Tag Archives: existential crisis

A Series of Changes

Siamese cat laying on a bench next to a partially opened window. It's bright and sunny May day outside.

I am unemployed and going through an Existential Crisis

Once again, I am going through a transformation period in my life. I feel unknown to myself, and the future feels murky. Some of these choices are my own. Some were not, and I had to decide what to do.

The upside to this is that I can receive unemployment again. Unlike the last time I received it, during the Pandemic Shutdown of 2020 and into early 2021 with the extensions, I have to apply for work every week. I really don’t want to look for work right now. I acknowledge that I can’t live this way forever and have to get work because that is the world’s cruel reality. Like most of my fellow millennials, I feel that I will not ever be able to retire. If I somehow do, it sure looks like the rising sea levels from the ice caps melting from climate change will ruin the future. Unemployment is the only vacation I’ll get. Which, as anyone unemployed for an extended period will tell you, is not a vacation. It’s stressful and not relaxing. I haven’t been able to enjoy any of the time to myself because I have been so stressed about the future. Yes, I will have some money for the future, at the cost of applying to 3 jobs a week that I don’t want. I hate working. This last job was the closest of meeting my needs until it didn’t.

I really would like to have work that meets my needs. I know it’s impossible to not work, so I’d rather do something that is meaningful, pays decently, and doesn’t drain me. I’m tired of numbing myself and avoiding reality because life sucks. Because I’m not living in alignment with my values and not living a life that makes me want to escape reality.

Black text on painted wood: May you have the courage to break the patterns in your life that no longer serve you. From Reddit.

I am very different than I was the last time on unemployment.

The difference? Long Covid. It’s going on for 15 months, and I’m still dealing with this. This is the main reason I quit my previous job. While there were other reasons, all of them I could handle while working or finding similar work in the field. But, my body gave out. Chronic fatigue is a bitch. No matter how much I tried to make it work and how much work tried to accommodate, it didn’t work out. More on why in the posts below:

On the positive side, I have changed in the two years since I was unemployed. I’ve done a bunch of healing and inner work from the books I read while working and from going to therapy. I healed through osmosis at my previous job by going through tough situations and being around good people. I have to give credit for the good too. That workplace became a complex relationship.

Another positive is that I haven’t consumed pot in over three months and only had one cocktail during that time. I made a margarita last week. While delicious, the hangover and depression the following days were awful. I may have to face the reality that I can’t drink again. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt awful after drinking. Now, because of my health conditions, I’m even more sensitive to it. I chose to stop both for health reasons and was told by my doctor that I’d recover. Now that I’ve recovered from Serotonin Syndrome (I think), and been sober, I feel much better despite the lows.

During those lows, I was on the edge of existence but held on and turned to help.

So, I am stressed out and frustrated because I likely can’t work in my previous fields of work. I can’t physically handle working full time anymore, and I don’t want to commit to a job because I plan on going back to school for the Fall college quarter in September.

The plan for the future… For now.

I am not 100% sure that I want to become a therapist by going back to school. While I have had a special interest in psychology, how relationships work, masculinity, and self-help topics to understand myself and heal myself, doing it for work to help others is a different thing.

I do like helping others who are struggling. I do like the idea of contributing to a healing industry. I like that I could be a small part of guiding people and healing societal problems. Maybe contributing to current psychological research.

I dunno. This kinda feels like I’m going through the motions because I have to make money at something. Yeah, while going to school I could change majors if it doesn’t work out, but that is an expensive gamble. At the same time, I do not want to do any more blue-collar work or “boot camps” because those are tied to heavy corporate or business-related careers. Work has been a chore I have to do to survive. Occasionally it has been fun because of coworkers, but not because of the work itself. I liked what I could do alongside the work, such as listening to music, audiobooks, or watching videos.

I could simply be biased by recent feelings and my existential-colored glasses.

Maybe I’m tired of betting on career potential.

