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Well it's my third day of spring break, and I'm wasting this whole week, which I believe is the last long break I will get from school until the end of the year. Not that it's much of an improvement over school, since my school days are basically the same damn routine, repeated over and over every day. I have no friends around here, and none of my friends are on break, so that does not help at all. As I said in another topic, I live about 3 miles out of a pretty small town, so there's really nowhere to go. Sometimes my brother will walk into town to catch the bus, to meet up with the rest of my family and be out and about for a while, but he's pretty impatient and tempromental; not the best person to go sighted guide with a couple of miles. I also have several things for school I could be doing, but can find absolutely no motivation. There's this church youth group thing some of my family is going to tonight, which I will most likely be going to as well, just to get out of the house and some new stimuli. I am bored out of my mind, and I'm sick of this total, absolute sameness that pervades my life. My options right now, as I see them, are: a) read yet another Stephen King book (I just finished one and will most likely read at least two more before this week is up), b) try to be productive and teach myself piano or a programming language (I've been trying, but quickly lose motivation, and the fact that the music stuff is pretty visually oriented doesn't help), c) post something random and possibly psychidelic-sounding on facebook and see if anyone responds (have already done), or d) listen to music and wander the internet aimlessly, reading wikipedia articles and other things, which is basically all I've been doing. At school I don't talk much to anyone, and am mostly ignored by the other students in my classes. Of course part of it is me not knowing how to approach people, and my hearing loss doesn't help, but I've had at least one person actually delete me and block me on facebook, after we talked a bit and actually seemed to be getting along. I don't know if people think I'm mentally challenged or something, but I really don't understand why I'm so completely ignored. Is it so much to ask for one person to approach me on their own, with an actual interest in getting to know me? Well I suppose some do, but after a day or two they stop talking to me, and it's back to square one. I think they have a debate team or something, but I'm hesitant to join it because of said hearing loss and because it will most likely turn out like everything else I try to do: nothing gained. I think this is really just a symptom of a larger problem, because I've been living this cycle for a few years now, with nothing ever really seeming to change. Some people have told me that I'm not living, just letting life pass me by, and I suppose they're right at least to some degree, but really, what the hell am I supposed to do? I basically shut down when I'm around a lot of people, and don't truly feel comfortable unless I'm by myself or with at most a few people I know, and when most people's deffinition of "living" is constantly being out and about and socializing, well... what can I say? What kind of life would I have after graduation, unless I figure out how to throw myself completely into some job and ignore everything else? I don't have anyone close I can really talk to who would understand, which is why I'm posting this in the first place, just to see if I can get some new input. Oh, and btw this is not doing anything good for my grades, which are slowly slipping. Maybe I'm putting the blame on my blindness too much instead of myself, but I feel like if I could see, and be able to just get out alone when I wanted to and be in control of where I was going, life would be a whole lot better. So, any thoughts? Am I just some lazy loser, or am I actually making sense?

We move in circles, balanced all the while on a gleaming razor's edge
A perfect sphere, colliding with our fate...this story ends where it began.

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2

Hi,
Wanderer, i think i can help you.
If you have a skype, mine is kkylec13k.
I know exactly what you're going through because its simptoms of something i'd rather not discuss here.

Underworld Tech.
Accessibility from us, to you.
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3

All I can say is ... I had this happen to me before that kinda stopped now, and I know how you feal. It comes into my understanding that you're being thought by other people who have sight that you are dumb and worthless because you'll never succsess in life. Well understand this. I'm in a similar situation. I go to Hayesville middle school, and I'm in the alternative school because I'm unable to keep up with the regular teacher. I take my classes online now, and am exelling in my courses well. People come to the alternative for numerous reasons, but the most common reason is behavior. There are these 2 boys named Kage and Dillon. They are heartless boys who lead a team of bullies named Hunter, Easton, Hovyair, and some others that I can't remember now. They pick on and hate me because of the fact that I'm blind. They fool me by making out things like 2 of them, voice impersonation, worning me of things or areas that I know for a fact aren't there like snakes and holes, boddy impersonations, and messing up my property such as my braille pluss, (by messing up the keys required to operate like the arrow keys). Kage distracts me from my work by noises when the teacher isn't in the room, telling me to prove it appon my telling the teacher, which is not possible, often the result of me getting in trouble for something that was the fault of the other bully that was made out to be the fault of me. Meaning, I could be accused of stealing someones things so they can get something that belongs to me, and being claimed that it doesn't belong to me. This has not happened yet, but it is very probable. I have had insidents where I've had my cain stolen from me in the time I had not yet gone to the alternative. It has happened to me several times, and I had to have it retreaved by the teacher. Yesterday, I had to sit in 1 shady spot in the track because I now get sun bearns extreamly easy. That shady spot was the only 1 on the whole intire track, and I wasn't aloud to move from the spot. The boys, knowing this, came over where I was, claiming that they were hot. They started picking on me, and I wasn't aloud to move, so I was left no chance of running away. They refused to move, I couldn't move. They continued to pick, until I got so incredibly angry, that aventualy, I burst into a fit of absolute rage and anger. I said, "Shut up! Shut up and get out now, and that's an order! I don't want you around me anymore, so start walking now! I have no where else to go, and I'm not going to let you stay here anymore! Treat me better, or leave! Now! And that's an order! You hear me!?" I got up. The boy who was a trader to them came over and said, "You guys are being total dicks! You need to get out, now!" I continued, "I want Mason and Hevon to be here, not you! If you don't leave now I will ..." I marched away in anger. My teacher came over and scolded me, and my response was, "Those boys have no right to mess with me and what they did was torment you hear me torment torment torment torment torment!" I almost burst out crying about it, and I, for that reason, know exactly how you feal. What you need to know is that sighted people are crool and mean, and they'll make you believe what ever they want you to believe, and you can do absolutely nothing at all to even make them think of stopping. Not all of them are this way, however, the majority of them are. They can never know what it's like to be blind, and most likely, they never will. I had insidents where I've been called stupid, drunk, and unable to do anything because my visual imparement. I had people yell insults at me, and honk their horns at me, as a form of "Hey, idiot, watch where your going!" Miguel, my friend, family Mario is his username, had been cridisized and had his former braille pluss stolen from him by a womon who believes that blind people and assistive technology are stupid and have no purpose in life. She got in trouble by the pollease and went to jail for it. But I hope this has eased your mind off this problem. Good luck!

Hey guys. My punchback radio show is starting to take off. If you want to check it out, our Twitter is @punchback2017, the Skype group is here, and our Facebook page is here

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4

Hey, what have I told you about posting my biography under your name? tongue
(Translation: I'm in the same boat. A few years later, presumably; I don't know your age.)

This has really seriously screwed with my everything for many years. I do not yet have solutions, but I might have improvements. I'll try to list them, but I'm awful at communicating and some of them are probably more specific to me.

