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self-care

Self-care: Not just for bourgeois narcissists

Watery
Mmmm, watery!

As some of you no doubt noticed, I didn’t post over the weekend. The reason is simple: After last week’s Republican convention — that bizarre festival of hate that’s somehow given Trump a boost in the polls — I needed a couple of days to clear my head and remind myself that there’s more to life than Anime Nazis and woman-hating dolts. I’ll probably be doing this more in the future, though I’ll try to store up posts that I can put up on the days I’m taking off.

The weekend was a welcome respite, as was that little staycation I recently took, but there’s a big part of me that still feels guilty for taking the weekend off. Like a lot of those at least roughly on the left, I still find it hard to justify the simple act of taking care of myself. With all the hate in the world, shouldn’t I be on call 24/7? Isn’t self-care a sort of bourgeois cop-out, a narcissistic retreat from collective action?

As Laurie Penny (there’s that name again!) notes in a recent Baffler piece, it’s not hard to understand why so many leftists, especially those of the activist persuasion, look upon self-care with a certain cynicism.

The slow collapse of the social contract is the backdrop for a modern mania for clean eating, healthy living, personal productivity, and “radical self-love”—the insistence that, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, we can achieve a meaningful existence by maintaining a positive outlook, following our bliss, and doing a few hamstring stretches as the planet burns. 

As Penny suggests, you can’t make your life better by running it through an Instagram filter, or by adopting the Coca-Cola ad slogan “choose happiness” as a personal credo. If happiness really were a simple choice, I’m pretty sure all of us besides the most cynical would have chosen it already, even if we had to buy a couple of liters of Coke (or eat some kale) to seal the deal.

But rejecting the capitalist fetishization of consumerist “self-love,” Penny argues, does not require that you “fetishize a species of abject hopelessness.” There’s nothing revolutionary about malignant depression.

It’s also galling, as Penny notes, to see brocialist types “refusing to do the basic work of self-care and mutual care that keeps hope alive and health possible, because that work is women’s work.”

Lefty miserablists, Penny continues, need to look not just to feminism but to queer activists, who understand all too well “that caring for oneself and one’s friends in a world of prejudice is not an optional part of the struggle—in many ways, it is the struggle.”

Self-care can mean a lot of different things. It may be as simple as logging off Facebook and going to look at some art, as a feminist friend of mine did recently when she was feeling so burned out her stomach was churning. Or binge-watching a season of a favorite show. (Seriously, folks, check out The Leftovers.) Or putting this on in the background instead of MSNBC while writing blog posts.

But it can also mean more systematic — and in the long run more effective — ways of dealing with stress and depression and general burnout. Penny, for her part, has taken up yoga, noting almost guiltily that “it’s changed my life to an extent that I almost resent.” I’m learning mindfulness meditation, using headspace.com, and have been systematically exploring other ways to get the better of anxiety and depression and general burnout.

And so, for my own sake as well as for anyone else feeling a bit burned out in this monumentally shitty year, I will be posting more about self-care in the months to come, as well as making a point of posting some more uplifting posts, alongside my regular dissections (humorous or otherwise) of some of the worst people in the world. I’ve also been working for some time on a sort of side-project related to self-care that I hope to be able to share with you in the not-so-distant future.

I’d like to get the discussion going by asking everyone here what sort of self-care strategies you use — what works for you, what hasn’t worked, what you’re considering trying in the future.

H/T — Thanks to the person who linked to Penny’s piece in the comments here

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Mish
Mish
5 years ago

The person who linked was me :). Unless others also did, in which case, sorry!
I’m glad you posted this. It seems to me that recently everyone around me, and here on Mammoth, are more fragile than usual. I thought Penny’s piece was useful as a reminder that self-care is essential. I’m also a big Foucault fan, and he thought that care of the self was much more important than ‘know thyself’.

OpenSauce
OpenSauce
5 years ago

In the winter I tend to get a little bit under the weather with Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I like to silence my phone, turn off twitter notifications, and head down to the local park to watch some football (soccer). In those two hours or so, nothing else in the world exists except me and the game.

