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    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2014
    Well said, all of you! I won't add anything else, except to just say everyone just left a ton of REALLY great, really insightful advice.

    Good luck, David. It's shitty, but listen to the folks above. They just left some seriously sage advice.
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2014 edited
    I'm going to echo the really fucking solid advice everyone has been giving. I can't really seem to weave it in a solid few paragraphs, so I'll just boil a couple of points down that have helped me.

    - There's a difference between being unable to move on and being unable to move forward. Right now, just keep moving forward and eventually, over time, you'll move on. One day it'll start feeling less like going through the motions and more like you're actually living your life.

    - Learn to rely on YOURSELF for your own existence rather than someone else. This is something that took me fucking YEARS to figure out and work at. But when everything is gone all you have is yourself and you need to learn to live with that. Also, it is incredibly unfair to put your life happiness in someone else's hands. Especially if that person doesn't want that kind of responsibility.

    - You have have HAVE to respect her wishes. Don't attempt to contact her. Delete her number from your phone, remove her e-mail address from your account. I know you probably have both memorized, but still, DO NOT CONTACT HER UNLESS SHE CONTACTS YOU. Don't even contact the mutual friend. There's nothing shittier than being a go-between guy.

    - If you absolutely have to have some kind of confirmation of well-being, here's something I do: check out the national obituary list. If they're not on it? THEY'RE OKAY. It's not a response, but it's a way to know that they are at the very least alive, which is more comforting to know than nothing.

    - Once more, you HAVE TO RESPECT HER WISHES. Any attempts to talk it out will be met with bigger and bigger pushes away and a hell of a lot more resentment. If she wants to be friends sometime in the future, let her initiate talks. Otherwise, carry on like she is gone forever and go forward until you can move on (and then do both). You NEED to be in a better place with yourself. Work hard at work. Watch funny, distracting shit. Exercise. Play through your game backlog. Do it even though it feels like going through the motions because one day it won't.

    Good luck, David. A lot of us have been there.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2014 edited
    Hang in there, David. I know all about what your going through. It's a bit of a cliche, but when the pain of holding on is greater than letting go, then it's time to let go. Some good advice from oldhat up there. Sometimes we need to act our way into a better way of thinking. Our thinking won't change on it's own. The last time something like what is going on with you happened to me it felt like I was emotionally withdrawing from heroin - seriously. And everytime I wanted to get in contact via S.M.S or whatever, it was like trying to put off the pain I was inevitably having to go through. I had to go for total abstinence. Painful gear, indeed.

    Me - I'm in world-of-pain from bullshit dentistry and ill fitting dentures. I feel damaged. Destroyed. Traumatised. I soldier on to the bitter end, 'cos I refuse to go down.
  1.  (11211.84)
    David -- I had so many different things typed out but then realized that none of it would help in the current situation so I'll just echo what Oldhat said. I'd copy it almost verbatim as I think it's pretty damned good advice but that would be lazy of me so I'll just focus on the one thing that I see as a problem with way too many people...

    You can not put your happiness onto someone else.
    Yes, other people can make you happy but you can not depend on someone to do it for you. You want this girl to be happy, her happiness make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Obviously you were making her unhappy and therefore her cutting you off like that will make her happy. It sucks and it's probably difficult to see, but you not talking to her is kind of what you actually want.

    I won't pretend that I know what you're going through because everyone has their own emotions and deals with them in their own ways. What I can say is that I know what it's like to hold on to someone so tightly that they leave. You'll get over it, it might just take a while.
  2.  (11211.85)
    Thanks everybody. For not giving me quite the same bullshit platitudes that I've been getting from other corners.

