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Featured These "times" are destroying hope for me

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Vince, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Vince

    Vince Well-Known Member

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    Apologies for the length here, and the mood of despair contained within too. I'm kind of freaking out a little and hard to abridge. Much appreciation for any who take the time to read it all. ;)

    I haven't visited here for a minute so please excuse if some of this is old news.
    I am an old man so I've had decades to learn how to cope with living in the world. 40 years ago my autism was pretty obvious, but today I am actually pretty good at conversation even though it wears me out and I am now good enough at the "social graces" that I can get by. My stims are restricted to private rooms, etc. In other words, I have learned to acceptably mask and cope. I eventually found a job that pays pretty well, allows me to just do my work virtually alone all day long and leverages my advantage of being able to concentrate better than most on small details.

    I have always been quite a bit better than average, possibly very good (difficult to self-assess), at, with no fear, taking complex things "in" and assembling them first in my mind and then in the physical world. This has been a great advantage at my job. The process of doing this in my mind just happens all day long and never stops. If this was a problem I would have driven me crazy by now, so one can assume it's no big deal at my age. It's a very helpful advantage at my job. I can't remember the name of a person or movie or song more than a half day of first learning it (for example), but my mind has evidently traded that ability for one of assembling things together.

    However, and it has already occurred to some of you readers, that this can be a frequent problem at home. It's not quite the same as "perfectionism", but I do have a problem sometimes doing simple house projects and stuff just because, since the complexity thinking thing never really stops, projects stumble way too frequently before I start because I can always think of some step that happens later which I'm not quite prepared to get through yet.

    This is all just background. The current problem has to do with my stance regarding current society.

    In case you've been living under a rock: The big news is that the world has gone insane this past year in eleventeen ways. Since I am adept at thinking about everything several layers deep whether I like to or not, this happens when assessing world events as well. It goes something like: thing A happens, which was from cause 1, which flowed out from cause 2 and cause 3, and none of this would have been possible without thing B and C happening, which both come from cause 4 and 5, and cause 6 also contributed to thing C, etc. etc.
    The thing is, it seems so obvious to me that almost everyone on the planet from king to peasant doesn't bother to think past the top layer of anything, ever. This could be my own perception and not quite reality, but I tell you that's what it looks like to me. And of course my processing of this is an extra thick layer cake as well, whether I want it or not. Anyway, my point is that every single reaction, lie, maneuver and stupid decision you've heard about from the regular sources this whole past year is mostly caused by and certainly wouldn't have been possible without people from top to bottom, stem to stern, habitually thinking things through no more deeply than one layer in. It's no wonder that everything is falling apart right in front of our eyes all at the same time.

    But today is a landmark day. When I got home after work, I tend to talk to myself for a few minutes after I get out of the truck. It's not as much thinking things out loud but more a kind of free-associating vocalization of my feelings. My most common stim. Usually it's just a repeated word or two that goes on for an hour or so, but today it started out that way and I could hear that my voice sounded a bit more distressed. Not long into it I found myself talking in truncated sentences to my deceased Mother (who I still miss profoundly after several years) and saying I was so tired of everything and I'm just ready to go. I felt the core distress, but after voicing it I also felt a bit of relief. This wasn't suicidal thinking but rather felt more like acceptance I guess. Either way, it made me a little concerned. I haven't had time to think this through much yet. But I thought maybe posting this here might be a step into that and I wouldn't mind hearing some thoughts in reply, so feel free.

    My first layer in: I kind of feel like I can see the writing on the wall. It doesn't take a genius to look at what's been happening and tell from a mile away that it is extremely likely that we're only at the beginning of this. It's not like leaders, owners and their underlings will suddenly start acting with any wisdom. That's fantasy. And in case you're wondering, NO this isn't partisan politics or something. I pretty much despise the way political leaders from all sides have been incompetently & short-sightedly messing things up for decades. I'm an equal-opportunity complainer. Side effect of being old. Anyway, I am pretty good at thinking complex systems through and I do not see any way we don't end up going off the rails in 8 different ways at once and having things end up in a very rough condition. And even though I say it's just getting started, it looks to me that it's all going to come at us VERY rapidly. This isn't run-of-the-mill pessimism. When you haven't experienced disaster, and maybe even if you have, it's a human survival method to think "It won't happen to me".

