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Self-Improvement & Venting Journal


Pleasedonot5
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I went to a friend's wedding reception (which had been delayed because of COVID-19) today. It was fun. There, I was really fun / conversational / funny. 

However, among my friends, I was also the only person who was without a date. 

My FWB person (who is in an open relationship) was there. This time, in retrospect seeing her with my friend hit a little different. Not like...overwhelming jealousy or anything. But yes, a bit of "I wish that were me." We are in a weird spot. 

We I had a talk after about the bizarre situation I described above. I think the sex is hot / fun but I do not want the drama. Also, I need to tread carefully: I may be catching feelings (could also be ego/pride). We said we were good to continue, but it felt a little empty. I am thinking space might be good. 

Man, I wish I had someone (compatible, of course).

--

The day also flew past me. I am trying to catch up, but I am immensely tired.

These next few days will be difficult because of law school-related tasks. 

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Career / School Related

My law school semester ended. I gave a final presentation (which was pretty solid). I finished up my last two externship tasks. I crammed for an exam (ironically, it is the only time I procrastinated readings then crammed: the class is called Professional Responsibility. Go figure, lol). Anyway, I did end up learning the material and I think I did well on the exam (we are graded against our peers). I would not be surprised if I earned an A (~top quarter of class).

I was elated to be done with the summer law school work. The work this summer really started to weigh on me. 

Relationship-Related.

Incorporating my last thread starting at this post. So, things turned sour with K. She disrespected me and made me feel awful. I stood up for myself, which is good. Still, this was a let-down and admittedly, when an attractive person laughs at you and tells you you are bad in bed during the act, any ordinary person would have their confidence shaken. I will admit I've been trying to work through ruminations, like what if previous partners were just pretending? It did not seem that they were. But, perhaps this is natural given what K said and how she said it. Oof. 

At least, I know she is not the right partner (come on, who treats others like that?) and I am no longer interested. I am free to find the right person now. I hope I do not end up in a situation (all dates included) like that ever again. Maybe there is a better way of telling what someone will be like before I pursue them. Or, maybe there is no clear way to tell: one simply has to roll with the punches. 

Misc

I wanted to share something for which I am grateful.

Content warning: suicide.

Last night, an old friend/acquaintance sent me a snapchat photo of himself having fun with some guy friends at a bar. In college, I stopped his suicide attempt. Someone said so-and-so was not doing well, so I went to his dorm to check on him. He was drunk and distraught. At one point, me trying to talk him down, he moved at himself with a knife. I had to physically restrain him. Here I was, at 18 or 19, restraining an amateur boxer who had a knife for around 15 minutes. Then, his roommates returned, found us, and they were able to help. They called the police (I had no free hand), and the police took him to the hospital. 

Judging by the after-midnight photo of him - huge smile - enjoying himself with guy friends at what looked like a bar, he is doing alright. He would not have had that night had I not intervened correctly. This is something weird to write about, even now. But, it helps me remember I put some good into the world. It reminds me that I am capable of generating even more good for others; this reminder is especially nice when I am feeling somewhat worthless or drained. In a bit of poetry, my friend sent the photo to me just as I was feeling that way: I had just posted about K and last night. I am not suicidal. But maybe he saved me in a way with that picture, even though he does not know it. 

I hope my old friend/acquaintance is doing well in earnest and that he continues to smile that big smile of his.

 

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It is ridiculous how one's confidence can be shattered -- insecurities abound -- from one particularly demeaning or toxic experience in bed.

It understandably effs one up to have a long-term friend and love interest laugh at you, tell you essentially that you are bad, and then lose all interest in you from one bedroom experience. Because of that, these last few days it has been difficult to reinforce my confidence. I've been sitting here, kind of depressed and insecure, wondering if my past partners didn't enjoy it either. Maybe it will help to list out counter-examples (in general details - no need to blind my readers) 

- ex-gfs, especially the most recent one, loved it

- someone in college told me it was me and maybe one other guy in her past who could make her feel that good; I know she wasn't just saying that.

- I remember another person in college who very frequently enjoyed when I helped her out like that

- current fwb says she enjoys it

- I'm sure there are more; just experiences that imo seemed to reinforce that I'm at least capable in that department. 