    I know I need to not try to contact her for a good long while, but that's the one thing that I've never had complete control over myself in (the facebook post that set this all off was me explaining that I am literally addicted to her, and my fight or flight response completely takes over at the thought of not seeing her ever again). I've been trying to write something to try and apologize to her, and explain myself (and again, I am well aware that this is a thing that I shouldn't be doing. I'll try my best not to send it, but I need to get the thoughts out of my brain and organized in some form or they'll just keep running around in circles driving me even more crazy), and as I've been writing I realized that it's not her, entirely, that's been setting me off. My life as a whole has just gone off the rails ever since I got laid off in 2012. I'm not happy at the job I'm at, and I'm not having any luck getting back into the games industry (the last time I went through this with her I at least had a job that I liked working with people that I liked, and could try and bury myself in that to take the edge off. Current Job is so fucking boring that it's just eight hours of enforced 'locked in my own head' time), I don't have a place of my own (I'm getting paid just barely below what I need to move out comfortably), I don't have that many local friends, and I'm so frequently this shitty black cloud of depression that I largely avoid hanging out with them because I know I'm not any fun to be around when I'm like that (the worst irony of my depression is that when I most feel like I need to be around friends is when I'm least fit to be around them, and when I'm most happy I least feel like I need to be with anybody). And all that frustration and anger just builds up, and sometimes I set myself off and I break down, and sometimes she's the tipping point. But also sometimes she'd text me or I'd see her and get a smile and a hug and all the shit just evaporates, at least for a little while (a few weeks ago she texted me out of the blue. Just a link to an imgur gallery of those tilt-shifted deep sky objects. On one level I thought it was odd that she texted it to me instead of just posting it on my wall or something, but massively overriding that was that she saw something cool that she knew I'd like so she sent it to me. And I couldn't stop grinning for an hour. And two weeks after that was when she updated her relationship status, so confusion and freakout seem a little bit justifiable, imo.) The pain of holding on has never been greater than the pain of letting go with her. Because while holding on hurt like a sonofabitch, a lot of the time, every once in a while there'd be a ray of sunshine straight into the core of me that made the pain more than worth it.

    Don't even contact the mutual friend. There's nothing shittier than being a go-between guy.
    There's no chance of this happening. 'Mutual facebook friend' and 'mutual friend' are not quite the same thing. As far as I know, they're unaware of the history between me and her, and dragging them into that drama wouldn't make any sense. The burden is on me to figure this all out, and hopefully be able to have her in my life again someday, or at the very least get myself to a place where she doesn't hate me. And I nuked the facebook account yesterday anyway. Its entire purpose was to see her, and if I can't do that with it then it's less than useless to me. Everybody else on it that I care about knows how to get a hold of me through other means.
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2014
    @David, we're here for you: come vent, come get a sanity check, whatever.

    It sounds like you're making the right moves. Good luck, and keep it up. You've got this.
  3.  (11211.87)
    (she sent me a text) And two weeks after that was when she updated her relationship status, so confusion and freakout seem a little bit justifiable, imo.

    Wait... what? I'm sorry, but how does getting a text from a girl about something you would like mean that freaking out because she started dating a guy is a justifiable response?

    Maybe I should have kept some of the original stuff I had typed out to you... I'll give you the very harsh breakdown of it: Maybe you creeped her right the fuck out. Seriously. Reading the last two posts that you put up in here you come across as an incredibly creepy stalker.

    You seem absolutely obsessed with this girl and that is not a healthy thing. You might want to see a professional about what's going on in your head.
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2014
    @David, what @WarpedSavant said might seem harsh, but I think it is important to take this away from it:

    Maybe you creeped her right the fuck out.

    Regardless of your feelings, I think this is a VERY real possibility. Of course we;re only seeing your side of things, and you're being unfiltered because you're in this forum, but as a lady person who's dealt with some shit from exes and friends with unrequited crushes, being creeped out by this is kind of a natural response—ESPECIALLY when the person in question has such obviously intense feelings.

    What you outlined above? What your goals are? Those are good. Those will help you move on. Keep at it. But keep in mind what Warped Savant said, even though it seems harsh. The advice is still sound. Make sure that you seek outside help, professional or otherwise. It sounds like, based on what you said, there are some other frustrations in your life right now. Don't take on all of this alone.
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2014
    David - Do not contact her. Period. Come here. Yell, vent, post the letter you wrote for her. Whatever. Do not, DO NOT send it to her.

    If you really truly are unable to function without contact from her then you really truly do have a problem. And you should talk to a licensed therapist about it, not to her. It isn't her responsibility to save you from your depression.

    Believe it or not, I still totally understand the feeling. Where you are now is RIGHT where I was in 2007-8 and continuing on in 2009...It was touch and go for a while there, particularly when their engagement was announced, I was broke, in NYC and ready to throw myself off the fifth floor balcony of the building I was in. If I could have gotten some professional help I would have, but I didn't have a job. You do. If it comes with any health benefits, check into them.

    If you can stumble along without contacting her, then do that. We're here to help hold you up. When I was at my worst the single solitary thing that kept me from saying "fuck it, good night" to my life was my friends. In NYC Glukkake and her crew helped me to keep treading water, back in LA I felt face down in the dirt but my friends picked me up and forced me to keep moving. If you want, I bet us local LA peeps can pull some get-togethers every once in a while to all check-in, check out fun stuff... generally get out and about. I've hung out with you, dude, you're good people. So don't imagine you're alone, okay?
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2014 edited
    "but as a lady person who's dealt with some shit from exes and friends with unrequited crushes, being creeped out by this is kind of a natural response—ESPECIALLY when the person in question has such obviously intense feelings."