  • General health is easy to "neglect" nowadays, especially with a sensory disability. This includes things like physical activity and eating right. It's absurdly difficult to get good information on what "eating right" actually means. This guide to optimal exercise is nice and all, but it kinda misses the part where it explains how a not-so-independent blind person can do most of those things. Anecdotally, whenever I do get more exercise, everything is better. Not solved, but significantly better. (But see below).

  • Related to the above: while I don't have an answer to the "perfect diet" question, I do know that high-carb junkfood and pastries are basically depressants for me. I've also found that straight-up not eating for several hours after waking up helps loads. As in, night Vs day. As little as a snack within the first 5 hours screws things up.

  • Sunlight and fresh air are awesome. (But see below.)

  • On motivation and productivity: I don't have any easy answers for this (and everything in this list affects these as well as general mood/quality of life stuff), but the Pomodoro technique is surprisingly effective. More so than I realized at first; I actually tried to divide up the past 12 years into 2/3 year chunks, and rate them based on everything I've mentioned so far. I couldn't get any good data on exercise, because no period in there was consistently better about that. But the factors with the biggest impact were actually using the 40 minute demo of Jaws, and having some manner of inconveniences related to internet access. Remember that 40 minute NVDA joke-addon Trenton posted yesterday? ... Yeah, I actually downloaded it.

  • The social stuff has an significant impact, but I'm just as stuck here as you. It is worse than frustrating.

Things that people tend to suggest that have failed (at best):

  • "Just do x", where x is "your essay" / "your homework" / "socializing" / "go out and do something" etc, etc, etc. In my experience, when people suggest this, the inferential distance is clearly insurmountable, and the best thing to do is whatever ends the conversation quickly without making enemies. (I do not recommend slamming the door on them. You might underestimate how far their face is through the doorway. ... Ehehehe...).

  • Calendars/schedules/to-do lists/etc. I actually suspect these might be helpful, if everything else were fixed first; sometimes, when things are at a high point, these tend to do something for me. Generally, though, they're just annoying and are eventually eaten by the demon lord of Akrasia™.

  • <any activity suggested by my parents, especially the one of the opposite gender>. No, I do not want to "go shopping". Being a sighted guide zombie or slinking behind a shopping cart while nothing interesting is happening hardly even counts as physical activity. Everything I might consider shopping for kinda stopped appearing on shelves about a decade ago. Please come up with activities that compare favorably to sleep or pacing the hallway/back yard/etc.

  • "Talk more". ... I don't even. "Hey, random person that I suspect but can't confirm without an awkward ping is in my vacinity! How are you? ... Oh, you're hurrying somewhere while listening to something important on your phone, things which anyone else could have determined with a glance? Oh, I'm sorry. I'm trying to talk more! ... Oh, hey, other person who I hope is not distracted. Wanna talk about Mortal Kombat 9? ... well, that went... poorly."


So, here's what I've done, starting with the year my vision went from "I have to use braille, but can still play Mario" to "crap I guess it's time to research full-screen tactile displays and put way too much faith in everyone who claims they're going to release one any day now".

  • First of all, for half this period, I actually took the "People, especially around my age, are generally awful; let's avoid most of them" worldview seriously. I did not see a problem with this, having never even vicariously experienced what I was missing out on. It turns out that some people can write emotional interaction well enough to reach even me, who knew? I still can't deny that most people are generally awful, but I've realized that avoiding them is not a good idea. (Then it turns out that being single for too long shortens your lifespan. Huh.).

  • I maintained the previous years' levels of enthusiasm surprisingly well for about 3-4 years. I was in band for half this time, and there was someone who actually tried to spend more time with me (at school, of course; rounded to integers, I never interacted with anyone outside of school). But he moved away pretty quickly, and band/the internet were kinda ok. Significantly, we were on dialup at home, and I couldn't internet whenever I wanted at school, and at home I had the 40 minute demo of Jaws. I wrote a bunch of books, taught myself Japanese, wrote music, got into the state Math and Science school, and picked up Java/javascript/html like it was nothing (some games from that first year are still on my website, for some reason).

  • I passed out for the first *two* times in the last summer of that phase. This really should have warned me about the whole diminishing physical activity/poor foodchoices thing. It was not a quick decline.

  • Toward the end of that period, though, my grades did suffer, and I kept running into projects I was capable of, skill-wise, but couldn't make myself do. It was nowhere near as bad as everything afterward, but it started even then.

  • Everything went to Hell, Michigan in College. It didn't take long to realize that poptarts make me feel awful, the holidays screw up my sleep cycle, and the over-saturated extroverted enthusiasm that was showered on first-semester Freshman was so impossibly annoying that it had the exact opposite of the desired effect. I also had the full version of Jaws and internet whenever I wanted. Suffice it to say, my first two years of college sucked.

  • I had my big socio-emotional apiphany toward the end of the third semester, with some other "Oh, hey, suddenly my lack of sight is actually getting in the way of things I want, when it never really did before..." stuff. So my immediate reaction was not "Let's summon the powers of what I have learned, and use the POWER OF SCIENCE to fix it!", so much as "*Cries* *sleeps a lot* *fails a course, effectively killing my hopes at a Computer Science major/minor*". Oh, and my internet contacts suddenly got really busy and weren't around all that much. Which... has mostly been the case ever since.

  • Over the summer, my laptop with the full version of Jaws on it ran into a motherboard issue, and would not reliably turn on. Curiously, I almost immediately became awesome again. Oh, it helped that I had the laptop and a desktop running simultaneously, so I could actually write/code with music playing at an effective volume (I am of the opinion, backed up by accidentally-blinded anecdata, that if the music has to be turned down to hear a screen reader, there isn't really a point in playing it.)

  • Oh, and my braillist, frustrated with all my crap, told me about conversations he apparently had with teachers that I wouldn't have guessed had taken place. At this point, I decided to tell my professors for the fall term directly to please tell me when I'm being a cockroach, please and thanks.

  • I did not get a screen reader without the 40 minute limit back until downloading NVDA 3 years later. The intervening 3 years were definitely better than those before and those that followed.

  • I also made an effort to ... hmm... be around the people in the sword fighting club more? I won't say I tried to interact/talk/etc more, because ... blah, I still have no idea how that works, and I can't exactly play Bioshock and Mindcraft to jump into random conversations. I don't think this would have worked if this hadn't coincided with a particularly likable batch of Freshman arriving. It's to the extent that the first two years might as well have been a completely different world.

  • I also took to walking around campus more (especially in the wee hours of the morning when I was least likely to run into people who would assume I must need help going in the direction I'm already moving), working outside, etc. Notably, my mental map of the campus suddenly went from "I can sorta-kinda get to classes, sometimes only if I manage to find one of those "do you need help?" people in time", to "Now I will deliberately get lost chasing after a train so I can get a good recording of it, and find my way back to a landmark before running out of tape". This has the slight requirement of a super-walkable campus and the freedom to come and go whenever, which I do not have at home.

