Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Where are you and where are you going?
niemand
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by niemand »

Listen to everything Edith said.

You said you’re depressed. Like in depression-depression? Have you seen a professional? Have you got a diagnosis?

I’m asking because depression is a serious medical condition. It’s not something that will go away by quitting your job, moving town, finding a life partner or becoming a blue collar worker.

I don’t know if what you’re suffering from is depression, but I do get the feeling you’re stuck in a loop. The same issues have been playing out again and again for the last dozen pages of your journal. How can you break free?

Again: it may be good to get some real-life help.

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C40
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by C40 »

You better do what Edith said or I'll come find you in Florida, grab you by the shoulders, and shake you.

:)

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

It’s not something that will go away by quitting your job, moving town, finding a life partner or becoming a blue collar worker.
I will respectfully disagree with this point. For some, depression is a chemical imbalance and thought patterns that are not dependent on their environment. For others, including people I've known, depression has a cause and once that problem is resolved the depression resolves. Try a thought experiment. Imagine we select a number of random, non depressed people off the street and throw them in solitary confinement in a prison. We don't tell them why they are there but we do tell them they are never getting out. If we check up on them in a few months, would you be surprised if many of them are depressed? I think many would be. Their body chemistry hasn't changed. None of them were depressed before, but now they are, because of a specific problem with their environment. I know that is an extreme example, but I think once we accept that it is possible for many people to become depressed due to extreme circumstances we also have to accept that some people may become depressed due to lesser circumstances. I agree that making these changes is no guarantee that depression will go away though. (I'm not a psychologist so take all of the above with a grain of salt.)
But it is a place to earn money, have benefits, learn stuff, get a free education, etc. until you decide to make a change.
I agree, but people should beware of becoming trapped in something they don't like by saying "I'll just stick with this until I find something else." If a person lacks the willpower or whatever to try something else now it will only be harder with a spouse and a mortgage.

OTCW
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by OTCW »

If you tell them you are depressed as a reason for not getting your work done, I hope you have a doctor's diagnosis to back that up. HR people at big bureaucratic organizations like universities can be 'sticklers' for coloring inside the lines so to speak. They are most definitely not your friend.

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unemployable
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by unemployable »

You don't want to be tagged as "the guy who gets in funny moods" regardless of whether you have clinical depression. This may have already happened.

Cheepnis
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Cheepnis »

Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 1:28 pm
I will respectfully disagree with this point. For some, depression is a chemical imbalance and thought patterns that are not dependent on their environment. For others, including people I've known, depression has a cause and once that problem is resolved the depression resolves.
I have to add my anecdotal experience to this insight. I'm not sure if I ever hit actual diagnosable depression, but the worst long term mental state I have ever in was directly tied to my living situation at the time. Once I moved out and found more compatible roommates my mental health improved tenfold.

That said, based on my cursory knowledge of THF's tribulations, I don't think a change of circumstances will be a golden bullet for him, but it sounds like it could definitely help. At least give the life disruption required to help him develop a healthier mental disposition in general.

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Dream of Freedom »

You know, you really aren't optimistic enough for us. We should leave you alone for 6 months. :mrgreen:

daylen
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by daylen »

My posts above may seem like they came out of nowhere without any research or experimental backing. Fox can choose to ignore me or decrease the weight of my comments if he wants. It may seem like I have no feelings and do not care about others, but I can assure you that this is simply not true. I have spent literally thousands of hours trying to figure out how the mind works from hundreds of resources/perspectives; I feel like I know Fox quite well now after years of reading about his struggles.

To me, it is not so much about making "friends", but I will try to help someone if I can. I am not afraid of being hated for making blunt observations and deductions. In no way is this post meant to be condescending. Hopefully, I do not make the situation any worse than it is by intervening like this.

Fox needs to think he is contributing to the well-being of those around him. He is highly susceptible to Ni-Ti cycles of desire and confirmation. Once he decides he wants something, then he will figure out a way to justify and get it. In the process, he spends a great deal of time confirming that what he wants will actually help people. What everyone else thinks is a small input into this equation unless the logic confirms his current perception. His blind spot is the consensus of what others are thinking around him.

He weakly learns from the past unless it hits him like a brick wall (future oriented), so the only way to break the cycle is to actually find a niche where he thinks he is helping the people around him. That is the only way. I do think this will happen eventually, but it will be a volatile process until he has a better understanding of how things work. Once he finds his niche, he will know, but at the moment he does not quite have enough information to see the details of it.

