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Guest Petra3481

Hi Alex,


Your posts have actually caught my attention. I randomly put in a search on google on a topic that related to assertive women lol (don't ask!), and stumbled upon this site. Upon reading your posts, I have been really impressed with the honestly that you have shared in response to other people's blogs and with your own personal struggles. I have to admit, the way you express your thoughts are intriguing to me, and I think that alone is an attractive quality about you. Despite these feelings that you have expressed in your journal postings, I feel you have a lot going for you. Of course I don't know you at all, but most men have a lot of trouble in communicating their feelings/thoughts etc. I can imagine the frustration that you have encountered in dating over the last few years, at least you can say that you have tried and put yourself out there...which is a lot more than some people are willing to do. I don't know why dating can be so difficult sometimes? Why for some people it just works out, and others it's journey all in itself. Maybe we just try to hard, and over think too much? I don't know, but I give you a lot of credit for attempting to keep positive and for continuing on your quest for the right lady to come around. A lot of people would have given up, or taken a break for a while lol.

I don't know what the answer is, I have heard so many philosophies that people live by, but what works for some doesn't apply to all...unfortunately. I also know that we can get in the way of ourselves at times and can limit experiences just in the way we think...in perceiving who we are and others around us. So much has to do with our personality, and our expectations in life.

I know personally I wish I could let go of where I would like to be in my life right now. It gets difficult when we begin looking at where friends/family are in comparison. I keep telling myself that the story isn't over yet, and that yes...my life could be a lot worst lol. I believe with God that all things are possible, and that this is just the beginning. We have so much ahead of us, and to be honest...I am kind of excited to see what happens, what's in store, what other stories are waiting out there that will eventually join my memories

Thanks for sharing your heart...

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  • 1 month later...

Losing it





So here I am again spewing drivel on the internet and titling my post in size 5 font, always bold, because I want each section to stand out like some sort of unique, insightful, tidy chapter of my life to reference later in my glorious self-wisdom. On the occasions when I have re-read my words, it's somehow revealing that my issues haven't changed that much. No matter how much "progress" I make socially, physically (more on that later), and in school, I'm still just a lonely, depressed, sexually starved, self-entitled... something. This is made even more plain on the even rarer occasions when I get over myself long enough to read about other peoples' issues. Then I realize how much harder so many folks have it, and how they're able to push on regardless. I honestly wonder if I'm really cut out to be a human. I don't think I could handle many of these other lives. Frankly, I'd probably just give up and kill myself. I'd take the easy way out because I'm not strong enough to hold onto hope for the years on end that it takes to dig oneself out of some of these pits. Poor, middle-aged, diseased, ugly, uneducated, ethnic minority? Why would I bother? The game is clearly stacked, and there would be nothing to gain by playing it. Working at a Subway sandwich shop making minimum wage for decades? Please, save yourself the trouble and give up. And yet they don't. I'd like to dismiss this as ignorance. Somehow getting drunk or watching some stupid TV show every night makes life worth living for these people. If you've only got short-term goals and never stop to look at the plight of the big picture, it makes it easier to press on. But that's arrogance on my part. It doesn't take much of a genius to see the writing on the wall when your life truly sucks. They would know better than I do just how hopeless it is. No, I think it's something else. Obvious really. It's human connection. People in the lowest of places can live for the people around them, if not for themselves. And so they do. Even if it's just crude jokes and bumming cigarettes at bus stops, they feel connected to each other, and that keeps them going. Even the arguments. They're real people dealing with real issues that affect the world around them. Stuff matters. They're part of the world. I don't feel that way.


No, I can sit here all night, not affecting or being affected by anybody. I'm very lost in my own thoughts, and little things turn into monstrous obstacles. My mundane loneliness turns into this herculean struggle against an invisible army. A battle for the ages, as if nobody's fought it before. And if somebody were to knock on the door or shoot me a text to strike up a conversation those monsters would be put back in their place. They'd turn into everyday inanimate objects in the corners of the room like the dispellation of a child's nightmares. But they won't. Because that knock on the door will never come. That text message will never be sent in the moments when I need it the most.


The words are coming faster than I can type them now, along with the damnable interruptions of this stupid DVD drive. I'm burning thousands of pictures from a website I've been volunteer administrating. I even made a slideshow! Look!




Look at me! Look at me! I'm doing something for the world! I'm reaching out! Please god somebody notice! I'll bring cookies to the potluck. I'll feel like a good person for a moment. They'll thank me for my efforts. And then I'll go back to my own life and not see them again until next year. No, I'm done. There will be no friendships forged outside of the acquaintances I already have. Dozens of them. People who might genuinely care if I had time or allowed them to. But who am I kidding, they're mostly old enough to be my parents. There are some attractive women amongst them. That's all that matters to me. But the context won't be there to get to know them. I'll politely arrive and have conversations and slip away and the day will be over and I'll be right back here lying on my bed wondering why I'm so miserable. Why am I broken? Why can't I be happy about things?


I have friends. They keep me going. There's a girl who keeps inviting me on weekend hikes and trips, and I'm forcing myself to have time for them. There are other women (none of them are available), but these experiences are good. It's always so rushed and regimented though. I'm never sitting on somebody's sofa watching a movie or having a heart to heart conversation. Nobody knows how I truly feel about anything. I seem happy. I have to. We're climbing god damn mountains. RAHH! So hardcore! I must be worth something to somebody! And then I'm so busy with school that my fitness goals stagnate anyway. I don't make progress. I pick up those stupid dumbbells and do a set or two every few days. Why try harder? Nobody's impressed but me. The piano hasn't been played properly in weeks either. I should go back to building my self-worth out of video game accomplishments like CS majors are supposed to. I'm in no man's land, too balanced to properly invest myself in any particular facet of my life. School, relationships, friends, fitness. None of it matters in this stupid ****ing room right now at 3 in the morning when I only want one thing...


10 DVDs left...


And it's not just sex. Right now, I want a woman to walk up, rub my back, and tell me what I already know: That I need to go to bed. That the DVDs can wait. That this stupid networking assignment can wait. That I don't need my SSH authentication agent to work with a third party GUI for the distributed version control software I'm using to access the remote repository. That the important things in life don't have to be so complicated. She'd remind me that all of this stuff is just noise in my head, and that I don't have to listen to it. But she's not there, and so I spend my nights, and will continue to spend them. I have to be strong, but I don't feel strong any more. I have to be mindful, and it's the only way I'm still functional, but it has its limits. I need help. I need somebody to believe in me more than once every few weeks. I'm so damn needy. The internet can't help me. I've heard all the advice already. I just need to hang on. I'm doing everything right. I'll find somebody. I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I don't believe it. I'm thrashing around wildly inside. My friends don't even know because I haven't the context to tell them. I'm not even letting it all out here. There are too many thoughts, and I don't even know how they're linked together. I have nothing to ground them too. They're all equally important. Brushing my teeth or breaking somebody else's, either way I'm still lonely. I pray nihilism is not a precursor to insanity.


And now I'm compelled to proofread, as if there's some sort of coherent message that I want to make sure is coming accross correctly. Oh the irony...


But it does bring up some things worth addressing. To those who've reached out to support me here in the past: Don't waste your efforts on me this time. I wouldn't even know what to do with them right now. I don't want to feel like I'm abusing your attention. And also, I'm shocked that my writing still seems so rational. I'm compelled to defend my self-accusations and argue that I really am going insane, and that I haven't adequately expressed that here. Perhaps I'm such a passive, rule-following white-guy that I don't know how to throw a proper temper tantrum. However, if there's any way to draw a positive out of this, perhaps it's to see that I'm not actually losing it. But then, what's the point of any of this? What are my problems if I can't ascribe a label to them or seek a course of action to resolve them? It would almost be easier to go insane.


And the last DVD is finished. The sharpie goes back in its coffee mug. I'm going to brush my teeth instead of breaking things. The sun will rise again, and I'll live to relive all of these sentiments. Oh god.

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  • 1 month later...

I've noticed that when I'm in a good mood, I fear being alone. And not just being alone, but being left to my thoughts without any pending obligations.


