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Old 11-29-2015, 07:45 PM   #1
krunic
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krunic tries to suffer less

Stats

Age: 32
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 128 lbs
Relationship status: single
Employment status: unemployed
Living situation: live with my parents

This will be a place to record my efforts to make my life suck less.

Ongoing goals

- Reduce crippling anxiety and depression, especially social anxiety
- Eat healthy food (no sugar, no PUFAs, no grains, moar veg)
- Go outside more than 1-2x a week
- Sleep at least 6 hours per night

Short term goals
- Reduce social anxiety enough to at least get a job
- Refrain from violence and hostility towards my family for the remainder of the holiday season

Long term goals

- Learn spanish
- Learn korean
- Learn tailoring and pattern cutting
- Spend less time watching janky tennis streams and/or staring at live tennis scores
- Work on mommy/daddy issues, such as my mother's covert incest and my father's emotional unavailability and raging
- Gain muscle mass
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Old 11-29-2015, 08:33 PM   #2
krunic
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

So far this year I've read 32 books. I don't read fiction, it just doesn't do anything for me.

Here's some reviews of books I've read this year that I recommend and think have helped or have potential to help my life suck less:

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

What struck me about his story was his complete focus and determination to do the type comedy he wanted to do.

It seems like people who are elite at anything are the ones who are willing to repeatedly put themselves at great risk of failure and embarrassment in order to do what they want to do and be great at it. Without BS, without excuses, without finger pointing, without self pity.

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

I had high hopes for this, since I generally like buddhist philosophy. The book turned out to be about 5% insightful commentary about life and 95% academic philosophical masturbation. Still, I think that 5% makes it worth reading.

Why Women Have Sex by David Buss

This is a fascinating book about all the reasons why women have sex. IIRC they identified over 200 specific reasons. The author is best known for his book Evolutionary Psychology, which is on my reading list.

Catching The Big Fish by David Lynch

David Lynch is one of my favorite movie writer/directors. He made Eraserhead, Elephant Man, Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire, Lost Highway, and the tv show Twin Peaks. This book was kind of an autobiography, but it's short, not some longwinded recollection of everything that ever happened in his life.

He's really into transcendental meditation and says it's helped his creativity tremendously. I want to look into TM more and try it.

He says Eraserhead was his most spiritual movie (it happens to be my favorite of his) and it took 5 years to make because he kept running out of money. He got a job delivering the Wall Street Journal every morning to pay for the movie. Overall he seems like a surprisingly happy and well adjusted guy, considering the often bizarre nature of his work.

The Truth by Neil Strauss

Same author who wrote The Game. Strauss cheated on his gf and he went to sex addiction rehab. After which he tried to get back with his gf but it didn't work for him because he wanted to bang other chicks and the girl was like nah.

So Strauss embarks on a journey of self discovery in which he bangs lots of skanks and tries to get into polyamorous open relationships with multiple other women. Several times. All of them failed and he
Spoiler:


The point of the book is that if you've been having ****ty relationships your whole life, there's almost certainly some unresolved issues with your parents and you should get a therapist and/or support group and deal with it.

Toxic Parents by Susan Forward

This is a book written by a therapist about how to identify ****ty parents and how to learn how to deal with them and confront them, if necessary. It focuses more on overtly abusive parents, but it was still helpful for me.
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Old 11-29-2015, 08:35 PM   #3
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

gl. I saw your post in Miss_Lonely_heart's thread. So what are you doing to try to make these changes, and how's it been going so far?
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Old 11-29-2015, 08:57 PM   #4
krunic
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

Good question.

- I go to a psychologist once a week.
- I'm taking Lexapro
- I meditate 10 minutes per day (mindfulness meditation, but I want to try transcendental meditation)
- I read every book I can get my hands on that I think might help me deal with my anxiety/depression/family issues
- I listen to The Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast. I can't recommend this show strongly enough, it's so ****ing great

The things I'm struggling the most with right now is getting outside, sleep, and social anxiety. I live in chicago, it's getting cold, it will only get colder soon, and it's so hard to get the motivation to go outside if I don't have to go anywhere. I know that walking outside helps with my anxiety and sleep but apparently that still isn't enough to overcome the anxiety and lack of energy that causes me to want to hole up inside 24/7.