And I'm just thinking, too. I've had some go down on me, and it was alright, or sometimes, even not very good. But that never shattered my interest in someone I cared about or liked. You just tell the person what you like and carry on (or even, stop for the time being, carry on later). K obviously didn't care for me like that, hence the belittling laughter and desire to never do anything again. The interest must not have been there to begin with.

This frankly awful experience isn't a reflection on me, my worth, or even my overall skill/attractiveness.

Logically, that makes sense, and I am a logical person. Despite that, though, I am having considerable trouble convincing myself of that logic deep down. 

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Well, the brain fog is not getting better. I've noticed it even affects the way I write on here. I feel like I now struggle to put together a succinct, organized string of thoughts or even write grammatically sound sentences. I am not so much worried about how others perceive my writings as I am concerned for myself: this is a sign I am unwell. 

These past few weeks -- but in retrospect maybe the entire summer -- I have had like 2018-era brain fog. Incessant stress and anxiety (prompted by my anxiety disorder) brought on my perpetual brain fog back in 2018. The way I solved it back then was with physician-prescribed buspirone. I started with 7.5 mg twice a day, and shortly thereafter moved up to 10 mg twice a day. I have been on 10 mg twice a day since mid-2019. Perhaps it is time to ask my doctor for the next highest dose, which I think is 12.5 mg twice per day. 

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I took productive action for myself today.

I had not been sleeping well because I lost my sleep mask and my tempurpedic mattress pad fell apart in recent weeks. That, in addition to my penchant for staying awake until late hours, was leading to successive nights of insufficient and poor quality sleep. My back, hips, and side would occasionally wake me up. Then, in the mornings, the sunlight would wake me before I had enough shuteye. As a result, the last hours of sleep would be intermittent and low quality.

So, I went to Meijer and bought a queen size memory foam mattress pad and a replacement sleep mask. (I'm almost certain I'll find my old mask now that I bought a new one). 

Tomorrow, I want to take other actions for myself. 

The Fruit Fly Menace

I know where the fruit flies are breeding. In retrospect, it is intuitive. My bedroom is adjacent to the apartment bathroom. There is a panel (that I am probably not supposed to open -- had to use my tools to do so) in my bedroom that opens up to piping from my, and my upper and lower neighbors' bathrooms. Said piping is in the corner where the fruit flies congregate. 

I opened it up over the weekend; there is definitely mold/mildew in there and the pests love that. I sprayed water/bleach into it, then closed it back up, and fruit fly activity was null the whole rest of the day. 

That is part of the apartment that a tenant is not expected to clean. I doubt the landlord cleaned it or maintained it between tenants. As such, this falls under the landlord's responsibility. I'm going to call the landlord tomorrow, let them know wherein the problem lies, and ask them nicely to do something about it. 

Anxiety

I plan to call my doctor's office tomorrow to request a higher prescription. My insurance is not great and I am living off of savings -- I am hoping they do not make me come in for a visit ($$$) but if they do, it is probably worth it.

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Life sometimes feels like it is a torture chamber. Something right out of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit.

Here I have this, at baseline, mediocre existence filled with pain. My present makes going through the day an exercise in mental (and physiological) torment, when I cannot district myself. I am type A but have fruit flies buzzing everywhere. I feel lonely.

There are several things that could make existence more fruitful, but they come with a major caveat.

You could have children, PDN5! You've always thought you'd make an excellent father, and that children would bring you joy. Oh, but, sike! Sorry, having children permits the same suffering you go through, PDN5. That would be easing your own suffering at the expense of others. That would be immoral. There are alternatives which would work great, but see next section.

Ooh, love! You could fall in love and that would make life better. Yeah, except I do not have a partner. Everyone is getting married at my age (I need to stay off of social media: every third post is a wedding photo of someone I know). So, you could find one. Can't be that hard, Right? Well, most people want biological children and that is a deal-breaker for them. So I'm walking around with this major limitation. I'm not looking forward to the ohh we have a connection, ohh but she wants kids dates I'm sure I'll have. The only feasible way of knowing in advance of a date about children plans is OLD: and despite being a pretty attractive guy I do not have any success with OLD. 

You're a smart guy, you could leave this world better then you found it, maybe even change the world, PDN5. Yeah, well I'm trying to add good to it. Everyone nowadays is so polarized: we can't agree on sympathy for "the other side" and we cannot agree on basic facts. I am trudging up this hill but life is complicated and it keeps moving that way. 

