reepicheep's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by jacob » Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:57 pm

Sounds like a systemic/complex problem. Some things to try:
* For work satisfaction/acceptance, read through IliniDave's post. He seems to have the best handle on not letting the job get to you.
* For sleeping better, eliminate all coffee and alcohol. This could be hard if this is currently being used to "adjust" to the job. Also, increase time between eating and sleeping (don't eat right before bed.) 80% of the effects of eliminating coffee should happen within a week. The last 19% with a month. If you had to pick one to eliminate for better sleep, pick the caffeine. (There's a bunch of coffee threads on the forum)
* Sleeping meds are addictive and the body adapts to doses. That might be why you couldn't get them.
* Messes and pile-ups can be dealt with by simplifying. If there's no stuff to generate a mess, the mess can't be a constant reminder. IOW, one bowl, one pot, one spoon, and one cup doesn't make for a pile of dishes. Full disclaimer: My first symptom of stress is an acute need to downsize my stuff. It usually helps. It even solves part of the problem unlike when students develop acute needs to bake and clean whenever an exam is coming up :)
* Exercise provides temporary relief for immediate stress. As long as it's not "dreadful exercise", e.g. pick some fun stuff like pick-up basketball. Not a 100 burpees-for-time drill. The exercise needs to be sufficiently mentally challenging to complete take your mind off the stress factor. The worst choice in that regard is swimming or running.
* Changing venue does provide temporary relief, but it doesn't solve the problem if the problem is not the site or the people you work with. If the problem is you (whereever you go), your vocation, your career, ... expect increasingly less from this strategy. I did use this strategy to figure out "what" the problem was. Turns out it was the career for me.

PS: Yes, I quit my job a couple of months ago.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:47 pm

Jacob has good advice. I'll add that you should try the anti depressants and work with the counseling. Hang in there, things will get better. Maybe you will have to find something else to do for a job but that's not the worst thing and certainly not worth ending your life over.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by mxlr650 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:49 am

reepicheep wrote:The job itself feels monotonous and pointless at this point. I feel like I am now the morale problem in my shop, that I'm worthless as a leader and boss. I hate everything about my job--even working with the people I like has now become a draining annoyance.
could you volunteer your time outside of work which could easily bring in much needed gratitude and social interaction? weather permitting, could you also take a nature walk?

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by peerifloori » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:46 am

reepicheep wrote: I refused the anti-depressants and she wouldn't write a prescription for sleeping meds, so I walked away with nothing.

I am really unclear how I'm supposed to get out of feeling how I feel right now.
Depression sucks. Almost always there are life circumstances you can work to improve in order to decrease your depression - exercise, socializing, balance in life, etc. Sometimes your brain chemistry just sucks anyways. I have struggled with depression for more than half my life, maybe 18 years? I've bootstrapped through and at times lived a very limited existence (grocery store, binge watch tv, sleep, cry, repeat). I was adamantly opposed to antidepressants.

I worked in inpatient mental health for a while. I saw how meds really can make a difference for many people. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right medication and they all take a while to reach full effect (weeks to months, ugh). For most people it helps to come at depression from multiple angles - medication, therapy, positive life changes.

Last year I was in a very low place, maybe similar to where you are at now, maybe not. I decided to try an antidepressant. It has helped me a great deal. It's not like it's changed my whole life or personality; it doesn't numb me out or make me particularly happy. It just helps me function at a higher baseline. Like a 5 or a 6 instead of a 2.

I just thought I'd share my experience. I think medication can be worth a try. But only if you are actually interested in trying it. It took me a long time. But I'm glad I did. Depression is a very real illness, just as heart disease or diabetes is real. Some people are able to reduce their risk factors through lifestyle changes. Some people need medication. I wish there was less stigma associated with mental health issues.

