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I feel drained.....not just drained but kind of empty....UPDATED Answered

I have been trying to "restart" my creative mind, but of late, I feel like I have had my brain replaced by a vacuum cylinder.  

I am at a total loss, and even the LASER project I was working on, failed miserably.   Before going on to anything more with that, I will have to get some protective eyewear though.

This is all very depressing to me....but I don't want anyone that knows me to feel badly because I do, it isn't your fault....it is partly situational and party medical (I feel like I am getting old - like my imagination is waning...).

I guess PART of the problem is that the BAR KARMA project appears to be coming to an end.....with no news of whether it will be renewed next year or not......I had a LOT of fun, writing and submitting ideas to that, and even got to hear a suggested piece of music on one of the shows :-)

I want to thank each of you for replying to my little mope session.....it has gotten kind of lonely in my section of the world....and it's good to know i am well thought of....thank you all.   I guess my recent failures, the mess I made of the box I  sent out in the gift exchange, the recent ambition to do something with a crystal radio....and my laser project that fizzled out....my fading eyesight, and inability to do the artwork (pyrographs) I once enjoyed doing....all has taken it's toll.

To be honest, it hasn't been a LITTLE mope session, this has been going on for a few months, but has come to a head recently.

What good is this deafness.....

Only one?

I was just going through many of my old PM's since I have kept a LOT of them, almost as far back as I can remember....so I could weed out some of them, and I have come to realize a few things:  
#1:  I am DEEPLY in everyone's debt here for all they have done for me over the past few years.   In fact, that brings me to something else....
#2: I feel quite ashamed at feeling down when there are so many of you out there that care, I have NO BUSINESS feeling alone. .. it might even be considered "selfish" of me to feel that way.    And I am sorry for that.....but I do realize I am not alone, and I ACKNOWEDGE each and every one of you I have dealt with over the years. You are all VERY special to me.


You are all VERY special to me though.....

Reading this thread and some of the replies, it really sounds like severe depression.  Hopelessness, sadness, inability to concentrate, isolation, stress, etc.  I hope you're able to seek some sort of treatment or a correction to any sort of medications you might be taking.  Evaluating your life in this kind of mindset is not accurate, helpful, or good.  Depression leads to faulty thoughts.  I've been there.  I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but I think you deserve to feel better than this.

Thank you AR, I am actually feeling a bit better, I have to make a few changes in what I "allow to rule my life" and not be so much of a piece of flotsum or jetsum, but more of a boat with a rudder, if you get my drift (oh I just HAD to put a pun in there, didn't I ? LOL). But, I am serious too. I have felt MUCH too much like the steel ball in a pinball machine, being directed by a few sources, and a lot of luck (or lack there of).

Aw, I'm sorry. I know I get like that when I'm tired or there's a bigger issue going on in my life. When I feel like something's sucking the creativity out of me, I usually find that it's true - it's not me, it's some external factor depleting all my extra resources that are usually devoted to hobbies, etc.

But regardless of why you're feeling burned out, IMNSHO, when Instructables become an end rather than a means it's time to reassess. Not to sound all advice-y, but the only thing I've ever found to get past it is to just stop putting pressure on myself to make anything (unless it's for work or school; then I just have to deal). I do what I need to do, and veg out during any free time rather than getting more and more frustrated that I can't make a wildly popular instructable that makes it onto every tech blog or whatever. The biggest thing for me is to give myself permission to not be a "good/productive" member. Eventually I'll become self-motivated to do a project because I want the thing I'm making - I've found that external motivators, like contests or pageviews or being featured, don't do much for me; they suck the fun out of it.

TL;DR: Maybe try only making stuff you really really want, and if you don't feel like it don't do it? It might take forever but eventually cycle through...

But you're not me and I'm not you, your mileage may vary, etc. :)

Well, when first started here, you all helped me feel young again, I felt like I had a purpose, that I could accomplish something again. Now, after a few years, I have a feeling that I haven't done anything at all. I get depressed if I feel useless, and lately my only use has been a home body beast of burden, if you know what I mean. It is getting hard to keep that stiff upper lip and all.