    Humans have the potential for such great things. But here we are, worldwide, cowardly, lazily squandering every bit of that potential for some short-term, reactionary dopamine hit. Like a bunch of junkies. Honestly, if we end up extincting ourselves from this, we (as a whole) deserve every bit of it, don't we?

    In my mind, a picture that fits how I feel is what a lone, limping zebra must feel when it sees five lions coming in to pounce. I can't see an escape route, and today I realized that something shifted in a big way for me. I am really, really tired of the worry and honestly, profoundly disappointed with my fellow man. I'm not sure yet how I feel about it. Kinda hoping to get some other perspectives. I'd like to hear how other autistics are feeling these days. We're usually not great at dealing with people at best, and lately, factions have been changing the rules before we can even read them. For us, that's impossible to navigate. Anybody been through something like this lately and figured out how to come out uneaten on the other side yet?

    I wish I could think of a joke to lighten the mood here at the end, but I'm not good at remembering those either.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Let me think about this.......thinking.......thinking........thinking........thinking........ by George yes... the answer is (wait for it) (drum roll please)
    Only the strong and the clueless survive.
    That that that's all folks.

    That's the best l can do. Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.☺
     
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  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Times like this I like to recall a song made by Billy Joel. So much has happened to us over the decades, yet we're still here. Go figure how we survived it all. With a world that continually seems to go insane. As if we never learn from past mistakes.

    Even though we didn't start the fire either...yet there seem to always be those around to fan the flames, no matter how much we want the world to slow down so we can get off. I figure I have a few years left, no matter what hits the fan in the meantime.

     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 12:14 AM
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  4. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    I'm going to give the same bloody advice I always give in this situation despite that nobody ever listens:

    Stop watching the news. Seriously. Stop watching it, stop reading it, and so on. And before you say "but that's how you get caught up on events", let me stop you with a big fat "NOPE" and point out that the actual purpose of the news is to expose you to ads. It exists for, very literally, no other reason. And what's the BEST way to get people to CONTINUE tuning in, so that the sweet ad revenue keeps flowing? Prey on their anxiety. Do ANYTHING to make them more anxious. Ever notice how the news is almost entirely devoid of anything positive? That isnt because positive things arent happening... of course they are. It's because THAT DOESNT GENERATE RATINGS. Fear, anxiety, and arguements are what generate ratings (which is why politics is like more than half of the news, even when it literally accomplishes nothing whatsoever... it gets people arguing, and thus tuning in, so that's all they care about). There are amazing things happening out there, good things done by good people. But if you just sit there and stare at the accursed newsreels all the time, how are you ever going to find them?

    On top of that, they'll exaggerate and twist anything, or outright make stuff up. No, I dont mean the politicians. I mean the groups behind these news "services". Not exactly a new phenomenon. Been going on for a LONG time. If you want to be "informed", watching the news is pretty much the worst way to do it.

    Again, this news crap doesnt exist to inform you. It exists to profit off of you. Whether you believe this or not is irrelevant... it is simply how it works.

    If you want to learn more about the world, what it's REALLY like... dump the screen, dump the stupid newspaper, and for the love of all things puppy shaped get rid of the accursed phone that you may even right now be looking at. Get OUT there and experience the freaking world. And yes, I know, Covid. Still doable. Even I, an absolute hypochondriac, have still been able to get out there and DO stuff, completely safely. With the proper precautions, it's doable. ...And frankly it's just an overall less anxious experience with those precautions, even if not considering Covid. Seems to me we shoulda been doing this every flu season as that's always been bloody dangerous on its own, yet nobody ever thought about it.... but whatever.

    Also, another thing I say but nobody ever listens: GET A HOBBY. What? Already got one? GET ANOTHER ONE. This is, again, a lesson I learned the hard way: When you're stuck in a rut... aka, the same dumb loop over and over, never leaving your tiny little bubble... your mental health suffers. Eventually, it's going to reach a boiling point. You need VARIATION in your life. More activities. Activities that actually are mentally engaging, mind you. I dont mean "just sit there blankly and watch the screen". I mean activities that require truly active participation from you. Build model cars, write a book, make puppy sculptures out of dead leaves, I dunno. Just SOMETHING. This is going to have a huge effect on you, mentally. It's a way to introduce real positivity into your life. And, maybe, into the lives of others around you.