Whatever happens, I hope it gets better. It usually does.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by jennypenny » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:54 pm

IIRC, you're in the military, so I understand not wanting the meds on your record if you can help it. Have you tried seeing someone who specializes in CBT who could help you develop some coping strategies? That kind of therapy can be very goal-oriented, and without all the crying-it-out that can happen in other kinds of therapy. Go in with a list of things you need help with. It doesn't matter if it's a strategy for getting out of bed every morning or learning how to separate your anxiety from yourself to reduce the stress you feel (wizard therapy).

edit: If you're really worried about anonymity, you can always do CBT online with someone.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by Kriegsspiel » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:49 pm

I'd hate to recommend massive amounts of alcohol to anyone, but it worked for me.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:44 am

Hello friends!

I am not going to read through some of these posts from a long time ago at the moment, because I'm in a good mood and I'd hate to ruin it, but I suspect when I get around to it they'll be very informative for me. This post is an update -- seemed silly to start a new thread.

A lot has changed for me since January, 2016.

I got out of the military in March, 2017. I spent the summer toodling around and then participated in a nine month long wilderness education program that met three days a week, from September 2017 through May 2018. I left my ex-husband in February, 2018.

Leaving the service, that wilderness program, and leaving my marriage have led me in entirely different directions for my life, and I'm really quite happy about it all.

I've spent the last couple of years exploring the hell out of the Portland kink community and basically fucking whomever I please. Most of those relationships haven't gone anywhere, but I have one that's lasted nearly the duration of that time period -- I met him three weeks after I walked out of my marriage -- and another, with someone I call "The Witch in the Woods", that's more recent but that I have a lot of feels about.

At present, I live in an RV at an intentional community south of Portland a couple of hours. I've been a student here for the fall semester (I've been enrolled in college part time on the GI Bill for a year and a half now) and am now applying for residency. I have plans to build a tiny house this summer, get involved in their education program as an instructor, work in the gardens, help with the agroforestry project, etc. There's a lot of different ways to plug in and I'm excited about it. I've also done a lot of writing over the last couple of years and think that might be an avenue I eventually make some money off of. Not in a rush.

Financially, I'm basically retired. Getting out of the military, I traded my mental health for a pension that, if I'm frugal, lets me live quite luxuriously. When I was living in Portland I basically had to have roommates; with the RV or a tiny house I can afford my privacy. I expect that'll last about as long as the government does, though I do have some questions about whether the US as a nation that pays out its welfare benefits in a cost-adjusted manner is going to make it to the end of my life. Shrug. I guess we'll get there when we get there. Not really how I expected things to go, not what my spreadsheets were predicting back when I was keeping track, but now the challenge isn't saving money. It's what to do with my life when I don't need to worry about money.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by cimorene12 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:29 am

Lovely to hear from you. I might meet you in Eugene one day.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by jacob » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:27 pm

That's quite the reboot!

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by rube » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:40 pm

Good to hear from you again reepicheep

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by black_son_of_gray » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:01 pm


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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by Quadalupe » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:44 pm

Reep! Welcome back girl! I know you had a rough, rough, rough time, but I'm very happy to hear that you've largely landed on your feet by now.

In order not to flood your journal with questions immediately, I'll ask just a couple:

- what have you been writing?
- what are you studying?
- how is RV living?

I still think back fondly to our bike adventures of yesteryear, great to hear about you again!

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:52 am

Hey everybody! Thanks for the warm welcome.

Quadalupe! I still think about you from time to time, great to see you're still around here! I just sold those bright orange panniers I was using on that trip to a fellow student who is about to go on a bike ride from Oregon to New Mexico over the next several months. And I still have that bike! Though the tires need some air and it hasn't gone out for a spin in some time -- I broke my elbow rock climbing last September and have been recovering from that this whole year.


