Depression and what it's really like

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There's a lot of talk on this board about depression. Everything is relative, of course. Antidepressants are panaceas with only 5% medical benefit. Most just feel low, or more accurately frightened and confused about what may or may not happen on this planet in months/weeks to come.

But depression.

Short, productive, alert periods punctuated by long bleak stretches of nothingness. Inability to communicate. Stay in bed. Long periods just sitting numbly, blankly, waiting for the tabula rasa to fill magically. Of course it never can. Can't speak, can't write, can't concentrate apart from endless agony induced by what has happened.

Discovering the true meaning of heartache - the ribs on the left side actually produce a dull stress-induced pain, right underneath the heart. It is literally broken.

Wondering how many more fucking days I can tolerate waking up, feeling this cold, pointless emptiness, thinking only "I could have gone last night. No need to have suffered through another of these hellish days."

(N.B.: for newcomers, read the "Marcello and Laura" set of threads on this board for the whole story. Brief summary: widowed almost seven weeks ago, imminently to become homeless)

Dora Carrington only lasted seven weeks after Strachey died.

No one left to be hurt by anything I do or don't do. Joke family keen that I let them know when I move so that they can have the coffee table.

Nothing more to say about music, certainly not on ILM. It's all been said/done/pastiched/analysed. Served its purpose.

Not sure if I have anything more to say about anything. Work continues; providing sole structure in my life at the moment.

House-hunting. What a joke. Like applying for a fucking job. Crap about "fitting in" and "selling yourself." I haven't got the energy or the will to do either. I just want it out of the way.

You try your best, get brief incandescent flashes, but are ultimately flattened by the complete fucking pointlessness of it all.

Mentally I can't cope with this for much longer. Nor physically.

I could have pressed the return key 30 times and just left a big blank space. That would have said it all equally well.

Depression, people. That's what it's like.

An effort even to type this.

Yeah but it's just post-bereavement grief Marcello. Everyone goes through it. You're not losing it. It's natural. Six months from now you'll

No I won't. I know me too well for that.

Self-pity man. Wallowing in it. There's a



Can anybody think of a reason why I should go on?

Not Dead Yet, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

depression for me was waking up and thinking "can i go please go back to sleep again?"

reason to go on living? to remember things, to be with others, to do the things that you need to do.

marianna, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I'm very sorry you're feeling this way. I empathize. Around a year ago I was at my lowest depths with this disease and asked myself the same question you are every day: why bother? i can't give you an answer, everyone has to find it for themselves. But I can urge you to keep looking for it. Isn't that a reason in itself?

Get some help. Do you have a therapist or doctor you can go to? A good friend? Ask for help from someone. An excellent therapist who has really become more friend was the only person/thing in my life to keep me going at times. I'm eternally grateful to her. I hope you can find a similar life raft.

Remember above all else, no matter how unlikely it may seem now, you can live through this. One day you will feel better. Make that your goal, to see that day, and you have your reason to keep on going.

Samantha, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

No one can tell you why you should go on. It's up to you to decide why you should go on - anything anyone else says will come off as empty or cold or unfeeling or just not "sympathetic" to what you are feeling, no matter what the intention was.

I mean, listen, I am so not trying to be cold, but I've been there. I mean, good god, the night I met my fiance I went on a complete bender, and ended up sobbing on the floor trying to slash my wrists with the first knife I could find (thankfully for me now, a butter knife - I was really piss drunk. Those things do damage though, surprisingly). And there's really nothing anyone can say or tell you is good about your life that is going to stop you from feeling that way, that's the way depression is, real hardcore depression at least.

The only thing I can tell you is that it's too soon into it to judge. If you keep telling yourself hang on for another day over and over, you might eventually find for yourself your reason to keep going. You just have to take a deep breath and say, "One more day. I will pretend to be normal for just one more day". And then say that tomorrow. And the day after. So on and so forth.

This might not help you or save you or stop you from doing what you currently seem to believe is inevitable. But it might just stay you long enough to find your way out of what's going on in your head right now.

You might want to go seek some sort of help, be it professional or otherwise, but being as I always refused to, I am being hypocritical to suggest it. I do hope you can find the strength to ask someone for help though, because once you do it really DOES help.

Ally, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

"Can anybody think of a reason why I should go on?"

I'm not going to give a reason why you should go on Marcello, it'll be difficult to give a reason that you won't immediately dead-bat anyway. But, of course, you must go on and I can't think of a reason why you shouldn't.
But have you spoken a bereavement councellor at all? There are people who will understand and can help you. You have a family, have you spoken to them? It sounds trite but you aren't alone and you needen't feel alone. You just need some help Marcello, and no-one could blame you for how you feel but you must try to seek and accept help.
Thing's change. They always change.

DavidM, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Sure. Here's a damn good reason to go on:

There's all schools of thought about what happens when you die. There's all schools of thought about why there's "good" and "bad" in the world. Depressed people are usually fixated on "good", "bad" and "death", basically due to desires unfulfilled or seemingly unable to be fulfilled.

There's a bunch of people that believe a "perfect" God would somehow create a perfect entity that would turn "bad" (Satan) and convince people to doubt God's perfection (namely, by eating from the tree of good and evil), and, thereby causing this world of misery... Let's think about this for a second: perfect beings, according to this old lore, choose evil.

