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Choice vs. Destiny

Desmond's trippy flashback episode served to highlight the ongoing LOST theme of destiny vs. choice. The events in Desmond's life have left him with a strong sense of destiny that is far from that which he would have otherwise chosen. Based on what we've seen, what would you say are the roles of destiny and choice in Desmond's life? How have you seen the two played out in your own life?


Blogger kvonhard said...

I posted this on TLC, but this is truly the more appropriate forum. This whole episode, in a lot of respects, reminded me of Stoppard's "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead". The quote that comes to mind is one of my all time favorites - "We can move of course, change direction, rattle about, but our movement is contained within a greater one that carries us along as inexorably as the wind and current." The two characters are on a boat at the end of the play talking about whether they have free will or not. The quote essentially discusses the idea that free will exists within a container of destiny. That seems to be how Desmond is trapped. Sure, he can make certain decisions. However, his fate is one that has already been decided. Whether the episode is a dream sequence or not, the end result is the same. He becomes trapped either by the reality that he was never off the island or by the idea that he has a destiny that he cannot escape (i.e. Ring Lady). In some respects, I've seen that in my life. Sure, as posted last week, I chose a lesser law school over one I wanted. However, in the end, it was what I was meant to do. I think that when we make decisions, sometimes there is an outcome that is out of our control. Oftentimes, the decision we can make is what path we take to the destined end result.

I will have to come back to some of these ideas. They're ones I've thought about a lot (I read the book over ten years ago and still love it). However, I don't necessarily think that we have to confine ourselves to an either/or choice when it comes to destiny/fate and free will.

2/15/2007 3:50 PM  
Blogger Amused2bHere said...

Free will vs predestination is one of the classic paradoxes of the Bible. They are not explainable, yet they co-exist, almost like two sides of the same coin which you can't see both at the same time but they are joined nonetheless. I don't expect to understand how it all works, at least this side of heaven. One day, though. When all questions are answered, or no longer seem important to ask.

I wonder sometimes...how my life would have been different if I had made different choices. What if I had not said yes to marrying my husband, what if I had not taken that job, what if I had not changed colleges,...and many more. I know of quite a few times I could have died (I was a wild child in high school), and it was only by the grace of God that I didn't die, wasn't arrested, etc.

I guess where one falls on this issue depends on whether or not you believe that Someone has a plan for life, or if all this is without design. That one viewpoint would certainly color the perception, don't you think?

2/15/2007 10:18 PM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

I don't know. I don't think you have to believe in a specific guiding force. I think it more depends on whether you want to take responsibility for the things that happen in your life.

I don't have a problem with that. Although, I do kind of think that there's something out of our control. I don't think that the two have to be mutually exclusive. Maybe that's part of what Desmond's story is about. He does try to make different decisions. He tries to change some things. Yet, he ends up in the same situation. Who's to truly say that he wouldn't have ended up on the island? Just because Ring Lady said so? I don't know. I don't entirely buy that.

2/16/2007 7:22 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

I've heard of that book Kvonhard, I'll have to check it out it sounds interesting.

Ditto on the wild child experiences Amused, been there, done that, and prefer to burn the T-shirts! So many times God saved my sorry hiney back then! I'm glad that He had better plans for me than letting it end like that! That reminds me, I have to thank Him again. :o)

I also strongly believe in the guidance factor (heavenly and otherwise) in our choices and fate. But guidance can also mean more than having someone there to steer you into which way to go. It can also mean the intelligence tools that you are given when young, to make quality choices when you are an adult. This could come from parents, society, school, mentors of any kind, etc. It seemed like after I left home, I always had a (sometimes older, sometimes not) mentor or two around that were sort of like life trainers to me. But I haven't had any of those kind of people/friends in my life for a long time now, and I miss it.

Anyway, my life is full of places where I could have taken a better, more intelligent, more spiritual, or more true-to-myself choice that would have changed the direction of my life for the better 100 times over.

