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Stuff
#1
Well, I guess I'm following the trend and posting random life stuff here like everyone else seems to have been doing recently. It's funny that people are using blogs as actual blogs, I don't recall it being as common back on JV.

I haven't posted here in a while, but I've been lurking a bit every now and then. It's kind of nice to read people's blogs and get some insight into their lives. Recently, I've been going through some big changes in my own life that I guess I'd like to write about.

I used to think I'd be a computer scientist in the future, but I think that dream spawned from my love for video games. The only true interest I have in the field outside of games, i.e. academically, is A.I., and to a certain degree some of the lower-level stuff, like embedded systems.

For a long time I've been working on a pretty massive project, that I plan to have mostly finished some time next year hopefully, although progress has been a bit slow recently. It's  pretty much just a 3D game engine built from scratch in C. So far it includes a custom maths library, skeletal animation system, physics engine with support for various joints, etc. etc. I'm planning to add netcode and support for a terminal + command system similar to id Tech or its spin-offs like GoldSrc or Source, as well as, if I ever have the time, SIMD intrinsics and multithreading. You can see it here, and I have videos of the physics engine in action on YouTube.

Working on that project and thinking more about my future, I began to reevaluate what I really wanted to do with my life. I started to gain a passion for maths and then physics, the former of which I was told to give up on in high school since I was so bad at it. Last year, I decided to make a massive change and switch to pursuing a career in physics.

I'd always been a bit of a delinquent when it came to my studies; I never really took any of it seriously, I used to settle for so-so grades just so I could spend as much time as possible playing video games. In fact I even dropped out of high school, which is still one of my biggest regrets. I was home schooled and did high school online, so before this year I was basically a shut-in, too. These were both hurdles that I'm still pushing myself to get past to some degree.

Somehow, despite everything, and for reasons I don't think I'll ever understand, I got accepted into a Go8 university. As a result, starting at the beginning of this year, I've been doing an honours degree majoring in advanced physics. Getting up at 5:30 AM each morning and physically going to an actual university way out in the city to study physics and pure mathematics has been a whole new world for me, one that's been incredibly fun, interesting and challenging.

With all of that being said, I feel like I can move on to the main reason I'm writing. About a year and a half ago when I started to realize how my life was turning out and how much of a failure I'd become, some form of low self-esteem and anxiety took place. I thought once I started turning my life around that would go away, but it's only been getting worse. I've been having constant negative thoughts that I can't get off my mind. Stuff like feeling worthless, replaying embarrassing or regretful things I've done (whether they be recent or from years and years ago) in my head, thoughts of suicide and self-hatred in general. Not to mention worries about failing or not being able to maintain a 70 GPA, both things which my more intelligent brother and peers seem to have no problems with (and they have no problem vocalizing it, either...).

Recently this stuff has become difficult to bear, and I've been having a lot of trouble concentrating on anything. From halfway through this year and onwards I've had a few total breakdowns over completely trivial stuff, which resulted in self-harm; the last time I did that I ended up almost passing out. Considering the reasons I had, it's pretty stupid, and I'm still embarrassed about it.

In order to try and avoid some of these negative feelings, I've made a couple of changes. I've cut all contact with all of my friends, bar a few, so that I'll hopefully have less interactions and therefore less socially-related regrets. I also pretty much quit video games, including TF2 - I finally got to the highest competitive division in Australia, but I think I was always an anchor on my team, so I think it's a good thing that I left it. I have been playing a bit of Smash with my closest friend recently, but I always end up tilting and getting pretty nasty. Luckily he's very tolerant and understanding about it all despite everything he has to deal with, which I'm unbelievably thankful for.

Last month I built up the courage to mention some of these negative feelings to my GP, who has put me on antidepressants and recommended counselling. I suppose part of the reason I'm writing this is to help me become more confident talking to people about this sort of stuff so I can hopefully book a counselling session soon... although I'm afraid that it'll be awkward and embarrassing, and I'm concerned about the expenses. But I'll keep trying.

So I guess that's been my life recently. I feel like someone having these sorts of issues is pretty common or even to be expected at this point. This ended up being more of a mini-autobiography, so I'm sorry that it was such a long read, although I guess that's what these things generally tend to end up being. Thanks for reading regardless of all that though.
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#2
(2019-10-22 08:14:08)Delphinoid Wrote: In order to try and avoid some of these negative feelings, I've made a couple of changes. I've cut all contact with all of my friends, bar a few, so that I'll hopefully have less interactions and therefore less socially-related regrets.

If this works for you, then definitely keep at it! Making sure that you're not overwhelming yourself socially can be a really big step, and a very important one, so good on you for recognising this and taking action. 

That being said, please make sure that you are still addressing this issue you have with being overly-critical of your 'failed' social interactions. Believe me, you are perceiving it 150x worse than the receiver(s)/other people involved in that situation probably did. It's more than likely that either they didn't notice or didn't take it as badly as you did, or they did notice it but were understanding and simply wrote it off. Why am I so confident about saying this? Well, because we've all been there! We have all had times when we have bombed out socially and completely embarrassed ourselves, and I'm sure most people also get random PTSD flashbacks about them too!
But, this is something you have to recognise and work through yourself. I'm glad you've spoken to a GP and will be seeing a counsellor, and I hope they can help you find strategies to deal with this more productively. It will be tough, but given your story about how you've pursued your future and your career interests, I have absolute faith that you have the strength to see this through.
Also, please have more faith in other people, but also have some faith in yourself! I mean look at what you've accomplished, from being 'bad' at physics to studying it in higher education and maintaining a good grade! Seriously, I really admire you! I wish you all the best in the journey to come  Sun

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#3
That's good that you're planning on seeing a counselor. Many people who show symptoms of mental issues refuse to seek help for stigma-related reasons, so it's a step in the right direction for you and they'll hopefully teach you healthy coping skills and how to properly deal with all those negative thoughts.

Also I totally understand about embarrassing things I've done that make me wanna go hide in my room just thinking about it. Going back to those times even brought me down and gave me anxiety but then I learned that no one really cares as much as you think, no matter how traumatizing the event may have been. Everyone has their slip ups. If someone does bring it up to purposely make you feel bad about it, then they're a fucking loser.
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#4
Your mental health is priceless and I think its awesome you are going to see a counselor.

The only advice I can offer from my experience in counseling is to considering shopping around to find one that you really click with. Its 100 percent worth your money to have one that you like because the relationship requires a ton of trust.

On Reddit the subreddit r/talktherapy is an excellent resource you can use.
"anyway.. why do people keep saying my name? i don't sim anymore lol"
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