Wow! You had a SHACK? Nice!
I’ve read the responses to my question and thought about it over night, and I’ve realized something, I’m my own worst enemy.
When I was forced to retire in 2015, my doctor told me he was worried about my physical health, and my mental health. I thought it was ridiculous, and didn’t think anything of it. Then, about a year and a half of pain and surgeries later, something happened. I had the most vivid dream I’ve ever had in my life, and it scared the crap out of me.
After a couple of days, I told my wife about it, and then we had a family meeting(adults only) to tell the kids and their spouses what I had experienced.
I had become deeply depressed and had thoughts about killing myself, and needed to tell my family. My doctor changed my depression meds and referred me to a mental health counselor, who I’ve been seeing for over 5 years now.
They both gave me the same advice, when you’re at home alone(Becky still works) do things that make you happy, things you enjoy doing.
I’ve realized that I’ve been doing the opposite of that ever since, what a fucking idiot!
I’ve been getting up at the same time every weekday, watching the same crap on tv(you-tube), eating lunch at the same time every day, turning the tv off at the same time, and then going to the gym 3 times a week, coming home, and then waiting for my wife to come home.
I can say that since I can’t work anymore, and Becky is working 40-50 hours a week, that I’ve been doing the house work and the cooking and the laundry. I have no problem getting things done around the house, but when I’m not doing that, I’m definitely not doing things that make me happy. Again, I’ve been an idiot, and I’m not sure why.
Plenty of abandoned shacks along rivers in the rust belt. Unlike southerners and millennials living in fancy homes with wheels. Psssshhh, lightweights.
Side note! Have you tried the Yougart - one ingredient Pizza Dough Recipe? I really like the way the dough turns out but I do add yeast and still do the whole rising and falling thing. Also, for a tasty Pizza dough, ‘Sour Cream’ instead of yogurt. Plain Yogart dough is on Youtube, Sour Cream, my own invention. With the sour cream I still add some oil and salt but it makes a great pizza dough. Again, I still use the yeast. Home-made pizza… I’m coming for dinner.
CAREFUL! It’s best to take wisdom in small doses! You could start with, "I just haven’t been a very good friend to myself… and then work your way up. LOL
Seriously speaking for a moment: When you have a major ‘Ah Ha’ moment you can expect a day or two not usually longer, of mild depression. (I look at it this way.)
Life is like a game of pick-up-sticks. For a long time now, you have been picking up the little colored sticks from the pile and the game has been going along just fine. All the little sticks you have picked up are in a nice neat little pile and the game has continued. Now suddenly the pile you are choosing from has collapsed and the game is over. It’s time once again to gather up all the little sticks, bunch them together, drop them on the table, and start the game anew. This is a kind of psychological realignment. It feels like a domino effect. You alter one thing in your perception of yourself and all the dominos begin toppling over. This will run its course, so be nice to yourself.
Put it up to ‘Major Psycho-social Stressors,’ and give yourself a fucking break. Your whole world changed. You lost a part of your identity. You were no longer the guy who got up and wnet to work. That guy is gone. You were faced with hard cold facts "You can’t do this job any more, welcome to retirement.’ Someone just pulled the rug out from under your world. Again… ‘Pick up Sticks’ (Previous Analogy.) It’s just taken you this long to figure it out… That’s not true. You thougt you had figured it out before and you had your routine. You have just now realized that your routine was not making you happy. It’s not what you really wanted to do. So now, do something different.
And be NIECE to yourself. How in the fuck were you to know what was going to make you happy with all this shit thrown upon you? When in your life have you ever had so much free time on your hands? You are living in completely new territory and you did the best you could with the information you had and in the situation you were in. All you are doing now is saying; "I think it’s time for a change. What I was doing is not really making me happy.’ Give that other guy; that worst enemy, a fucking break. He was doing the best he coul. It’s not his fault you got smarter. It’s not his fault you decided to do a personal inventory and begin making things different. I want to say, ‘YOU WILL HAVE TO LEARN TO BE NICE TO YOURSELF BEFORE YOU CAN EVER BE NICE TO SOMEONE ELSE.’ but I don’t really believe that is true. Still, I know that learning to be nice to yourself is a step that makes everyone a much happier person. Think about it… (You treat yourself the way your father treated you. Stop doing that! You are your own father now. Treat yourself the way a father should treat himself.)
