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WhatPowerIs

Member
Jun 19, 2022
33
I came across a Reddit comment that really put my entire life and my suicidal thoughts into perspective. It's from some REBT book somebody had, and the quote reads like this:

"People who lead a lazy, passive existence who keep saying "nothing really interests me" frequently are warding off irrational fears, especially fears of failure. Viewing failure with horror, they avoid activities they would really like to try, and after sufficient avoidance, they "sincerely" conclude that they have "no interest" in these activities. They may cut off one piece of their life space after another and end up disinterested in "everything." These apathetic and bored individuals feel even more unhappy than do actively anxious and hostile people who at least get absorbed in their fears and hatreds."

The problem I find with all of these behavior books and help spaces (like the subreddit I was on) or whatever is that I often find that I'm being talked down to and the quote really feels like no different. Only this time I do feel like it's accurately describing me. But I really DON'T feel like anything interests me, and I do believe I have sincerely come to that conclusion. Why should I keep having to justify my life to everybody? It feels like the only reason I'm alive is that I've internalized that I have lots of things to be grateful for, I live with a loving family (their love is conditional of course but so is everybody's and I have yet to hear of a case where somebody's love was genuinely unconditional), I live in a nice house, I have my own room, I have all these amenities and pleasantries, etc etc. Now I'm just rambling but at the end of the day it really is all my fault and I just want to give up.
 
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,249
I nearly made a thread on a similar topic recently but chickened out.

The problem I have with that quote is that it does not account for legitimate mental illness, which can be genetic, and thus attributes all blame to factors within the control of an individual. Not to mention other reasons people may have to end their lives which may or may not be communicable.

And yet, neglecting this perspective brings a a mentality of learned helplessness that is a direct path to extreme despair and suicide even in entirely workable circumstances. The mind becomes a hellacious prison cell that we had the key to all along.

I am currently basing my most recent attempt at recovery on a similar can-do mindset. It's just too soon to declare myself as any sort of success story. I've found that my life circumstances are about 4 times as difficult as most people around me, but if I channel the energy of my fury and desperation into directly improving root causes (eg. major health improvements and efforts at socialising), I have the potential to succeed nonetheless. Others from even rougher backgrounds have overcome hardship in remarkable ways, so I'm putting up an epic fight rather than just let my father watch me die for his psychopathic entertainment.

Both perspectives have merit in different situations and it is best not to view this in black and white terms. Some people will move mountains if told to shut the fuck up, stop whining and get to the gym, others will wither and die because they needed a more nurturing approach, not more abuse.
 
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WhatPowerIs

Member
Jun 19, 2022
33
I nearly made a thread on a similar topic recently but chickened out.

The problem I have with that quote is that it does not account for legitimate mental illness, which can be genetic, and thus attributes all blame to factors within the control of an individual. Not to mention other reasons people may have to end their lives which may or may not be communicable.

And yet, neglecting this perspective brings a a mentality of learned helplessness that is a direct path to extreme despair and suicide even in entirely workable circumstances. The mind becomes a hellacious prison cell that we had the key to all along.

I am currently basing my most recent attempt at recovery on a similar can-do mindset. It's just too soon to declare myself as any sort of success story. I've found that my life circumstances are about 4 times as difficult as most people around me, but if I channel the energy of my fury and desperation into directly improving root causes (eg. major health improvements and efforts at socialising), I have the potential to succeed nonetheless. Others from even rougher backgrounds have overcome hardship in remarkable ways, so I'm putting up an epic fight rather than just let my father watch me die for his psychopathic entertainment.

Both perspectives have merit in different situations and it is best not to view this in black and white terms. Some people will move mountains if told to shut the fuck up, stop whining and get to the gym, others will wither and die because they needed a more nurturing approach, not more abuse.
Agreed with you for sure. I had another topic idea in mind about loneliness, how dangerous loneliness can be, and if it's okay to accept loneliness into your life. Probably one of the biggest reasons why I had suicidal thoughts in the first place is because of my increasing loneliness. Of course, as I described in my original post, I'm not completely lonely, I have a family, and a few friends. But my family's judgment, or any imminent judgment, can feel cutting, and my friends feel more like acquaintances. I would like to get to a point where I feel like I can be the best version of myself, but the absolute best version of myself is perfection, and no human being can really be 'perfection' in any sense of that word. So I must aim for short of perfection, which feels like a gigantic mountain to climb. I don't know what God gets out of making me do this. I'm told all of this hardship is supposed to make me stronger, but I don't feel that at all - just another bullshit cliche line to tell suicidal people, maybe? I don't know.
 
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,249
Agreed with you for sure.
Cheers! You make a lot of interesting points.

With rare exceptions, loneliness should be treated as a serious issue. It is analogous to a plant lacking sunlight. People with good mental health may be in a position to cope reasonably with isolation, but they also would also be the least likely to be forced into loneliness in the first place. If you feel lonely, that's enough. Even celebrities with millions of followers can feel it, and it can even be fatal for them.

No one can achieve perfection, but no masterpiece is created without the artist aiming for perfection. Personally, I am defining perfection in this case as 'doing my absolute best'. Even this is theoretically impossible, but has led to revolutions in previously neglected areas.

Best not to concern yourself with theology if it conjures imagery of a bully/parent in the sky. Hardship can make average people into heroes, but pointing this out may be inspiring or may lead to feelings of defeat. Have to use an approach that is right for you.

Beyond general discussion like this, energy needs to go directly and efficiently to attack specific root issues, as mentioned.