After making as much progress as I can in the present, my mind drifts towards future goals, and how to achieve them. I know I want to partake in climbing trips all over the world. I know that this will require time and money. I know that finishing my degree and establishing a professional life will afford me such things. I know this means I need to do my homework. In this way I am able to tie my present actions towards future goals. I know that leading El Capitan in Yosemite or sending bouldering problems in The Grampians will require enormous amounts of strength, so I have fitness goals as well. Every quarter I pull out my planner, register for classes, look up gym schedules, call my friends, and figure out how to make time for everything. The path is steep and difficult, but straight and plainly visible. I am going to make it. I don't have to dwell on these thoughts long to realize that. The ambition is there. Everything's been planned. All that's left is patience. My mind moves on to the next topic: Women. It always comes back to this. Women are not as straightforward. There are no cut and dry instructions, steps, or ways to measure my progress. I could be alone tonight, make the most earnest effort possible for the next 6 months, and still be alone then... Just as I have been for the last 6 months. I'm not as confident in this. Nothing I do is guaranteed to make any difference... But this doesn't stop my brain from running in circles anyway. I'm trying to divide by zero. link removed


And then I think about how badly I want it anyway. I think about what a relationship would mean to me. About how much more can be accomplished with the support of another person. I was envious of the president on Tuesday. I saw the honesty and love in his eyes when he claimed he would not be the man he is today without his wife. I know how the hard days go. When you're down on your luck. When you don't think you can make it. When you're questioning the journey, or the difference you're going to make in the world. I can only imagine the rallying support of an amazing woman like Michelle Obama, encouraging Barrack to continue fighting for what he believes in. When, bruised, battered, disenchanted, and ready to give up on the desperate nation he's attempting to lead, he finds the ability to press on anyway. To have that special someone in your life, and struggle for them as much as yourself... This is what I seek. It's not uncommon. Why do people exercise together to improve their individual bodies? It's the same concept. The efforts of those around us inspire feats to match. We push ourselves as we might not if nobody was watching... If nobody believed. I want to find somebody who cares, who makes my deepest personal struggles her own, and visa versa. To push each other to accomplish that which would be impossible alone. Actualization is at the top of Maslow's hierarchy. It rests on love and companionship for a reason. And then there's sex... Even closer to our essential needs. Right above survival. It's so natural, so desirable... So utterly unavailable. I've read studies showing how much happier and healthier sexually active people can be. There's information relating physical touch to balancing hormones in the body. Infants die without it. As an adult, forsaking this sort of intimacy feels unnatural at best. I miss touch as much as I miss sunlight in this godforsaken city.


And thus I dwell on it. After a day of accomplishing goals, scaling walls both literally and metaphorically, laughing and talking and eating with friends, I get on the bus home like a prisoner on a transport. I know that when I get home, the smile and sense of accomplishment will fade from my face... That despite the efforts of the day, I'll be by myself again, sitting quietly in my room... That nothing I can do here will bring me any closer to a woman. It's absolutely maddening. I hate being in this mental space. I do everything I can to avoid it. More hobbies, perfect grades, new music, text my friends, play some video games, is my brother online? No? Play the piano, read a book, post it to this journal. I have to do something, or despair takes over and I stop doing everything.

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  • 5 months later...



I'll finally be graduating this quarter. Ironically, the closer I get to rounding that corner and embracing my bright successful future, the less I believe in it. I feel like the world is merely grooming me to be a lonely coding slave for some big corporation, and that I'll be rejected when I try to fight for more balance in my life than that. I'm supposed to just be happy with video games, exercise, and group activities (often prescribed by said corporations), and not notice the lack of deeper connections in my life on account of the trademark Asperger's personality that's associated with the programming role. As long as they slide a couple pizzas under the door and provide free unlimited sodas we'll all be happy little productive nerdlings forever, right? Well, not this one. I'd rather die than resign myself to that existence, and it may very well come to that. I'm still walking down this career path, but it's all out of momentum and a lack of any better direction. My heart's simply not in it anymore. If I were still 22, fresh out of college, naive to the world and unsure of what I wanted then this might feel like a good starting point. Everything else could wait while I got my feet wet and launched my career. Everybody says 29 is still young, but it's a god damn long time to be living a loveless life. That's all I want. I want somebody to help me when I'm struggling and celebrate with me when I'm succeeding. I want somebody to hold and be held by. Somebody to learn and explore with. Somebody to give me a reason to believe in myself again.


I've lost faith that I'm going to find a partner anytime soon, or perhaps ever. Without that, I'm losing my motivation to do everything that I've been doing. I skipped class today to sleep some more. I just don't care. I'll make it up later when I'm feeling better... But what if I don't? What if despair wins? What If I were to give in to depression like I did for all those years and sleep for the next week? Would anybody notice? Would anybody be concerned? If it's not on Facebook then probably not. Even my roommates are so preoccupied with their own lives that they likely wouldn't knock on my door until they needed something. The truth is, the only person my struggles matter to is myself. Just as I know I'm supposed to find happiness in myself as well. Believe me I've tried. I'm still trying. I even read the book: "The Art of Happiness." I'm reading another book this year called "Meditations from the Mat" about the 8-limbed path of yoga and how to be okay with myself as I am. At some level it's all just words though. I can't force wisdom on myself sitting in my room alone for the better part of my life. I need something more visceral. I need to go out and live my life, since life's not going to come to me. Every god damn day I do this. Even today I still made it to a movie with a couple of friends after skipping class and sleeping until 5PM. They invited me out for drinks afterwords, but I declined. I know from experience that the conversation will drift to activities, jokes, media and entertainment. Nothing of any particular substance. Nothing that will make it any easier to come home alone and face my existence as I do.


I crave something nurturing. The closest I ever feel to having somebody care about me is about once a month in yoga class when the instructor adjusts a pose of mine. Having her pay attention to me for a few seconds, hold my body, and gently ease me into a better posture is such a relieving experience. To be noticed and cared for, once again this is all I want. To have it physically manifested. To be touched. This is the nicest thing anybody can do for me. Perhaps it's a bit sexual, but I feel the most connected and unalone in these moments. About once a week when somebody offers up a hug. It makes me feel alive again! Like a plant without sunlight, I feel like I'm withering and dying without touch. It's not a problem I can solve on my own. I feel so excluded and sorry for myself without it. I fantasize just walking down the street sometimes that a woman will notice the pained expression on my face, stop, and just let me hold her for a while. To reach out and make the world a warmer place. I don't know how much longer I can go on living without touch. I'm not cut out to be living such a lonely life.


I want out. Life itself has begun to feel like a hot plate that's painful to hold on to. Suffering is a fact. I know this. We all have to deal with it. I'm just tired of doing so. Like, why? What's the point? What am I working towards? If nothing I do brings me any closer to anybody else, then why should I keep doing it? I hardly care about the looks-good-on-paper direction that my life is headed without any guarantees that I won't continue to hurt so badly on the inside. There are no promises, and I've realized this year that I'm not entitled to anything. I'd told myself to work as hard as I have to get here because I honestly though there'd be a reward. That I would somehow earn closeness and sexual gratification. I don't think I'm alone in this. Societies the world over throughout history have structured themselves in exactly this way. Man works hard, man gets socially bound wife. We've undone this. Women are now free, and that's great, but a lot of men have lost their motivation as a result. In my case, through the amplifying lens of depression, I'm losing my will to live. I'm running a race here, and I need a finish line in order to pace myself and keep going. I've decided on 35. If I'm as miserable then as I am now, then I'll allow myself to let go.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been meaning to write my thoughts down a lot over these last couple of weeks. I was even considering starting up a "suicide blog" in the suicide section, but realized it would just be a lame plea for attention. It's not that I don't want the attention though. I simply want to be noticed without having to cry wolf to get it! I am serious about the 35 thing: February 25th, 2019, Angel Falls, Venezuela, jumping. I need this to look forward to as a way of deferring my suicidal thoughts in the interim. Not a day has gone by this month when I haven't done so. With all the efforts I've been giving my life during these last several years it only seems fair that I'll be able to call off the suffering if they still haven't amounted to anything by then. And please... None of that guilting crap either! If people can't see that I'm struggling; If all these acquaintances are so surface level that they never think to ask me about anything substantial in the years that I've known them... Then it will be their own damn faults if my death catches them off guard. The only one I'll really feel sorry for is my mother, as she's the only person in the world who's consistently given a ****. I'm using this space as a way to collect my thoughts and feelings as evidence. A string of explanations to fill the void should anybody ever care to look and wonder why I quit my life.