Good Luck and welcome to the world of personal insights. GIVE YOURSELF A FUCKING BREAK. You have always done the best you could do given the information you had. The real bitch about having some free time is that you get to do all this personal introspection bullshit and see how fucked up life really is. See what happens when you have free time! FUCK! Be nice to yourself. Be nice to your wife. Be nice to your grandkids. And give Cog a bit kiss!
I think the thing that spurred me to take a look at what I’ve been doing for the past 5+ years was when I had to cancel my gym membership earlier this week. We really can’t afford it anymore, plus, I’ve got tendonitis in my right shoulder and can’t lift weights anymore.
It started bothering me several weeks ago, gradually getting worse until I saw my doctor about it. He told me to take some time off and it’ll heal, so I took 3 weeks off from the gym. I went back last week and got through my workout with just a little pain at first, but my next visit re-aggravated it to the point that I can’t lift anything now.
I came to the realization that I can’t physically do it anymore, and I came to the conclusion that my weight-lifting days are over. All I can do now is walk for short times/distances because of my feet.
I worked 50-60 hours a week at my job, and then did the yard work at my mom’s house as well as ours. I’m a shell of what I was physically less than 10 years ago, and it makes me very angry, but this is what I’m left with.
I going to start doing the things that make me happy, not reacting to the insanity going on in the world. I’m going to do the things that gave me the nick-name that my wife gave me over 40 years ago. I am Mr. Macabre.
…(chuckle)… That’s called being in a rut. You got forced from your job by circumstances beyond your control. You were accustomed to a routine, whether it was good or bad. With that routine gone, you started another one. At first it was okay, because it was something new to take your mind away from the old routine. (It wasn’t a rut yet.) 4 or 5 years later, though, you realize, “Fuck! This routine SUCKS!” But it’s a routine now, and routines are difficult to break, no matter how much they suck. Therefore, you become miserable and start lashing out at everybody else because of your misery. As such, nobody wants to be around your miserable cranky ass, which just makes you more miserable and more angry. It’s a vicious cycle that feeds on itself.
THANKFULLY, it would seem like you have now realized this and are taking steps to break that cycle. Excellent! As Cog said, though, do not expect everything to just suddenly go * POOF * and instantly be better overnight. Give it a little time. Meanwhile, be happy and give yourself some damn credit for figuring it out and being willing to take beneficial actions. Also, to further reinforce what Cog said, BE NICE TO YOURSELF. If even YOU cannot like you, then how can you expect others to like you and want to be around you? And as I said in an earlier post, be proud to be a G.O.M. Enjoy it. Many never make it to that stage. Good to hear you seem to be on the right track now.
rock on man!
Hobbies don’t have to be expensive. I do blacksmithing, built my first forge for $30 with items from a thrift store. I started making knives (obviously like every other yuts), but I’ve been making bottle openers, brackets, tools. It’s mentally challenging, physical, and tangible.
I started making things for everyone I know. They are things people will cherish with my memory. Every time I see some long lost friend it’s “hey I’ve got your bottle opener in this drawer over here.”
Hint, hint, your grandkids would probably cherish something you made them. As mundane or unexceptional as you might think it is. They will most likely hang onto it with a good memory for a lifetime after you’re gone. You can get two birds stoned at once, it’s a rewarding positive thing you are doing, with the bonus of giving someone you love a piece of your time and talent with a positive memory attached.
Seriously it’s just focusing on you first, and forgiving yourself though. I can’t save someone else who I think is drowning if I’m drowning or dead already.
Shameless self plug of my hobby, sorry. Do something rewarding for you though. It’s a mental game changer, I never thought I could do everything I do today. Also to achieve it in such a short amount of time!