  • I did, though, start talking to the counselor, looking primarily at depression. I will point out that, in order to do this, I had to get far enough out of the rut to actually take the initiative, which is quite possibly the most annoying limitation of the psychiatric system. (Now, let's throw social anxiety into the mix. How many social anxiety people are going to get over their SA enough to talk to a psychologist? It could be worse. Someone could have a crippling fear of doctors.).

  • Enter fall 2010. I was still running up on serious Akrasia issues, and they actually seemed to be getting worse again (spring 2010 was just plain awesome, and summer went pretty well, and I really think these were just the results of everything I mentioned above baring fruit). It was much easier to take action, though; my spring success spiral had kinda stopped, but hadn't collapsed entirely, and I was *finally* at the point where people would flag me down in the cafeteria. The important takeaways, here, were what I tried with the grace of a psychiatrist. First, we tried Focalin, a drug for ADHD. I can't distinguish the week of positive results from placebo (even though the JF IM Adventure and quite a few midis might not exist without it), but it did not solve more serious executive function issues, which convinced the shrink of more depression symptoms. So, we switched to Prozac, which... I have no idea if it did anything.

  • Spring semester 2011, I decide to try coffee. Benefits are noticeable, but not so game-breaking. I also caught the flue part of the way through, and my big goal for that semester (*cough*) collapsed. It was still better than anything between sumers 2006-2008, but it was no spring 2010.

  • Then I got NVDA, wound up with only two courses in the fall, and tried to finish up my degree from home at the start of 2012. Things declined fast, and I've been whining about it here every chance I get. tongue I could go on for a few hundred more pages, but suffice it to say, after two years, lots of research and rectally-generated number-crunching, I'm currently planning to go back to college in the fall (my other options were continue with WSB or try an NFB training program). Home just plain sucks with what I can currently do. I've had all of what I previously suspected--the stuff about eating, exercise, etc--pretty much confirmed with research and more controlled-ish tests.

But as to the problems of people and finding something to be enthusiastic about, quite possibly the most important problems, I am still quite lost. (tolerable) People are a great resource, beyond just the fact that friends are good and awesome and worth having. This was one of the deciding factors tipping the scales in favor of my return to college over blind-people training: I at least know the culture at my college, and that it occasionally attracts people I can deal with. Meanwhile, a training center where the only thing I know is that everyone has some degree of vision loss is far less likely to attract anyone I can stand, let alone relate to. And with people I can stand come potential minions, and with potential minions come opportunities to expand my training in more personalized ways.

Some of my games
Keep up to date by following @Jeqofire on twitter!
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5

@Cae, I'm 17, and almost everything you just wrote is pretty similar to my own experiences. With regards to excersise, my family goes to a gym usually about 2 or 3 times a week, and the machines there actually are pretty useable. Speaking of which, they're getting ready to go there in about a half hour or so, so if I don't get all of this post done before I submit it, that would be why; I'm going, just to get out of the house if nothing else. I know I'm not in terribly good shape, because a couple weeks ago, I was forced to participate in all family activities for a week after accidentally missing a day of school, and while there did 100 sit-ups in about 5 minutes... I felt like I was either going to throw up, pass out or both for about 5 minutes, needless to say that was pretty embarrassing. I'm not terribly overweight, actually maybe not even at all yet, but probably will be if I continue not doing anything as I am now. The main problem, as with everything else it seems, is motivation: I don't do excersize on my own, and with the family trips, have to actually want to go, which I mostly don't. Of course for those I could just make the perfectly justified excuse that I don't want to socialize and be dragged around...eh, I'll shut up now. About eating, I often don't eat when I wake up either, much to the disappointment of all the staff at that one training program I was at, and will usually just pack a sandwich or something for lunch, only problem there is if I don't eat for 3-4 hours or so, my stomach will actually start growling pretty loudly, which is something I really, really don't need at school... Junk food seems to be the same, as I usually end up feeling like crap after eating a lot of it, but it's incredibly easy to just blow some cash on a bag of cheetos, sit down with a book and eat them. With talking it's pretty much the same, except with a hearing loss, it's sometimes hard to tell if someone is even saying my name, and with background noise from other people all around, I have to struggle to figure out what they're saying. Consequently, I mostly stutter my way through conversations, and end up sounding like an idiot almost every time. A lot of people, including at least one member of my family, are the "just do" type; my parents are better, and try to understand, but it's hard to say what I want when I don't actually quite no myself, and all the activities that I've found around here that only require moderate socialization are things I'm not terribly interested in doing. The only person my own age who seemed to actually want to spend time with me literally just walked into my life one day in 2010, we didn't meet through school, and I of course, as all stories of the pathetic blind kid go, developed a huge crush on her over a year, but that's a whole different topic. It seems that a few years ago I was more enthusiastic as well, and I actually sometimes feel as if my brain has attrophied somewhat, but maybe that's just the motivation thing. I know I'd have a lot more programming skills, at the very least, by now if I'd actually felt like learning, but I'm basically still where I was when I was 14. I was homeschooled for two years or so from seventh to 9th grade, so didn't socialize much with others my own age, which was fine then. Of course I didn't have constant internet access then, and only got my first computer in 2009, so that might've affected it, but aside from that I really don't know what changed. I will finish this post later, wonder if anything interesting will happen on this trip... no, it never does.

We move in circles, balanced all the while on a gleaming razor's edge
A perfect sphere, colliding with our fate...this story ends where it began.

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6 (edited by TomSawyer 2014-04-03 03:10:13)

Hello.

Since everyone's kinda telling their story here, I shall do the same.

I can relate to just about everything both of you have said. I have no idea why, well actually I might, but I have a hard time believing that something so simple that happened like 6 years ago is the underlying reason why I'm so reserved. I try to talk to people,around my school, yet I have no words. What am I suposed to say, hi? Yeah, what when I get a reaction. Then what? When I'm approached, I can't maintain a conversation, even though doing so is something I'm trying extremely hard to do. I wish I had more people to talk to, and if I could just figure out how people make friends so easily, I'd do it.
I can't explain why or how I struggle so much with a task like just talking to people. Perhaps it's the fact that I know that I won't be able to maintain accurate eye contact, and that's something that, from what I've gathered, let's the person know that you are interested in talking to them. I usually go to my classes, get through them, and leave without saying more than a few words.
Similarly, I've always wanted to play the guitar. I have a guitar, and I have an amp. Do I know what kind it is? no.
tongue
What I do know is that I've searched the internet on how to play it, but everything is so visual. Place your fingers on these strings. What strings? I realize of course that that learning to play any instrument is no easy task, but it's something I've always wanted to be able to do. When I hear others play, honestly I get quite jealous. smile
My family says that I should go do things, but really there's nothing I'm interested in. Most of the various clubs and activities around my community are very boring.
I know, I know. Sounds like I'm just making excuses, which I am. I could probably find something around here, but I lack the inclination to do so because I worry about what people think of me.
I realize I'm just going on about random things now, and I apologize for that.
I often find myself feeling quite sad, and that's something I make keeping secret a priority.

