This is the "can o' worms" kind of thread... some will open it, some won't. Maybe some don't have any worms (you've already got plenty of fish, so you're set).
Lucky 13. I really hope it is. For me and everyone else here. Lots of interesting insight into what people are up to. I wasn't going to contribute, but... what the hell, why not.
I hit a major roadblock in my life, for no apparent good reason on the outside (I'm healthy, had been doing pretty well financially, was gainfully employed, etc). I sank into depression after I was laid off from a rather unscrupulous company that had bought our division from our comparatively larger parent company, then sent 40% of the staff home after a few months (despite promises to the contrary), to later enable two senior executives to pilfer resources and forge documents to gain a massive infusion of investment but got caught and caused the whole company to collapse in the most deplorable disgrace. This was in mid 2009.
I hadn't had a really good long vacation for quite some time, so with the sinking economy and jobs being shed, not opened, I purposefully decided to take a break for a year and work on a few personal things. What I hadn't anticipated is how... dependent I was on external structure. I wasn't very self disciplined and didn't really make much progress in 2009. By mid 2010 I was really starting to get scared, as employment opportunities were still really dismal.
I decided to start writing a book, with much encouragement from several trusted friends, using a lot of ideas I had jotted down over the years. A kind of philosophical book on where humanity is ultimately going, what are chief areas of concern (beyond the obvious tremendous negatives to the environment) and some remedial suggestions as to how to move forward in a more productive way. But after 12 months of slaving away, I came to discover that Al Gore was doing the same kind of book. My efforts would prove superfluous. Don't you just hate that kind of thing? It sunk me further into the damp, dark doldrums.
Well, I had tried a few different medications to help soften the periodic dips into deep depression, but all of them altered my consciousness in peculiar ways... I didn't like it one bit. Fortunately, I began to discover a few things that would help pull me out of it more naturally. Exercise, hydration, plenty of sleep, and focusing on small easily accomplished tasks to bolster feelings of self-worth. It's so very hard to do this when you've got the kind of mind that can't help but be comparative to past potential... a side effect of learned behavior. I hate being fragile to external opinions.
So, to try putting it more briefly, I'm working on two things:
1. Improvement of self-image
2. Achieving gainful employment
Once those two are squared away, the runway will be cleared for delving into many other things on the back burner, including a shifting of my book focus in a way that might still prove useful, yet without loaded expectations.