would that make me feel better or... less mean?" She glanced at her husband.

"Good question: If your gut were not chewed up and you could absorb vitamins and minerals, you'd find yourself in a new country where days grew brighter and your step more hopeful.

"You likely are living out what's called gluten-intolerance. It tends to run in alcoholic family lines. Stress can trigger the tendency and the turning to addictions.

"Finding gluten-free treats and eating options can actually soften despair, and even melt away cravings."

She sank down into a chair. My driver hustled me out the door; told me to get in the SUV and not even think about rejoining the potluck. It was cold.

Stony silence on return. Later that week I was to rejoin the group to ride to an evening symphony performance an hour away.

I arrived early by the road and stood in my felt-lined boots stamping my feet in the snow. The rest of me otherwise elegant.

My neighbors emerged from their driveway with a nearly full car. Everyone looked my way. The car turned north without me. So much for the season ticket I'd bought with great joy.

I walked the long driveway home, tears nearly freezing on my cheeks. The woods were still, as the 'silent treatment' is not. Nonetheless, the woman lived.

Thanks for reading & reviewing
the four
Wayfaring Traveler books.


  1. Folks in AA have likely already surmised that the driver was in fact a bonhomie heavy drinker, a maintenance alcoholic.

  2. I hope the woman changed, or at least avoided ending her suffering in the most permanent fashion.


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