As for school, my classes as I've said before, are fairly quiet. I've made some friends, but something always goes wrong and they stop talking to me. So in the event that I do make a friend, I constantly worry that I'm going to do something to annoy them. It's more of not will I, but when I do.

Okay. I'm done ranting now; and if it sounds like I'm just complaining about things, that's because I am.

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7

hey guys. I don't wanna come off as a stuck up jerk, but, I cannot relate whatsoever. However, there are a few people at my school I would like to befriend, and I am getting pretty close to that. I have lots of motivation, unless I'm all confy on the couch, then, the only way you can get me up is to give me food or if I have to use the bathroom. usually thats not the case. Usually, I'm pretty active, I like to skateboard in my driveway, and at school, everyone knows and likes me. I have noticed that I am rather sad at school a lot of the time, but I'm working against it. So, you may find this easier said than done, but you have to GIVE yourself motivation, not wait for it.

I'm not afraid,
I'm giving into grievances again.
You're looking at an absolute zero,
I'm not the devil but I won't be your hero.

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8

Well, it really is easier said than done, at least for some such as myself. I don't know, maybe it's just a certain personallity type or something. I am extremely self-concious around people my own age, I think partially because I have no idea what people are doing at any given time and don't want to look out of place, which is funny, because I usually take pride in the fact that I'm different than most. I'd probably have a much better life if I simply avoided people my own age, but when someone says hi to me, which is getting more and more rare, I still try to talk to them for whatever reason, and think about it for the next two weeks or so, and they usually don't speak another word to me. I'm really getting sick of constantly getting my hopes up, and then failing, every, single, time. Anyway, after being homeschooled for about two years, I went to my state school for the blind. At the time it actually felt liberating, because I had 24/7 internet, and people would (for the most part) leave me alone, plus I had my own room. Also during that time I did make a few friends, so when I came to my home public school, had pretty high hopes. Needless to say those were not bourne out, and I even went back to the state school for a short time this year. I guess I can be thankful that I'm out of there; that place takes depression to a whole new level. But that's for another topic, if ever; I think I've done quite enough bitching about that place already.

We move in circles, balanced all the while on a gleaming razor's edge
A perfect sphere, colliding with our fate...this story ends where it began.

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9 (edited by CAE_Jones 2014-04-03 07:01:59)

@Ghost Rider: This is one of those things where you either get it or you don't, and getting it usually requires experiencing it. I've never been able to explain it to someone who hasn't gone through it.
There's this part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which has a lot to do with how we convert thoughts into actions. In a cruel twist, it actually does respond to belief and emotions, according to the scans, which... I probably shouldn't even say, since it's practically a Bassilisk.
On the upside, all the stuff I mentioned in my first post turns out to help with that.

The people thing simply baffles me, though. T.T

Edited to add:
"What Universal Human Experiences are you Missing without Realizing It?"

Some of my games
Keep up to date by following @Jeqofire on twitter!
Ear Ninja?

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10

I can...sort of relate.  At least to the bit about food and mood.  I often have serious, terrible stomach problems.  To the point where many days, I was sick after every single meal.  This has taken me from a person who attended university, had a social life, was relatively popular, and got out of the house every single day, to someone who leaves the house once a week if I'm lucky.  When you can't see at all, how can you find a place to quietly throw up after a dinner with friends, when you're not at your own home?  When things started going wrong, I spent a lot of time on team talk, or hey tel, staying social. I kept up with all of my other friends on MSN, Skype, and Facebook.  But as I continued to become more and more isolated, and kept having trouble finding things I could eat, my energy level started dropping.  I stopped returning friends phone calls. I never bothered opening hey tel or skype. I got off of MSN and Twitter completely. I interacted with people to the absolute minimum required to keep up with my various contractual responsibilities. After a few absolutely miserable experiences of being sick, dizzy, disoriented, and throwing up in the street, and having to get myself home on the bus never the less, I began to have panic attacks whenever I had to leave the house for any reason, and just the thought of going out would start to make me feel sick, even if I hadn't eaten.  After months and months of this, I finally got a test that found the foods I was intolerant to. Of course, Canadian health care didn't cover it. I am so, so lucky that in spite of everything, I had enough money coming in that I could afford to pay for the test out of my own pocket.  If that hadn't been the case, I am convinced that I would have slid into clinical depression, malnutrition, and eventual death.  But once I started to get some data on the foods that were effecting me so deeply, things started to turn around.  Don't get me wrong: I can't afford a nutritionist, so I'm learning as I go, and still struggling pretty hard.  But I guess my point is that the downturn was all started by dietary problems, and is being fixed by dietary changes.  So I don't think it's possible to overestimate the effect of food and nutrition on your mental health. 

But I realize diet is probably not the be all and end all for most of you that it is for me. So, here are a few tips about how to get things done when you have no energy, no motivation, feel like complete shit, and yet have to do things anyway. These are all things that help me, your mileage may very:

1.  Find low-energy social interaction.  Humans are social creatures, and to be happy and healthy, we need interactions with other humans, at least sometimes. Unfortunately, face to face social interaction is insanely high energy.  But what most people don't seem to grasp, is that many forms of online interaction are just as, if not even more, draining than interacting in person!  Twitter, IRC, Facebook, Skype, Hey Tel, and Team Talk are horrible this way.  If someone sends you a dm on twitter, for example, they expect you to respond right away, they expect you to say something clever in 140 characters, and they expect you to not snap at them if you're in a terrible mood.  This kind of stress will drain you faster than if you are an iPhone with your GPS on constantly.  Try moving your social contact to forums, e-mail, and mailing lists.  Then, force yourself to only check the forums and e-mail at absolute most once an hour, so your little bits of social contact can be spread out through your day. On audiogames.net, for example, I get hours and hours to write my posts. I can write as long as I want. If I get tired or distracted or irritated in the middle of a thread, I can just...walk away. Nobody will question it. Or even notice, really.  If I don't feel like answering a message right now, I can wait until tomorrow. Or next week. When I write a long, informative, or interesting post on a forum or mailing list, it's actually an accomplishment!  I can look back at the end of the day and say to myself, hey, I did at least write those messages. They aren't fading away into the ether like a hey tel or twitter would.  They'll show up on Google, and someone might even answer them years from now.  When you've had a long, hard, tiring day, that little kick of accomplishment that comes from answering a question on yahoo answers or stack exchange, or writing a post on audiogames.net, or recommending a fanfic to someone on a mailing list, can be absolutely vital in convincing you to get up and do it all again tomorrow.  Even if your real life wasn't wonderful, at least you were a tiny bit useful to someone, somewhere, so you don't have to mark the day off as a complete failure. 

