34 votes

What are you battling with right now?

What are you battling with at the moment? What are you struggling with or grappling with?

How is it going for you?

74 comments

  1. [23]
    Grendel
    Link
    Myself apparently. I'm very happily married. I'm very sexually attracted to my wife. For about a year now I've found myself having homosexual fantasies. None have been relational, only sexual....

    Myself apparently. I'm very happily married. I'm very sexually attracted to my wife.

    For about a year now I've found myself having homosexual fantasies. None have been relational, only sexual. I've never just been walking down the street and found another man attractive but then again I don't feel that towards women (outside of my wife) either. This has only been fantasy based with nonexistent people. Really more anatomy than people even.

    I grew up in a conservative Christian environment. I'm still a believer, I still go to church. I believe that porn is wrong (and even outside of my faith, I'd forgo it based on the horribly exploitive practices of that industry anyway). I believe that engaging in sexual fantasies with people other than your spouse is wrong. And I believe that allowing myself to engage in homosexual thoughts is wrong.

    I have nothing against anyone in the LGBTQ+ community, I have no malice towards them, and I have no desire to create oppressive laws or laws that allow discriminatory behavior. You can have a moral conviction without malice, judgment, or mistreatment towards others.

    My wife is aware of this and has been understanding and totally non-judgemental. For a while, I'd gone without thinking about it. Now I'm frustrated because the desires have resurfaced and I thought this was just a "passing phase" (for me anyway), but it seems it isn't "going away". Truthfully I don't understand why I'm upset. Plenty of bisexual people are in happy monogamous relationships. Accepting a bisexual label wouldn't require me to act on it and wouldn't functionally change anything in my life. I have a satisfying sex life with my wife. It wouldn't change my view on having fantasies outside of the confines of my marriage. I wouldn't need to tell anyone because nothing would change anyway.

    Recently a friend of my wife, who I've met several times and who is in the LGBTQ+ community asked my wife if I was pan-sexual. I know that shouldn't matter, but for some reason hearing that seems to have had some kind of effect on me emotionally. It makes me feel like there is some kind of intrinsic validity to the labels that I'm trying to avoid. It also makes me feel exposed like people know things that I don't want to share. Like people can "see through me". There is a lot of discrimination towards people in the LGBTQ+ community in my area, so having anxiety about this isn't totally invalid.

    I don't really understand the battle or my feelings around it, just that they are strong and distressing. I'm not even sure why I'm sharing it here. I certainly hope no one views me as a bigot or homophobic because of it.

    24 votes
    1. [6]
      kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I hope people here see the profound honesty and vulnerability in your words. It takes a lot of courage to share something like this. Thank you (again!) for trusting us. I'm a gay guy who was...

      I hope people here see the profound honesty and vulnerability in your words. It takes a lot of courage to share something like this. Thank you (again!) for trusting us.

      I'm a gay guy who was raised Christian who spent over a decade of my life attempting to fight and suppress the feelings you're identifying. Those feelings you're talking about: hope that it's just a phase; feeling that others can "see through you"; fear that there's this big, scary part of yourself that you aren't in control of -- I lived that day in and day out. My heart goes out to you. I know how difficult that is.

      At the time, I thought that my faith and my queerness were completely incompatible. That was the dominant dogma, and my faith and nearly my life were lost as a result of it. I stopped believing in God at the same time that his followers showed me the door and their hatred.

      A lot has changed since then -- in particular what the prevailing Christian stance on queerness is. When I was growing up it was very black and white: being gay was against God. People would trot out the usual verses (e.g. Leviticus, Romans) with very surface level interpretations.

      What I (and many others) have learned since then is that a lot of those Biblical interpretations were rooted in affirming a prejudice rather than legitimate scholarship and evaluation. It can be a hard topic to look into because there's a lot of motivated reasoning in both camps, but if it's something that's eating at you it might be a fruitful rabbit to chase. Something that was personally valuable to me was Colby Martin's UnClobber. He is a straight pastor who found himself alienated by the dominant anti-gay currents in Christianity and attempted to resolve that conflict within himself and his leadership. The book's chapters alternate between his personal testimony and tackling one of what he calls the "clobber passages" -- the verses that have been used to "clobber" queer people like me.

      I say all of this because, even though I am no longer Christian, I also no longer believe that queerness and Christianity are incompatible. Again, it can look like motivated reasoning -- a gay guy revising Biblical concepts to favor himself -- but it's not just me. Many major denominations have grappled with the question as well and come down against anti-gay interpretations of Biblical teachings. I don't know if that's necessarily part of the internal friction you're experiencing -- that your faith and your sexual/romantic feelings/identity are irreconcilable -- but if so, it might be worth exploring where that sense comes from and what it's supported by.

      Above all, by whatever way you arrive at it, I wish you peace.

      Also, if you ever have questions or thoughts you don't want to publicly share here or you just need an open ear, feel free to PM me.

      18 votes
      1. [5]
        Grendel
        Link Parent
        Thank you so so much for sharing that. After taking time to calm down and talk to my wife, I've realized the desires/fantasies I'm having are pretty normal, that most people likely have them from...

        Thank you so so much for sharing that. After taking time to calm down and talk to my wife, I've realized the desires/fantasies I'm having are pretty normal, that most people likely have them from time to time, and that it's not something that proves anything about my sexuality.

        I think a big factor in my very disproportionate response is that I also grew up in an environment that sounds pretty identical to the one that you grew up in as well. Even though I no longer agree with them, even though I have no problem with those in the LGBT community, the thought of myself falling into that category was terrifying.

        I guess that some things are harder to shake off than we'd like. Thanks again for sharing your story, it really is comforting to know that others have struggled and overcome (as in coming to peace) things like this too.

        4 votes
        1. [4]
          Omnicrola
          Link Parent
          Just to reaffirm this, you're 100% right on with this. Just as everyone sometimes has "dark" thoughts (harming/killing someone, cheating a test, stealing something, etc), I think having sexual...

          I'm having are pretty normal, that most people likely have them from time to time, and that it's not something that proves anything about my sexuality.

          Just to reaffirm this, you're 100% right on with this. Just as everyone sometimes has "dark" thoughts (harming/killing someone, cheating a test, stealing something, etc), I think having sexual thoughts that are "unusual" (for you) fall into the same category. It's just your brain running off on a tangent of "hey what if I ....". It happens, there's nothing to be ashamed about and you shouldn't judge yourself for it.

          6 votes
          1. [3]
            Grendel
            Link Parent
            You know, if people, in general, were more open and honest about this, we wouldn't have to feel so "bad" for having dark thoughts, and we wouldn't stress over them as much. This means that we...

            You know, if people, in general, were more open and honest about this, we wouldn't have to feel so "bad" for having dark thoughts, and we wouldn't stress over them as much. This means that we wouldn't obsess over them and create our very own anxiety cycle.

            5 votes
            1. mtset
              Link Parent
              In general, this phenomenon is called "intrusive thoughts" and I find that discussion of it is very common in the madpride / mentally ill community, but it's not inherently a symptom of a mental...

              In general, this phenomenon is called "intrusive thoughts" and I find that discussion of it is very common in the madpride / mentally ill community, but it's not inherently a symptom of a mental illness!

              3 votes
            2. Adys
              Link Parent
              Right on. Remember that you are your own agent of honesty. How closed others are about things should not necessarily influence how open you can or want to be. Openness and honesty is a two way...

              Right on.

              Remember that you are your own agent of honesty. How closed others are about things should not necessarily influence how open you can or want to be.

              Openness and honesty is a two way process: It takes courage to open yourself up; but it also takes finding someone worthy of the trust you're showing them. I myself am a default-open person (as you might be able to tell from my Tildes history), and have found it to be very freeing. Secrets are a source of stress, anxiety and even sometimes leverage.

              I hope you can find people in your life you are comfortable sharing these things with. Your wife sounds like a wonderful and compassionate woman. You'll always be welcome to talk about them here in this community, and if you find yourself alone, feel free to @ me or DM me.

              2 votes
    2. [6]
      Foreigner
      Link Parent
      I know you're not asking for advice but you might benefit from talking this out with a sex therapist who is knowledgeable in LGBTQIA+ questions, especially asexuality (read on to see what I mean)....

      I know you're not asking for advice but you might benefit from talking this out with a sex therapist who is knowledgeable in LGBTQIA+ questions, especially asexuality (read on to see what I mean).

