Nerian

What if living is too painful to make it worth it?

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12 hours ago, anthony said:

These tiny blips seem hardly worth the mountain of pain required to get them.

Hi Anthony,

Can you describe what you mean by, "mountain of pain?" Is it physical pain, or some kind of emotional pain. I have the impression, whatever it is, it has convinced you the cost of living is greater than the reward.

If you really want help, though, you will have to make it clear what the nature of your suffering is.

On 12/27/2017 at 12:16 PM, Nerian said:

To me, as of the last year, life seems like nothing but drudgery

I cannot help you without knowing exactly what it is that has happened in the last year that is the cause of your pain. But I will make two observations that might help for now.

The first is, since it is only your experience in the last year that has made you dispair of finding happiness, it might help to know that everything changes. Whatever you are suffering will not last forever.

The second is the fact you asked the question. It means you have not competely surrendered to dispair and that you would like to have a reason to go on living. There is a reason to go on living, but you can only discover that when the nature of what you call your pain and drudgery is identified.

Until then, neither I or anyone else is going to be able to help you. I don't think you need a philosophy lesson and I don't think anyone knows enough to be making medical suggestions. Ultimately you will be the one who makes the decision about what you must do and only you can know what decision is right. I will help you discover what that is if you'll decribe exactly what is causing your pain and unhappiness.

Randy

 

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Nerian is a thinker and Objectivist, I believe from prior contact. I think it is better here to give too much advice and cover the bases, than too little or a superficial response. It appears from his words his is an "existential" anguish, so, yes, "philosophical" too. This is fine, the supportive ideas and practical advice offered - what "works" for him, is top priority, not any one respondent's preferences. *Of course* - the medical / psychological option, with a modicum of medicinal intervention/relief, if recommended. I'm sure he knows this. Why else would he come forward with this on an Objectivist forum? the internet is loaded with counsel about depression, we can be sure. Also, as N. is questioning his very life, and is a thinker, I believe the philosophical perspective offers him a larger framework, which, in tandem with the other avenues, provides a whole, multi-level approach, now, and for long after counselling, treatment and prescription drugs, etc. Emotional pain, the signal of values lost or at risk, has cause in, either - personal loss or losses one has suffered - or, a diminishment of one's value-structure itself; or both. The cognitive effort, discovering and re-connecting to real things/people again, with intent to gradually recover his values and capability *to* value, has to be important. Nerian, my best to you, let us know of your progress, by PM if you like, your active efforts are essential.

 

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13 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jonathan,

Nah... I'm a wuss.

I'm using high doses of ibuprofen (800 mg every 6 hours) right now as I heal and an antibiotic (amoxicillin for 2 or 3 days or so) for the inflammation that was there before the oral surgeon took the tooth out. The pain is much less than I thought it would be. I will lower the ibuprofen doses as I go along, first to 600, then 400, then 200 then stop. I will also try to extend the time intervals.

I'll let my body tell me how intense the pain is as I go along. After all, A is A. :) 

They want me to do saltwater mouthwashes after I eat as I heal and, for the life of me, I can't fit that one into this debate.

After all, salt is salt.

:) 

Michael

 

Reality faker! Evil subhuman! Death worshipper!! 

J

Heal quickly. Good luck with the pain.

NaCl is NaCl.

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On 12/29/2017 at 2:21 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I haven't read this thread (I will later), but this seems like the appropriate place.

I'm finally going to the oral surgeon in a few minutes. I hope the result doesn't make life "too painful to make it worth it." It probably will for a while.

Wish me luck.

:)

Michael

Do you have anything to look forward to afterwards? That might make it worth it.

On 12/29/2017 at 7:52 AM, william.scherk said:

 

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7 minutes ago, Nerian said:

Do you have anything to look forward to afterwards? That might make it worth it.

Nerian,

Well, the pain did stop. And that was awesome.

Now I look forward to brushing my teeth. Several times a day, too.

I don't want to repeat that experience.

(That sudden enthusiasm for a new preventative habit is generally what happens when I get my ass kicked real hard.)

:)

btw - Regarding the surgery, like in chess and in most things in life, the threat was worse than the execution.

I HATED going in to sit in the dental surgeon's chair and I had to do that routine of swallowing my fear, pretending to be nonchalant, and waiting hard to get it over with. But the guy was super-competent and as nice as could be. There were some complex things he had to do that I have never had done before--for instance, banging on my hollowed-out molar at strategic places to loosen the roots without cracking off the top of the tooth--it reminded me of how a miner does with a chisel and a hammer, except the surgeon used the base of his palm as a striking device). He maneuvered so gently with the dental pliers, I didn't even realize when the tooth came out. Before I knew it, he was sewing stitches, then had his assistant load up the area with cotton pads, told me to bite down to help the bleeding coagulate and have a good day. And poof, he was gone. :) 

Ibuprofen (800mg a pop for a couple of days) did the trick for post-op pain, which was nowhere near the pre-op levels.

