Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Parking Wars

While working at my computer late last night, A&E's new show, Parking Wars, began on my tv in the other room. I don't usually like to watch or especially listen to shows where a lot of people are yelling, but I was engrossed and too lazy to go shut it off. Wow! What a nightmare!
The show highlighted a major problem in this country. No, not people parking wherever they want. Rather, people parking wherever they want, and then complaining when they get caught!! People break the law, or don't follow the rules, or expect the rules to be enforced for everyone but themselves. And when they are discovered, or confronted, or caught, it's somebody else's fault! I used to have this attitude, too. Thank God I got depression!
Shows like this remind me this illness has changed me in many positive ways. And as much as I can't believe it sometimes, I am actually grateful to have this illness. Of course, it is hard to remember that gratitude when depression is stealing my soul, but this life-threatening, cruel brain disease has helped reform the way I interact with this world.
I don't have to yell at the parking attendant any more because I don't park where I don't belong! If I choose to risk parking illegally, I am also choosing to accept the consequences.
Instead, and what Parking Wars clearly revealed, is the victimization so common in society today. We are force-fed this victimization every single day by our media, political leaders, churches, parents and friends. How sad...

*A bridge mysteriously collapses killing and injuring hundreds of people, and within minutes the national media suggest someone must be to blame! Negligence!
*Residents brazenly ignore public evacuation orders prior to an impending storm or natural disaster and then blame the government for their trauma. Negligence!
*Volunteers spend hundreds of hours providing services to needy people; mowing a lawn, transporting to an appointment, or painting a room, yet recipients complain the grass is too short, the transportation late, and the room the wrong color!
*Students skip class, don't pay attention, or don't bother with homework, and parents berate the teacher when that student gets an "F".

In Parking Wars, the odds were approximately 10 to 1 in favor of the violator blaming the parking patrol. The show culminated with a particularly aggregious violator complaining about how poorly she was treated by an employee. This was after the woman spent hours debating with and demanding that the employee release her car despite her multiple violations and against department policy. How much simpler would her day have gone if:
a. She hadn't parked illegally to begin with.
b. She had paid the respective fines after previously parking illegally multiple times.
c. She had kept proof of insurance, as required, in her car (or at least in her wallet, for crying out loud!!)
d. She had re-registered her car, as required, when she received the notice 4 months ago!!

But it wasn't her fault.

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