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Not sure I have a hopeful vision anymore

Mycophile

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This should be dark enough, though short as it's late and I'm tired and drunk.

So, I'm about to be middle aged, 39, and it scares the fuck out of me and I hate it, and that's only part of it.

Many people I think, though not everyone, will have a "vision of hope" in their teen years and 20s, maybe it goes up through their 30s, (and this timeline could differ of course) but it will be likely, if it is not REALLY based in reality (as mine isn't/wasn't) to fade out as you get older.

If that vision was enabling you to really work harder and try harder (as mine was...and I don't think I need to say what it was yet cause it doesn't matter as everyone's is different...)....well, if your's was getting you to work towards a future you believed would make you happy and peaceful, and then suddenly you stop believing in it...THAT"S FUCKING HARSH.

I mean, what is life without hope??

Everyone has something different that gives them hope, but all that matters is there is something to make you think if you work hard (the WORK is ESSENTIAL as in the end really the work ITSELF is what gives you salvation...NOT the end...).....that if you do....something better might be there for you.

Well....basically, my old vision of hope died for the most part, and now I'm binging harder on drugs then ever before because when the hope dies only momentary salvation from your favorite drugs feels good, but this shit is hitting me HARD with the negative effects of my favorite drugs, right now mostly dexadrine, but also alcohol, only Kratom for the past week which is my favorite but I threw it out......benzos/Klonopin that I take for anxiety but NEED to cut down on before my brain dies....maybe switch to Gabapentin???.............I am not working over the summer so I shut myself off in a dark air-conditioned room and sleep all day with ear plugs in cut off from reality.

I might wake up in the middle of the day and fucking take melatonin to fall back to sleep to sleep till the evening when I chug coffee.

Life is pure escapism via drugs, internet and TV.

And also, I found out I have very high cholesterol which....while not an IMMEDIATE threat at my age....will be in 10--15 years if I don't deal with it.....but I haven't been....and in fact...most likely with the amounts of stimulants and booze I have been drinking I could MAYBE be at risk of stroke/heart attack now....though PROBABLY not...most likely I've got about 7-8 years serving as a MILD "buffer" between immediate cardiac--event.

Shit is serious, I'm alone...and when fucked up like now, not really caring as much as I should if I died if it was very sudden, though really if I thought about I'd flip out, especially considering my family's reaction.


Overall....I mean....I've been fucked up many times...maybe not QUITE this fucked but close....and lost a shitload of weight (to gain it back as I often do)....stopped the drugs for months (mostly....) to get a "relatively" clean bill of health to start up again once I knew I was "ok"....

And basically....I guess I don't have enough left in my life to make me happy aside from drugs.

Many friends moved away and are hard to reach and I have no social life anymore....and I keep hoping I can convince myself of a vision to believe in for a hopeful future to help me get my shit together.

I know i'll somehow "clean up"...but how long will it last?

Cause it never does without a vision of hope.

Well, is that dark enough for this forum?

I thought this could go in mental health but figured it's better here.

That's all for now.
 

Drifting_Away

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I’d say it’s dark enough. It seems like you use drugs as a way to escape your problems and worries. Where as all of my problems and worries are a result of my drug use. I know that drive you’re speaking if. I had it hard in a period of sobriety for close to 15 years. I found that it left me burnt out and hollow. A void which I began to fill with my drug of choice. Pills then heroin. I don’t have much to add other than I know what a struggle life can be. Have you looked into any kind of therapy? It can do wonders. We’re here for you! Stay safe!
 

Shortec Stublue!!

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Apr 27, 2019
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In the words of Baz Luhrmann,

“Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life…
the most intellectually gifted people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
some of the most interesting and intelligent 40 year olds I know still don't.”
 

Mycophile

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Mar 3, 2014
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3,606
I’d say it’s dark enough. It seems like you use drugs as a way to escape your problems and worries. Where as all of my problems and worries are a result of my drug use. I know that drive you’re speaking if. I had it hard in a period of sobriety for close to 15 years. I found that it left me burnt out and hollow. A void which I began to fill with my drug of choice. Pills then heroin. I don’t have much to add other than I know what a struggle life can be. Have you looked into any kind of therapy? It can do wonders. We’re here for you! Stay safe!
Thanks. I've had a whole lot of therapy in my life.

I don't have an actual talk therapist right now, but I do have an absent psychiatrist who hands out pills lol (I think I need a new one).

I was in a darker place when I wrote this, but I think it could be going back there as now I'm gonna attempt to quit dexadrine starting tomorrow and so far that often leaves me with pretty bad WD and depression and fatigue and I don't know how long that will last.

I still feel like life sucks though.

If anyone else has anything HOPEFUL to say I'd appreciate it lol...
 

Mycophile

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Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
3,606
In the words of Baz Luhrmann,

“Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life…
the most intellectually gifted people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
some of the most interesting and intelligent 40 year olds I know still don't.”
Thanks, I mean, it is about a lot more than just not being sure what I want to do career wise or anything like that.

I have a good job, but it's not enough (happiness wise or financially).

As I said, still feeling pretty down about life, so if anyone has anything HOPEFUL to say it would be nice...
 

Xorkoth

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Man, think about what you love to do. Pursue that regardless of whether it seems like a good idea or not. The way to be happy in life, and with yourself, is to pursue your passions. And that's going to make you do the best work, too. There are things in life more important than money, and feeling happy about what you're doing with your life is one of them. The drugs are just making things worse. You need to get out there and pursue it. Surely there is something that you really enjoy, that you feel passionate about. Even if it's a vast departure from your previous life. It's never too late to do something new. My mom went back to grad school to get her master's degree at age 55 and now does something totally different that she truly loves.

