Seeking joy and meaning in a joyless mind and meaningless existence

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Dearth of Hope

I've been thinking recently that I should go into a hospital for my depression, although it wouldn't gain me anything other than temporary respite.  My job is so stressful, and the demands of positive changes in my life takes such a toll when there's no return in my mood to help compensate.  Fortunately I'm so out of the habit of drinking that it hasn't been more than an occasional temptation, but I don't seem able to sustain any other beneficial behavior.  We live in a far from perfect society, and any attempts to seek in-patient care would only create a whole host of different problems, not the least of which financial ones.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper

Still struggling with obstinate depression.  This past weekend I was shuffling around like an old man because of the monumental effort of will it took just to put one foot in front of the other.  I was supposed to be catching up on all of the work I didn't get done while my energy and motivation have been tanked, but very little of that actually happened.  I may have to set up a GoFundMe page after I get fired for failing at my job.  (I'm not actually near that point, but juggling it all is another source of major stress.)  I've only gone to the gym six times this entire month, whereas I was going 4-6 times a week in May.  I'm trying to get it together to force myself there tonight.
My parents have gone out of town for three weeks, and I've been staying over at their place in the hopes that a change of scenery might energize me.  I've been playing the first game in the Mass Effect video game trilogy, reliving my life as Commander Shepard.  ("I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite blog on the internet!")  Ironically, almost exactly a year ago, I was at my parents while they were out of town, trying to stay sober and playing Mass Effect.  In fact, what I'm playing now is just a continuation of the new game I started back then because I eventually got derailed by Dragon Age: Inquisition.  (Just finished my second playthrough of that.)
I do worry that it's inauspicious that I wrote that previous entry two or three relapses ago.  While I don't think video games are a waste of time in themselves—they can be quite rewarding and engaging, I also worry that I'm using the distraction to avoid all of the things I need to be doing in order to move my life forward, or at least, somewhere.  But when the bare minimum in life seems overwhelming, it's hardly a conducive atmosphere to go over and above in order to undo years, if not decades, of neglect.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Anything Goes

     O brave new world,
that has such people in't.
{William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act v, Scene 1}
I went and saw a local amateur production of the musical Anything Goes this evening.  The dishy male lead's blurb in the program said that he "would like to give a huge thank you to his husband...for all of his love and support."  I was pretty taken aback and impressed.  I would expect such openness when I lived in Los Angeles, but not in my provincial Southern city.  The climate of acceptance has (fortunately) changed so drastically during my lifetime, but I never seem able to wrap my head around it.
Armand: The world changes, we do not, therein lies the irony that kills us.
{Anne Rice, Interview with a Vampire}
Of course, I am always troubled by such things (see the title of this blog), even as I'm pleased by the apparent progress.  I'm not sure if I just feel as if things have passed me by.  Or if I'm confounded since I never seem able to develop a clear picture of the actual state of tolerance around me.  Or if I'm simply jealous.  Probably all of the above.
Louis: I am at odds with everything and always have been!  I have never belonged anywhere with anyone at any time!
{Anne Rice, Interview with a Vampire}

Friday, June 12, 2015

And Here's Johnny

Presidential not-so-hopeful Ben Carson is once again bristling at questions about his opinions on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.  Instead of continuing to stick his foot in his mouth about it, now he just gets mad when it comes up.  He is one of those people who also gets angry when the struggle for LGBT equality is compared to the struggle for racial equality and says that he doesn't see gays being forced to drink at a separate water fountain.  Of course people like him do want separate water fountains in the form of "straight only" businesses who would be free to use their religion as an excuse to discriminate against the LGBT community.
It's easy to downplay and dismiss discrimination when it isn't directed at you.  I've seen no shortage of "our discrimination matters and yours doesn't" in my time, and not just from those who believe we have no claim to the mantle of civil rights (and including from among my fellow gays).  But Mr. Carson wants to be the president for all Americans, not just the ones he deems worthy of notice, so questions about his attitudes towards segments of the population are relevant to his run for office.  His unwillingness to address the issue probably won't bode well for his chances at the nomination.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Frankie Says Relax

I thought I would take a break from my self-obsessive whinging to comment on something I saw in the news.  Rev. Franklin Graham wrote an op-ed piece wherein he says his decision to move his foundation's accounts from Wells Fargo wasn't because they were gay friendly but because they were pro-homosexual "advocates" by featuring an ad with a lesbian couple adopting a special needs child.  He goes so far as to say that all individuals and businesses should be "gay friendly" (by treating LGBT people decently) but never "endorsing" (by validating our desire to live outside the uncomfortable little box people that think his way have set aside for us).