Why would that be?

Let's talk about reality, now, not old stories:
When everything is great, people still find much to complain about, sometimes more than people who lead miserable lives of poverty. This is because this is how the mind works. For instance, how long can you concentrate on one good thing and have it remain "good"? Everything's "goodness" and newness wears off because we live from moment to moment and it is impossible to freeze one moment of goodness in time, while continuing to move forward with our lives. Our minds label a thing as "good" or "bad" and has the tendency to move on, eager to label the next thing "good" or "bad". If you make a million dollars, you will quickly get used to the idea, rather than being fixated on how "good" it is to be rich, and you will start focusing on other desires. Whether the desire is for another million dollars or for finding someone who really "loves" you is not important. You follow your desires, and are neither fulfilled before you achieve your goals or after you achieve your goals.

Why is this?

Imagine that you attained perfection. How long would it last? Only for the moment. The rest of the time you would be trying to "freeze" this perfect moment in time forever, remembering how great it is to be perfect. But, it couldn't last and it wouldn't last. This is the way the universe works: everything is in flux.

So, then, imagine you kill yourself. Is that really the end to your misery? Science has many new ideas regarding creation of life, how the universe works, etc. One thing that sticks out is the fact that the universe has proven itself to be an intelligent system. Evolution occured, most likely, not out of chance, but by intelligent choice. The fact that the universe is nonlocal proves that everything is interconnected through some mysterious and invisible force (dark matter, perhaps?)

So, then, let's say you blow your head off. You are gone, in the mind of who you are. But, the greater intelligence of the universe still exists, and, in some way, you are part of it, you return to it. There really is no escape, except maybe from your minute perspective that currently resides in the shell of your head. Better to enjoy the individual perspective your body can provide while you have the opportunity. If you are striving to be happy, you will never be happy. You will always be striving to be happy. If you simply are happy in every moment, there is nothing to strive for... and that is the difference, as trite as it seems. Each shitty moment will pass, but it is only considered "shitty" if you choose to label it as such. So, let's say you're girlfriend dumped you... or you are ugly as sin... these are things you can dwell on or use as an opportunity to explore new things... like, dating or, if nobody finds you attractive in the least, there are many things that can fill the seeming void of companionship. After all, many people are dissatisfied with the companionship they aquire, even if they're get lots of it from lots of different people every week.

If nothing is interesting to you, seek out things you can identify with, like books on existentialism. It sounds like you are reeling from the futility of existence. But, existence is not futile. That's what it does. It just keeps existing... and there really is no escape from existence, there is only different perspectives about existence. Note: I am not suggesting you will be reincarnated, but whatever comes after death (and nobody really knows), one thing the universe shows us is that everything is the same and there is no "good" and "bad". There will always be suffering, change, etc. Be glad you are not living in worse circumstances, in the filth and ignorance of the dark ages, for instance.

Nude Spock, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Oh yeah, and I'd like to add that everyone is in the same boat. It just seems like other people are different, when, in reality, their experiences, attitudes and decisions have led them to be the people they are, for better or worse. Everyone pretty much starts out an innocent, ignorant little diaper-wearer and goes through a life-long process of having problems, one after another, that they deal with and learn from. People who fixate on the same problems day after day haven't learned to deal with or learn from these problems and it's usually due to an inability to accept the fact that they can't be who they want or get what they want, etc., rather than working toward goals and focusing on worthwhile emotions related to what you have or what you will have in the future... or just simply being happy that you see things your own way. I get lots of enjoyment out of realizing miserable, offensive people don't have the ability to see things like I do, rather than letting their misery rub off on me. I'm not happy they're miserable... or shallow or fake or ignorant... I'm happy I can identify their problems, rather than be concerned about what they think my "problem" is. For instance, why should it make any difference to me if some snooty bitch asks me if I shop at Walmart? Or if some bohemoth asks me if I'm a fag or somethin'? Or if some miserable fuck tells me I'm a complete moron? It doesn't matter.

Nude Spock, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

just one.

because death is for wussies.

okay, two.

because you'd be insulting laura.

(when alexis was taken from, suddenly, with no build up, just...alive, vibrant, calling me on her cell on the way to the airport at the beginning of the week and then...cold, in a box, made up by some ghoulish mary kay girl to recapture that flush she got when she was excited or turned on or laughing or angry or...alive...but that light had now gone felt as if nine years had been eradicated from my life...i spent months feeling as if i was being cotinually...raped...mentally...and...i cant count the number of times i stood in front of a mirror...and thought...very big had never seemed slip away...

what stopped me?

imagining me doing something so stupid and fucking have a fucking GIFT, have the years she better fill them...every minute...with as much LIFE as you can...cuz like a baby you're eating for two now...and even if i ever find someone to make me feel the...unfettered joy...that she brought...i'll still be living the rest of my life FOR her in so many ways.

so don't do it.


jess, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

That's a wonderful reply Jess. Marcello, I'm sorry for the inadequacy of my reply. It's based on my experience with depression but obviously your depression springs from an experience I haven't shared. Either way I think the ultimate advice is the same: find some help. It is worth it to keep going and you will find the strength in yourself again. Take care of yourself.