      Some of what you say resonates with me. I am of the LG part of the alphabet mafia, but I often have sexual thoughts about heterosexual couples. Like you it doesn't involve "real" people, and it's very anatomy focused. I'm also married, but my fantasies almost always involve either my partner or people I've invented in my own head. I've very very rarely ever had sexual thoughts about real people, whether it's ones I've met or seen in media. It turns out I'm some form of sex-positive/neutral aegosexual, which sits on the asexual spectrum. I don't identify as bisexual or pansexual because I only ever desire being in homosexual/homoromantic relationships. Just having fantasies with people of the same sex doesn't necessarily mean you're bi or pan - at the end of the day only you know what labels make more sense for you.

      I'd never cheat on my partner, don't have any desire to. That's just how my sexual fantasies work out and I can't do anything about it. You likely can't do much about yours either, but that's something to talk through with a professional if you feel that's right for you. You might be interested in checking out the aegosexual description: https://sexuality.fandom.com/wiki/Aegosexuality

      I'd also suggest looking at demi-sexuality: https://demisexuality.org/articles/what-is-demisexuality/

      I wish you luck with your journey, it's not easy trying to figure these things out in a world that often demands black and white answers. And above all, be kind to yourself.

      9 votes
      1. [4]
        Fal
        Link Parent
        Demisexuality sometimes falls under the asexuality umbrella, so @Grendel might want to check out some ace resources as well like AVEN. Speaking from personal experience, I am ace and don’t...

        Demisexuality sometimes falls under the asexuality umbrella, so @Grendel might want to check out some ace resources as well like AVEN. Speaking from personal experience, I am ace and don’t experience sexual fantasies/attraction, but I enjoy sex with my partner just fine.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Grendel
          Link Parent
          Thanks, I'll definitely check that stuff out! I know that my wife has recently started looking into the asexuality spectrum in regards to her own sexuality. Interestingly, she came across it in a...

          Thanks, I'll definitely check that stuff out! I know that my wife has recently started looking into the asexuality spectrum in regards to her own sexuality. Interestingly, she came across it in a community for women who have autism, and asexuality seems more prevalent there than in the population as a whole.

          4 votes
          1. Fal
            Link Parent
            I'm glad it was of help. If you or anyone else on Tildes wants to message me with any questions about being a non-sex repulsed asexual, I'd be happy to try to answer.

            I'm glad it was of help. If you or anyone else on Tildes wants to message me with any questions about being a non-sex repulsed asexual, I'd be happy to try to answer.

            1 vote
        2. Foreigner
          Link Parent
          I agree it would be good to look beyond just Aego and Demi if neither of those make sense. I mentioned those two specifically because they seem to match some of what Grendel mentioned in the post....

          I agree it would be good to look beyond just Aego and Demi if neither of those make sense. I mentioned those two specifically because they seem to match some of what Grendel mentioned in the post. Also, when I was first trying to figure out my own asexuality I found the plethora of types and labels somewhat overwhelming until I learned of others that experienced the same feelings. It would probably help a lot of people if asexuality was more openly communicated about and understood, but we have to start somewhere!

          1 vote
      2. Grendel
        Link Parent
        Thank you for sharing your own experiences and those resources as well! I'll be sure to give those a read. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement :)

        Thank you for sharing your own experiences and those resources as well! I'll be sure to give those a read. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement :)

        3 votes
    3. [7]
      HotPants
      Link Parent
      I'd like you to consider two things, then hear a story. First, one of the most compassionate people I know, confessed to having dark thoughts about running over pedestrians in a vehicle. Dark...

      I'd like you to consider two things, then hear a story.

      First, one of the most compassionate people I know, confessed to having dark thoughts about running over pedestrians in a vehicle. Dark thoughts don't make you a dark person.

      Second, try really hard to not think of a pink elephant. OK. You probably failed. Now try really hard to not have gay sexual fantasies. Try harder. Harder! HARDER! Are you hard? Just kidding. When you are meditating, you can't get frustrated with intrusive thoughts. You label them, and let them go. Trying not to focus on thoughts you consider bad seems like a recipe for failure.

      Personal story. I was brought up to believe gay was evil. That changed over time. I've also had gay fantasies. I've always wondered if I would ever even want to act them out. I mean, I was pretty sure I would not, but I had had some fantasies right? Then one day I was incredibly drunk with a hot chick and her gay male friend. I am male. Things were hot and heavy with the chick, but I somehow ended up in a hotel room alone at night with the gay dude. No chick. I was blind drunk and incredibly frustrated, sexually and otherwise. I thought, well, if I am ever going to act out on these fantasies, it would be right now. But I didn't. Guys are just too icky. Pretty sure gay fantasies do not mean you are gay, like homicidal fantasies do not mean you are homicidal.

      8 votes
      1. [6]
        Grendel
        Link Parent
        Thanks for sharing that! Yeah, there have been things that felt good in my head, but when my wife and I tried them it was quickly apparent that it wasn't for me. It's funny how our brains do that,...

        Thanks for sharing that! Yeah, there have been things that felt good in my head, but when my wife and I tried them it was quickly apparent that it wasn't for me. It's funny how our brains do that, the difference in feeling between our imaginations of things versus the reality of them.

        This was obviously something that couldn't be "tested" in the real world, and I think that was probably contributing to my freak out about it. It felt like an unknown, and those are really scary.

        5 votes
        1. [5]
          HotPants
          Link Parent
          In regards to "testing," I'd like you to consider two more things and two more stories. Paul suffered from a thorn in the flesh. People have credibly suggested that his curse might have been...

          In regards to "testing," I'd like you to consider two more things and two more stories.

          Paul suffered from a thorn in the flesh. People have credibly suggested that his curse might have been homosexuality. Nobody has ever credibly suggested that made him less christian.

          One of my favorite Christians was a non practicing homosexual. He didn't have many friends inside the church, or in the gay community. But he believed. Man. He believed. Enough to remain celibate. Fuck all those luke warm christians who were wary of him. What did they ever sacrifice? It's not your faith, but faith through acts that matters. And he always acted according to his beliefs.

          When I was a kid, I was led to believe that profaning against God risked your eternal soul. I tried really hard not to profane Gods name. Really hard. To the point where just saying Jesus Christ became like an odd soothing mantra. Then one day, I was incredibly angry, and I was saying "Jesus Christ" to calm myself down and before I knew it I found myself saying "Fuck Jesus Christ." It doesn't sound like a big deal, but I had made it a big deal in my head. It was a little kids crisis in faith.

          Presumably you believe that faith saves, but faith without acts is useless. Yet most people have doubts. Have you ever counseled someone with doubts? It's not the doubts that matter. It's when the person is so worried that doubts will lead to eternal damnation, that they hyper focus on doubts and damnation and that leads to all sorts of problems. The healthiest thing is to label the doubts as normal, and focus your acts on something else.

          Your fantasies don't need testing, they are not a big deal unless you make them a big deal.

          Or to quote The Batman... It's not who you are underneath that matters, it's what you do that defines you.

          (I am a hard core athiest, so please don't think I am at all qualified to give christian guidance.)

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            Grendel
            Link Parent
            What a coincidence, I had the same crisis when I was a kid. I was 9 or 10 years old and also believed a particular firm of blasphemy was a one way ticket to hell with no cancelation policy. I...

            What a coincidence, I had the same crisis when I was a kid. I was 9 or 10 years old and also believed a particular firm of blasphemy was a one way ticket to hell with no cancelation policy.

            I tried so hard not to think about, that of course I thought about it.

            I was bawling. Straight up sobbing in terror because I believed I was destined for eternal torture. Thankfully I was reassured that the scrpture in question wasn't literal like that.
            It's interesting that you mention Paul's thorn. As a kid I was taught it was some physical ailment, like maleria or perhaps a broken back (from his multiple shipwrecks). But I always believed that it was some kind of temptation that he had to continually confront.

            The fact that Paul never married may support the homosexuality theory.
            I'm in the same page about lukewarm people, and I have a LOT of respect for your friend. That is a great example of genuine faith and he is someone who I would look up to.

            This issue is largely an American one, as Christians in other countries face real consequences and sacrifices for their faith and therefore tend have much more sincerity. Most of the believers here are big babies, getting offended and worked up over things that shouldn't matter to them.