Gahh. Well, this thread is titled venting journal for a reason. I probably needed to let that out, lest it continue to roam around in my mind unfettered. I've vented. Tomorrow, I will try to return to productivity.

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Aaahh PDN.  It isn't THAT bad!  Lol. 

Life can be an uphill trudge at times. 2Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you. 

4 hours ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

Everyone nowadays is so polarized: we can't agree on sympathy for "the other side" and we cannot agree on basic facts

Not everyone IMO.  Hey, PDN, maybe you are moving in the wrong circles.

Hope the fruit flies are soon exterminated never to return again!

 

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Quote

Aaahh PDN.  It isn't THAT bad!

Life can be an uphill trudge at times. 2Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you. 

It certainly seems like the bear is getting me at this point. I am clearly anxious / depressed to the point where I need to up my medication dose: it is difficult not to fixate on the awful parts of life in this state.  

I think I needed to write out all of that vile stuff in my brain so I could set it aside. Otherwise, it would just roam around my brain unfettered -- and that is more painful.  

Quote

Not everyone IMO.  Hey, PDN, maybe you are moving in the wrong circles.

True, it is not everyone. I have evidence of the polarization all over social media (again, I should stay off of social media. It is not helping my mental state one bit). I reckon also that the political discussions among my friend group have not helped. They mostly have a far-left viewpoint, pretty radical (often it makes for great discussion). However, sometimes it crosses the line into detrimental or reality-denying territory. That happened again recently. 

I have a special place in my heart for this group of friends. However, I would love to make new friends and have better, more substantive conversations there. My university will most likely be in person in a few weeks. Perhaps I can make some friendly connections there.  

Quote

Hope the fruit flies are soon exterminated never to return again!

Yes! 

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Over the last few days, a bit has happened. 

Maintenance came out to treat for mold and mildew in and around a piping area wherein I suspect the fruit flies are breeding. Fruit flies breed around mold/mildew when there is no fruity or fermenting material present. Since the treatment, fruit fly activity has reduced, but they are not fully gone. Maybe it will take another day or two for the current life cycle to end? Monitoring this. Not sure of next steps if they remain; maybe maintenance would have to do more. 

I spent a day doing yard and housework for my grandma (Wednesday). We spent a good amount of time talking, too. She was very grateful (as was I for the time spent together). This was a nice day. 

Today, I had a doctor's appointment. Just in time, too, because the anxiety has been just awful lately. The doctor wrote me a prescription for 15 mg buspirone twice per day. (There is no 12.5 mg dose apparently). I started the increased dose tonight. Fingers crossed that this helps. 

Today, I was social. I went to my alma mater (convenient location for a textbook sale I made). After, I went down to the student government office, just to pop in and say hi if someone was in. I ended up talking to the current student body president there (i am a former student body president). We had a great, like, 20 minute conversation. We talked a bit and I could tell we both enjoyed the conversation. I thought she was pretty cute, too!

I had D&D with friends tonight. It was a fun session. I wanted to ask "T," a married guy and close friend, if he and/or his wife (also a friend) know of anyone who might be a good match for me / interested. They are good people, have a great marriage -- maybe they could play matchmaker, haha. Unfortunately, T had something to do right after the session, so there was no comfortable opportunity to ask. Maybe some other time. 🙂

I feel a bit calmer at the moment. I am skeptical of it being the higher dose of buspirone kicking in this fast -- but it could be. I am hoping this ataraxia continues. 

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Fruit Flies

Well, I explained that I now know where they are coming from: the panel which leads to an area containing moldy pipes. This panel has a few small openings. Well, had. Since maintenance clearly did not clean out all of the mold/fruit flies (fruit fly activity continued), I needed to do something else. So, I taped all the cracks and little openings. I feel like a nut. Lol, but it seems to be working.

Anxiety

Ataraxia did not last, I'm afraid. The previous time the doctor adjusted my dose, I had two or so days of heightened anxiety. I'm afraid I am going through that again. Today was really, really bad. The anxiety caused both physical pain and incessant mental turmoil.