1. Writing: I have a couple of blogs. I'm pretty out about everything these days and my internet identities are increasingly interlinked so, here ya go:

I write a lot (Upwards of 50k words in the last couple years!) about my adventures in kink, though many of those posts are at a different site. Kink has been a hugely transformative community for me and one partner in particular has been instrumental in opening me up to the variety of possibilities for human relationships and sexuality. I've also written some on the impending collapse of civilization at a blog called, though I'm intending to move those posts over to the first blog. I also blogged about once a week during my nine months in the wilderness ed program, and that's available under the first blog as well.

2. Studying: I just finished something called the Holistic Sustainability Semester. Part of the curriculum is a Permaculture Design Certificate (this is my second), part of it is offered through Gaia Education, and part of it was a home-grown program put together by the site I'm living at. I was able to come to this program via my enrollment at a university, where I'm an undergrad taking an Environmental Studies program with an emphasis in applied sustainability. I am pretty meh about that program, though, and probably won't go back for the spring term. I could study applied sustainability, or I could live it right where I'm currently at. I already have a BA so this has just been kind of toodling around figuring out what is next.

3. Well, I financed a 2019 RV (you have no idea how many times I winced writing that sentence), so honestly it's pretty great. Everything is new, everything works, very little maintenance is required. I had to spend about an hour on the phone with coachnet getting walked through how to make sure my propane lines were free and clear when I couldn't get the heat to come on one morning. I also managed to retract the awning and dump about 40 gallons of freezing rain water and leaves on my head yesterday, so...there's been a learning curve. And I burn through a lot of propane. Tiny house simply must have a woodstove. I live in the forest and there's so much biomass that needs to be cleared here it's ridiculous. I took the regular toilet out and replaced it with a 5 gallon bucket, which works well with the systems they have in place here to manage humanure. There are other tweaks I have made or want to make -- I think the kitchen nook is basically useless, I plant to install a tension rod somewhere so I can hang more clothes -- but on the whole this is working well for me. I don't know that I'd want to share it with someone else, even someone I really liked, but YMMV. Jacob made it work for years.

How are you? What are you up to? Did you go to grad school? Are you working? Was there ever another ERE meet-up in the Netherlands? How are the levees? :-D

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by McTrex » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:11 am

Good to have you back, Reepicheep!

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by Noedig » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:12 am

Your life experiences, lifestyle and direction are so very far away from anything in my life:

So I say, thanks for sharing your stuff. Everyone should have a chance taste of being everyone else, occasionally. You definitely bring that to the ERE party.

I hope when you're done processing the stuff you have to process, to determine what your journey is, that it works out well.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:51 pm


Something about living many lives through the books we read, neh?

Pleased to be vicariously lived through. Feeds my inner exhibitionist.

You are likely equally as fascinating. Most people who wind up in this corner of the internet are. Variety in life experience makes for interesting conversations. I'm looking forward to learning more here.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by cimorene12 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:39 pm

I read a few of your Edge blog posts, and I enjoyed them. The orange juice one is always tricky.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by singvestor » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:55 pm


you write well, quite raw but still a bit restrained. Interesting

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:02 am

@cimorene12, @singvestor,

Thank you both for taking a peek at my little corner of the internet, and for your kind words. I am trying to break into publishing in other mags -- -- but haven't yet given them something they'll publish.

Update on Reep's world:

I'm done with the academic program I was in. Currently still in the residency application process here. Intentions are to build a Tiny House on site this summer, because while the RV size is totally fine, the RV quality is driving me nuts. Even brand new, there's condensation that drips off the plastic walls. That's with a dehumidifer running full time and the vent and a window open while I'm gone for a few days. Going to try leaving the cabinets open next time.

Also. It is hard to live in two places. None of my clothes are where I want them to be right now.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by George the original one » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:10 am

reepicheep wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:02 am
Even brand new, there's condensation that drips off the plastic walls. That's with a dehumidifer running full time and the vent and a window open while I'm gone for a few days.
Welcome to Oregon. Keep an eye out for mold growth or just plan on cleaning the surfaces frequently.

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