Seeking joy and meaning in a joyless mind and meaningless existence

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Only One That Matters Is Me, Me, Me

I realize I'm weeks late for this party, but I thought I would mention how pleased I was with the Supreme Court's landmark decision approving gay marriage nationally, in spite of Justice Kennedy's overly florid decision brief and Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia's whiny butthurt.  I have to be honest, however, that my personal reaction to the ruling was predictably self-absorbed, but then it's difficult not to be self-absorbed when you struggle with mental illness.  All of the celebrations of happy people just reminded me how lonely and isolated I am, and all of the excoriated rhetoric lambasting allowing human beings to form families as comes natural for them just reinforced all of the internalized homophobia in my psyche from growing up gay when and where I did.
In my mind, all of this positive improvement in the lives of LGBT people really began with the other landmark decision—handed down ten years to the day before Obergefell—that said you can't criminalize the private behavior of consenting adults because you find it icky and feel comfortable with seeing and treating a class of people as less than human.  It gladdens my heart that I've lived to see such changes in our society as our nation struggles to get closer to the lofty ideals outlined in our founding documents.
The Truth About the Gay Agenda
You can't swing a dead cat in the debate over LGBT issues without someone (religious types mostly) throwing out the pundit buzzwords "gay agenda."  So as a public service, I thought I would summarize our nefarious manifesto:
  1. As citizens, we in the LGBT community have to shoulder the exact same obligations in society.  We have to obey the same laws and pay the same taxes.  As such we refuse to live like second class citizens and demand equal access to a safe social space.  Our inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is just as sacred as yours, and we should be able to exercise that right without discrimination, harassment, threats or violence.
  2. A free society should have room for people that we disagree with, including the freedom to be bigoted and prejudiced against others, but your liberty to swing your fist ends just where our noses begin.
  3. Our visibility has led to the exponential improvement in our treatment by society, and it is unreasonable to expect us to return to wretched, marginalized lives in the closet for your comfort because you find us to be an inconvenient truth.  You have seen that we are your family members, your neighbors and your friends.
  4. Being true to certain parts of ourselves has absolutely no bearing on our character: some of us are saints, some of us are assholes and most of us are somewhere in between.
  5. We should be able to simply talk to people without having to assess them and without having to worry about their reactions and without having to remember to switch our pronouns.  You talk about your relationships in casual conversation all of the time, and we don't accuse you of wearing your sexuality on your sleeve or talking about ass play around children.  You take that luxury for granted so much so that you don't even realize that you have it.
  6. We're just trying to get through our day the same as you.  If you want to serve the public, then you should serve everyone.  In order to use a business open to the public, we shouldn't have to conform to your notions of gender and sexuality or ask your permission or be burdened with pre-clearing every purchase of goods and services beforehand to make sure we meet your criteria of what you deem acceptable.  If you're a public servant, then our taxes pay your salary as much as anyone else's, and you have an ethical obligation to fulfill your sworn oath and serve all of the public equally, regardless of your personal or religious beliefs.
tl;dr...All human beings have equal human dignity and the right to live their lives unmolested and as they see fit.  If someone's behavior isn't harming you, then you have no moral justification for abrogating or interfering with that behavior.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fade to Grey

Sent la pluie comme un été Anglais
Entends les notes d'une chanson lointaine
Sortant de derriere d'un poster
Espérant que la vie ne fut aussi longue
{Visage, "Fade to Grey"}

I'm still struggling with severe depression.  I came damn near to saying "fuck it!" this morning and getting back into bed and letting my life fall apart like a house of cards.  I've been strongly tempted enter a hospital or at least take a leave of absence from work.  But I'm not even sure my employer is large enough to fall under FMLA and figure that all it would buy me is more trouble.  I don't have any savings to fall back on and couldn't take the interruption of income.  Not to mention that I don't have anyone in my life to take up the fucking slack.  Whatever I don't do myself in my life just doesn't get done.
I've come to realize that part of the blame for my current crisis goes to my shithead psychiatrist for slashing the dosage of one my medications by a third, with no regard to how it might impact me or my ability to cope.  Never mind that I'd been on that dosage for four years, and in that four years, I never once had to go to my boss and explain that my depression was preventing me from properly performing my duties.  But I had to do that last Friday.  Fortunately, my boss couldn't have been more human and understanding during that conversation.  Unfortunately, it seems to me that she's backpedaled from that understanding somewhat since then.  Or perhaps that's just the distorted perspective of stress and unhappiness.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

You're a Spade!

I always call him that.
{Neal, The Young Ones}

Not to put too fine a point on it, I've been dealing with unbe-fucking-redonkulous depression, most likely a double depression.  Every thought seems to throw me down a rabbit hole of misery, seeing only suffering reflected in the world.  I've spent the better part of the last two weekends cloistered in bed, finally managing to roust myself yesterday afternoon.  I have to muster the energy to get out of the car when I arrive home or put on my socks or do anything that doesn't have to be done.  I was already far behind at work, and I can't seem to concentrate or get anything accomplished.  I don't know if I should throw myself on my boss' mercy and hope for the best or if I should just soldier on and hope I can keep the plates spinning without it all crashing down.

I've tried to get help, but that's a fucking nightmare.  There's this implicit myth in popular culture that all you need to do is admit you need help, and it's right there waiting for you.  For me as for most people, the world doesn't stop, even in desperate need.  I still have to go to work and pay my bills and do my laundry and shop for groceries, etc., etc.  Being a weird loner, I don't have anyone around to pick up the slack or offer me any real support.  Many times in my past I tried to stop my world, but I never got any meaningful or lasting help.  And ultimately it only caused me a whole host of new problems in the long run.  So I keep going, pantomiming the steps.

I went to see my psychiatrist, but that was a waste of time and a co-pay.  He was, of course, only interested in the two-sentence summary and can only suggest upping my dosage (and waiting three weeks in the hopes it will have an effect that isn't adverse) or adding yet another potent drug (as if three psychotropics a day isn't enough) without taking enough consideration for the devastating side effects.  (I've been on several of those medications, and they improved my mood but destroyed my body.  I'm still struggling with the obesity caused by the metabolic changes.)  I also tried to find a therapist, but that's a full-time job in itself.  I haven't been able to find one that's covered by my insurance and available nights or weekends around my job and that I liked.  I spoke to one or two, but nothing clicked, and they didn't seem right for me.  My lasts two therapists were a complete and expensive bust, and I'm not willing to sink further into the mire of debt at $25 a session without some kind of connection.

I feel resigned to the fact that my depression, my endless struggle with mood, has ruined any potential I ever had and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.  I will endure and endure and occasionally hope, only to finally one day die and be glad of it.  I lulled myself to sleep on two bad nights during this latest intensity by imagining a final exit.  Of course it was all very adolescent and "won't they be sorry when I'm gone!"  I feel as if I have talent; I feel as if I have something to offer.  But it is apparently my role to be nothing more than a placeholder in life, wringing out what little pleasure I can, and nothing more.