Samantha, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

i just wanted to point out that the above wasn't intended to be crass at all. it was all totally genuine and heartfelt. marcello, i don't know how many years you and laura shared together and frankly, it doesn't matter. i understanding (if i can't know how you feel) of what it's like to lose...your soulmate...since i know how i felt/feel...since it happened to me. but death begetting more death is just that, an insult. i know that you know this; i know. because, deep down, i knew it too. which is why i am typing this and not in my own box. why would i want to spread the feeling which had crippled my mind and shattered my heart to my own loved ones? you're...not going to feel better. for a long time. why should i lie? but...the pain does fade. the pain will fade. in time. slow, agonizing time. but fade nonetheless. i still wake up often having dreamed of her and weep like a child until morning. i still get caught up short in my daily activities when i recall just...her looks, her smell, the sound of her voice saying certain words... but i no longer long for death. and i feel like you'll eventually feel the same.

jess, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Jess, I was being sincere. I thought your reply and advice were very good.

Samantha, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

(whoops, samantha, i started posting that before i even saw your reply. no harm no foul.)

jess, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

During depressive episodes, the normal logical mind is "hijacked" by thoughts and emotions of negativity and hopelessness. The depressed person lives ina cloud of self delusion. Life is not without its beauty and triumph, and if you can't see that you are being blinded from it. Suicide is futile.

Mike Hanle y, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

My god jess, I wouldn't apologise. That sounded so sincere that I felt it all for myself to the point of being in tears, and still now choked up. The burden of the living - I know another story too, just two weeks ago my friend's young neice died just a few days before her fourth birthday. I have a photo of her here on the table, she looks so sweet, like any other little kid - not sick at all. My friend is absolutely heartbroken - but she's been so incredibly strong and graceful ever since it happened, that it's almost beautiful, if you take my meaning. As if she knows that the only way her neice can live on is if the people left behind remember her, not so slight a thing. Marcello, all I can add is that what jess said rings true. Try to be patient and brave - in a world so complex that the unthinkable can happen, there are a lot of other unknowns out there too. Stick around.

Kim, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

My sadness/despair/depression seems so little compared with yours. For a couple of hours on the weekend I was immobilised by the thought "There is no point" - due to the fact that I am single, no one loves me, no one visits me, no one rings me up, no one emails me. Except my dad (and he lives over the ocean). What have I achieved in 28 years? Nothing. My dad loved me from the day I was born - I have never progressed from that and he loves my mum more than he loves me anyhow, so I am not the most special person in the world to anyone. I have made no impact. I am meaningless. There is no point.

I still think there is not point but I'm not immobilised now. I can't tell you any reason to go on, just as I can't think of one for myself - except maybe hope and because it's easier to do nothing.

And by looking at the sky or touching a tree or digging in some dirt or lying on the grass, I am reminded that, even though there is no point, I might as well hang around and have momentary pleasurable experiences.

Shiatsu massage is one of those pleasureable experiences. Despite costing $50 and only lasting for an hour or so it may well be worth going on for.

toraneko, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

My own POV of course...

Go on, not because there's a point, but because eventually you'll learn to enjoy living again. I've never believed there's a point to life, but when you're not enjoying it either then it seems like you're just doing time.

I stopped wanting to do anything because no activity was enjoyable, so I had no inclination to do things. the inactivity was killing me and made it worse.

Regaining interest in things takes much healing time, but soon you become human again -- WANTING to do things. something I'd forgotten i ever did.

when you want to do something, and that thing is enjoyable, that's a feeling worth living for.

Alan Trewartha, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Koanshi = clinically depressed. I can't seem to get on with my life. I can't... Plus I feel like I will go insane through religious paranoia.

Kodanshi, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

The mere fact that you've posted this suggests that you want to. Everyone, no matter how far back in their mind positivity has been pushed, has that positivity. That's not saying it won't be a struggle to find it. But with time (and maybe help) things will get better. Things got better for me when I didn't think they would which only suggests it can happen to everyone.

Bill, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Nude, I'm really impressed with your stepping-outside-the-box observations... thank you. seriously.

Brian MacDonald, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

six years pass...

Want a hug so bad and the man won't be home for three hours. Fucking THESE DAYS. These fucking days.

Abbott, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:20 (fifteen years ago) link

::HUGZ:: come to ilx chatz is a happy fam

chaki, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:20 (fifteen years ago) link

i give abbott hug & will not stab her man tonight even tho i want to

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:21 (fifteen years ago) link

yes! come to chatz abbott there's lotsa love there

Rubyredd, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:22 (fifteen years ago) link

This book has helped me a lot.

Abbott, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:22 (fifteen years ago) link


Aimless, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:23 (fifteen years ago) link

ILX thinks yr great, Abbs. Take that for whatever it's worth to you, you can totally pwn the next three hours.

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:24 (fifteen years ago) link

I'd give him a call but like he needs to spend 15 minutes of work hearing me in choking sobs over the phone.

Abbott, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Why don't you give him a call and ask him to tell you a story, instead? That way you get to hear his voice and feel closer to him but won't feel like you're dumping on him...?

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Also it will prob be a better story than the one about your dad and the birds. Because THAT'S not depressing or anything.

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:27 (fifteen years ago) link


I've been thinking about that one for the past few days. Why?

Abbott, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Hope the time passes quickly for you; depression is awful - I've so been there (not too badly lately, thankfully).