So there it is... my new direction. I'll spend these next 6 years finishing strong and continuing down the path I've laid out for myself. Job, health, people, and hobbies. The paradigm shift is that I no longer have faith in these things. A sense of belonging (and the happiness it might bring me) appears to be little more than a carrot on a stick. I'm in hot pursuit not because I think I'll actually get there, but because I need to know if it's even possible. If I give in to despair now and do nothing while I wait for oblivion then I won't know and I won't be able to do it. I have to go through the motions just to see. Until 35 hope will persist like a whip at my back.


Hope has been quite cruel to me. I've hoped to find a sense of community through my outdoor activities, just to watch as they move on without me while I'm stuck in school. I've hoped to find a temple in my body, only to have little time or willpower to take care of it. I've hoped to find a woman's touch only to feel the sting of endless rejections. The world has shown that it does not have any lasting interest in me. I have put my best foot forward, made friends with strangers, and been subsequently sidelined. I have built myself up only to go unnoticed. I have shown affection towards women only to be shown that I'm unworthy of receiving any back. I am the only witness to all my small victories and I simply don't care enough to continue fighting for them indefinitely. All I want is recognition. A hug. Somebody to notice and care that I made it through the day. I need support, and it isn't there.

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I am really really sorry to hear you are feeling so down. It really distresses and saddens me to read your post because I have always thought and believe you have so much potential and so much to offer. I don't understand why things are just not working for you.


What happened to that close friend of yours (I think you dated for quite some time)? Kayla? She seemed to be the perfect girl for you, with the same interests etc etc.

Do you have any siblings?


I know it just seems like empty words right now, but please don't give up, okay?

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I have always thought and believe you have so much potential and so much to offer. I don't understand why things are just not working for you.


This is the same sentiment shared by most of my friends, acquaintances, relatives, my therapist, and myself. They all tell me "You're such a great guy with so much going for you. You're fun to be around, you're smart, good-looking, capable, have a great sense of humor, and a bright future ahead of you. Your luck is bound to change!" ... and then it doesn't. I've taken several deep looks inwards at anything I might be able to change or improve and found nothing conclusive. I've asked several people if there's anything about me that might be putting women off and they always say "I can't think of anything. If there was something obvious I'd tell you, but there isn't!" Time and again I've pulled myself together, put myself out there, gotten dates, and had women flake out or disappear on me without so much as an explanation. Even when things seem like they're going well it never pans out. Just last month I had one girl tell me "This was fun! I'm hoping our schedules match up again soon. Next time it'll be my treat." I told her I was looking forward to it, and then I never heard from her again. Another girl and I were talking at a bus stop after a movie, and by the time the bus came it turned out we had a lot in common. I got on, asked if I could sit next to her, she smiled at me and said "please do!" We chatted for another 10 minutes or so until my stop, she put her number in my phone, I called back a couple days later, left a message, and there was nothing. I took another girl to the climbing gym with me, we had a great time, joked, laughed, sat down and talked for a while, and I asked her if she wanted to go grab a beer some time. She said yes, but when I called back later to make it happen all I could do was leave another unreturned message. I've chatted with several other women online as well, progressing to the point where they gave me their phone numbers, we started texting, and it petered out into nothingness. Again that's just in the last month, and this has been going on for years! Ladies just don't seem that enthusiastic about following through with me, and it's absolutely maddening. I'm getting more and more bitter about it as the years march on, and looking less and less at myself as the problem and more at the entirety of the female gender. I know that's not right, but I'm so hurt and confused and the disrespect I've been backhandedly shown is about the only consistent thing left to analyze. It's taking me longer and longer between each bout of dating to snap out of my negativity and find my best foot to put forward again. It hurts very very deeply!


The depression doesn't help either. Slowly but surely I'm losing interest in a lot of the things that have kept me going. Athletics, hobbies, even ice cream and video games often aren't enough to pull me out of my funk. And then I get so busy with school that my friends aren't there either. I just feel so alone, and a relationship, a direct connection to another human being, the thing that would help the most, is the one thing it seems I can't have. I can suck it up and get through this, but I'm hardly living my life to the fullest like I used to. I'm simply surviving, and that's not the way I want to be indefinitely. I'd rather pull the plug. It hurts so much that a lot of times I want to end things immediately. I barely make it through the day and then my mind is so busy tearing me to pieces that I can't even check out and sleep at night. I'm fully aware that these thoughts are harmful. I meditate and try to detach from it. I talk about it with my therapist, psychiatrist, and anybody I feel close enough to share with. I'm trying a couple of different anti-depressants, but I don't feel any difference at all. The theory at the moment is that my brain has become resistant to medications and that they might not be able to help me anymore anyway. Endorphins from exercise do help when I have the time and willpower, but they're only temporary and I sink right back into it when I stop. I'm becoming less and less functional, and sleeping in further and further. I've stopped putting the effort in and reaching out to the world, and I feel like the world is ignoring me in turn. Nobody is there for me in a tangible sense, least of all the women I've longed for (not that I'd want them to see me in this state anyway). I can feel everything unraveling.


Graduation will ease some of the strain, and I can't wait to have some breathing room once I crash accross that finish line. I'd like to really start taking care of myself again: Cooking, exercising, sleeping, and socializing consistently. I just want to feel good again, and then I'll proceed with the job search. Once I'm there I have vague notions that women might finally start taking me seriously, but the damage is done. I feel like the world has proven that at 29 with no car and no job I'm completely unlovable. It's like my success has nothing to do with who I am in person and everything to do with who I am on paper. Not only do I need this degree for a decent job, I need it just to qualify for compassion. That's harsh, and it's going to take me some time to get over it.


What happened to that close friend of yours (I think you dated for quite some time)? Kayla? She seemed to be the perfect girl for you, with the same interests etc etc.


We broke up in 2011. We had an amazing time together for a first relationship, but it became clear after a while that we were headed in pretty different directions. Towards the end we barely had time for each other, and date night ended up meaning we'd watch a movie after she got home at 1:00AM, during which time I'd fall asleep on her floor only to wake up to her empty apartment in the morning, wash her dishes for her, and leave for school. She rarely included me in her weekend plans, and at times it felt like I hardly knew her. I'd always been more emotionally open with her than she was with me, and I was half convinced that she was seeing somebody else (shespent a lot of time doing army stuff, and had already admitted to sleeping with a few other guys after her 2010 deployment to Alaska when we weren't officially together). Ultimately I decided to just try and enjoy the moments we had instead of giving in to paranoia. Things did seem rather off though, and eventually we agreed to take a break, which ended up being more of a break-up. It was mutual, which helped, and it was clear we still had some feelings for each other since we hooked up a couple of times in the following months, but I realized I had to let her go. She was 21 then, scheduled for another deployment to Djibouti, and had just begun changing and coming into her own as a person. I decided to back off and not interfere with or manipulate that process. We've chatted by e-mail a handful of times since then just to touch base. I told her about school and my internship in Everett, and she told me about her deployment and her new-found passion for some crazy raw-foods diet she's been doing since she got back earlier this year. For my own emotional well-being, as long as she's doing well I don't want to know any more than that. She's a young, ambitious, tall, athletic, attractive blonde girl. It doesn't take a genius to know that she's probably being hit on every day and has likely been through 3 boyfriends here and overseas since I last saw her. Contrasting this with my own frustrated existence if I saw her I'd probably burst into tears. She still means a lot to me... I suspect more than I mean to her. I'd like to find somebody new and redirect some of the emotional investments I still have attached to that dead relationship before I attempt to connect again as friends.


Do you have any siblings?


Why? I have one younger brother (27). He flies airplanes for American Eagle (a subsidiary of American Airlines). He lives in Phoenix and works out of Chicago. He doesn't get much time off, and his prospects with women are even worse than mine (he also weighs 300 pounds, though admittedly most of that is height since he's 6'5"). His passion is motorcycles. We play games together online sometimes, though he's not much for discussing emotional stuff. He's coming to my graduation on June 16th which means a lot to me!