2.  Journal your accomplishments.  Brag about them, no matter how small, if only to yourself.  I've recently signed up with an account at dreamwidth.org, because the communities there look like another form of low energy socializing, and because the journal function seems like it will be helpful in tracking accomplishments. Doesn't matter what they are, but listing them, even the tiny ones, is hugely helpful in warding off that horrible feeling that you're a failure with no motivation and are just wasting your life.  I'm not sure if dreamwidth is the perfect tool or not, as I've been trying it for less than a week, so we'll see how that goes. But I do know that listing my accomplishments has helped me for years. I'm hoping doing it a bit more publicly will give me the motivation I need to actually do it, rather than just slacking off and deciding not to bother because I was sick all day and just slacked off anyway, and then going into a week long spiral of nothingness and doom. 

3.  Work out!  Even if all that means is going on a 15 minute walk.  The fresh air will lift your mood, and the activity will give you a little burst of energy.  And even if you can't manage to channel that workout energy into something else constructive, working out itself is another thing you can put on the list of today's accomplishments, to encourage yourself with tomorrow morning. 

4. Do what you need to do for yourself, even if it seems silly.  This one is a little bit hard for me to explain, so I'll have to explain by example.  After getting so sick whenever I would go out, I'd start to panic about it, and then not want to go out ever.  So now, whenever I have to leave the house, I take a dramamine an hour beforehand, even though I'm not sick.  Then, when I do leave the house, I can say to myself: "You've taken Dramamine, so you're not going to throw up, or feel dizzy or disoriented."  Just being able to tell myself that is enough to calm my worries, and let me get on with whatever I was going out to do in the first place.  Is that kind of stupid and silly?  Yes, of course it is!  It's as bad as a five-year-old girl with her security blanket. Rationally, I know that it isn't even doing anything; Dramamine only lasts for 8 hours, but taking a single one can keep me calm and happy for 18 hours at a stretch!  Is it a good long term solution? No, of course not. I'm going to have to stop doing that once I get my diet back under control. But for now, it's a solution that will let me get on with my life, while only having to deal with one problem at a time.  Accept that you're irrational, and sometimes need to do silly things to cope, and tell yourself that it's OK.  I don't know what those silly things might be for you. But once you find them, embrace them, and don't judge yourself. 

5.  Cut back on the coffee!  Notice that I didn't say quit the coffee.  I tried that, and it quickly got to the point where I had a constant low grade headache, and could hardly get out of bed in the morning.  But I cut the amount of coffee to 1 third of what I was drinking before. Now, I'm less angry, less anxious, less critical of myself, sleeping better, and happier.  But that single cup of coffee still gives me the little boost I need to make getting up in the morning possible, and ward off the headaches.

6.  Find low-impact entertainment.  What I mean by that is, find something that you enjoy, that won't suck you in for hours and hours at a time.  If I start a fiction audiobook, it will suck me right in, and then bang! My entire day is gone down the tubes, and there I am feeling like a lonely worthless failure again. Often, I reward myself on a Saturday with a fiction audio book in the morning, and the promise that if I don't get anything done that day, I'm not going to punish myself for it.  But you do need something that will make you happy during the week, to. For me, this is nonfiction books, fanfiction, and MUDs.  In general, I allow myself an hour of work, an hour of low-impact entertainment (mud/fanfic/nonfiction), an hour of work, an hour of low-impact entertainment, etc, etc, throughout the entire day. If I try to work from 9 AM to 5 PM, I'm exhausted by about 11:30 in the morning. But I find I can keep that two hour cycle up from 7 in the morning to about 11 at night with hardly any stress at all.  And by work, I don't just mean things that will make money, or school work. I consider work absolutely anything that I can put on my list of accomplishments at the end of the day.  In general, I find this results in me doing about 6 hours of business related quote real unquote work every day, and 2 hours of other accomplishment related work like working out or writing or whatever every day, on average.  When you start to find that your entertainment breaks aren't restoring you as much as they once were, switch what you're doing with them.  Recently, I spent about 2 months mudding, then switched to a month of reading Harry Potter fanfiction, a month of nonfiction books, and now I'm on My Little Pony fanfiction, but am probably going to switch back to MUDs again soon.  If I don't switch it up like that, I start to find that entertainment just starts to feel like work, probably because I'm overly involved with it. 

7.  Accept that even if you do all of the above perfectly, and it all works for you most of the time, you're still going to have crappy days. The trick is to accept what happened and try again tomorrow. Because if you don't accept those days, you're going to fall into the nothing spiral once again, and pulling yourself back up it again gets harder and harder the longer you fall down there.

[wow]! That was super long. This is stuff I never, ever talk about. So I hope someone, sometime, can find something at least a little bit useful in that massive wall of text.

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11

Hello guys, I am living the same things like you. Because of those, I sometimes don't want to live. But when friends annoy me at school, I just try to be patient. But I'm not so patient, so when they annoy me further, I just get angry and try to beat them. It sometimes becomes a failiour though, for example making a desk fall down, etc. But things weren't like that in my old school... *sighs*. Anyway, when I have something more to say I will. And thanks for suggestions.

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12

hi wanderer,
another thing that I am going to suggest is treating your hearing loss
find out if you can benefit from hearing aids and wear them
if you can understand conversations better it will help you join into conversations

A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

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13

Yeah I've got hearing aids, have had since I was 5. Without them I'mm basically out of the game when it comes to conversations, and pretty much everything else. As for being annoyed with people, I'm rarely noticed by any of the other students, so that's not really an issue. Of course I was bullyed when I was younger, I guess it kind of just comes with the territory when your blind, but most of it was just isolated incidents, and pretty much stopped after fifth grade or so, so I guess I've had it pretty good there.

We move in circles, balanced all the while on a gleaming razor's edge
A perfect sphere, colliding with our fate...this story ends where it began.

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14

Hi,
I agree with pretty much everything said here. I have a long, complicated and really quite depressing story, but we've already had too many of those.
suffice to say, i've been through depression, bipolar disorder and all of it with no help. That, and me finding out some really quite terrible information about my real family (which i didn't even know about until 5 days ago), i've not had a good time of it.

Underworld Tech.
Accessibility from us, to you.
Visit us

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15 (edited by jjgeek 2014-04-05 01:39:12)

Hey everyone. I can relate to the boredom thing. I recently got my first Mac and have been familiarizing myself with it, and I must say it's been a much better experience than I ever anticipated. When my parents approached me over Thanksgiving last year about getting a Mac, I admit I was less than enthusiastic about the whole idea. I had read mixed reviews online about VoiceOver, and I didn't think there would be any training. Most of the reviews I had read were negative. My former roommate used VoiceOver on a desktop Mac and loved it, but he passed away last year unfortunately and I never got to try it out. State services here in IL for people with disabilities are an absolute joke for the most part, something which I will talk more about in a bit. So needless to say I myself had absolutely no intention of even touching a Mac. Well, when I finally did accompany my parents and a sister to our local Apple store and actually tried out a Mac Book Air, my interest was peaked a bit. The Mac Book Air which I tried out at the store ended up being the one which we brought home to my parents' house. To cut a long story short, I am thrilled with it. I know there's still stuff I have to learn, but everything's been working great.