I actually get a little annoyed when people say, "I'm not sorry for the bad choices I took, because it made me what I am today." Well, if you made different choices, you would be THAT person, and you would be glad to be that person as well....if you were....that other person. If that makes any sense. I fully admit that I would have liked to have taken some better choices along the way. Mistakes do add up to experience, but some stupid mistakes you can really just do without.

I also agree about the free will vs. predestination aspect. Its co-existance does sort of lend itself to not being understood by the human brain. The coin example is a good analogy.

2/16/2007 10:57 AM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

I don't know about the bad choices conversation. I was always a good girl - I did what everyone told me was the right thing. I worked really hard in school. I didn't do any partying until college, at which point I was even fairly lame about that making sure that work got done first. I ended up finishing college early, with honors, and getting the same job that my husband had after he'd spent most of college just enjoying himself. (We met at work.) I've often wondered, based on that and some other weird coincidences between us, if really there was something to us being destined to meet.

Of course, I did make some unhealthy relationship decisions. Including but not limited to - the guy who felt a pop quiz was more important than any potential health concerns about me, the one deemed "The Alcoholic", the "Stalker", Father Rob who asked if I thought he'd make a good Catholic priest the night we broke up (given certain vows, yes, he would) and who, I'd like to note, told me when we'd been going out about 3 weeks that he'd like 6 kids with me (I ran as fast as my little feet could carry me), and several other indiscretions who treated me poorly. However, while I see they were mistakes, I also would not have been able to appreciate the good that is my husband. I wouldn't have really appreciated his personality, his gentleness, his intelligence and most especially his general dorkiness. So, while the others may have been mistakes, I have firmly believed that I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had to live through them. They taught me the dangers of poor decision making. But, you can't always make the right decisions if you don't learn the consequences of the not-so-right ones.

I didn't enjoy some of those times. I didn't enjoy the way I felt. I didn't enjoy the way I saw myself. I do, however, appreciate them for what they gave me - a better sense of what I did (and didn't) want. So, I don't think that saying I wouldn't be me if I hadn't made those mistakes is such a wrong thing. I wouldn't be me. Most likely I would have stuck with my first reaction to my hubby which was (and it's now a huge joke at home), that "he has a funny shaped head."

2/16/2007 1:23 PM  
Blogger Administrator said...

I've hesitated to comment on this one because I too believe that human choice & destiny do indeed co-exist. This is a difficult belief to comment on since the two ideas often feel so contradictory.

In my personal experience, I have found a wonderful freedom in the ability to make choices within the context of knowledge that there is something bigger than my choices alone that is guiding my life. Kvonhard, I like the illustration you put forth of a boat moving along a watercourse. It made me think of the following Proverbs from the Bible:

Proverbs 21:1
The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

2/16/2007 1:24 PM  
Blogger Administrator said...

I have had several big plans in my life. As I went along, I made choices about these plans but, on four distinct occasions, I was frustrated that my plans did not work out like I hoped. Specifically, I had a plan for the college I would attend, the summer jobs I would hold while in college, the career I would begin after college, and the woman I would marry.

Circumstances seemed dead set against my plans. I ended up tranferring colleges, working a different place during the summers, taking the completely unexpected job that I've held the last 5 years, and marrying someone 1000 times more perfect for me than my first flame. These changes didn't occur as a result of my learning from my experiences and making different choices...it felt more like I was being pulled into the current of my destiny. It was a strange, out-of-control feeling.

These seemingly irresistable pulls of destiny (believe me, I did plenty to resist some of the paths that I've ended up on) initially shocked and confused me. I am a person of faith so I took my confusion and my questions to God in prayer. I also studied the Bible for answers and had many conversatiosn with some of the mentors that I've had in my life. Two more Proverbs that really conforted me are 16:9 & 19:21 (See below). Somewhere along the way I discovered that 1) God does have a purpose/destiny for me 2) His purposes will always prevail despite my kicking and 3) His purposes are always better than those which I could dream up or create for myself.

Proverbs 16:9
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.

So far, this post has been fairly light and sunny. What I would like to point out is that, I've been largely absent from these blogs since October mostly because I've been dealing with the most significant dark and difficult season of my life. I've had to engage with life in totally different way than ever before. The faith that I just described above has really been put to the test. Still, it is my belief in a higher, sovereign power and that belief alone which has sustained me and given me hope, resolve, and love even in the midst of a raging storm.

