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Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:43 pm
by RooBadley
So the prozac is actually working. This sucks. :P

I was totally against it for what seems like 20 years. No way was I ever going to get in with big pharma. I hate those vultures. I was sure that pharmaceuticals were not right for me and I was simply verifying that it wouldn't help.

I have some previous experience self-medicating with chemicals for the treatment of intractable depression. I tried microdosing LSD for a while several years ago. Some very slight benefit, but I felt that it was probably imagined. ('200 Mikes' would be a great name for a band.)
Ketamine was interesting. The 30 minute high is a wild artificial electric kind of buzz that I didn't really like at all, but then some slight relief from depression for several days afterward. I've read a lot that says ketamine treatment is very promising and I believe it, but I'm not willing to pay the cost or keep trying to obtain it illegally.

In my experience St John's Wort helps with irritability, but not depression. I tried it years ago with no benefit and wrote it off as ineffective for me. Years later I figured out that it has a short half-life and tried it again, giving it a full 30 days before passing judgement. I don't notice anything when on it, but if I would skip a day then I would be irritable the day after that. It would take a couple days for the St John's Wort to build back up in my system and steady my mood. I've benefitted for years.

I've read plenty about not mixing St John's Wort with SSRI's, so I was even more apprehensive about the prozac because weaning off the St John's Wort would probably make me nasty. Stopping one while starting the other could be a terrible roller coaster ride all for nothing. After years of consideration I chose to do it.

A few months ago I took a good opportunity to carry out the experiment on myself when I went to work. 30 nights in a hotel room alone, if it all went horribly wrong DW would never know. Well, it didn't go horribly wrong. Anti-climactic, no drama at all. On day five I suddenly noticed that the depression knob had been turned down a few notches, simple as that. It has held steady for 3 months. This doesn't suck at all. Biggest breakthrough in forever.

So why this weird sense of disappointment that the prozac IS helping? And why the hell have I still not told my wife about this? I'm obviously having a problem with the stigma. Sort of feels like cheating, like it's not an authentic victory. My victory over beer is authentic and triumphant. 26 months ago I kicked alcoholism in the balls sofa king hard it went down and stayed down. It's still laying there next to that park bench where I left it gasping.

Of course now I've painted myself into a corner. What I'm thinking now is that I would like to take this pill every morning for the rest of my life. How is that going to work? What's it going to do to my brain chemistry? Neurotransmitters are kind of important, what are the unintended consequences? I don't know, I guess now is not the time to worry about it, keep calm and carry on.

(This was not advice. Don't do any of this. Drugs are bad, mmkay.)

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:17 am
by RooBadley
Forrest Fenn died last week. He was kind of a big deal to me, I liked him a lot.

Ten years ago he hid a treasure chest filled with gold coins in the Rocky Mountains and published a poem with clues leading to the location. I took the bait, hook, line, and sinker. I was able to make just 4 solo trips: New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming. I had zeroed in on a pretty small search area around Yellowstone and I think I was getting close. Of course I would think that. The treasure hunt was going to feature prominently in my retirement.

I returned home from my 4th trip in the first week of June. Just two days later DW was at her computer and said 'Oh no...' like someone had died. I looked over to see what she was reading and could see a little picture of Fenn, and knew right away that someone had found the treasure.

I hope the person who found the treasure does what I was going to do, surely it has occurred to him. I was going to get another treasure box, put one of Fenn's gold coins in it and put it back in the spot. Fenn took the secret to his grave and the finder hasn't come forward yet. It would really be nice to keep the search going.

Car camping road trips have always been my thing. When I was a young adult I lived in Colorado for ten years, mostly working ski bum jobs and always exploring the western US. Full moon hiking in southern Utah in particular. Stealth camping. National parks only in the off-season.

Part of my last trip was spent trying to retrace a route I think Fenn took on horseback through Yellowstone in the 1940's. I couldn't access it directly because the park was completely closed due to covid. From the Gallatin River I wanted to hike up Specimen Creek to Shelf Lake and then see which route Fenn would have taken to descend into the Tom Miner Basin.