I also just had one of those days. Not only was I feeling off the wall anxious, but: (1) my bedroom's tall lamp broke (shoddy parts: I could not fix it with any handy work), (2) I went for comfort food (McDonald's) at a time McDonald's is usually open. One location was closed early, and the other had at least a half-hour-long drive-thru line, (3) not fruit flies, but there were three large bugs crawling around my apartment today, at a moment when I was already feeling like I was going crazy, these freaky bugs are all around me, and (4) everything seemed to be falling and breaking, and (5) my back is killing me

At least I was able help others today. An acquaintance asked me for advice, and I helped a friend with his resume today. I did laundry. I made spaghetti (and it tasted great). I spoke on the phone with a close friend. I taped up cracks in the wall panel, which may keep the fruit fly menace contained. I signed up for therapy - because I am really unwell right now. Thank goodness I can still be effective in survival mode. 

So, I made the most of a painful day today. I hope the next few days are less painful.

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Alright, I feel more like myself today. I can palpably feel the lack of anxiety within me; and I can see it the calmness of my writing.

I find it interesting that I can reliably gauge my mental state by how succinct and direct (or "active") my writing is. It has turned out to be a useful barometer for how I am feeling.

I see now how productive I was in retrospect even while my world was on fire. I deserve credit for taking decisive action while in survival mode. I trudged up the hill: I (1) had the doctor adjust my medication, (2) signed up for another semester of therapy, (3) exercised semi-regularly, (4) started (re)watching comedy shows like "whose line is it anyway" (love that show) to give myself something to look forward to and laugh at each day, and (5) took action to fix various stressors, like the fruit flies.

If I can do all of that with my world ablaze, just what am I capable of when the fire goes out? 

--

If the symptoms of anxiety are subsiding, then I can focus more on the "self-improvement" side of this journal. I am looking forward to that. 

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Yeah, I thought you handled it quite well.

I'm feeling a bit anxious today but there are several small things that have gone a bit sideways. Nothing earth shattering. Just minor things. But that old familiar fight or flight anxiety sensation is definitely there.

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2 hours ago, boltnrun said:

Yeah, I thought you handled it quite well.

I'm feeling a bit anxious today but there are several small things that have gone a bit sideways. Nothing earth shattering. Just minor things. But that old familiar fight or flight anxiety sensation is definitely there.

Thanks, boltnrun. I am sorry you are having an anxious day. 

Grounding (identifying five things you can see, hear, and then do) and paradoxical intention (actively trying to feel that burning sensation of anxiety) are mindfulness strategies that seem to work as a "reset" when I am feeling anxious. Ironically, when my anxiety is at its worst (as it was over the last couple of weeks), I never seem to be able to muster up the mental strength to use those strategies. 

I hope your day starts to turn around - or at least, that the anxiety subsides.

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1 hour ago, boltnrun said:

Thank you.

Unfortunately today has been by far one of the worst days of my life. I'll detail it in my journal if I feel up to it later on.

Hope you're having a good day.

I am so sorry. I will read your entry if or when you feel up to writing about your day. 

Sending virtual hugs your way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Updates since the last entry. 

FWB.

I had been feeling kind of gross because of the FWB. Yes, my FWB partner was a FWB and that means sex. However, we are/were friends first and foremost and not just "side pieces." I was feeling like a side-piece, because I would only ever get an hour or two of afternoon rendezvous. Sexting when it worked for her. Less underlying emotion/connection than before. Again, it was FWB. Not that she did anything wrong, but I was feeling gross and so it was not working for me. I called her up, we talked a bit, but I ended up expressing some of my concerns (how they were the same as a month ago), and though I was on the fence about continuing (the sex was good), she started to gaslight a little. E.g., even though she would tell me / express to me that she was even (really) romantically interested in me at times, now she started to say "well we know it would never work" and "we knew the deal going in." Well, that made me make up my mind. I just told her that well, I think we should just be friends. It isn't working for me for the reasons I mentioned, and we are both going to be really busy anyway.

Since then, funny enough, she has made more time to contact me. She has called me with insecurities about how I am feeling about her. I think I want to stay friends, even though she is putting more time in and seems to be a more available friend (she still wants FWB). 

As a result of breaking off the FWB, I do not feel gross anymore. I am lonely. However, I do not feel more lonely, because I was not getting much attention in that interaction anyway. Maybe now I can focus more on making friends and finding a potential relationship partner. 

