Floating along

Today was a bad day.

The Rolling Stones were wrong.  We’ll get back to them in a minute.

There are two people who had a profound influence on me since I was a little kid.  First and foremost, Jim Henson.  Since his time with Sesame Street to the Muppets and his movies, there was just something about his work that was brilliant and creative and sweet, but dark when necessary.

There other was A.A. Milne. And believe it or not, it wasn’t the Winnie the Pooh stories, but the poetry.  I read those poems a lot.  One of my favorite poems was one entitled “King John’s Christmas”.  If you haven’t ever read it, I highly recommend it.  (I recommend both collection of poems, “When We Were Very Young” and “Now We are Six.”)  Anyway, “King John’s Christmas” is about King John, and all the things he wants, most especially a “red, india-rubber ball.”  But Father Christmas doesn’t bring him any of the things he asks for, but at the end, a ball that the kids outside were playing with bounces into his room and he ends up with it.

Now, there are many lessons from the poem, but what I’m writing about today is not getting what you want.  Which is where the Rolling Stones come in.  Despite it being one of my favorite songs, they’re wrong.  It’s not that you can’t always get what you want, but you never get what you want.  And like King John, I don’t really want much.  Sure there are things that I would like to have, but what I want deep down, if I get what I want, it’s purely coincidental.

I just go along with it all.  I just do what others want.  I don’t get what I want.  I don’t even get what I need.

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It’s ok to lose

Today was a good day.

I’m an attorney in family court, and unlike other lines of litigation, I typically don’t like to couch cases in terms of winning and losing.  Sometimes it makes sense to put it that way, but often, due to the nature of family court, it’s not very accurate.

I had two adult clients that I met with today.  They are two very different people, but in each case they’re losing.

The first is a man about my age.  He had a good life: wife, kids, house, good job.  But then his mind betrayed him.  I’ve only been involved recently, but for the past several years he has been in and out of psychiatric facilities.  Now, his wife is going to divorce him, he has limited access with his kids, and he has been in the pysch unit of a hospital (Author’s note: I know it’s now referred to as the Behavioral Health Unit, but in our parlance, we refer to it as the psych unit) for about two months and is going to be transfered “temporarily” to a more intensive psychiatric hospital.  All he wants to do is see his kids, and he is very concerned that the judge in the case is going to be mad at him for missing court because he’s been in the psych unit.  He very much sees things in a black and white dichatomy.  He is very much afraid of losing.

Every time I meet with him or speak to him on the telephone, I have to reassure him that all anybody wants is for him to get better, because even his soon-to-be ex-wife’s attorney is not happy about this case. (Can he go too far in his representation of his client? Absolutely, but there are too many unknown variables.)  There was a plan, but his brain betrayed him, and now, we’re all just fumbling along.  There are no winners, but sometimes it’s ok to simply accept how things are, and do what’s best for everybody, as best as we can.

As nice and as pitiful as he is, my other adult client today is the complete opposite.  She is a mean, bitter woman. Think about a stereotypical mean grandma in any Hollywood comedy and that’s my client. (Author’s note: I don’t mean to sound sexist here, but she really is like that.)  She filed what’s known as a Family Offense petition against her adult daughter.  (A Family Offense proceeding is similiar to a criminal proceeding, except it’s in a civil court, and the only possible outcome is an Order of Protection.)  I’m not going to say nice things about the daughter because she’s not much better than her mother.  As far as I can tell, from what’s been conveyed to me by other attorneys who have been involved for over 15 years with these two, this is just the way they are: crazy and mean.

I’m assigned to represent this woman, and I had to draft an amended petition because the one she filed didn’t allege anything close to a family offense, and when I went over at that early stage what the allegations would be, looking at the evidence, I knew there was no family offense.  But I took what there was, cobbled it together, and we ended up in a trial.  After the presentation of all of the evidence, the petition was dismissed.

Now, was it unethical for me to have done an amended petition and gone to trial on it, knowing it wasn’t proveable?  Slightly, but here’s the thing when you represent indigent people, and this is where I can be very cynical: Sometimes, all they want is to have their day in court and be heard. I could have sat down with my client and gone through the evidence and pointed out how everything she was saying was not a family offense.  But it would have done no good, and as assigned counsel, I don’t have the luxury of telling people “no” in situations like this.