Just outside the park boundary is Tepee Creek trailhead. Empty, weekday, perfect. Two miles up Tepee Creek there is a spur trail that goes east into Yellowstone. Another mile to the ridge separating the Tepee Creek and Daly Creek watersheds, and then on to Shelf Lake. At the saddle there is a little old faded tin sign marking the park boundary. Then the view into Daly Creek basin completely opens up, the entire northwest corner of the park, all to myself. I've been to Yellowstone seven times previously but I never would have seen this area if not for him. It was the most intense solitude I have experienced in quite a while.

Thank you Forrest.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:02 am
by mooretrees
I'm pretty sure you don't need to hear this from an internet stranger, but good job giving antidepressants a chance. There absolutely is a stigma about 'needing' a pill everyday, no ifs, an's (ans?) or buts about it. But if it helps, then it's worth dealing with the stigma. I have to say, if I was your wife I would be all sorts of hurt that I didn't know about this big change. BUT, that's just me and I'm really nosy.

And now I'm off to look up Fenn.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:35 am
by RooBadley
mooretrees wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:02 am
if I was your wife I would be all sorts of hurt that I didn't know about this big change.
Yeah, I told my wife. No big deal at all.
I posted last week here how this new journal idea of mine is going well. It's helping me. Well here's a concrete example. I went back several hours later to revisit what I had written, to look at the words on the screen as if they're not mine and it jumped out clearly: 'That's pathetic, tell your wife about the prozac, dipshit.'

But... It's not about the nail.

DW and I have this thing where she gets to be the one with the better judgement. Whatever my idea, opinion, or contribution, it will often be quickly countered in such a way as to convey the broader theme that she knows best. The particular issue is immaterial, what I say will take a 1-revolution carrousel ride and be handed right back to me corrected for poor judgement. Mostly it's because as far as DW is concerned I am insufferably cheap, always working my ulterior motive to avoid spending money. It's usually true, but tiring nonetheless.

Sometimes I would like some of the things I say to be allowed to just hang out there and exist on their own for a while without an immediate counterpoint. So we've worked ourselves into a frustrating situation. I hold back my contributions and she gets to be the one with the uncommunicative spouse.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:41 pm
by mooretrees
Huh, sounds like a tough situation. I hesitated even saying what I did earlier because relationships are so varied and there’s so much I can’t ever understand about other relationships. Good luck.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:29 am
by ertyu
RooBadley wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:35 am

Sometimes I would like some of the things I say to be allowed to just hang out there and exist on their own for a while without an immediate counterpoint. So we've worked ourselves into a frustrating situation. I hold back my contributions and she gets to be the one with the uncommunicative spouse.
Well, have you told her this?

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:56 pm
by RooBadley
Funny this question would come from you, ertyu. I lived a life most similar to yours for about 15 years. Kept getting my wheels stuck in muddy ditches over and over, frustration and depression brought on by me and only me. I've been able to string together some personal successes here and there over nearly 20 years now, slowly but surely clawing back a good lifetime in my mind. It's been a long slog but obviously well worth it, I'm really glad I left the old Roo behind. I'm looking forward to seeing how you progress, maybe I can help from time to time.

As to your seemingly innocuous question, I'm having a hell of a time unpacking it. When I have told her directly, it's probably at the tail end of arguments over finances. I guess I'm usually trying to tell her indirectly, I just stop talking right when she throws out the thoughtstopper. Like I'm trying to make the point of, 'Congratulations, you just shut me down again. Happy?'

Hmm, that looks like it could get annoyingly counterproductive, doesn't it? Thanks for that.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:08 am
by RooBadley
There's a grenade set to detonate in my checking account. We're butchering the pigs in about 5 weeks and one of the freezers in the garage stopped working. I didn't get a chance to see if I could figure out what's wrong with it before leaving for work and I won't return home until October 26th. IIRC I found this freezer cheap on Craigslist about 10 years ago.

