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Loss of Hope

TwilySparky

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As most of you already know, I've shown evidence of my personal struggle. Though, I have been thinking over things quite a bit recently. Why do I keep going on when all I meet in the end is disappointment. Hell, it's even a chore to get up in the morning. To be clear, this isn't a suicidal post or anything like that. I am completely past that. I just feel that I need to have some kind of break from everything for awhile. Just to clear my head of everything.

I have been thinking of this for awhile now, but I am still unsure if I should just take a break from the internet or just everything in general. I have a few weeks after this semester to do mostly nothing and I may as well take that time to recharge myself. I know I am not the only one who feels this way, but I know a lot of people don't like talking about their problems for fear of being viewed as inept by their peers. I disagree, I think we should all discuss what we have on our minds and talk to one another on ways to solve the problems. I am still looking for a purpose in my life to be happy about. Sure, I have sparingly happy moments, but I wouldn't say I am truly happy.

I would also say that I have sort of addictive personality. I have recently been trying to stop my spending on things that I really do not need, but it has been quite hard. I'm quite an impulsive buyer, so if I see something that peaks my interest, I usually go for it. I know this will get me in trouble in the future and I've been thinking of ways to stop this feeling. I don't know what a drug addiction feels like, but I feel it would be somewhat similar. You want to do this thing because your brain will give you a huge boost in dopamine due to satisfying your craving. I guess in my current mental state, finding anything that will give me that boost in my mood is crucial. Yes, I know I need to find different ways to entertain myself and not something as destructive as compulsive spending.

The next thing I wanted to address is my anxiety on time. What do I mean by this? What I mean is that I have had fears of deadlines in school. I've been fearing what will happen to me if I just be lazy and don't do what I am supposed to do. Yes, I know I need to do the things that I'm told to do, but I have just recently been feeling increasingly apathetic towards doing it. Why is that? It is because I am scared of the outcome if I fail or don't meet the expectations on my instructors. I know some of you would laugh at the idea of that, but for me it is a real fear of mine. I have a deathly fear of failing to the point where I sometimes don't try things because I am afraid that I will fail at it. I know that failure is a pathway to success, but the feeling of failure is just crippling to someone like me. I think I need to find ways to circumvent my fear though. I don't know how, but maybe some of you can give some pointers.

Another thing is about political climate of the world. I have recently gotten quite involved into politics and it has even furthered my depression. Since most things with politics have to do with corruption, it just depresses that is the state of the world. Sure, I know the world isn't perfect, but as they say "ignorance is bliss". That is damn correct, somethings are just better left unknown because of how deplorable they are. I myself vehemently oppose the awful spending of the US government which has lead to our enormous deficit. I also oppose the states and federal government involvement in everything. I feel more things should be privatized and that the government shouldn't give free handouts to people. This is because these people will learn to rely on these handouts and will never get back in to the workforce to be a productive member of society. This hits close to home since my own mother is one of these people, so I have hands on experience with how this affects people. This is why I appose socialist ideals like the ones Bernie Sanders keeps on parading about. They sound amazing in concept, but they are based on idealism and not on reality. That is why most communistic or socialist countries have failed and will continue to fail. Just look at how Venezuela is. They can't even feed their own people because of their socialist dictator. That is also one of the reasons that they are the country with the highest inflation rates of any country.

Anyways, that concludes my rant. I just really needed to let loose somewhere on what I have had pent up inside of me for the longest time. I thank all of you for reading my blog post. Yes, I know there are people who don't agree with my political views and I'm completely okay with that. I also wrote all of this at 2am at the brink of exhaustion, so their might be some glaring mistakes in this rant. Thanks once again for reading this if you have.

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Something I forgot to mention is that I enjoy the feedback from most of you who take the time to reply to my blog posts. Makes me valuable.

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I agree, it's definitely good not to keep everything to yourself! I think I can understand at least in some way how you're feeling, as I've felt somewhat similar.

Having something that interests you is definitely important. For me, MLP and this community have pretty much been that something. As you said, compulsive spending has its definite drawbacks, so finding something else would indeed be much better. I'd say (also pretty much from personal experience) that not trying doesn't really help with the fear of failure – the failure to try brings the same feeling (and the exact same result), thinking about what might happen without doing it doesn't really bring anything positive.

And yeah, thinking about politics doesn't necessarily make one feel any less frustrated, rather the opposite (there are always things to disagree on)... Without getting too much into politics (I try not to do that), I must say I don't really agree with some of your views here. In some ways I do see the point, though – there are some clear flaws that should be tackled somehow, it just seems no one is willing to do so (though it would be beneficial to everyone in the best case). Like the thing about people relying on handouts – I'm currently unemployed, and if I was to start studying something for example, I would lose my benefits (which are ridiculously small in the first place but that's beside the point). While I definitely wouldn't do away with the benefits, there should be an incentive for people to at least try to do something – that's not the case at all when they are punished for trying.