Well, doing something is still better than staying the same. 😮‍💨 🤷


On a separate note, it feels like the traffic on the blog is dying. I haven’t made this easier as my post times have become inconsistent. I’ve also questioned lately whether I am still interested in continuing to do this as I don’t want to play the SEO game or do the other little things that are required to make this blog relevant in the eyes of search engines or others. I don’t know why I’m doing this anymore, as it is a lot of work to write this to the quality I prefer, and it is disappointing that this blog isn’t growing. Maybe this is the best I can expect for a personal blog with random topics that don’t consider the audience or me following the rules a blogger needs to do for success. Maybe this is just me externalizing my feelings of feeling lost and pressured to find the next thing that pays the bills. Or my drive to feel like I have accomplished something in life and produced something of note. I don’t like feeling like a failure or a loser in life. But it sure looks like I am one at 37 in my life. The one thing that I have complete control over, I fail.

I guess I could continue with this random post schedule without doing SEO stuff (and it’s not worth it to hire someone for a tiny blog with a limited audience such as this blog) and doing the little advertising I do. A big reason I started blogging is to connect with others. It’s very frustrating to work hard on a post after blogging for three years, and nobody comments or likes it. I know that I can’t force y’all to do it, but I’d really appreciate it. I’m way too isolated as is.


Still not recovered

I apologize for missing posts for the past week

I’m still feeling shitty from Serotonin Syndrome –see the previous post about it here—. At least, I assume it’s still Serotonin Syndrome based on my symptoms. I haven’t been able to sleep consistently, have frequent headaches, and am extremely sensitive to light and sound; I have random aches and pains in my back and neck, and barely able to take care of myself before I park in my office chair and scroll mindlessly or watch comfort tv/movies because mental effort makes my head hurt.

It concerns me enough that I’ll be calling the nurse line at my doctor’s office to get medical advice. I should be doing better by now. My doctor said that this condition should resolve in two weeks. Yet I don’t feel much better and can’t leave the house. I tried so last Thursday because I was craving ice cream from a trendy fusion spot, and I paid the price for days because it was bright and sunny. This was even though it was a 20-minute round trip. That was a mistake.

I guess that was the eye of the storm where I briefly felt better. I’ve been doing the right thing, yet I still feel shitty.

And my original paid leave expires Monday. I have no reason to think that work wouldn’t be okay with me taking more time off to feel better… (Well, I have some apologies to make due to mistakes I made before medical leave). Maybe this awful feeling that something is wrong is anxiety.

Well, that’s probably a side effect of stopping the antidepressant that caused this. …Or just because.

I’m so tired of struggling with my health. I’m sick of experiencing horrible side effects with medicines.

On top of this, I’m going through an existential crisis and a breakthrough in a way. The little time I have not been in pain I’m thinking about my future. Is this the best I can do? Is this the life I want? Being alone with your thoughts with few distractions does that. I’m ready to change my life whenever I’m healthy. I’m ready.

I’m not going to make a promise when I am blogging again regularly because I don’t know when. It currently hurts me to exert myself, which causes pain when I write mentally. I must take care of myself and get my life back on track. See you all soon!

P.S. I guess being able to write this post is proof that I have recovered somewhat. I’ll take that win.

Existential (Blog) Crisis

Yin yang symbol encarved on a white sandy beach by the ocean

Okay, so it’s not a crisis per se. Thanks to SEO and how people respond to clickbait, this is the title.

On Existential and Crises

An accurate title would be Existential Blog transition. This title is a play on words for its everyday use in the human extinction climate crisis. AKA, climate change.

It annoys me that Existential is used for the global, human corporate capitalism-caused climate change crisis. Our extinction is in progress, and I’m fed up with being nice about it. Or allowing it to be downplayed by Corporate Democrats (The “bitch or ho” to Corporate Pimps) and straight-up money sluts, Republicans. This isn’t about gender. If you sell out for money, these terms are apt. Both are equally at fault. This is how you use the word “both sides” in the United States. Aka, Both sides of the Corporate coin.