Lifting weights in my room is something I like doing and want to do more of, but ironically, it makes the anxiety and sleep worse.

My resume is plenty good enough in terms of education and experience to get a job I'd like doing. But when I go on craigslist to search for jobs, I start panicking. Thinking about the interviewing, the meeting new people, the awkwardness of learning how this particular business does things. And what if I don't like some of the people? When I have to communicate with people I don't get along with, my mind just locks up and I either blurt out rude/stupid things I'll regret later (plus making that relationship even more tense) or I literally can't talk at all. I have autism spectrum disorder btw.

Here's a fun story: a few months ago my therapist suggested I go to a social anxiety support group and gave me the email address for the person that runs the group. I email this person and she responds by asking me to call or come in person so she can ask me about myself, my issues, and what I hope to get out of the group. The thought of answering open ended questions in person or over the phone made my anxiety shoot through the roof, so I asked if we could do that interview by email. She said no they prefer a phone call or in person. So I just never responded or called her. I have so much social anxiety that I couldn't get into a social anxiety support group lol.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:24 PM   #5
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

Dream Log

Tuesday, December 1

I'm standing in front of a large public high school. It's cold and raining. Tariq Trotter is the only other person around, he's wearing a backpack and holding an umbrella. He walks up to me, looking like he needs to say something to me. Then he walks behind one of those old timey Japanese walls that are made of paper and wood framed, so that I could only see his silhouette.

TT: You're doing it all wrong man.
me: Doing what wrong?
TT: Everything, your whole philosophy of life, trying to be completely immersed in reality, it's doing nothing for you.
me: But isn't that how I'd be able to see everything as it really is, without judgement or bias or attachment?
TT: Well, yeah.
me: so what's wrong with trying to see everything and everyone as they really are?
TT: How's that been working out for you?
me: So far not too good.
TT: Yeah.
me: Ok I think I might know what you're getting at. Are you talking about the research that has shown that happy people drastically overestimate their own abilities and intelligence, while depressed people are much more accurate at assessing their own abilities?
TT: Kind of, yeah.
me: But I thought eliminating all delusions was the key to happiness. That's what the Buddha says.
TT: Think about the happiest people you've ever met. Have they been totally in touch with reality? Or did it seem like their minds were always a little above reality, putting a positive spin on everything?
me: The latter.
TT: Exactly. You need to delude yourself. You need to lie to yourself. Not too much, just a little.
me: How do I do that?
TT: Think of it like this: keep your head in the treetops.
me: Treetops? WTF?
TT: You've been trying to keep your head on the ground, being perfectly connected to the earth and reality and everything. But when you do that, you can't see very far, you can only see what's right in front of you. And then all you can do is think about your own flaws and how you'll never do anything cool that's far away, because you can't see anything far away. But don't lie to yourself too much, you don't want your head up in the clouds, then you'd just be crazy and coldn't see anything real. If you keep your head in the treetops, you see more than just what's right in front of you, more than just the simple cold realities of everyday existence. But the tree is still connected to the ground, so you can still function perfectly well within reality.
me: Ok, I think I get it now.
TT: Do you know what Aristotle said?
me: No, I don't know anything about Aristotle.

Then the school bell rang, and TT said he needed to get to class.


Then I woke up. I jumped out of bed and looked up Aristotle on wikipedia, but I didn't see anything about something Aristotle said that was related to this idea of slightly deluding yourself in order to be happy.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:46 PM   #6
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

Dream log

Wednesday, December 2


I'm walking through the halls of the university my mom used to work at. I've been here thousands of times. When I was a kid I used to come here every day after school because my parents were too cheap to get a babysitter, so I'd sit in my mom's office and play minesweeper on a spare computer for 2 hours until she got off work and we went home.

I'm walking, and I'm angry. My blood is getting hotter with every step towards my mom's office. When I get there, I can't contain it, I explode with rage. "YOU'RE ****ING AWFUL YOU ****ING *****! YOU'RE A TERRIBLE MOTHER! YOU USED ME, MANIPULATED ME, YOU'RE A PEDOFILE! **** YOU!"