            Finally I absolutely agree that doubts aren't a sign of no faith. In some ways I believe doubts indicate that person is actually thinking about their faith, which is more than can be said for many others.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              HotPants
              Link Parent
              Could have been a literal thorn :)

              Could have been a literal thorn :)

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                Grendel
                Link Parent
                That legitimately made me laugh at how ridiculous that would be. You've got this guy who has endured so many physical and mental hardships, and is writing from prison, and he's really upset about...

                That legitimately made me laugh at how ridiculous that would be.

                You've got this guy who has endured so many physical and mental hardships, and is writing from prison, and he's really upset about an actual thorn poking him.

                1. HotPants
                  Link Parent
                  Could have been an unusually large thorn.

                  Could have been an unusually large thorn.

    4. [2]
      lou
      Link Parent
      I don't think you're asking for advice but I can't help myself, hope that's okay. Well, I don't see anything particularly worrisome here. Everyone fantasizes. There are fantasies which we wish to...

      I don't think you're asking for advice but I can't help myself, hope that's okay.

      Well, I don't see anything particularly worrisome here. Everyone fantasizes. There are fantasies which we wish to fulfill, and also fantasies which we decide should probably remain as such. There's no point in fighting those urges, they will come when "they want". Let them live in you, but also let them go when they lose their force. If you try to repress them, you'll create an unhealthy attachment. If you try to hold them, you'll create an unhealthy attachment as well. Just let the wave go through you, with no recriminations. It's a Buddhist thing.

      7 votes
      1. Grendel
        Link Parent
        Your description of this reminds me of something my counselor called "radical acceptance". Letting go of things you control, instead of obsessing over them. It actually ties into Christianity as...

        Your description of this reminds me of something my counselor called "radical acceptance". Letting go of things you control, instead of obsessing over them.

        It actually ties into Christianity as well. It's the idea that God has unlimited grace, and that we don't need to feel shame or guilt. It doesn't mean we don't try to grow or change. It means that we don't let our current state hold us back from moving forward and that we refuse to live in shame or let these things define us.

        Thank you for the reminder, no matter how many times I learn something I always need to be reminded again eventually :)

        4 votes
    5. autumn
      Link Parent
      I’m one of those bisexuals in a happy, monogamous relationship with a (very straight/cis) partner of the opposite gender. I have never had a romantic or sexual relationship with a woman because I...

      I’m one of those bisexuals in a happy, monogamous relationship with a (very straight/cis) partner of the opposite gender. I have never had a romantic or sexual relationship with a woman because I didn’t realize I was bi until shortly before I met my partner.

      I am not religious in the way you describe, but if you’d ever like somebody to talk to, I’d be happy to lend an ear. :)

      Bisexuality can be particularly hard to deal with and feel “valid” because some (thankfully not many I’ve encountered) of the folks in the LGBTQ+ community can be not so nice toward (general) us. There are plenty of lesbians who won’t date bisexual women, and plenty who think we’re “playing it safe” by dating the opposite gender.

      6 votes
  2. [8]
    tomf
    Link
    I smoked for ten years, vaped for another ten years, and now I'm finally quitting nicotine itself. I was on a moderate nic level with vaping, but right now I'm doing under one 2mg lozenge per day,...

    I smoked for ten years, vaped for another ten years, and now I'm finally quitting nicotine itself. I was on a moderate nic level with vaping, but right now I'm doing under one 2mg lozenge per day, taking bits of it and sucking on them.

    So far so good. The biggest barrier was grabbing for the vape when I need to think about something. I got over this with aggressive elastic snapping on my wrist.

    I've done one day without any nicotine, but I expect to be free full time in a few days.

    17 votes
    1. [2]
      AnthonyB
      Link Parent
      A fellow lozenger! I'm right there with you, my friend. I've smoked on and off for about 10 years and the only thing that helps me quit is lozenges. I had a decent run last year for about six...

      A fellow lozenger! I'm right there with you, my friend. I've smoked on and off for about 10 years and the only thing that helps me quit is lozenges. I had a decent run last year for about six months but fell off after a few nights out with coworkers. Now I'm back down to one or two 2mg lozenges a day. Everyone is different, but I suggest having an emergency stash somewhere if you're the type of person that might slip up "just this once."

      3 votes
      1. tomf
        Link Parent
        ha. I have sooooo many lozenges. We have a 'quit smoking' program up here. I got one case of lozenges a few years ago and then another batch last year or so when I thought I lost the first batch....

        ha. I have sooooo many lozenges. We have a 'quit smoking' program up here. I got one case of lozenges a few years ago and then another batch last year or so when I thought I lost the first batch.

        Oddly enough, I can totally smoke every so often without getting back into it. Its the indoor convenience of vaping that was really difficult.

        2 votes
    2. [5]
      patience_limited
      Link Parent
      I've finally quit nicotine as well after 30+ years of on and off addiction. I just could not quit with the lozenges. But I did it with nicotine patches and a pair of scissors... The tapering was...

      I've finally quit nicotine as well after 30+ years of on and off addiction. I just could not quit with the lozenges. But I did it with nicotine patches and a pair of scissors... The tapering was much slower (sixteen weeks) and in smaller increments than the package recommendations.

      By doing the patches, I also discovered that what I really wanted was sugarless mints to help with dry mouth. I do keep a stash of 2 mg nicotine mints around, but haven't touched them in weeks.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        tomf
        Link Parent
        nice work! I really hate these lozenges. No idea who developed this weapons-grade mint.. but its a bit much. I think the patches would be too strong. Are you finding any changes with your sleep...

        nice work! I really hate these lozenges. No idea who developed this weapons-grade mint.. but its a bit much.

        I think the patches would be too strong. Are you finding any changes with your sleep quality or timing? I'm finding that I want to go to bed way earlier than normal.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          patience_limited
          Link Parent
          When I say I couldn't quit with the lozenges, it's not like I didn't try hard... I got so sick of the ridiculous pricing and unpleasant flavors that I came up with this some time ago. But I just...

          When I say I couldn't quit with the lozenges, it's not like I didn't try hard... I got so sick of the ridiculous pricing and unpleasant flavors that I came up with this some time ago.

          But I just needed to break the chemical cycle of nicotine blood level drop, craving, chemical spike for relief, followed by blood level drop, especially first thing in the morning.

          Used properly, patches give super steady dosing, and you can change the dosage easily by cutting them to size. I started with 21 mg/day patches, and dropped by 1 mg/week, switching to lower dose patches as needed to keep the size useable.

          I didn't notice much change in sleep quality and timing during the taper or since quitting altogether. However, I'm a poor sleeper at best, and I'd just had surgery when I started the patches. My sleep tracker shows a lot of nights with four hours of sleep or less around that time. At a month of tapering, there was a period where I was down for 8 - 9 hours a night, then back to the usual 5 - 7.

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            tomf
            Link Parent
            whooooa! Its been a long time since I went into DEJ! Up in Canada, patches, lozenges, and... I think drugs are free. It'd be fun to make some that don't taste so harsh. You can make altoids from...

            whooooa! Its been a long time since I went into DEJ! Up in Canada, patches, lozenges, and... I think drugs are free.

            It'd be fun to make some that don't taste so harsh. You can make altoids from scratch using gum paste, powdered sugar, and a bubble tea straw -- and then the flavoring.

            I'm going to miss some parts of the vaping world. I had/have this really fancy, custom vape. Check this -- its a DNA200 passthrough. It was originally a squonk, but it was too difficult to get a good squeeze out of it. Its a little Hammond 1590A box and ran off a PSU with a switch. Its my second passthrough. I miss it already. :)

            its weird. Today I am 100% nicotine free, but I'm certain I'll wake up tomorrow and be jonesing. I think a lot of it is just being at home, to be honest.

            1 vote
            1. patience_limited
              Link Parent
              Yeah, I was hooked into vape tech and making juices for a while, but I could suck in enormous nicotine doses and it wasn't doing my lungs any more good than burning leaves. Though I haven't had a...

              Yeah, I was hooked into vape tech and making juices for a while, but I could suck in enormous nicotine doses and it wasn't doing my lungs any more good than burning leaves.

              Though I haven't had a cigarette in years, a couple of the people I work with smoke and just smelling it on them when I walk by is enough to kick off the jones. It's hard to comprehend how insidious a behavioral reinforcer nicotine is.