Paradoxical Intention - Resident Cheeseburger Slut

It’s good to see this kind of mentality. Obviously, it’s impossible to stay 100% happy 100% of the time, but it’s important to take a break from all of the awful, especially since 2016 is turning out to be one raging trash fire of a year.

We can always come back to the burning garbage after.

Iseult The Idle
Iseult The Idle
5 years ago

So, if it makes you feel less guilty, then remind yourself that you owe it to the world to keep yourself healthy, strong and engaged. So take care of yourself.

If I’m stuck inside I listen to music or watch comedy or, yes, videos of adorable animals romping around.

If I have an hour, I go to the nearby dog park and play with other peoples’ dogs. Happy dogs are an antidote to a world of blues.

If I have an afternoon, there’s a tide pool on the coast. Quiet place, sunny. There’s a flat rock I can lie on and look down into the tide pools, watching the anemones drift and the crabs and other denizens go about their business to the background music of the ocean.

Susuration.

There’s something profoundly comforting in the knowledge that I am completely irrelevant to this little world going on, unless of course the rock falls, in which case I become all too relevant.

Also, I drink.

Whitney
Whitney
5 years ago

Mindfulness meditation didn’t actually help me as much as advertised, even though I was really invested in it. I felt like some people were so evangelical about it that they actually made me feel guilty for the fact that it wasn’t really floating my boat in the end. I say this not to be down on mindfulness, which I know works wonders for some people, but just as a reminder that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution or “right” way to be happy.

To deal with all the shit that’s going on in the world, I am writing a science fiction story that’s aimed at glamorizing NON-violent problem solving. You know, where the heroes badassery and cool shit all revolves around using dialogue and quick thinking and compassion rather than punching and shooting. I know that no one else will ever see it unless I ask them to and it will change exactly 0 things about the wold, but it does at least make me feel a little less frustrated.

To deal with my own insecurities, I keep a notebook where I write down every compliment that anyone gives me, color coded by topic. I am someone who tends remember criticisms forever but forget compliments immediately, so writing them down helps.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Meditation type stuff does nothing for me because I’ll just get bored and start worrying. For me, distraction is best. Since the Olympics are coming up, I’ve been immersing myself in everything gymnastics. I’ve started a quest to watch every women’s artistic gymnastics world and Olympic team and all around final between 1989 and 2015. I chose ’89 because the 89-92 quad is when I first became a fan.

Mels
Mels
5 years ago

Mindfulness meditation has been helpful for me. I was introduced to it by a nurse recommending The Miracle of Mindfulness by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (Amazon link). The nurse worked in a psychiatric hospital and has also struggled with suicidal depression for most of his own life; he found great relief putting what he learned in the book to practice.

Which isn’t to say that it’s easy to do, or the best method for everyone, as already stated by other commenters. But to anyone who hasn’t tried it and/or is interested, it is definitely worth a look. I usually do guided meditatations with the fantastic Stop, Breathe & Think app, which includes a check-in feature to log your mood before and after you meditate. It’s free except for an additional handful of meditations you can download by donating.

Please take care of yourselves, everyone. <3

Ooglyboggles
5 years ago

I just do my drawing, games, maths, japanese and internets to cool me down.

I guess the reason why I am strangely calm despite this year being a really turbulent one where bigots are coming out in full force and receiving applause, the unsustainable status quo of unregulated 1% and the seeming increase in violence, is only because I’m not there. By that, I mean that all the recent events have not occurred near me, aside from San Bernadino, they have not been near family that I have, nor do I feel like my ethnicity, and therefore me and those I know is seen as a target amongst this current wave of racists.