One final Bible verse that has encouraged me and then I'll shut up...

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

2/16/2007 1:52 PM  
Blogger memphish said...

If you guys figure this out let me know. In my faith system God is sovereign and yet man has free will and this is one of the toughest theological concepts I've ever tried to wrestle with.

God has known me and chosen me since before there was time, and yet I am free to choose to stay on this blog or do something else and God knows which I'm going to do even when I don't know.

We can all look back at certain decisions in our lives and have "It's a Wonderful Life" moments when we consider what if I'd chosen another college, what if I'd gone to graduate school four year earlier than I actually did, what if, what if, what if. I have to believe that God has made me and now changed me and has given me the faculties and will that allow me to face each day and the decisions that day is filled with in a way that if I'm walking with him will more conform me to what he would have me be, but that if I'm walking my own path will lead me to a different set of consequences, but all of that will ultimately be converted to my good.

There is nothing better in my opinion that the knowledge that God works everything to my good, even those things that are in every worldly definition bad.

Admin, I can relate to your descpription re my plans not turning out to be His plans. Where I live right now is not where I wanted to live. God used an unusual and very tough set of circumstances to pick my family up and move us 2000 miles. My family doesn't look like what I'd always dreamed and hoped it would look like. That's a fact and disappointment I'm faced with over and over and over as other people acquire the family dynamics I wish were mine. Yet I still have to trust that "He has a plan for me to prosper me and not to harm me." Does it make it easier? Yes and no.

Here's the verse He gave me in the midst of a great upheaval in my life.
Proverbs 23:17-18 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
This of course reminds me that ultimately it's about me and Him no matter how many people are in my life.

Now how does this relate to LOST? I don't know. I don't really understand this whole time travel/loop thing because it seems to me once you make one different decision, everything is different. Again it goes back to "It's A Wonderful Life." To me saving Charlie today means one more day where Charlie has a chance to do something, to say something, to change in a way that is eternal, and that changes things forever. I don't think we get an opportunity to start over from scratch at least not in the same place with the same people. But I really enjoyed the show and can't wait to see how it plays out.

2/16/2007 7:16 PM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

Hi Guys,

Haven't been on the other board yet (but I got a great podcast for you!). Kvonhard I love your reference to "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead". it sounds very interesting, it sounds very similar to the analogy i used last year comparing free will to driving a car (ie limited freedom within a wider system and certain points where you have to make a choice.)

I certainly see no conflict between free will and destiny. To use a bad example, Destiny gave Arthur Excalibur and made him king, but it was his free will that was implicit inhow he used that position, for good or evil, does that make sense.

Fate and Destiny may push you in a certain direction or place you in a certain place at a certian time but it's up there to decide what to do when you get there!

2/17/2007 6:51 AM  
Blogger memphish said...

There's an interesting analysis of free will vs. determinism and David Hume's take on it in this article. This guy's written a book about the show and does a great job breaking out the references.

2/17/2007 9:04 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

Hi Admin, nice to see you back in the blog-o-sphere here. :o) As I was reading your post, I was thinking about the Jeremiah verse, and there it was at the end! Thanks for the thoughts on the other verses as well.

I agree Kvonhard, it's difficult to think that we would be able to appreciate many of the good things in our lives if we didn't know what it felt like to not have them, or to have something worse. The current lives of the "Celebu-tards" in the news is a good example of people not appreciating what they have because they don't know how it feels to not have it, or to not be able to have it. Not to always dismiss B.Spears' mothering talents, but she is a great example of someone who does not know how to appreciate the simple but beautiful things in life, like the fleeting time that she has to spend with her babies when they are young, that she will never be able to get back. If she lives long enough to regret spending her children's formative years wasted away in bars, I'm sure she will be sorry for it someday (one would hope at least). And that's what I would change from my youth, any of the time that I wasted being weak and going with the crowd, rather than having the will to choose my own way and not waste any life-moments on doing anything that was not positive and productive to myself, the world, and God's plans.