              Mostly, sucking on xylitol mints (IceBreakers Frost is fairly tasty) all day keeps cravings under control, and helps with sicca problems.

              2 votes
  3. [6]
    papasquat
    Link
    Insecurity, and fear about my (personal, mostly romantic) future, mostly. I have a good job, lots of friends (some of them better than others), a family that loves me. All my life, my life has...

    Insecurity, and fear about my (personal, mostly romantic) future, mostly. I have a good job, lots of friends (some of them better than others), a family that loves me.

    All my life, my life has been sorta "meh" though. I had this nagging feeling of being just... unsatisfied. Not depressed or even sad really, just... not generally content. I'd be lonely most nights, longing for SOMETHING. I dated a bit in my early 20s, but they were weird, short-term flings, or very brief relationships that were riddled with anxiety. I was, and still am, exceedingly bad at going out and attracting women that I'm interested in dating. Sometimes a girl would just randomly take interest in me, make a move, and I'd go for it. We'd sleep together for a few weeks then she'd get bored and move on mostly, or more rarely, I found that I really didn't even like her that much. I was just lonely and wanted to fill this void. That happened about... 6 or so times until my mid 20s, when I met the woman who would become my wife. It started much the same, we reconnected after going to high school together, she started perusing me, things went well, and she actually stuck around. She seemed to be interested and attracted in all the parts of me that I assumed were unattractive to people: My tendency to go down rabbit holes of weird esoteric interests. My geeky love of technology and all kinds of games. My love of a good, friendly argument. My tendency towards silliness and immaturity for comedy's sake.

    I'd had women tell me they loved me before, but I didn't feel it like anyone truly meant it until she said it. We quickly became each other's best friends, and that void was filled, much to my absolute shock. A common piece of trite common knowledge is that "relationships can't make you happy" or "you can't love until you love yourself" or dozens of other variations of something similar; basically, you need to be a complete, whole, fulfilled person before you get into a relationship, otherwise that relationship will just make you more unhappy. That was so absolutely far from the truth for me. Being in a stable relationship with a woman who loved me, and who I loved, and not only that, I actually liked as a person, and respected absolutely completed me. I became a better person for her. I stepped up my career, I got in great shape, I did things that I'd never dreamed of doing for her because I wanted to, not because I expected something in return. I bought flowers for her a few times a month. I took her on trips, I cooked for her, and I loved doing this stuff, it made me even happier.

    We were together for 8 years total, and most of those 8 years were the happiest years of my life. I remember thinking "If nothing ever changed, and my life was just the way it is for the next 50 years, I would die so happy and content". Obviously, that didn't happen. I found out my wife was having an affair while I was out of the country on military duty, and I found out about it by her telling me she wanted a divorce.
    She told me that she hadn't been happy for the past three years, although she had never given any indication for it. I still don't know if there was a crumb of truth there, or if it was just a rationalization to feel better about cheating on me, but at this point it doesn't really make much of a difference.

    I've been single for almost a year and a half at this point, and unfortunately, the feelings that I have now are very familiar to me at this point. The blinding anger, hurt, depression, and fear are mostly, but not all gone. What remains, however, is even more worrisome. I knew those intense feelings had an expiration date. Lots of people get divorced, and they almost all get over it, whether its in six months, a year, five years. Logically I knew that, and even though I felt like crap a lot, I could tell myself that I'm not going to feel this way forever. What I'm feeling now though, that familiar emptiness; the hole in my life, the feeling that something isn't quite right, that I'm missing something, those feelings don't have an expiration date. I know that, because I had them for a good fifteen years of my life before I met my ex wife.

    As far as I can tell, there are two main ways out of this. I can meet someone who I fall deeply in love with, and they fall deeply in love with me, or I can somehow change my mode of thinking to no longer require a partner to feel whole and content.
    The first one, in theory, is fairly straightforward. In practice, its anything but. I was on dating apps a couple months after my separation and was on them for about 4 months. I'm not a bad looking guy, although I'm certainly no supermodel, but I did go on quite a few dates during that time. Probably about 10 or so first dates. I met a few pretty nice women; I was dating one for about a month and a half, but one too many incompatibilities and red flags caused me to cut it off. I met another one that I was absolutely crazy about after the first date and who seemed to like me, but timing with work travel caused it to fizzle out unfortunately. The entire experience was very emotionally draining, and I made the decision to take a break from them about a year ago; I haven't been on since. I met another girl through team sports and we're currently in a fling which I think is ending shortly because of a lack of enthusiasm and emotional openness on her end. Overall, the whole experience has been very disheartening. I'm starting to question for the first time whether I'll ever have another fulfilling romantic relationship again.
    That leaves the second option; but I have absolutely no clue where to even start on basically self-actualizing myself without a partner. I try to stay social, try new activities, meet new people, go to new places, but much of it feels very hollow and performative without someone else to share it with by my side.

    I don't think I'm unique in any of this, by the way. I think a lot of people feel this way, although I'm basing that on literally nothing but my own intuition. A lot of this would just come off as whining if I shared it with my friends or family, and I've talked to my therapist about it, but I don't know, it's just a very hard and ill-defined problem to tackle. I'm basically asking, "how do I be happy?" And I think if anyone truly knew the definite answer to that, human society would be obsolete. Anyway, yeah, that's what I've been dealing with lately. Hopefully things get better.

    14 votes
    1. [5]
      teaearlgraycold
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This isn't a solution, rather a tool, but have you ever tried psychedelics? Shrooms in particular work by routing your thoughts through areas of the brain that are usually not used. This means you...

      This isn't a solution, rather a tool, but have you ever tried psychedelics? Shrooms in particular work by routing your thoughts through areas of the brain that are usually not used. This means you can fundamentally re-think something from the ground up in a matter of hours instead of years. I had a very positive experience with magic mushrooms a few years ago and recommend trying a moderate dose.

      I don't think they'll solve your self-actualization issue, but they might show you the first step and the direction to head in.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        Shrooms did exactly that for me. I realized mid-trip that I was desperately lonely, and had the certainty that it had to change. I overhauled my life for the better, and the inciting incident was...

        Shrooms did exactly that for me. I realized mid-trip that I was desperately lonely, and had the certainty that it had to change. I overhauled my life for the better, and the inciting incident was shrooms.

        4 votes
        1. teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          I realized I needed to become a better active listener (still working on that but I'm sure I'm better than I used to be) and that I would be a better version of myself if I was much friendlier....

          I realized I needed to become a better active listener (still working on that but I'm sure I'm better than I used to be) and that I would be a better version of myself if I was much friendlier. Also the shrooms eliminated my depression for a couple of weeks. I managed to fix that on my own later on, and for good (so far).

          1 vote
      2. [2]
        papasquat
        Link Parent
        I have actually, a couple of weeks ago. I used to have effects similar to what you're talking to when I was younger, but sadly nothing lasting from this last time. Just feeling weird and slightly...

        I have actually, a couple of weeks ago. I used to have effects similar to what you're talking to when I was younger, but sadly nothing lasting from this last time. Just feeling weird and slightly uncomfortable. It wasn't a bad trip per se, but also not a good one. I didn't get the inspirational feeling and new perspective on things that I once did from using them. It may have been the group of people I have with, friends I've known for a really long time and who lately have turned very cynical and negative lately. Might be worth trying again alone some time.

        2 votes
  4. [3]
    Merry
    Link
    Well, I haven't actually told anyone in my personal life so this might be a good opportunity to type stuff out and get it off my chest. In fact, I don't think anyone knows any of what I will talk...

    Well, I haven't actually told anyone in my personal life so this might be a good opportunity to type stuff out and get it off my chest. In fact, I don't think anyone knows any of what I will talk about below. I just don't have the relationships in my life to talk intimate details with parents or friends.

    About two weeks ago, I made the decision to end my long-term relationship with my partner. We sat down to each lunch together and she knew something was bothering me. We had talks like these for years, where she felt something was off, like we weren't really dating but rather really good best friend/roommates. It has been nearly a year since she regularly slept in my bed. We hadn't had sex in months. She asked if it wouldn't make more sense for us to be best friends, and I said it would. The past two weeks have been rough. At first she was accepting, then she was angry at me. I did get a cup thrown at me and her dinner thrown against the wall. She has cried nearly every day. I haven't cried at all, which is a bit concerning. Tomorrow, I am leaving to spend time with my dad for two weeks across the country. He doesn't know why, he just assumes I'm visiting him for pleasure. In that time, she is going to live and pack what she wants to take to her temporary apartment in Long Beach. I'm going to come back and drive her and the dog down and then I will be alone for the next two months while I decide whether to live near her and we continue to be best friends who occasionally see other, as well as share dog custody, or if I go my own path.