    Dork's words, I feel, are a reason why this topic is cutting pretty close to the bone with a lot of people on here. Let's see if we can move along from this conversation, but end it with this:


    Get some help.

    See someone, because right now you're in a situation that can lead to harming others and that is NOT GOOD. The fact that you see these things as completely reasonable and logical reactions is NOT GOOD. The fact that you are self-aware of these behaviours but claim to have no control of your actions is NOT GOOD. I think there are a lot of people here who have witnessed similar situations and they have never ended well if left to run its course. If you are not in control in an aspect where it is going to cause yourself and other people some intense emotional damage (or otherwise) you need to remove yourself from the situation and focus on getting better.



    Get some help.

    Move along, everybody.
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2014 edited
    [EDITED. I said move along.]
  4.  (11211.92)
    Move along, everybody.

    Yes, Ma'am. Moving.
  5.  (11211.93)

    I'm worried. About a number of things. My health and my future and the scope of my future getting smaller and smaller.

    My memory is really really shot. I am having a lot of trouble just thinking. I can't keep up with bills and doctor appointments and I lose hours of time often. I just can't remember words. Basic words. And names. My cognitive vision is way off. I can stare at something for a good minute before I'll actually translate meaning to it's form and register what it is. It keeps happening in small ways, and it's terrifying. I don't see something when I am literally looking right at it.

    Why is this happening? Well... That connective tissue disorder the geneticist thinks I have, well, it mostly manifests in arterial and intestinal rupture. Strokes are quite common. Also, years ago a brain specialist told my mother that her brain behaved as though she'd had a series of small strokes. I got an arterial scan of my brain a few months ago for this fancy headache specialist I'm going to tomorrow, and... I'm just a bit freaked out. Everything else I could sufferingly bear to witness degrade, but not my mind. Please. Not yet. Not yet. I've not DONE anything yet!

    And the fellow. He's awesome. He's offered cohabitation. We'd save money. I'd not have to deal with the strange passive-agressivities of a roommate who has the most maddening ability to go forth in all things with full conviction, yet half assed. I'd get to decorate. There'd be no cigarette smoke. But... he freelances. We'd both be home, 24-7. I get migraines, he's got Tourettes. I'm not sure this is a good idea. I'm still not sure that we aren't too similar, too scattered together. I feel like I'm often gathering him up, reminding, advising. I don't.... I don't want to be that person. I can't even take care of myself. I can't be that person. And I'm not sure that I'd even be this monogamous if I weren't so sick.


    But the fellow, he is awesome. And I am finding myself feeling a more confident person. More like my old self. I think I'm still riding on the joy of Christmas money, just enough to keep me from feeling so afraid and desperate for a little while. But I've been working at it. Trying to be more confident and care free, less self conscious and nervous all the time.

    I was welcomed and hugged when I visited WFMU last week, which was amazing. I really think I might have found my tribe of humans. They like me! The WFMU fundraiser is coming up, which is like a party of chaos for two weeks. I'm quite excited!

    The best of all, the headaches have finally seemed to back the fuck off. For the past three days, I've hardly had headache!
  6.  (11211.94)

    Apologies, I didn't see your last comment there, wrote the comment one foot out the door. Moving along.
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014 edited

    Overall, things are disgustingly good. Got my first raised pay, paid off the final bill of the dive school that's been sitting on my back like a VW Beetle full of clowns, and barring surprise disasters the next salary will actually make things look really nice. I've been exercising a lot, I'm in a better shape than I've been in this millennium, and losing weight fast. That combination has led into a series of "did I just do that O_o ?" moments, such as climbing down from a tree or something and lowering myself slowly with my arms, instead of just crashing down like a sack of potatoes and pulling four muscles, or just hanging on one arm on a climbing wall, stopping to chat with people. I'm regaining my body-awareness, which is tremendous fun.

    The relationship is going awesome, we have so much fun together. My time perception has flipped around: weekends feel like five day mini action-vacations with her, and the work weeks are just a short grey blur between them. The last weekend was pretty typical: Friday night we went to see the Lego movie, on Saturday we went bouldering, directly from there to have a buffet lunch and off to theater to see a play by Minna Canth, Worker's Wife, and in the evening some fun geekery at home; on Sunday a two-hour geocaching trip followed by lunch in the pop-up Restaurant Day, ie. some waffles in a church and blini's in someone's apartment restaurant, then to my place for a sauna and more geekery. During those times I forget to be worried about anything. There's just a bubble of closeness, adventure and awesome.