I turn around and walk away. I can hardly breathe, but it felt good to get that out. She deserved to hear it.

I'm walking back through the halls, and I try to go back the way I came, but I get lost. I go into a stairwell and go down, eventually getting to the basement. I see a room with a bunch of dirty old janitor supplies, and I run back up the stairs. Out in the halls again, I start panicking. I'm afraid. I'm lost. I don't know what to do.

And then I realize, it's because I'm on her turf. I'm lost and afraid because she's still in control. I can say whatever I want to her, but she still owns my mind.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:27 PM   #7
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

sup

re: social anxiety. I'm curious what your psychologist has to say about this. My suggestion is to just force yourself into social situations. Repeatedly. It might be something that requires a ton of effort and you may never completely rid yourself of it but maybe it becomes more tolerable the more you practice.

Also, craigslist seems like a bad way to find a job.
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:35 PM   #8
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

Exposure is the obvious solution, but it's so hard. That's why I really want to get a job, because it's much easier to talk when I'm in work related situations than in purely social situations. The catch 22 is that job interviews and meeting new people is the hardest and most anxiety provoking thing of all.

I actually just got back from my weekly psychologist appointment. Today we talked about the 4 basic types of communication: passive, passive aggressive, aggressive, and assertive. Assertive is the most healthy type, it's when you can express your wants and needs while being respectful to other people and not getting overly emotional. I think I can count on one hand the number of times in my life when I've been able to express my needs in this way.

With my parents I'm usually passive aggressive or aggressive. With most people I'm passive. Passive communication is basically saying as little as possible in order to end the interaction as quickly as possible. Completely ignoring my and the other person's needs/wants/feelings. I think the root of my impulse for passive communication is fear of saying or doing something stupid. Whenever I feel like I say something stupid I feel awful about it for a longass time, years in some cases.

As for craigslist, it's not a bad place to get a job, at least in my field, but not the best either. All the jobs I've gotten before have been through postings on the website of the trade school I went to.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:31 PM   #9
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

Exposure is great, but you need to find things that aren't too scarey, or you'll never follow through, and it can be hard to find a first step that doesn't feel like too big a leap. I lol'd at the social anxiety group story--not at you, but at the ridiculousness of how she managed to put up such a big barrier for anyone with social anxiety to attend. I'm sure you're not the first person who was hoping to just show up and sit there quietly and see what happens who backed out rather than have to talk to her in person.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:02 PM   #10
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

Quote:
Originally Posted by krunic View Post
Stats

Age: 32
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 128 lbs
Relationship status: single
Employment status: unemployed
Living situation: live with my parents

This will be a place to record my efforts to make my life suck less.

Ongoing goals

- Reduce crippling anxiety and depression, especially social anxiety
- Eat healthy food (no sugar, no PUFAs, no grains, moar veg)
- Go outside more than 1-2x a week
- Sleep at least 6 hours per night

Short term goals
- Reduce social anxiety enough to at least get a job
- Refrain from violence and hostility towards my family for the remainder of the holiday season

Long term goals

- Learn spanish
- Learn korean
- Learn tailoring and pattern cutting
- Spend less time watching janky tennis streams and/or staring at live tennis scores
- Work on mommy/daddy issues, such as my mother's covert incest and my father's emotional unavailability and raging
- Gain muscle mass
Bolded. O_o

Wish you good luck!
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:10 PM   #11
krunic
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

If your parents made you cry a lot while they were alive, you'll be relieved when they die.

If your parents didn't make you cry a lot while they were alive, you'll cry when they die.

Either way, they'll make you cry at some point. There's no escape.

I went outside 4 days this week. Got through thanksgiving without hostility or violence. Fistpump.

Last edited by krunic; 12-04-2015 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:06 PM   #12
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

Hi, I'm sorry to hear about what your family did to you Had you had any vivid memories of the incest before attending the psychologist, or was it discovered during the treatment? I'm asking this because I don't remember any instances of incest (as does nobody if it happened before the age of 5), but I behave much like an incest victim.