    I can't say that this wasn't a long time coming because it kind of has, and I feel both of us are at fault for that. For the past five years, she and I have really been the main, primary interaction with each other, and especially the last couple of years with COVID and us both working remote. Early on in our relationship, we decided to quit our jobs and move across the country together to start a new life in CA. We got here and both have been steadily employed the entire time. However, when we got to California, our relationship had a monumental shift when we left the romantic phase. Her life up to being in this relationship was not all that great. She had a history of sexual abuse as a child, a narcissist mother, and issues with escapism. During her 20's she became an alcoholic and was addicted to heroine. She had a mental breakdown after taking bath salts. Her longest on-again, off-again relationship ultimately ended with the guy overdosing and dying. She almost died from an overdose herself. Prior to meeting me, she was in the late stages of pulling her life together. These things didn't bother me so much, because I loved her and wanted to the there for her.

    Once we got to California though, cracks started to form and she would binge drink and become a completely different person. At the time, I didn't have a support network at all to fall back on. There wasn't a friend who I could go to and talk about these things with and I had drifted so far from my relatives that I felt ashamed that my reconnection with them would be them judging me for the partner I chose and the decisions I made. So I stayed with her. Every night that she would drink to the point of blacking out, verbally abusing me when I pleaded with her to stop, and the night ending with her passing out and pissing herself in the bed, I would be there the next day to tell her it was okay and that things will get better. There were some days where I was more hurt and angry than others, but I learned to compartmentalize the hell out of it and practice living in the moment. The downside to all this though is that absolutely wrecked our romantic life. I just didn't see her as a desirable romantic partner. She became a nymphomaniac when she was blacked out drunk and I couldn't have sex with any woman in that state. It just wasn't appealing to me. So I told myself, this feeling will pass, it will get better. And I did that year after year. Our dry spells would grow longer and longer, to the point where my lack of desire for her was starting to tear away at her own personal self-esteem.

    During that time though, she avoided hitting rock bottom and losing everything like she had in the past. Growing up, she didn't have a reliable source of support in her life that would just let things said and actions taken be water under the bridge. She eventually got diagnosed with PMDD, which explained the routine hormonal rage that would be directed at me for things like loading a dishwasher too loudly, or forgetting to take my laundry out of the dryer. She also was successful in using the Sinclair Method to get her alcoholism under control, she has been sober the longest period of her adult life. We also pooled our money together and got her LASIK and put up all the money for her to get her MBA without going into debt. She graduated with a 4.0. She got her PMDD under control. She is a miracle and in my opinion an exceptional person who just needed someone in her life to believe in her and give her the unconditional love when she needed it.

    It's just now...Now we have to plan next steps. Do I continue to be in a relationship where my partner won't sleep in the same bed as me? Do I continue to be caretaker to a loved one to help them reach the next steps? Do I continue to be told that commitment is too scary and we should keep waiting on marriage? I have to answer these questions everyday that we are still living together in this apartment. She begs for me not to do this, not to break up our family and ruin what was have. It isn't that I don't love her anymore, it is just that my love for her isn't the same love that I felt 4-5 years ago. It is no longer optimistic and filled with endless possibilities. Rather, it is a supportive love, like something you would give to a best friend who knows you more than your own family. And while I do believe all things in life can be changed, I think the path that it would take for us to be together will continue to require extraordinary sacrifices for each other.

    Maybe the right answer would be to stay together and go to counseling? Maybe. But I honestly dread the time that I spent on a near daily basis for up to an hour coaching her on her insecurities and telling her everything will be okay. Since things went sideways in our relationship years ago, I told myself I didn't want to have kids. I think this was just me lying to myself because I couldn't see myself having kids with her and I was rationalizing it too much. Maybe I really do want kids. I do know that I don't want to quit my well paying job to travel Europe for years, continually uprooting my social life to find the next best thing. That's what she wants, and that works for some people, just not for me.

    The truth is, I don't know what I want out of life. I don't know if this the right decision, or if this is going to collapse on me sometime in the future. There were areas of my life that she helped me with, I recognize this wasn't necessarily a one-sided relationship as I make out to sound in the beginning. She legitimately helped me with a lot too. Ending it means I have to take responsibility for myself, and while it is scary on one hand, it is also exciting for me on the other.

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      lou
      Link Parent
      You strike me as an incredibly dedicated, compassionate, resilient, and intelligent person. I'm restraining myself to not give you any advice, because it is evident to me that you already know the...

      You strike me as an incredibly dedicated, compassionate, resilient, and intelligent person. I'm restraining myself to not give you any advice, because it is evident to me that you already know the answer to your own doubts and I fear that an external assessment will only muddle your resolve. I only wish to say that I read your words, all of them, and I hope that the knowledge that you've been heard provide you some kind of solace or reassurance. You're a much better person than I am. Be well, my friend.

      12 votes
      1. Merry
        Link Parent
        Thank you for the kind words, they are greatly appreciated

        Thank you for the kind words, they are greatly appreciated

        3 votes
  5. [5]
    Adys
    Link
    My weight. It’s been steadily going back up all summer. I am actually uncomfortable with it right now; a mix of less sports and more eating out. I am trying to introspect to figure out exactly...

    My weight. It’s been steadily going back up all summer. I am actually uncomfortable with it right now; a mix of less sports and more eating out.

    I am trying to introspect to figure out exactly what is causing this.

    10 votes
    1. [4]
      Grendel
      Link Parent
      You may give this article on the Health at any size movement a read. Sometimes being healthy with the goal of losing weight can be harmful, as when we don't lose as much as we'd like, or any at...
      • Exemplary

      You may give this article on the Health at any size movement a read. Sometimes being healthy with the goal of losing weight can be harmful, as when we don't lose as much as we'd like, or any at all, or even gain weight it can discourage us from making healthy choices at all. "Healthy choices don't make me lose weight, and losing weight is the sign of health, so what's the point of trying" is something I've felt in my own head before.

      It's hard to let go of this mentality since weight seems to be the main (or even only) health indicator that is talked about, but there are some studies that provide evidence suggesting that overweight people with healthy habits are healthier than normal weight people who don't practice healthy habits.

      If nothing else, cut yourself some slack. Everyone gains weight at times, don't judge yourself on it. Just focus on making healthy choices and don't worry about the numbers on the scale.

      You are going to be okay :)

      10 votes
      1. [3]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        Thank you! I will read it. Yes I understand and I try to remind myself of it. Despite being over my comfortable weight right now I also know I’m able to do 100 pushups in a row, which is like 90...

        Thank you! I will read it. Yes I understand and I try to remind myself of it. Despite being over my comfortable weight right now I also know I’m able to do 100 pushups in a row, which is like 90 more than I used to be able to do haha.

        I feel healthier than I used to, but I also feel worse than I did a couple months ago. Letting yourself go sucks :(

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          smores
          Link Parent
          For what it’s worth, I am a pretty big runner and rock climber, and very low body fat. I exercise most days of the week. I absolutely cannot do 100 pushups in a row. That’s… awesome. That’s so...

          For what it’s worth, I am a pretty big runner and rock climber, and very low body fat. I exercise most days of the week.

          I absolutely cannot do 100 pushups in a row. That’s… awesome. That’s so many fucking pushups.

          If I take two weeks off of rock climbing, even though my body doesn’t change shape essentially at all, my neurological conditioning deteriorates (this is normal!) and it feels like I’ve lost a year of progress. Which is I guess to say: your weight might have changed, but that’s not necessarily why you feel worse! You’ve probably lost some of your neurological conditioning you had when you were playing sports more actively. If I were you, I might focus on getting more active for its own sake. It probably won’t take long to rebuild that neurological conditioning, and start to feel much better, whether or not it results in weight change!

          7 votes
          1. Adys
            Link Parent
            Indeed. I talked to my therapist about this today. I actually went to a crossfit session right after which I didn't particularly like. I hate exercise for the sake of exercise. I wanted to look...