I think we both need to return to the original reasons we joined this site. For me, it was because ohmigosh, look at all these sweet sweet projects! I didn't even think of writing one myself for several months. Now that's been sort of inverted.

It's simply not so that you haven't done anything at all; I don't know what you've done except what I've seen here, but that is sufficient to refute the assertion. You're quite an active participant in the community, and that contribution does not deserve to be devalued.

Above all else, I think this needs repeating: Nobody should feel pressure to publish. Full stop. Nobody should feel lesser as a person because someone else has more popular projects, or more prominent projects, or more featured projects, or anything else. I could be wrong, but I really feel like this is the root issue here. You are not useless. You are a valued community member. You have skills, competencies, and knowledge that are respected and admired (and maybe envied a little...) by many, including myself.

The usefulness, value, and worth of human beings has been measured in absurdities before, but I can't think of a more breathtakingly irrelevant unit than the number of published instructables. Neither is "completed projects" any better. If you never did another DIY project in your life, it would not affect how anyone feels about you or how useful you actually are one iota. We as a society have got to stop sending the message that a person's only worth lies in their productive output. 

It isn't so much pressure to publish, as it is watching the final hours tick away when I wanted to do so much for others, that i haven't been able to do....I wanted to "make a difference", not just be a prescence. I want to feel useful again, I wnat to help inspire, to be more than a few bytes of typed message on a screen....  The Dark

>final hours

Hey, for all I know I'm watching my final hours tick away. Unless there's something you're not telling us, you're not likely to be ten seconds away from croaking. No man knows the hour and all (yeah, I'm misapplying that... :P ).

>more than a few bytes of typed message on a screen

Well, heck, the windows kernel is a few bytes typed on a screen. Alright, more than a few, but presumably quantity doesn't concern you as historically you've been the most prolific poster around. So, since quantity doesn't matter, is it quality? In that case you have, I think, even lesser reason for concern.
(Your last sentence confuses me...for I already told you that you do inspire. ;) )

It sounds to me, though, like you'd like some kind of tangible result for your efforts. I hear you. Maybe you can expand on what this would entail in a concrete sense. What kind of thing could you point to and say "There, I now have accomplished something I desire"? What's the littlest thing that would do that for you? What's the largest? Maybe you can work towards something in the middle. 

What would it take? Wow, "in my day" I subscribed to the now non-existant Electronics Now mag. and built, using the schematics alone, nearly everything they could publish, untill they started putting out projects that I couldn't do with $400 worth of equipment, much less a pencil soldering iron and some magnet wire.

I did what I could from books, and in my prime, corrected many a book's schematics, etc. that were misprinted. 
Now, I doubt if I would be able to see such (catch it in other words) until the project "didn't work" and then I'd have a hard time finding the problem.  
What is the smallest thing that would help?   I guess having more then a few feet to work in; and the largest?  Being able to be a Big Brother to a neighborhood child.....neither of these will happen though.  I have "another presence" that uses my work room, and I would need at least 5 personal friends nearby in order to be able to be a Big Brother;  I have tried, I am unacceptable being such a "loner".    What would be in the middle....I don't see a middle ground at this point,  but I appreciate your trying to help.  

Sounds like you need to expand your hobby/hobbies to something that's realistic right now. Do you like learning things, or is that unsatisfying compared to making them?

I do love to learn things, right now I am emmersed in a book called Quintessence: The mystery of the Missing mass in the universe.

I have recently finished a book on The Language of God (a book on genetics); , and before that two books on quantum mechanics....I recently purchased a few books on mechanics (making things move, gears, levers, etc. )...time is hard to come by sometimes though 

So...I don't know if you've heard of this/done it, but have you considered downloading audio lectures from MIT's opencourseware? (Of course, there are TONS of other places that do it, it's not just MIT) You could listen to them at work! Hooray! :D I know doing that made me disproportionately happy. :p

Err, that sounds sort of simplistic, but it struck me as something kinda fun that might help. :P

I had heard of those, and lost the link....I will have to look it up again and see what I can find...

