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December 3rd, 2016

(no subject) @ 03:50 pm

I moved to Boston in Fall 1992 for a couple of reasons. The most overt one was going to school there, but one of the major contributing factors was that there were a lot of people I casually knew online, and who I thought I would end up being closer friends with. This did not end up being the case at all; while I got to know a few people (and still keep in touch with one or two), I ended up being fairly socially isolated. This is due to, amongst other things, severe depression and being even more naive and socially awkward than I am now - but maybe also due to expectations that just didn't end up being realistic.

I'm now wondering if the same might be, in part, applicable to my return to the Bay Area after living overseas. I see almost none of the people I thought I'd pal around with; many have moved out of the area entirely, many are close as the crow flies but far in practice, many because the amount of time transit would take freaks me out, sometimes because I can't get out of bed in the morning (or afternoon, or evening). Work took far more out of me than I thought it would, but depression and social anxiety add immensely to the barrier energy required to go out and do stuff. I had greatly overestimated the ease of public transit and underestimated the utility of having a car or scooter or whatever - and hip/heel issues didn't encourage me to walk around much, either.

Quitting my job has helped a little bit; I don't get unprompted suicidal ideation every couple of days at random, so that's nice - but there's still a massive undercurrent of sadness, unease, and alienation. On one of the rare days I went out, there was a punk flea market thing at one of the local clubs. Interesting vendors, nice music, crowds of people who looked like I should be friends of friends with them - and yet I felt like I didn't belong there at all. Riding the bus back to the apartment, I wondered (not quite aloud) what I was doing living here; not that I'm not working, I don't have a good answer.

The latest wrinkle is that my mom suddenly went into the emergency room and had surgery for a stomach ulcer; my sister says that mom is hale and recovering well, but I'm still not reassured. That I'm now at the same age where my mom saw her mother start to develop severe Alzheimer's has been weighing on my mind quite a lot. I suspect I'll stretch out my Xmas visit longer than originally intended, at least in part to decide whether I'd want to move back to Chicago or not, and how well I could deal with it.
 
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From:xeger
Date:December 4th, 2016 01:07 pm (UTC)
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*hugs* Was thinking of you yesterday -- glad to read you today!
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From:fxl
Date:December 5th, 2016 06:10 pm (UTC)
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You have written what I have been thinking and going through myself. This affects a lot more of us than I think is readily obvious.

That said, if you ever want to chat, hang out, etc. please let me know.
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From:moof
Date:December 8th, 2016 03:00 pm (UTC)
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I'm unlikely to be on That Slack Channel, for various reasons (too many chat networks already, differences of personality w/ those who are angry and talk about molecular gastronomy, etc) and I'm going to be heading out of town until mid-January - but I'd be happy to hang out sometime then, assuming there were someplace that were reasonably unterrible for us to both get to.

In some ways, this is a standard sort of middle-age crisis, involving both the aging of one's parents and the reconsideration of one's status and position in life; but there's also a hell of a lot of Bay Area/tech culture bullshit going on, too, and imminent diaspora.
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From:weezyl
Date:December 7th, 2016 05:37 pm (UTC)
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I love you, sweetpea. I'm here. I sent your mom email, and then I sent a card on Monday, which she might even get today.
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From:chipadeedoodah
Date:December 9th, 2016 04:42 am (UTC)
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I always find your company welcome. If that means I go to you, I'm happy to do so.

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From:sjp
Date:December 14th, 2016 06:28 am (UTC)
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I'm with chip here, 100%.
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From:sjp
Date:December 14th, 2016 06:36 am (UTC)
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One of the issues I've had surfaced to me recently is my habit of falling into learned helplessness. I'm not saying this is your issue, but I feel like part of the problem you have (which I have sometimes) is that you're high level of intelligence leads to a high level of restlessness too. Adding the family issues to that, it means you have a lot on your mind without necessarily using your mind. Make sense?

I'm sorry we haven't had a chance to hang out. It is totally me, and my crazy travel schedule. I'd really like to see you when you get back from Chicago.

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