Fruit Flies

Activity has been very low, which is good. Today, small fruit flies appeared again around my bedroom. I reapplied tape to cover the possible openings, Maybe they had found a way through. I also purchased one of those toxic insect killer patches/strips. They are safe for use in places, like areas for piping, attics, etc. where people do not spend a lot of time. It would work behind the closed panel in my bedroom. I will do this if they stay this time - the reason I am not going to do it now is because I do not want the hassle of reapplying lots of tape if I open the panel. But I will if I have to. 

At least there has been some success on this front.

Law School

Law school classes started back up: this is my second year in law school. I like my professors: I have two professors I enjoyed from last year in a total of three classes. The fourth course has a new professor, but he seems nice enough. 

I was frustrated this week in part due to the following factors:

  1. Lack of sleep: I needed to adjust to the new sleep schedule.
  2. Not very many law students seem to head over to the student center (as I do) for coffee/lunch after class is dismissed. I find that strange: where do they go? At least I made a new friend, call him Dan, and sat with a classmate or two from my first year here and there. Thursday (yesterday), I had probably the most conversation of the whole week. 
  3. The university has strict COVID-19 protocols. I think most of these protocols, i.e., the vaccine mandate, the daily screening app we fill out, are fine and make so much sense. The mask mandate makes some sense given the possibility of Delta variant breakthrough cases, but the enforcement of it (e.g., when I am sitting alone or just studying with one friend) is annoying and makes less sense. There is a policy or two which do not make sense, which I will speak to in (4).
  4. I had a plan to make a visit of every day that I went down to campus, which is each day Monday through Thursday. That included at the university's recreation center, which has a gym, locker room, and showers inside. The mask mandate applies to the fitness center area, too, so I planned to run outside and then lift weights indoors afterward. Of course, since I would go between classes or before a 40-45 minute drive home, I would need to use the showers, lets I be sweaty, sticky, and smelly during campus business. However, on Monday, the recreation center staff informed me that the facilities were all open but the showers were closed. I reckon even with masks, people are in more danger of possible Delta variant breakthrough cases in places where they are interacting (speaking with one another, breathing heavily, in close proximity) than in an individual shower stall. What does the university think we do in the showers? It is inconceivable that anyone would want to interact while in an individual shower stall. I wrote to the director of the facility on Thursday to encourage him to open up the showers for the reasons aforementioned. I was kind, professional, and persuasive - except for one part where I called the policy frustrating and nonsensical lol. Turns out the director agrees and has requested twice from the university's health committee that it allow reopening of the showers. He said the shower would be open within minutes of hearing back from the committee. Glad to know I am not the only one frustrated by this lol.

Friends / More

I want to make friends / potential romantic connections at the law school or the university as a whole. It is a bit difficult to make new friends when everyone is masked up and mostly keeping to their small groups. However, I think that (1) law students do not seem to be going en masse to the main student center for coffee lunch between classes and (2) maybe inherent in the way I am acting, I am not putting out "friendly" or "I am single and ready to mingle" signals.  

It has been a year without much social interaction - so maybe I need to cut myself some slack.  

Miscellaneous Law School

I am in an elections law group. I have former experience (2-3 years) as an accredited election administrator in my state. So, I have some connections with election practitioners. Around when I joined the group, and in the summertime when I was dealing with very heightened anxiety, the group President spoke with me about some events he wanted to do. He wanted my help with them. They are lunch events where he wants practitioners to speak, and ask Q&A. I agreed to help. However, it has turned into me agreeing to more involvement than turns out I am comfortable with. I hate event planning. Relying on my connections for an unclear presentation purpose also makes me anxious. In addition, I do not know on what topic to have them present. The President did not give me a clear answer either. Also, perhaps most importantly, I have learned zero from joining this group. However, the group is now relying on me to put on this event. And, the President asked me to reach out to the people over a month ago (my bad, but I was also dealing with more important things - and a mental health crisis - at that time). Reaching out for clarification now would probably make him think, "you have not asked them yet??" And he would be right to think that. 

Frankly, I want to leave the group, since it is a burden and I am not gaining any knowledge from it. However, I agreed to help plan these events, like it or not. I do not want to burn bridges with potential legal connections. 