That doesn’t mean I don’t feel anger and impotence at the current situation despite my best efforts, it just means I have the small comfort that my demographic isn’t being specifically targeted. But I know for sure, that it’s going on the chopping block, after all the yellow menace/model minority dichotomy is as old as the trans-continental railroad. All there needs is Trump and others to start making up the imminent threat of Asians taking over the US by subtly integrating so well into society. Hate them for taking away what belongs to you. Hate the people who are so accepting of them taking over positions in society. Hate them for being so prominent in colleges. Hate them for their language, their cultural values, their beliefs, hate them for ever drawing breath.

I know it’ll happen, it’s only a matter of time before they start thinking that the usual targets of african americans and jews and italians and muslims and latin americans aren’t enough to sate their misanthropist hate.

Well, to try to make this post alot more happy. I’m glad that so far two weeks into my job everyone seems to like that I am following the rules right and not faffing about. It’s past two weeks and my medication isn’t causing me any bad side effects. Progressing nicely in my studies, that’s always good.

I have a confession to make. I actually enjoy seeing bad oc art on Tumblr. Not because I’m using it as a way to boost my own self worth, more admiring that they seem so confident and happy in sharing and continually posting their work. Objectively I can tell exactly what’s wrong, the proportions, the lack of depth, bad grayscale/color scheme, boring poses, etc. But I find those artists’ works, endearing, in their earnestness to improve. I have all the books that Loomis has written, I use the templates for anatomy and practice timed gesture drawings daily, and it is helping, tremendously so in helping me understand how human parts fit together.

Then I see them, just doing it, and posting it. I kind of find that admirable in a way. Some of them at least, at some point I just find some a bit lazy.

Mels
Mels
5 years ago

@Whitney

To deal with my own insecurities, I keep a notebook where I write down every compliment that anyone gives me, color coded by topic. I am someone who tends remember criticisms forever but forget compliments immediately, so writing them down helps.

That is brilliant, and I think I’m going to start such a notebook. Thank you.

abars01
abars01
5 years ago

Dude, I totally understand. As I’ve said in previous comments, I’m just bored out of my wits by the western far-right by this point. There are times when I’ve wondered whether there’s any software I can install that will block out the comments sections on YouTube and news websites purely so I’m not tempted to scroll down and look at them anymore, even as I know just exactly what they’ll consist of.

Ooglyboggles
5 years ago

@abars01
There are plenty of addons on Firefox/Chrome that do just that.

Pavlov's House
Pavlov's House
5 years ago

As part of our self-care (which we agree is important), Pavlov’s House and I do hot power yoga together.

authorialAlchemy
authorialAlchemy
5 years ago

I realised I don’t take care of myself as much as I should. I don’t much, but I read, listen to music, and make tea for myself.

Berdache from a previous life
Berdache from a previous life
5 years ago

As they say in the safety lecture on the plane, put your own mask on first. Take care of yourself.

David, I admire the work you do here. I’m unable to wade through the nonsense and am glad you do. It’s valuable work, nothing is more useful than laughter in dealing with the MRA, PUA, MGTOWs and the rest.

Meditation, Tai Chi, walks in nature, time with friends, reading novels- I don’t do any of these things enough.
Two of my friends are moving away and I have spent a few hours with each helping them pack just to spend time with them.

As much as I enjoy reading your posts, anytime you need a mental health day, I’m good. I’ll wait.

Ooglyboggles
5 years ago

@authorialAlchemy
Oh what type of tea do you prefer? I normally just go for whatever, even coffee if anyone offers.

Pavlov's House
Pavlov's House
5 years ago

Oops, missed the edit opportunity. Meant “Ms. Pavlov’s House and I” re: the hot power yoga.

Ray of Rays
Ray of Rays
5 years ago

Take as much time as you need, no one who’s opinion is worth a golly gosh-damn could blame you for it.

I tend to retreat to my games, myself, though that’s more a stopgap solution than a longterm thing. Helps that I had a decent convention to recharge in between the two political ones. Comic Con covers a lot of ailments (and probably starts many, more literal, ones).