DW has been monitoring CL daily without any luck. Even if she finds a freezer this month she is not comfortable with the utility trailer and we don't like her dealing with sketchy CL strangers when she's home alone with the kids.

I really can't blame her for wanting a brand new chest freezer. It's an incredible amount of time, effort, and money to get these piglets from farm to freezer. If I manage to get the old one working she'll still consider it to be untrustworthy.
I'll have about a week around Halloween to see what I can do but I'm afraid we might be going full on consumer mode.
Obedient American Consumers. I hate that s***.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:02 pm
by RooBadley
I've been rummaging through a big list of cognitive biases looking for insight that might help me find ways to improve communication in my marriage. Of course a whole bunch of the big awful ones apply to DW, but only a couple of the little, harmless, endearing ones apply to me. Hmm, go figure. ;)

Here's one that caught my attention:

Naive Realism: The belief that we see reality as it really is-objectively and without bias; that the facts are plain for all to see; that rational people will agree with us, and that those who don't are either uninformed, lazy, irrational, or biased.

Um... I don't get it. What's so naive about that? Isn't that just regular realism? Does this not apply to everyone, or no one?

I just saw @jacob talking to @Lemur about his friend's confirmation bias and laughed out loud because I'm indulging my own massively inflated confirmation bias to sift through the list of cognitive biases so that I can keep saying to myself, 'Yep. I knew it. DW cray-cray.'

Reactive Devaluation: Devaluing proposals only because they purportedly originated with an adversary. Bingo. I am the adversary.
Subjective Validation: Perception that something is true if a subject's belief demands it to be true.
Pessimism Bias: Me.
Optimism Bias: Her.
Ostrich Effect: Ignoring an obvious (negative) situation.

I'm sure there must be a better name than Ostrich Effect. My wife's ability to deny unpleasant realities is at the heart of the matter. I'm expected to join her in pretending that we can't see elephants in the living room.

So if I lay off the confirmation bias... I do not need or want any more confirmation. Get past that, Roo. Get on to the next steps.
I need to figure out how to gently effectively put a stop to the gaslighting without coming across as a dick or a martyr. (This is tricky because she gaslights me about the gaslighting, ffs.) But I've got this, I should be clever enough to make some real progress here.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:24 am
by ertyu
:lol: something tells me that going to DW and saying, "look, i've made a list of all your cognitive biases" wouldn't do much to improve your communication :lol: Even performing this exercise just for yourself is unlikely to be very useful

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:03 am
by Vaikeasti
I'm in a situation regarding my spouse too, so I applaud you for looking at what You can do.

I just finished reading Feeling Good Together by David Burns and if you haven't already, I'd suggest taking a look at it. It concentrates on communication in relationships.

I had many enlightening moments reading it.
Especially an exercise where you count the benefits of status quo and the benefits of the better relationship, and see which one really is more desirable at the moment.

Also a thumbs up for the medication.

And sorry for your loss regarding your treasure hunt. Have you tried geocaching by the way?

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:45 am
by RooBadley
ertyu wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:24 am
Ha! You shatter my Illusion of Transparency! How dare you? Pardon me while I sweep up the shards.

But this IS useful. I'm searching for the one that says: tendency to consider one's own rumination to be reasonable, when all one really needs to do is write it down in this journal, wait one day, read it back and see absurdity flashing green and white like the airport beacon from 20 miles out.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:18 am
by RooBadley
Vaikeasti wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:03 am

Feeling Good Together by David Burns
Not yet, I'll be on the look out for it. Thanks.

Geocaching, I need to see how to do that without a cell signal.
When we're in the car I hand a compass back to my kids for navigation/orientation, and when we're hiking we do bearing/time/distance.
So yeah, geocaching looks perfect for us.

You are somebody's somebody else.
And how close are you to graduation?