I think I will reach out to one of my connections, a county election practitioner and my mentor, and see if he would be willing to talk about what he does and how the county helps municipalities with election administration during a lunch hour. If he asks for clarification on what exactly to present about, I would just need go from there. 

Writing this out makes the task less scary. I think I will just send an email right now.      

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

No Community at University

My university is incredibly dry. I cannot work out, because although gym equipment may be used, I cannot shower afterward due to COVID protocols (frustrating that working out is allowed but individual shower stalls are not). There do not seem to be any social events going on, despite everyone being vaccinated and on-campus. I have made some guy friends and we have lunch/talk about fantasy football and class - that sort of thing. But to the other sex? I seem to be doing things that are off-putting. I don't know why or how, but signs point to that I am doing something wrong, regardless of any flirtatious intention.

Career-Related

Maybe law is not my thing. I feel lost here, honestly.

Miscellaneous

I was the mastermind behind a judicial system at my previous university's student government. Well, apparently all went to Hell there and a few bad actors manipulated the system in some ways that were allowed but not intended, and in some ways that were explicitly against the rules (but that did not stop them). I am upset that my system did not stop the bad actors from completely messing up the student government. And I am upset that I cannot really seem to do anything about it. The bad guys won, here. I hate that. 

Relationship/Friends-Related

Silence after Offer to Call. Related to the above. Oof. I was trying to be there for a friend this evening, but I think my offer to call (to make sure she was alright after some recent dreadful events, see above student government thing) was taken as more than a friendly gesture. Yes, I think she is attractive, but I was not trying to take advantage of that bad situation to flirt or get her interested or anything. I may have been rejected despite the lack of intended "move" and, inadvertently, put more stress on her plate. Ahhh. Yikes.

Dating Apps. Still, next to no likes, matches, or returned messages on dating apps. What the heck, man 😕 

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  • 5 months later...
Posted (edited)

Update. So I haven't been on here in a while. But I wanted to write about some of the self-improvement items in my life. 

I have dropped 35 lbs. since last August, through a combination of dieting (starting the day with fried eggs and then having a light lunch, and doing whatever I want for dinner), exercise (I am running around 40 miles per week at the moment). I am now physically fit and athletic. I recently ran a 17:45 5K in the middle of a longer "tempo run" workout, which is a run at about 85-90% max effort. I have some 5K races coming up, and I'm excited/nervous about them. I am grateful to have rekindled the competitive side of me. 

My "receding hairline" actually looks a lot better now. Almost as if it has mostly grown back. Better diet/exercise, better haircut, and better shampoo/conditioner?

I have looked more into philosophy to better determine how (1) I can cultivate meaning in my life in this seemingly disinterested universe, and (2) I can be virtuous. Some of my favorite philosophers to study have been Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha), Immanuel Kant, Simone de Beauvoir, and last but definitely not least, Friedrich Nietzsche. Some of their genius insights are difficult to synthesize with one another, but I feel like I've found some of my "philosophical squad."

More of the university has opened up. I just joined a modern swing group -- the first meet-up was a blast of serotonin. Everyone was so nice and encouraging. And! A woman around my age might have been hitting on me at the end? Maybe. Lol 

I have not -- since starting this thread -- had much luck with women. Some of that perhaps has to do with (1) a lack of opportunity, (2) my personality (I'm kind of meek or timid at present in my dealings with others), or (3) me knowing what I want a bit better and thus seeing less people initially fit the bill. 

I am still dealing with an anxiety disorder, and I still have many career-related uncertainties and financial worries. 

Great strides, but still many things to work on. 🙂

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

In the last few months, I have been feeling a resurgence in my anxiety symptoms. During a couple of days in the past few weeks, it has gotten fairly bad again. I felt myself on the brink of a "mental break" a few times. I felt abrasive in some moments, unable to communicate effectively in others, because I was so stressed. 

Obviously, I presume a lot of the incessant worrying and even physiological pain stems from my anxiety disorder. But anxiety usually has a trigger or stressor. I think part of the problem is that I have had many instances lately that felt "reality-breaking." Additionally, I feel in disharmony with my conception of who I am (or at least who I want to be.

