More threads by Pilonea


"I want a new drug, one that wont make me sick. One that wont make me crash my car or make me feel three feet thick."

That's Huey Lewis and the News, "I Wanna New Drug." One could replace the word "drug" with "life" and I would swear the tune was written in honor of me.

Hi, my name is Pilonea. Well, not really of course, but this is the internet, I can be who I wish here -- right? I am a 26 year old male with no life, no credibility and no future. One can wonder why I would waste my time posting to internet message boards about myself, especially considering my apparent disdain for life in general. My response would be that when one has nothing but four walls, an i-net connection, and a television to keep them busy during the day, well, one will waste one's time on a great many inconsequential activities, especially if you are like me and have better things to do than watch Oprah and Doktor Phil. So, this is what I find myself doing these days. You see, this has been going on since September -- the last time I held a job -- and hasn't really changed. The sad and somewhat worrisome thing about it is that I really don't care. In certain ways I am content to be cutoff, or excluded from the daily grind that is planet earth. I prefer to construct my own world and my own reality within my meager living space and not venture forth beyond these walls (unless one considers an excursion into cyberspace, such as this, a venture). My best friends are Kant and Russell right now -- two long dead thought philanthropists who are often good for nothing other than helping me with trivial thought experiments, like engendering my own philosophy from the ground up, a philosophy of mind -- my mind. How can two distinct individuals really collate their perspectives on reality, and how do these comparisons pan out? That is, how can one "objectively" judge me? Isn't "reality" itself a synthetic a priori? Enough of that.

It all began at the age of 15. That was the time when I distinctly remember my grades in school plummeting from all A's to my first ever D and then subsequently and inevitably spiraling down the pit to all F's. By the time I was a sophomore, I was ranked something like 119 out of 121 in my class as far as GPA was concerned. I didn't care then, and I really don't care now. You see, everyone else thought I was a bit odd (they had to considering the drastic change that I had went through as an adolescent). As a grade schooler and middle schooler, I was an honor student, selected for elite scholar teams that were statewide (of which I turned down, I always did have a flair for controversy), and received athletic honors. This all changed the further I progressed in the public school system. By the time I was 15, I had a teacher or two who found great merriment in exposing me for the slacker that I was and for publicly chastising me for things others did but were not punished for. I ended up being, to them, the class clown or, better yet, class freak. I can recall the glorious days of being called into the hallway for "talks" merely because I decided not to complete my homework assignment the night before. Hell, I don't recall even owning a textbook past about the 8th grade.

By the time I was 16, I was smoking pot quite often and skipping school to engage myself in extracurricular activities and began simply enjoying my time away from the confines that was school. It also didn't help that I wasn't really like the rest of the students -- that is, I didn't really like them nor care to be like them (albeit in certain ways we all strive for social acceptance).

At about this same point, I was finding myself sleeping at all hours of the day and night and letting everything that should be important go. I was taken to visit a shrink, was diagnosed as "depressed" and placed on Paxil and Lithium (the latter of which I utterly detested). Lithium withdrawal was hell and I found myself almost passing out at work after I stopped taking it (it was like having mini-seizure). I decided the best thing for me was no school, so I dropped out as soon as I hit 16.

The next several years were more of the same, until I decided I would enter college at the age of 19, which I did. I had to obtain my GED first, of course, and the arduous process of that serves as a fine illustration of the broken down bureaucracy that is public education. I was ready for the GED at the age of 15 but had to wait until the age of 17 to take the test in accordance with state law. It seems our board of education feels uncomfortable with 15 year old high school grads running the streets, especially when they didn't have to waste their time and energy fumbling through the hell that is the public school system -- a system that so many in my area seem to revere. Nonetheless, I was forced to enter the GED program after I dropped out in order to keep my driver's license. The first day I was made to attempt an achievement and ability test to gauge exactly where I stood with my educational progress. Well, I aced the test and received a rather confounded reaction from the administrator who informed me that I was the "only person in 20 years to score perfectly on the test." She later cut a deal with me, telling me if I didn't want to come to class for an entire year (as the law said I had to do), she wouldn't turn me in. Much to my chagrin, however, I was nontheless forced to wait an entire year to take the formal test. What fun!