    And DRINK LOTS OF FREAKING WATER. I'm gonna take a wild guess and say your dehydrated. Why? Because nearly everyone is. It's one of those things where we are supposed to have a high level of water intake... but somehow, we simply end up not doing it, even when it's easy to do. And it doesnt help that people have this idea that drinking soda or alcohol somehow counts as proper water (hint: no). And being dehydrated affects EVERYTHING. Physical, mental, you name it. You wanna feel better, this is one of the biggest things you can do. A proper water regimen is not one bit easy to get onto, but holy heck is it helpful.

    Also if you drink alcohol, no matter how much or how little... stop. Entirely. I shouldn't have to describe why.


    Instead of sitting here and letting things that are specifically designed to prey on your negativity get to you (because again, that's very literally what that is meant to do), stand up, say "NOPE" and become a force of positivity instead. Dump the bloody news, have way less stupid screen time, stop scanning your phone, and all the other stuff I mentioned.

    Get out there and EXPERIENCE the world, for yourself, instead of merely listening to a bizarrely curated version of it. And take the right steps for your own physical and mental health.


    This is coming from someone who already went through all of this, which led to the worst anxiety attack I've ever had. Numerous people in my life... who are far wiser than I am... taught me much, and helped me get through it. I have nothing but free time, all the time, so I've had a lot of time to sit and ponder all of these things, and learn and experience more. That's where this all comes from.

    You can do it, you really can. But you cant just sit around and go "woe is me" and expect anything useful to happen. Nor can we here do any of it for you. It aint easy, but... hey, I managed it. If I can do it, you can do it.


    There, I'm done, again. I apologize if that was even more rambly and spiky than usual, I probably shouldnt have had all that caffeine. Anyway, I aint looking to get into a full conversation on this. Not this time... after all, I've got non-screen things I should be doing myself too. So I'm just gonna leave this all here, and it's up to you what you do with it, if anything.
     
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  5. Vince

    Vince Well-Known Member

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    Gotta say, that's both true and funny... and new to me as well. I will most definitely steal that.

    @ Misery... hmm. Haven't watched TV in years, never surf my phone, also don't drink (alcohol).
    I doubt drinking a glass of water will slow the apocalypse, but I can try it.
    I'm old so... I guess I just took a lot of words to say that I was startled to so abruptly have it hit me that I'm fine with reaching the last page when it comes down to it. The harder thing to deal with is not knowing how much misery has to be experienced in front of it. Wouldn't bother me so much if it wasn't so unnecessary. Just another day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 12:32 AM
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  6. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    What's with the 'old'? 57 isn't old, get a grip. As for talking to deceased persons and pets, that's a normal part of my life for sure, it can be very comforting and healing.

    Therapist Michael White wrote a paper on this, called Saying hullo again, he was pointing out that rather than saying goodbye to those who have died, healing often comes when we say hullo again, speaking with them and giving ourselves the gift of hearing what they have to say.

    Keep on talking to your mum, but don't forget to listen to what she has to say in answer. I'm guessing she's got some loving comments for you.
     
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  7. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Well that explains my survival. I'm in the latter group.

    OP: Not sure what to say, it's all pretty doomy out there, been that way for aeons.
     
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  8. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I watch TV and as far as the news, only really pick up bits and pieces.
    My house partner leaves the common area tv on all day on some new network, so I can't help
    hear some of it when I'm in the kitchen.
    But, as far as actually watching it myself, I don't. I find it rather boring and repetative.
    What ever I do see or hear may peak my interest, but, it doesn't affect my mood.

    I am far aware of what this planet and people are like. And like it or not, I have to live
    here since I was born on planet Earth and not Planet X in some far distant star system.

    I always like the old hippy poster:
    JPT.jpg
     
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  9. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    On one hand, sure.

    But... see, I could say most of that for myself, before I hit that point of a mega-anxiety-attack. I'm not old by any means, but I dont watch TV (at all, havent since the late 90s really), I have zero interest in politics so I dont bother with that (just a bunch of scandals about idiots arguing about nonsense to me), I dont go watching the news (because screw it), and my phone is basically just a glorified flashlight and a magical talking map... a safety device, you could say. I dont use it otherwise. I also have never had a drink.

    These things were all true BEFORE I had my anxiety attack. They had always been true.

    Color me shocked, then, to discover the very hard way that even DESPITE that, those elements I mentioned still managed to be a factor. I brought them up in a very direct way simply to make a very direct point, but... well, the fact that you're in this state at all shows that they hit you in the same way that they did me regardless of your habits. That's part of what makes some of the stuff I brought up so... nefarious. It aint as simple as whether or not you load up your PC and decide "I'm going to look at awful stuff on Yahoo now". If it was that simple, those news companies wouldnt be as powerful as they are.

