Coping Mechanisms

Does exactly what it says on the tin. Some of the nonsense contained herein may be very loosely related to The Sisters of Mercy, but I wouldn't bet your PayPal account on it. In keeping with the internet's general theme nothing written here should be taken as Gospel: over three quarters of it is utter gibberish, and most of the forum's denizens haven't spoken to another human being face-to-face for decades. Don't worry your pretty little heads about it. Above all else, remember this: You don't have to stay forever. I will understand.
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UniversalRinging
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Hello dear Heartlanders,

I'm in a very dark mood today. Mass shootings, natural disasters, the deaths of beloved artists, the threat of nuclear war, a s**t for brains racist as my country's leader. I know the world has always been a terrible place for some. And I know life is cheap. And I know everyone will die someday. And perhaps the 24hr news cycle and internet explosion just shove sensationalist garbage down everyone's throats these days. But there seems to be no end to awful hateful tragic events lately. Every time I look at the NYTimes there's something else.

That being said, how do you all cope? Do you avoid newspapers? Do you avoid TV? Do you insulate yourselves? Do you write letters to your representatives? Do you support certain organizations? Do you bake? Do you get s**t-faced?

Please tell,
Emily
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Chaotican
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Hey Emily,

There is a lot to digest today. Most days, it seems.

The things that can work for me are (on a personal, self-focused level) exercise and (on a global level) helping other people. Those both sound so irritatingly healthy, sorry. Truly, though, the best I feel these days is when I'm able to turn someone's day/week/year/life around a bit. You can't solve all the big problems all at once, but you may be able to be all the change in the world to one person.

Most days, organized action is helpful. (I can set you up if you need a way to start.) Today, I had a similar feeling. I couldn't solve the underlying problems of the USA or of the human condition or even my own discomfort. I could, however, help a homeless man who was sitting outside a discount store. That means something.

Some days it is all too much and solitude and misery is the only option. Sometimes you need to dive into it to get through it, I think. Just make sure you don't get stuck there.

Take care of yourself. <3
Bartek
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I am generally aware of what's going on, less than more, much less than i used to do, as i was news junk.

I'm trying to adopt stoic perspctive: i can do nothing about this (literally nothing) that's behind my reach, which is most of things, so i'm trying to focuse and do the best of i can that can change my world; i can't be so emphatic about what's going, because it will easily break me, destroy and anihilate like A-bomb.

And Chaotican is right, hepling other people, charity, donations (for example blood donation), volountiring, something, is what you can do to make a change.

After vacation i'm trying spend less time on-line, avoiding news, news chanells. It goes so far that my wife, who didn't and doesn't like reading/watching news, knows more than me. I am much more selective in what i'm about to read/watch.

Not to mention that for any news corp bad news is good news, and it's much more easy to sell blood, death, fear and terror.
Last edited by Bartek on 03 Oct 2017, 10:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Izzy HaveMercy
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This works very therapeutical, I have to say ;)

Always keep in mind and be aware of:

a) You cannot take all the burdens of the world on your own shoulders

b) People die; the older you get the more it seems that people YOUR age die. It's normal. It's not nice, but it's normal

c) Think local. Help people out that have it worse than you in your own vicinity. World problems and disasters and wars and pollution are bad on a global scale, and we see it all the time on TV as if it's YOUR own fault, but you can only tackle problems when you start very close around you. Then, when you have the means and/or the ambition, you can work your way out and think bigger.

This works for me, anyway. I hope some of it works for you as well.

IZ.
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For Greater Good - Ambient Music for the Masses...
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markfiend
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I don't think that the always-on news from Internet and TV is good for us. It's certainly not good for me. The news media makes us anxious - and that's what it's designed to do.

Turn off, read a book, listen to some music, talk with your friends and loved ones. Like the other guys say, take part in some local political and charitable activities.

Do some gardening. The satisfaction of growing something you can eat is amazing. You don't need a whole garden - a pot on a window-ledge is enough if that's all you have room for.
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Norman Hunter
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I look into the eyes of my wife or kids
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Charlie
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I agree that however involved or not you get with whats going on around you, it's so important to get away from that completely at times.

Find that one thing that helps you lose yourself and don't feel guilty about doing so.
For me it's computer games, i know some will roll their eyes at that, but it's not doing anyone any harm and it's the only thing i've continually done since a child that helps me cope with my anxieties.

