How to Deal With Unbearable Stress

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How to Deal With Unbearable Stress

Post by Guest on Mon May 04, 2015 8:48 am

I hear stories of Japanese guys killing themselves because they're being worked too hard, and I can completely relate.

The workload has increased to such an extreme level that I no longer want to kill myself because I'm depressed, I want to kill myself just to get a goddamn break from reality.

Needless to say, when your school gives you a shit-ton of assignments and barely any time to do them, you turn in mediocre work. Once again, my grades are atrocious (barely passing all classes from a 4.0 GPA in middle school). But when you barely get any sleep and you've got a job working your tail off when you're not in school, that tends to happen. I'm being punished for doing what I was told.

I hate school. I'm quitting my job in a month regardless of whether or not I get another one (Been applying, but nothing). I hate film school so fucking much, the idea of going tonight fills me with nausea. I'm being guilted into not taking a quarter off so I can relax (my parents' mantra is "any moment not working is a moment wasted." They disgust me). I don't want a lot of time off, just enough to get myself back on track mentally. Instead I'm called lazy and stupid. I wouldn't be wasting anyone's money but my own, I've got enough for a little break. Still stupid and lazy.

Yeah, I get it, the universe is cold and uncaring. But I'm close to breaking. I'm so goddamn close to it. Every rooftop could potentially be jumped off, every sharp object could be my salvation. Imagining my death is the only thing that keeps me happy because my life is an absolute hell even excluding the depression and the menagerie of mental problems I have. Hell, it's gotten so bad that I don't beat myself up for being a virgin: I simply don't have the energy for it.

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Re: How to Deal With Unbearable Stress

Post by litterature on Mon May 04, 2015 9:49 am

I used to be in a similar situation (minus the suicidal part) and in the end all I could do was switching majors. It sucked to fail at something I really wanted to do, but being able to sleep more than 3 or 4 times a week and realising I can actually hand stuff in on time made it worth it in the end, and besides I eventually found something else I really really wanted to become.

I understand this is a bit harder to do if you're in the US, but sometimes I totally regret having stuck with it for so long (but I guess I had to go through all the steps to finally let go.)

Uh... you know, this probably isn't going to be helpful at all, but I don't think this is something worth killing yourself over. I mean, I really fucking hate the guys at my former uni. They're just fucking wrong about everything and it's a fucking joke they hold the title of "professor" and their hypocrisy levels are off the charts, so I just don't want to waste my time, let alone my life, worrying about them. Yeah, some people manage but I didn't and it was a waste of time anyway so whatever.

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Re: How to Deal With Unbearable Stress

Post by Guest on Mon May 04, 2015 10:15 am

One thing that I do when the stress piles up is force myself to look objectively at the real consequences of failure. I feel like in the US (and probably in Japan as well) we have this cultural dread of failure which is all out of proportion to the probable realities of it.

So when I find myself confronting that panicky, stressed dread, I say, "What's the worst-case scenario?" I have a recent example. I made a commitment on a project, and quickly realized that I had been naive about the real level of effort that would be required. I started pouring in more hours, in an effort to make it work, but was continuing to fall behind. So I asked myself, "What are the consequences if I get to the deadline and this isn't done? What's the worst-case scenario?" Well, people were clearly going to be disappointed, and probably angry. I pride myself on my reputation as being dependable. That would be shot. I couldn't get fired over this, but I might get booted off the project. Then I'd need to find a new project. If they were bad-mouthing me, I'd have to take crap work, because the good projects wouldn't want me. The crap work would be boring and frustrating, but would give me an opportunity to rebuild my reputation.

As a worst-case scenario, this really didn't warrant the unreasonable amount of dread that was building up. And by confronting it, I could PLAN for it. I could see, "If this happens, these are the steps I could take." Once I'd done that, it wasn't so awful.

So I'd ask you: what would happen if you worked at a sustainable level, instead of killing yourself with lack of sleep? Would you fail out of school? What would the consequences of that be? And how would you move forward from there? If you give the formless dread a form, you can start to figure out how it could be attacked, and it becomes less scary. There is no monster in the world that is scarier than the one you can't see.

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Re: How to Deal With Unbearable Stress

Post by Enail on Mon May 04, 2015 11:42 am

Eliza Jane and Litterature have given great advice, but just want to add: When you quit your job, that might help things significantly, so if you feel like you can manage till then, some relief is on the way. But if it's really too much or if quitting your job won't be a big enough stress reduction, if you're in danger of killing yourself from the stress, take the damn quarter off, and let your parents go fuck themselves if they don't like it. So they'll scold you and think you're lazy for a while - it sounds like they're going to do that to some degree even if you don't, no matter how hard you work!