Having said all that, I hardly do much but computing here in my apartment. People keep telling me that I need a job so that I would get out more, and to an extent I have to agree with them. However, there are limitations to the paratransit service. Though it has improved significantly from what it was several years ago, trip reservations are only taken a day in advance and ridership has increased. In addition, the entire bus system, including fixed-route, has limited availability on weekends. I have a volunteer job, but due to circumstances beyond my control the location of that job has changed. Fortunately my coworkers and our executive director/founder have been very understanding about this and let me work from home. But I have seriously been thinking about quitting that job, due in large part to the funding issue. Our website was going to be revamped, but that hasn't happened. A former coworker sent me a log-in page at the beginning of last year to our half-built back end, and I found it to be pretty accessible. But since then very little if anything has happened, and it's rather discouraging to say the least. Nothing is being done to resolve Illinois' funding crisis. But as depressing as this is, I have not let myself get too down in the dumps about it. I do other things with my neighbors from time to time, and we have a weekly meeting which is mandatory. But by in large, yes I am rather bored.

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16

Wanderer, as you can tell by the number of people who have responded to your comments what you are going through is quite common among the blind population. Even I can admit to having been through what you are experiencing a few times in my life as well. However, I can say if you are willing to motivate yourself, something easier said than done, there is a way to climb out of this situation. Although, it isn't a trivial or easy process. A lot will come down to how badly you want things to change.

First, though, let's start with the motivation and boredom issue. I'm no psychologist myself, but I think what you are experiencing here is some general depression. I've been treated for depression enough times myself over the years to realize the signs of moderate depression recognize it when people start mentioning symptoms. Some of the most common ones are a lack of motivation, easily bored by life, and feelings of uselessness, etc. Sound familiar?

In order to get out of this funk or depression you are currently in you may have to do some self-analysis of the situation and see what is causing your depression or seek counseling. In any case there can be and are many causes for depression. Some are caused by poor diet, lack of adequate exorcize, lack of sleep, too much sleep, etc. All of those things will cause bio-chemical imbalances which can and do lead to depression in people. If that is the case trying to eat healthier, do a little more physical exorcise each day, and making sure you get on a good sleep schedule might go a long ways to helping you get motivated. However, that isn't the only causes of depression, nor will eating healthy food and getting exorcise solve all of your problems. Thus we address the other causes of depression.

As said before there can be many causes of depression, but for a lot of people, both blind and sighted, they get depressed out of a lack of fulfillment in their life. This is where I think you are now. Maybe they didn't make good grades in school, they don't have a lot of friends, maybe they got turned down for the school football team, whatever. The point here is that they are looking for something to make them feel happy, to make them feel right with the world, and whatever it is they think will make them happier be it lots of friends, good grades, or becoming a star player for the school team just isn't happening for them so they tend to become unmotivated, discouraged, and get into the "why bother trying" state of mind.

As this situation is different for everyone you need to be able to quantify what is making you feel unmotivated and depressed. As in write down some questions in Windows Notepad, and then try and answer them honestly such as are you feeling lonely, if you are lonely why, name some things you would change if you could, etc. Basically, take what you are thinking and feeling and commit it to some form you can read and perhaps use as a springboard to clarifying why you feel the way you will do. Some things may not be fixable such as a surgery to give you sight or make your hearing better, assuming that was something you wanted, but you will find there are plenty of other things you might be able to take direct action upon and make them better for you personally. So my advice to you is write down your thoughts and feelings, keep a journal, and from that you will be able to find out the root causes of this lack of motivation.

Second, I know all too well your difficulties with making friends, and I can honestly say a lot of blind people do. Not all, but a lot find themselves in the same or similar situation making friends. What you and others may fail to realize is that you shouldn't take it personally. Speaking as someone who was once fully sighted and is now totally blind the mindset of a sighted person and a blind person regarding meeting and greeting is completely different.

What I mean by that is that for sighted people there is a completely different level of communication that is unavailable to a blind person. Its basically non-verbal communication and it can be transmitted through the look in someone's eyes, a smile, a simple wave, or the good old thumbs up to a buddy in passing. Not only that but if your school is anything like my high school was most of the students were practically walking billboards with shirts proudly advertising the person's favorite band, favorite TV character, favorite sports team, etc. They may have a backpack or bookbag advertising something else, and there are pens, pencils, and other items they may be carrying or using that advertises their interest in something else. All of this non-verbal communication, of course, passes a blind person by because we simply do not see it and don't even know it is there. Even if we are aware it is there we generally fail to communicate on that level which is where the problem begins with socializing with our sighted peers.

For any normal fully sighted person in the world they can be dropped off at a new school and on their first day make a good half-dozen friends in about a space of an hour mostly through non-verbal communication. Maybe he steps off the bus and a dude in a football shirt waves at him. He sees the wave walks over , sees the football shirt, and strikes up a conversation about football teams etc. A few minutes later he sees a decent looking girl smiling at him flirtatiously, walks over, and begins flirting with her. At lunch time he buys a sandwich and some chips, walks over to the lunch room area, doesn't see anyone he knows, so scans the faces for someone he might like to sit and have lunch with. He sees a dude in a Captain America shirt, he likes the Captain America movies and comics, so sits down with that dude and starts up a conversation about Captain America Winter Soldier. Do you see how that works?

Most sighted people young or old are constantly engaging in non-verbal communication weather through some direct physical action like a wave or a smile to more indirect communication like wearing a shirt with the name of their favorite football team or TV [personalities on it. Since most sighted people are unconsciously expecting some non-verbal communication from you and others they tend to respond to people who engage in non-verbal communication with them personally and filter out or ignore those who don't. That is why we, as blind people, tend to get overlooked. It is not necessarily any malice or outright dislike for us personally, but that we have failed to make the first move. We often sit in the class room, lunch room, stand around in the hallways, whatever expecting sighted people to walk up to us and make the first move and usually they won't because we have not done anything to get their attention that we are interested because we are unable to engage them in non-verbal communication. I'm not saying this to discourage you, am not saying this is hopeless, but only to get you to understand why a lot of sighted people may not be approaching you. They ignore you because you are essentially ignoring them by not engaging them in the usual forms of non-verbal communication. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with this problem once you realize what the problem is.


Speaking from personal experience here I wish I had figured this out a lot sooner, but just sitting on your duff waiting for people to walk up to you and say "hi" will not usually lead to long lasting friendships. You are going to have to get proactive, take some initiative, and put forth some personal effort to make those friendships happen because you can not fall back on a smile, a wave, a thumbs up, or body language to transmit information to people in your area that you want to talk to them. In fact, if you are just sitting at your desk, kind of zoned out, off in your own dream world, or sitting there writing down something in your expensive notetaker for school your body language will indicate to others that you are busy or that you don't want to be disturbed which might be the absolutely opposite of what you are thinking and feeling at the time. So be conscious of how your body language can and will be interpreted by others who can see you.