            Indeed. I talked to my therapist about this today. I actually went to a crossfit session right after which I didn't particularly like. I hate exercise for the sake of exercise. I wanted to look for some HIIT places tbh, as that at least doesn't take ages and gets me a bit more active, then I can be more active in less intense activities (Beat Saber, rock climbing, figure skating, etc).

            3 votes
  6. [9]
    mosburger
    Link
    Continuing to work at a job that I really don't like, and burns me out, but it pays very very well. My kids are in college, and that income will be reported on the FAFSA (United States thing to...

    Continuing to work at a job that I really don't like, and burns me out, but it pays very very well. My kids are in college, and that income will be reported on the FAFSA (United States thing to determine eligibility for financial aid), so I can't really afford a surprise drop in salary.

    I'm 48, and retirement seems a long, long ways away. I feel trapped.

    10 votes
    1. [4]
      fional
      Link Parent
      I am struggling in the same vein, albeit a decade earlier in my career. I’ve always embraced my identity as the “computer nerd” growing up, and it certainly lead me to a lucrative career, but the...

      I am struggling in the same vein, albeit a decade earlier in my career. I’ve always embraced my identity as the “computer nerd” growing up, and it certainly lead me to a lucrative career, but the further along I get, the more the job centers around navigating internecine corporate firedrills and trying to excavate megacorps out of the holes left by my forebearers.
      I’ve been circling burnout for years, and increasingly find myself in a destructive loop of anxiety, procrastination, and questioning my own competency—surely anyone looking at me should tell I am not delivering results, so I fear for my job and try to push myself harder, but pushing harder just increases the stress without producing results.
      Alas, I live in a VHCOL part of the world and switching careers at this point is so high risk that I cannot ever seriously consider it. I also feel the need to invalidate myself because I realize how precariously most people are living today.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        I'm 27 and can see this being my position in 10 years if I stick to working for the big companies too long. I spent 4 years working for startups and just started at Google a few months ago. I'm...

        I'm 27 and can see this being my position in 10 years if I stick to working for the big companies too long. I spent 4 years working for startups and just started at Google a few months ago. I'm actually excited to "excavate megacorps out of the holes left by my forebearers" - but only the first couple of times. Once I've mapped that area out I see no reason to continue working for big companies.

        Every job I've ever joined I joined with the intention of quitting. I have a plan for how, when and why I'll quit Google. The next thing will be a jump into the deep end of founding a company.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          When you get to founding a company, look me up? I have a lot of experience helping early stage businesses, and in that time frame might be interested in a new project.

          When you get to founding a company, look me up? I have a lot of experience helping early stage businesses, and in that time frame might be interested in a new project.

          1 vote
          1. teaearlgraycold
            Link Parent
            I'm likely to forget, but send me a DM with info (not necessarily anything PII) if you're serious.

            I'm likely to forget, but send me a DM with info (not necessarily anything PII) if you're serious.

            1 vote
    2. [3]
      nukeman
      Link Parent
      Ping me later. At work now, I’ll try and type up a proper response later.

      Ping me later. At work now, I’ll try and type up a proper response later.

      1 vote
    3. nukeman
      Link Parent
      Okay. Let’s lay this out. What type of job do you work? Size of firm? Salary (range)? Are you in a managerial role? What area do you live in? Cost of Living? Married? Divorced? Single? (SO’s job?)...

      Okay. Let’s lay this out.

      • What type of job do you work? Size of firm?
      • Salary (range)? Are you in a managerial role?
      • What area do you live in? Cost of Living?
      • Married? Divorced? Single? (SO’s job?)
      • How many kids? What college(s) are they going to? Public or Private? What year are they?

      Now we’ve got our inputs for our next set of questions.

      • What do you want to be doing?
      • Do you want to stay in the same specific sub field, or are you willing to switch careers entirely? (Assuming same salary)
      • Are you willing to relocate?
      • If you stayed in your current position, how long would you be willing to stay, and would that be enough time to have the kids out of college?

      There’s probably some I’ve forgotten, but those are good starting points to consider. The financial independence and early retirement subreddits can be handy, but they have their own issues. As an initial step, I would update your resume, and look and see what jobs are available nearby, especially if they pay similarly. You might also look at positions in other cities, especially if they have have a better pay-to-COL ratio.

      Feel free to PM me if you do not want to share this info publicly.

      1 vote
  7. [5]
    lou
    (edited )
    Link
    I always thought that my lack of conformity to social groups was the main source of my unhappiness, but it never occurred me to ask honestly: "do I even wanna be in these groups? Or any group, for...

    I always thought that my lack of conformity to social groups was the main source of my unhappiness, but it never occurred me to ask honestly: "do I even wanna be in these groups? Or any group, for that matter? Or society as a whole?".

    With all due respect, but people are the worst.

    The amount of "theater" and performance required to be truly part of a large social group is tremendous and clearly does not come naturally to me. When in doubt, most people assume the worse, and these expectations are, to me, overwhelming. I can manage being a reasonable, respectful, ethical human being just fine, but, in most situations, what is most important is not actually being all that, but rather being able to present yourself as such. I'm terrible at the latter, and I'm not willing to undergo the psychological transformation and constant effort required to achieve that goal. I just don't. I refuse to let my identity dissolve into the collective.

    So I think I'll just embrace the fact that I'm not a social being, never was, and do not wish to become one. With all the consequences that entail. There are, however, positive aspects of social interaction. Solitude can be pretty boring sometimes. So that's what I'm "grappling with".

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      PetitPrince
      Link Parent
      Do you want to be part of a social group only because you want to be in that social group? Most of the group I consider myself a part of are group that does "something" (be it a martial arts club,...

      do I even wanna be in these groups? Or any group, for that matter?

      Do you want to be part of a social group only because you want to be in that social group?

      Most of the group I consider myself a part of are group that does "something" (be it a martial arts club, a photography club, a Tetris discord, or even work colleagues).

      In most of these group self-expression of this "something" is expected and welcome (because you have your own style, or you are just are a on a different point in the path for X,...) . Maybe you haven't found the right group?

      I joined those group first because I wanted to do that "something", and only after some time I learned to appreciate the people that made that group.

      7 votes
      1. [3]
        lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        There are certainly group activities in which I would like to partake, but the numerous undecipherable social dynamics to which I must comply are more often than not overwhelming. Social groups...

        There are certainly group activities in which I would like to partake, but the numerous undecipherable social dynamics to which I must comply are more often than not overwhelming. Social groups have no written manuals, you kinda have to abide by rules which you must either infer or already know. The obedience to those implicit, highly subjective rules will determine your value to the group, and, ultimately, your membership in it.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          inwardpath
          Link Parent
          I don't know if this is helpful, but I will say that digital social groups (a discord server or two I am in) I've found less difficult to ease into, because you can join a server, say hi or...

          I don't know if this is helpful, but I will say that digital social groups (a discord server or two I am in) I've found less difficult to ease into, because you can join a server, say hi or nothing at all, and just sit and observe the social atmosphere before committing to it. I've left groups that just didn't gel with me, not even in negative way, just groups that I don't get anything out of or just never really feel fully "in".

          IRL groups might be much more difficult. While people do perform and complex social dynamics to arise in online groups- I think those dynamics are easier to see because of the ability to observe without participation. IRL, it's a different story, because participation at some level is required to enter the group and it can be overwhelming and difficult to parse this new set of dynamics and people operate under many layers of BS sometimes that makes it exhausting.

          That said, I mostly keep to myself except 1-2 IRL friends and very curated online social groups, and I've learned to join, observe, leave groups at will without feeling guilty about it. Heck, at one point, I left an IRL weekly board game group because I was tired of playing them, and the social exhaustion that went along with it. No hard feelings resulted that I am aware of, I just realized I had to care for myself and not worry about affecting the group.

          Maybe if you find an IRL social group that seems inviting/interesting to you- see if there's a digital counterpart you can join first? Maybe that would help ease you into it? If that's something that would seem like an option, of course- I don't want to make assumptions and could be completely misunderstanding the context of this discussion, and if so, sorry for the ramble :)

          3 votes
          1. lou
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Hey, that is helpful for sure. The main online group I interact with is Tildes, and it's been pretty good so far. Writing is something that makes me feel more in control, what I put out is much...