Try not to let yourself get into those self-defeating thought loops. If you don't believe things will get better, they won't. But I know it's possible for you to do it. :)
 

Mycophile

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Man, think about what you love to do. Pursue that regardless of whether it seems like a good idea or not. The way to be happy in life, and with yourself, is to pursue your passions. And that's going to make you do the best work, too. There are things in life more important than money, and feeling happy about what you're doing with your life is one of them. The drugs are just making things worse. You need to get out there and pursue it. Surely there is something that you really enjoy, that you feel passionate about. Even if it's a vast departure from your previous life. It's never too late to do something new. My mom went back to grad school to get her master's degree at age 55 and now does something totally different that she truly loves.

Try not to let yourself get into those self-defeating thought loops. If you don't believe things will get better, they won't. But I know it's possible for you to do it. :)
Thanks man, I really appreciate the kind words, and you're a poster whose posts I've enjoyed for a while.

You are right about pretty much everything you said, the only thing is, and it would get a bit complex to get into it and take more time than I feel like putting into writing it right now, but the thing that I identify with loving most is also something I believe I can't do for a number of reasons (some are probably not true and some probably are), and it's also something which often causes me more unhappiness than happiness because I am SO obsessed with the outcome when I do (it's martial arts by the way, especially Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts), that I just get super down on myself and don't feel like doing it at all, and I've only stepped on the mat THREE times in the past year (though during that time I became a teacher and achieved other big things).

That is also of course on top of the fact that the drugs are making me tired all the time and depressed so I don't have much physical energy.

I'm a VERY obsessive person with OCD, generalized and social anxiety disorder, depression, etc, and I become fixed on "certain things being the answer to life".

Only ONE of the issues I've gone through that got me to this state was becoming COMPLETELY convinced that becoming an MMA fighter would be the "holy grail to fix my self esteem and entire life", and going for the goal has led to multiple injuries, 3 ACL tears and reconstructions, a wrist surgery, chronic life long neck issues, and now I'm 39 and the game is pretty much behind me.

My chances of succeeding and pulling off an Amateur MMA fight are MUCH lower now, but what's more, I have kind of come to realize that even if I COULD do it, that it is not the holy grail I make it out to be, that very few things in life really work that way where you do "this or that" or achieve "this or that" and then you are just happy for the rest of your life, cause that ain't how life works.

You experience a short period of time of being happy IF you succeed at whatever it is, and then it's over and life goes on.

So while this is only ONE of the things that has made me unhappy, this, my increasing substance abuse to deal with depression over this and a whole host of other different issues I can't get into here, of reaching middle age which scares the fuck out of me........this was still kind of my "vision of hope" regarding something that made me want to try harder and live a cleaner and healthier life without drugs.

Now that I realize that 1) it MIGHT not be possible to achieve anymore, and that even if it IS it will be REALLY hard and time and energy consuming and 2) that there's a good chance it would not make me happy anyway......it's just one thing that has made me feel like I don't know anything anymore about what might or might not make me happy.

I don't like being obsessed over certain things like this where I believe that if I achieve it everything will be great but if I don't I AM NOTHING....which is what I believed for years.

Now thinking I can't do it, I have internalized the idea of the feeling that "I am nothing" cause I couldn't do this like I wanted to for years, but also, I've realized it's all a lie, that no one single thing ever makes anyone happy.

It's led me to question everything, and make me feel that life is ultimately meaningless.

There are a number of other issues I have that have added to this feeling of meaninglessness, but they are too private to get into here, only possibly things I'd even consider getting into you with a PM...some which I wouldn't ever discuss.

(Ok, so I guess now I DID discuss PART of what is bugging me LOL....only PART of it though...)

But you are right that finding and pursuing what you love it key, it's just that doing that right now is something very difficult, something I don't even feel I have the physical or psychological energy for, and I may have to try to convince myself that there is something else I could possibly love as much as martial arts with which I am NOT so negatively effected with the outcome, but I am not really sure a person can actively CHOOSE what they are and are not passionate about.

Thanks again for the kind words, and you can respond when convenient for you if you wish.
 

Xorkoth

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That sucks that in pursuing your dream, you damaged yourself so it was no longer possible. That happens to people sometimes when sports are their goal. Sorry that happened to you, I can see why it's devastating. However, maybe there's something else you enjoy? I, too, like being obsessed with things, for me it's playing music, I have a full-time job doing computer programming and I spend all the rest of my time playing music with my 2 bands, we play a lot of shows, it's amazing I wake up every day excited because I get to do this thing that is so fulfilling and provides the best feeling on Earth. And it's not about being the best, it's just about continually putting time and energy into it. You'll get better. Only one person in the WORLD is the best... you don't need to be the best, you just need be someone that is doing something that you can give to people. I have no idea what any other passions you might have are, but you gotta deal with this setback, even if it's devastating to you because it was your dream. You can find another thing that fulfills you, you really have no choice, it's either that, or stay locking yourself away and masking the pain with drugs. But you can do it, people do it every day. :)
 