I know it just seems like empty words right now, but please don't give up, okay?


Not for another 6 years.

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  • 3 weeks later...



Well, my last class was today so I suppose I've made it. As I was telling a friend earlier I feel more like I've washed up on the beach than crossed any sort of finish line though. I've had so little mental energy left at the end of each day that I haven't put any real effort into the job search for a few weeks now. All I care about is healing and feeling good again. The word link removed seems to perfectly describe my present state of existence. I want to take better care of myself. I want to get back to a regular exercise routine and prepare real meals. I want to hang out with the friends whom I haven't had time for. I want to be more involved in things and not feel like an invisible dot on the edge of everyone's radar. I'd also really REALLY like to feel a woman's touch again. These are the things I'm passionate about. These are link removed. Dilbertville can ****ing wait.


I'm not even really sure where to begin. As I was coming home today I realized I didn't have any immediate obligations to do anything. I've learned that free time often leads to my dwelling on and amplifying loneliness, especially if I'm at home. I was afraid that I'd just sink into playing video games and feeling sorry for myself, so I opted to go for a run instead. Anything to just get outside really. The really painful part of it is that nobody would know (or presumably care) no matter what I did with my time. I've realized that I want somebody to care more than anything really. I want to be noticed, loved, and emotionally invested in. I often feel like the world doesn't need, want, or have a use for me, and this has brought up suicidal thoughts at least once every day these last few months. Deferment to 35 was a smart move as it's been shielding me from doing anything brash and stupid. Most people in my life are unaware of this as I don't want to share all this negative energy with those around me. I want to be vibrant, full of life, and worth getting to know! In fact, before I left I sent a text to a girl I'd gone on a date with last week:


"Hi NotHerName, just wanted to let you know I enjoyed meeting you on Friday and hope you had a good weekend. Let me know if you're interested in doing something again some time!"


So anyway, I started running to get away from myself. I ran through the suburbs, accross the highway, and down a huge hill to the Burke Gilman trail by Lake Washington. I normally only run about 4 miles, but I didn't want to turn around when I got there. I didn't want to go home that soon and feel lost again. I kept running and running and running until I got to a little park called Matthew's Beach. I had vague notions of lying down in the grass and soaking up what was left of the sun. I was pretty exhausted, and I was definitely hoping that people, somebody, anybody, a pretty girl might see me and notice that I was trying. Not just running hard, but trying at life, trying to make something happen. That I'm willing to do the work and simply want some acknowledgement at the end of the day.


When I got there I ran past a bunch of moms playing with their children on the playground structures. They already had their perfect lives and priorities, so why should they pay any attention to me? Past them were some couples walking in big slow circles around the perimeter. I kept going past them and some teenage coeds giggling and climbing on the lifeguard lookouts. I resented them half-heartedly. There was nowhere to lie down like I'd planned since everything was covered in bird **** anyway. I stopped running and walked off past a line of trees to a nearby picnic table where I stretched out a little. I didn't really know what I was doing, or going to do at that point, so I kind of walked around in some dumbfounded circles for a couple of minutes before sitting down and leaning back against a big tree. I looked up at the blue sky and realized I should be happy on this nice sunny day sitting in this park with endorphins flowing through my body. I wondered briefly about my anti-depressant medications and how nothing I take ever seems to make a difference. Mostly I gave way to wanting to be noticed coupled with a bit of exhaustion. I may have been crying a little, but it was probably just sweat in my eyes. After 5 minutes or so I adjusted my posture to something more meditative and took a couple of deep breathes. I looked around and realized both that nobody was going to come over and ask me if I was okay (I wasn't), and that I was done being tired and sitting there in the dirt with plants in my face was kind of stupid. I got up and started to walk back to the trail. Much to my surprise I had it in me to just keep running all the way back home (though I'll admit I walked up the second half of that big damn hill near the end). All and all I'd gone something like 9 miles, which was quite an accomplishment for me, but I felt quite pained when I realized that exactly as I'd predicted: nobody knew, cared, or had even bothered to smile or talk to me at any point along the way. What was the use? When I got to my room I noticed I'd received a response to my earlier message:


"Hey Alex! I had a really nice time also! Thanks for the intro to bouldering! I think we're in rather different places in our lives for dating to work out, but I think you're an interesting guy, and would be happy to stay friends if you'd like!"


I sat on my bed for a while, still not quite knowing what to do with myself, and definitely cried. In that moment I needed to talk to somebody so I shared the message with a friend who suggested I take a couple of deep breathes and go for a run, lol. I took a shower, made some dinner, and sent her this response:


"You know... It never seems to hurt any less each time I hear that, but I do understand. I wish there was more I could do about it, but I suppose it all boils down to patience. Good luck out there!"


I'm sitting here feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally battered. I should be proud and fine, but I'm so lonely I can barely function. What am I supposed to do world?

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  • 8 months later...



It's been 8 months since I posted here. I keep meaning to, but I'm just never in the right headspace for it. I landed a very high-stress job as a software tester at Amazon.com shortly after I graduated last year. Most days I either haven't had the time to write, or have been too busy playing video games in order to keep my brain detached from my emotions. I've also spent a considerable amount of time dwelling on the "suicide at 35" idea which I mentioned in a previous post. There have been a large number of days where everything seems so pointless and stagnant that I wish I'd set the deadline earlier. It's hard for me to talk about it with the people in my life though since they immediately go into socially obligatory panic mode at the mention of the word suicide. I simply have to roll my eyes because I know I'm in no immediate danger and that this plan is just an everyday thing for me now. I want to make it clear that I haven't resigned myself to death. This isn't one of those "thinking about it will make it happen" self-manifesting things. I genuinely desire to be happy, and I'm willing to make any necessary changes to see that happen. I have fought. I am fighting. I will continue to fight. I hope that victory is possible. I turn 30 on Tuesday. I will spend the next 5 years leading a healthy balanced life and attempting to find that more fulfilling than disappointing.


I'm finally aware that this is about more than the absence of romance in my life, or at least the sexual side of it. I met a girl online shortly after my last post and had several nice dates with her over the course of a month or so. Things got sexual pretty quickly, which felt great and all, but there was still something missing. I went out dancing with her and her friends one night and despite the physical closeness I think we were both feeling some sort of distance. She broke up with me in the car on the way back to her apartment. I slept with her one last time that night, and I must say that I've never felt so alone in my life. It was easy to shrug my shoulders and say we just weren't the right fit for each other, but I felt a much deeper fear that it always had and always would feel that way with me and women...


A couple of months later I met a girl while out rock-climbing with friends in eastern Washington. We hit it off pretty well at first (just as with the other girl) and got into a rhythm of climbing, watching The Daily Show, and sleeping together. This was all happening during my first few months at Amazon, and I honestly didn't feel like I had the energy to take things beyond that. We went on a couple of hikes together, but it didn't feel like the "honeymoon period" that one might expect in a healthy relationship. It was weird, I was depressed, and things didn't seem to be headed anywhere, so I let her know where I was at and called it off. At the time she simply responded with "whatever" but after a week or so she began texting me about how much she was hurting and if I was ever going to talk to her again. I was neck deep in stress at work, lonely, the days were dark and cold, and I couldn't take it any more. We agreed to hang out again soon, and things pretty much went back to where they were. Over the last few months not much has changed. Work has still been stressful, I've still been depressed, and I've hardly put any energy into the relationship. Even the sex has been lackluster since I'm just not that into the whole thing. In-between sporadic bursts of talking rapidly about anything and everything she gets really quiet and glum looking for long periods of time. Then she'll get angry about all kinds of small stuff and I'm just like "huh, what?" I want to reach out, but she seems completely disconnected from me emotionally. I suppose that's understandable since we've been drifting apart since this all started. I don't understand why she's sticking around though when things seem so dysfunctional? I kind of want her to dump me and go date somebody who can be less stressed about his job and more into living his life with her. I've even stated as much and she just stared at me blankly. I had to metaphorically pry it out of her by asking "so, are you just sticking around to see if things get better between us, or what?" and she just shrugged and grunted some sort of affirmation. Despite the circumstances with work and depression I truly feel that this isn't the right woman for me. I just hope things don't have to boil to explosion for her to see that too. If nothing else, this has completely reversed my stance on dating. I'd rather have a free and sexless life while I get back on my own two feet before I'm ready to tackle this sort of situation again.