In terms of reality-breaks, I guess the best way to describe it is that the world seems to be going insane around me. It is ironic, because I have a mental illness, saying that the world is going nuts. Keep in mind, I am not consuming the news 24/7. That would be bad for anyone. But from what I do see or hear - whether that be a classmate's reaction to world events, the McCarthyite virtue signaling and canceling in the culture that seems to be a predominant force, the university I am at prioritizing "safety" restrictions but capriciously - at the whims of the day - over all other countervailing principles and values, or my very liberal friend group's conception of what is right, and disagreement over a political issue (which does not go deeper than simple disagreement over the framing of an issue) had gotten me literally shunned by who I thought were my friends in the student group I was in. All societal forces seem to be moving us away from what is true, sensible, or right. And I am not surrounded by enough people who acknowledge or validate this sense of the world going awry, which makes me feel odd, isolated, and alone. 

I have also realized that my concept of who I am (or who I want to be) is unstable. I agree with the Buddha, who described the self as impermanent and capable of change. As such, it does not cause me distress to think of myself as a dynamic person: not who I was even a few years ago. In fact, it can even bring great relief to acknowledge that you are who you are now and not who you were many years ago. But what does cause me distress is that who I was in some aspects is who I want to be now, but am not. For example:

  • Where I was confident before in speaking with others, I am now timid, meek, and uncertain.
    • Where I usually believed myself charming - a solid interpersonal communicator - I do not believe myself that now.
  • Where I saw good and evil more clearly before, I now see various shades of gray - most shades not clearly better than the other. In other words, most "sides" seem to have at least some point to them. That is not to say all are equally meritorious, it just is not as clear now for many areas I thought were clear previously.
    • Where I believed myself working for good, productive change, I have since realized that that work was not as "good" as I thought it would be. 
  • Where I was driven to venture out and find women, I now feel less driven to do so. 

Some of those are the result of learning. Some, I do not know but can guess the cause (the timidity could be from being in an incompatible "reality-breaking" environment; some of my most recent dating experience deconstructing my confidence (e.g., K); and even an experience a few years ago where some rando started maliciously spreading to friends and acquaintances false rumors that I tried to drug someone on a date (again, not an ounce of truth to that and I have no idea where it came from) - all that can really mess with a guy). 

But as one ages, testosterone falls, too. Priorities change. I have a difficult time identifying which changes are the result of traumatic experience or some otherwise induced insecurity, and which are the result of my progression as a human being in this gnarly world.  

Anyway, writing some of this out helped. I am not sure where to go from here. Maybe I will list some positives, and then call it an evening. 

  • I finished my "season" of racing 5Ks with a time in the upper 16-minute range. I did not expect to be that fast again in my late twenties. I will have some summer 5Ks to work on cutting that time down even further.
    • I made some friends through this running. The running community is great. 
  • I finally had the Blazin' wings at Buffalo Wild Wings, something I have been super competitive about completely unnecessarily. XD. A 2,000,000 scoville-rating was not too bad.  
  • Since last August 2021, I have dropped over 40 lbs. I look the best I have in years; sharp jawline, hair looks nice. My blood pressure is great probably for the first time ever. 
  • I scored a summer law clerkship at a respectable firm in the area, and it pays respectably. I can see the supervising attorney becoming a mentor to me - we both seem to have a similar mindset and interests (including, I learned over lunch, in Star Trek!)
  • My term with the student government (honestly like my own personal Hell) has ended. Though I probably should have left earlier, let's just be glad it is done. One less stressor to worry about from here on out. 
  • I signed up for therapy, again, with the universities at which I have been a student. It is free, but I am on a waitlist at the moment for both. I will take therapy at whatever one reaches out to me first. That should be helpful, hopefully.
  • I have begun meditating regularly. I started by using the Waking Up app - an app founded by one of one of my favorite modern-day philosophers. It has been a decent experience so far. 

So there it is. The good and the bad over the last few weeks. 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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1 hour ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

In terms of reality-breaks, I guess the best way to describe it is that the world seems to be going insane around me. It is ironic, because I have a mental illness, saying that the world is going nuts. Keep in mind, I am not consuming the news 24/7. That would be bad for anyone. But from what I do see or hear - whether that be a classmate's reaction to world events, the McCarthyite virtue signaling and canceling in the culture that seems to be a predominant force, the university I am at prioritizing "safety" restrictions but capriciously - at the whims of the day - over all other countervailing principles and values, or my very liberal friend group's conception of what is right, and disagreement over a political issue (which does not go deeper than simple disagreement over the framing of an issue) had gotten me literally shunned by who I thought were my friends in the student group I was in. All societal forces seem to be moving us away from what is true, sensible, or right. And I am not surrounded by enough people who acknowledge or validate this sense of the world going awry, which makes me feel odd, isolated, and alone. 