Mycophile

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That sucks that in pursuing your dream, you damaged yourself so it was no longer possible. That happens to people sometimes when sports are their goal. Sorry that happened to you, I can see why it's devastating. However, maybe there's something else you enjoy? I, too, like being obsessed with things, for me it's playing music, I have a full-time job doing computer programming and I spend all the rest of my time playing music with my 2 bands, we play a lot of shows, it's amazing I wake up every day excited because I get to do this thing that is so fulfilling and provides the best feeling on Earth. And it's not about being the best, it's just about continually putting time and energy into it. You'll get better. Only one person in the WORLD is the best... you don't need to be the best, you just need be someone that is doing something that you can give to people. I have no idea what any other passions you might have are, but you gotta deal with this setback, even if it's devastating to you because it was your dream. You can find another thing that fulfills you, you really have no choice, it's either that, or stay locking yourself away and masking the pain with drugs. But you can do it, people do it every day. :)
Yeah, to be honest, even though I injured myself a lot and I"m older than many people are when they do this stuff, truth of the matter is that IF I were REALLY in the right place PSYCHOLOGICALLY and not all messed up from drugs and able to not obsess so much over whether or not I could ever have an Amateur MMA fight, I probably COULD do it. Whether or not I'd win would be no guarantee but it never is. I could certainly TRAIN to make it happen, and if I were of a HEALTHY SOUND MIND, lose myself in the act of training itself and not the end, and feel good about myself, but psychologically speaking I don't feel I have it in me to pursue it.

My instructor even thinks I COULD still possibly do it, but the mental aspect just isn't there, and I don't think I can force it to be there. If it returns if I get myself clean and off most (or all drugs), then maybe.

But otherwise, yeah, music is a big passion of mine too. Guitar was something I stopped like 16 years ago cause I kind of got equally obsessed and frustrated with it but the overall desire to keep going wasn't there so I stopped...familiar story, but I've often thought that IF I could get myself emotionally toghether I'd want to get back into it, and like you said, the good thing about music compared to sports is you aren't competing against anyone, age is not a factor, and basically, you can just enjoy yourself if you can play a style you want.

Even that at the moment I don't have the energy for as I'm so sedated from certain drugs I need to either get off of or adjust...but it's a thought for the future.

And at any rate, I mean yeah, people do find new things to be passionate about all the time and change paths.

There's more to the entire situation than that, and I can't really get into it all, mostly the first thing is getting off the drugs and regaining physical energy that will help me get through this bout of depression.

It's probably gonna be a long road, but I've got no choice but to stick it out.

Thanks again.
 

Xorkoth

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How long did you play guitar? What ages? I grew up playing classical piano from age 8 to 18, and percussion in concert band from age 10 to 18. Decided to go to school for computer science instead so I fell out of it gradually, and didn't play again for 12 years, from age 18 to 30. It had been so long I honestly didn't even realize it was such a hole in my life, until I started again and was like OH MY GOD THIS IS IT! This is what I've been missing. It's changed my life completely, the people I know, the stuff I do, my self esteem, so much. I can't imagine if I hadn't started again. I guess my point is, it's never too late. For me it was like riding a bike, I just knew the scales still instinctively. I wasn't great at improvising yet but I got pretty good at it quick. Now 5 years later I'm in 2 professional bands, playing as a totally different player, in 2 bands who are all made up of close friends, and part of this large community of amazing people, we all help each other out. It just feels so wholesome, plus I get to go to music festival for free and play them.

My point with that story was that when I was in my bad place, similar to yourself, I truly believe it was too late for me, nothing to do. It made me really sad. But it turned out to not be true at all. I'm 36 and I'm the happiest I've been in life except maybe 2017, that year was epic just because it was before a lot of life stresses happened but I was still really active in music and doing so many awesome adventures in the mountains and basically just non-stop things that I was excited to do. But in 2012/2013 I actively wanted to die, I fantastized about killing myself, I prayed to get hit by a bus when I went out, it was bad. But then I started to turn it around. As I came out of my shell more, it was easier and easier to make friends, and a couple of those friends were people who ended up being my bandmates and some of my dearest friend. Wouldn't have made that connection if I had just stayed home but I made it a point to go over there and hang out while they were jamming and when they saw how I was singing melodies over their stuff and really feeling it that asked me to play with them, which is what change my life.

So it's about both identifying your passion(s), and then also putting yourself out there so that you are able to grab at opportunities and make connections.
 

Mycophile

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How long did you play guitar? What ages? I grew up playing classical piano from age 8 to 18, and percussion in concert band from age 10 to 18. Decided to go to school for computer science instead so I fell out of it gradually, and didn't play again for 12 years, from age 18 to 30. It had been so long I honestly didn't even realize it was such a hole in my life, until I started again and was like OH MY GOD THIS IS IT! This is what I've been missing. It's changed my life completely, the people I know, the stuff I do, my self esteem, so much. I can't imagine if I hadn't started again. I guess my point is, it's never too late. For me it was like riding a bike, I just knew the scales still instinctively. I wasn't great at improvising yet but I got pretty good at it quick. Now 5 years later I'm in 2 professional bands, playing as a totally different player, in 2 bands who are all made up of close friends, and part of this large community of amazing people, we all help each other out. It just feels so wholesome, plus I get to go to music festival for free and play them.

My point with that story was that when I was in my bad place, similar to yourself, I truly believe it was too late for me, nothing to do. It made me really sad. But it turned out to not be true at all. I'm 36 and I'm the happiest I've been in life except maybe 2017, that year was epic just because it was before a lot of life stresses happened but I was still really active in music and doing so many awesome adventures in the mountains and basically just non-stop things that I was excited to do. But in 2012/2013 I actively wanted to die, I fantastized about killing myself, I prayed to get hit by a bus when I went out, it was bad. But then I started to turn it around. As I came out of my shell more, it was easier and easier to make friends, and a couple of those friends were people who ended up being my bandmates and some of my dearest friend. Wouldn't have made that connection if I had just stayed home but I made it a point to go over there and hang out while they were jamming and when they saw how I was singing melodies over their stuff and really feeling it that asked me to play with them, which is what change my life.