Using myself as an example, I had a thousand excuses to avoid emphasising physical fitness in my routine, but it only took a friend with a hardcore routine introducing me to his gym to change that. I have quickly demolished my personal trainer's weak expectations of my progress. I do have unfortunate genes making me awfully skinny, but also a furious determination to counterbalance them (hopefully) through sheer effort. It is still a good feeling when there is only ever good news when looking in the mirror - posture, proportions, presence. It is also a very literal fight against debilitating feelings of depression that will cripple me if I am not moving.

My ultimate weakness was loneliness, partly caused by insecurity over my aforementioned physique. So with intense constructive action being taken, I'm also taking a multitude of approaches to get involved with the local community, hang out with work colleagues, returning to dreaded dating apps and being open to making friends any way I can.

I stop short of speaking like a motivational speaker because I still have times when it all feels like a massive amount of effort for nothing and I would dearly love to just exit. And if I did finally connect intimately with someone only to lose them for some reason, I don't like my chances of surviving that scenario.

But there are many people who have learned the art of channeling their energies wisely and they make worthy role models. Rage and fury is for gaining physical strength, sensitivity/softness is for care towards other beings, particularly the vulnerable. Depression is a mortal foe to be fought. Not the contrast with people who do not channel their various energies wisely and the qualities they display - self-pity, aggression, etc. You then have appropriate points of reference for choices you will make moving forward.

Hope this helps somewhat!
 
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WhatPowerIs

Member
Jun 19, 2022
33
Hope this helps somewhat!
I think it has, for the most part. When I was referring to my points about loneliness, I was looking at this website in particular called Campaign to End Loneliness. It is interesting to see how loneliness not only affects your spiritual and mental being, but also your physical being. While I struggle with loneliness, a part of me also has learned to enjoy my own solitude, and I am having a difficult time rationalizing this. I feel like a weirdo loner outsider by maintaining my lifestyle, but again, I'm not completely lonely and I don't think loneliness is a bad thing. Is the loneliness the campaign is speaking of referring to complete and total isolation? I feel like those kinds of cases are rare, and why would we hear about them anyway? They're isolated!

I would like to think that once I gain more autonomy and independence, I can make greater strides in improving my own life, and if things don't go the way I want them to, I have other options. Does this make sense?
 
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WhatPowerIs

Member
Jun 19, 2022
33
Feel like I don't even know why I'm even bothering to do this. Feels like a colossal waste of time. At the end of all of this, I will be dead anyway, that's the fate of every human being, everything feels incredibly impermanent.
 
chocolatebar

chocolatebar

Wizard
Jul 11, 2021
691
"People who lead a lazy, passive existence who keep saying "nothing really interests me" frequently are warding off irrational fears, especially fears of failure. Viewing failure with horror, they avoid activities they would really like to try, and after sufficient avoidance, they "sincerely" conclude that they have "no interest" in these activities. They may cut off one piece of their life space after another and end up disinterested in "everything." These apathetic and bored individuals feel even more unhappy than do actively anxious and hostile people who at least get absorbed in their fears and hatreds."
For me, that quote is an example of when people have something very specific in their minds and try to generalize the phenomenon, but end saying something faulty. It's easy to come with several examples to debunk the idea in the way it's written.

That said, what I really dislike from it is the tone. It sounds to me as is the person is talking from a position of superiority and making a bad picture of the one suffering from whatever it is. I would reframe it and say something like:



Sometimes, people who lead an uneventful life while disliking the way they live and losing interest in doing things are warding off irrational fears, especially fears of failure. Viewing failure with horror, they avoid activities they would really like to try, and after sufficient avoidance, they genuinely lose in these activities. They may cut off one piece of their life space after another and end up disinterested in "everything.". After reaching such state, it's hard to move out without external aid. But from where does the extreme fear of failure comes from? Perhaps, the way society approaches failure/success is unhealthy and leads to unhealthy lifestyles.
 
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WhatPowerIs

Member
Jun 19, 2022
33
For me, that quote is an example of when people have something very specific in their minds and try to generalize the phenomenon, but end saying something faulty. It's easy to come with several examples to debunk the idea in the way it's written.

That said, what I really dislike from it is the tone. It sounds to me as is the person is talking from a position of superiority and making a bad picture of the one suffering from whatever it is. I would reframe it and say something like:



Sometimes, people who lead an uneventful life while disliking the way they live and losing interest in doing things are warding off irrational fears, especially fears of failure. Viewing failure with horror, they avoid activities they would really like to try, and after sufficient avoidance, they genuinely lose in these activities. They may cut off one piece of their life space after another and end up disinterested in "everything.". After reaching such state, it's hard to move out without external aid. But from where does the extreme fear of failure comes from? Perhaps, the way society approaches failure/success is unhealthy and leads to unhealthy lifestyles.
Your rephrasing is much better. I don't know what it is but it seems like where I go online, whenever I encounter passages or posts like the one I quoted (it's actually from a book, not that I've read it, that particular passage was posted online) it is always written in a very backhanded way, like the author is looking down on the subjects he's talking about. Why would somebody who is severely depressed want to persist when even the person helping them thinks they are something to be insulted?
 
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CoalmineCanary

CoalmineCanary

Member
Jul 15, 2020
478
It's an ignorant platitude that denigrates those far less fortunate.

No, it is not all your fault.

Nobody chooses their biology, the environment they grew up in, or their luck otherwise we'd all have chosen to be born on third base or close to the finish line.
 
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WhatPowerIs

Member
Jun 19, 2022
33
It's an ignorant platitude that denigrates those far less fortunate.

No, it is not all your fault.

Nobody chooses their biology, the environment they grew up in, or their luck otherwise we'd all have chosen to be born on third base or close to the finish line.
Thank you. That is a really good point, of course, and one I think about all the time: none of us chose to be here.
 
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