At any rate, my 6 month contract with Amazon expires on Tuesday (my 30th birthday), and I've decided not to stay on with them. That place is simply insane. Median burnout time is 1 year, as opposed to 5 at companies like Microsoft or IBM. These statistics are even worse for employees in my department. I'm surrounded by empty desks and my contact list is filled with the grayed out names of people who used to sit in them. I'm confident that I can find another job which doesn't leave a feeling of dread and despair in my stomach at the end of every day. However, what I really want to do is return to a healthy routine, taste some fresh air, and enjoy the light of spring before I dive into more work. I've earned myself 3 months before I'm broke again, but considering my present mental stability and outlook on the next 5 years this still seems like the right decision to make.


Hello 30!

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  • 1 month later...

You have been able to find two girlfriends (also sexual partners) over some months, for many guys it's quite an accomplishment, considering how sexually frustrated you have been before. Now that you're done with college, and already getting job interviews and contracts, maybe your luck is bound to change ?

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  • 1 month later...

I'm pretty sure I'll be dead on my 35th birthday. It seems like a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I see the same patterns year after year with no reason to believe they'll ever change. I just don't get enjoyment out of life the way other people do and I can feel the separation everywhere I go. Dancing, singing, at parties and such... I have to smile to fit in but it's really a cringe. I just don't enjoy being there. I don't enjoy being around people for the simple sake of being around them. I don't remember things about others. I'm bad at hanging out. This leaves things in a rather hopeless space for dating since I wouldn't know what to do with a woman if I had her. I try to fill my life up with activities which I find enjoyable since that's what everybody tells me to do. It's either that or video games, and that hardly seem like trying.



In my idle moments the self-pity and egotism always seep in and wreck my mood. I'm fine now because a full day of work has flooded my cortex with complicated information that precludes the opportunity to be introspective. How am I going to write those custom Selenium conditional waits by x-path to interact with hidden page elements and prevent misclicks in our automation tests? How should I maintain loose coupling of the model and page classes without having to redeclare all of the amenityAction variables for a random ordering if the model has to be generated all at once? Yawn, right? It's these complicated technical issues that scare everybody off socially that I cling to to escape socializing.



No, this isn't it. There's something more important today. It's this sense of entitlement I'm noticing. I have it in the back of my mind that if I keep working hard and pursuing all of my activities that somebody is bound to notice me and love me for it. Life doesn't work like that, and I can't keep holding those sorts of expectations. I have to be okay with the possibility of being alone indefinitely... And I'm not. My mind goes places where it would rather kill me than continue to put up with that existence.



I want it NOW. More than that, I'm still picky about it. There's a girl who's really into me and I'm just not into her. She's short, fat, and we don't have many common interests. Why can't I make it work anyway? Why do I always want more. Why do I always think I see it in others who are out of my reach? Should I just bang her for fun? No, that's not me. I need there to be potential for more. I want to start something with somebody I'm actually attracted to. It doesn't seem that lofty a demand, but maybe I need to be more realistic.



I swear to god I see 50 women every day that appeal, but there's never a context, and again, I'm not in the headspace to make it happen. I don't know if I ever will be on simple account of being myself. For instance, there was some dude on the bus this morning that immediately walked on and started charming everybody. He talked about his job at a call center and food people would like to eat and I don't know how he did it but everybody seemed enamored with him. Of course he was singling out the women since that's what those sorts of men like to do, but the women didn't seem to pick up on it at all because he was so smooth about it. Complimenting them on their hair and lord knows what. I was just sitting there thinking, if that's what I have to do to be attractive it'll never happen. I'm not that smooth. I spent all day just wanting to compliment this female co-worker in another department, but there was never an opening. We just sort of glanced at each other all day long. I was kind of angry with myself for being attracted since I'm sure it's like every one of those workplace stories where the guy thinks there's more than there is and the girl is just being friendly. There is no opening, anywhere. Friends don't hook each other up. Even bars are a no-go since everybody shows up with their friends and nobody reaches out.



Nobody will reach out when I make the suicide attempt either because the truth is that I don't matter that much (except to my mother, but does that really count?). I'll make them jump through hoops. I'll buy my plane ticket months in advance and be out of the country before they can do something easy like call the cops. No, they'll have to hike up that damn mountain and stop me from jumping off that waterfall, and there will be nobody there to face me when I do it because I don't matter enough to anybody for them to extend that kind of effort. What would they tell me anyway? How could somebody convince me to go on living at that point when I've heard it all already?



I just don't feel cut out for the world. I go to work 9-5, go to the gym, come home, and play video games. This is the existence that the world has found acceptable for me, and I'm supposed to just be happy and fill that role. I hide my crying most mornings during my commute and I look around and everybody's acting all normal. They've got these lives and cell-phone conversations and all this is so important to them and nobody reaches out. Sometimes I want to just punch a dude to get a reaction. It's all so cold and sterile and I'm ready to reject this world. I want to say "no, I won't play this game."



Is that it? Yeah, I think that's where I'm coming from. There's something else though... I don't know what it is, this eternal sense of non-belonging even when I have evidence against it. I hung out in the climbing gym with some friends last night, got a ride home, and I still felt alone then eating my microwave burittos. I was alone, but that's how it is for everyone right? Except the ones in happy relationships. I'm so ing bitter and envious. Me me me, when will it happen? Damn. And of course I was in a relationship a few months ago, I guess. Well, the sort of relationship the world is willing to give me (me). Not one of those happy normal relationships that make me want to live my life or anything.



It's all so hopeless and I don't know what drives people. Certainly not the work. It's an outlet. I know what I'm doing is pointless. Writing software tests that are going to find bugs with themselves and the testing environment and have no real impact on the world. It pays well, but I don't feel like any sort of hero. I'm hardly included in the meetings and decisions, just like it was at Amazon. That's okay I guess, it allows me to have freedom and a balanced life when nobody important gives a what I'm doing. But who am I living this balanced life for? Myself? I'm supposed to live for myself. That's what the advice says. Focus on yourself. It's the 21st century of me me me and that's totally how I am. Thinking of myself first, and I'm far from happy.



The weather's nice, but I'm wearing a scowl. How could anybody like that, yet I'm being honest. I drive them away because I don't fit into the normal daily happiness and I can't fake it often enough to really get to know anybody. I'm an eternal acquaintance. They even like me, because they don't know me. Nobody is ever going to reach out to pull me from my inner demons. Even the therapist that I throw money at hasn't really helped. She just tells me to be happier with what I've accomplished. I'm hollow, I can't find happiness in accomplishments, only the pursuits. I don't know how to celebrate for the sake of it. I'm either doing something, or sad, and the only difference this decade is that I've been doing things.



This isn't coming together. I don't have any real point and I'm just rambling and re-hashing the same old garbage. I can't sort it out by myself, but nobody is ever really going to talk to me about these things in any significant depth. It's too time-consuming. I guess I'll go home, hop on my bike, do the crossfit thing, throw together some fish-sticks or something, play video games past my bedtime, maybe masturbate to let off some pressure and repeat ad nauseum. I'll go climb some mountains with my friends, go to birthday parties, act like I'm enjoying myself, but all I'll ever want is to give up and play video games. I'll meet plenty of dudes and couples, and I'll have to like them, because those are the friends I've got. So many ing dudes. Everywhere dudes. I want to get away from the dudes and have some female attention to myself for once.



It's a beautiful life by most standard, but I'm just not satisfied with it, and that's why I know I'm not going to make it. Nothing will ever be enough. Nobody should have to be around me when I'm at my worst, and it's bound to flood outwards the older and the more bitter I get. I saw this article on NPR recently about some guy who shot a bunch of people and they're blaming it on him being a raging misogynist. I impulsively sided with him because I feel so hurt by being around so many women I admire without ever seeing an affectionate side to them. There's apparently a MRA (Men's Rights Activists) movement which has the same problem I do: They feel like society owes them love and support. So all the NPR commenters are hating on the MRA people and "how dare they have such warped thinking" and such, and I'm thinking "please, you clueless es... You have no idea what it feels like to never get what you want".