So it's about both identifying your passion(s), and then also putting yourself out there so that you are able to grab at opportunities and make connections.
I played from age 16-23. I didn't really gain the greatest foundation IMO, but I had some and with the right motivation and right teacher I could get back into it.

But yeah, I get you that life can change if you put yourself out there and make connections and identify passions.

Thanks for talking.

Gotta go for now but it helped.

Peace.
 

Derschieber

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That's all for now.
Greetings Possum
That is quiet a lament and conundrum. You have some reading to catch up on.
Many finish up like this. It's kinda normal even lol. You are aware of your drug problem. You also seem discouraged about life in general, to the point where you're asking "why bother dealing with the drugs, when life is pointless anyhow". Your overall complaint appears to be that nothing has provided you with lasting happiness, and you fail to see how anything you might do can change that.
This is the good part of getting older - You are finally in a position to become wiser. Most of us have to spend half a lifetime being foolish before we can wise up. You're not alone. Far from it.
It's true, you've got to cut out the drugs. Which came first - the chicken or the egg. Are you taking drugs because life is just liquid shit, or does taking drugs result in life looking like shit?

I think it's a bit of both. Abusing drugs never results in a fulfilling lifestyle. You know that. There is no way around it. Life is difficult, with long periods of monotony, disappointments and heartache between the good times. Drugs will inevitably diminish the good and multiply the shit. You know that too.

Something you have painstakingly learned by now: Happiness comes and goes like the wind. It is not under your control at all.
And frankly, you were a fool for running after it. This for example, is what I meant by catching up on reading. Our grand-parents and the generations before them all knew this very well. Everybody did. They read it in the Bible. Solomon's Proverbs to be exact. This is not me being evangelical. This is me pointing out to you that Solomon had much to say about the importance of a man's vision, the foolishness of running after happiness, and how not to finish up like we did. Disillusioned, disappointed and depressed.

What is the end of a wise man? He has peace (Solomon)
Imagine that.

Millions of men finish up in similar situations as you describe. It is the outcome of our post-modern society. Men taking their own lives was very rare 100 years ago. Now it is an epidemic.
Broadly speaking, there are only a handful of options:

You can sink deeper into drugs and despair, fade away into bitterness and misery - there is no fool like an old fool.

You can embrace the humanistic approach of "pulling yourself up by the boot-straps" so to speak, such as is currently taught most notably by Jordan Peterson, who has recently written a book aimed at your predicament. It's a big hit. You can listen to him on youtube, where he has millions of fans, mostly men who claim he has helped them out of the sort of swamp you are describing.

You can turn to Jesus Christ and be born again - millions around the world give testament to their new-found meaningful lives.

You can join a crazy pseudo-christian cult - many to choose from. Probably won't end well, but still a big improvement.

You can go overseas and join a Sunni Jihadist group and wage jihad for the sake of Allah. Cut some people's heads off, rape and pillage, enforce shariah. Your vision will be one of 40 virgins in paradise.

You can find some measure of meaning and fulfillment via charity organisations, Lion's & Rotary Club etc which are creepy christian-light outfits lol.

You can get married, have children just before getting a divorce and grow deeply bitter during costly custody battles in the family court - really ugly, but at least the children will be your focus and give significant meaning to your life.

There isn't much else, broadly speaking lol. If you're not ready to make peace with your maker, Jordan Peterson might be your best bet.
 

Mycophile

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Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
3,606
Greetings Possum
That is quiet a lament and conundrum. You have some reading to catch up on.
Many finish up like this. It's kinda normal even lol. You are aware of your drug problem. You also seem discouraged about life in general, to the point where you're asking "why bother dealing with the drugs, when life is pointless anyhow". Your overall complaint appears to be that nothing has provided you with lasting happiness, and you fail to see how anything you might do can change that.
This is the good part of getting older - You are finally in a position to become wiser. Most of us have to spend half a lifetime being foolish before we can wise up. You're not alone. Far from it.
It's true, you've got to cut out the drugs. Which came first - the chicken or the egg. Are you taking drugs because life is just liquid shit, or does taking drugs result in life looking like shit?

I think it's a bit of both. Abusing drugs never results in a fulfilling lifestyle. You know that. There is no way around it. Life is difficult, with long periods of monotony, disappointments and heartache between the good times. Drugs will inevitably diminish the good and multiply the shit. You know that too.

Something you have painstakingly learned by now: Happiness comes and goes like the wind. It is not under your control at all.
And frankly, you were a fool for running after it. This for example, is what I meant by catching up on reading. Our grand-parents and the generations before them all knew this very well. Everybody did. They read it in the Bible. Solomon's Proverbs to be exact. This is not me being evangelical. This is me pointing out to you that Solomon had much to say about the importance of a man's vision, the foolishness of running after happiness, and how not to finish up like we did. Disillusioned, disappointed and depressed.

What is the end of a wise man? He has peace (Solomon)
Imagine that.

Millions of men finish up in similar situations as you describe. It is the outcome of our post-modern society. Men taking their own lives was very rare 100 years ago. Now it is an epidemic.
Broadly speaking, there are only a handful of options:

You can sink deeper into drugs and despair, fade away into bitterness and misery - there is no fool like an old fool.

You can embrace the humanistic approach of "pulling yourself up by the boot-straps" so to speak, such as is currently taught most notably by Jordan Peterson, who has recently written a book aimed at your predicament. It's a big hit. You can listen to him on youtube, where he has millions of fans, mostly men who claim he has helped them out of the sort of swamp you are describing.

