Had an interesting chat with my doctor today. He asked me what I do for fun, nowadays; the answer is "nothing." And that's been the answer for a very long time, even before The Diesease. Frankly, for way too long I haven't really been able even to think of anything that would simply be fun, much less something that I do for fun. He also said that I had mentioned the same Bad Habit from my Wild Days back in college several times, did I need for some reason to revisit that dissipated state?
And then it dawned on me... what I've been missing, and missing for a long time, isn't the state of dissipation, but the fellowship with the friends I'd get dissipated with. What I miss...are friends. Not friendly acquaintences, not cronies, not amicable colleagues: real, true friends.
It's not that "people don't like me" or "I don't like people." The friends of my college days were dear friends, wonderful friends, really smart, clever, imaginative friends... and there was something, for lack of a better word, lofty, about the affection we had, and still have, for one another, even a quarter-century after we all went our separate ways. ("But time and change shall not avail/to break the friendships formed at Yale," the alma mater says, and it's quite true.) And it's not the dissipation I miss, not at all: it's the joy of getting together with friends, specifically for the purpose of gently self-indulgent fun, and having that fun, that I miss. The joyful gusto of sybaritic enthusiasm. Fellowship. Heart-to-heart talks. And laughter--loud, long, and frequent laughter.
I have been known to say (all too often, I realize as I look back at it) that all of my friends are busy with their children, located on the East coast, or both. Or dead. That's both "only 'sort of' true" and "much truer than I like to think about."
So the prescription for my new treatment is... to reconnect with friends. And, with said friends, have fun.
Beats the hell out of injecting yourself with interferons that shred your immune system, or something like Tysabri that'll maybe turn your brain to jelly and kill you. And a lot cheaper, too.