Category Archives: Pop Wisdom

Laughing at Ourselves and Our Conditions with the Peanuts Gang

Life with chronic anxiety is tough.  Always living on that edge can be exhausting so its great when we can reach out and enjoy a moment of disaction or joy.  That includes laughing at ourselves and our condition.

Linus complicating life for Lucy who just wants to color

<click to enlarge>

Is the Peanuts cartoon familiar? Much like attorneys, those of us with chronic anxiety often complicate life to a ridiculous degree and rob ourselves of simple pleasures in the process or make a bad situation worse. It’s a fact of life, but when given the chance it’s okay to enjoy a moment of mirth by laughing at our condition.

 

 

Batman and J.R. Ewing Battle a Common Enemy

sketch of batman with bats flying out of his cape
Iconic figures, Batman and J.R. Ewing, battled a common foe in theaters and on televisions across the world this summer – depression.  The portrayal of their battles provides a fantastic glimpse into the life of someone faced with severe and prolonged depression.

In Bruce Wayne, we see a tragic hero in The Dark Knight Rises who not only lost the love of his life in Rachel Dawes, but also his reason for living – fighting crime as The Dark Knight – taken away.  That double-whammy combined with the traumas of childhood plunged him into years of depression that left him isolated, stripped of all joys in life, and even more susceptible to the physical wear and tear his bodied suffered in battling Scarecrow, Joker, and the League of Shadows.

Likewise, in the revival of Dallas this summer we saw the unthinkable in early episodes: J.R. Ewing withering away alone, powerless, and not even a shadow of the former hard-driving, take-on-the-world SOB that we came to love and hate in the 80s.  For J.R. it wasn’t the loss of romantic love that drove him into depression but loss of Ewing Oil, South Fork, and the power that came from the fear he instilled in his enemies.

Photographic sketcing of JR EwingIn both cases, loss triggered their descent into depression but it was ultimately the lack of purpose and the loss of hope that kept them captive to it for years.  This despite vast resources that could have helped them get the best of treatments that medicine has to offer.

Nevertheless, both emerged from the shadows of depression and it was because they found renewed purpose in life.  For Batman it was the absolute necessity to save Gotham from the villain Bane and for J.R. it was the hope of rebuilding Ewing Oil with the discovery of vast deposits under South Fork, not to mention the opportunity to “teach” his son the rough and tumble oil business.

There is no silver bullet for dealing with depression but the lesson of their stories is obvious: finding a purpose (or a compelling goal) that speaks to the core of one’s self can be an invaluable key to winning the battle with depression.

Fantastic Artwork Courtesy of:

The Dark Knight Rises by The Fresh Doodle

J.R. Ewing by Sbsiceland

Finding Your Inner Teddy Bear

Garfield has his teddy bear and Linus (Peanuts) has his ever-present security blanket. How about you?
Garfield with his Teddy Bear

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have an item that you cherish and keep nearby for those moments when anxiety or depression risk overwhelming you?  Perhaps a special ring, a cross, a photo of a loved one, or maybe a note card with an inspirational quote?

It’s something I thought about for myself and I would love to have something like that to carry with me but nothing has ever struck me as being ‘just right’ or meaningful enough.  A few times I’ve wondered about using my law school class ring, but of course I need to lose 30lbs for it to fit. 🙂

Seriously, such an item can be a great way to ground yourself in difficult moments.  For some, it might serve as focal point for meditation or breathing exercises.  For others, the positive emotions attached to the object may be sufficient to help one begin to relax and get back into the moment.

So if you don’t have a teddy bear, security blanket or special keepsake then what’s holding you back?  If you do have a special item that you keep nearby then let us know in the comments.

Of course, one can take it to extremes like this youngster from Mr. Mom.  Enjoy!