You can turn to Jesus Christ and be born again - millions around the world give testament to their new-found meaningful lives.

You can join a crazy pseudo-christian cult - many to choose from. Probably won't end well, but still a big improvement.

You can go overseas and join a Sunni Jihadist group and wage jihad for the sake of Allah. Cut some people's heads off, rape and pillage, enforce shariah. Your vision will be one of 40 virgins in paradise.

You can find some measure of meaning and fulfillment via charity organisations, Lion's & Rotary Club etc which are creepy christian-light outfits lol.

You can get married, have children just before getting a divorce and grow deeply bitter during costly custody battles in the family court - really ugly, but at least the children will be your focus and give significant meaning to your life.

There isn't much else, broadly speaking lol. If you're not ready to make peace with your maker, Jordan Peterson might be your best bet.
Hey thanks.

How come you called me Possum?

LOL.

I basically agree with most of what you said.

As far as what came first, drugs or my problems? My problems came first. I had to be given Prozac at age 14 because of emerging OCD and serious social anxiety which actually worked very well for me for 9 years till it got worse.

And I didn't say "why bother dealing with drugs when life is pointless now"...unfortunately I feel more like why TRYING TO ACHIEVE MY GOALS when life is pointless now. Yes I have to cut out the drugs or things will just get worse though.

I'm not into religion and to any extent I'd be drawn towards anything religious it would be eastern religions like Buddhism and Taoism and more the meditation than the philosophy.

I've studied a fair amount about world religions, majored in philosophy in college, and took many course in psychology and have had multiple types of therapy including neurofeedback which unfortuantely didn't work, even dabbled in hypnosis/auto hypnosis but probably didn't see results cause I didn't stick with the program given to me.

The only part I am not so sure that I agree with is your saying "I was a fool to pursue happiness".

I have a very good friend who I saw achieve everything I ever could have wanted in life.

He never had any of the underlying psychological issues I had to begin with so that helped him, but I never had the very difficult upbringing he had, which he managed to turn around completely into motivation to succeed (unlike many others in his situation which I of course will not share (I mean you don't even know his name so it's ok).

He went about life THE RIGHT way, the way I'd do it if I had to do overagain: he's straightedge, vegan, never messed up his brain or body with anything, had a sound mind and just WORKED WORKED WORKED every day to make his goal a reality, and he DID IT.

He's happy now, the kind of happiness I can only dream of.

I wouldn't even say I'm "jealous" so to speak as I am so happy for him, but only to the extent that I wish I could have achieved the same.

But we are polar opposites and he was probably born with something I wasn't, a good head on his shoulders and whatever else based on either past experiences and/or genetics have allowed him to make the right choices (in studying determinism vs free will in philosophy the determinists believe nothing makes us what we are other than past experiences and genetics, and I honestly can't say I can see anything else that can.)


So how can following happiness be a "fool's errand" when someone with the very same goal as me but TOTALLY unlike me actually achieved it by working his ass off??

I don't believe searching for happiness is a fool's errand, but you just better be sure you have what it takes to put in the effort necessary or else if you can't even get yourself to MAKE THE EFFORT you will obviously fail and be miserable.

Perhaps I chose the wrong goal...but I can't help but feel if I had not been so foolish I could have done what he did.

NO. Searching for something that makes someone happy is NOT a "fool's errand" if it is grounded in reality and one knows one is TRULY willing to put in the effort to make the dream a POSSIBLE reality.

And it's that along with other things that kills me at the end of the day: people I know have achieved the very same things I wanted to achieve simply by BEING ABLE AND WILLING TO WORK HARD ENOUGH...and my failure to achieve what they have reveals nothing about me other than personal weakness that they, fortunately, do not have.

I'd be told by him and others that I "lack heart" and "give up easily"....which I don't feel is ALWAYS true in life, or WAS always true, but it's become more and more true.

I lack "heart". ABSOLUTELY. DEFINITELY. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

I wish I could GET "heart"...but I don't know how.

One difference is people like him didn't go searching for the goal as much as they sought THE WAY OF LIFE that LED to the goal without getting overly obsessed with the end result....and then the end result followed....but me having obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety and other issues, I could never lose myself in the pursuit in that way and focussing overly on the end goal made me miserable.

So while I agree with SOME of what you are saying...in a way, to say that "searching for happiness is a fool's errand" is an easy way to dismiss the unfortunate reality that in life, when it comes to CERTAIN goals, well: some people have what it takes and some people just simply don't.

If someone else had what it took to follow the very clear steps leading to a clear goal that made them happy, and the other person could not, how was it "a fools errand?"

A fool's errand FOR ME perhaps, not being able to see that I simply didn't have what it took...but certainly not for the one's who have succeeded.

And so, I have no one to blame but myself.

I've failed for mostly VERY obvious reasons, although I have not felt in control over those factors most of the time as if I could simply "try harder"...because I've sabotaged myself and been held back by my own issues.....but those who succeed in life by working hard deserve their due, and I won't deny it them.

I just didn't have what it took.
 
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Oleander

Greenlighter
Joined
Jun 20, 2019
Messages
47
Read your post and I totally relate. We aren’t in the same stage of our lives, but I can understand the feeling of not having hope anymore. I will feel it for a bit, when I think things are “ok” and I have some things in my life under control, for the time being at least. Then I’ll do something and fuck everything up and it’s so typical me, it’s a given. I cannot explain how difficult these past 5 years or so have been and a big part it being hard was due to drugs. Idk if I want to go on in my life if this is how it’ll be the rest of it. So what you said about “working harder for that vision of hope” or something, I try to do that everyday. At the end of July I will be moving across the country and I’m terrified that things won’t get better once I get out there, that this whole change I’m doing in my life is all for nothing. If it turns out that things aren’t working out as I had hoped, I’m really not sure what I’ll do. Like you said, “I’ll somehow clean up, but how long will it last”. I will move and try to pick up the pieces and hopefully start working again after 2 years of hiding out in my house, and will it all be in vain? Is it really worth it? Please know that you are not alone and that I feel these things everyday.
 