Thanks for asking.

And you? Is your own angst getting better? (Not asking in jest.)

Michael

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22 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Nerian,

Well, the pain did stop. And that was awesome.

Now I look forward to brushing my teeth. Several times a day, too.

I don't want to repeat that experience.

(That sudden enthusiasm for a new preventative habit is generally what happens when I get my ass kicked real hard.)

:)

btw - Regarding the surgery, like in chess and in most things in life, the threat was worse than the execution.

I HATED going in to sit in the dental surgeon's chair and I had to do that routine of swallowing my fear, pretending to be nonchalant, and waiting hard to get it over with. But the guy was super-competent and as nice as could be. There were some complex things he had to do that I have never had done before--for instance, banging on my hollowed-out molar at strategic places to loosen the roots without cracking off the top of the tooth--it reminded me of how a miner does with a chisel and a hammer, except the surgeon used the base of his palm as a striking device). He maneuvered so gently with the dental pliers, I didn't even realize when the tooth came out. Before I knew it, he was sewing stitches, then had his assistant load up the area with cotton pads, told me to bite down to help the bleeding coagulate and have a good day. And poof, he was gone. :) 

Ibuprofen (800mg a pop for a couple of days) did the trick for post-op pain, which was nowhere near the pre-op levels.

Thanks for asking.

And you? Is your own angst getting better? (Not asking in jest.)

Michael

Good to hear.

I don't mind pain. I just don't see the point of life if it's 99.999999999% pain.

Nah. Life is still a thoroughly lame experience.

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On 12/29/2017 at 3:12 PM, regi said:

Hi Anthony,

Can you describe what you mean by, "mountain of pain?" Is it physical pain, or some kind of emotional pain. I have the impression, whatever it is, it has convinced you the cost of living is greater than the reward.

If you really want help, though, you will have to make it clear what the nature of your suffering is.

I cannot help you without knowing exactly what it is that has happened in the last year that is the cause of your pain. But I will make two observations that might help for now.

The first is, since it is only your experience in the last year that has made you dispair of finding happiness, it might help to know that everything changes. Whatever you are suffering will not last forever.

The second is the fact you asked the question. It means you have not competely surrendered to dispair and that you would like to have a reason to go on living. There is a reason to go on living, but you can only discover that when the nature of what you call your pain and drudgery is identified.

Until then, neither I or anyone else is going to be able to help you. I don't think you need a philosophy lesson and I don't think anyone knows enough to be making medical suggestions. Ultimately you will be the one who makes the decision about what you must do and only you can know what decision is right. I will help you discover what that is if you'll decribe exactly what is causing your pain and unhappiness.

Randy

 

You wake up. Beep beep beep beep beep. The alarm screams at you. WAKE UP. Another day of living! What's on the menu today? Living, of course. Lots of work to be done to avoid the pain of entropy. Boring, drudgery, mainly. Task after task. And mounting tiredness and fatigue as you do it. A mildly unpleasant experience all day, powered only on will power, on the thought that if you don't do it, you'll experience more pain. What does the future have to offer? Well, more of this! Forever, every day, until you die. You collapse. Tomorrow, you get to do it all again. You drift off to sleep. This is the best part of life. Not being awake. It won't last long though, before the alarm rouses you from your unconscious bliss. "Beep beep beep beep beep. Get up, or suffer the consequences."

All this just to gain the privilege of avoiding even greater pain, and so you can go on living so you can keep on experiencing more of that.

And from time to time, you can cash in all this suffering for some enjoyment, and eat a piece of chocolate, jerk off, and watch a movie. All in all, your conversion ratio is about 1 unit of enjoyment from 1000 units of suffering.

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It may sound trite but TV and listening to music (even from commercials on TV) can be very uplifting. I think "Call the Midwife" is coming back on with new shows, and I like "The Good Doctor" with an autistic MD. What ever happened to the "Downton Abbey" movie that was going to be made? 

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47 minutes ago, Nerian said:

Nah. Life is still a thoroughly lame experience.

Nerian,

You sound like you need a good dose of Jordan Peterson.

Here is a course he sells that deals precisely with getting over this feeling of futility: Self Authoring. (I am going to do this course myself later this year. Outside of my own curiosity and any personal benefit it may bring, as an writer, I think this will provide insights into human nature I can use.)

Or, look at his many YouTube videos. He gives you a lot more things to think about than your one simple measurement of pain-pleasure (which is erroneous anyway).

You only have this one shot and you are not God (or all of reality if you are an atheist). You have a limitation, a human size and restriction, but you also have a gift (after all, you didn't create yourself, so you were given to you :) ).