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:46 am
by RooBadley

Charlie discovered his reflection in the sliding glass door. So he would puff up and strut and make that real low pitch whooshing sound to establish his status over this new rival he thought he had. All the way across in front of the door. Then he would turn around and look back at the glass again to see if this new tom was still challenging his dominance. Slowly back and forth all day.

I got tired of the turkey poop right there at the back door so I thought I would just get Charlie to decide that he wants to do that strutting somewhere else. I had a big tri-fold mirror that I use for my haircuts, I brought it from our old house because I didn't know if the new house would have one. I set that mirror up so now Charlie would have a whole bunch of reflections to compete with. DW was out of town, Charlie was out of my way, I didn't give it another thought.

That turkey was seriously losing his mind and I did not even notice. Day after day poor Charlie was thinking, 'Damn it, I'm never gonna get laid again with all these assholes back here ****blocking me all day long.' DW finally figured it out and had me put the mirror back in the shed but the damage was done. Charlie has been a confirmed bachelor ever since.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:11 am
by RooBadley
There were 3 eggs in this brood of turkeys. Two hatched and the mama started raising them normally. The 3rd egg was late to hatch so the mother turkey rejected it. DW hatched it out 2 days later and the mother turkey still rejected the poor little thing.

DW went on Craigslist and found a fanny pack! A little straw and hay and a lot of maternal determination. I thought there was no way that creature would survive but my wife did it. Day after day with the turkey in the fanny pack against the odds.

The reintegration seemed to be going just fine, but after a few more weeks the tom turkey killed the runt. DW was obviously very upset.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:10 am
by RooBadley
My number for September 2020 is $172,900.
Up $5,200 from August. (3.10%)

401k: 124,600
taxable: 34,600
his IRA: 24,600
her IRA: 7,600
HSA: 16,800
kids' 529: 11,900

mortgage (47,200)

Six accounts minus mortgage is $172,900.

Contributions from paychecks and checking account overwhelming market fluctuations.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:19 am
by RooBadley
2017 SR: 36.0%
2018 SR: 36.7%
2019 SR: 53.8%
2020 SR: 48.0% (est)

Savings rate for 2020 looks like it will be way down from 2019 due to Covid (and other things).

These numbers are much higher than I thought they would be, I have a ridiculous pessimism bias.

A lot of the money saved a few years ago was subsequently squandered. Before ERE I had been simply letting paychecks pile up in my checking account. In January 2019 I read all the MMM and celebrated by making a $10,000 principal reduction payment on my mortgage. A couple weeks later I switched over to ERE and celebrated by making another $10,000 mortgage payment. Ha! Fuck you, Pennymac! Take two right in the balls.

My change in perspective is most clearly visible on my 401k graph. The ERE hockey stick appears in March 2019.

Re: RooBadley's Journal.

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:22 am
by RooBadley
DW's engagement ring needs to be sent in for repair, they'll cut out the bling part and solder on a new 'shank'. The nice lady at the jewelry store with all the make up and perfume and jewelry said I'm looking at about $400. It's one of the first things I'm going to do when I get home at the end of October because I want it back before Christmas.

Besides that, there are 3 purchases on my mind: freezer, mattress, and roof.

Chest freezer: Try to fix it, try to find one on CL, purchase new as a last resort. The clock is ticking.

For the mattress, the clock is ticking only in a quality of life sense. How long do we care to drag out the inevitable? I don't really know how much my sleep will improve. DW saw me looking at CL and said "You're not looking at used mattresses on Craigslist, are you?" Me: "What? (click). No, I was looking at motorcycle parts." Still thinking this over.

The roof shingles are weathered. After every windy storm there will be a few of them flipped up. I keep going up there with a can of roofing tar to kind of glue them back down but it's a lost cause. Every couple months I do a thorough attic inspection, so far so good, but I know I need to deal with this soon. I'm going to do the metal roofing on furring strips over the existing roofing.