Derschieber

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Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
578
Location
western australia
How come you called me Possum?
Hi
Possum is australian slang for friend.

Running after happiness is pure folly. A chasing after the wind.
Let's dismantle this idea of happiness. Where does it come from? It is a modern invention. a new-age concept if you like. Something that was probably instilled when you were little whilst watching Sesame Street. And that is where it belongs. Happiness is a childish concept - what a 6 y/old might experience on his birthday party. Happy yay !!
It is good and desirable for a child to have a happy childhood. Most of the time, it is inappropriate for adults to "be happy". Further more it is not even remotely possible.

Why do I say this? Think about it. You mention working your ass off. Is that something to be happy about? For most of us, "Work" involves having to perform tasks that we would ordinarily never choose to do. That is why we get paid money to do it...because we don't want to. There is nothing happy about that. Children are shielded from life's harsh realities, and hence they may be happy. It is the bliss of ignorance. Working your ass off is not a bad thing. Working hard is generally good. Taking on responsibilities is essential for a meaningful life. But it has nothing to do with happiness.
Parents may loose their dear child in an auto-wreck. Should they be happy? Of course not. It would be grotesque for any adult around them to have a big dumb grin on their mug, blabbering about how happy they are.
And that sums up happiness right there. Happiness is akin to a drooling idiot oblivious to what is really going on around him. Someone who is drunk for example. Happy times yay.
Family member dies. Should you be happy? Your friend lost her job. Should you be happy? In the news some horrible shit just happened, hundreds dead. Should you be happy? Your car broke down, blown head gasket. Should you be happy? You can't pay your rent. Should you be happy?
1000s of everyday events happening all the time all around - non of them would or should elicit happiness. Unless you're a drooling idiot.

It is not possible for an adult to maintain happiness.

Why do I say that? Because we are not made that way biologically. We quickly build up resistance to happiness. The wealthy are not happier than the non-wealthy.
For example: A wealthy guy flies around in his private jet-plane. He is no longer deriving much satisfaction from this luxury form of transport.
In comparison, the person who worked hard and saved up his money for the last 10 years can finally have a holiday overseas. He's really excited and satisfied, as he is sitting in economy class.
Do you see what I'm getting at?
It doesn't matter where we turn, this truth is at work everywhere. We build up resistance to happiness. Very quickly. It is an illusion. A chasing after the wind.
Nothing satisfies for long.
You are a fool for running after happiness. Yes you are.

This concept of happiness translates into phoniness. People all around you pretending to be happy. Smile, be happy,let everyone see how happy you are, whilst your heart is breaking on the inside. Do not be fooled by this non-sense. No one is happy often or for long. Unless they are a drooling idiot.
Life is not Sesame Street.
In reality, most people do well just to avoid becoming deeply unhappy.

You have been lied to. We all have. Don't chase after wind.
You will never catch it. Nor should you.

Correct a wise man, and he becomes wiser still, yet the fool hates instruction. [Solomon]
 
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Mycophile

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
3,606
Hi
Possum is australian slang for friend.

Running after happiness is pure folly. A chasing after the wind.
Let's dismantle this idea of happiness. Where does it come from? It is a modern invention. a new-age concept if you like. Something that was probably instilled when you were little whilst watching Sesame Street. And that is where it belongs. Happiness is a childish concept - what a 6 y/old might experience on his birthday party. Happy yay !!
It is good and desirable for a child to have a happy childhood. Most of the time, it is inappropriate for adults to "be happy". Further more it is not even remotely possible.

Why do I say this? Think about it. You mention working your ass off. Is that something to be happy about? For most of us, "Work" involves having to perform tasks that we would ordinarily never choose to do. That is why we get paid money to do it...because we don't want to. There is nothing happy about that. Children are shielded from life's harsh realities, and hence they may be happy. It is the bliss of ignorance. Working your ass off is not a bad thing. Working hard is generally good. Taking on responsibilities is essential for a meaningful life. But it has nothing to do with happiness.
Parents may loose their dear child in an auto-wreck. Should they be happy? Of course not. It would be grotesque for any adult around them to have a big dumb grin on their mug, blabbering about how happy they are.
And that sums up happiness right there. Happiness is akin to a drooling idiot oblivious to what is really going on around him. Someone who is drunk for example. Happy times yay.
Family member dies. Should you be happy? Your friend lost her job. Should you be happy? In the news some horrible shit just happened, hundreds dead. Should you be happy? Your car broke down, blown head gasket. Should you be happy? You can't pay your rent. Should you be happy?
1000s of everyday events happening all the time all around - non of them would or should elicit happiness. Unless you're a drooling idiot.

It is not possible for an adult to maintain happiness.

Why do I say that? Because we are not made that way biologically. We quickly build up resistance to happiness. The wealthy are not happier than the non-wealthy.
For example: A wealthy guy flies around in his private jet-plane. He is no longer deriving much satisfaction from this luxury form of transport.
In comparison, the person who worked hard and saved up his money for the last 10 years can finally have a holiday overseas. He's really excited and satisfied, as he is sitting in economy class.
Do you see what I'm getting at?
It doesn't matter where we turn, this truth is at work everywhere. We build up resistance to happiness. Very quickly. It is an illusion. A chasing after the wind.
Nothing satisfies for long.
You are a fool for running after happiness. Yes you are.