¡Buena suerte con todo, incluso el estudio de español! Necesito hacer lo mismo pero estoy muy vago
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:50 PM   #13
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

When I say incest I'm talking about covert incest, which is when a parent is in some way emotionally/verbally inappropriate in a sexual way and has a terrible sense of boundaries with their children.

Overt incest is when there's actual touching/molestation/rape.

Could you elaborate on what behaviors make you think you were an incest victim?

I talked about the specifics in a mental health thread I started in the EDF forum: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/79...hread-1563614/. That thread hasn't gotten much action, probably because of my ridic tl:dr op.

I'll copy/paste the relevant parts here:

Quote:
As for depression, we can skip ahead to about 1 year ago when I discovered a podcast called the Mental Illness Happy Hour. I started going through the archives listening to all the past shows. Episode #59 hit me like a ****ing truck. The host and the guest were talking about how both their mothers had terrible boundaries and were really inapropriate and abusive with them, in a sexual way. I just sat there listening to it thinking back to all the weird memories I had of my mother saying weird things to me. I had always tried to think of these memories as a variety of isolated incidents which I tried to shrug off and forget about. Now I recognized them as a pattern of behavior which was intended to use me and sexualize me from a very young age:

1. When I was around age 5 I remember being in the bathroom just after my mom had gotten out of the shower. She asked me if I "knew the parts of the body." I don't remember saying anything, so she proceeded to show me her vagina, like really up close, spreading it with her fingers. I just sat there not really knowing what to do, like am I supposed to comment on it? I remember thinking it was rather ugly. My mom is a redheaded 60s era feminist, so you can be damn sure a razor had never been anywhere near that area. It was like a big Carrottop afro of gross pubes right in front of my face.

2. Around the same age, my mom one day explained to me her vaginal hygiene habits in detail. I guess she thought this was an important thing for a 5 year old boy to know.

3. Around age 11-12 I was in the car with my mom driving and my brother (2 years older) in the backseat. I don't know how the conversation was steered this way, but I recall my mom saying "sex feels nice, you should try it!" I squirmed in my seat and felt awful and uncomfortable. My brother then said "mom why are you telling him this? He's too young." My mom responded by saying "what? sex is a natural thing, it's what people do." What I remember most from this moment was feeling so relieved that my brother also thought she was being inapropriate which meant I wasn't overreacting or being immature.

4. Another time about the same age I recall my mom driving me home from school one day (without my bro in the car) and explaining to me what the term "jailbait" meant, completely out of the blue.

5. Age 12-13, my mom repeatedly asked me if I was getting hair on my crotch. This always made me super uncomfortable and I never answered. The 3rd or 4th time she asked, I really started wondering why she was the only person who ever asked me this, and why was she so interested in it?

6. I was always very aware of how I was dressed whenever I went out of my room. I just had the sense that my mom would be looking at my crotch or something if I walked around the house in my underwear or with my shirt off.

I don't really know what level of pleasure my mom got out of doing this, but that stuff, in addition to her constant negative reinforcement, ****ed me up pretty good. She'll still occasionally look at my crotch in a weird way to this day. This **** combined with the autism is probably why I've always been freaked out at the idea of any kind of intimate relationship. Just typing the word intimate makes me cringe a little. intimate intimate intimate iiickkkkk

I haven't ever confronted my mom about it. I've been going to a psychologist for about a year now and I've talked a little about this with her.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:47 PM   #14
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

Those experiences of yours were very painful indeed

I'm glad that you've discovered mindful meditation, though. I haven't practised it enough for it to take effect, but it's well-known in the poker community that it helps.

The best punishment to our enemies is forgiveness.