Sounds about right lol.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dating has been really hard this past year. Here are some updates. 

My former friend (and former FWB) U is still with someone else. But I recognize there is too much baggage there and I don't want to be with her. And I don't want to be friends calling each other and flirting all of the time because that would plausibly bring me right back to pining over her while she is with someone else (and my friend, at that). She keeps texting me (even though we are in space/NC/LC mode. She even showed up at a dance venue I frequent, likely to "run into me by happenstance." Just yesterday or so, she sent another text message asking to catch up/talk about resuming our friendship. I responded today that I was sorry for the wait, hope she is well, but I want to continue as we have been. I have my head on straight with this, but it isn't enjoyable (and is quite uncomfortable) to constantly rebuff someone I fell for not too long ago. 

I matched with someone I knew briefly in college on a dating site. She is very pretty, and seems kind, driven, and compassionate. We seemed to hit it off right away, compliments and kindness (no love bombing or anything, but it seemed to be going well). We exchanged numbers and yesterday set up a coffee date for today. I checked ahead to make sure the coffee place was open, we were meeting about halfway, and the coffee place looked nice enough inside (via Google). She messaged me today about an hour before with a message that she had to cancel -- and that she can call me later to explain. That she has always been responsive/following through so far -- and that she said she could call to explain -- makes me think there is a legitimate reason behind the cancellation.I responded that it was alright, thank you for letting me know, and that I hope all is okay.

I hope there is a legitimate reason: I was really optimistic about the date. I hope also that she is okay and that we reschedule. Still, I am a little bummed out at the moment. Dating really is something a lot more difficult in my late 20s.

I finished law school final exams for the semester, and I started a new job as a law clerk. It is going as a complicated field would on the first few days. 

I should set an appointment to discuss my meds with my doctor. I have been really anxious lately. 

I have a recurring series of therapy appointments starting Monday. That should be helpful. 

I am thankful that I have practiced meditation in the last few months. Because of that, it has been easier to identify (and subsequently cause to dissipate) racing anxious thoughts. 

Hanging in there, but not really feeling zestful about life right now. Just one bummer after another lately, as I struggle to improve myself and stay afloat. 

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The date who cancelled called and explained that she is dealing with personal/mental health issues and is not in a good place for a relationship. I responded I think well, empathized with her, and then after a minute or two we hung up. She seemed thankful that I responded the way I did, but I cannot be sure. Of course, the issues are probably genuine, and I don't wish that on anyone. But if it was also just an excuse to let me down easy: yeouch. 

There have been very few people showing interest, then out of nowhere there is a person showing initial promise, reciprocating, etc., we set a coffee date... And then now there is no opportunity even to see if we're compatible. 

I'm really bummed out. Life is difficult, dating now is difficult -- and especially in that sphere -- it is like one let-down after another.

I hope I can find my person at some point 😞

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18 hours ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

The date who cancelled called and explained that she is dealing with personal/mental health issues and is not in a good place for a relationship. I responded I think well, empathized with her, and then after a minute or two we hung up. She seemed thankful that I responded the way I did, but I cannot be sure. Of course, the issues are probably genuine, and I don't wish that on anyone. But if it was also just an excuse to let me down easy: yeouch. 

There have been very few people showing interest, then out of nowhere there is a person showing initial promise, reciprocating, etc., we set a coffee date... And then now there is no opportunity even to see if we're compatible. 

I'm really bummed out. Life is difficult, dating now is difficult -- and especially in that sphere -- it is like one let-down after another.

I hope I can find my person at some point 😞

Dating was awful even over a decade ago.  It seemed like it was probably easier in the 80's 90's but that may just be my fanciful idea of what it was like, rather than experienced reality.

It does seem harder now, though.  Although vetting should be easier because with social media, people put everything out there now it seems, good and ugly.  Granted meeting in real life is a necessity so you can see if they're filtering pictures 😉 

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