It seems like your parents are the sort of people who will put unreasonable expectations on you and never be satisfied, and that can be really destructive. I'm sure you want to make them proud, and I understand that, but at some point, you might need to recognize that what they want from you is unhealthy at best, unsustainable and quite possibly impossible, and prioritize your own well-being over fulfilling their wishes. It's not an easy thing to do, but a lot of people do have to detach themselves from their parents' vision of them in one way or another as they gain independence. Your parents don't own you or your future; you're allowed to make your own choices about your life, to set your own priorities and to stand up for your needs, even if it makes your parents unhappy. Part of being an adult is renegotiating your relationship with your parents to one that recognizes your autonomy.
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Re: How to Deal With Unbearable Stress

Post by Guest on Tue May 05, 2015 12:46 pm

litterature wrote:
I understand this is a bit harder to do if you're in the US, but sometimes I totally regret having stuck with it for so long (but I guess I had to go through all the steps to finally let go.)

Dropping out of college in the US and not being Mark Zuckerberg means you'll automatically be barred from any real form of income. It's fucking ridiculous. Any kind of failure in any capacity means you'll never succeed? Drug addiction? You're finished. Suicide attempt? You're finished. There's exceptions, but it takes a great deal of luck for that.

Uh... you know, this probably isn't going to be helpful at all, but I don't think this is something worth killing yourself over. I mean, I really fucking hate the guys at my former uni. They're just fucking wrong about everything and it's a fucking joke they hold the title of "professor" and their hypocrisy levels are off the charts, so I just don't want to waste my time, let alone my life, worrying about them. Yeah, some people manage but I didn't and it was a waste of time anyway so whatever.

Ironically it's not even the professors that are the main problem (OK, it kinda is, they don't give enough time to complete anything with any kind of proficiency. I take that back, everyone else is able to do something good but I'm so terrible at it that mine always look the worse. I know what I do wrong, and I keep making the same mistakes trying to compensate for what I don't know).

For example, my films tend to have terrible exposure if filmed indoors. And since my last two films were filmed indoors, the exposure is horrific. This is partially my own fault since I refuse to shoot with a crew (which is a gigantic no-no but I don't get along with my fellow students so I make do). I don't use any school equipment, I improvise using whatever the hell I want, and I do everything myself except for act. Since my stuff is far worse quality than the school equipment, I have subpar equipment and no crew, resulting in horrible films everytime, to the point where I'm being constantly insulted (to my face, no less) for how bad I am at this. They're not lying, I give terrible direction, my scripts are corny and don't work dialogue wise, and the aforementioned bad technical skills and editing means there's like 30 "meh" ones and one terrible one, and that one terrible one is always mine, and this film is always mocked by everyone else in the class. It's like putting a retarded child into a normal class. I am passing the class somehow (the teacher isn't taking points off for what camera you use so I think that's why), but it's still embarassing knowing that whatever I make will be awful, 100% guarantee, that I will be repeatedly insulted for it, and then I'll have to do it again and again and again and again because I'm so terrible at this and I don't ever improve no matter how hard I try.

So there you go, that's some stress to start with. Having no talent or ability in any field and being unable to improve in any capacity at anything really makes the whole "life" thing really fun to deal with. Other people make the same amount of films as me and improve. I haven't improved ONCE since starting at 15. I've been doing this for 5 years and haven't improved at all. They STILL look like shitty Youtube videos.

ElizaJane wrote:One thing that I do when the stress piles up is force myself to look objectively at the real consequences of failure.  I feel like in the US (and probably in Japan as well) we have this cultural dread of failure which is all out of proportion to the probable realities of it.

So I'd ask you: what would happen if you worked at a sustainable level, instead of killing yourself with lack of sleep?  Would you fail out of school?  What would the consequences of that be?  And how would you move forward from there?  If you give the formless dread a form, you can start to figure out how it could be attacked, and it becomes less scary.  There is no monster in the world that is scarier than the one you can't see.