LOL… I completely blew my right knee out when I was 35 or so. I had a problem with my right leg anyway. I was born without a bone in my right foot. I was always spraining my ankel as a kid. Mom took me to the doctor and he was like; ‘Your kid is missing a bone in his foot!’ Holy shit, who knew? So the fused the foot to prevent it from moving side to side. I still had up and down movement.
Well, then I decided that I loved martial arts. Stupid me. I was good too. I wrestled for the two years I was in High School, before dropping out. My first year, as a freshman, I lost every match. My second year, as a junior, I got angry. Literally angry. I remember the very first match. I just made up my mind, I am not losing! Walked out on the mat and pinned my opponent in less than a minute. I went through my sophomore year without losing a match… Problem was… I also stopped my mother from beating on me. I was not having it any more. I just pushed her away and told her to leave me the fuck alone. That was it. No more belts and no more beatings. I left home and high school soon after that.
On to martial arts. Took it up when I turned 17. Loved it. I started at the local Junior College and soon found myself a regular at Fumio Demura’s Dojo, on 17th St. in Santa Anna, CA.
I stayed at it for years. I was working out at another Dojo in Costa Mesa, same organization, when I jumped up, spun around, landed in a back stance with a knife hand block, and destroyed my right knee. The dang leg puffed out to the size of my waist in about 3 minutes. I was in pain and martial arts was over. That’s what happens when your brain tells you that you can still do shit and your body says ‘Fuck you I ain’t doing it anymore.’ I became a competitive darts player after that. I’m still a high A division player though I don’t practice much these days. (An hour a day perhaps) So, Darts, guitar, writing, fishing, dating (though it has been a while since I moved to Yeosu), teaching, more writing, taking long walks on weekends, (I shit you not, the last walk I went on was over 6 hours.) I don’t run well. And Squash. Yep, I play squash with my bad knee. I just wrap it up and play. Not only do I play but I win. While I was doing all that martial arts crap, my day job was instructing racketball. I still do the shit I love to do. Though I don’t throw kicks anymore, I still stretch and occasionally hit boards.
A bunch of Tai-kwon Do guys was out at the local shopping area doing a demonstration. After the demonstration, they were giving away stuffed animals to anyone who could break a stack of 20 roof tiles. I watched about 5 or 6 macho men get up and try to break the roof tiles. No success of the course. It was really obvious what they were doing wrong. (No follow through.) So. I decided to give it a try. Now, before I could strike the tiles, I had to make sure my knee would bend and get me to the bottom tile. I had to measure how far down I had to bend and how painful it was going to be. I got a crowd of people looking at the old man about to go through 20 roof tiles. LOL, I finish measuring and step up to the stack. I rest my fist on the stack and press just a bit to get the feel and the first three tiles break. I shit you not.
Obviously, these are oven-baked tiles. It means they are crispy. This is what martial artists do to the wood so it will not flex and so it will break easily. My thought was, ‘A bunch of crispy tiles and one real tile someplace in the mix.’ They cleaned the stack, replaced the tiles and I was off. YEP! All 20, easy peasy. I got my little stuffed teddy bear and walked away.
Try Psilocybin Mushrooms. If you think you’ve got a shitty outlook on life, try being a terminal cancer patient.
Studies on terminal cancer patients with moderate doses of psilocybin show a completely changed attitude towards pain and death.
If you’re worried that you don’t want to get into that crazy LSD hallucinagenic bull shyte - note that the chemical composition of psilocybin is pretty much the same as Serotonin - it simply binds with more affinity to those 5-H2 serotonin receptors.
It takes the sort of default brain activity any average person has and allows the brain to essentially communicate with 100 % of the rest of the brain.
It completely shakes you up.
Unlike Cog, I think you’ve got all the right to blame your anger and frustration on the physical pain you’re enduring (to some extent).
Personally, I was dealing with a bad pinched sciatic in my 30’s and I was working day in day out rigging ropes on high rise buildings. So I would come home with a really sore lower back and basically be pissy if I didn’t get my down time. And even then, down time didn’t solve the problem. So my relationship suffered because I was a grade A asshole.
When I learned to relax the muscles pinching my sciatic the pain subsided. I became a happier, nicer person.