Pavlov's House
Pavlov's House
5 years ago

We love coffee here. We drink it all the way from here to the Tractor Factory.

calmdown
calmdown
5 years ago

Thank you so much for posting this. I actually had someone post on facebook about how self-care “made her sick” and anyone who did it was a privileged, selfish asshole. I didn’t reply but what I wanted to say was, it’s not just the issues that I need a break from, it’s people like you who take difficult times and instead of trying to make positive change use it to heap shame on people they’ve never met. Heaven forbid some of us might have PTSD, anxiety and depression or just be humans who can a have a bad day once in a while. If I let my fear take over I can’t think straight, and then I’m no good to anyone. We have to take care of ourselves to keep going forward. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care, in fact it’s quite the opposite.

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

I like to head over to emm’s positivity blog when I need to get into a positive head space. For a while I was using Jamie Oliver’s You app. It was alright but sometimes I felt bad if I couldn’t meet my goals. Everyone is very nice on there, though.

radiojane
radiojane
5 years ago

“Choose happiness” reminds me of that quote from Trainspotting.

I think it was in one of Kim Stanley Robinson’s novels, where a character is engaging in some “chop wood, carry water” chores necessary at the time to keep him alive; and he was musing on the many 10’s of thousands of years of Homo spp. evolution, where the chop wood, carry water types of activities took up most of our day. It’s probably fundamental to our psychological stability to engage in routine mundane chores like cooking, cleaning, washing ourselves and our clothing, mending things, etc, and all of the related activities to make all of that happen. We’ve gotten so far away from that lifestyle because of technological advances, but our brains are essentially the same as they were 50k years ago, as far as anyone knows. It’s not selfish to look after yourself through exercise, or socializing, or reading a good book, or engaging with art or music or dance, or whatever else you may find relaxing, it’s necessary to how we function as a species.

(((Her Grace Phryne))): Tool of the Butt-Worshipping, Lesbian-Powered Elite
(((Her Grace Phryne))): Tool of the Butt-Worshipping, Lesbian-Powered Elite
5 years ago

For me, meditation’s a bust. ADHD + meditation = immense frustration and feeling like a failure. Yoga’s only a good idea for me if I really want to dislocate something. (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, aka “a genetic condition that affects my collagen, which has a surprising amount of reach”. I don’t talk about it much because I tend to go into too much detail and either gross people out or bore them.)

My self-care is a combination of basic things (this is very useful) and distraction/things that are fun, like video games and RP as well as messing with the cats and the kids. Or going for a walk, especially with the addition of Pokemon GO. Spending time with family helps, too. Singing along with music in the car. Painting my nails (which I really should redo, actually). If I’m feeling good physically, sometimes chores like laundry are pretty enjoyable. Taking a nap or going to bed early when I need to.

Taking a break from upsetting things is perfectly valid and healthy. I forget about self-care because I don’t think I’m important compared to whatever else is going on, not because I think it’s a cop-out. And collectivist action means that when you need to take a break, someone else can fill in until you’re feeling up to it.

In fact, David, you might consider having guest posters on occasion; I suspect there are commenters here who would do a great job and would be thrilled to do it, so it’s beneficial all around. (I’m not suggesting this because I want to; I’m not reliable enough, especially lately, to do it justice, but you do have some amazing commenters who might be interested, maybe. 🙂 )

@calmdown:
http://www.robot-hugs.com/barrage/ Your comment made me think of this. That Facebook friend sounds really tough to deal with. *offers hugs*

Banananana dakry
Banananana dakry
5 years ago

I’ve had to learn not to crucify myself because I can’t do everything everybody else wants me to do to Change the World. To cope, I do art, I blow up virtual dragons, I keep fish, and most of all, I watch kittencams.

There’s something really soothing about kittencams. No worries about treading on someone’s toes by accident, no morons around to spread hate and misery with ‘ur doin it rong lol’, nobody yelling at you about how you suck for not doing enough when it never will be enough. Just people unified by watching and loving adorable kittens and equally adorable mama cats and their desire to help them out. It’s a goal that in small ways is actually achievable.