Well it's not really that, it's the knowledge that I barely make it through every project with a B (getting a 79 in any class means you fail it. My GPA is 3.0. Going below 3.0 means automatic expulsion). It's the knowledge that the next one could very well be the one that makes me fail a class, which lowers my GPA, which gets me kicked out of school, which means I never have anything good in life. And this makes me try less and less to complete each one, and thus I get closer and closer, step by step, to ultimate doom. There's nothing I can do about a lack of motivation, even the fear of failure is slowly being beaten by a complete and total apathy for all things.

Like I said, I'm not the wunderkind of this school, I see other people's projects and am in awe at how beautiful they are. And then I look at mine, the shitty Youtube videos competing with future Oscar winners, and I'm more or less doomed, the rest of the program knows it, and are all quietly waiting for me to leave. I'm not wanted here, I will not be wanted at any film school. There's maybe like two people I get along with here, and both of them are MUCH better at it than me, and I suspect they treat me well out of pity. Like I said, there's nothing good about the work I make, I know it will suck and then it sucks, and no matter how hard I try it still sucks ass.

Enail wrote:Eliza Jane and Litterature have given great advice, but just want to add: When you quit your job, that might help things significantly, so if you feel like you can manage till then, some relief is on the way. But if it's really too much or if quitting your job won't be a big enough stress reduction, if you're in danger of killing yourself from the stress, take the damn quarter off, and let your parents go fuck themselves if they don't like it. So they'll scold you and think you're lazy for a while - it sounds like they're going to do that to some degree even if you don't, no matter how hard you work!

I'm more than likely taking the summer quarter off anyway, since they don't offer any classes in my program during that time. Gives me three months to recover somewhat.

It seems like your parents are the sort of people who will put unreasonable expectations on you and never be satisfied, and that can be really destructive. I'm sure you want to make them proud, and I understand that, but at some point, you might need to recognize that what they want from you is unhealthy at best, unsustainable and quite possibly impossible, and prioritize your own well-being over fulfilling their wishes. It's not an easy thing to do, but a lot of people do have to detach themselves from their parents' vision of them in one way or another as they gain independence. Your parents don't own you or your future; you're allowed to make your own choices about your life, to set your own priorities and to stand up for your needs, even if it makes your parents unhappy. Part of being an adult is renegotiating your relationship with your parents to one that recognizes your autonomy.

They never will be proud of me, I've more or less accepted that. I did a lot of things as a kid to make them happy. I went to the schools they wanted me to go to (I got kicked out of two private schools because I was being beaten a lot and so the administration concluded it was MY fault thanks to Zero Tolerance Policy. School administrators are all assholes and I hate every one of them), I played the sports they wanted me to play, they designed my bar mitzvah themselves and filled the prayer books with inspirational quotes from their favorite New Age Spiritual Hippie Gurus (Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, etc.), and then guilted my family into reading them. Instead of a reception, they took us to see my dad's favorite hockey team. I went to the college they told me to go to because it was my dad's alma mater and I could get a free scholarship for that. I got a $100,000 education for free just because of that, because I couldn't afford that without giant student loans otherwise.

So needless to say, as much as they claim otherwise (and they do genuinely believe they love me and are proud of me), I have never been their child. I am Daddy's Little Statistic. If I could not be athletic or strong or popular, then I would be smart. So they pushed my ass through undergrad and since Daddy's failed classmates became the teacher, Daddy could monitor me whenever the hell Daddy wanted to. Since they are religious Jews, I was taught a very negative view of sexuality as a kid, that you should only be with the one you marry, and that divorce is a sin, so you better choose right, but you also shouldn't wait too long. They shamed me for being an atheist, they shamed me for daring to question my own sexuality (and then were relieved when I ended up being straight anyway).

What's really sad is that hindsight can show that they genuinely believe they were doing good by me. They love to say "when you become a billionaire, you better thank us, because without our help you couldn't do anything." They'll say whenever I talk to them how proud of me they are, but you can tell they're annoyed that I'm not becoming a doctor like they wanted me to. So now they've hit on the idea that their little Glides can be the next Spielberg and desperately try to meet people in the industry so I can magically become him. Problem is that Glides has no ability as a filmmaker or at telling stories or at anything. All Glides knows how to do is remember things really well so he can regurgitate it once for a test or research paper and then forget it. Glides can memorize things, that's about it. But filmmaking is artistic and abstract, and memory does you no good for that. Artistic ability is something you're born with. I WANT to be artistic, but nothing I've made even comes close, you know this.

All this ranting and I haven't mentioned being a virgin until now, I'm getting better at it. I'm stopping now.

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