I don't agree with killing anybody else though, I just feel like I live in a world... A wonderful upper middle class white world where women have all the privilege and men are a sideshow, expected to just do what we've always done and not cause any trouble. At the rate I'm going I feel like I will cause trouble. The bitterness is too strong. I need to remove myself from the situation. It's doing everybody a favor. I'm slowly becoming a rabid dog that will have to be put down, and people are too busy celebrating all of my paper accomplishments to notice that I'm unwell inside. They're all so proud and happy with me. I've given up answering the "how's it going?" question truthfully because that weirds people out. I just say "fine" like everybody else, smile, and move on, hurting all the while for no good reason.



I find it funny how I'm volunteering with a bunch of teenagers. There's something enjoyable about it that makes me want to fake it and be a hero for a weekend. An organized adult supervising and inspiring a generation of young rock-climbers. They even sent me a signed postcard last time to thank me for all the help. It's rewarding somehow, but I find it ironic that the inner me is actually very jaded and bitter and wouldn't be painting a pretty picture for these kids if I were to speak my full mind. The very girls I'm helping are going to grow up and heartlessly stomp on the guys as society feeds their self-indulgent spirits. They're the stars, that's how the world works, and I'm somehow doing my part to help it along despite my seething hatred for it. Way to go! Here, take all the validation I never had!



I want to knock all this off, be happy, and just see the life I'm already living through different eyes. Everything's fine save for the raging storm in my head. This stupid disease depression that, like cancer, never goes away. The stronger I become the more serious the pretenses are which it uses to bring me down.

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  • 1 month later...

An hour ago I was feeling very depressed and couldn't quite figure out why. I was lying half on the sofa and half on the floor just sort of thinking. I had a computer game going accross the room, but I didn't really feel like playing it. There was a pizza in the oven, but I wasn't really sure when I'd put it in. I was just sort of dazed and down on myself. I felt like nothing I did mattered... Like I didn't matter. My mind lingered on the suicide at 35 thing and I suddenly realized that I was in a bad space and needed to reach out. I don't feel particularly close to anybody right now, but I called my friend Lauren anyway. She wasn't there so I went back to playing my game, took the pizza out of the oven, and eventually came here to sort it out.


So why am I depressed? Women I suppose. I had a date today that went pretty well I think, but of course I'm second guessing that. It started when I was feeling horny and lonely a few weeks ago. Rather than subject myself to the regular dating gauntlet I just wanted something to work... So I searched for women who were interested in casual sex. Most of them freaked me out, but this one girl seemed like the warm, compassionate, outdoorsy type. I wrote her a note explaining my train of thought and she actually wrote back! I guess my better judgement got a hold of me and it progressed like any other dating correspondence. She warned me that she has issues "where she doesn't take care of herself" that would prevent her from being in a longterm relationship. I do want a longterm relationship, but I also want sex, so I figured " it, we'll see what happens." Of course the reality is that we were both busy for a couple of weeks and weren't able to go on a date until today. It was the usual coffee faire, but the conversation went well. She talked a lot about her job (criminal law), and I mostly listened. At one point she actually asked me if she was boring me and I told her I was having a good time just watching her passionately describing things (the truth), then changed the subject. It turns out she used to be a pretty big gamer and was just getting into rock-climbing so we actually have a lot in common. She even had her climbing shoes with her in her car so we walked over to the gym and did some bouldering. It was a hot and sweaty day and I think she was having an anxiety attack or something (her issues?) so we called it off early. On the way out she randomly started talking about how she's got a history of being a 'serial monogomist' and has always needed to be in a relationship with one person (and few friends) in the past. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to get out of that, but I thanked her for opening up. I'm guessing there's a counselor somewhere in her life telling her how she's supposed to be (not) interacting with guys. She also talked about her need to nurture and how her dog was taking the place of her previous boyfriends. I'm feeling so jaded these days that the concept of a girl who actually enjoys nurturing her boyfriend seems pretty damn sexy. *shrugs* Lucky dog I guess!


So the casual sex thing probably isn't gonna happen. I'm still a hugely awkward nerd at heart who has to get past his brain to get his body to that point. I suspect she's the same, or who knows, maybe she's off banging the town? I still believe most women can get away with murder in online dating. At any rate I'll thank her tomorrow for hanging out with me and see if she's down to do it again some time. I'd give it a 60% chance of being over already, a 20% chance of leading nowhere, a 10% chance of kissing and then leading nowhere, a 5% chance of kissing, ing, and then leading nowhere, and a 5% chance of kissing, ing, and blossoming into an actual relationship. Just in case, I'm getting an STD screening on Friday before anything happens.


So why is that depressing? I dunno. I think I'm supposed to be happy. My new job at Expedia is going well and my co-workers are impressed with me, yay! I just got back from an awesome trip in Squamish, B.C. where I went and climbed the south buttress of the Stuwamish Chief, booyah! I just rejected my friend's overweight ex-girlfriend when she came on to me and took her pants off while we were watching a movie, but she understands and still wants to be friends and hang out anyway, yay? It's not like there isn't stuff going on in my life every day. I think it's just the same old where despite everything I do and all the efforts I make, I still end up sitting in front of my computer every evening eating bad food by myself. All I've ever wanted is to be in a happy relationship where we get laid and care about each other. What am I supposed to do to make that happen that I haven't already tried? I hate feeling so helpless.


Of course I know the answer already... Patience. I need to just keep living my life. Depression leaves me so bored with it though! I need to stop feeding into that and just go through the motions I guess. 35 keeps the effort finite and gaugable. Sometimes I need that.

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I have only been in and out of your journal lurking, and know I haven't posted here before.


And what I'd like to put in could take many chapters of many books...but it could also be condensed down into something very simple and relatively concise. So to cut to the bones of it:


The answer is not "patience". Not in the sense you're referring to it (as in, "if I just WAIT long enough, maybe something good will happen").


In fact, I'd even say the answer is not "hope."


These qualities can be very valuable in a life (especially patience)


But in many cases, and particularly yours, these qualities are not only being misapplied, but they are hurting you, particularly hope.


The very, very worst mindset you can have, which will continue to fuel your depression, is, "I'll just try to hang in there until the thing I want to have happens. THEN I can be happy. THEN I can be okay. THEN I can be no longer depressed."


Anyone who is waiting to start living is going to be depressed.


"I need THIS in order to be happy, and until then, I can't be" -- recipe for continual pain and suffering. Which by the way, is never satisfied (except temporarily) even when you get that thing (so, quite the set-up there for more disillusionment.)


You've alive NOW. NOW, NOW, NOW. There are beautiful and amazing things in your life RIGHT NOW that could make you happy if you fully partook of them, savored them. But no, you're too busy looking right past them into the distance, grasping and clinging at mirages of what you think you need, need in order to not just be happy, but to live out your lifespan.


So this not only destroys the very REAL opportunity for you to discover happiness, but it makes you a slave. You're a slave to your desires and cravings and the story of what you want. And it IS only a story. It's the story of, "This has been my pathetic life and WHAT I NEED IN ORDER TO BE HAPPY. I NEED a woman's touch, I NEED to be in a relationship, I NEED to have women like me, I need, I need, I need....otherwise, I'll decay in bitterness." You are a prisoner your own mind has authored, with your cravings being the prison guard that torments you and makes your life a living hell. And you've created all of this out of your own thoughts, your own mind. It's not inevitable. It's not just "a part of you." Despite the feelings you have about it, it's not the fabric from which you are woven. It's formed from a strong identification with these thoughts, certain cultural messages, and an inability to deliberately make choices about your own thoughts, and yet, what could be more important an arena to make free choices in than one's own thoughts? You need to challenge these more than you need what you think you need.


People need food, air, water, sleep and some form of human connection to survive. All the rest is negotiable, in terms of what is needed to be "happy". You get to choose whether or not to put all your focus and all your eggs in one basket, to the point that you discount all the rest of the richness of life. You get to choose whether you want to be this much of a slave and a prisoner, entirely of your own making at the cost of life.


