Projecting, Understanding, and Sympathy, not Empathy: Clarifications and Addenda

I was rushing out the door when I finished my last post. I wanted to say something. So I did. But I left out important parts, most notably my conclusion, which is so obvious to me that I don’t even have to write it out to understand that it follows from what I said. Thankfully for almost everyone reading this, you are not inside my brain, so I’m going to go ahead and make a couple of addenda and clarifications.


One thing I want to clarify is that I am very grateful for all the people in my life who care enough to try to find ways to help me. Just knowing that you care gets me through some of my hardest times.


The conclusion I reached in my head, but not in the post, was not “Don’t bother trying to help me, because you don’t understand what I’m going through and wah wah wah woe is me…” The conclusion was “Trying to solve my problems with things that make you feel good temporarily is a bit like me trying to make you feel good temporarily with prescription anti-depressants.” It’s an attempt to apply pretty decent tools to problems they were not designed for based on evidence that isn’t relevant. It misunderstands my problem as a lack of enjoyable things or things to bring me happiness in my life, which it isn’t. The problem is that I have plenty of those things, and they aren’t working.

I don’t need recreational drugs or sex or literature or art or sociability to take my mind off of how I’m feeling. I need to stop feeling this way. I don’t need something to give me a breath of fresh air. I need the ice to break.


Part of the reason these conversations are so frustrating is because they come from such a genuinely compassionate place and are so utterly futile. I want to be patient and I want to listen and I hope someone has some spark or insight for me that helps me approach my issues with a new-found understanding. So I sit and I listen to people talk about great experience they’ve had or things that have made their life more fulfilling or things that they really savor and enjoy, and that they want me to try too, because they really want me to be able to share the feeling that it gives them.

And after I’m done listening, I go back to thinking about how nice it would be to enjoy the taste of food again, or walk my dog through the woods without every single noise in the underbrush making me visualize very clearly him being attacked and dragged away by coyotes, or get out of bed before 6 pm, or have a functional relationship without losing control of my motor functions every time there is or could possibly be a conflict.

Except now I am jealous, because I have just heard someone talk about how much joy and freedom and relaxation they get from something, and the best thing I have these days is looking forward to maybe being able to feel joy and freedom and relaxation again, or distracting myself for a while from noticing that I am not feeling those things by making my brain work hard.


Also, I counted the pits, and I in fact had ten olives.


One thought on “Projecting, Understanding, and Sympathy, not Empathy: Clarifications and Addenda

  1. I have experience in depression and social anxiety for almost decade, and what I’ve learned through thinking and from people who like to think is that…

    (I agree with you, people tend to solve problems that way, they are sick so what do they do? Medicine. *slap* that’s not the way to cure a disease, it only prolongs it and brings a short term fix and usually it’s not even a fix, just a slight relief. The way to fix a disease is to attack the cause and not the symptom.)

    To be healthy and happy you need to feed your body accordingly meaning, nourishing nutrition, plant-based diet with lots of nutrients and good shit. Eat carcass or not, it needs to be plant-based heavily. Oh and natural.

    During those 10 years I ate mainly processed foods such as instant noodles, potato chips, pizzas, infinite amount of soda and whatever else that was bad for me and I got fat and ugly and sick & miserable. Needless to say, I was in misery and it ruined my life + I thought I had to die because I couldn’t fix myself mentally or physically and even though it is still in ruins… I found a different way to look at life.

    People tend to be zombies: (philosophy) a hypothetical being that is physically identical in all respects to a conscious person, but is not conscious. And they live in colossal ignorance but are happy nonetheless, they think they need to go through uni and have 2 children and a house and a dog and a nice job etc. but it’s not happiness for everyone, the ones who want to do it their own way. Those people are content with what they have and they numb themselves with drugs, movies, food etc. They don’t want to move forward.

    But a person who knows(sometimes doesn’t) he is stuck, wants to move forward and it is necessary or otherwise it is a prison for you. From what I’ve read, I think you lack purpose in life and that is what makes you numb to feelings, for an example, when you wake up, you won’t look forward to anything. Lack of purpose. That’s when you want to have something to look forward to, a big goal no matter how big, and then you can’t wait to get up from bed and go towards it.

    That’s what has helped me a lot regarding depression, I was depressed because I thought I had no choice but to live like what others expect + all the other things like hating myself for being social retard penquin or ugly piece of turd. Now I have a dream of getting out of the shithole of living with 300€ a month with my parents and moving to live with my canadian girlfriend. Also to become a professional poker player, that is pretty much my only bet because I lack all the other skills.

    As for anxiety, I have no clue how to fix my social anxiety other than experience.

    Points I’m trying to make are that you need to have a huge dream or something to run after. And to fix your body to work optimally. Attack the cause and not the symptom.

    If you keep your dog in a cage, it is most likely going to get depressed or otherwise miserable, avoid doing this yourself.

    There are many more factors though and this may not be useful to anyone but me…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s