I hope things get better for you soon, my friend – and while I'm not sure if saying this helps much, you're not the only one in a situation like this. :kindness:

Edited by Tacodidra
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I noticed from all your status updates recently that you've been really stressed out from college and stuff. I actually feel bad for ponies when I see them have to go through such hard times. If you feel you should take a break from things, listen to your heart. The Internet can also be stressful, what with emails flying around all day and constant reminders of the work you still have left to do. With the good comes the bad.  You mentioned that you have a few weeks off after finishing your semester. That's something for you to look forward to, and take time to really chill out.

Speaking about your anxiety about deadlines, I actually have had the same experience. I hate being TaRdY. I don't know anypony who would laugh about that, it's a very common fear for everyone. Hell, I was always afraid of getting homework as kid, and I still do. It's normal. Deadlines suck. Not only does putting off a task until its deadline create stress, researchers found it also kills brain cells, lessens creativity, and that the associated stress can have a debilitating effect on one’s health. 

Now that you know all the bad things about deadlines, what are the solutions? Well, I think you should take steps to change the way you approach deadlines.  Try setting earlier task completion times and then reward yourself for meeting those times. Eventually get to where you are ahead of the tide instead of coming right up to the deadline. Slowly this switch will actually help you shift from amygdala-driven dependence to frontal lobe performance. Stress will lessen and work products will be more creative and innovative. Also, avoid perfectionism. No one is perfect and perfectionism has a way of ramping up the stress more than anything. Underlying perfectionism is fear. Fear of not measuring somehow. You can journal to try identifying the fears. (Like you are now) Usually each pony has a few consistent themes that stealthily run the show. Bring them to the light of day and then let them go. Take each assignment as a growing experience and see what you can learn from the process. 

As for spending too much, my dad does that as well. Mostly on useless stuff, but that's not the point. It is a bad addiction, and what I recommend you should do is find a new hobby. Find alternatives to shopping when your mood is low — visit a gym, go for a walk or meet a friend at a cafe. Take a break from shopping, like about 4-12 weeks. And take the time to make a financial goal, something that you really want that you can focus on when the desire to go shopping is strong.

You're a good person, @TwilySparky. And no matter what happens, the MLPF community will be here for you.

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I've had similar experiences myself I'll address here on what I've done to mitigate the issues that were produced because of those conditions.

Firstly you mention not feeling about doing much things and spending to buy stuff and compare it to addiction. This predicament can be quite hard to deal with as I myself have been trying to deal with it for quite some time but without any significant outcome. What I've been able to do however is that I've been able to figure out that my feeling is like that because I need something to do. I need to do something as if I'm just loitering around doing basically nothing the feeling gets stronger. So key is to contribute into something, have something in your mind to replace the idle state.

Secondly you talk about fears, school and anxiety together. For me I've had fears, related to school and failing and everything else. I've also had troubles with anxiety. How I've been able to manage with them is that for School I don't give myself any choices regarding the matter whether I do the assignments or not that way i can reduce the thinking process that usually hinders the process of completing the assignments.

About failing I seen that the most effective way to deal with that atleast for me is to manage the importance you give to those things. As the more important  the thing is it affects you more. Dropping the importance drops also the amount that the thing in question affects you. That way you can make it so that whether you succeed or fail it doesn't really make any difference.

About politics I think it's better to not pay any mind to them as I don't really think that thinking about them adds to anything or serve any useful purpose.

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I can definitely sympathize with the anxiety brought on by timetables and deadlines, especially the ones due at the end of the year.  I've always been a pony to just kinda moved at the beat of my own drum and damned be anypony else that told me otherwise.  Sadly, the world didn't work out that way, which I found out the hard way once I got to college.  The bigger projects that came with college courses were a rude wake up call for me.  So I stressed and worried constantly about getting things turned in on time with the quality that would also give me a good grade.  I don't think there is a fix really that works for everypony, but for me it just came down to doing it.  I would stress and stress over a twelve page paper non-stop, but once I sat down to start typing it, the stress went away and before I knew it, the paper was done six hours later.  The bottom line is, more often then not you have more time than you think you do to get things done.  Or at least you have the power to get things done quicker than it might seem at first.  Rip them off like a bandaid and get them over with as quickly as possible.

Everypony has stressors in their lives and deal with them in different ways.  None of yours should seem sad to another, they are your stressors and are quite personal.  The biggest problem comes from when they build up, which for most in school seems to happen at the end of the year.  Taking a step back to re-center one's self is never a bad idea.  Look at things from a different perspective and such.

Just always remember you are the besttest weather pone and a great friend!

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'll take it into consideration. I've been trying to actively improve upon myself in some way and I want all the criticism that I can get.

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You're one of the best people I know, don't forget that!
I've not got as bad of a shopping addiction, but I sometimes obsessively at least windowshop, it's a lot harder for me, because I need to ask my mum for her bank card and have money, which is rare to buy something, so I can atleast understand your struggle a little, not as well as I wish I could, but I can still understand it!
my advice may be easier said than done, but it'll at least help I hope...

try to stay signed out of shopping accounts unless you're buying something,
Try to think for a while as best as you can "do I need this" "do I have any use for this" "can I afford this!"
can you please do that for me?

