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  1. #1
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Default Escapism (and ignoring real problems) vs Facing reality (and suffering for it)

    This is who I am
    Escapist, paradise seeker
    Farewell, now time to fly
    Out of sight, out of time, away from all lies

    A nightingale in a golden cage
    That's me locked inside reality's maze
    Come someone make my heavy heart light
    Come undone, bring me back to life
    It all starts with a lullaby

    Nightwish - Escapist
    Will you protect me from the cold?
    Will you shelter me?
    Will you dry my tears when reality is hurting me?
    Hold me when I'm falling?
    Leave my world for to be with you

    As I'm facing reality, leaving my own world
    Gazing towards the velvet sky
    Bury the dreams that I once had for to fall into forever sleep
    Facing reality

    Imperia - Facing Reality
    As some of you know, I've been going through some difficult times recently, and I've tried different way of coping with that, but they all seem to come down to either trying to find a distraction and escape the pain of daily life by trying to immerse myself in other worlds (books, movies and video games etc), or to try to face reality, but that means being faced with a problem that my actions alone feel powerless to solve (I can do things that _might_ make a difference, but I have no way of knowing if my efforts will be in vain or not, and it could be weeks, months or even years before I know if those actions will have enough impact to make a difference).

    When my troubles are relativly minor, the balance between escapism and daily life does not seem to be much of an issue because even if I stay in a virtual world for a long time, I'm not neglecting serious problems. But when I do have serious problems, the temptation to escape from having to deal with them is even stronger, but the price for doing so is also higher in that doing nothing about my problems is pretty much a gauranteed way to not solve them...

    I guess I don't really have a question, I just wanted to write about what I was thinking, and I'm sure others have experienced similar internal conflics as well, so comments are always welcome.
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
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  2. #2
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenebrousReflection View Post
    As some of you know, I've been going through some difficult times recently, and I've tried different way of coping with that, but they all seem to come down to either trying to find a distraction and escape the pain of daily life by trying to immerse myself in other worlds (books, movies and video games etc), or to try to face reality, but that means being faced with a problem that my actions alone feel powerless to solve (I can do things that _might_ make a difference, but I have no way of knowing if my efforts will be in vain or not, and it could be weeks, months or even years before I know if those actions will have enough impact to make a difference).

    When my troubles are relativly minor, the balance between escapism and daily life does not seem to be much of an issue because even if I stay in a virtual world for a long time, I'm not neglecting serious problems. But when I do have serious problems, the temptation to escape from having to deal with them is even stronger, but the price for doing so is also higher in that doing nothing about my problems is pretty much a gauranteed way to not solve them...

    I guess I don't really have a question, I just wanted to write about what I was thinking, and I'm sure others have experienced similar internal conflics as well, so comments are always welcome.
    I have definitely done this myself. This is part of why I avoid MMOs now because I would totally lose myself in that world for far too much time.

    For me, what changed was being forced to face reality with no choice otherwise. After that, playing video games and losing myself in that world no longer holds a strong appeal. Even now I can play a video game for maybe an hour and then I am done with it and want to go off and do something else instead. When a few years ago I could play marathon 8-12 hour sessions without much of a break and not even realize that time had been passing. (I think it would probably be extremely creepy to have been able to watch myself do that... barely moving in one place for that much at a time .)

    Do you have any friends/family that you can utilize to help you with problems? It is very difficult for me to externalize what I am thinking a lot of the time, but I have slowly gotten better about being more open to select people.

    you aren't alone.

  3. #3
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    A good thing to realize longterm maybe is that there are not only those two alternatives life has to be composed of
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  4. #4
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Ya, I used to be hooked on MMOs, and I've broken and un-broken that addiction several time sin my life. At the moemnt I am MMO free tho.