More to the point you are going to have to get up and communicate with people by direct communication. I understand your hearing isn't the best and your communication skills need work. However, its a case of the more you do it the better you will get at it. There is nothing wrong with bending over and saying "hello" to the person sitting in the desk next to yours or just walking up to another person in the hallway before school starts and striking up a conversation with them. When it is someone you do not know well you can sometimes get a conversation going by making a comment about the weather like "its really hot out there today" or "this winter is the coldest one in my life" or something along those lines. Most people will respond accordingly and add their two cents to the conversation. From there you can ask about there day, favorite classes, favorite TV shows, whatever. that's how conversation works. If you haven't developed those skills perhaps you need some help in building those communication skills. Communication skills is the only way to overcome the non-verbal communication problem, and you need to be what we call assertive. You need to be able to verbally express what you want, what you need, what you like, what you think, etc and communicate it clearly to others to get them to pay attention to you and take you seriously. Otherwise you are just going to sit around feeling alone and un liked because other people can't read your mind and they have no idea that you want to talk to them etc.

I would like to write more on this topic but I have already spent quite a lot of time on this message, and have other things I need to attend to. However, I truly hope this helps and if you want to talk more on this subject I am here to help in anyway I can. I know it is hard to overcome problems like this, but I have done it, and it is hard. I won't claim it is easy, but what most of it comes down to is pushing yourself to do things you are afraid of doing or stepping out of your emotional safe zone to make things better for yourself. If you can't or are unwilling to take those first baby steps then I don't know what anyone can do for you because a lot of it is in your own hands, and the best we can do is to guide you in which way to go.

Sincerely,
Thomas Ward
USA Games Interactive
http://www.usagamesinteractive.com

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17

A change in location, for at least a month or so, might help; it mightn't necessarily improve the situation directly, but you might learn some things, notice changes, get a better idea of what helps and what doesn't (or at least what to experiment with), etc. College / summer programs / arbitrary things with a residential program, whatever.

T-shirts get comments. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but as Thomas pointed out, it's very true, if you're around people who can see them. (There are suspiciously many such people at schools for the blind, as I remember getting comments on precise texts on my Jedi Academy shirt, and someone managed to introduce himself to me by tearing the FUNimation dub of Dragonball Z a new oriphace after seeing me in a DBZ shirt. Chinese women tend to get excited whenever they see my shirt with the Mortal Kombat symbol on it (basically the shadow of an Asian-style dragon on a disk of fire). curiously, no one seems to notice my "CANADA" shirt, go figure.)

Not that I can think of anything ever coming of any of these. Except the one Otaku talking to me and my roommate whenever he wanted to make shounen and shoujo sound more <airquote>adult</airquote> than they actually are.

Except culture is way off in a completely different world I don't really feel like getting into, especially not just for sake of conversation or something. And a lot of it has to do with inaccessible games, so... FML, I guess? I'm gonna go record myself failing to play Sonic 2 or something.

Some of my games
Keep up to date by following @Jeqofire on twitter!
Ear Ninja?

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18

Hello,
I have the opposite problem. I become motivated to do everything and end up doing things really intensely for a short time, then switching focus to another thing, go to another thing, go back to the first thing, and it then takes everything a long time to get done. On the upside, I know how to do a little bit of many things!
For me, in my 16-20 years I had a rule that was "never say no to a new experience if it didn't harm you or someone else or conflicted with your moral values." Then I really tried my hardest to really enjoy what I was doing, even though I may have hated it to start with. I also never said "I can't" In fact I hate the word "can't" I don't believe it is really a word, it is just a shorter way of saying "I choose not to". Instead of saying "I can't" I change that phrase to "How can I" This keeps my brain out of a lethargy filled with pity.
I tried caring what people thought of me in grade school and middle school. I HATED IT! If you don't mind making a total fool of yourself, if you don't care about making a dork of yourself, if you are just out to have fun, life is good. People should never dictate your life. Because honestly, you will never be as good as the popular people and honestly those popular people will never be as good as you. This means that you are the only you and that is what makes you liked. If Jim Carry did what was "normal" he wouldn't be Jim Carry. So don't be afraid of doing what you feel like doing. your feelings are right more than you are.
When talking to people, ask questions more than talk. Even if the question is dumb, if it is about the other person, it works. Don't be afraid of being too personal either. I find people love talking about themselves, and once I began asking people personal questions like: "How did your weekend go? How did your date with Fred go? Where do you live? What are your plans after college? How do you feel about ending this year?... People started liking me a whole lot more. I don't say I'm a good socializer, but I can hold my own and to my annoyance people love to choose me to lead them...
Some great books for mindset and motivation are the Rich Dad books. They deal with financial education, but they also work on personal development and motivation. Sales books are fantastic when it comes to pushing away your fear of rejection.
Life is a game and life is there to be lived, so I will live!

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19

frastlin: [wow]! I thought it was only me! thank you for giving company! big_smile
the almost exact is what happens with me! and yes, I also have the problem of being "overmotivated" smile
the only extra bit I can add is that I want to be constantly in the thick/middle of things;I don't like the sidelines. I never like to be alone;I like to be in a group, constantly doing something or other.
to wanderer, I really agree with all the suggestions above. as for me, if somebody don't notice me, I try to take the iniciative and make the acquaintance. having some friends, some people with whom you can shair your worries really helps. while this is easier said than done, trying doesn't hurt, does it? smile

friends:
come and join my
facebook group!