Hang in there. (And yeah, I'm sure that doesn't help much from a perfect stranger, but unless you're in southern Minnesota, it will be hard for me to invite you over for brownies or something!)

Sara R-C, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:07 (fifteen years ago) link

what kind of brownies

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:10 (fifteen years ago) link

megabus is only a dollar and i'd pay a dollar for brownies.

chicago kevin, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:15 (fifteen years ago) link

omar little, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:15 (fifteen years ago) link

See? An hour has already passed! How you doin?

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:21 (fifteen years ago) link

Damn this accursed MACHIIIIINE!

robertwolf8080, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Just plain brownies! They are kind of fudgy - no nuts - very simple, with chocolate icing (really just chocolate chips melted with some butter). I made them because I was feeling low today.

Megabus sounds like something from My Neighbor Totoro. I must find out about it!

Sara R-C, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:30 (fifteen years ago) link

no weed, no visitation.

just kidding, id kill for any kind of homemade brownie right now.

and how is abbott doing now?? apparently no longer at her computer surfing ilx, which means: way better off than any of us.

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:42 (fifteen years ago) link

I went and got a baked potato at Wendy's. Some good songs came on the radio that made me nostalgic. The nostalgia took me places I shouldn't have gone, but the potato was good. And, uh, pulling through, You guys 'r' swell.

Abbott, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:46 (fifteen years ago) link


chicago kevin, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:49 (fifteen years ago) link

the bacon cheddar baked potato is the only baked potato worth having

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:51 (fifteen years ago) link

you're crazy deeznuts. the bacon cheddar may be at the top of the baked potato hierarchy but by no means is it "the only baked potato worth having".

chicago kevin, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:54 (fifteen years ago) link

I am actually a fan of the potato skins with cheddar and bacon, with a side of sour cream and chives. Hit all the bases that way.

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:56 (fifteen years ago) link

ok, fine. excuse me for being hyperbolic. the sour cream & chive is a delicious steal, & i would recommend it to anyone short of $2.49.

xp i didnt know this was possible?? i dont have a wendy's within 45 mins of me anymore tho

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:58 (fifteen years ago) link

i know admitting it is like admitting that i enjoy the slaughter of kittens, but i have to say that i find baked potatos fairly nasty

remy bean, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh, not at Wendy's. They're awesome in diners or at home, though.

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 02:01 (fifteen years ago) link

theyre mainly a starchy delivery device for cheese/sour cream/butter/etc

jhøshea, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 02:02 (fifteen years ago) link

remy, do you eat them with like, stuff on them? cuz baked potatoes are disgusting, which is why you coat them w/ butter & sour cream & cheese & bacon, all of which are wonderful things that i fail to understand how anyone could not love.

xp tru!

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 02:03 (fifteen years ago) link

fighting w/ my fiancee because i do what the psychiatrist + therapist tell me to do and she stubbornly fights them every inch of the way (we have different psychiatrists + therapists).


moonship journey to baja, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 02:04 (fifteen years ago) link

Remy has v cultivated tastes, he probably likes more imaginative potato forms. I'm a simple person, though, and I like mine with lots and lots of salt and dairy product.

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 02:05 (fifteen years ago) link

(p.p.s. my dn is just an hilarious quote from a jerk on a trapper forum who was trying to express his disdain for coyotes but who, through the serendipity of autocorrect, inadvertently revealed his own desire for self-annihilation)

Kill me all! (cat), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 02:12 (one year ago) link

everyone has to try so hard to just be, thoughts with all of you

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 02:14 (one year ago) link

whenever i see a powerful entity behaving abominably with no negative consequences

haha, cat, as soon as i read this i knew it was going to be bad news. the whole evil actors with no accountability energy thing is very strong right now. i will say this, though, cat - you always keep a good sense of humor, or at least, you seem to. laugh to keep from crying, maybe, i know. but i think it's a good thing, something that comes in handy. that has been the zach response to the cat report

Barfl Suckown (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 03:33 (one year ago) link

Hugs and love to everyone. It’s been a long, hard stretch.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 12:38 (one year ago) link

Thanks all, it is appreciated. Sorry Karl, I read all your posts and thank you for sharing them, it helped.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 15:56 (one year ago) link

oh, no worries at all, don't feel like you need to respond. glad it helped a little, though :)

Barfl Suckown (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 16:08 (one year ago) link

the whole evil actors with no accountability energy thing is very strong right now

Tell me a fuckin bout it

What feels different about my current despair level is it used to be possible to “look over there” (especially at something outside my brain and personal zone of control) at something good or moving in a trajectory that is not abysmal or that seems infused with possibility… but now there is nothing like that. Everywhere I look inside and outside myself is precipitous decline, darkness and rampant monsters. The absence of any “look over there” factors is terrifying to me.

covidsbundlertanze op. 6 (Jon not Jon), Friday, 11 February 2022 14:02 (one year ago) link

a dear friend of mine used to say, you’d have to be crazy to live in this world and not go crazy

i wish i knew how to help you, and everyone else in this thread. and also just everyone. fuck depression. i hope you find something wonderful to take your mind off things, Jon 💛

& thank you zach for your kindness. ur tape is still awesome 🐎🐎🐎🐎

SEES! TURNS! (cat), Friday, 11 February 2022 20:56 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