Why would anyone want a woman more than to be a free man instead of a slave? Why would any man want a woman more than leaving his ball and chain, which is the fixation in his mind that he absolutely cannot be happy without love/sex/female/touch, yada yada? Why would any man prefer to be incarcerated by his mind than to walk free of this rigid, demanding storyline into the unknown storyline which is life (and which you could be curious about, instead of hung up on)?


I believe you need to go in the exact opposite direction of anything and everything you and others keep telling you, like, "I'm sure it will happen for you some day" or "I just need to grit my teeth and wait for the right situation to arise", or "You're bound for it to happen some time." This is COMPLETELY WRONG THINKING, the wrong direction. Because who knows if it's ever going to happen, really -- and so that kind of fantasy basis for living creates a trap. No wonder you're depressed -- you're asking for a guarantee from life that you know life is inherently not designed to give you. So stop making ultimatums with life.


You need to give up waiting. Give up searching for that pot of gold. Give up the "patience" for that day. Give up hope. Willfully, actively give up hope that it will happen for you.


I'm not saying give up and then die, however. I'm saying that when you let go of your tremendous need to be happy by a certain route -- and for some people, that's money, for others, it's fame, for others, it's a family, or a certain achievement -- you'll find happiness and contentment waiting for you. Your job is to find your own route, and there are infinite ones. You've narrowed yourself to one or two. You have to drop all of this hanging on a certain outcome and let THAT die, while you stay alive to enjoy the rest of what life has to offer. And if the woman of your dreams happens, it happens. Great. And you'll be a lot better off mentally and psychologically to receive it when it does, because right now, you're coming to women and relationships wanting them to fill in a cavity in your life. That's not a healthy way to approach relationships, so even if you do find one, trouble will arise with that foundation.


You need to die to the ideas in your head to live. You can lift the cross from your own shoulders and be free, and you won't need deadlines to live anymore, you'll be too busy finding reasons to want to continue.


If you haven't already read the book "The Power of Now", I strongly recommend you read it, as well as seek out "mindfulness meditation" circles. In your city, you're in a hotbed, you'd find tons of classes, groups, and trainings in this way of working with your mind. This practice is used widely by many psychotherapists now (it's often under the title MBSR -- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, pioneered by those in the mental health community in the US, but it entered from the East [aka Buddhism -- not a religious thing, a philosophically driven discipline.] So you may wish to seek out a therapist who is specifically trained in mindfulness-based therapy, though it's good to find trainings and local groups where you can socially connect as well with others who are interested in it.) The main premise is that there is only one moment we are alive in -- and it's right now. All the rest is a very elaborate cocktail of non-existent mental habituation. The past does not exist, the future does not exist. Only this moment does. And in this moment, what is so unbearable? There is a warm pizza in the oven. There is a friend to talk to. There is a game to enjoy playing. There is the night air. There is the comfort of a couch to rest on. If you live in every moment, really inhabit it...there is nothing unbearable in any "now." In fact, some moments are actually quite lovely, even though you're choosing thoughts which depress you, and those thoughts are conditioned ones of the non-existent past or future which you're EXTREMELY attached to, that return to tell you you NEED xyz or you'll just have to end your life.


What a waste that would be.


Being happy is not a matter of getting what you want. It's a matter of letting go of all your preconceived notions about life and what you feel entitled to by living it, so that you are open to what it brings.


I also strongly advise you as I've advised many depressed people to start putting your efforts and energies into things outside yourself. Depression makes you extremely self-absorbed, and that is a sinkhole. I have battled depression of all degrees in my life, and I can say unequivocally that the depressed state arises directly from being consumed in myself and what's going wrong. It cuts you off from people, and all the ways you could live bigger than that. Depression makes you very small. So I suggest you keep volunteering, but do a different sort of volunteering if the types you're doing only trigger your anger and bitterness. Go to places where people are even worse off than you, materially -- people who need education, who need mentoring to stay out of trouble (and that's a lot of urban kids), people who don't have shelter or food, or who need caregiver relief because of sick loved ones. How about hospice work, where people are dying? Reading to an old person who is terminally ill, whom relatives have not visited much? Be there for others who are lonely, get absorbed in THOSE moments of consciousness, instead of slaving in your metal foundry how lonely, lonely, lonely you are. And magically, you'll find company. Reach out to the world and give it something, rather than asking why it's not giving to you and putting the things into your hands to make you happy.


I have never found that asking the world to give me stuff makes me happier. It leads to frustration, anger, bitterness, and depression. It just makes you a beggar. So that is the wrong path, isn't it? You're getting the tap on the shoulder that that's the wrong path by the way you feel.


When you make your life more about what you can give, reaching out....the world will eventually give back. And yes, that requires some patience, but if you keep thinking, "I've just got to be patient and wait for my cookie, my gold star, my brownie point" that's not patience at all. That's still the same ol' story, cloaked in a ploy to see if it plays out the way you NEED/WANT, and then it once again will be all over if it doesn't happen. So that doesn't qualify as what I'm speaking about doing.


You have to release yourself completely from the expectations and attachments and the biding your time. You're not biding your time for anything. You're just living. Easy to say -- hard to do, so hard, it's a lifetime project. Finding ways to make the world a slightly less mean and bitter place. The medicine is an agenda which goes counterflow to everything you've been marinating in. Give something that is sweet to a bitter situation that exists, and you will be included in the world that nurtures, and have your own bitterness dissipate.


Outward, outward, outward. Not inward, inward, inward. "Outward" should be your non-specific daily mantra. All your posts radiate with how inwardly-focused you are as you go about all these things you do -- the "how does this all serve me and my desperate agenda" POV. What I'm suggesting is not for "saints", this is for regular people, people with a practical need who are being eaten alive by self-absorption as you are. So do it for yourself, but through something bigger than yourself, finding an activity that resonates with you that is non-threatening.


And do it making it both the means and the ends.


Life is so much bigger than what you've programmed yourself to want. You're in programming, right? This should be your main, first, and continuing project as a programmer and person -- to let go of your own shtty program that you've designed, which you've become automatically entrained to have to proceed with. Dog on a leash, puppet on string, prisoner in chains, slave under a whip, beggar with a bowl, program running itself. Do you want to be these things?


Destroy the virus, cut the insane loop, die to the stories of this and that and what you need in order to live, forget whether you're "supposed to be happy", give up "hope" -- and live instead.

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And by the way, on the heels of the foregoing, and what you have said in post #33, if your therapist has ever said, "I don't understand why you're not getting the things you want, because you're so deserving" or "your luck is bound to change" I would fire him or her right away. That's not just a completely wrong approach, but it's incompetent therapy. I could excuse that in your friends and family because they don't know any better, but in a therapist (even one who is not trained in MBSR), it's inexcusably destructive.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for taking the time to write all that. I've been thinking about it a lot.


What I'm getting out of this is that detaching from specific goals as prerequisites for happiness enables people to be happy with the present. Like you've said: I can't be happy with my life as it is while I'm too busy staring past it.


Indeed, my happiest moments are when I'm actively accomplishing something. When I'm hours into a programming project, coordinating things on my calendar, focused on some video game, hanging out with friends, or halfway up a rock-wall I feel very engaged, capable, and satisfied with myself. It's the downtime between these things when I feel bad. When I'm not *doing* something my mind drifts towards lots of shoulds and wants. I have a hard time being happy in the present because there's nothing enticing to focus on.


I guess I hadn't realized it before, but a relationship to me symbolizes always being engaged in something. Instead of moping around by myself at the end of the day this other person would become an activity... Something to engage in. Whether that's sex, cooking together, or just talking about our days I'd suddenly have a role to play... Something interesting to challenge me right until I pass out and fall asleep.


So it seems in all my years of being alone I still haven't learned how to be happy about it. I've just gotten really good at distracting myself with tasks and activities and I'm seeking a relationship as an extension of that. I don't know how to thrive in the downtime. I don't know how to draw on what I've already accomplished and be truly satisfied with it when the day is over.


Even now, after a successful day, climbing with friends, grabbing drinks, and biking home I'm sitting here wondering how to end my day on some sort of meaningful note so that I can rest well. I guess this post will have to suffice. I feel very clueless.