As pleased as I am to see civility from the anti-gay crowd, I can't help but view it with suspicion.  They never bothered with this veneer of "hate the sin, love the sinner" tolerance back when the court of public opinion was on their side.  They sure as hell never bothered with it when I was growing up, listening to their rhetoric and thinking that the whole world hated me with no one to talk to or to tell me any different.  They just said horrible things about "those people"—laughing, sneering, dismissing and threatening violence, and no one called them out for it.  I can only think that the anti-gay lobby is being disingenuous now, as they makes their arguments minimally palatable—so as to fly under the radar of popular sentiment—all the while continuing their efforts to marginalize us.

I honestly believe that the entire piece was an effort to save face after it came to light that his new bank has a pretty LGBT-fabulous history as well.  Rev. Graham even mentions the fact that they were associated with gay pride and apparently have a high score with the Human Rights Campaign. All in all, I think Rev. Graham's track record speaks for itself, and his words mean nothing when his deeds demean an entire segment of the population that he and people like him see as a label first and as human second.

Also In the News

The not-really-news website CNS News ran an article about seven "homosexual" ambassadors wanting trade talks to include discussions of LGBT rights.  (I love how the author put "homosexual" right in the title, as if to tip you off that their gayness automatically invalidates their position.)  The subtext, of course, is that the "gay agenda" is gaying up foreign policy like it faggots up everything else.  I made the mistake of reading the comments, and so many of them echoed these sentiments.  (One prolific commenter warned of "homosexual outbreaks," so I guess we're the zombie apocalypse.)  Whether or not you approve of someone's "lifestyle" doesn't strip them of their inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as was enshrined in our founding documents.

The main problem I have is the hypocrisy of it all.  Substitute the word "homosexual" for "Christian," and I'm willing to bet that all of these same people would be clamoring that defending foreign Christians should be a priority.  The same website even had another article taking this general tack and mentioning two (presumably "heterosexual") lawmakers sponsoring a bill calling for the global repeal of all blasphemy laws.  Where is all that indignation about interfering with other cultures and values?  (I assure you that same-sex attraction and transgenderism aren't choices, but being Christian certainly is.)  I personally agree that we should try to use our influence to improve human rights for all oppressed people, including Christian minorities.  We can start by getting out of bed with Saudi Arabia, a country that despises every aspect of our culture but wants us as its personal attack dog.  We can also start by holding ourselves to a higher standard—something that Obama has been trying to do—and not acting as if standards don't apply to us.

Monday, June 8, 2015

And Just Like the Rain

I'm in another low arc of depression.

Last Thursday at work, even though everything was going just fine, I was so tempted to storm out, quit my job and try to go on disability.  I called in sick on Friday and spent most of the last three days in bed.  I used to spend all day in bed almost every weekend, but my outlook has actually improved over the past several years.

I get tired of struggling all the time when I can't even find a reason—other than misplaced hope—as to why I bother.  Maybe everyone actually struggles that way.  Maybe not.  But you certainly won't ever find me siring any children.  I just wish I had the tools to build some kind of life for myself.

Anyway, I finally went back to the gym tonight after blowing it, and my diet, off for a week.  And I'm finally doing a load of laundry so I don't wear gym socks with my dress pants again tomorrow.  (At least I've been wearing clean underwear...Semper ubi!)  A million years ago (back in the '90's) I worked for quite a while with a cognitive behaviorist.  Her underlying message was that, if you change your behavior, your mood will eventually follow suit.  Perhaps that works for some people, but it certainly hasn't been my experience.  My mood has yet to tag along with all of the positive behaviors I've been forcing myself to perform over the past eight months and counting.  As much as I liked that therapist, I think I should get a refund for all of those sessions.