    One way or another, the given advice stands as is, even if you have to substitute the occasional word to fit the fine details of the situation.

    My point is: You've allowed yourself to be pulled into a dark place. I know, because I did the same thing, made the same mistake. It's such an easy mistake to make. But it doesnt have to be that way. There's more to the world than this nonsense, so much more. Incredible things out there that can bring real light into your life.

    But if you sit there with this "woe is me" attitude, this non-stop dark outlook... well, the light could be right up in your face and you're still not going to see it. THAT is the hard lesson I had to learn. I wasnt able to turn myself around and get out of that downwards spiral, before learning these things.

    Again, you can always come here to talk to people if you're feeling down. But that alone isnt enough. Stand up and cut the dark elements out of your life. Whatever the specifics are of the form they take, they are very clearly there... I know, because I went through it, despite having very similar "I dont do X things" traits as what you mention.

    In the end, all I'll say is: Just consider it all. It aint something that you can fix in yourself in the space of a day. I cant give you a magic instant solution. For me, this took a good few months to really overcome and defeat. It's also not something that can be beaten with mere discussion. You have to ponder and figure this out for yourself... this is the absolute limit of the advice I can give.

    But you CAN do it.... IF you allow yourself to. I promise you this. Take it from someone who has, again, already been there. And based on what you said... my version of this ordeal is way closer to your version than I'd originally guessed, minus the age aspect.

    That's enough outta me though. Wasnt originally going to add more, but with the parallels to the extreme specifics of what my own ordeal involved, I had to say at least that bit.

    Good luck to you, sir.
     
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  10. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    Wait, who uses Yahoo anymore?
     
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  11. oregano

    oregano is plotting his escape

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    I see the same things that you do, @Vince. I am trying my best to avoid the worst of it. I have been preparing since 2015 and have some remote land and will soon build an off grid cabin. I hope to live alone and as independently as possible.

    The frustrating part is the people, including my mom and other relatives, who keep saying "oh everything will be fine in the end, it will work itself out, blahblahblah" and they refuse to look at the evidence of a planet rapidly running out of resources to support a population that grows by over 100 million A YEAR. (For most of known human history, the number of humans on the entire planet at any one time was 500 million.)

    The ones I feel sad for are the zoomers (GenZ) who will be stuck with the consequences of actions taken well before their parents were born. In Argentina they refer to the generation born after that country's 2001 collapse as "estan jugados", literally "they're played out". As an Argentine blogger once said, "their dice has already been thrown for them and they lost". That's what the zoomers face.

    I don't panic like I did when I was younger, but over my life there have been FOUR "once in a lifetime" economic crashes. I'm surprised that hyperinflation hasn't hit yet. I won't be able to navigate a collapsing civilization, so I will remove myself from it.
     
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  12. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Interesting Vince, I too talk to people who are no longer around, especially my Father. He would have said: "Get a grip on yourself Mia." A man who floated in a life preserver in the north sea during WWII, when his ship was torpedoed and he was eventually rescued.

    Recall the lowest point in my life, had just adopted a puppy rescued from a puppy mill. She could barely walk, was sickly, and I was bottle feeding her several times a day. I would hold her up in a bathtub filled with water so she could strengthen her legs. And then the power in my apartment went off, no heat, no hot water, ice filmed the inside of my apartment windows. No way to stay warm, everything was electrical.

    The only thing that worked and was not frozen was my landline. It was a cold winter, and when I went outside I found that my car had been destroyed by shelves of ice falling from a neighbouring building. Both front and back windshields were shattered and it was caved slightly in the center, unusable. So, I went to get cash at the ATM, they were all down, so no cash as well. I wandered a city where shocked people looked like ghosts. That night I slept in my apartment's closet with two sleeping bags and a woolen hat and mittens, the puppy bundled up inside with me.

    It took me two days to come out of the shock and realize I had more camping equipment. Pitched a tent in my kitchen, made it nice and warm with blankets and sleeping bags. And pulled out (My Dad's) old camp stove and cooked outside on the balcony. I could survive and so could my puppy. I watched her resilience and strength grow as she learned to walk and play, she never gave up, no matter how many times she stumbled and fell over.