Dark Angel thanks for the Camelot analogy, that's a very good one, and really sums in a nutshell what I feel about choices. King A's dream and destiny of creating a peaceful and civilized place in England could have been a great accomplishment, but when everyone started making bad choices it all just kind of fell apart. Some of his goals did succeed in the end, but his dreams could have been realized more in full if he and his people could have tried harder to stay on track and not follow their own selfish, human, or material motives (depending on which version of the story one goes by). In the same way, I might still eventually succeed in that which God had planned for my life, but because of the detours that some of my choices might have caused, His plans for me would be delayed for however long I chose to dawdle and putz my way through life inthe past.

There is a piece by Mother Theresa, that is about making the choices that mattter in life. A couple exerpts are:

"If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway."

And the quote goes on to say at the end, that life is not about you and the what the world thinks anyway, it's between you and God, or the higher/spiritual calling.

We don't yet know why Desmond did not accomplish too much by the time he wanted to marry Penny, but it seemed this week as if he had the desire to try to do things over, or to catch up with what he could have accomplished if he did things differently, e.g., joining the military, etc.

I really appreciate everything that you all take the time to post here, I learn a lot from it. :o)

2/17/2007 11:05 AM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

Hey Admin - Sorry to hear that things are not going well for you. A few years ago, I had my sense of self shattered by what went on in my life. I have since realized, that although what happened sent me into a tailspin, what has since come out of it has made me happier, better, and stronger. I can only hope that, three or four years from now (that's how long it's taken me) at most, the same can be true for you.

Again, when I went through things a few years ago, my own sense of who I was in this world was shattered. I had never failed at anything and here I was facing one of the largest failures that I could have imagined. Indeed, my own personal fear of failure was being realized. It not only tested me as a person but my relationship with my husband. I have since learned, only because of this, that I am not a conventional individual (ok, I knew that, but thought I could fake it). I have learned that living a conventional life is something in which I will likely fail. I have also learned that communication is far more important than I ever thought it would be. Yes, failure was apparently my fate. One that, seriously, I really never felt the need to live through. One that I had attempted to avoid at all costs. One that I still deal with every day in my actions. My sense of self, although glued back together, is still fragile. It is something that friends see in me and that I struggle with daily.

However, once again, my complaceny and inability to find a way to change a lifestyle that made me unhappy (and I'd tried, really, no one was giving me a chance and the chances I had, I believe, were being blocked by others). Having nowhere else to turn, I did many things that I had promised myself I would never do. Not that these were bad things, I simply started working with/for my father. I had to give up a certain amount of my independence and that hurt. Pride, so they say.

However, I am happier with the work I do. I see that it will allow me to be more flexible when I have a child. I have an even better relationship with my dad than I thought was possible (always a daddy's girl, but now we have a more adult relationship). Things worked out in a way I never thought they would. The decision to take the help was mine, I had free will. However, I truly think that there was someone/something guiding me into a destiny that I would never have accepted otherwise.

2/17/2007 11:46 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

Kvonhard, I'm glad that the things you talked about came to work out and be positive parts of your life, that's great! I can relate to what you said about not being conventional, but maybe not in the same way. In my youth I had always been a shy, quiet, somber, artist, who kept to herself and I never fit in with any cliques at work. In fact the first time I ever met a woman at work who was my age whom I could trust and relate to, was about 5 years before I retired.....no fair. But anyway, who wants or needs to be conventional? I finally stopped trying to fit in after a certain point in my life. Being unique is much more fulfilling and honest to yourself.

I also strongly believe that good can be made to come out of unfortunate choices or events in my life, either by time passing or by concentrated effort on my part. (And also with God's help) I and really don't believe in kvetching about the past, and what I have said here about my "issues" on the SotL blog, is the first time that I have ever spoken to anyone about these things, really. Normally I prefer to pick myself up and tough out the rough things until my head is back above the surface again, and then move on a bit wiser, and not look back. But I guess that is what Admin set this blog up for, for us to talk about our Lost Moments. :-)

You know though, I think that the Lost Time hint from TPTB in "Not In Portland" also had a lot to do with Dez wanting to redo his Lost Time without Penny, due to his choices.