    Now, when I've finally had the chance to stop running my brain at 120% worrying about things and keeping stuff together, it seems that the exact thing I hoped to happen has happened: the creativity has rebooted in a pleasant way. I'm writing again, brimming with ideas and actually getting shit done while having fun. So far I have one short story coming up in an anthology that just went to print, a couple of drabbles in a story service our publishing co-op runs, I just signed up to write a chapter in a comic anthology and there are two IF games cooking on slow fire. I had to skip this year's Spring Thing competition, unfortunately, but I'm aiming at getting something to IFcomp, plus I'm aching to start studying Unity and to get non-IF games done. The marine biology papers we did have nudged forward, and we are founding a research group which has a good chance to get to travel abroad to do some underwater fieldwork on corals, and I'm a board member of the research diver association of Finland. Oh, and after some wrangling I got the Advanced European Scientific Diver license, so yeeeeeeah - the school is out!

    I've kind of reached where I've been clawing myself to be at for far too long, which feels awesome and scary at the same time.


    I have an attitude problem. Yeah, rly. Can't leave well enough alone. I've been in an alert mode for so long, feeling like I'm running downhill ahead of an avalanche and trying not to trip, that slowing down, sitting down and shutting up is providing to be a bit challenging in the brain department. I can't not be ready to pounce, my brain is just habituated to homing in on targets and demolishing them via impulsive decisions and burn-out manic effectiveness. Well, it's a number of years of high alert vs. a bit under two months of peacetime, so I'm trying not to be too hard on myself - but motherfuck I'm sometimes so fed up with how I'm wired. The most difficult thing is to stop looking three steps forward, but to take off the jacket and the shoes, to sit down and go "I'm here now. No dashing. Sit. Dine." Meanwhile my stupid brain is seeing bogeys and false alarms and figuring out all sorts of reasons to upend everything once again, since I may be missing some chance. I still keep snapping awake every night at five, brain ready to tackle some problem with finances or whatever, but less and less. Sometimes I can distract myself to thinking a story instead.

    Frankly, I'm quite confident a proper holiday would go a loooooong way to fixing this. The Christmas was awesome first aid, but my goddamn brain needs a reboot somewhere that's… not here, not doing the shit that I do.

    Adventure Girl is still busy at applying for work and teaching herself new stuff to increase her chances. I just have to admire her energy in that, that gal does not hug the ground under fire, but charges onward, riding a velociraptor, naked. She's taught herself a new programming language, a lot of other new technical stuff, and she keeps sending applications out like a machine gun, sometimes 18 a day. The job market is shit and I'm livid about the "no work experience => no work => no work experience" limbo that's the bane of very job applicant. There is a real change that the next person who says "a willing worker always finds a job" or something to that effect will get a fist on the face from me. Not even kidding about this. Let's not even talk about all the unemployment bureaucracy that literally makes it actively harder to get a job, since it's wired for the 70's/80's style of work life, not the modern times.


    @Rachæl: Yay at the no-headaches and getting your mojo back!
    @oldhat: It's really cool to follow you adventures in the beer bloggery, very happy to see it's going so well!
    @flecky: Uuuuh, tooth pain >.< I'm of the generation who's afraid of dentists since the school dentists had the methods and the bedside manner of East German interrogators back in the day, so just thinking about tooth pain makes me wince. Hope you'll get your Legos sorted out.

    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
    @Vorn: Mate, after what this butcher has done to me I feel like kidnapping the fucker and doing a remake of Marathon Man with him - without the relief of clove oil.
  7.  (11211.97)

    Most of it I suppose. Work going pretty well, or at least I'm loving the adrenaline of it even when it isn't... I haven't worked at this intensity or with this amount of tension for many years and I'm getting quite a buzz from it. Have managed to balance that with staying on an even keel mentally despite how gruelling it's been. I've been cooking again, for the first time in years (partner has slowly grown willing to let me use the bloody kitchen again because reasons) which is nice.

    And I finally got my holiday booked. I had 12 days that I had to book before mid March. I can carry 4, and I managed to negotiate 8 in the next four weeks, including tomorrow, after fretting that I was going to lose them. Plus that's six weeks leave next year.


    I started running, which was great, but then screwed up by running for a train in walking boots and a heavy rucksack and giving myself shin splints. I can't even bloody well walk to the office until it clears up, which has really pissed me off because I was doing so well and feeling so much better.