Oh, and listening to the Sisters!
Not a day goes by i don't listen to them, wish i had found them earlier.
paint it black
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mini PiB had two seizures in 24 hours, the first for months and her boyfriend binned her as a result. she used to cope through pills and selfharm, now we play lego together (we're building the batcave - ready for lego eldritch)

how she copes with her maladies is often beyond my comprehension, however it puts my worries in context.

formally in the workplace

stephen covey: circle of influence,
no one has died and work back from there
meh, it's only a day on a life
we'll look back and laugh at this

plus having zero empathy
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Pista
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I think using every (peaceful) weapon in your arsenal is one way to go to make your voice heard. It my not get much attention, but you need to try.
Like others have said, helping out someone less fortunate than you locally can be rewarding too.
I also grow things to eat, although it's mainly herbs & spices that are difficult to buy where I live. It's my little way of "sticking it to the man". :)

Also, sticking pins in a Morrissey doll helps
Cheers.
Steve
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sultan2075
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I'm teaching a lot more than I used to, and that helps me ignore things a bit. I'm also largely focused on Aristotle this term, which also helps a great deal. Aristotle for everybody!
The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
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eastmidswhizzkid
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above and beyond everything: music.
never underestimate how much of a difference having music on can make to your mood. at your preferred volume is best, but if you need to concentrate on something then having it on in the background is better than silence or the tv.

when you're out and about listening to music through headphones is great for making you feel less exposed and more in your own bubble. it drowns out the drivel and crap of others (a HUGE benefit i find) and it stops you sitting and thinking too much during long journeys etc.

reading can be a great distraction but sometimes i find it impossible as my brain is still running at a trillion miles an hour in the background but if i put music on as well it seems to stop that part of my mental processes.

most important to remember: if the music you're listening to isn't raising your mood then change it! even if something worked before but isn't doing now so that's not because you're beyond being lifted. remember you love all of your music at some time or other -you WILL find something that cheers you up.

and nothing lasts forever. you will feel better sooner or later, no matter how impossible that may seem. and when you are feeling happy again you will remember this time and be glad you carried on and didnt give up. never surrender! even in the face of oblivion.
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Bartek
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E. Idle wrote:Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
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Chaotican
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And animals! Either rescue or just play with a cat.
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sultan2075
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Chaotican wrote:And animals! Either rescue or just play with a cat.
One of our cats managed to set off the burglar alarm the other night - she had a bad case of the zoomies, and was scrabbling around on a hard wood floor. She couldn't get a grip, slid onto the carpet, and then her and the carpet both flew right into the wall. Pretty funny, in a cartoonish way. She was fine.
The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
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Being645
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Oh yes, cats ... :D ... although even the spider under your cupboard or the birds visiting the balcony might do ... :D ...

The cat of my parents disappeared in October 2015 ... and they got another from the animal home (again) mid-2016 ... it died all of a sudden this month. It was crying with pain, fell down and died ... each flower in the garden reminds me (and even more my mother and my father) of her. She was such a lovely animal ... So what, the rest of the world might go on hating and killing each other ... it has no meaning. It's only s**t, bullshit, tedious and boring standards ... and every small flower, every tree, every raindrop, every sunray, every ant and elephant know better ...

Coping strategies?
1) Don't tell those about your coping strategies who are mired in the concept of friend/enemy dichotomies ... they're gonna pull the carpet under your feet, when they find a way ... :D ...

2) As it has been said before ... engagement and action to improve the situation of one person, one people, one messed situation help diminish upcoming emotions of helplessness and increase one's will and capabilities to counteract the mess. One has to make a choice, a decision, though, as to who, how far and how often one can do that. There is no use in over-exhausting one's resources ... for there is nothing much to expect in return. And expectations in general ... better get rid of them.

3) Something to find pleasure with, whatever that may be ... collecting stamps or Sisters recordings, playing an instrument, writing, painting, sports ... even computer games ... :lol: ... something pleasureable far away from all the rows ... maybe even work ... :D ... or getting really deep into the bouts and rows ... :twisted: :lol: ...
paint it black
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We made a Lego bat boat tonight = happier mini pib
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Microcosmia
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I just remind myself that as a species we've faced peril repeatedly since coming out of the cave, and somehow survived. That said, there does seem to be a sense of heightened risk now and tragic events are all too frequent. If I became overwhelmed by the hugeness of it all I wouldn't be able to function fully. So I focus on the things that are meaningful priorities to me in terms of family, work, causes and friends and I avoid things that are counterproductive to those ends.

I manage my exposure to news as well. It helps to switch over to watch something neutral (no one gets killed on the Antiques Roadshow, do they? :D ). And I agree with EMWK about music. I rarely go through the day without it, in whatever form, it's my default coping strategy.
Microcosmia
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paint it black wrote:We made a Lego bat boat tonight = happier mini pib
That's great to hear, best wishes to you all.
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UniversalRinging
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Heartlanders, you’re a very caring bunch. I know I’ve said this before - it’s really nice to be here.