    To have any chance of favorably resolving the problem most important to me, I first need to resolve being unemployed (friends and family are supportive, but there is little they can offer as far as actual help) which is where the feeling of futility comes in. I've attended several unemployment help workshops and I do feel like I've improved my resume and I'm better prepared for interviews and stuff like that, but it just feels like whatever I do, its not enough to make a difference in actually getting a job again, and even if I do find a job, it might not provide sufficient income for resolving my other concerns.

    This is further compounded by the consideration that for my life to move in the direction I want it to, I am determined to find a job in a specific region which is a small college town area, but I do not yet live there, so I'm applying for jobs ~80 miles away across the state line, and I feel like at least some of them are looking at my application/resume and discriminating based on geography, so I'm also trying to find a place to live over there in hopes that doing so will put me on fair ground for job applications after that (but for now I'm still in the applying for an apartment phase which being unemployed does not work to my advantage either).

    I have decided that going back to school is probably my best long term option, but having to wait 4+ years (everybody wants a Bachelor's (or higher) on applications for anything decent nowadays) for it to be of value in fixing my problems does not help alleviate much stress on my part right now, and I'm also concerned that if I go back to school int he same mental state I've been int he last couple months, I will not be able to focus enough on school to make it through that.

    For now, I can apply for jobs and make plans for a future that is very uncertain, but that really feels like the extent of my ability to to influence anything.

    While these might not be the only alternatives in life, the problem for me is that in my current state of mind I am very prone to all or nothing mentality in whatever I'm doing at the moment (total immersion in a fantasy world or total focus on worrying about dealing with my daily reality).
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
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  5. #5
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    I am not big on this but usually when my girl is like that its because she thinks too much and does too little. It gets better for her if she's actually involved into something again and thats basically what you want too. Could you loan some money and make a big leap to a major city and try to get a bad paid job there to work your way up. Then maybe go to school / work parallely that gives you the advantage of not having to hang out for too long at the same place a week and you have different challenges. Then find a partner in the big town, found a family, settle down... so on ?
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    I am not big on this but usually when my girl is like that its because she thinks too much and does too little. It gets better for her if she's actually involved into something again and thats basically what you want too. Could you loan some money and make a big leap to a major city and try to get a bad paid job there to work your way up. Then maybe go to school / work parallely that gives you the advantage of not having to hang out for too long at the same place a week and you have different challenges. Then find a partner in the big town, found a family, settle down... so on ?
    that's a very astute observation there. that's exactly my problem too right now.

    @TenebrousReflection : sorry for hijacking this moment from you, but it struck me too.

  7. #7
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenebrousReflection View Post
    Ya, I used to be hooked on MMOs, and I've broken and un-broken that addiction several time sin my life. At the moemnt I am MMO free tho.

    To have any chance of favorably resolving the problem most important to me, I first need to resolve being unemployed (friends and family are supportive, but there is little they can offer as far as actual help) which is where the feeling of futility comes in. I've attended several unemployment help workshops and I do feel like I've improved my resume and I'm better prepared for interviews and stuff like that, but it just feels like whatever I do, its not enough to make a difference in actually getting a job again, and even if I do find a job, it might not provide sufficient income for resolving my other concerns.

    This is further compounded by the consideration that for my life to move in the direction I want it to, I am determined to find a job in a specific region which is a small college town area, but I do not yet live there, so I'm applying for jobs ~80 miles away across the state line, and I feel like at least some of them are looking at my application/resume and discriminating based on geography, so I'm also trying to find a place to live over there in hopes that doing so will put me on fair ground for job applications after that (but for now I'm still in the applying for an apartment phase which being unemployed does not work to my advantage either).

    I have decided that going back to school is probably my best long term option, but having to wait 4+ years (everybody wants a Bachelor's (or higher) on applications for anything decent nowadays) for it to be of value in fixing my problems does not help alleviate much stress on my part right now, and I'm also concerned that if I go back to school int he same mental state I've been int he last couple months, I will not be able to focus enough on school to make it through that.

    For now, I can apply for jobs and make plans for a future that is very uncertain, but that really feels like the extent of my ability to to influence anything.