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  • 1 year later...



It's amazing when I read back through this thread how consistent the theme is. Loneliness, loneliness, loneliness! And here I am lonely again. I have little reason to believe this will change... Or do I? I have most of the same things going for me that I always did, but they still don't qualify me to be loved and cared for. I do make six figures now. I bought a brand new car and paid it off. Whoop-de-doo! Now maybe I can start saving up for a mortgage so I can be even more depressed when I own a big empty house by myself. I guess I could always get lots of cats...


I still get out. I still try. I still exercise. I still volunteer. I've got more friends and get invited to more activities than I can fit on the calendar. I put on a smile and show them all my best self. The closest ones see through it and know about my depression. They want to help, but I don't know what they're supposed to do. What do I say... "How about you come have sex with me and let me release all of this tension?" They're all either dudes or they're in relationships. It's not an option. There are never options. They're all in relationships because this is Seattle and guys just have to get in line or go die alone.


I've been thinking about dying alone a lot lately. Offing myself at 35 almost seems like a foregone conclusion now. I'm thinking about all the conversations I'm going to have to have with friends and family first. It's not going to be easy. Everybody wants me to live for moral and ethical reasons... But they don't understand the combined pain of clinical depression and romantic desolation. I'm still seeing a therapist. I'm still trying new medications. I even took a few months off of work to undergo electro-convulsive shock therapy. I'm fighting it like a cancer, but this depression is here to stay.


Even if I did wind up in a happy relationship who's to say I wouldn't ruin it? I want to wake up next to somebody, set goals together, and support each other. I want to laugh and cry and live together. I want to have kids and transition into them being my focus and reason for persevering. I want these things so badly I can't fall asleep many nights. Wanting it and living it are two separate things though. I know how foolish it is to place all my hopes and dreams on the belief that a relationship will wash away my depression and the act of being together will make me want to live again.


On the other hand, I don't have that... Any of it. I've never had somebody in my life with an expressed future together. Either with, or most assuredly without it, chances are that my mind will continually yearn for an escape from this life. I'm too needy. There's not enough in this world to entice me to keep going indefinitely. I feel purposeless no matter how much soul-searching I do to find that purpose.


I know how serious it is to just give up on myself like this, but I also know how serious the pain is that drives me there. I'll be purchasing an airplane ticket to Venezuela months in advance. I've been thinking about it for years and I'll be thinking about it in the interim years. I'll be thinking about it on the flight. I'll be thinking about it while I hike up through the jungle to get to the top of that damn waterfall. I'll have all the time in the world to make sure it's the best action to take then.


I want people to realize how serious I am about all of this. How long I've been struggling like this. How hard it is for me just to get up in the morning and be human like everybody else. They need to know my reasons. I'm a genetic disaster. I am tall, strong, frighteningly intelligent, and deeply deeply disturbed. I am god's demonstration that the expression of a physical and mental shell alone are not enough to constitute a balanced human being. Something deeper, some objective truth, some necessary... humanity that others have which validates the nature of our existence is eluding me. This won't be some stupid pill-popping stunt or a lame-ass wrist cut. Everybody will know that this was planned as a last resort. A finish line of sorts. If they have a problem with that then they'll have time to convince me otherwise. It had better be a good argument.


I'm feeling cold and numb now that I've written this. That's an improvement, but it's not a comfortable place to end the day. I still need a hug. I still need validation. I still need sympathy. Need, need, need! I write like I expect the internet to notice me and solve all of my problems. What do I think I'll get from this? I know these are just lunatic ramblings. I tell myself I'm leaving a trace that will give insights to those I'm leaving behind. That this will somehow make it easier for them to accept. I can't guarantee that, but I can at least ing try. Trying is all I can do. Trying is all any of us can do. you Yoda!

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  • 1 year later...

2016 Sucked


I quit my job at Expedia since my work wasn't being used for anything and I didn't feel valued. I ended up going through a quick-lived period of positive energy and self re-direction. During this, I endured online dating long enough to land in a nice little 4 month relationship. I got a new job at Disney shortly afterward and the year was shaping up to look alright.


Alas, depression caught up to me in April and I lost both the job and the girlfriend. It really hurt the way she did it too... I had just gotten home from work when she showed up at my place and saw how defeated I was looking. I mentioned the depression and she said "wow, that must be hard!" I said something like "well, it does help to have an understanding girlfriend" and reached out to hug her. She backed away and said something like "yeah... that would be nice" before just laying it on me that "look, this isn't working." I had been in low energy mode so I guess I wasn't sending enough maintenance texts. You'd think that would be a totally superficial thing for a couple in their 30's, but she claimed that her ex had texted her and she got all excited in a way that she realized she didn't feel about me. people, honestly.


All of the experiences I've had with women reinforce the idea that I'm not good enough. Then people always tell me "Oh no, but you are! You're a catch! You just have to find somebody who appreciates you for who you are!" I smile back the way a parent does when they know a child is telling a white lie. I'm still waiting for this latest layer of bitterness to erode away, but I think I might just be permanently buried under it by now.


I spent most of the summer depressed and not doing anything. I got out on a couple of climbing road trips to Utah and British Columbia and visited some friends in Hawaii for a couple of weeks, but mostly I spent last year staying home in my boxers and playing video games. It all seems so pointless. My jobs have all seemed pointless. My relationships have all seemed pointless. My friends and family keep me connected to the world, but there's no intimacy or sense of deeper meaning there. I just don't know what to live for. "Just live for yourself! Love yourself! Indulge! Buy more !" I can hear the modern capitalist narrative barking. No. you. I'm tired. If you won't love me then go away and let me die... Therapists don't know how to help. Medications haven't worked. Neither did shock therapy... Or acupuncture... Or herbal remedies. I'm so very close to giving up.


I met a nice Christian lady while I was traveling who suggested that I try praying to god. I'm at the point of desperation where any direction seems like it's worth pursuing, so I listened. The next day I hiked up Mauna Loa, got down on my knees, and prayed. I asked for god to give me a sign that he was real. I promised to use all of the mindfulness and meditation which I've practiced over the years to remain aware and not shut him out if he wanted to speak to me. I even asked him to be blunt about it and strike me down if that's what it was going to take. I asked him, if I was beyond redemption, to do so fatally so that whatever evil and corruption is eating away at my soul wouldn't be allowed to spread. I'm still waiting.


After a year spent doing nothing, I'm broke. Where god fails to intervene, money does. I'm not ready to be homeless, so I'm crawling back to the job search. I'm cleaning myself up because I need to be functional. I still have to live until I'm 35 because that's been my promise to myself and others. All of the recruiting ladies are so proud of me over my godforsaken resume, how smart I am, and how I'm passing all of the technical screenings with employers that their other candidates are failing. I'll have a job before I even want one and everybody is just so ing happy about that and I have to act all ing happy about that too. I just wish somebody would be this nice to me because they love me.

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Nice to read your update. I stumbled upon your journal today, and I really hope that 2017 will be a good year for you, on all fronts. I hope you don't give up, I do understand what that feeling of desperation is, but in my experience I often found meaning and reasons to go on, after hitting that lowest point. Being a total stranger, I know nothing; but what you wrote struck a chord with me, about lacking a sense of deeper meaning. I think that's the key - buying more "stuff" won't work; and relationships can't give us meaning. That is something we need to discover and it seems to come so easily for many people. I'm not a religious person whatsoever; but lately have been praying (to the Universe? not to any god, at least I don't think so?) that I can be an angel to someone, each day. Human or animal - that I can find meaning in helping them; not for my gratification, but simply because we are all here in this life, what can we do, except be good to every sentient being we meet?


Best wishes to you, sending you my positive energy, and apologies if I intruded into your journal. Thank you for letting me speak here.

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Best wishes to you, sending you my positive energy, and apologies if I intruded into your journal. Thank you for letting me speak here.


Thank you! You appear to post thoughtfully and infrequently, so I'm honored that you took the time to reach out to me.


I also feel a greater sense of purpose when helping others. There's definitely meaning there. I don't know why, but it's often easier to help others than to help myself. I will always believe in the golden rule.

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