Existentialism definition: a chiefly 20th century philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/existentialism

This section from Wikipedia describes the existential crisis American is in:

“Existential crises have various negative consequences, both on the personal level, such as anxiety and the formation of bad relationships, and the social level, such as a high divorce rate and decreased productivity. They may also have positive effects by pushing the affected to address the underlying issue and thereby develop as a person. Some questionnaires, such as the Purpose in Life Test, can be used to measure whether someone is currently undergoing an existential crisis. Because of the primarily negative consequences, it is important that existential crises are resolved. The most common approach is to help the affected find meaning in their life. This can happen through a leap of faith, in which the individual places their trust into a new system of meaning, or through a reasoned approach focusing on a careful and evidence-based evaluation of the sources of meaning. Some theorists recommend a nihilistic approach, in which the individual accepts that life is meaningless and tries to find the best way to cope with this fact. Other approaches include cognitive behavior therapy and the practice of social perspective-taking.

Outside psychology and psychotherapy, the term “existential crisis” is sometimes used to indicate that the existence of something is threatened.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existential_crisis?wprov=sfla1

I digress. I got a bit off-topic there and felt I had to rant about that before getting into this post. So, in summary, I was wrong about existential crises in this context. Yeah, climate change is an existential crisis in humanity’s existence.

I realize that this post isn’t SEO-friendly. Or I’m doing that thing in psychology where I’m I’m the one in an existential crisis. That was why I missed work earlier this week because of anxiety… I’m better; I have been doing better since then.

This is because life is going well… And I’m so used to it, not that I’m afraid even though I’m doing the right things.

Quote: That's the thing about healing; you heal into someone else. A completely new person, not even because you want to, but because of who you were, you could no longer survive. Let it go, and let a new you happen.
Gif quote: that's called a breakthrough.

The Existential Blog Crisis

I think it’s time. Time to give the blog an overhaul. I don’t feel that the current name satisfies any longer. I chose the unknown Reilly because when I started in March 2020, I was at rock bottom, and it felt like a novel. Because of the chaotic beginning of the pandemic, Because that was the most painful period of my life to date (Well, except for the summer of 2009. That’s another potential post.), the near future felt like an unknown. I felt like I didn’t know myself. America felt like (and more so today, I sure didn’t expect that.) an unknown. Life was a novel where I lived hour to hour, day to day.

No longer.

I don’t feel like I am, nor is life an unknown anymore. Of course, nobody knows the future. However, I feel comfortable moving forward because I know myself better 26 months later.

I un-un know now. (😅 Okay, okay enough with using the word unknown.)

So, I’m thinking of changing the name, the site design and layout, and the way of writing that reflects this. I feel that I’ve neglected these, and while I am frustrated that traffic and subscribers have stalled, the bottom line is that I can do better. I want to do the best I can because I like blogging. I want to do better because this makes me feel alive. I want to keep discovering. I want to fulfill the potential for greatness.

Im not giving up, and I haven’t run out of motivation. It feels fair to be the best you can be at something for its intrinsic value. I am doing it because I love to.

Gif quote: Kicking ass and taking names! That's how we do!

The problem is, that going back and fixing the (Holy shit) 136 posts would be expensive and time-consuming to correct to be SEO-friendly. I want to feel and see from the word press blog stats that the blog is developing. That’s fair after two years of posting. It’s frustrating to take the time to write what I feel is an excellent post, and few see it. Or it doesn’t add new subscribers. I need to figure out why.

I’ll find out slowly in my free time between working a full-time job and life. I wish I could afford to hire someone, but with 136 posts… That would be expensive. And… I do this as a hobby and don’t make money blogging. I’m not sure I want to blog or make money as a living blogging. I don’t want to repeat the mistake in the life of working a career I enjoy –I used to be a personal chef and worked in restaurants for years– then ended up resenting it or losing my passion because it became an obligation. So, I’ll proceed slowly. It’s tough to make a living writing or blogging… Like lottery odds. Anyway. Maybe in the future.

In conclusion, my current essential crisis moment is in the popular definition of the word… To find a new meaning based on the information I understand today. I’m aware of this and know what I need now. Whether to dive into it as a career or to be a writer of some kind as a living.

For now it’s an unknown.


Postscript.

I watched Iron Man 3 on Sunday, which has been a few years, and this speech Tony Stark gave at the movie’s end resonated with me. You can find it on YouTube if you search “Ironman 3 ending speech” since WordPress and YouTube are nitpicky about sharing. Spoilers…


Copyright Reilly Anderson 2022