There is no need to waste it with futility when you can find meaning by searching for it.

Michael

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This thread doesn't make any sense to me. I've been through a lot of difficult stuff, prison, failed projects, enormous stupidity more than a hundred times, arguably still worse off than most people today, credit cards gone, no cash, awful diet, frequently cold. What of it? I count each day as a whole new life, quantity limited, savor every keystroke.

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2 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

This thread doesn't make any sense to me. I've been through a lot of difficult stuff, prison, failed projects, enormous stupidity more than a hundred times, arguably still worse off than most people today, credit cards gone, no cash, awful diet, frequently cold. What of it? I count each day as a whole new life, quantity limited, savor every keystroke.

Weird.

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22 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Nerian,

You sound like you need a good dose of Jordan Peterson.

Here is a course he sells that deals precisely with getting over this feeling of futility: Self Authoring. (I am going to do this course myself later this year. Outside of my own curiosity and any personal benefit it may bring, as an writer, I think this will provide insights into human nature I can use.)

Or, look at his many YouTube videos. He gives you a lot more things to think about than your one simple measurement of pain-pleasure (which is erroneous anyway).

You only have this one shot and you are not God (or all of reality if you are an atheist). You have a limitation, a human size and restriction, but you also have a gift (after all, you didn't create yourself, so you were given to you :) ).

There is no need to waste it with futility when you can find meaning by searching for it.

Michael

Could life really be worth living if it were nothing but pain?

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39 minutes ago, Nerian said:

Could life really be worth living if it were nothing but pain?

Nerian,

This is an ancient question.

The Bible has 66 books in it. Only one of them, Ecclesiastes, does your thing (it's all meaningless, there is nothing new under the sun, etc. etc. etc.). There are 65 other books that deal with the good stuff.

(Well... Job directly addresses your question because he suffered nothing but pain at one point. There is lots of blah blah blah from Job's friends, but he never gives in to futility or even questions whether life is meaningless. He does ask for the pain to end even if that means never having been born...)

So you are not innovating anything with your futility stuff. But your proportion is way out of whack with what has gone on in human history.

And there's a perspective thing. If you believe your own life on earth is meaningless and not worth living, that's ultimately your decision. If you believe the whole human race is not worth existing, I, personally, don't have the physical vision or awareness of the sheer amount of time and space to judge the lives of everyone on earth who lives, who has lived and who will ever live to make sure. I am incompetent by nature (I'm an individual) to decide for all of humanity.

And I have no wish to guess, which is all you can do when you make collective judgments of that sort. I certainly have no wish to kill other people or try to persuade them to commit suicide over my own opinions.

My name is not Jim Jones or Marshall Applewhite.

Michael

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4 hours ago, Nerian said:

Could life really be worth living if it were nothing but pain?

That idea is counter evolutionary. Don’t follow the path towards pain, and/or follow the path to food. Even a sponge does that. If the pain were “physical, constant and not fixable,” that is one untenable situation, as with opioid dependence. But if the pain is mental and you have a rational intelligence running on free will . . .   

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Interpreting the Burns Depression Checklist

On 1/21/2018 at 7:15 AM, Nerian said:

 

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interpretingBurnsDepressionChecklist00.p

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On 12/26/2017 at 7:55 AM, Nerian said:

Imagine someone were convinced of Objectivist ethics and went about their self interest. What if they found the whole enterprise painful and not at all fulfilling? What would be the point?

That would vary from person to person.

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18 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Nerian,

This is an ancient question.

The Bible has 66 books in it. Only one of them, Ecclesiastes, does your thing (it's all meaningless, there is nothing new under the sun, etc. etc. etc.). There are 65 other books that deal with the good stuff.

(Well... Job directly addresses your question because he suffered nothing but pain at one point. There is lots of blah blah blah from Job's friends, but he never gives in to futility or even questions whether life is meaningless. He does ask for the pain to end even if that means never having been born...)

So you are not innovating anything with your futility stuff. But your proportion is way out of whack with what has gone on in human history.

And there's a perspective thing. If you believe your own life on earth is meaningless and not worth living, that's ultimately your decision. If you believe the whole human race is not worth existing, I, personally, don't have the physical vision or awareness of the sheer amount of time and space to judge the lives of everyone on earth who lives, who has lived and who will ever live to make sure. I am incompetent by nature (I'm an individual) to decide for all of humanity.

And I have no wish to guess, which is all you can do when you make collective judgments of that sort. I certainly have no wish to kill other people or try to persuade them to commit suicide over my own opinions.

My name is not Jim Jones or Marshall Applewhite.

Michael

 My questions just reflect my life as experienced. I'm sure some people feel their lives are worth living and do enjoy their lives. I've asked several of my friends and they claim they do enjoy their lives.