I entered university at the age of 19 (after spending the next year screwing off and smoking plenty of pot). I quickly found myself on the Dean's list for the first two semesters. When I became a sophomore, tragedy struck my family -- my father passed away and left me with a load of responsibility and left the rest of the family in shock. To this day I still have no idea what killed him, he was an alcoholic and Vietnam combat Veteran of 66-67'. We found him dead at home alone.

As a result, my grades took a plummet and I ended up dropping out of college. I did come back, but only to end up in a heated debate with a professor during a philosophy lecture on Plato. It seemed our disagreement on some of Plato's allegories seemed to really frustrate her beyond comprehension and it forced me to vex her with some difficult to answer questions on religion and immortality. I walked out and never came back to school. Needless to say I had not been asleep for three days as I was feeling quite euphoric and had other issues on my mind like a relationship with a woman I had just met. I felt no need to remain in such a straight-jacket of intellectual confinement that was the university. I was walking circles around the professor, she knew it, I knew it, and others from my class informed me that they knew it. That was the end of my college career.

I am running long so.

All of the above occurred by the time I was 22. Fast forward four years. I am now 26, have no money, no education, no job, and live with my mother in near poverty. The last four years have been the same story revisited: find a job, work for a couple of months, quit in a fit of rage. I often feel, as my mother points out, that I have not matured emotionally above the level of about a 16 year old. I am irresponsible, cannot hold a job (as I mentioned), and just let everything go. I have debt collectors harassing me daily, I cannot get my sleep patterns on track, and my mother is near the point of a nervous breakdown. The rest of my family, including my brother, are rather successful and I feel I am nothing but a burden to them all. Friends of the family are constantly coming over to give me pep talks and many of them think I am just a bad example of a human being (they say I am lazy and just a plain sorry excuse). Now I cannot leave the house, as I cannot afford insurance on my vehicle, and I am stuck here staring out the window, authoring pointless posts on the Internet and simply lamenting the fact that I even still exist. Nihilist thoughts flood my brain and I have felt for a couple of years now that nothingness is far superior to existence. Rather than strife, I will take the serenity that defines nonexistence.

To sum it all up, I feel as if I am never going to be able to hold a job. I just cannot get along with any group of people for an extended period of time. I also loathe regimentation and punctualism. No job = no money = no help for my mother = further decline into poverty. I cannot carry on, and I feel like a quick bullet to the skull may be the best answer to ameliorate my problems and my family's; that problem is me.

I have been seeing doctors for a couple of years now -- they have diagnosed me with Bipolar disorder type I after a suicide attempt a few years back. I am on prozac, trileptal and wellbutrin now with an occasional dab of Zyprexa for leveling purposes. My friends seem to constantly chatter about my incompatibility with planet earth and carry on about whether I will "learn my lesson" inasmuch that I cannot continue on my path without dire consequences. Of course, I know this better than they do, but knowing and controlling events are two different animals. I can intellectualize my scenario until I am blue in the face, but cannot seem to gather the will to change it. I am fighting a losing battle, a battle against fate and determinism.

So that's me, a gen X'er without a cause and without a clue as to how to function and operate in society. Damned are the ones who see through the morass of human emotion and motivation -- I see no compensation for this task we call life and see no need to waste my resources, namely my mental energies, on something that will not bear fruit worth my harvesting. I have become sickened on the fruit of the normal life -- that is eating, drinking, sleeping, working a meaningless job, and then dying. Why not speed the process up? The problem is, no one else within my sphere of cognition can observe this reality quite like I do. They just don't understand what it's like.

That's the story of my ten year slump.

Daniel E.
I am all-too-aware of nihilistic thinking. A funny take on it is from the Simpsons:

Lisa Simpson: "As Intelligence goes up, Happiness goes down. See, I made a graph. I make a lot of graphs."

However, Lisa Simpson happily plays the saxophone because the flip side of nihilism/depression is creativity, as Nietzsche demonstrated in his own battle with depression. This is why I think hobbies and other creative interests are so vital for combatting depression.