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20

Well with regards to talking to people and taking the initiative in conversations, that's definitely something I should do more, the problem is that most places I am during the day are pretty crowded when I'm there, with a lot of loud noise and people running around. Often it's hard to tell if a certain person is even in a room, let alone where they are and if they're already talking to someone else. I do know a lot of names, some of them of people I might get along with, so I suppose that could come in handy, it takes long enough just trying to figure out who all is in one class; I'm not going to, ask for a list of all the students or something. Whenever I'm around a lot of people, I constantly feel as if every eye is on me, and anything weird or embarrassing I do will be seen by all, and even if noone says anything (noone ever does) that every mistake or abnormal thing is being silently remembered and affecting my reputation. I know intellectually that this is a very common fear for socially awkward people, and that in reality it's likely no one could care less, but still, it's there. It's especially common when I'm eating, or performing some action that requires some amount of grace, example taking a chair completely off a table and putting it down. One day I was in first period and a girl across from me (I believe we were the only two in the room), came over and offered to put my chair down for me, to which I said no; were I a less friendly person or in a bad mood I would've made some sarcastic comment about how apparently being blind means you're incapable of picking things up, but despite everything I do appreciate it when people genuinely want to help. Well, I pick it up, go to put it down and bong, my braillenote, which is around my neck, gets in the way (of course, of course it does), and when I push it aside with one hand and put the chair down, the leg goes in the radius of the strap, so after making an abortive attempt to stand back up, have to pick the chair up again and pull it out. After all that my face was extremely flushed with embarrassment, though thankfully she did not say anything. Like I said, I realize it's an old line, but that fear can be crippling. Also, my social experiences in life have not been that great. I have a diagnosis of aspergers, which is a form of high-functioning autism. Whether that's accurate is up for debate, since my parents wanted something, so I said pretty muchn the minimum needed to get the psychiatrist off my back, or whether it even matters, but that's beside the point. I do have many of the symptoms, one of which is social naivety. When I was younger I was very talkative, almost exactly opposite of the way I am now, but would almost exclusively ask questions, and wasn't great at back-and-forth conversations. When I was 3 or so I'd even tell kids my own age to say certain things, then play another role when they did, because noone ever seemed to want to play along with me. When I was a bit older I'd talk to people and consider them friends, when looking back I now know a lot of them either simply tolerated or outright couldn't stand me. This of course either despite or exaserbated by my blindness. Obviously, this led to quite a few situations in which I was or could've been taken advantage of. All that is behind me now, and I don't have a problem interacting with people once we've made contact and actually found something to talk about, but the experiences are still there, so I'm probably overly cautious in a lot of situations. One thing I worry about is being labeled a creeper or something similar, by for example looking up and friending people on facebook, asking too many curious questions etc. A lot of people from school I've requested don't respond, and as I mentioned earlier there was one person who deleted me after we'd talked some and seemed to be getting along, and another blocked me for simply requesting them. A lot of these were pretty popular people, with upwards of 800 friends, and some of them friends with my sister who is very social, so they obviously know who I am. Maybe I'd making too much of it, but it is pretty discouraging, I'm guessing some of it is that some people either don't know what to make of me, or think I've got some other problem besides blindness. Sometimes I wonder if it's even worth trying to make friends here; so much of the interaction and so-called close friendships I see are based on superficial things, and that seems to be the norm. Also of course there's the advantage of not getting involved in teenage drama, which, even with only 3 friends at my state school, and the fact I was pretty secluded and didn't interact much with too many people, I somehow kept finding myself getting involved in, or at least hearing about. I've been meaning to start a journal for some time, so all the more reason. The problem is that I seem to have so much to write I don't know where to start, or just stop after a few hundred words because I'd have no way at all of organizing it. A change in location would be nice, but for now my only option would be that training program I attended last year, and I'm not doing that again. My family is vacationing to visit the grand canyon in December, so that's something to look forward to. A lot of the problems I'm writing about here may very well just be me subconciously trying to make excuses, and I'm probably making big deals out of nothing, if so please feel free to say so. Here is a video of a guy trying horribly to play the tuba, it cracks me up, and I now watch it every time I get bored.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRKlLKnXt-g

We move in circles, balanced all the while on a gleaming razor's edge
A perfect sphere, colliding with our fate...this story ends where it began.

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21

Wanderer and others.
I can relate all too well. I think many things might be teen sympthoms combined with the fact you're blind. As a teenager, you're looking for confirmation, and if you can't find it in people around you, you might do like me, become desperate and start playing games like a freak, keep going on and on how awesome you are and finding less good people to put down even more. sad

It is a hell, and yeah I can definitely relate to the "stupid blind kid getting a crush" thing, so fucking much.

A lot of the times, I'm down, and unmotivated of what to do. I can just sit around, doing nothing. At randoms, I can get moments of joy, but it can easily be turned back to sadness again.
I view myself as a  dark, sour and boring person, especially boring. At the start of this school year, I had a new start, and I was planning to make friends like hell. But I am just boring, what will I say or do? I'll hang around with a few, but where to go next? And the same goes for girls. I can not give that perfect eye contact smile, or anything else like that.
There was a pretty nice party a few weeks ago, which I, to my surprise, was invited to. But I didn't go, because, what the hell do you do at a party? How do you go from a little dinner to just being completely sloshed and that?

I am seeing a psychologist, but for me, just talking is pretty ineffective. I can play both drums and sing, but it's just that. I want to put my skills to use, just not quietly sit around playing them more.
I wish last summer.
I don't know what to do in the future, that's for fucking sure.

To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.

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22

Humor is an indispensable part of social lubrication.  I cannot count the number of times I have been able to make a joke out of something awkward that happened because of my blindness that removed any stigma that might have accrued.  It's also gotten me flirtatious and occasionally downright bawdy responses from women I was interacting with.  It's mildly awkward to have a lovely lady who is flashing the room decide that you need to participate and taking your hands place them squarely on her uncovered breasts, but that's another conversation for a different occasion.

The situation you describe with the chair and the braille note is hella funny if you remove yourself from it.  It's a Jim Carey moment.  Embrace that, say something funny about it and it is no longer a black mark but lets people know that it is ok to be amused when something funny happens.

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23

hi my thoughts on this. this is probably a bit late but here goes. I'm 13 and I go to a perfectly normal school. and I Need to say, I'm not the social type my self, and nither are the others in my class. the other Boys I would like to hang out with are constantly talking about sighted games or just playing minecraft in breaks. there's this Girl called michelle in my class, sometimes we talk. but she has her friend sitting next to her, and we have sort of a grudge between each other, and she doesn't really like me talking to michelle that much. there are a lot of things that my classmates resent me for, for example my teacher giving us all a test in history because I! didn't get something done in time. also there are a lot of embarresing things about me that somehow the hole class has found out, and of corse that decreesed my chances of finding someone to activly socialise with without someone sitting next to you thinking you're in love with her. I think that's very imature. I mean, can't you talk to a Girl and socialise with her without someone immediately starting to sing the wedding song? I think that's very childish my self. and yeah sometimes some days I really feel like crap, and there's not really anything that can happen to Change my mood on that day. on such days, I feel like my school life has turned to hell, that no one likes me and I really don't feel like doing anything.

Through the wilderness I prowl, woof woof,
My pray I chace, growl growl,
And when I catch it, nom nom,
I am the great Kurtwolf Cubscout!

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24

themadviolinist: again, an important point.
there was a time when I got embarrassed easily, and thought it extremely maddening if others made fun out of me. however, it did, later on dawn on me that complaining about it only made enimies. so, it's good, for you and for others, to make something good, aca a laugh out of such situations. and one thing I found is, to make friends,(any sort) and (male/female) you need not "give that perfect eye contact smile" you just need to talk imparcially.

friends:
come and join my
facebook group!

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25

Yeah, I suppose it is pretty funny, looking at it that way. I actually started a conversation with a teacher about the whole nonverbal communication thing, and talked to a few other people yesterday, so who knows?

We move in circles, balanced all the while on a gleaming razor's edge
A perfect sphere, colliding with our fate...this story ends where it began.

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