It's been a really hard month for so many reasons, but perhaps one of the hardest ones is the slow dawning of the realization of the people who truly, unconditionally care about you is much, much, much smaller than you might think. People truly do not give a fuck.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 16:33 (eight months ago) link

Sorry to hear you're feeling that way.. January has been a tough month for me as well

Andy the Grasshopper, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 18:32 (eight months ago) link

i'm sorry to hear it, jon. does it have to do with family, friends?

i think one difficult part about being really depressed and down is the feeling of turning invisible. it might feel like your pain is the most obvious thing in the world and that other people are ignoring it -- it's especially hard when you suspect or know that they are just ignoring it. the word "boundaries" comes up more often than it used to, and sometimes it feels like other people have decided that for their own self-care and wellbeing, they've drawn a boundary and now you're outside of it. (i think boundaries are good and necessary, too. i see why people need to do it, and sometimes i think they're useful for a depressed person, too. not trying to be a boundary hater, just saying that when you feel yourself newly placed on the other side of one, especially when it seems unfair for whatever reason, it's an awful feeling)

anyway, things are always complicated, and you mentioned that there are so many reasons it's been a hard month. but try to be as good to yourself as you can, as patient and forgiving to yourself as you are to other people. hang in there.

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 18:39 (eight months ago) link


Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 18:39 (eight months ago) link

was typing that while you posted, Andy. and sorry to hear about your shitty January as well.

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 18:40 (eight months ago) link

I'm sorry to hear that, hopefully things get better for you.

It's just been really hard to go through a really trying time and not have any of the people I thought were friends, who all have been aware of what's been happening, reach out to me at all. Not one single person has checked in with me. The final straw was seeing a notification pop up for a text from a friend this morning, only to open it and find that they were asking me to run some errands for them due to a conflict, without one mention of what's been going on for me.

I guess in one respect it's nice to know these things now, before I ever need real support. I only exist as far as I'm able to make their lives easier, beyond that I'm fucking valueless.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 18:43 (eight months ago) link

uuuuugh, that's the worst. them not checking in with you until they realize they need something from you. i'm sorry. in those situations it can be really hard to avoid being passive-aggressive. it's like, you want them to realize in some way that that you're still going through the fucking things and you still could really use their support!

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 18:49 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, pretty much exactly that.

Except even during the ask, not even a simple "how are you?" was included. It was just the ask.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 18:52 (eight months ago) link

yeah. a few minutes ago i started typing something that turned into a long ass story, which...who cares about my story. but i'll just say that, in a very similar situation, it sucked to get a text which jumped straight to asking me to check his mail, implying that if i didn't do it his life would be simply unbearable

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 18:55 (eight months ago) link

sometimes i'm amazed at close friends who haven't asked "how are you?" in like...10 years or something

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 18:56 (eight months ago) link

anyway, it sucks. sucks to feel really alone, and then sucks to feel like the only way out is to reach out to people, and the people you have to reach out to are the ones who kind of let you down big time.

it's not easy to do, and it's something i really, really struggle with, but one thing that does help is to make new friends. you don't have to do a big fuck you to the existing ones, but it's nice to just meet someone new and get to know them, whether that's like a board game meetup or a softball team or, in my case, taking a painting workshop. it's nice to get a fresh start with someone, in many ways. with the few people i've met recently, i like the feeling of getting to try to be a _good friend_ to them, from the very beginning.

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:02 (eight months ago) link

yeah, that seems solid advice, I just wish it were that easy. unfortunately, one of the things to come out of this challenging month is that the idea of free time to try any of those things is pretty much off the table for the foreseeable future.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:05 (eight months ago) link

i hear that. and yeah, making new friends on purpose is one of the most difficult things in the world, even if you have all the time in the world.

hope you can keep pushing through things, and that whatever is eating up all the time is something that can be managed. don't feel shy about reaching out here, just to vent.

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:07 (eight months ago) link

I think a lot of the early 90's 'men's movement' (Iron John, Fire in the Belly, Bill Moyers, etc.) was kinda cheesy but there was something about it that addressed a perennial problem.. that men have a really hard time connecting with each other over problems and feelings. I feel blessed to have a pretty solid circle of buddies but most of talk is alcohol-based and forgotten the next morning

Andy the Grasshopper, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:08 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, that's true, it gets even harder as you get older.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:18 (eight months ago) link

you hear from people who are dealing with grief that they sense people are scared to broach the subject of their grief because it is uncomfortable or feels like it can be re-traumatizing when in reality the opposite is usually true... the absence of conversation about the grief is what feels alienating and traumatic. how could we *not* talk about my grief? it's all i'm thinking about. i think there is a similar dynamic at play when it comes to acknowledging someone else's depression and asking how it's all going, though in a sense it cuts even deeper than in the grief scenario because we're more likely to be talking about close friends who have intimate understandings of our personal lives as opposed to acquaintances or casual friends who may have heard secondhand of a life altering tragedy, death etc

i think for me i've found a certain comfort in understanding how few people really care about me at that level, and, if i'm being honest, how the same is true for me in the other direction. i know the 3 or so people who i feel like i can really rely on, or who have checked in on me in the past when i've really been going through it, or who i do the same to now. there is a power in that clarity to me. but conversely if one feels like the number of people who fit that bill are zero or one, i understand how it can really sting and leave you feeling helpless, or make you feel like you are burdening one person who must be tired of hearing about your shit.