I hope that you all had a refreshing weekend.

2/18/2007 7:06 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Admin - I've been praying for you and your family. It's no surprise things have radically shifted for you. I'm going through a more difficult time too and started counseling a couple weeks ago. I need to get through some garbage so that I can break through to the next level. It's not that I'm essentially any more broken than I was before all this came out. I just feel it more now. But it's the good kind of breaking, like how you have to break a bone that has been set wrong so it can be set right again. Of course after a while I'm sure the whole process will repeat again. It's really funny how different facets of my life are being centered around the same solution. As N. T. Wright put it in a lecture I listened to today:
...there is a different way of being human, a way of peace and forgiveness, of self-sacrifice and love.

Dude, it's really hard too. Anyway, Admin we've missed you.

I also think it's interesting that I've been studying Romans this year in BSF (a Bible study) and we've just come to the part about destiny and free will. Also over Christmas that science magazine I read had several articles about free will, determinism, and conciousness.

"Free" will, as scientists talk about it means, choice that is not affected by any outside influence. Of course, that's bogus. Everything is influenced by everything else. So our wills are not entirely free. Plus I think we agree that there are outside forces at work which are outside our control, possibly a force called Destiny or the Plan of God.

So here's what I think we definitely can have: self-control. This is only a slightly different from the idea of free will. The Bible says that it's one of the things God teaches us, whereas I can't directly find reference to him giving us free will. (Anybody?) We have influences that say to go one way. We have influences that say to go another way. Deep down we are only going to make a choice that we truly think (or rationalize) is in our best interest somehow. (We've talked about that before here.) Learning self-control is a change in how we define what is in our best interest and thereby we exercise our will. What do you think?

As for the God knowing everything ahead of time (predestination), I like C. S. Lewis' take on it. God made time therefore God is not bound by time and sees all of time at the same time. LOL! There are even scientists now that are theorizing the same thing. The sequential nature of time (past, present, expectation of future) may all be a construct of our minds!

2/18/2007 8:19 PM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...

Okay, I was told I could vent here. Forgive me if I'm incorrect.

Here goes.....short one...

Well let's see.

1. the whole relationship with lostnuts and the past month of "what the hell is going on in her mind and heart" thing. January: she wants to spend every moment with me and still wants me to move up to new jersey from virginia. February: she needs time and space. ummm WHAT?? ummm...yeah, kinda' moving this weekend. Now she's in Cancun with her mom and daughter and i'm still moving (not knowing if we're "good-to-go"). This is going to be a MOVE based on FAITH.

2. Went to see my daughters in Florida this weekend. And as any parent knows, it's hard as hell to drive 8.5 hours alone after you just said "good-bye" to your children. Especially if you know it's going to be several months again before you seeing them next time.

3. Then, 45 minutes from home, you call a friend you haven't spoken with for years because you lost his number and he tells you that your mom, whom you've had a huge falling out with and haven't spoken to in 3 or so years, has been DEAD for 3 years!!

Now, with that said, can anyone explain to me WHY I should EVER appreciate FEBRUARY??????

2/21/2007 4:02 AM  
Blogger Administrator said...


I am so sorry. My heart broke as I read your post. I hope you don't mind that I am lifting up a prayer for you that you will somehow find comfort during these difficult days.

"Lord, I pray for my friend and ask that you will be near to him and comfort him right now. Give him wisdom and patience and strength to navigate the murky waters ahead. Send people into his life to care for him and help him through this season. I pray that he will be stronger as a result of the trials he is facing."

Can I ask...What ways are you coping with the loss of your mother, the distance from you children, and the confusion in love? Do you have a support group of people who are close to you? Do you have a faith in a higher power that you can turn to for answers and hope? I honestly don't know where I'd be without my faith in God, and some of the authentic relationships that I've forced myself to forge with some other guys who support and encourage me.

Anything we can do to help or encourage you...let us know. That's what we're here for.

