Ennui: a little light self-pity

I haven’t done a ‘Word of the Day’ analysis/discussion for a very long time, so I won’t bother labeling this as a ‘WOTD.’ Ennui is a great word, though, because it describes my situation so perfectly. It’s defined as a “feeling of listlessness and general dissatisfaction resulting from lack of activity or excitement.” Yeah, tell me about it.

I broke my knee a couple of weeks ago, had to have it surgically reconstructed, and spent five days in the hospital. Now I’m home, basically a couch-bound cripple. I can move about with the help of a walker, so I can get myself to and from the bathroom and kitchen, but everything just takes a lot more time. I no longer have access to the upstairs area, so I have to have clothing and other things brought to me from the bedroom upstairs. However, once I have them, I can dress myself without any help. I can shower without any help, but I have to sit down, as I’m forbidden from putting any weight at all on my knee for at least six weeks.

I was given a nice little stash of strong painkilling and mind-numbing opiates when I left the hospital, but I stopped using them after the first week. Right now I’m coping using only paracetamol/acetaminophen. The knee hurts but it’s tolerable, and to tell the truth I sort of like the pain. It’s distracting.

The worst thing about recovering from this kind of injury is the all-consuming boredom that sets in after a little while. One does what one can to occupy the mind. I’ve got a huge library of films and TV shows at my disposal, and I’ve got my Kindle loaded with hundreds of books, and I’ve got a brand new laptop computer, upon which I’m typing this update.

All this has helped. However, I still crave sensation, stimulation, challenge, stress, and not the kind of stress that results from not having any of the previous things.

The ennui of recovery.
A lack of all activity.
Try not to think,
About the things,
You want to do,
But cannot be.
Try not to think,
About yourself.
Just embrace,
The lethargy.
Try not to care,
And be aware,
That all you’ll get,
Is sympathy.
The one thing,
That can save you
From this ennui,
Is apathy.

3 thoughts on “Ennui: a little light self-pity

  1. I’ve never really known what ennui was. Sounds like a food item to me.
    “I’ll have an order of ennui please.”
    “Would you like that to go?”
    “No. To stay, definitely to stay. Just put it there in the corner would you?”

    • Nice. I first heard the word when I was in graduate school. We read a novel called ‘Ennui,’ about a young aristocratic gentleman who lived such a privileged life, he basically had no problems. However, this lack of problems was quite ironically itself a huge problem. He lived a life of boredom and dissipation, seeking one frivolous sensation after another. Eventually he gets into trouble and this snaps him out of it.

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