circling back to the initial point about grief and what not, sometimes people actually need to be told, "hey the absence of conversation between us about how i'm doing mentally right now is bothering me. i need you as an outlet, i need you to check on me and ask me how i'm doing. it's not uncomfortable for me, in fact it's crucial that i'm able to talk about this stuff with people who are very close to me, and you're one of those people." maybe that person can't hold up their end of the bargain when explicitly asked to -- which in its own way is also clarifying if sad -- but it's entirely possible if not likely that the other person has never been in the position of needing someone in that way, and as such doesn't really understand the emotional importance of that level of friendship. maybe i'm projecting here but i think when left to their own devices, most ppl will come up with reasons -- often contorted -- to avoid saying something to someone that could make them feel uncomfortable, even when the absence of that thing brings in a new, different kind of discomfort.

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:30 (eight months ago) link

That's a good post J0rdan, I think you are pretty right on about that, ime.

I don't think I could ever be the type of person to be that blunt wrt specifically asking others for help when I need it, somehow I just don't think of myself as "deserving" support (which I know is silly when I type it out, but it's a long running theme in my own therapy). On top of everything, I feel so guilty and am doing a healthy amount of beating myself up for even focusing on my own needs right now but, at the same time, I know when I need help and I don't want to further burden the others in immediate family who are dealing with their own grief. I don't expect it to be a kind of magic bullet to solve grief or anything, but it seems that a chance to talk through my fears, sadness and uncertainty with someone that I'm close with, but a little more removed from the direct impacts, might be a good outlet.

idk, I'm rambling, but essentially I feel like I'm drowning and I know I need to take care of myself and my own mental health in order to be the support others in my life need (especially now), and I had hoped I could lean on a few friends to help fill in the long hours and days between therapy sessions, but it's been really disheartening to realize that I might not have those circles of support to rely on when I need them more than I have in a long time.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:44 (eight months ago) link

i am going to pop in here to share some thoughts -- feel free to ignore me --
i have been going through a severe and v stressful family crisis w my parents and am only child. this experience would be extraordinarily challenging for anyone, but extra challenging because the only person going through it is me (my parents' experiene is separate from my own). i will spare you the details of the situation because they don't matter to my point and are distracting in their severity.

My point is that some of the people who i thought would be there for me (to keep in touch, to make time to talk with me instead of texting, basically consider being my supportive friend a priority at all) have not chosen to make that a priority. I don't think they have stopped caring about me; I do think that they have not prioritized our friendship. At first, when I kept expecting and hoping they would show up somehow, I was miserable and very very very sad.

Since then (along with lots of therapy for all of my situations) I have recognized that there are people who will make time for me, who do prioritize spending time with me and listening to me -- it's just not who I expected it to be. I thank those people profusely and reciprocate as well as I can because I have always valued friendship very highly (esp as only child).

Which is to say: despairing about who isn't there for you isn't going to make them there for you. If you can, you should tell them clearly "I need u rn pls" -- and if not, you need to look elsewhere. I can't tell you who or where, but lamenting a lack or an absence isn't going to help IME. You can vent about it but that can only go so far.

This is it -- thanks for allowing me to interject. This has been a v rough time and I am working on it (it = emotional regulation, staving off wigouts, remaining as calm and nonreactive as possible, and -- yes -- distancing myself from people and situations that I find draining or untenable/asserting boundaries.

Since then, I have learned to recognize who DOES make time for me, however sporadically, and I am extraordinarily grateful.

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:44 (eight months ago) link

That's a really good post and well worth reading, and solid advice for sure. I think it's that tricky "look elsewhere" part that feels much easier said than done.

Being a little flip here, to try and force some humor, but it feels a little, "hey new person, I'm going through a really rough time right now and it would be great for you to jump on board while I'm at my less than best! sounds great, right?".

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:51 (eight months ago) link

that's absurd and you know it -- but if you can't reach out to the people who you think are leaving you behind, you need to find your own path forward. no one can do that for you.

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:54 (eight months ago) link

it's not easily said either -- you have no idea how much effort i have put into reaching out and allowing people get to know me, learning how to open up and ask for help.

if you keep shooting down the truth because it's difficult to achieve that doesn't make it less true!

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 19:56 (eight months ago) link

I think this is part of why people still go to AA meeting years or even decades after their last drink... just to have someone to talk to, and to listen in return

Andy the Grasshopper, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 20:00 (eight months ago) link

great posts, LL and J0rdan.

on the point of telling people, directly, that you need them, i recently carried out an accidental natural experiment. i told two of my closest friends. one of them responded really well and our relationship is stronger now, we spend more time together, and he's also kind of opened up a bit with me and given me some chances to be a good friend and to be there for him. the other friend was much more distant. i realized during our conversation that i was still expecting him to be the friend that he was in high school, when we spent hours chatting on AIM almost every night. as j0rdan said, it was "clarifying if sad" to realize that he no longer wanted that kind of relationship with me. i'm still hanging around in the hopes that he'll be my friend again (i'm useful to him as a person who picks up his mail), but it's clarifying to know that things have changed and to stop expecting him to be there.