A catalyst to this process is for Fox to be exposed to perspectives that would otherwise not be available or ignored. Fox should try not to discount opinions just because they do not pass his bullshit filter. Instead, he should try to see why the person thinks the way they do. It is not always about what they think, but the process of how they came to think it. People are different and want very different things, so if he cannot help a particular type of person then he should find someone who wants the help he can give.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

Hi All, taking into consideration everything everyone has written and talking to my closest friends, I'm thinking of finishing work here until the summer's over (getting solidly to 100K), and then either finishing the MPA in a mad-dash sort of way (to get a Masters degree, 15K, and to learn Portuguese), or just start applying for counselor-like jobs I can get in the Pioneer Valley. I do know that it is very possible to live cheap in the Valley, because I did it for years. $500/mo is totally feasible, and more importantly, the people in the area are my kind of people, which means I will have a much better time socializing and finding partners. It's just dumb to stay in Miami, a place that is just not for me.

I also have my closest friends there, and the person I mentioned above are hitting it off more and more. Her last relationship lasted 5 years and she is also an INFJ, and working as a camp counselor, so if that's a pretty good indication of what I'm doing wrong. I can continue developing the relationship prior to moving and take flights & whatnot until it's official. I feel like I can learn a lot from her since she too suffered from depression while trying tons of different careers out. She's 2 years older than me and seeking a life partner to go on long-term adventures with, has a travel-bus, and doesn't want kids. That kind of combination just doesn't come around very often. There's also plenty of grad schools in the area if I choose to get a second Masters in Psych or Counseling.
Last edited by TopHatFox on Tue May 21, 2019 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

wolf
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by wolf »

Recently I read "Lost Connections" from Johann Hari. It is a book about the main reasons (biological, social, psychological) of depression. Although it doesn't replace a therapy, it helps a great deal to understand depression. It is focused on "disconnections", mainly due to social changes and psychological reasons. The first part of the book is pretty good. The second part is, IMO, too political written (radically left-leaning). If you wanna know more about depression, I can recommend it to you.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

JUNE 2019

After much trial and error, I’ve finally concluded that the 9-5 office thing and me just don’t go together. I have 2 years and many pages of journal as proof. The most important realization of the past two years: I’ll need to find another way to ERE.

Or, unfortunately and frankly, just give up on it as a possibility for me altogether and switch to a more work-to-adventure lifestyle design.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

So I guess that’s my new goal: experimenting with ways to make a living that do not involve a 9-5 office job.

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unemployable
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by unemployable »

You may just not be in the right 9-5.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

Fair point, but I’ve tried A LOT of them in the past 2 years. All have lead to the same result, and I don’t want most if any of my bosses’s or colleague’s jobs either.

Jean
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Jean »

Have you tried a blue collar job, or work in construction? Even unqualified work is payed decently.

bigato
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by bigato »

If you are certain 9-5 is the problem, you should probably be able to define in more precise ways what is in it that causes it to be unsuitable to you. Laying it down may help think about it, and once you define something clearly, the opposite (everything else there is) becomes very obvious and then your next step is usually clear and obvious.

bigato
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by bigato »

On the other side, if you don't define it precisely, you run the risk that the actual problem is something else that permeates not only 9-5 but potentially other situations. Thus you will probably be victim of it again. In other words, problems you don't understand enough will come back to bite you in the ass.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

@bigato, I'd say the main thing is that it feels like every day is on repeat. It's like I'm in prison or something. Feels like I'm a zombie. Like, sure I choose to be here, but would I if I had more money? No way. It's a huge feeling of stagnancy. I'd like my next transition to have more variety and freedom.

ellarose24
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by ellarose24 »

Hi TopHat. You posted on my journal so I'll post on yours. You're right--I see a lot of similarities between the two of us. I too was extremely idealistic as a college grad and eventually had it beat out of me. I have made a lot of impulsive decisions.

There is a lot to be said with "sticking" with something. I say this from experience, changing your goals and your impulses every couple of months/year means you will end up with nothing because you never stuck with something long enough for the goal to happen. Want to thru hike the AT or PCT? Save up and do it. Want to retire by 30? Get a job and save. I haven't followed these rules myself, but I've found what the opposite has done.

I think you need to talk to a therapist and a psychiatrist. Depression and impulsion have been with you since almost day one of your journal. Before antidepressants "triggered" me into bipolar, I was just depressed. This caused a lot of the impulsive behavior and grand plans and dissatisfaction. I mistook it for something that was wrong with my environment, constantly felt the need to change, not realizing it was what was wrong with my brain and/or outlook.

It's funny, my doctor just today talked about my impulses and told me "next time you have one, write it down and do nothing."

The problem is parsing out our true wants/desires and setting those as goals, as opposed to seeing our goals as ways to escape our current misery.

My new goal is to be able to find contentment no matter WHAT my life circumstances are. That is true independence. That is harder than retiring by 30 or hiking the PCT.

Anyways, most of this advice is to myself. But you do remind me a lot of me (although I think you've taken far more adventures, had more courage, and more discipline than I did). But we have the same 'yearning' that needs to be dealt with

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

@ella, thanks for visiting and your response. I’m planning on visiting a psychiatrist (already have a therapist) and seeing what my options are. I agree with all you wrote, but how do we deal with the ‘yearning’?

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