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5 hours ago, Nerian said:

 My questions just reflect my life as experienced. I'm sure some people feel their lives are worth living and do enjoy their lives. I've asked several of my friends and they claim they do enjoy their lives.

Nerian,

It's a very good thing you acknowledge this.

Does it ever bother you that they have it and you don't?

Michael

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On 1/21/2018 at 9:44 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

btw - Regarding the surgery, like in chess and in most things in life, the threat was worse than the execution.

I HATED going in to sit in the dental surgeon's chair and I had to do that routine of swallowing my fear, pretending to be nonchalant, and waiting hard to get it over with. But the guy was super-competent and as nice as could be. There were some complex things he had to do that I have never had done before--for instance, banging on my hollowed-out molar at strategic places to loosen the roots without cracking off the top of the tooth--it reminded me of how a miner does with a chisel and a hammer, except the surgeon used the base of his palm as a striking device). He maneuvered so gently with the dental pliers, I didn't even realize when the tooth came out. Before I knew it, he was sewing stitches, then had his assistant load up the area with cotton pads, told me to bite down to help the bleeding coagulate and have a good day. And poof, he was gone. :) 

Ibuprofen (800mg a pop for a couple of days) did the trick for post-op pain, which was nowhere near the pre-op levels.

Let me further say, I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo glad I did not have to do that in 1872:

:)

Michael

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18 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Nerian,

It's a very good thing you acknowledge this.

Does it ever bother you that they have it and you don't?

Michael

I'd prefer to enjoy living. I just don't see how.

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6 hours ago, Nerian said:

I'd prefer to enjoy living. I just don't see how.

Nerian,

That is a wonderful start.

You have a preference (thank God it's a good one) and an acknowledgment about your own limitation going solo.

When I was addicted to drugs (crack cocaine), I came to this exact state, including the constant pain (mine was emotional). I wanted out and thought a lot about ending it. I preferred to have the good life, but I didn't see how it was possible for me.

Then someone said to me, very strongly, "You need help! Seek it." For some reason, that sunk in. As a Randian, I was resistant to the idea of needing others, but I thought, what the hell. My way hasn't worked for me up to now. Give it a shot and see what happens. It can't be worse than what I was going through.

I started going to 12 step meetings (NA), relapsed so much, they took up a collection to have me interned against my will :) (but I came through in the end so they didn't need to act on it  :) ). I no longer go, but I am so very grateful to those people. 

That's a path I highly recommend. Not 12 step per se. That's just the outward form. The real gold is finding people who are like you and are seeking improvement and willing to share their stories and struggles. I don't know enough about your problem to make any suggestions, but there are support groups for everything these days.

It's not Objectivish to say use one, but I say use one. There is nothing wrong with needing help when you're not strong enough to go it alone and everything looks like bleh. Some groups are much better than others, but when one is in the desert dying of thirst, a half-glass of water will keep you alive. You can go swimming once you are out of the desert.

My biggest challenge in going to NA in the beginning was listening. But 12 step meetings are structured so you have to listen most of the time. And as I saw one stranger after another basically tell my story, I stopped feeling so damn alone. Then the strangers became friends, and I struggled with them to overcome the cravings, the emotional mess I was in, and so on. I ended up solving my problem. I'm not with those people anymore because--to myself--I'm no longer defined by that problem. I have dreams I am working on...

But if any one of them ever came knocking, my house is their house. I'm at peace with the debt I owe them because I pay it forward. That's what they want me to do, anyway (just like what I want those I have helped to do).

Good luck to you. If I can be of any use to you with advice or even to just listen, please do not hesitate to ask.

I'm here and you matter.

Michael

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On 1/24/2018 at 11:26 PM, Jonathan said:

Talk to a professional.

Yeah... it seems like that's what I need to do.

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6 hours ago, Nerian said:

Yeah... it seems like that's what I need to do.

If you go to a professional, choose a professional who does not get a lot of repeat business, in other words a professional whose patients get well and stay well, in other words a professional who is in the business of putting himself out of business.

Any doctor who is not in the business of putting himself out of business (helping people get well and stay well) has no business being in business.

At TrueNorth they tell their patients "we like you but we don't want to see you again". The idea is the process of getting well is supposed to be a learning experience. You overcome unhealthy habits and learn healthy habits. You learn principles of healthful living. Then you are supposed to apply what you learned for the rest of your life. You are supposed to take charge of your own health. The role of the doctor is course correction.

In a proper world (a free market world) doctors would be judged mainly by performance. (An exception might be a young doctor who is just starting and cannot yet be judged by performance. Then he might have the endorsement of an experienced doctor who has a reputation for performance.) In a proper world the doctor who is the most effective in putting himself out of business (the most effective in helping people get well and stay well) would quite logically get the most business.

 

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