at the same time, jon you mentioned that you don't think you could be blunt about asking for help, and that seems really common, probably the norm, for most people. it's one thing to ask directly for help to someone who you've been open with in that way before; it's a different thing when that's not the kind of thing that ever comes up, or that it makes either you or them uncomfortable.

whoops multiple xps

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 20:00 (eight months ago) link

Since then (along with lots of therapy for all of my situations) I have recognized that there are people who will make time for me, who do prioritize spending time with me and listening to me -- it's just not who I expected it to be.

i think this is really well said and important. if you had asked me at the beginning of my most depressive period who over the next 6-12 months would really be there for me, and then asked me to make a list at the end of that period of who actually *was* there for me, the lists would've had some overlap but would not have been exactly the same. and also not everyone who was there for me at that time is still my friend in that way or even at all... life can still get in the way. (i was single at the time so some of these friendships were something more complicated yada yada). but i found the experience of connecting w/ whoever reached out their hand to be eye opening and somehow freeing

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 18 January 2023 20:12 (eight months ago) link

When I've had depressive episodes, I've avoided discussing it with friends. I liked to keep those parts of my life separated. It's possible that my problems weren't so severe that I needed to discuss them, and on some level I realized my feelings didn't have any concrete existence that would be alleviated by conversation?

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 18 January 2023 20:19 (eight months ago) link

xp to J0rdan --
yeah i agree -- there was a little overlap between who i expected to show and who actually has but not much. i can't be upset with people for choosing to focus their lives on other things; not only does being upset at them not make them change their minds, it means I spend my time feeling upset. And that is not what I am after tbh. I don't think they have decided not to like me. But if I need people to keep me company or go for walks with me, I have been going with the people who say "sure, let's go next week" instead of the people I have to negotiate extensively to get a phone call with.

this is otm i found the experience of connecting w/ whoever reached out their hand to be eye opening and somehow freeing

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 20:23 (eight months ago) link

xpost to LL, like I said I was being intentionally flip with that comment, I know that wasn't what you were saying but rather relaying what that sort of ask would feel like for me to make.

Lots of good comments here to keep in mind, I appreciate it. What's hard for me is that isn't a case of me waiting for the "right" person to reach out or shying away from people who I don't think will "get" what I'm going through, it's that no one is reaching out. The posts in response itt are the grand sum total of reaching out I've experienced. Which isn't to minimize or diminish any of you who have taken the time to post, I sincerely appreciate it.

To the point of reaching out myself, I did take a step with that yesterday - I texted a friend (who is married to a friend of my wife, whom I know has been thoroughly updated on everything that has been going on) who I've spent a lot of time with, gone to shows with, etc. with "hey, how are you doing? it's been a really rough month, hoping for things to lighten up soon, it's been hard and i hope we can hang out soon" and that has sat on read since yesterday afternoon. To the points made upthread, he may just genuinely not know how to respond or think of what to say, it's a possibility. At the same time, it's kind of shitty feeling to still see no response and doesn't exactly dismiss my (perhaps irrational) thoughts about how maybe I don't "deserve" support.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 21:01 (eight months ago) link

that's a good start - did you offer any options for hanging out? (would you have time for _____ next week?") _____ could be anything -- a walk a beer anything. it's always easier to open up when you're hanging/talking synchronously. i strongly dislike texting about my problems precisely bc of the asynchronous nature of it.

i would also recommend reading about this -- there are a lot of new books about adult friendships and why they are hard to maintain. most are written by women but i bet they have some good suggestions.

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 21:11 (eight months ago) link

I did not, just mostly because the overlapping family crises have kind of put us in a position where it's really difficult to know our schedule for the next few weeks or months.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 21:18 (eight months ago) link

that's why you have to ask!!

this is the one i was trying to think of

"read a book" may sound pat -- i never thought i would be one of those people who read self-help or psychology books but it has been really useful to read about my now-identified various issues, esp in moments of extreme isolation, to read about other people's experiences and not feel so alone. i'm recommending that in all honesty.

i think that's probably all i have to say about this. i will go back to my regular programming and i wish you all the best.

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Wednesday, 18 January 2023 21:23 (eight months ago) link

i can't be upset with people for choosing to focus their lives on other things; not only does being upset at them not make them change their minds, it means I spend my time feeling upset. And that is not what I am after tbh. I don't think they have decided not to like me. But if I need people to keep me company or go for walks with me, I have been going with the people who say "sure, let's go next week" instead of the people I have to negotiate extensively to get a phone call with.

otm! Have I recently told you, LL, how much I value your otm-ness? I forget exactly what the context was ... but I just remember in the past week, thinking about some personal issue, and thinking, LL said something on ilx that was related to this a few years back and it was very otm and I should keep that in mind right now.

If one were to read all the way through this thread, one would know that I have regularly gone through really dark periods and have felt super isolated and rejected, etc. And the thing I would add to what LL said, is that the people will not necessarily be the same ones each time you need support. There were people who were there for me in 2009 who weren't there for me in 2011 and vice versa, and then there was the total collapse in 2018, and the dark times last summer ... it's ... a chronic illness.

sarahell, Monday, 30 January 2023 15:41 (seven months ago) link

six months pass...