Contrapangloss
Contrapangloss
5 years ago

Self care is super-duper important.

It’s hard, because I’m definitely the type to think that I should be able to do more, and I shouldn’t need to take a break for self care, because I should be more resilient.

I’m kind of ridiculous that way. Folks like @calmdown mentioned definitely don’t help, because that type of rant definitely adds to my “I should be better than this and be able to help all the people” guilt.

Honestly, I think the thing that helped me was when I got with the fire department and all the textbooks and all the long term career guys kept pounding out the same thing.

Your top priority should ALWAYS be your own safety. Followed by your crew. Then, and only then, your patient or the victims. That’s also what all the reading that the Cap who did his Master’s thesis on Firefighter/EMT suicides suggested we need to be better about as a whole:

A crud ton of EMS folks are terrible at remembering to take care of themselves first, and try to do the whole “I should be resilient and not need to help myself and I should be there for my patients” thing, and it kills us.

So, yeah, the data strongly indicates that we should take care of ourselves first before assisting others.

So, yeah, coping strategies of the Contrapangloss, coming up!

Tea.

Normal days? Any flavor, with a tiny bit of sugar or honey.
For minor bad days, chai with chocolate.
For awful bad days, like the day I found out a friend died via facebook or the day my mom told me that Bailey (our family lab-spaniel mix that I’d missed like heck since I moved away) died, chamomile with milk and honey, followed by a long hot shower.

Dogs

Find a dog, any dog, take them for a walk. Dogs are easy to make happy, and making a dog happy helps me feel better because maybe I totally screwed up that last thing, or maybe I just didn’t know enough to make a difference on that call because it was a rope rescue and I’m not special teams trained, but darn it if I can’t make a dog happy.

It’s a low bar, but it’s good to at least make a difference for one being on this entire planet.

I’m so excited about finally having a dog of my own again and not having to hunt for a friend’s dog on bad days that I can barely contain it.

His name is Olaf and he likes warm hugs. And chewing things.

A good people hug

So, I’m a bit odd on this one. I HATE hugs, generally speaking. I hate people being close to me. I don’t like standing in tight quarters. I like having a good solid wall at my back and being able to see the entire room complete with a few solid escape routes.

But, there’s about 10 people who I like hugs from. One of them’s my best friend, my immediate family count for another three, and there’s a couple other friends and firefighters whose hugs can make me feel less cruddy. There’s an additional two people whose hugs make me feel tense and nope, but being shoulder to shoulder with them makes me feel better.

Calling my mom and dad.

Cliche, I know. Mom’s nice because she’ll let me vent and reassure me that things aren’t always my fault and I’m human. Dad’s nice because when things are really cruddy, he doesn’t try to make me feel better about the cruddy. Instead, he just talks.

Like, he usually has a limited word budget. Phone calls with dad are usually short. But when I feel like crud, he’ll just tell stories for an hour straight.

Watching comedy.

Simpsons. Blues Brothers. Anything lighthearted and fluffy. Maybe stargate, but only the fluffy episodes like Wormhole X-Treme. No angst. No medical dramas. Nothing that feels too much like work/real life.

Maybe not comedy, but Lord of the Rings marathons are super soothing. I think it’s the soundtrack, there, to be honest.

Cleaning.

Okay, this is the weirdest one. I HATE CLEANING. HATEHATEHATEHATEHATE cleaning. I loathe organizing my socks with a passion. Vacuums were designed to suck the souls out of people, I swear.

But… when the world’s at it’s cruddiest, there’s something soothing about creating a little order, and scraping the rust off hand tools, and scrubbing the evil out of the shower floor. My room/appartment is never cleaner than when I’m either a) coping with some cruddy thing or b) procrastinating on a project.

Turning off the stupid phone

People don’t need to get in touch with me. They don’t. Nope. Not here. I’ll go three days or more off the internet and off the phone.

It usually comes back to bite me when I turn it back on and see all the messages I missed, or have to wade through the hundred emails, and feel guiltier than when I first started, but…

…at least I feel less awful for those three days?