Regarding your work issues, have you tried working for a temp agency? That way, of course, you don't have to make a big commitment. Similarly, I prefer to work as an independent contactor rather than as a traditional employee. Also, my favorite movies tend to be comedies about work like the movies "Haiku Tunnel" and "Office Space."

That is, how can one "objectively" judge me? Isn't "reality" itself a synthetic a priori? Enough of that.
A popular book on the impossibility of complete objectivity is The View from Nowhere. It's a good book but not great.

. I have become sickened on the fruit of the normal life -- that is eating, drinking, sleeping, working a meaningless job, and then dying.
.,..which is why people engage in creative pursuits and go to art museums.
Of course, if we focus on the negative--whether we can help it or not--what we see is what we get, as with Hamlet:
Hamlet’s fascination with death reflects “selective abstraction,” in which the positive aspects of life are overlooked (5-6), in favor of “absolutist, dichotomous thinking,” which views death as the “principal reality”
Hamlet Haven: Psychoanalytic

You may want to read a semi-practical book like Plato, Not Prozac!: Applying Eternal Wisdom to Everyday Problems if you continue to have problems with nihilistic thoughts, especially the chapter on existentialism:
If existentialism has gotten you down, try thinking of it as just as phase, and see what you can do to advance beyond it. Once you are through an existential crisis, you may well feel more at peace. It's one way to get rid of a lot of excess baggage (pg. 75).
(BTW, the book is not anti-Prozac. Its title is just a bad marketing ploy.)

Also, I think anyone who likes philosophy is prone to the negative effects of overgeneralization. It certainly is the case with me. This is why I prefer fiction and mythology instead of philosophy at this point. My favorite story of hyper-rationalism is a pygmy legend told by Joseph Campbell:

While walking in the forest, a little boy heard a bird singing the most beautiful song. The bird and he became friends and he brought the bird with the beautiful song home to his father. He asked his father to bring food for the bird. His father is angry. He doesn't want to feed a mere bird, so he kills it. And the legend says the man killed the bird, and with the bird he killed the song, and with the song, himself. He dropped dead, completely dead, and was dead forever.
The Power of Myth

Another Joseph Campbell exceprt from The Power of Myth:
"Find that burning thing in your life, that becoming-thing — which is fearless!

It's the condition of a hero going into battle with perfect courage.

Think of a blade of grass. Every week a chap comes by with a lawnmower and cuts it down. Suppose the grass was to say, "for Pete's sake, what's the use?"


Pilonea said:
It all began at the age of 15. That was the time when I distinctly remember my grades in school plummeting from all A's to my first ever D and then subsequently and inevitably spiraling down the pit to all F's.

welcome Pilonea,

What happened to you at 15? Was this when you realized your father had an alcohol problem? Usually a child doesn't start plummeting downward academically without some external reason. I think his being a Vietnam vet is highly significant. And his death must have been unbelievably traumatic. I think your father is very important in what has happened to you, although this is just a guess.

I don't think that you lack credibility. Nor do I think you don't care. I believe you care a great deal. As you get older the "slacker" thing starts to get old and purposeless. People as they mature start to seek their purpose in life. I think that may be where you're at.

Yes society forces us to get jobs. Yes it forces us to earn filthy lucre to survive. Yes it makes us get up in the morning and take orders from bosses all day. Yes it can be a major drag and a bore. But ultimately that's what an adult has to accept - unless they have rare alternatives such as an inheritance, great connections, living off of wealthier relatives or a "sugar daddy." Ultimately an adult has to face reality and find a way to earn a living. It's a bummer but it's the truth. Your purpose in life can't possibly be to watch Oprah. I know you have a higher purpose because you're incredibly intelligent and articulate. Your talents are being squandered and I think you're starting to question this.

Please stop telling yourself what a loser you are and instead think about your talents and passions in life. That's the direction to go, IMO.



Welcome to life, Pilonea! :~}

So that's me, a gen X'er without a cause and without a clue as to how to function and operate in society.

Sometimes our expectations of what we want and what we need can change drastically when life throws us a curve ball.

The only words of wisdom I can offer is that work of any kind gives meaning to our life. Even volunteer work.

Along with all of the other supports in your life, perhaps this would be a very important goal right now.

All the best & Merry Christmas
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