Feeling pretty bleak lately, tbh. It's been a really rough year. Regarding my posts from January, I'd been really proud of myself for pushing through my discomfort and the inner voice telling me not to bother and tried reaching out to some folks and being v v diligent about trying to make plans and following up with people. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts and due to a conflation of events and bad timing, nothing much has really panned out. Add in work stress multiplying dramatically due to some personnel changes and the family crises mentioned earlier still manifesting in our lives in frustrating ways, I feel more underwater than ever.

Idk, I know this is probably the stupidest place for me to vent about this, but... whatever. Ultimately I just feel like each successive week is harder, busier and more emotionally taxing than the previous with no easing up in sight and I just don't know how long I can keep moving forward. I mean, obviously I am moving forward, but it feels many days like it's pure survival mode without any joy or enjoyment.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 1 August 2023 14:17 (one month ago) link

it is not the stupidest place by any means ... US Pol threads, album polls, the Barbie movie thread, post a controversial music opinion ... those would be stupid places.

it feels many days like it's pure survival mode without any joy or enjoyment.

yeah :( I know that feeling, or rather, I have recently been there. For me it's usually just a few months at a time, but I was recently talking to a friend (who is one of those people who rarely has time for me) and he was saying how he has felt that way for years.

Do you get weekends off? Or any kind of chunk of time that is "for you" and isn't either occupied with work or stressful family obligations?

sarahell, Tuesday, 1 August 2023 15:35 (one month ago) link

Your last questions there kind of get to the heart of why this has been so difficult, in short - no. Since effectively early March, the weekends that aren't spent at my son's baseball games and tournaments are spent driving six hours each way to go deal with a deceased family member's estate. Those weekends have been to leave immediately after work on Friday and get back (if we're lucky) before midnight on Sunday night.

To be clear, I do really get enjoyment from watching my son play baseball, I don't think of that as a chore or a drain. But most weekends he has two (sometimes three) games a weekend and the accompanying travel, coordination and getting there early for practices and warm-ups really cuts down on being able to schedule anything else those weekends.

So, yeah, absolutely a big part of how I'm feeling is the nonstop go-go-go nature of things right now. Things will lighten up a little bit when baseball ends, but his third(!) season of the year doesn't end until mid-October, which feels forever away from here.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 1 August 2023 17:16 (one month ago) link

Started going to therapy today, for the first time. For a long time I've been thinking "when _____ is done, things will be okay." But when _____ is done, there's this next thing that needs to be done for things to be okay, and I'm starting to realize that's not how I should be looking at life. Things should be okay even if there are things that need to be done, and there's always going to be a ______. I'm scared of looking back and realizing "oh shit, why couldn't I find some happiness in the day to day instead of just always wanting to get things over with?"

We moved and I stopped working, all of my friends are now hundreds of miles away, I stopped drinking alcohol and caffeine and smoking weed, so my method of coping with stress has been taken away, I feel like I'm drifting. Sometimes I go weeks without talking to anyone but my immediate family or store clerks, and I'm not that social anyways so it's too easy for me to become a hermit. I was talking to my sleep doctor about my CPAP machine and she was asking me if my sleep was normal. I told her that at this point I have no idea what normal looks like.

I'm also not very in touch with myself, I tend to push through whatever is going on. It was weird sitting and talking with someone about me and my brain.

Cow_Art, Tuesday, 1 August 2023 17:33 (one month ago) link

Hopefully therapy can start to help with that. I think still having therapy is probably the only thing keeping my thread hanging on. I've given up on meditation and I've grown really cynical about the concept of self-care (obviously I support it in general and think it's important, but right now it kinda feels like a luxury that really only works for people that spare time).

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 1 August 2023 18:27 (one month ago) link

that "have" spare time

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 1 August 2023 18:29 (one month ago) link

lol for me "self-care" includes ILX and putting some of my drama-prone co-workers on mute during non-working hours

sarahell, Tuesday, 1 August 2023 19:49 (one month ago) link

Apparently this hits hardest on Tuesdays. Really been struggling for about a month now, just feeling like I have zero support system and like I'm just a constant disappointment to everyone around me or a burden on them. When I sit and really think about it, I can't come up with anything specific I've done that would cause anyone to be disappointed in me or be a burden to them, but I can't shake the feeling. It's like I only exist as far as serving a specific service to make their lives easier, but once that service is accomplished I'm just in the way.

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 8 August 2023 14:53 (one month ago) link

Yep! That’s real

sarahell, Tuesday, 8 August 2023 17:21 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

I’m just so fucking fucked. I’m £200 off paying my rent, which was due 4 days ago, and I just have no fucking clue where the money has disappeared, I haven’t bought anything or gone anywhere or had a fucking social life. I even gave up all my expensive habits like drinking and smoking and don’t have any fuxking hobbies. Even if someone did loan me the money, I wouldn’t know how to pay them back. I’ve reapplied for universal credit but that won’t be assessed until next month. I just feel fucked.

I’ve got fuxking nasty tonsillitis and I can’t fucking get out of bed unless it’s to get my meds.

I just can’t be fucked with life anymore. Im not suicidal like I was a year ago so I guess I’ve just got to sit here and do nothing and feel miserable for ever instead. I used to work so hard and I’ve got less than nothing to show for it.

sell cigs to kids (a hoy hoy), Monday, 18 September 2023 12:12 (six days ago) link

Do hope it turns around for you. Beginning with your health.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 18 September 2023 12:58 (six days ago) link

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