This concept of happiness translates into phoniness. People all around you pretending to be happy. Smile, be happy,let everyone see how happy you are, whilst your heart is breaking on the inside. Do not be fooled by this non-sense. No one is happy often or for long. Unless they are a drooling idiot.
Life is not Sesame Street.
In reality, most people do well just to avoid becoming deeply unhappy.

You have been lied to. We all have. Don't chase after wind.
You will never catch it. Nor should you.

Correct a wise man, and he becomes wiser still, yet the fool hates instruction. [Solomon]
Ok, I don't think you understand my vision of "happiness" or what my friend who I admire has achieved doing what I always desired.

He's my martial arts instructor and since he'll never read this and you don't know who he is this is ok to say, especially since I've nothing but good things to say about him, and as I've explained my vision of "hope" used to relate to martial arts.

First off, happiness to me is not being a dumb drooling idiot who feels good all the time, and instead I should equate it more to "satisfaction with what one does with one's life, that one is doing something meaningful and looks forward to in GENERAL to the future as something worthwhile."

It does NOT mean feeling good all the time.

My friend/martial arts instructor is NOT happy all the time, and who could be?

What he is is someone who loves his work.

Have you ever read the book "Flow"?

It's by a guy with a very long name but look it up online and you'll find it.

The concept of "Flow" is not the same as happiness, it is losing oneself in the moment of what one is doing and it's USUALLY a good thing.

I'm sure you've experienced it (and lets talk about SOBER "flow", NOT on drugs) where you are doing something, maybe its a sport, maybe playing an instrument, whatever, and you are not thinking about if you are happy or not, or sad or not, you are in the moment and only AFTER you are done do you realize it was a good feeling.

It's basically like being in a meditative state.

My instructor has found a way of life that is healthy and harmonious with "flow".

He DOES love what he does with his life, because he loves the hard work that it entails, but he doesn't love everything that happens to him, it's more what we'd say in the martial arts world of "embracing the grind."

I've felt it when I rehabbed my injuries and got REALLY into a workout: the workout HURTS physically, it's HARD, it does NOT make you HAPPY....but once you are done doing the workout before you go to bed at night you think "that was a SATISFYING day. A MEANINGFUL day, because I am just a little bit better than I was before" THAT is my vision of hope, but I can't seem to find it now.

MANY people have this in all walks of life.

So my friend/instructor, he is "satisfied" and "at peace" with his life because his work gives him MEANING and he is CONSTANTLY keeping himself busy with his business that he built and loves.

He has made a life that is too busy for him to really stop frequently and think "am I happy/unhappy"....he's IN THE FLOW of doing what he loves, teaching one student, training and sweating and building his body, involved in OTHERS' progress so he is thinking about THEM more than himself.

And I know he, like anyone else, has suffered MANY losses in life, but they only build up to empowerment over time because people like him use them to motivate themselves and propel themselves forward.

They ask themselves: "how can I turn this negative experience into a beneficial outcome?"

They work on it, and figure out how.

People like this, they do NOT walk around like grinning idiots, nor do they feel the work they do is meaningless like working on an assembly line.

They've found a way to live a lifestyle that is harmonious with their values so that, while they are CERTAINLY NOT always happy, they ARE generally satisfied and at peace with their existence, and it's because the work they do is meaningful to them.

I disagree that "work has nothing to do with happiness."

In fact, I think WORK HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HAPPINESS AND PEACE OF MIND.

Find me a person who is satisfied with their life but contributes nothing to anyone and does not work hard.

You can't.


The problem is the MODERN CONCEPT OF WORK...but there are those like my martial arts instructor who find a way to do what they love with their lives and hence, live "happier" existence.

And he's told me many times that people think he must be happy most of the time cause he does what he loves and he corrects them and explains how much hard grueling work goes into this "happy existence" he's worked out for himself, but truth is, at the end of the day (and probably end of his life), he's generally "satisfied/at peace"happy" with the day he's had and the life he's living.

This is not a way of life for a drug addict, a little kid OR someone enslaved by the corporate working world ...it's a way of life that offers a way out by doing something meaningful that is FULLY involved with hard work, and IMO there is no satisfaction without working hard for it.

I would MUCH rather have PEACE OF MIND than happiness, and if you think it doesn't exist, well, you are wrong, no offense.

So I have not figured out how to do what my friend has, and it's my goal to do so, but I don't know if I can.

So now that you understand what I mean, what do you think of this concept?

And if you DON'T agree with this idea, then what, in your opinion, is the point in living at all?


If all forms of satisfaction, peace or happiness under any circumstances are illusions, then why not just be complete nihilists and do nothing but drugs all the time or kill ourselves?

Again, I'd rather call it "peace of mind" or momentary "satisfaction" than "happiness", and of course it can't be maintained cause to feel good you have to feel bad sometimes and vice versa, but it certainly EXISTS.

My friend never "chased happiness", he had goals he stuck to and worked for and he continues to lose himself in them and not give up despite countless set backs.

It's not a fool's errand, that's for sure, not in my opinion.
 
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Derschieber

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
578
Location
western australia
Greetings Possum :)

Yes, I did not really think you meant Happiness to be the way I described it. This was just my way to get past the bullshit notions of happiness that unfortunately, many do hold onto.
You do not.
I agree with you.
"Working your ass off is not a bad thing. Working hard is generally good. Taking on responsibilities is essential for a meaningful life".
We agree. That's great.
Another way to make my previous point would be "It is foolish to run after pleasure". A chasing after the wind.