2/21/2007 4:19 AM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...

just me. i joke to hide things sometimes.

and i just try to stay busy.

I believe in God. I pray more for others than i do myself, though. sometimes it just feels like i brought things upon myself. ya know? and if so, why pray for myself? it's my on doing and i just think that sometimes I just would like to catch ONE break.

I grew up on welfare and was in and out of foster homes and a group home at an early stage of my childhood. my mom was in rehab because she was "hooked" on valiums and other prescription drugs.

we also moved a lot and i never knew my father.

I spent a good part of my life living in the projects and making potentially "life-altering" decisions daily.

gangs, fights, drugs, etc. you know the deal. I never did drugs, stayed away from the gangs and only got in maybe 4 fights. I have a 140 IQ and did very well in school and could've done better, but i never did homework.

Started working when i was 14 and bought my own clothes from that point on, because $200 in food stamps and $88 welfare check (per month) weren't cutting the mustard for two people anymore.

Joined the Marines at 17, hoping that everything i've ever done will prove to my mom that she did well and basically fought for everything i've ever had.

Divorced twice now. first wife left me after i was in a car accident and lost my job. she took my name of the storage and kept my personal belongings. Marine Corps stuff, martial arts stuff, movies, pictures, etc. i lived in a hotel for three months until HER mom took me in. Lived with her for three more, packed my car with what i had and moved back to Alabama, with my sister.

Lived there for 2 years, met my next wife, married and "followed her" across the country (Navy).

ultimately, we butted heads and argued uncontrolably for us to remain together, so we divorced last year. she got transferred to florida and my daughters are with her.

i currently live with roommates and live on the sofa bed and out of a closet.

I'm moving this weekend to New Jersey, with a roommate I've never met to start a new job up there. Yet ANOTHER life-changing decision.
Why? Because I've been dating Lostnuts for months now, but driving 800 miles round-trip is harsh (twice a month, sometimes once).

That's where my previous post picks up. Since February, I've been in an up-n-down state of depression. I even caught myself thinking about just sitting down in the middle of the floor in the Commissary and just saying "screw it".....just SIT THERE. How weird is that? And that's just because of uncertainty about the move and Lostnuts and my relationship.

Then came the trip to see my daughters and ultimately having to LEAVE. THEN, there was the call to a friend that told me about my mom.

So yeah, in a nutshell, February sucks!


P.S. just ONE break is all i ask (in life i mean). dunno. maybe i've received it and didn't realize.

2/21/2007 4:44 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

I only have a sec. I think you came to the right place to vent. No problem.

God, show chucklez3 what his break is. You know what you created him for and you care more for him than anyone ever. He really needs to know that right now. Please help him through today with everything he has to do and everything he's thinking about.

2/21/2007 5:20 AM  
Blogger Administrator said...


Wow! Thank you soooo much for trusting us enough to share your story with us. That takes some serious COURAGE and boldness to pour out your heart like that...I really admire you for putting yourself out there. I know I can speak for more than myself when I say that "we" are here for you on this blog. I don't know how much support a few Lost-junkies can give you but we want to do our best. Also, I don't know how comfortable you are having these conversations "publicly"...Do you have an email address we can use to communicate in a more personal manner?

One thing I'll say on this blog (and I'll try not to be TOO cheesy when I relate this to Lost)...

Sometimes our "breaks" don't look like we want them to or would expect them to. But they are breaks none the less. My perception of many of the characters on the show Lost is that being in a plane crash and becoming stranded on a daunting foreign island is the "one break" that they all needed more than anything in the world. The crash of flight 815 is the best thing that could have ever happened to them. An apparent disaster in the middle of the rest of their lives' messes is turning out to be the path to their redemption.

It sounds like February has been "a crash" month for you. Maybe all of this bad can somehow work out for good. Just like on the show, I think all of this takes time and the process is rarely easy. I'm just praying that somehow you'll be able to find some hope to hold onto even in the midst of the burning wreckage.

Okay...I've probably already written too much. Don't forget to send me your email (thelostexperienceclues@gmail.com) if you'd rather chat more privately. I'm cool keeping the conversation here if you prefer.

