Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

The Statue of Liberty

Posted: May 5, 2017 in Depression

Liberty Face 2

Unpacking the face of the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess. It was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States.

When I look at Liberty’s face, the first thing I see is compassion. That’s what first struck me as a child, and that impression has stayed with me ever since.

Losing Liberties in the Name of Freedom

But over the past decade or so, our liberties have been curtailed in the names of “freedom” and “safety.” The so-called “War on Terror” has whittled away at our personal freedoms, and to what avail? One idiot tries to blow up a plane with a bomb in his shoe, and now we all have to take our shoes off to fly. How many more school shootings have to happen before we institute meaningful gun control?

“But it’s in the Constitution!” Yes it is. But so is freedom of speech and public assembly, both of which have been restricted. My right to vote was never before predicated on whether I had a driver’s license. And what kind of country allows its elected representatives of the people to exempt themselves from the laws they pass to control the people who elected them in the first place? Am I the only one who thinks about these things, and thinks they’re wrong? Am I crazy?

"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms." – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Jefferson is also reputed to have said that every generation needs its own revolution. Is it time, do you think, for our revolution against the lawmakers who no longer represent the interests of the voters but instead are nothing more than whores for the rich and the multinational corporations?

I say let the people decide.

Hello, friends. Yes, it’s been a while. Between health issues, the collapse of my marriage, and Internet problems, I haven’t been up to writing.

But I’ve had a lot of time to think. And a lot of that thinking had a lot to do with life, death, and what really matters to me. February marked the first year since my father died, and it struck me, now that both of my parents are dead, that no one here gets out alive.

I first heard that phrase on a Doors album. The album was Waiting for the Sun, and the song was “Five to One.” Little did I understand at the time just how profound that statement is. No one here gets out alive. Or, as Paul Simon put it,

We’re working our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway
When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away.

Maybe it’s the times we’re living in, or maybe it’s just my age, but I don’t think we’re focusing on the things that matter. We have our computers, and they’re connected to the Internet. We have instant access to more information than can be found in all of the libraries in the world, and what do we do with it? We post pictures of kittens on Facebook, or take pictures of our breakfast and beam them all around the world.

futuremen

Really? We have the ability to end world hunger, end all wars, eliminate poverty, and all we seem to be interested in is fluff. Bread and circuses, man. That’s what the Roman Empire offered its citizens to distract them from the fact that the Empire was crumbling from within.

And that’s what’s happening to the America Empire. It’s crumbling from within. Well, when you elect a clown, you’ve got to expect a circus.

Leonard Cohen sang, “Democracy is coming to the USA.” He was fortunate to die before the reality set in: Fascism is coming to the USA.

I woke up this morning with the intention of shutting down this blog. I’ve been in a deep, black depression for months, and I’ve felt for some time that I simply don’t have the energy to keep writing.

But then I realized that if I quit, the black dogs, the Dementors, will have won. And so I’m continuing.

Think of it as a reboot. Whenever my computer gets bogged down because of memory management problems inherent in the operating system, I shut it down and restart.

So that’s what I’m doing today. I’m rebooting my brain. Steve Wozniak, after a near-fatal crash in a small plane, said he had to rewire his brain from 0 to 1. That’s a pretty good description for what I’ve been going through for the past few months.

I’ve rebooted, and am ready to go on with my life and with my writing.

When George Harrison wrote those words, he was writing a love song. I haven’t written any love songs lately; in fact, I haven’t written anything lately. No blogs, no journals, no texts, no emails.

It’s been a rough few months. December started with my mother’s birthday, which was followed a few days later by the anniversary of her death. I spent Christmas and New Year’s alone. Next week marks the first anniversary of my father’s death, and March will have been his birthday.

I spent most of January in the deepest, darkest depression I’ve ever lived through. I didn’t leave the house during the entire month, and I only left my room for meals. I was numb. I felt nothing.

Three days ago, I was finally able to feel something. I cried at the end of a silly movie on Netflix. Last night, I cried again. It felt as if I was finally waking from a nightmare. At last, I felt something.

Today I left the house and went shopping for groceries. I stopped at the bank and withdrew my rent money. I am a functioning human being again.

And finally I can write again. Baby steps for now, but it’s a start.

So What’s The Point?

The point, trivial as it may seem, is that things do get better. It may take time—in my case, three months—but I survived.

This is not to make light of other people’s suffering; on the contrary, each major depressive episode I experience leaves me with greater understanding of and compassion for the suffering of others. All I’m saying is try to hold on, seek professional help, and survive.

My Windows Control Panel says I’m connected to the Internet:

connected

But Firefox keeps telling me

The connection has timed out
The server at http://www.google.com is taking too long to respond.

It’s been this way off and on all day. I wonder if the fact that the connection is over satellite has anything to do with it—it’s also been raining all day.

It also affects my iPhone and iPad, although I can connect via my phone if I turn off Wi-Fi and turn on Cellular Data.

Either way, it’s a pain.

One of the ironies is that my laptop is 3 inches from the Wi-Fi modem, and my iPhone is about a foot away.

Regardless, it’s a nuisance.

A Few Solutions

Wait for the problem to resolve itself.

Take my laptop to the public library.

Or get off my lazy butt and take it downstairs, where Ed doesn’t seem to have any problem with his connection. So maybe it’s just something about my room. After all, it doesn’t seem to matter whether or not the modem in my room is on or off—I just turned it off, and I still have a connection.

Or I could copy my entries to a flash drive and upload them from a different computer.

Anyway, it’s back to the drawing board. I’ll let you know what I find out.