    While these might not be the only alternatives in life, the problem for me is that in my current state of mind I am very prone to all or nothing mentality in whatever I'm doing at the moment (total immersion in a fantasy world or total focus on worrying about dealing with my daily reality).
    You should absolutely move to that town or at the least get a PO Box so you can use it as your mailing address on resumes. With the economy the way it is, being 80 miles away from a job you're applying for is just way too much of an obstacle. Also, why are you set on that particular small college town? There are lots of small college towns in America, especially in New England and the eastern seaboard in general. Are you perhaps getting hyper focused and hung up on details rather than expanding your search range?

    What is it exactly that you want to do in life? You could technically start working very soon (depending on how big an area you live in now, I live in a very populated metro sub/urban area) with the holidays by working part time in retail or picking up work as a data entry or reception particularly through a temp agency. Most likely these are not jobs or job functions that you want long term but in the interim you'll get a pay check and being 'currently employed' goes a long way with employers. Being 'currently employed' makes you more employable. As long as you don't get stuck being underemployed and keep pushing for the job you want it's a good option. You'll also feel empowered and get back in the swing of being active as opposed to letting your mind eat itself.

    Small college towns are generally very affordable (compared to their counterparts in larger cities and metro areas) so with the paycheck from those temp jobs you should be able to at least rent a room in the town you want to set roots in.

    Hope this helps!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze
    You should absolutely move to that town or at the least get a PO Box so you can use it as your mailing address on resumes. With the economy the way it is, being 80 miles away from a job you're applying for is just way too much of an obstacle. Also, why are you set on that particular small college town? There are lots of small college towns in America, especially in New England and the eastern seaboard in general. Are you perhaps getting hyper focused and hung up on details rather than expanding your search range?
    For the last 3 or so years of my life, my life has centered around one person (my Ex-Fiancé who is now "just friends", but still my best friend) and as a result of that, all the new friends I have mad have also been in that town or one of the towns very near it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze
    What is it exactly that you want to do in life? You could technically start working very soon (depending on how big an area you live in now, I live in a very populated metro sub/urban area) with the holidays by working part time in retail or picking up work as a data entry or reception particularly through a temp agency. Most likely these are not jobs or job functions that you want long term but in the interim you'll get a pay check and being 'currently employed' goes a long way with employers. Being 'currently employed' makes you more employable. As long as you don't get stuck being underemployed and keep pushing for the job you want it's a good option. You'll also feel empowered and get back in the swing of being active as opposed to letting your mind eat itself.
    Some would call the town where I live a large one (population of ~208,000 + another 89000 in suburbs), but compared to major national cities, medium is probably a good size description for it. I have applied to retail jobs both in my current town and over there, but I have no retail experience (I did get one interview, but did not get that job). I've also gone through temp agencies, but the job market for them has also been very dry so they have not had new assignments for me (my previous job was a 15 month temp job that was a very good gig with great co-workers, but alas it did not last). My previous training is a 2 year degree in accounting, but even entry level jobs in that field want a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience and I've never been able to get the experience to offset that, so its been a dead end field for me (and I also found that the aspect of the field I did like were just the entry level stuff, not the career oriented aspects I'd be stuck doing if I went back to get a bachelor's in it). There are lots of jobs I don't mind doing (to me, job satisfaction has more to do with my co-workers than the actual job, but then again I've never had a job where I actually enjoyed the job itself), but there really isn't a job I want that I'm qualified for, and I had been thinking about going back to school for quite a few years, its just been something I kept putting off for the time investment needed (and I'm not a big fan of being in debt either), but now it seems like there are more good reasons to do it than to put it off.

    I like helping people on an individual basis and I like solving problems, so psychology or sociology both interest me, but you need a PhD in Psychology to do just about anything with the education and Sociology is pretty iffy on actual employment potential when you compare graduate rates to job availability. My plans are not final, but for now I'm leaning very strongly toward Electrical Engineering which is intellectually stimulating and has some good employment options in the region, but I am partially color-blind, so that may be a barrier to entry into that field or program (I'll want to talk to the instructors about that before I make any final decisions).