A few links to get you started (far from the only stuff that's out there)







Also look in iTunes U :)

Thank you again.

In my area there is HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College) and they claim to offer online study too, but navigating their web site is a major accomplishment in itself :-)

As I look through the stuff in those links you supplied (thanks again), I have one problem that almost no one can really help me with......since IT is kind of dying in my area, I need training in something I will like and something that will not take me up until the day I retire to learn :-) I need to get OUT of IT in other words.  I am finding it hard to find something that fits both bills (especially the time slot, as my position may vanish in as little as a year). I am at a loss as to how to go about finding what I would rather do as employment though. *sigh*.  

A LOT of things have been going on, as you may have guessed, and one of them is my job being "UP in the AIR" again......working in IT is not "where it's at" anymore....more and more businesses are doing without an IT dept. especially in my area......I need to get training for something on top of everything else....and not knowing what is putting pressure on me too...

A thought: why not start dabbling in a new language (programming, that is)? You have access to all the tools you need if you have a computer and internet, and it can be a hobby AND increase your value to employers simultaneously. IIRC you've done programming in the past...it sounds like precisely the thing to fit your personality.

Most "real" languages need a compiler.....I have been unable to find a decently priced one at CNET (I can't spend more then $20 without shorting myself most of the time). I had dabbled in Jscript, for awhile, when there was motivation at work, but that has become less needed and although I would like to fool around with VBscript or even VIsual Basic, I can't find a book for the script, and I can't afford the compiler for the other.

I have books on Pascal, COBOL, FORTRAN, etc etc, but no compilers. . .  

You can find free compilers online. Just Google "free [language] compilers" (Same for ebooks/websites to learn it)

Free compilers for pascal, COBOL, FORTRAN, and Visual Basic (there are manymany more, just a sampling):






http://www.freebyte.com/programming/compilers/envelop.html (Visual Basic)

http://www.microsoft.com/express/Windows/ (Visual Basic)

http://www.activebasic.com/staticpages/index.php?page=ab5_download (Visual Basic, website in Japanese but just translate it through Google Translate)

Thank you.....I am never quite sure just whom to trust when searching for things like that....so I only have a limited number of places to search (CNET, etc).  Even MajorGeeks is questionable at times....but I will look into these, thanks again.

For what it's worth, here is what I know about depression. It is a form of anger. It is a resentment against things that are not going as well as we expected.

If we resent the fact that our goals have not been met, if we resent that things are not as good as we expected, we can become depressed.

The only solution is to give up resentment. So what, if it isn't what we expected. So what, if what we desired isn't happening as fast as we wanted. This world and this universe has its own timetable and we cannot demand that it to fit our arbitrary wishes.

When I do projects, two out of three times they are a total failure. But I don't give up. Instead I learn from what doesn't work and try new things. I live for the third time when things work well enough that I am again enthralled by the possibilities.

When we see how useless resentment is, we can begin to learn how to abandon it. Then, we can begin to see the incredible and endless possibilities that we did not expect or plan for--that are available to us all.

Don't give up, there is always serendipity and creativity that you can rediscover.

I am MOST creative, when my anxiety is at it's peak....this is NOT when I am most comfortable of course, because when my anxiety is raging during the week, when I am at work, I have a difficult time of it all around.

FYI: There has been much interest in the role of serotonin in aggressive behavior during the past two decades, but no simple one-to-one causal relationship has been found between this biological variable and aggression. Serotonergic dysfunction will influence aggression differently.

Unlike most in some studies, antidepressants stave off the anxiety, but will cycle back and cause future anxiety as I lose the ability to be creative....and I hate not being able to be creative... 

Start turning yourself into a DALEK...?


Sorry, I meant no offense by my reply, it was the first thing to jump into my head at the time....