I am fairly into politics, which is not good, especially if you watch news here in Scotland, all they fucking talk about is fucking Brexit!

So, once again, I want to hear you keep doing well, can you do that for me, I don't want to see my friends upset, and I especially don't want to see one be on the brink of an addiction that one day could take their life from them, I am really sad this is happening to you, and I hope you can atleast keep it under control, can you do that for me, friend?

 

 

also if you say you have lost hope again I'll fly over to New York to slap you out of it!

Edited by Sherbert MGS
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Breaks help; be it from the internet or the business of normal life. I remember finding university very intense, so a few weeks to decompress should really help. My suggestion would be to start putting together a reading / watch / listen list of stuff you've been meaning to get around to; spending some time on a little light planning might help a bit in the meantime (or it might not.)

 

It's interesting that you seem to be highly analytical of your shortcomings; I've seen plenty of people criticise themselves (myself included), but looking into the science behind why you buy is good... to a point. I'd suggest two actions:

1. Find another source of dopamine. Exercise is supposed to be quite good for that, but it's hardly the only source. Gambling is infamously destructive, and I wouldn't suggest that, but I have found a nifty way around that in Roleplaying Games. A beloved character running a blockade with a starship packed with black-market weaponry in search of a big pay day was a huge adrenaline rush, as was exchanging laser fire with pursuing mobsters in a grav-truck as they tried to escape with a shipment of stolen medicine. It's gambling with the life of the character, but if you're invested that's quite a big stake with no financial or health implications if you lose it.

2. Try not to solve everything. Accepting that you aren't perfect and will act in sub-optimal ways for the sake of your mental health is important; recognise that you only have limited capacity for problem solving (and for acting on those solutions) and target it where it will achieve best effect. Willpower can be viewed as a resource*, so if you can't find the will to do everything then prioritise and see if you can do the things that you think matter most. 

 

I can identify with the anxiety issue - thankfully I've found the workplace induces far less anxiety in me than academia, but whilst I was studying for my degree it was quite rough. It was fear of the consequences of failure rather than failure itself that tended to get to me, which spurred countless contingency plans and a deep knowledge of pass / fail thresholds and fallback mechanisms for failed exams. I found cooking helped me relax; I'd put on a comedy podcast and spend the next 30 minutes not thinking about what happened next or what I should do. Scheduled distractions calibrated to make you focus on the task (cooking) and the environment (comedy podcast) rather than planning is the more generalised form of that solution; I couldn't think about anything else because all of my brain was already focused on one task or another, and that gave it the break it needed. 

 

With regards to worrying about the world, politics and all that... I'm not going to lie and say that there aren't worrying things happening, but you can't take all that on yourself. What you expect from yourself is something you'll need to work out yourself, but with your current resources and influence you shouldn't expect yourself to have the grand strategic overview of the world and what course should be set through the storms and obstacles facing your country and your world^. 

It also looks like you've only had a particular economic viewpoint - there are other schools of economic thought that suggest that spending on benefits can pay off in the medium and long term. For example, if a few hundred dollars of unemployment benefits can prevent someone turning to crime, and so avoiding the damage their crime causes and the expense of incarcerating them, then that has saved the government and society money despite the initial outlay. 

Now I don't pretend to know which one is right (I'm a statistician, not an economist), but it is worth understanding the other viewpoints and the case studies their supporters use to support their positions. I'd suggest a rather good podcast called 'Economics with subtitles', which goes through current events and examines them commentary for non-economists - one example they look at is the link between fertility and inflation in Venezuela, which is an excellent example of how interconnected the market and society are. 

 

That... was a bit longer than I originally intended. Ho hum.

Also... errm...

18 hours ago, TwilySparky said:

 I also wrote all of this at 2am at the brink of exhaustion, so their might be some glaring mistakes in this rant.

Spoiler

if you're really sure... it's not that important...

Spoiler
18 hours ago, TwilySparky said:

 I also wrote all of this at 2am at the brink of exhaustion, so their might be some glaring mistakes in this rant.

there, not their.

...

That was an attempt at comedy... I'll show myself out now.

 

 

*it's an imperfect model, but one I find easy to work with. I've also heard it explained as 'like a muscle' - so exercise is good, but you can push too hard and damage it.

^it's worth noting that whilst having the broader perspective is useful, having a detailed understanding of what and how the current situation applies to you is what will allow you to maximise your impact. Certainly I see this in the workplace - I don't see the big picture in the way the senior management do, but I have a good knowledge of my area and have been able to suggest improvements to it to my manager. They then made the judgement on whether that fitted with the overall goal or not, and as I have faith in their competence I accept when they reject my ideas.

Edited by Once In A Blue Moon
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I don't know quite what to say here, but I read your post and understand how stressful  life and school can be. I feel that despite how hard I try, I'm always met with failure and disappointment. 

A break might do you some good, given that you've been doing a lot lately. Just don't leave without telling us, yeah?

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