I can not comment on your work. It is unusual the way you are focused on your friend's life, in comparison to your own.
To be honest, I'm not sure what to make of it. It is unusual, and maybe not a good thing to be doing? I really don't know.
Are you working?
Could you not become an instructor? It would seem you already have the background for it. Is that what you want to do?
I only ever met one truly dedicated martial artist type. That was in rehab. He was a big guy in rehab as a condition of his parole.
Each morning he would use some kind of ratchet device to spread his legs apart lol...
There is someone up the road from my house who recently started a Triple Brazilian Jujitsu club (or whatever), and he/they are doing really well, with lots of kids most afternoons.
Sorry, I'm rambling...
You seem alright. Why not get out from under drugs and get on with it?
Do you have family that you get along with?
 

Mycophile

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
3,606
Greetings Possum :)

Yes, I did not really think you meant Happiness to be the way I described it. This was just my way to get past the bullshit notions of happiness that unfortunately, many do hold onto.
You do not.
I agree with you.
"Working your ass off is not a bad thing. Working hard is generally good. Taking on responsibilities is essential for a meaningful life".
We agree. That's great.
Another way to make my previous point would be "It is foolish to run after pleasure". A chasing after the wind.

I can not comment on your work. It is unusual the way you are focused on your friend's life, in comparison to your own.
To be honest, I'm not sure what to make of it. It is unusual, and maybe not a good thing to be doing? I really don't know.
Are you working?
Could you not become an instructor? It would seem you already have the background for it. Is that what you want to do?
I only ever met one truly dedicated martial artist type. That was in rehab. He was a big guy in rehab as a condition of his parole.
Each morning he would use some kind of ratchet device to spread his legs apart lol...
There is someone up the road from my house who recently started a Triple Brazilian Jujitsu club (or whatever), and he/they are doing really well, with lots of kids most afternoons.
Sorry, I'm rambling...
You seem alright. Why not get out from under drugs and get on with it?
Do you have family that you get along with?
What I wanted wasn't really to teach martial arts but to be a fighter and it's a dream I've had forever and one which I've convinced myself I can't possibly be happy without achieving and now it's nearly impossible at my age and with my injuries, and even if somehow I COULD pull it off it would just be one really low level fight against some other older guy and that would be it.

It was my dream and I never worked hard enough for it and then was wracked with injuries when I tried and I have pretty much no one to blame but myself and don't see how I'll ever find happiness/satisfaction/peace of mind without having done it.

I have a family who are trying to help me and we have some plans and I'm working to get off the dexadrine but the depression is really bad and even before that my depression and anxiety have been really bad for years and all i ever want to do now is sleep or watch TV, look at the internet or take some kind of drug and none of them help with my problems.

I have such little physical energy even a light workout is very difficult and I need to be doing it both because I have chronic injuries I need to rehab and I need to lose weight cause I have high cholesterol and yet I still can't make myself workout. Sooner or later I know the WD from the dexadrine will subside and I'll slowly get back to working out cause if I don't my health will suffer even worse, but I really have nothing I am hopeful about right now at all.

It isn't healthy at all that I compare myself to my friend but basically I see him as exhibit A of someone who was a complete success doing what I wanted to do and me as exhibit B as a complete failure at not doing any of what was necessary to achieve what I wanted to do and it drives me insane.

I question why he had the ability to make the right choices and put in the hard work and why I didn't and made all the wrong choices and sabotaged myself.

I can't see pretty much any reason to be hopeful about almost anything right now and without hope I don't have a reason to work for anything.

It's basically like the only reason to try to work towards anything is cause things will get EVEN WORSE if I don't, but I don't believe I can get things to be any better then just slightly below average even if I work my hardest, as opposed to WAY below average right now.
 

Xorkoth

Sr. Mod: PD, TR, TDS, P&S
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Shadowmeister v0
Let's dismantle this idea of happiness. Where does it come from? It is a modern invention. a new-age concept if you like. Something that was probably instilled when you were little whilst watching Sesame Street. And that is where it belongs. Happiness is a childish concept - what a 6 y/old might experience on his birthday party. Happy yay !!
It is good and desirable for a child to have a happy childhood. Most of the time, it is inappropriate for adults to "be happy". Further more it is not even remotely possible.
I disagree with this (though I agree with most of what you've posted in here). Happiness is certainly possible. What isn't possible is always being happy. One shouldn't expect to always be happy. Also, chasing after an idea you have of what makes people happy is pointless and destructive (ie, I must get wealthy, or I must get married and have kids, etc). The road to happiness as an adult is to do what you love and keep doing it, and get involved with other people doing whatever it is you're doing. Over time it will sort out and you'll find your niche and you'll be fulfilled and happy most of the time. Don't look outside yourself for happiness, you have to find it within, and it comes from doing what you love.

For example I was quite unhappy most of the time through my entire twenties. I turned to opiates and got a bad addiction. I stopped playing music. I forgot how much I missed music by the end. I was trying to achieve some idea of success that my parents/society instilled in me. Then at age 31 I had a turning point, got off opiates, started playing music again. Now I just focus on the music and everything is starting to come together, I am surrounded by wonderful people I consider family, I get to play a lot of shows and it's the best feeling in the world Life is good, I am happy and fulfilled. I will not always be happy, and I'm not always happy. Life is ups and downs. But I am mostly happy. I think it is entirely possible. I don't believe happiness was a concept invented recently. I think it was less common when people had to work hard to literally survive. But prehistoric humans drawing beautiful cave art in France... I bet they felt happy doing that.
 
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