I'm not offended at all? But I did PM you (I guess the mail is slowed-down by the bank-holidays.


*chuckle* yeah, weirdly enough, I got 5 other pm's and yours showed up today, dated before the other three

I sometimes think my "weird way of linking ideas" is offensive.....or at least annoying to some :-)

I don't get offended. And a person should only really worry about causing offence if they wanted to cause offence...


My depression tends to bring out my paranoia too.

Paranoia is a natural defence.
You allow yourself to fear something that you perceive as a threat, in order to prepare yourself for the worst.
The point about paranoia is that you tell yourself "it's just paranoia, it's irrational - So I don't need to be afraid, really".

I suggest that a person put sufficient thought into comments (and read them back) that they can be assured in themselves that what they wrote is right and defensible. If you write nothing that you thought did not think wrong at the time, you cannot worry about those words offending someone.
(That is what people should do always, but you know how these things are...)


Paranoia is a substitute for confidence.
And it nature's way of telling you that your thinking is wrong.


It is a natural response also of years of being told my "gut responses" are inappropriate many times.

Action upon feelings can be dysfunctional, if a lack of thought is given to the action. Gut-feeling right, response to gut-feeling inappropriate at times.

You do not do well to disagree with LiRa over past offence (or ever for that matter!). She's saying you're OK really - it should be taken positively as it was meant like that.

Read it LiRa's comment again - do you think she'd be dishonest as an attempt to make you feel better? - Wait until you actually definitely do offend someone to be bothered about it.

Your response on confidence is defeatist. you could stand to be a little more assertive/confident means to me "Take a bit more time over what you write, to be confident in what your are saying as being right, and a true reflection of yourself".
You do not have to do much different, just check with yourself that you're saying the right things to people.

"No I am still wrong and my life is crap..." is not the right response to what LiRa put her effort into - some sort of "thank you" would be.
You've missed what she was saying by being too much tied up in yourself (it happens).


It wasn't that I disagreed with her over a past offence, she really DID take quite a bit of offence at the time, and it was from a typical "joke" I sometimes blurt out in public, face to face, that I don't normally do on line because I have more time to "think about it" (but it comes out now and then on line anyways).

If I coud find the original offense, I would pm the link to you, but I don't want to "recreate" the situation, the harm was done....and I know she has forgotten about it....but I can't, or I might commit the offense again.
So, it is hard holding all of this "in my head" and not letting it influence "where I am at"  when I feel "badly".
Of course, when I am feeling badly, I will be "too much tied up in myself", and that is one of the reasons to "reach out" and make sure I am not alone....not just a bunch of pixels on someone's screen.....everything I experience is "real life" to me, so I don't seperate this arena from face to face encounters. 

I have fundamentally disagreed with LiRa, but a disagreement is just that. It doesn't necessarily mean that anyone is offended, even if it looks like that. (ask her)
Being forceful on points is an expression of a person, you are too much tied up in yourself - this here is the internet, so express yourself right and do not care what anyone thinks (so long as your position is defensible).


Well, I did actually, but I took it where it needed to go....into PM. I pointed out the one time I was VERY offensive, from her point of view. It is one of those things that happens MUCH more often in face to face conversations than on line, because here, I can stop and THINK about it.....which doesn't always save me from making a donkey out of myself, but it gives me a better chance at not doing that. ;-)

She says she can barely remember it,  and that is fine....I MUST remember it so as not to make the same mistake a second time.  

Today is what matters, the past becomes less important every second.


....except to remind me of "how not to be" :-)

That would be personal, leave the past alone.


It is hard to "live in the grey area in between"....I either forget totally or remember precisely, a loss occurs one way or another :-)

I'm going to be honest here: although I've said things (quite a few things, unfortunately) that in retrospect were phrased poorly, rude, grossly un/misinformed, uncalled for, just plain wrong, etc - I can't ever remember seeing you make a comment like that. You're literally the least offensive guy on here. And if someone doesn't agree - or even if they WERE offended by something you said - that doesn't mean you did something wrong (necessarily). I mean, it's OK to disagree (vehemently!) and it's OK take a strong stance on something and stick to your guns. The main thing is not to devolve into total disrespect (well...unless they deserve it ;) ). And you've absolutely NO problem with respect.