    Water... lucky we've had no flooding, but there's another leak in my Cave, and more mould. Some books have been damaged, a few of which I'm upset about. When it stops bloody raining I'll re felt the half that I didn't do before Christmas, but long term I need a better solution. But I also need a new car, and we need other work done on the house and I don't want any more debt.

    With work as it is, I've not been maintaining friendships or doing anything fun apart from just keeping on... need to fix that quickly. I have a habit of burning out when that happens and I really need to work on the balance.


    @David... good luck
    @vorn... Christ man, I kind of picture you (with a certain amount of admiration and awe) as some sort of polymath renaissance Moomin, you just seem to do so bloody much. Don't think there's any wonder that you're tightly wired...
    @Rachael... as always, I just hope you can find some stability and security, it just doesn't seem fair. But awesome about wfmu.

    Ps, how sodding hard can it be to resize a photo, upload it to WordPress, copy the link and paste it into here using an android tablet? Jesus... only because I am damn persistent...
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014 edited
    @JP: Hah, thanks :D Well, the gist of it is that I think I'm just a multi-mediocrity :) I dabble here and there, but since I don't (or maybe can't) really concentrate on any one thing, I'm not really particularly good at anything I do. I'm making my peace with it, and hoping I can get the brain weasels to pull on one direction at some time in the future :) And well, it keeps the life interesting.
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014 edited
    Vorn, clearly you are doing quite well at more than a few of those things.

    Oddbill wrote a bitslice newsletter about being a polymath a few years back. I still have it in a text file, refer to it when I feel like more of a jack than a master. The tldr of course is that the brain weasels know best:

    When you have a lot of enthusiasms, people will tell you that you need to focus. You need to just concentrate on one thing. You are too easily distracted.

    That's wrong.

    Some people are monomaniacal. They have one deep, abiding interest. They can dive down into it and never come up, and they can do fantastic things down there.

    But then there are other people, who are delighted by everything, and who want to try it all. That is not a failure of focus, it is a different personality. They are the ones who make connections between unlikely disciplines. They don't usually reap the full rewards of those insights. Reward reaping usually requires monomaniacal focus. But they feed monomaniacs new food. Monomaniacs deepen the human experience. Polymaths broaden it.

    Plus, look, it's in the Indie Band Survival Guide:

    None of the musicians we interviewed for the Guide rely on one project for their income. Most of them were working on many different projects beyond playing live, selling albums, and selling merchandise. For instance, Jonathan Coulton participates in the Popular Science magazine podcast at and licenses his music. Brad Turcotte of Brad Sucks maintains multiple Web sites including and also licenses his music. Grant Baciocco of Throwing Toasters writes and produces the multiple award winning podcast The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, does voice-over and acting work, and produces a podcast for the Jim Henson Company, among other projects. George Hrab is a drummer in a popular cover band that plays at weddings and corporate events, writes and produces his Geologic Podcast, and has written a book. The Brobdingnagian Bards produce a popular Celtic-music podcast called Celtic MP3s Music Magazine (in addition to four other podcasts and multiple newsletters), maintain multiple Celtic-music Web sites, and even have a comic book.

    Yeah, I know, long quote is long! But the point required some elaboration. Nothing I've read recently has given me as much moral support as the above quote. I'm all over the place. My biggest problem in getting things done has always been an inability to stay focused on just one thing. It took forty years, but I think I'm finally realizing that focusing on one thing is not my cognitive style.

    I'm nocturnal, I'm a polymath, and the world is not constructed to be kind to people like me.
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2014 edited

    A-yup, well written and a topic for which I've given quite a lot of thought too. I'd say the gist of things for me is that overall there's been rather little bang for the buck from all of the dashing I've done - in the sense of not "just" being involved in cool things and enabling some of them, but a personal satisfaction of doing something of mine. I've spent so much of my professional time telling about what cool stuff someone else is doing or assisting in it. I just have this damn need of going to the mountain and coming back with something that I myself made. It's not even about fame or attention or anything such - if anything the older I get, the less I like publicity. I just need to do it. That ship has started to turn only relatively lately, re: the novel, the first game, the feeling of being in a place where I can actually get shit done, not just plan it, dream it, enthuse about it and be totally frustrated of not finishing things. This just needs for me to fix the attitude problem and the action bias of always dashing towards the next thing (which, admittedly, has been a survival strategy of sorts because of reasons). I need to choose the sensible over the interesting in some things now, so I can get other, personally more meaningful stuff done. Old ingrained attitude problems die hard.</godawful introspection>