2/21/2007 7:50 AM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...

feel free. i don't mind in either case, but my email is Buttmonkey73@yahoo.com.

2/21/2007 8:22 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

Chucklez, I'm very glad that you did decide to come over here! If you read any back-threads, you will see that we have all talked about our rough times here too.

Admin, you put it very well, in saying that Chucklez life is similar to the Lostaways' crash, and that now he's picking up the pieces of a new life. And maybe a new Chucklez.

Chucklez, God showed me at one point during a lonnnng very bad patch, that the first break we get every day is being able to wake up in the morning. That in itself is a blessing. And another break is that we also get to try to pick up the pieces and fix things, like Admin said. Every step that we take towards putting the pieces together no matter how small, is an improvement and a milemarker in the goal of putting things back together, and it is something to be thankful for and to feel positive about too. Anything you do to fix your life now, you can be proud of yourself for.

Are you able to afford to go to a doctor and possibly get something to help you with your nerves and depression until the waves of life flatten out a bit? I'm not crazy about getting medicated, but I know that it helped me physically at a time when my body could just not take anymore stress and my health was falling apart because of it. Then getting help like that, helped me be able to have the mentally capacity to work things out until things in my life were back in order again. You might consider this for yourself, if possible.

And for some unsolicited practical advice: if you are going to make the move in spite of your girlfriend being unsure now, after you move, just concentrate on your own life and whatever job you will have, and making a nice home for yourself. Right now you need to take care of yourself and if she is going to be "iffy", just get on with your life as best as you can. I know it's easy to say, but if we don't take care of ourselves, we are not capable of taking care of anyone else either.

Good luck and God bless, in your upcomming move.

2/21/2007 10:26 AM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...

not sure who to see. a shrink or regular doctor??

never sought the assistance of meds for depression before.

as for the move, thanks. bad thing is, i'm gonna' be strugglin for money for a bit. i deposited my tax check in my account and they're gonna hold it for 5 days before letting it clear. ugh!!

so now, i don't have access to the money i got!! stupid, stupid!! i was gonna use THAT to pay for the rent, so i don't have to dwindle my credit card to the bare minimum.

seems like life is like a series of slaps to the face!

hahahaha.......jeez. no mas!! no mas!!!!

2/21/2007 11:01 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

I totally get the "no mas!" feeling. January and February have been crash months for me too. Does anyone on the blog have contacts for counselors or doctors in the New Jersey area? I can ask my husband since he spent some time up that way.

There's been a bit written by Paul in the Bible that I've been thinking about a lot recently. It goes, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (emphasis mine)

I don't want to turn anyone off by making this a religious thing. It's not. It's a "how do I get up in the morning and make it through my day" thing. Sometimes life just sucks, and I need rescuing from stuff I've made a mess of and stuff that's made a mess of me. I'll be keeping you in my prayers, Chucklez3, and I'll let you know if my hubby turns up any contacts.

2/21/2007 12:56 PM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...

sounds like me in a way. haha.

thanks twinkle.

2/21/2007 1:16 PM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

Hey Chucklez -

As re: meds, you can go to a regular dr or a psychiatrist. I've been down that road. Different ones work on different people so you may have to try more than one type before you find one that's best for you. Trust me, pride is sometimes not an option. As we are not like Desmond and do not get "do-overs", sometimes it's worth it to do something we're not sure about and take the chance. If it doesn't work out, you can always stop.

About the tax check - amounts over $5K (I think?) have an automatic hold on them per regulations. If it's a new account, it can easily be 5 days. Otherwise, unless something else flagged your account (being consistently overdrawn is also an issue as is it being an out of state check although that shouldn't be an issue with a federal gov't check). They should have told you why the hold was being placed on the check, especially under regs that require that funds should be available within 24 hours. If you haven't already, I'd question them. Not that I do reg compliance for banks or anything...

2/21/2007 2:04 PM  
Blogger blueheron13 said...

After reading through all these posts, I feel compelled to post for the first time over here.