            Hey, that is helpful for sure. The main online group I interact with is Tildes, and it's been pretty good so far. Writing is something that makes me feel more in control, what I put out is much closer to what I actually wanna say. IRL, people tend to give a lot of importance to the tone of voice and facial expressions, and, in my case, they often guess my intentions and emotional state incorrectly. Writing does not have this problem. Also, reality does not have an edit button. I edit a lot.

            Real-time chatting often does have an edit button, but it is certainly closer to actual conversations than commenting on a forum. So it is certainly full of subtext and somewhat exhausting as well. I did try to integrate on a mental health IRC channel once, but even there I felt off. Partly because I'm usually not communicating in my native language, there are not many internet resources in my native language where I wish to participate. Even in a place like that, the people actively communicating are clearly the ones with stronger social skills. I might look into, IDK, a neurodiverse Discord group for schizoids, autists, or autistic-like individuals, since I might be any of those (my doctor now thinks I might be the former). I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!

            3 votes
  8. Basil
    Link
    Procrastination. I really need to start working on an important thing that I have been putting off a few weeks now. It has been really nice to go on a lot of summer walks and relax for the few...

    Procrastination. I really need to start working on an important thing that I have been putting off a few weeks now. It has been really nice to go on a lot of summer walks and relax for the few weeks but I really need to get back on track or things will get a lot more stressful. I wish I could just spend the whole summer doing nothing, but that is probably not going to ever happen again. Getting older sucks.

    The reason I gave myself to allow myself to procrastinate so much is that I've been seriously thinking about making some big changes in my life, but I think I am done thinking and ultimately decided that I need to wait at least another year until I am done with my degree.

    8 votes
  9. Amarok
    Link
    Job hunting. I'm getting back into the sysadmin game, however employment gaps have a habit of landing resumes in the round-file unread - triply so in tech. I find having had a job I'd term...

    Job hunting. I'm getting back into the sysadmin game, however employment gaps have a habit of landing resumes in the round-file unread - triply so in tech. I find having had a job I'd term exemplary for almost two decades before the company folded has left me feeling like the rest of what's out there is not very appealing.

    I've built datacenters and every last thing in them from the ground up, so everything feels been-there done-that, little slices of being a generalist that are boring as hell on their own. I feel like I need to work at a company doing something I like or believe in to want to be there.

    I'm not very keen on supporting Microsoft's tech stack anymore, either. I've got the unix bug now, and I'd much rather be working for a company that isn't a sap cloudsourcing everything.

    8 votes
  10. [5]
    FishFingus
    Link
    Starting my assignment for a module that I don't much care for. It's a new module which has particularly badly done - to give you some idea, we have 3 assessments and a final exam, and the final...

    Starting my assignment for a module that I don't much care for. It's a new module which has particularly badly done - to give you some idea, we have 3 assessments and a final exam, and the final exam counts for about 70%, with nobody knowing what chapters it covers. With all previous modules, we could consult previous chapters to refresh our memories because we knew that assessments would be based on work we had learned, but in this module they've based some of the assessment questions on material that isn't taught in the literature. The explanations given for this and other mistakes indicate that they're aware they ballsed up and are inventing explanations.

    Also, we've been having to rely on some finicky software called NetLabs to do essentially the same network activities you could do (and previous, competent modules have done) by providing a single Packet Tracer file to students. Lost passwords, annoying time slot bookings and crashes galore!

    7 votes
    1. [4]
      Grendel
      Link Parent
      What is the module on and what is your overall course of study? I majored in computer science and definitely had to deal with stuff like this. I had a couple of courses that were really bad about...

      What is the module on and what is your overall course of study?

      I majored in computer science and definitely had to deal with stuff like this. I had a couple of courses that were really bad about testing on things not covered (or barely touched on) in the class, and sometimes the profs were very vague on what chapters were being tested over.

      All I can say is push through the best that you can. Eventually, you will get through school and get a job within your career track, and you'll find that the "real world" works very differently than school (in a mostly good way).

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        FishFingus
        Link Parent
        Cyber security module. Doing modules in that, networking and more general computer science stuff. Year 2, not sure what route I want to take. Preferably cyber security, I thought...

        Cyber security module. Doing modules in that, networking and more general computer science stuff. Year 2, not sure what route I want to take. Preferably cyber security, I thought...

        1 vote
        1. Grendel
          Link Parent
          I actually majored in Comp Sci and minored in Cyber Security! So at my school (a smaller state university), Comp Sci and IT were split out. Comp Sci was in the college of science (along with math...

          I actually majored in Comp Sci and minored in Cyber Security!

          So at my school (a smaller state university), Comp Sci and IT were split out. Comp Sci was in the college of science (along with math and engineering) and IT was in the college of business.

          They decided that hacking fell under IT, not Comp Sci, so it was left to the school of business to teach that. Now, all of us in the comp sci department had heard that the more technical classes over at the school of business were awful. They had a few programming courses, and apparently, they were so poorly taught that the comp sci department refused to accept those credits. As in, the refused credits earned in their own university!

          I don't like to disparage people, however, as I started taking courses over there I found the issues to be very real. The classes were absolutely worthless. In comp sci, we were given a set of tools and a problem to solve. It taught us critical and logical thinking in the context of that field.

          In the cyber classes, we were given a set of step-by-step instructions on how to exploit a particular vulnerability. There was no part of it that we had to actually try and figure out. Coming from the comp sci department this was extremely disappointing.

          My only saving grace was the fact that I had been exploring computer security on my own since about ninth grade, and that gave me the foundation I needed to actually develop the skills needed.

          2 votes
      2. inwardpath
        Link Parent
        I agree, learning about this stuff in school had practically zero bearing on operating in the real world. That may not be true for all avenues of learning, but it was for me.

        I agree, learning about this stuff in school had practically zero bearing on operating in the real world. That may not be true for all avenues of learning, but it was for me.

  11. [3]
    cloud_loud
    (edited )
    Link
    I've been having a lot of anxiety lately about my life. I've just had the realization that I'm kind of a loser and I fucked up a lot during my college years by not making connections and overall...

    I've been having a lot of anxiety lately about my life. I've just had the realization that I'm kind of a loser and I fucked up a lot during my college years by not making connections and overall not progressing in life as I should have.

    I'm trying to get it together and actually finally "start" my life. First things first, I need a license. I've been driving without a license but there's some jobs that I want to get that I can't get because you need a license in order to get it. So I signed up for driving classes as those were needed. I should get my license in the next month.

    I need to start making moves instead of being happy in the current rut that I am. I feel like I really wasted these past two years by doing nothing.

    Maybe it's because the world opened back up, and I don't really remember what life was like in lockdown and what the general mood was. Maybe it was okay to do nothing as nothing was happening for all of 2020 and the better part of 2021. Still, I really need to get my shit together. I need to start my career, I need to meet people. I don't think I've ever said this on here, but I've never had sex. That is how behind I am in life (though for the first roughly 20 years of my life I couldn't have sex due to a medical issue involving my penis if it wasn't for that I probably would have had sex in high school).

    In 2020 I was dealing with my weight gain and my hair loss, I felt like I couldn't move on with those things happening to me, but I've taken care of both of those things. I really do just need to go. That's where my mind is going.

    Edit: I just wanted to add one little detail. This all came about because I took too much weed one day and the anxiety that gave me made my thoughts go round and round. I hadn’t actually thought of anything about this until that day.

    I also made appointments with my doctor about my knee pain (which I’ve had for a year) and my hip pain (which I’ve had for five years). The reason I did that is because when I was high I was pacing around the house and my hip and leg were really hurting. Because I couldn’t really feel my body it felt like I had a peg leg on. So I got X-rays done and I’m currently in physical therapy. Thankfully I don’t have arthritis as the doctor initially thought and it hurts because I have a severe duck walk. So I’m finally correcting that as well.

    So that bad high led me to start fixing my life basically. Otherwise I would have been content. I’ve also taken a break from the weed.

    7 votes
    1. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      There's a lot to digest here, but let me address one very specific thing: I don't know where you are, but I believe the way the word "loser" is sometimes used in the English language is entirely...

      There's a lot to digest here, but let me address one very specific thing: I don't know where you are, but I believe the way the word "loser" is sometimes used in the English language is entirely unhelpful and also incorrect. The condition of winning or "losing" in life is entirely specific and determined by conditions set by each individual in relation to their particular desires and circumstances. There are no universal losers and winners because you, and only you, should determine the conditions of your success. You are not a loser because you're engaged in a process of positive change, you're aiming at something which will likely improve your condition and hopefully the lives of others. You are not a loser, you will never be a loser, you're rather a success in the making. The only loser is the one that stops trying.

