lissener’s Manifesto

I’ve been out of work for almost two months. I’m a month and a half behind on rent and I spend a lot of time contemplating homelessness and trying to nap away the world. I lost my job for a gradually increasing inability to focus on what it was I was doing. There were several, kind of telescoping factors involved: primarily my depression, and the growing ineffectiveness (shrinking effectiveness?) of the medication I take for it. This exacerbated the secondary factor: my job was boring and I hated it. Mostly. And this in turn supported and ‘excused’ my passive-aggressive indulgence in worktime distractions, chief among which was the SDMB. No; I wasn’t fired for excessive time spent here. I was fired for neglecting my work. But when I was neglecting my work, I could usually be found here.

Even so, I had been trying for a long time to reduce the amount of time I spent at SDMB. One of the strategies I employed to that end was to ‘raise my threshold’ for posting. I.e., I would read and lurk, but refrain from joining in on most of the discussions. I would only participated when, well, when I couldn’t help myself. This usually meant that I would read and lurk and skim and sample until I came upon some subject or post that just rankled me beyond endurance and made it necessary for me to post. The unintended result was that, for that time period, I posted more rarely, but when I did I was usually pissed off. So most of my posts were like all flamey and junk.

The second strategy I devised was to try to maintain some control over the signal-to-noise ratio, both incoming and outgoing. I undertook, in other words, to ignore posts that were not (in my entirely subjective judgment) made in good faith; posts that addressed issues already raised and discussed; posts that displayed an inattention to the subject at hand; posts that were (in my entirely subjective judgment) disingenuous. I would spend little or no time explaining the obvious, or repeating myself, or shooting at decoys. The unintended result of this second strategy was that I usually came off as patronizing and aloof (a “self-centered twit”).

All around, then, an unfortunate plan: it served to put me the habit of broadcasting almost nothing but snooty, sooty posts. Before I really became aware of it, most of my posts became hotted-up variations on a theme: *“Pearls to pigs!” *

Add to that, this: seems to me that, nowadays, when I read something here that gets my back up, instead of simply addressing the issue clearly and straightforwardly, I indulge the immature urge to punish its poster for the egregious sin of daring to say something that made me angry. I seem to blame the author of a contentious post for my reaction to it and lash out him or her accordingly. (And I swore I would never become my father!)

So anyway.

[Honestly not looking for feedback here; just thought I owed it to some of you to post this.]

Let me correct one thing. I referred to you (not by name tho) here as a ‘twit’, not necessarily a self centered one, tho, I did also make an allusion to attention getting devices.

In that thread from my perspective, you made a single posting drawing a line from the OP to you ('gee, if I’d said that, a different reaction would have happened). Sure, you get to post anything you want, but it really wasn’t a ‘response’ to the OP per se, but more of ‘mom always liked you best’ sort of thing (that frankly is more often better not said ya know?)

Then, of course, 2 or 3 other folks jumped on your case and off it all went, with all 3 or 4 of you responding back and forth, and the signal to noise ratio was off the scale.

I thought (still do) that it was idiotic on everyone’s part, and attempted to mention that, but get back to the OP. So, once again lissener it really, really wasn’t all about you. Honest.

Sorry you’re out of work. I hope that you’re in communication w/whoever is writing your scripts and keeping them posted. Your ability to track things and generally act in your own best interest (*by your own admission here) are currently hampered, and this is important info for them to have.

Sorry, wring; that’s not what I was writing about, and I wasn’t quoting you.

what? you mean it wasn’t about me??

damn, the irony is thick enough to cut with a knife.

lissener: I’m not sure what the situation in Wash. State is, but in two widely disparate areas of the country they have not-for-profits with people who will cut through the red tape to provide help (various funding sources, including SSI) for people who are unable to work for reasons such as the one you mentioned above. Can you find out who to get in touch with? Fenris, you’re from up in that area and usually read virtually every Pit thread; can you find out for lissener, and let him know?

And yeah, I know all too well how it feels when your stress level is up and your emotional mood is way down. I launched myself a pity party on another thread here – and have been touched deeply by the comments.

You’re a good man. I remember some discussions we had years ago that hit me between the eyes – the amount of pain you’ve had in your life, and still came out the pretty enjoyable person that you are. Take heart, and look for a little help if you need it (and IMHO based on the self-analysis and stuff in the OP you probably do, and are being “too strong to need that stuff” like much of our generation was taught).

I’m sorry to hear things aren’t going well for you.
It’s hard to find a good nemesis these days, so chin up. That must have been a hard post to write.

Be well.

Poly: unfortunately, I’m from Colorado, not Washington State, so I’m not really in Lissener’s area. But I can poke around on the web and see if I can find anything.

Lissener: I know we’ve driven each other nuts in some threads, but I feel for you, pal. That post couldn’t have been easy to write. I wish I could offer you more than just platitudes, but Poly, Scylla and Wring pretty much said what I woulda said.

And the only advice that someone else hasn’t said better is this: if you need a break from the SDMB: go cold turkey. I was edging towards a meltdown a while back, and without some good friends’ advice…

I took a two week break and it really helped, both at work (like you I was spending too much time here and I was getting WAY too wrapped up in stuff here to the exclusion of real life) and in the rest of my life: I got whole books read without rushing to the Dope every 10 minutes to check for a response! It was a relief in a way. When, I came back to the Board. I had a better sense of persepctive on things. I know it may be hard to just stop (the place really is addictive), but it may be something that would be good for you for a set amount of time.

Take care of yourself!

Fenris