So yeah, you could stand to be a little more assertive/confident. :)

Word. + + + + +

Goodhart, sometimes a bit of face-to-face social awkwardness doesn't indicate a lack of empathy, just difficulty in expressing it...

Maintain, man. This will pass. Or (speaking as a peer, age-wise) you'll adapt to the "new you." Some "diminishing skills" are compensated for in other ways...

It isn't awkwardness, so much as just not having ANYONE to discuss most of my interests to face to face....certainly not some of the subjects I read up on and practice as a hobby.

Sorry, dude. It was an attempt to "mod up" LiRa's comment, and obliquely approach a...particular subject.

What LiRa wrote is, IMHO, completely true. Sometimes you trust the judgment of others, particularly if they're saying you're an above-average person. :-).

Your online persona isn't indicative of anyone with Aspergers syndrome that I know (and we know a few). So I don't know if you're still "self diagnosed" or not.

But you can't really fake empathy, even online.

Commenting against my better judgment--our late "friend of ibles" was a good example. A fascinating person; I never told him how much I liked his "brain" avatar (from the Thunderbirds). But he was not always an effective advocate...

Insisting that person's with AS are superior? That's consistent with AS. I hear statements (from our AS friends) like "Why was my behavior inappropriate?" or "Guys talk to women like that on TV all the time, why can't I?" or "Why don't they understand MY intentions?"

I.E., difficulty seeing the world from another's POV. Doesn't sound even sound remotely like you...

It's not my intention to slag anyone with AS. Maybe this should have been a PM...

My therapist is of the opinion that my "in person" personality is Asperger-like "for my age". One of the reasons it is very hard to diagnose after say, one's 20's or 30's (which I left behind decades ago), is that one becomes very capable of hiding traits; in person, I STILL say things to people that perplex and upset them because I didn't realize how they would interpret them (like at my nephew's wedding reception, his brother gave him a long praising introduction; which I later commented to him "sounded like a eulogy"; he didn't appreciate the sentiment much). Those "on the spectrum" do not lack emotion nor empathy.....we/they do not show emotion many times because of the intensity it is felt at....we learn to keep it at bay (bottle it up, as it were) in real life situations, so as to not overwhelm others and not get even MORE criticism then we've already endured all of our lives. BTW: I don't consider your post a criticism, I don't mind discussing this...it gets me back into self examination, and we all know that the "unexamined life is not worth living" :-)

You wrote:  Insisting that person's with AS are superior? That's consistent with AS. I hear statements (from our AS friends) like "Why was my behavior inappropriate?" or "Guys talk to women like that on TV all the time, why can't I?" or "Why don't they understand MY intentions?"

I have limited such comment to the 3 Asperger groups I go to, in order to not get further critique on this.  I don't insist on superiority, like my one very Aspie friend on line says, but that because it is a spectrum, any label anyone tries to box any person in, will inherently be inaccurate at best, and deceptive at worst. Being understood is hard to come by anymore when everyone wants to label, categorize, stratify, quantify, and pigeonhole personality.   It doesn't work that way.
BTW:  I didn't "date" anyone until I was "introduced to on a double date" by some friends, IN MY (early) 20's.   I was completely unable to to talk to another human that I did not know, personally; at the time. Now, I still HATE making phone calls (I beg my wife to make inquiry, bill calls, and etc).

The nice thing about "on line" posting, is that I can take my time, think things through, and read and re-read everything (when I am not in one of my agitated or anxious moods) until I get it to sound just as I would want it to if said to me.

You wrote: I.E., difficulty seeing the world from another's POV. Doesn't sound even sound remotely like you...

After 50 years of "watching" people,  even an Aspie can learn the POV of others ;-) 

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