    What were going through now is far easier measured against that. I'm comfortable, I have food, warmth, and were relatively safe if were careful. I'm under a strict curfew here, no one out after eight at night, which means no noise, I've been sleeping far better than I have in a long time. I've stopped doomscrolling and that's helped as well. The machinations of government and politics in general no longer call to me, my life is quiet and purposeful without it. We simply go on.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021 at 4:38 PM
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  13. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    Advise caution. The news agency are expert manipulativers. Propaganda is everywhere these days.

    Not sure what comes next. Doesn't matter I guess. Life goes on until it doesn't.
     
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  14. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    This is an interesting open post. My co-worker said her family up and bought land in Maine and are moving there to be self-sufficient. I kinda felt something was coming down the pipeline two years ago. l knew it wasn't weather related. It was all l could ("see"). I also felt like LA was the last place l should be in to weather the "storm". Decided l would be better off in a different state. l also kept feeling that riots were going to be an issue. My girlfriend remembers me telling her this before they happened.
    Now if l could only figure out the lotto. haha. No such luck. By the way, l had no idea why there were going to be riots. Only knew that it was going to happen and l had a feeling of something major. Still very vague though.
     
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  15. Vince

    Vince Well-Known Member

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    Well another day has passed. Pros & cons.
    Pro: I'm no longer concerned about my thinking. I still feel pretty done with all this and accept that whenever my end comes, life has been plenty long enough for me. Not welcoming that, not going to speed that up, just no big deal anymore.
    Con(s): Today I've just settled in to what, in my mind, seems an unavoidable fact. That being that people are complacent and reactive, pounce on the first conclusion that pops in their mind, and have nearly zero skepticism but rather believe things after a first hearing or reading - This at a time when almost entirely every institution is either 1) to a smaller degree simply incompetent and spouting out things as fact when they don't even know or 2) to a much larger degree outright lying on purpose for their own malevolent intent. Not a good recipe for success.
    If you think I'm wrong, you might be part of the problem. Honestly, even in replies to this very thread, there are a number of examples of taking what I said and jumping on some conclusion that assumes knowledge of what I think and how I live or interpreting what I wrote in something skewed toward the worst possible way rather than making an effort to think of other, more charitable ways to take it. This is extremely common these days.

    So I've pretty much settled into just being generally angry and disappointed in the human race, but that's pretty much my regular daily posture so...
    And don't take that the wrong way... Anything I read here is a nearly insignificant part of why I'm so down on people. Also, I'm of course not referring to everyone here, so if you want to think I'm talking about you, just assume it's one of the others and you'll probably be more correct. I'm aware that I'm kind of lashing out, but I sincerely have no interest in insulting anyone.

    Also, barring some sea change, I probably won't be showing myself around here for who knows how long. So if I could offer any advice it would be:
    Nowadays, it would behoove you to be skeptical and assume everything you hear or read is probably not correct at best, and very likely a lie if the source is any institution. None of them are credible anymore, and I mean NONE of them.

    Best wishes.
     
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  16. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    Does that include wolves? We're fluffy you know.:p
     
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  17. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    l do agree with you. l believe the digital age created a better way to frame the untruths and fake news, something we never dealt with prior. I also feel people are unprepared to handle this. In other words l read your post to say trust no one, many of us here do know this.
     
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  18. FreeDiver

    FreeDiver How long can you hold your breath? V.I.P Member

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    Apparently, some people do. Otherwise, they would be gone by now. Heck, even AoL is still around today.
     
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  19. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    This is dead on. The point is America has swallowed a giant denial pill and the corporate structure just moves forward sucking the resources dry, and the government functions as the absent parent just enabling the cannibalism of our valuable resources. There are no check and balances and nobody to report it even if we had accountability. It feels like the common man is on the depreciating side of the outcome.
    Then throw in the mad hatter who tweets all day, and like a stubborn twit, incites riots because the minute he leaves office, he will have debt collectors banging on his Largo door.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021 at 12:08 AM
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  20. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't think the choices are as stark as some here are portraying them. Where's the will here to imagine and work towards something better? The idea that oh, things look bad, I ll go off on my own and absent myself from it all is part of the problem, not part of a solution.

    People saying this could maybe take more responsibility, and look for ways they can have a part in changing what they don't like. I personally don't respect armchair doom predictions from people who have been sitting at home reading a book. Get involved and do something! Too much ruminating and talk, not enough actions to change what you feel is the problem. Perhaps inertia is the problem.
     
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