Chaotican, agreed. I walk/jog just about every day. It helps me sleep at night. Local action too. I do what I can in my own small way. But yeah, sometimes it’s a big picture kind of despair. Like, what’s my little donation bag compared to NRA money, you know? I had my wallow yesterday. I’m sure I’ll wallow again. In the meantime it’s good to air this s**t out and find so many of us here have so much in common (besides the Sisters). Also, good to know you’re familiar with organizations – I may turn to you sooner or later.

Bartek, yeah, my boyfriend and I have taken turns being the household news junkie too. Thankfully we don’t subscribe to cable TV, so neither of us is really exposed to the shriek-y cable news shows. I agree, it does help to be selective - we get most of our news from public radio and the Times, which I do generally trust. He’s also obsessed with a late night talk show host named Seth Meyers, who usually has a funny and incisive take on current events so we’ll watch that together.

Izzy HaveMercy, ah yes, it is definitely therapeutic. Yeah, you have a good point. Age and death are constants. Things feel sadder and more personal because I can relate more as I get older. Sigh. It does still suck.

Markfiend, exactly, it’s this pervasive anxiety. Lately, powerlessness and paralysis strike whenever I read the news. I do wonder, is the state of the world objectively s**t-er than it was eight years ago or not? Sure feels that way. I garden too. It does give me peace and satisfaction. As do big kisses and hugs from my loved ones.

Norman Hunter, that’s beautiful.

Charlie, I’d never roll my eyes at anything you do that puts you at ease! My escapes are normally movies and music and books, but sometimes a mood strikes when you can’t even concentrate on those things, and I kind of envy you for having such a reliable outlet.

Paint it black, sounds like mini PiB has been though hell. She also sounds very strong and has come a long way. When a loved one is sick it does put everything into perspective. I wish her and you good health. Perhaps a pic when you complete Lego Eldo? Oh, and flip off that ex-boyfriend for me.

Pista, ahahahahah… now where do I get a Morrissey voodoo doll? Another gardener too. Oh geez, maybe we need a gardening thread come spring.

Sultan2075, s**t, why not? I’ll dig up my copy of Metaphysics and see what happens.

Eastmidswhizzkid, me too with the trillion miles per hour brain. Sometimes it does not want to shut up and does not get distracted. I prefer headphones when I’m out as well. I love that soundtrack effect, but sometimes even with headphones on, the brain races. Thanks for the encouragement. I know it will pass eventually.

Being645, poor kitty. Nature usually does good things for me too. There’s a hike down to the ocean a short drive away from my apartment. It’s beautiful. The view is immense. It makes me feel small in a good way. Alas, my place has a no pet policy so I have to console myself with animal videos on the internet – am I really admitting this in public? Lol!

Microcosmia, I hear you. Careful prioritization makes sense. Cozy shows make sense. Your Antiques Roadshow is my Star Trek TNG. Makes me feel like I’m in a warm bath. Perhaps a bath and then a cozy show before bed tonight...
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eotunun
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My Google Plus circlin Tina Vigilante found a nicely straightforward way of coping with her anger over Lord Dampnut. She stalks him on Twitter and shouts at him there whenever she can. ;D
I joined her there one afternoon. In some post, Lord Dampnut asked for book recomendations. I suggested Philip k. Dick, the Man in the High Castle. :innocent:
My tweet somehow got deleted, no idea what happened. :lol:
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culprit
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I think of the little things I've done in a genuine caring way.
That resets my brain as I realize that I'm actually a good person.

Went through a time of teaching basic maths and english to ex-offenders, and that was the most rewarding thing I've done. The thanklessness of it gives way to the genuine smile as someone realizes that they have done something they thought was beyond them.

That little memory alone resets me.
Find your own and keep it in mind every day. Start with yourself.
...mmmmmmmmmMMMMMM!....
paint it black
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culprit wrote:
Went through a time of teaching basic maths and english to ex-offenders, and that was the most rewarding thing I've done. The thanklessness of it gives way to the genuine smile as someone realizes that they have done something they thought was beyond them.
Awesome :notworthy: :notworthy:

10 years/ good behaviour = :lol:

Seriously, that's well cool. Cap doffed
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UniversalRinging
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Eotunun: Lol! It's a privilege to be banned/deleted for a good reason, no? s**t-talking on twitter has become high art/comedy in some people's hands.

Culprit: Lovely sentiment.
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