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About EmptyInside

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  1. I visited with my dad yesterday. He's 75, was fairly successful in his life, he's a type-a, self-described control freak, angry most of the time, and very emotionally harsh. We got to talking about how to define a life well lived. I realized a few things. There are some unhealed emotional wounds from childhood that directly connect to my relationship with my dad. Since a young age, I could feel his disapproval wrapped in every word he spoke. Friends, girlfriends, school, this, that, anything everything. He disapproved. Always. Still, like a robot, I keep coming back hoping for dad's approval which I already know I'll never get. Everything about my life is a complete and total failure in his eyes and I have to make peace with that. Never getting married, never having kids, being an introvert, he sees this as completely withdrawing from society. As I described what a life well lived meant to me, I realized that he and I are on 2 completely opposite ends of the universe. The wound of wanting dad's approval and never getting it is a deep one. It connects to almost every negative emotional pattern that I've developed over the years. Still, I can't play the victim. It's hard to stay out of that trap. I know he can't help it. His dad treated him the same way he treats me. Still, man what a really unhealthy and toxic relationship we have. He doesn't even realize how hurtful and soul crushing his comments can feel sometimes. Hypercritical. Damn. There I go again. Oh well. Deep insight.
  2. Try to create some space between your identity and the diagnosis. Sometimes when we are "diagnosed" with a behavioral condition, we perpetually stigmatize ourselves by continuing to see ourselves as the diagnosis or as our hospitalization history, etc. Be aware that your mind is always comparing yourself to others and this is where much suffering comes from. When I, an extreme introvert with social anxiety, compare myself to extraverted social butterflies, I feel pretty bad about myself, But why am I comparing myself to them? I'm not like them at all and that's okay. There have been days when I struggled with similar feelings to what you describe. It's easy for people to say things like "You need more meaning and purpose in your life. Get off your but and find something you enjoy doing. Something you're passionate about.". Well, chances are many of them have not faced any periods of feeling emotionally paralyzed to such an extent that there is a thick cloud of despair looming over, with the ability to even think of anything that brings joy being temporarily non-existent. I know that place. It's a very painful and lonely-feeling place. See if this video helps. It helped put some things in perspective for me regarding the same types of feelings you describe. And I know, it's not Leo's, but it's still a great video in my opinion.
  3. Honestly the best video addressing anhedonia that I've ever seen.
  4. One of the most simple yet deepest and most profound insights of all:
  5. Beautiful terrifying horror and splendor. Welcome to Life.
  6. The magic does not seem to want to be described. It wants to be experienced. Such a very few have had the skill and the gentle touch to put words to it that weren't in opposition to it, while somehow leaving the empty spaces it prefers to be unspoken and unwritten. Lao Tzu. of course, the all time master in my opinion, if he even existed. "You can't know it, but you can be it, at ease, in your own life."
  7. There's magic in the smell of cooking cabbage with the windows open and the breeze gently drifting through the kitchen creating spirals of aroma swirling into the olfactory senses. There's magic in realizing that the need to feel understood is one of the most common root causes of suffering, specifically loneliness. Magic is the true freedom that exists in the letting go of desire to feel acknowledged, understood, approved of, and validated. Truly experiencing the magic means knowing full well that nobody else will or could understand and the more we try to capture that magic with words and bring someone else into it, the more we ruin it.
  8. I treated myself to a guilty pleasure of a couple of episodes of the remaking of "Creepshow" the other day. I watched an episode called "The Finger" and really enjoyed it. He said "I'm a web developer which basically means I'm mostly unemployed". Relatable.
  9. Been doing some research. Stumbled onto Replika, an AI companion chatbot. Interesting. I dabbled in creating chatbots about 10 years ago. I spent a huge number of hours building a chatbot from scratch using PHP and AIML. It was very boring still despite the amount of work I put into it. What am I passionate about? Humane technology. AI that can realistically emulate empathy. I have to say that Replika is very impressive along those lines. It's open source. May give me a project to pour myself into. I can envision a trillion possibilities for this type of technology. As much as I may appear to be a Luddite when it comes to social media, technology has always been a passion and maybe this has begun to reignite a meaningful life purpose for me.
  10. I found this insightful to hear how different types of people handle solitude. A few of them definitely resonated with me. Spiraling into madness is always a possibility I would imagine. Not just with solitude, but any spiritual practice. Try talking with the ER at your local hospital about a spiritual awakening or profound spiritual insights. I live in solitude out in nature. It's a very simple life and it's right where i want to be most of the time. I do feel very connected with nature. I crave more human connection sometimes. I'm not a gamer, I don't care for social media. I watch a lot of YouTube videos. Mostly small talk without much depth from most of my friends irl with one or two exceptions. Maybe that's on me for judging them. This forum is a good place to connect. I've found a few other forums too that also create some sense of connection. I know there are plenty of others on this forum who live in solitude. It would be nice to hear from some of them. You can experience solitude in the middle of Las Vegas or in the middle of a corn field. You can feel lonely and isolated surrounded by people or all by yourself.
  11. Excellent video, Leo:
  12. Day 5: Morning viewing and it's a really good one:
  13. I don't always watch movies, but when I do, they are usually pre-2008.
  14. Life's Comedic Ironies: The guy who logs into Facebook to check and see how many likes he got on a post he posted about not posting for likes. The girl who who takes a break from posting on Facebook and puts her phone down to watch a movie featuring people on their phones posting on Facebook. It's fun, try it. Life was better before Facebook. What we resist, persists, I know I know. But still, just sayin, it really was.