It's great that you have the courage to acknowledge your issues publicly. I'm not at your level of bravery yet, so I still prefer discussing such matters via PMs
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:08 PM   #15
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

I would strongly urge you to talk about your issues with a psychologist if you haven't already. Or check out the book Toxic Parents.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:12 PM   #16
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

I'll try to post some more positive stuff here soon. I've been keeping a mood log for the last 5 months. It's a scale of 1-10 with 1 being "must go to nearest train station to jump in front of it" and 10 being "weeee I love life." Right now I'm at an 8. Lexapro is good stuff. I want to make it into a graph like people do with their poker swongs, only this is emotional swongs. I need to figure out how to make graphs with excel tho.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:35 PM   #17
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

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Originally Posted by krunic View Post
Or check out the book Toxic Parents.
It's not a news to me that I have a controlling mother (surely not a physical or probably not a sexual abuser, though I can't recall the early childhood), but I'll read the end of the book and try to find out how to deal with the situation. Thanks for sharing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by krunic View Post
I'll try to post some more positive stuff here soon. I've been keeping a mood log for the last 5 months. It's a scale of 1-10 with 1 being "must go to nearest train station to jump in front of it" and 10 being "weeee I love life." Right now I'm at an 8. Lexapro is good stuff. I want to make it into a graph like people do with their poker swongs, only this is emotional swongs. I need to figure out how to make graphs with excel tho.
That's a good idea too - you'll have a vivid tool showing how your 'winrate' improves over time!
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:13 AM   #18
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

Interesting thread.

Just some random stuff that I was curious about after reading:

Have you ever had a lucid dream?

Why do you dislike reading fiction but seem to enjoy watching it in movie form?

Have you ever read anything by Murakami?
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:33 AM   #19
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

Quote:
Have you ever had a lucid dream?
I'm not sure what the definition of a lucid dream is. A few months ago I read a few books about natural cures for anxiety/depression and in one of them there was something about how vitamin B6 helps you remember dreams, and a symptom of B6 deficiency is when you rarely/never remember dreams. I started taking a vitamin B complex supplement, and ever since then I've had much more intense dreams, and better recall of them.

Quote:
Why do you dislike reading fiction but seem to enjoy watching it in movie form?
I don't have a good explanation for why I don't like reading fiction. Maybe it's because I always have a list of 10-15 nonfiction books I want to read and if I start reading fiction I feel like I could be missing out on learning something really interesting. Movies I can watch when I'm tired at night, reading requires concentration.

Quote:
Have you ever read anything by Murakami?
No
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:37 AM   #20
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

A lucid dream is when you become aware that you are in a dream. When I was younger I would have them all the time, and then I'd be able to consciously do things within the confines of the dream.

I ask because my girlfriend at the time got me into lucid dreaming and the first step was trying to remember and write down all the details of your dreams.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:49 AM   #21
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

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a symptom of B6 deficiency is when you rarely/never remember dreams.
Wow, I was under the impression that it's normal, not a deficiency symptom.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:50 AM   #22
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

I think I can remember a few times where I've thought to myself "well this is just ridiculous, I must be dreaming" during a dream. But I don't think I've gone so far as to consciously alter a dream while it's happening.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:55 AM   #23
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

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A lucid dream is when you become aware that you are in a dream.
Does it count as a lucid dream when I realise that the events of a nightmare can't be real life, and 'decide' to wake up as a consequence (to avoid being killed in the nightmare)?

I thought that such closing thoughts, if not the whole dream, happen at the moment of waking up. What makes me think so is that often my awakening is apparently forced by an external noise (that keeps happening afterwards) instead of the body clock.
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:03 AM   #24
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

I think that would count as you are making the decision to wake up therefore you must be aware that you are having a dream before you wake up. The external noise makes it a bit more difficult though, have you been able to wake up without an external noise?

It's a pretty useful skill to have. When I was still able to dream on a regular basis I'd be able to recognize nightmares early on and I'd count to 3 and try to wake up on 3. It often didn't work the first try though. I also managed to change a recurring nightmare I had.

Anyways... if you are able to remember your dreams so vividly you might want to look into lucid dreaming and try it out.
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:07 AM   #25
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Re: krunic tries to suffer less

If you decide to take a B6 supplement, you should get it in the form of P5P (pyridoxal 5 phosphate) it's the best quality and most absorbable form of B6.

To get B6 from food you should eat garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and the world's greatest superfood: turkey liver!
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