The absolutely correct decision by the Judge was to dismiss it, for my client to have “lost” her case, because she created this situation many years ago in how she raised her and treated her and still treats her, and as mean and “crazy” as her daughter is, it wasn’t anything illegal, just incredibly stupid.  Of course, the icing on the cake was that my client’s bf said to her as they left the courtroom was that they’d get enough money to hire a real attorney, but I’m not surprised by that one either.

As for me, I have a reputation around court of being able to handle very difficult clients.  Very things rile me up (although there is one attorney I absolutely lost it with because she did do something completely unethical, and I shocked everybody because I let her have it, causing such a commotion that Court security came running), and I don’t let the clients bother me.  She isn’t the first difficult client I’ve had, and she won’t be the last, and you just have to roll with it.  Because otherwise, you can end up losing and that wouldn’t be a good thing.

Stop me if you’ve heard this joke before…

Today is a good day.

I write this blog primarily for me.  I’ll be honest.  This allows me to work through issues and problems (and the good things, when there are some) of my life, knowing that everything I do is through the lens of living with depression.  I don’t get many views, which is ok (Not really, but I accept it. I would love for lots of people to read what I write.), and even fewer comments.  But I received a comment today that really bothered me.  I don’t censor comments that people write, so I approved it and responded, and I’m not going to go back and take what the person wrote and my response and put it here, but I’m going to expand upon what I perceived and my response.

If you’ve ever attended some sort of religious practice/school consistently, you’ve heard the joke about the flood, and the guy on the roof, and praying to God to rescue him, and people come by to resuce him, but he says he’s waiting for God, and he ends up drowning, and in heaven, he confronts God, asking why he didn’t save him, and God says he sent all those people.  If you haven’t, well, it’s not so much of a joke as a parable, but it’s best told like a joke.  Trust me on that one. Anyway, it’s that sort of theology that bothers me, not that God intervenes in our lives through mediaries, but that everything can be solved by praying to God and he’ll take care of it all.

It’s not a theology that I subscribe to, but if it is for you, then who am I to tell you not to hold to it; you might want to consider stopping reading this post right now then.  I find that it is lacking in nuance and real-world situations.  It’s fine to believe in God (or a higher power, you’re preference may vary).  It’s fine to put your trust in God.  It’s fine to believe God has a purpose for you.  What is not fine is that if you pray hard enough, and do things exactly as written in the Bible, well then everything will be peachy keen

My one big problem with this theology is how utterly simplistic it is.  Pray, accept Jesus as your savior, and everything will be ok.  It’s extremely egotistical.  Maybe that’s fine for you, but how does that help others, because isn’t that what Christianity is about?  It’s no different than those televangelists who preach the “prosperity gospel.”  And I don’t like how I am, so if I pray, I’ll be different, because accepting that even if it were possible, does that mean God made you wrong on purpose?  (Or is there some “sin” that I have that I don’t know about, or maybe it’s some ancestors “sin”?)

Praying that I won’t suffer from depression any more isn’t going to cure it.  I am sure that there would be people who would say that it’s because I don’t have enough faith is why it doesn’t happen, as though prayer is a simple panacea for all ills.  If that were true, the world would look a lot different than it does.  We are who we are.  We are constructed the way we were, whether by some divine plan or through simple randomness, and that is what we have to live with.  Does anybody really want to be this way?  If there was some way to change myself so I wasn’t depressed, living with the fear of succumbing to the bad thoughts, don’t you think I would do it.  Do you really think I haven’t tried everything, even prayer?

I shouldn’t be bothered by this as much as I am.  I’ll admit that.  But, I suppose, the entire purpose of my blog is to help people think about things, let them know that they’re not alone in suffering from depression, and maybe, just maybe, we all can get through this together.  Some simplistic theology is anathema to all of this and, quite frankly, counterproductive.

By the way, I don’t like to often speak up about this, but here are my bona fides: 17 years of Catholic education; Minor in Theology; continued study of theology outside of a school setting focusing primarily on early Christianity, the Vatican II and post Vatican II church, including the retrenchment of the curia following the close of the council, and mysticism, including Catholic mysticism, eastern mysticism and Islamic mysticism.  So, I think I might have some idea what I’m talking about when it comes to Christian religion.