Contrapangloss
Contrapangloss
5 years ago

Oh, and I forgot the most important.

When life sucks the most, I curl up with my great white shark body pillow, Saruman, and watch Jaws or other assorted scientifically atrocious shark movies.

GiJoel
GiJoel
5 years ago

Antidepressants and taking a day off a week.

Deoridhe
5 years ago

I try to spend some time each week blogging about something which makes me happy, though I’ve struggled to keep up the last couple of months.

I’m also a huge fan of Calming Manatee and Tiny Kittens, as well as tons of podcasts and games on my phone.

Croquembouche of patriarchy
Croquembouche of patriarchy
5 years ago

Jigsaws.
Using hands and eyes, making connections in a different way to the usual thinky way. If my brain is feeling too jangly to stop ruminating, singing along loudly to music I love helps with that.
If cats wanting to get amongst the jigsaw prices is a problem, there are jigsaw apps now.

Judas Peckerwood
5 years ago

If body, mind, and geography allow, I recommend the many benefits/pleasures of long hikes.

It’s become a two- or three-times-per-week necessity for me (self-employed and sans TV). Solo or with trusted companions, it provides the beauty of nature, plus exercise and undisturbed time to focus on all of your work/personal/political issues. And no matter where you live, there’s usually somewhere nearby that’s cool to hike.

The most important thing for any activist is not to burn out — you suffer, your loved ones suffer, and the social justice movement suffers.

Croi
Croi
5 years ago

No one should work 24 /7 – that’s the road to burn-out. Why not treat this as a regular job and take the weekends off?

Judas Peckerwood
5 years ago

@Croi:

Why not treat this as a regular job and take the weekends off?

Weekends are kind of an artificial construct if you’re not working a 9-5 job, especially if your gig is driven by current events. The important thing is to carve out at least two full days per week as no-work time, regardless of where those days fall on the calendar.

Pearl Clutcher
Pearl Clutcher
5 years ago

I meditate, and it helps me tremendously. I also struggle with taking care of myself instead of taking care of stuff to do or others. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I can’t do either if I’m a complete mess myself…
Long walks with the dog help too.
If any of you, who are interested in meditation, can take 10 days off, try a Vipassana course. It’s da bomb and the technique is great.

Alana
Alana
5 years ago

Hey, I’m feeling this right now.
It’s funny you posted this when you did actually. I was recently just mobbed online for making a very simple comment (and I wasn’t rude, I was actually humorous about it) about objectification. I was told I was a feminazi and that I needed to stop taking there rather harmful example of treating men like rabid dogs and women like toys for humour so seriously. It would not have bothered me, actually, I was simply pointing it out… Then some of the worst people decided that this was grounds to pretty much say whatever they liked… :/ the number of them who rallied around to get me, even tagging there friends… It was exhausting… I get chewed out a lot online cause Im not scared to speak up when something is wrong… But I feel totally burnt out…
I was actually thinking of figuring out how to send a request to someone who must deal with this all the time on how to process all the darkness out there without becoming bitter or falling into the trap of hating them back…
So I’m hoping your new project addresses that, it will be super awesome if it dose!

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

Mammotheers have lots of great ideas for self-care!

I’ve been working on self-care for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried lots and lots of things. They all work to some extent.

Some of my favorites to move me out of a negative space:

Reading

Therapy

Movies (aka cinematic therapy)

Imagining different (positive) outcomes for negative situations from my past

Music

Taking a walk, especially through the dog park

Hangin’ with the kitties

WHTM! It’s really good for me to talk about awful stuff on WHTM because I’ve dealt with it my whole life, and not too many people want to talk about this stuff! Also, Mammotheers are really smart and have good politics.

Flower essences
These help me feel emotionally stronger:
Healing the Cause from Findhorn Flower Essences
http://www.findhornessences.com/healing-the-cause/

Self-Heal from Flower Essences Society
http://store.fesflowers.com/flower-essences/combined-fes-healingherbs-flower-essences/self-heal-flower-essence.html#153=7

May we all find inner peace.