      8 votes
    2. scissortail
      Link Parent
      A lot of your post could have been written by one of my very best friends. They are going though a really difficult time, in part because of feeling like a loser fuck-up (though they're anything...

      A lot of your post could have been written by one of my very best friends. They are going though a really difficult time, in part because of feeling like a loser fuck-up (though they're anything but). I'll tell you like I tell them: it sounds like you've internalized some serious bullshit about success. Thinking that "winning" early at the relationships-and-career game is the only route to flourishing is, in my mind, an unnecessarily narrow view. The beautiful thing about life is that it's whatever you want it to be (within the constraints of your means and situation, sorta). To echo lou, you are the one who gets to decide what winning at life means. Do other people think you're a loser because you don't have a shiny resume or tons of sexual experience? If so, forget 'em. They're not the sort of people whose opinions are worth giving a shit about. If it's just in your own head, ask yourself why. I don't think you'll find compelling reasons to judge success on those metrics.

      It's great to hear, though, that you're taking steps towards some goals. I'd encourage you to ask yourself what it is that you want, disregarding society's expectations for you, and then work towards those things. Walk the path towards your best self, but be good to yourself too--you are not a loser because you are doing some things later than other people.

      7 votes
  12. stonetheman98
    Link
    Worrying about the future here in America for transgender people like me, trying to learn how to like actually love myself, and gender dysphoria. I guess on the "the future of being trans in...

    Worrying about the future here in America for transgender people like me, trying to learn how to like actually love myself, and gender dysphoria.

    I guess on the "the future of being trans in America" front, perhaps I just really get into some doomscroll-y parts of twitter, but I think even if that's the case, I don't think it's hard to see how anti trans (really, anti lgbt as a whole) sentiment is growing in this country. I don't really feel like going on about specifics here, but one thing that has occurred to me that maybe I should have a "if shit hits the fan" plan about how I'm going to get out of here if shit really gets bad. At least as a small bit of silver lining, I did see a breakdown state by state on Twitter the other day of the anti-trans risk within this election cycle, and the current state I reside in was at a medium-low risk, the state I go to for my hormone checkups low risk, and the state I reside in borders a genuinely good state with trans legal protections, which coupled with how I went with the transfem stereotype of becoming a programmer, I at least have some options that are actually financially viable to go somewhere better if it comes to that.

    And I guess on the Gender Dysphoria front, it's going. On one hand, I am absolutely better than what I was before I started medically transitioning, and there are genuine though unfortunately fleeting moments where I actually get gender euphoria over things, but on the other hand, even being like 14 months into hrt, there's still times where I'll like see my reflection in a mirror or window, or like hear myself talk, and think "I will never not look like/sound like/act like a man", and that usually ruins my day. From what I understand talking with other trans women online is that shit like this takes time, and that things do get better on this front, but goddamn I'm learning first hand how much of an ordeal it is to get that far, and that's without worrying about societal problems related to being trans.

    I guess a problem that is absolutely compounded by both of those too is that sometimes, it's hard to shake off this feeling of hopelessness for the future. Like especially with climate change looming on the horizon too, in addition to what I've mentioned here previously, it's getting kind of hard to not just, for want of a better term for this, become blackpilled doomer I guess.

    This ended up being more a vent if anything, might take it down later lmao.

    7 votes
  13. Akir
    (edited )
    Link
    Seemingly everything all at once. Everything is interrelated. I want to quit my job because it requires too much of me. I know this because by the time I get home I’m too mentally drained to look...

    Seemingly everything all at once. Everything is interrelated.

    I want to quit my job because it requires too much of me. I know this because by the time I get home I’m too mentally drained to look for new jobs. The stress has caused me to overeat and that has also caused me other health issues. And lately I appear to have very disordered sleep.

    I’m not even sure what kind of job I should be looking for anymore. I almost feel like I should be looking for a junior developer job because all of the projects I have been working on are internal and proprietary so I have nothing to show that actually proves I have skills. Thankfully it seems that more companies are telling you when you aren’t chosen for a position, but unfortunately they still aren’t telling you why.

    An edit: me bitching about work So the thing that stresses me most about work is that I'm constantly being pushed away from the types of work that I enjoy doing, or even the work I'm ok with just dealing with, into the types of work that have me dealing with people and big expensive sales, which causes a lot of anxiety and stress.

    There is one particular woman whom I had spent nearly a month dealing with who just can't stop grinding me down in every way imaginable. Last weekend was a victory because I finally got her down payment and signature on a legally binding contract. And this morning, after my two-day not-quite-weekend break, I come into the office and see that I have four emails from her.

    • Thanks for your help
    • I changed my mind, I wanted the other thing we were talking about
    • Nah, nevermind, what we have is good
    • I want something completely different than everything we have talked about so far

    I'm going to get a response from the boss before I respond to her, but if his response is anything other than "You signed a legally binding contract" I will scream.

    Frankly, just business-as-usual when I have to deal with selling things is going to make me scream.

    6 votes
  14. knocklessmonster
    Link
    I've had a rough month: Covid for two weeks, then my brother got it from me and my mom. I've got this cough that's getting better, but it's still messing my sleep up. I was going to catch up last...

    I've had a rough month: Covid for two weeks, then my brother got it from me and my mom. I've got this cough that's getting better, but it's still messing my sleep up. I was going to catch up last night and chipped a tooth, resulting in me finding then going to a late-night dentist to get it bonded so I didn't have to do it today, and the adrenaline from the mild panic still got me.

    I surprisingly don't have anything huge messing with me anymore, except figuring out how to move out, which I need to work with my brother and his wife on (we all want to co-habitate, and they've got a kid on the way). I'm 32 years old finally climbing the stairs into the pool of adulthood and it seems to be all coming at once.

    6 votes
  15. eladnarra
    Link
    I'm struggling with my health. Going to doctors, getting tests, trying to avoid COVID, and running around after insurance to make sure I won't be hit with an astronomical bill is extremely tiring,...

    I'm struggling with my health.

    Going to doctors, getting tests, trying to avoid COVID, and running around after insurance to make sure I won't be hit with an astronomical bill is extremely tiring, and I already have energy-limiting chronic illnesses. I took a semester off and decreased my work hours to basically nothing in order to focus on my health this summer, but with how long it takes to get appointments and insurance approval, it looks like I'll have to take the fall semester off as well. And then in the spring I'm having surgery... Which is why I was trying to finish my last class in the fall.

    It's so difficult to focus on your health when you're chronically ill. I go through phases where I basically ignore my health, because otherwise I don't have energy for school/work. Seeing my paltry income and my unfinished certificate, plus crying after dealing with insurance stress, all makes me want to give up and go back to suffering poor health in silence.

    I'm also really struggling to balance all this medical testing with COVID risk. Most appointments and tests I can wear my n95, but for a couple I can't. And I'm terrified. People in doctor offices wear just surgical masks, and if I have to take off my mask for a test, so did the patients in the room before me.

    5 votes
  16. scissortail
    Link
    I'm trying to figure out how I want to make a modest income. I am currently living and working long-term on a farmstead in the tropics. It's a great life, but sadly expenses aren't quite at...

    I'm trying to figure out how I want to make a modest income.

    I am currently living and working long-term on a farmstead in the tropics. It's a great life, but sadly expenses aren't quite at zero--I unfortunately still have a bit of personal debt to pay off in addition to my phone bill, storage unit, and health insurance (which may get the axe soon).

    Ideally I'd find some decent-paying piece work that I can do from my underpowered computing setup (a Raspberry Pi 3B+). I really only have to crack $500/month, though a bit more would obviously be good.

    At the moment the best candidate seems to be technical writing, and editing for sites that don't have a workflow that bodies my little computer. I'm in the process of putting together a copy-editing pitch for a small sports analysis outfit, though it would probably only get me part of the way towards breaking even. Part of me thinks it would be worth my time to get better at coding; I've made a couple runs at learning C but haven't really stuck with it long enough to be any good. I'm also considering trying to write a couple essays that have been on the brain, and then attempt to shop them around to online publications.

    I can't say I'm terribly enthusiastic about any of these options, so I'd love suggestions or leads if anyone has them.

    5 votes