    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze
    Small college towns are generally very affordable (compared to their counterparts in larger cities and metro areas) so with the paycheck from those temp jobs you should be able to at least rent a room in the town you want to set roots in.
    That is the case with my target destination, lower cost of living than where I live now, but also lower wages for a lot of the jobs there too so it evens out and might actually be a benefit if/when I get a better paying job (after I go back to school and graduate)

    Quote Originally Posted by Entropie
    I am not big on this but usually when my girl is like that its because she thinks too much and does too little. It gets better for her if she's actually involved into something again and thats basically what you want too. Could you loan some money and make a big leap to a major city and try to get a bad paid job there to work your way up. Then maybe go to school / work parallely that gives you the advantage of not having to hang out for too long at the same place a week and you have different challenges. Then find a partner in the big town, found a family, settle down... so on ?
    As Saturned pointed out, you do make a good point about it having to do with thinking too much. Once I get started on something else, its a good thing because it serves the purpose of distracting me and is hopefully also productive for something (going ot the job workshops worked great for that, but I've now taken all the ones they have to offer ). Today has been a good day as far as not being pre-occupied with negative thoughts all day (I also found several decent jobs to apply for last night, so thats probably done a lot for my state of mind today), but once I get in that rut of negativity it can be very hard to get out again and I never know how I'm going to wake up feeling each day...

    Major cities are nice to visit, but they are places where I really don't want to live and work. In addition to the reasons above for my decision of where I want to live, I really like the calm peaceful atmosphere that small towns have as opposed to the frenetic pace of even a medium size city like the one I live in now. I do want to settle down and live the rest of my life there (whether its as a single person or with a partner is up to my ex deciding if she ever wants me back or not)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned
    sorry for hijacking this moment from you, but it struck me too.
    I have no objection to tangents, but I don't think it really was a tangent as it is a good point and still relevant to the issue of dealing with those states of mind.
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
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  9. #9
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenebrousReflection View Post
    For the last 3 or so years of my life, my life has centered around one person (my Ex-Fiancé who is now "just friends", but still my best friend) and as a result of that, all the new friends I have mad have also been in that town or one of the towns very near it.
    Hmmm, this is a flag to me. You concentrated your life on a location 80 miles away from you? Why didn't you move there sooner? If you are looking for progress I'd say even a whole new fresh start may be in your best interests. It may be a lot less energy and more invigorating.

    I took an accounting class in community college, years after I got my BA in 'political science' when I was contemplating changing job tracks. I think if work is that hard to come by in your town I'd try volunteering. I met a guy who was a volunteer counselor while he was working on his degree in counseling. It was a slow process and in the meantime he was an au pair or basically live-in help for a wealthy family. While you are in school (if you are) leverage your teachers as resources and see if they can hook you up with paying or non paying gigs or can mentor you or introduce you to someone who can.

    And the irony of getting retail jobs is usually you need previous retail experience. What really helps though is just having references and other kinds of long term employment/volunteer gigs that show that you are responsible and will not steal. And since it's the holidays, stores generally hire more people around now. Once you can even have that on your resume and that retail reference (just to confirm you really worked there) you can keep picking up work. Or as a server. You can also check craigslist for 'unusual jobs' like helping someone organize their CD collection, building a computer rig, helping people pack. I've done all sorts of g-rated hustling for odd jobs including pet and house sitting, sitting on focus survey groups, helping people pack, etc. You can start out on craigslist. As a pet/house sitter once you get 1 legit gig and reference things steamroll. I've had to turn down people because I didn't want to do this as a main source of income but as a side job it's lucrative and relatively easy to do. There are also lots of neat ventures that are basically volunteer but will give you great experience in accounting, programming, marketing, basically the career skills that you want long term. Granted, this is more likely the larger your city is. In the bay area, start-ups abound so it's very easy to find non-paying gigs and opportunities.