Holy Shit! updated

Today was a bad day.

So, I just wanted to do an update on my last post. It’s pretty much what I expected to happen.

So, after my drawing got all those likes and reblogs, my fear was that I was going to do things and be right back to where I was before.  I do quite a bit of fan art, partly because I like it, but also because I know other people like it.  There are a few people who follow me who like a webcomic called “Check, Please!” Not my thing, but, it doesn’t have to be, so I did something that I hoped they would like.  Nothing. A sketch I did of Miles Callisto (Miles from Tomorrowland, a Disney Junior show, don’t ask) got more interest.

Today I also got sketcher’s block.  I tried to do several different drawings, but nothing.  I’m not happy with them.  I’m just uninspired.  I know part of it is because I’m trying to figure out what I can do with my drawing, and my limited ability.  I was always a fan of the Far Side, and I love Pearls before Swine, and I know it takes skill, but both of those creators use a limited drawing style that would work for me, only I just have no clue where to go with it.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day for drawing, but being my typical pessimistic self, I doubt it.

Holy shit!

So, by now, readers are aware that before I begin my post of the day, I give an update on how may day was, and whether it was a good day or a bad day, but I’m going to skip that and end my post with it.

Since mid-September or so, I’ve been working on drawing, which I believe I have talked about before on my blog, in one form or another.  I’m not particularly good at it because I’ve really only been doing it since then and I’m entirely self-taught.  Also, as is pretty much obvious from most of my posts, I have absolutely no self-esteem, and boy does it apply to my drawings and my artistic ability.

I have a tumblr blog where I post the things I’ve done.  I did Inktober, I do fan works for those things I like and for things others like, and I try and draw every day, even if it’s just a quick sketch in my little book.  I had posted a Doctor Who picture I had done yesterday, and the official tumblr reblogged it.  Holy shit. And then, not only did they reblog it, but people kept liking it and reblogging it.  Holy fucking shit.  I’m competely floored.  Not because I think it’s no good, because even I think it’s not all that bad, but that so many people thought it was good enough to like and share it.

I honestly can’t believe it happened.  Totally serious.  I’ve had random people like other pieces, but that’s one or two here and there.  Nothing like this.  And I’m thrilled. Of course, I’m already looking at the down side of this and that nothing I ever do again will be liked by as many people. But at least for today, I’m enjoying this.

So how was my day?  Today was an awesome day.

I fucking hate depression

Today is a bad day.

I know I haven’t been writting in my blog a lot, but I’ve been busy between work and holidays and all of that.  I keep meaning to, but usually when I have a thought to write about, I’m nowhere near my computer.

So, here’s the thing about depression that just sucks.  It doesn’t go away, not truly gone, because essentially what it is is the way your brain is wired.  (Full disclosure, this is purely based on my own experiences.  If you have suffered from depression in the past but no longer do in any way, shape, or form, congratulations.)  Therapy and medication can only help you cope with it.

And I fucking hate that.

It’s so very easy to just go right back to having negative thoughts.  I recently heard a psychologist talk about MDD being either in partial remission or full remission, but that’s just so I think the doctor can feel good about themselves.  Having MDD is like being an alcoholic; if you’re an alcoholic, you’re always an alcoholic, even if you never have a drink again.  If you have MDD, you always have MDD, even if you no longer have another episode.

And I fucking hate that.

I have so many triggers, it’s not funny.  Navigating each of those without having a depressive epsiode is hell.  I’m a big Doctor Who fan, and there was a scene last series where there’s a boy standing in the middle of a hand-mine field.  It’s brilliant.  But that’s depression.  Each trigger is a hand sticking up from the ground, waiting to grab you and destroy you.  There is no way out, because it is endless.  Maybe you can get by one, or two, but eventually one will get you.

And I fucking hate that.

I want to not be depressed.  I want to not have triggers that will send me into an episode.  I want things to not bother me the way they do.  I want to feel better and think better about myself.  But I know, it’s just not going to happen because that’s not the person I am, and maybe, it’s just what makes me me.

And I fucking hate that.