Bryce
Bryce
5 years ago

To the extent that ‘self care’ involves downtime spent in the same manner as most people ie hobbies, entertainment etc., and acknowledging spare time is something many don’t have (low wage workers in particular)…TBH I still find it a bit strange that someone would feel they had to justify it.

Jen
Jen
5 years ago

Glad to hear it. You perform a great service to those of us struggling with MRAs and their “issues.” You deserve to take as good care of yourself as you do of your readers.

Valentine
Valentine
5 years ago

I reall admire all the ways hete that people have for dealing with the biggest worries of life. It’s uplifting to see how simple things are the solution. My problem is that things like music drawing writing and learning languages only make me happy when I’m already happy. You see I have this terrible bad habit of falling in love far too easily and with the wrong people. I am in an open relationship because my job requires me to be away from home for long periods of time. There are two rules. Don’t tell my girlfriend what happens and don’t fall in love. The rule is for both of us by the way. I’m happy for her to have sexual release when I’m not there. But after a cock up last year where I ended up falling for someone we made the love rule. But I haven’t the heart to tell her I don’t know if I can stick to it. I’m just sentimental and I end up torturing myself by getting mixed up with feelings when it should just be a sexual thing. I know that’s a weird thing for a man to admit but there you go.
But anyway when I’m in this hung up love struck mood nothing simple will lift it. In fact the simple things seem pointless. And I’ve gone and done it again! This time with someone married who’s got a kid and is 10 years older than me. I get thst they can’t message me and I get that it’s just a fling. That’s the point. But my mind doesn’t.
Tbh u don’t know what to do. I love my gf and this arrangements is what keeps us strong. And tbh I enjoy the thrill but I’m just not emotionally equipt to deal with it.
Sorry that was more than I meant to put. But since it’s out now – anyone have any similar experience?

Corwin
Corwin
5 years ago

Drawing or Painting really helps me. It requires my full focus and i can at the same time mull things over and let them go, via creating something. In the end I have my feelings packed in a picture and can look at them from the outside rather than having them inside me and that really helps.

Unfortunately I do need time until I can get there.

For a quick fix of calming down my head I go swimming or biking, listening to audiobooks. But creating something works best.

authorialAlchemy
authorialAlchemy
5 years ago

@authorialAlchemy
Oh what type of tea do you prefer? I normally just go for whatever, even coffee if anyone offers.

My favorite tea is Irish Breakfast, which is the most caffeinated tea I can get or know of. I drink it with milk and sugar, and it works as self medication for ADHD for me since I don’t have meds at the moment. It’s great because I hate most coffee.

Chai is my favorite flavored black tea. Again, with milk and sugar. Fuck everyone who says you should only drink plain tea, especially that flavor.

But herbal and green tea is where it’s at for self care. I prefer berry tea, or any fruit tea from celestial seasonings. Also, Tension Tamer and Sleepytime work.

authorialAlchemy
authorialAlchemy
5 years ago

@ Valentine- have you ever thought you were polyamorous?

Does anyone listen to a lot of music for self care? I’ve been listening to A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead on repeat since it was released on Spotify.

authorialAlchemy
authorialAlchemy
5 years ago

The album I mean, it’s not a song. Anyway, I was running out of time on that edit. Music recs for self care? I need a new artist to binge.

I really like CN Lester. Beautiful singer and pianist. Good music to just sink into.

Valentine
Valentine
5 years ago

@Authorial-alchemy
I’m not entirely sure what polyamourus is. But if it is I don’t want to be it really.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Valentine

I’m sorry to hear that you’re having difficulties in your love life.

I know that I can’t separate sex from love. I think that lots of people, including men, are like that.

Maybe you two can work out a different approach to your situation.