    I sympathize with you, I can imagine it's hard finding work but if you try a non traditional approach to looking for work like some of the things I mentioned, it should help.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Hmmm, this is a flag to me. You concentrated your life on a location 80 miles away from you? Why didn't you move there sooner? If you are looking for progress I'd say even a whole new fresh start may be in your best interests. It may be a lot less energy and more invigorating.
    A big part of the problem is that I a homeowner and I did not have any luck selling my house. I've finally got a rental agreement set up with family for when I move now, so assuming I pass the credit checks and my income from unemployment insurance is sufficient for them and all that (which I know is a big "if", but I do have good credit, so I'm hoping that counts for something), I can at least focus on finally moving now (being in a position of having to pay double rent really limited my options, but I had still been searching for jobs over there for over half a year). Sometimes I can be too patient for my own good, and I do regret not putting even more effort into moving earlier, but I can't change the past.

    There are times where I feel very strongly that somehing is "the right thing to do" and this is one of those times. I know myself well enough to know that I will regret this the rest of my life if I don't do everything I'm capable of from this point forward, but thats mostly "hurry up and wait" situations where I've done what I can and find myself with more freetime than I'd like and I can't always find productive things to do and keep my mind occupied which is where the original sentiment comes in.

    The idea of starting over is one that seems logical, but doing what feels like the right thing is more important than logic to me right now. It ha been my personal expereince that following logic has lead to far more regrets than listening to my heart.

    I took an accounting class in community college, years after I got my BA in 'political science' when I was contemplating changing job tracks. I think if work is that hard to come by in your town I'd try volunteering. I met a guy who was a volunteer counselor while he was working on his degree in counseling. It was a slow process and in the meantime he was an au pair or basically live-in help for a wealthy family. While you are in school (if you are) leverage your teachers as resources and see if they can hook you up with paying or non paying gigs or can mentor you or introduce you to someone who can.

    And the irony of getting retail jobs is usually you need previous retail experience. What really helps though is just having references and other kinds of long term employment/volunteer gigs that show that you are responsible and will not steal. And since it's the holidays, stores generally hire more people around now. Once you can even have that on your resume and that retail reference (just to confirm you really worked there) you can keep picking up work. Or as a server. You can also check craigslist for 'unusual jobs' like helping someone organize their CD collection, building a computer rig, helping people pack. I've done all sorts of g-rated hustling for odd jobs including pet and house sitting, sitting on focus survey groups, helping people pack, etc. You can start out on craigslist. As a pet/house sitter once you get 1 legit gig and reference things steamroll. I've had to turn down people because I didn't want to do this as a main source of income but as a side job it's lucrative and relatively easy to do. There are also lots of neat ventures that are basically volunteer but will give you great experience in accounting, programming, marketing, basically the career skills that you want long term. Granted, this is more likely the larger your city is. In the bay area, start-ups abound so it's very easy to find non-paying gigs and opportunities.
    Volunteering is something that they suggested in my job search classes as well, and it does seem lie a good idea, but its one of those things I'll feel more comfortable looking into after I've moved.

    I do have over 11 years of employment history, and my resume has a lot of diverse skills to offer, so at least I'm not starting from scratch in this economy, but having experience in just tech support, office and clerical work does hold me back for jobs that want experience in other specific fieds like retail, but I think/hope its just a matter of time before someone gives me a fair chance to prove myself again.

    Craig's list is part of my normal job search bookmarks, but I usually just look at the specific job catagories, but the part time and miscelaneous stuff might be more worthwhile when I don't have travel costs to worry about so thats a good suggestion I'll keep in mind.

    I sympathize with you, I can imagine it's hard finding work but if you try a non traditional approach to looking for work like some of the things I mentioned, it should help.
    Thanks for beign supportive, I'm not sure how many of those non-traditional opportunities will be available over there, but its certainyl worth looking into.
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
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