Mushrooms (magic) will do many things. They will increase your mood (just like a boost of serotonin will increase your mood). They will relax your muscles and they will activate dormant parts of your brain. Your feeling of pain and attitude towards pain will change.
Give it a try. Research it. Learn about it. Buy it online. Grow your own.
When you’re born no one tells you “hey! When you get older you’re gunna have to learn how to keep your heart happy.” It doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
Cog was asking when and what my next fucked up quackery would be. Well it’s now and here it is.
So Max … let’s go back to 1998. You were 40 years old. You had everything going for you. All the black metal bands you could ever want at the peak of the scene … probably married with kids … gainfully employed …? Didn’t you ever think at one point that you’d figured it out?
Maybe not. Cause it seems like you want to do some soul searching. I did mine from age 26 to 40. I’m 40 now. And I’m having the time of my life. I know how to keep my heart happy. There’s a lot of suffering and darkness encrusted into the very core of our hearts and we all could benefit from knowing how to let it out. A lot of the deepest kind of loving and kind emotions come from the depths of our emotional suffering (ie. when we learn to let them surface and eventually dissipate).
So, how to get to the core of the heart? It’s been a long journey for me. I’m there. I may be schizophrenic, but I’m a fully functional member of society who derives happiness from his partner, his job, his commute to work, his mortgage payments, and the prospect of retiring.
I hate to see someone in pain, and I’m not going to give you tough love. Im going to give you insight. Whoa whoa. I can hear that vulnerable part of you already telling me to fuck off. Settle down there cow boy. I’m not gunna emasculate you. And I know that’s your worst fear just from the way you write (totally fucking kidding. Totally fucking with you). Hey. You want less pain and more happiness. I’ve got it in five steps.
Outline of practice.
Identify the nerve in the body and consciously relieve stress by thinking about it.
Note the effect step one specifically has on your nose as it inhales and exhales.
As you contemplate steps 1 and 2 notice regions of the brain where stress and repressed feelings start to relax.
As you contemplate steps 1, 2, and 3 notice the relief you feel in your heart. Depending on which nerve you initially relaxed, the region will be different.
As both your muscles and your heart begin to relax in the above way, allow the darkness in the core of your heart to surface. Give it away (so to speak).
Following these five steps you will have mastered the heart and the core of your emotional pain and repressed feelings (caked on shyte that’s accumulated both physically and psychically over your entire life.
The four meridians:
The sinol-atriole nerve at the top of your heart sends a nerve signal to the bottom of your heart telling it to beat. It is controlled by the brain which reacts to its internal and external environment by upping or downing; hardening or lessening the rate and the intensity of the beat. Allow the nervous activity in the bottom of your heart to relax by identifying the feeling there and consciously allowing it to be free of stress.
The vagus nerve in your neck … don’t ask me what it does … just know that by doing the above to either side of the neck with the vagus nerve you will initiate step 1 in the above catalogue of steps.
The sciatic nerve on the left side of your sacralilliac bone. Rinse and repeat.
The nerve at the bottom of the breathing diaphragm which determines the rate and intensity at which you breathe.
These are the four meridians of step 1. Learn to consciously relax stress at any of these meridians (preferably in the order stated) and you will move on quite effortlessly to steps 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Note that steps 2, 3, and 4 will all have different physical locations in the associated sense or bodily organ. Note that step five is always the end result when the body and heart generally relax and allow the core to open.
Meridian 1 is good for anxiety relief apart from helping you arrive at step 5.
Meridian 2 is good for upper back pain apart from helping you arrive at step 5.
Meridian 3 is especially good at relieving general pain. Don’t quote me. But when I relax my sciatic my other pains (such as my general back pain in the sacrum) just disappear. This meridian also increases productivity, allows you to stop acting like a pussy, man up, and fuck better; harder; and more pleasurably.
Meridian 4 will quiet the mind. If you have an especially assholish inner critic - shut that lying motherfucker up quick by relaxing meridian 4.
I personally discovered these four methods at age 35 and perfected them at age 40. I no longer give a flying fuck what people think of me, I initiate my body’s own opioids for pain relief, and I could care less about other’s actions or opinions.