Love letters? Phone calls? Phone sex? If the current solution isn’t working for you, get creative.

authorialAlchemy
authorialAlchemy
5 years ago

It just means you like having more than one romantic partner. I dunno, you might be happier that way? That’s just how some people are, it’s okay.

Although, yeah, you do need to be emotionally equipped to handle that. I find mutual triads to be really cute, but I feel that I’m not truly capable of that kind of relationship, so I’m monogamous.

Kat’s advice is good, too.

I’m not experienced with romance or sex so I’m not the best person to talk to.

Valentine
Valentine
5 years ago

@кат,
Thank you. It’s good to hear you aslo say that. Because so much we hear about people being able to do firends with benefits or open relationship with no messy emotional downsides. In fact my girlfriend is one of them! But that’s why I’m afraid to tell her. Because love complicates things and if she knows I’ve been carrying on a whole year knowing I develop feelings so easily I know she won’t trust me anymore. Especially after last year when I did tell her I got feelings. It really fucked things up. But I know if I can’t also make this arrangement work the way it is supposed to then our relationship won’t work.

EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Valentine:
Your experiences feel extremely familiar to me. I also fall in love easily, and end up complicating things horribly. I’ve been in a stable relationship for almost a year now (and it’s great) but otherwise I could well have written what you wrote.

I might be going out on a limb here, but did you also have an upbringing which was starved of genuine affection (even if it was filled with false and conditional affection, like mine was)? I think part of the reason why I tend to fixate on affection and cling to it like a drowning man is because I developed in an environment where the promise of it was more available than the reality, and so I’ve learned to chase potential affection rather than holding onto the real thing.

There’s a book which helped me a lot: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, by Gabor Maté. All of Maté’s stuff is worth reading, but that book was really powerful for this feeling.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Valentine

Lots of people look to their partner as their main source of emotional support, so when things go south there, it can wreak havoc with your emotions.

If you’re trying to do something that you’re not equipped to do — enjoy no-strings-attached sex — then you’re going to be unhappy.

If this is nonnegotiable for your girlfriend, you might need to find another partner. I’m sorry to tell you this. I know that you care about her.

That said, there are plenty of women who can appreciate a monogamous man, even one who’s not always around. While you’re away, both you and she can get a lot of work done. And absence can make the heart grow fonder.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 years ago

I have a big feeling of burn out at work since 2 week (and since I came back from holidays, where I spent 2 week only doing what I wanted to do)

I consequently kind of try to formulate plan to change sectors. The problem being that the best case who is still realistic cut my income by ~75%. I feel like I have too much money, but that’s a bit hard. It’s the problem going from one of the best paid sector (IT) to something where people usually don’t even earn minimum salary, like tabletop RPGs.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@EJ (The Other One)

There’s a book which helped me a lot: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, by Gabor Maté. All of Maté’s stuff is worth reading, but that book was really powerful for this feeling.

Hey, I’ve heard Gabor Mate on the radio show Democracy Now! I like what he has to say. His words stick with me.

I especially appreciate what he says about drug addicts. The reason they’re addicts is because their lives are full of extremely difficult challenges. They’re the most vulnerable people in society. Then when they self-medicate, society locks them up. They just can’t catch a break.

Valentine
Valentine
5 years ago

@еj,

Wow! It’s so cool for all this support I’m getting (whoever said it was right about the mammotheers!). It’s nice to know others have the same experiences.

But I’m sorry to hear you had a hard upbringing. I’m the youngest of 3 boys and before when I was a kid we’re pretty close but none of my family live near me now. Noy that I really mind since I don’t particularly like the pepple my brothers became :/ but I can’t say my childhood effected me badly.

Also itst not that I don’t want an open relationship at least on a logical level. My girlfriend is fine able to keep emotions out of it. She never tells me obviously what happens when I’m away. But she only ever seems to have love for me. But if I’ve been away working and had an affair or whatever I find it really hard not to resent her when I come home. Simply for not being that other person. After a while I recover but it’s getting exhausting. Perhaps I should let her do her thing but keep ot in my pants myself :/

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