AMA - I’m here to help. Not emasculate. I know it would be hard (like a rock hard cock) to bow down to me for answers, but stop being so crotchety. If you want to soul search, take my advice. I’ve spent the last five years learning to operate my heart and mind - starting from scratch and a very hard inner voice who has been a severe, but efficient teacher.
Well, there is advice and there is bullshit… It will always be up to the reader to tell the difference.
I am always glad to hear this kind of statement. However, if you are 40, you do not have the perspective of @mr.macabre13 who has stated herein that he is 63. The period of a man’s life from 40 to 63 is often a difficult one, marked by significant physical decline, loss of friends and family to death, inability to maintain the close friendships so important to our early development, the loneliness accompanying severe pain etc. Additionally, when you can see the end of the tracks clearly coming into focus, there are thoughts and feelings which do not appear when tomorrow seems inevitable, as when you were younger.
I am grateful you have found a system or protocol which has facilitated contentment for you. Respectfully, I see no reason for anyone else to adopt such an approach.
In general, I see the approach outlined by @Cognostic herein as much more applicable.
If what you are doing is working for you, fantastic! The appearance of your “methodology” is one of jibber jabber nonsense, none of which can be demonstrated to be universally or even marginally useful.
Edit for eggwhites
I used to talk to ratty, all polite like that. I gave up on being nice over a year ago. It’s just not worth it. Now he thinks you like him and that he had a cool idea.
I wish I could shut mine off. I was on strong anti depressants and some of the girls I was with found it disturbing. They said I came off a little robotic and emotionless. I miss not having to feel any stress or anxiety. It was awesome being on that stuff for a while until I started getting horrible panic attacks that resulted in me vomiting and being sick all of the time.
Uh, be careful what you wish for. Some of the medications I took for years for chronic pain played a role in my desensitization. I have difficulty, sometimes, giving a shit when it should be automatic.
Be grateful that you CAN feel.
For me, it is important to remember that my emotional response is just that. No one or no thing is completely responsible for how I feel.
I appreciate your opinion, but as I said I’m 40 and I no longer listen to negativity.
I’d say my method is universal. You simply relax a nerve and watch the cascade.
How is this different from acupuncture?
So, jibber jabber? Okay. You’re entitled to your opinion. Idiosyncratic? That’s my opinion.
I think everyone should take care of their heart and be aware of it.
I offer a personal and intuitive approach which is like mental acupuncture.
But 40 is the start of really feeling comfortable and at peace. I work a dangerous job where the end of the tracks could be any moment. And I’m fine with that. I’ve come to peace with death.
On the other hand, I may age and age more and contract a kind of illness and physical pain. Well, that might suck. Kinda why I recommended mushrooms for people with lots of pain and looking for a personality shift.
You’ve no patience for me. I dunno Cog, in the couple of years I’ve been here (not including the ban which I think was a year? Three months? Can’t remember) - lately, you’ve become pretty grumpy. Everyone gets the tough love. Maybe you wore kid gloves with me at first cause I’m bat shit crazy. Well. Then I’m happy you treat me like the rest.
Clearly that is not the case, as you would not recognize negativity if you declined to listen.
ok Let’s just make some shit up and watch the resultant gush…
Uh…you really don’t know? if that was a rhetorical question, stop it…
No, jibber jabber is a real thing upon which my opinion has no bearing…
Uh…sure, I guess. I pretty much took care of mine when I was younger…
ARGH… please remove the ice-pick from my cerebellum…
No you haven’t. You MAY have come to peace with what you think death is. You still have the naivete’
of someone not facing the immediately inevitable
Ha Ha HA… Yeah that might suck alright!!. Expanding one’s consciousness while enduring severe pain is not what you might think. Ten years ago I went through extensive cervical spinal surgery and titanium instrumentation, and during the second phase of the surgery, I was given Ketamine without any knowledge of the intent to administer such. Combined with the Morphine and Oxycodone the hallucinations were rather pronounced and disturbing, to say the least. I do not recommend having your neck and back split open and restructured with metal, while taking mind-expanding substances…but hey, WTF? It is just my opinion…