If you are indeed suffering from any kind of clinical depression (or from an anxiety problem), I offer you some unsolicited advice. I've had too much experience with these things (which I won't go into now) over the past 3 years, and I submit:

1. If you feel that your depression or anxiety is interfering with your life, DO NOT see a regular family doctor. If at all possible, see someone--like a psychologist, psychiatrist, or clinical social worker--who deals extensively with these problems. These are very common problems, but regular doctors are typically ill-equipped to diagnose and treat them properly.

2. Be very careful about deciding to take medications if they are offered to you. DO RESEARCH FIRST. The most commonly prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications can have negative long-term effects and horrible side effects when you stop taking them (even though the drug companies will not always acknowledge this).

3. If you do need help dealing with depression/anxiety, consider seeing a counselor/therapist before trying medication. A well-trained therapist can often help people as much (or more) than medication can, and it's not invasive!

Anyway, hopefully the pain you are feeling is temporary and will not develop into full-blown depression/anxiety problems and you can just ignore all my advice.

Best of luck to you!

2/21/2007 2:05 PM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

btw - nothing written by me should be construed as or or be relied upon as legal advice. Any additional questions or concerns should be forwarded to a real professional. ;-) My general "not an atty" disclaimer.

2/21/2007 2:08 PM  
Blogger blueheron13 said...

Oh dear, it looks like kvonhard and I cross-posted with some conflicting advice regarding meds.

2/21/2007 2:13 PM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...

hahaha.....no big. thanks to all of you. just kinda nice to have anyone to talk to at all. i appreciate everyone's input.


btw........Navy Federal holds all refund checks (for whatever reason) for at least 5 days.

somehow, i got screwed on my return, btw. my ex claimed one daughter and i claimed the other. she got back $3800 and i got back $1700.

but she got paid more than me, too because of dependent benefits through the navy from last year.

eh. still........I thought i shoulda gotten more. oh well.

2/21/2007 3:49 PM  
Blogger takes a village said...

Life can sure get tough sometimes.
Some of you(tlcm,chuckles3,and many others)have really been having it so bad,that you may be looking for that wormhole.
My heart and prayers go out for you.
This morning as I drove to work,I heard a song on the radio that may be of comfort to you.It is called "The Voice Of Truth";by Casting Crowns.I'm not an advanced blogger yet,so here is the site: http://www.christianlyricsonline.com/artists/casting-crowns/voice-of-truth.html God's peace be with you all.Hang in there.

2/21/2007 4:54 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Thanks for your advice, BlueHeron. I'll keep it mind. Also Chucklez, my counselor that I'm seeing tonight might have some contacts if you want to do phone or online counseling. I'll ask her.

I know, you're all reeling in shock that I'm going to a counselor instead of watching Lost tonight, but really I'm supposed to be able to get back in time, it's just the last couple times I haven't. :-)

2/21/2007 4:56 PM  
Blogger kvonhard said...


Not conflicting so much as different experiences. Aside from depression, I had migraine issues and apparently, one of the old school antidepressants keeps them at bay. I didn't have great experiences with everything and I did go to counseling as well. But, to get over the hump, the "if at first you don't succeed, try try again" mentality was helpful to me, personally. :-)

2/21/2007 5:31 PM  
Blogger Administrator said...

takes a villiage,

I looked up the lyrics. Great song. Here was my favorite part:

The waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

kvonhard & blueheron,

I respect all of your input regarding meds for depression/anxiety/panic issues. I think your words created a good balance. I will add that I survived some severe (and physically debiliting) anxiety and panic issues without the use of prescription drugs. I'm not against the use of drugs but I decided to save them as a last resort and it turned out I didn't need them. If you do decide to go with a certain med, I would be sure to go into the mindset to only stay on them until you are "out of the woods". I don't think it's a good idea to develop a mental dependency on them if at all possible.

2/21/2007 5:55 PM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...

sure twinkle. can you email me the info?

2/21/2007 6:09 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Love that song.

Yep. My counselor is going to get back to me by e-mail and I'll forward it to you.

We had a great session tonight! Hope you all are enjoying Lost. This time we remembered to record it so we can watch it on the "big screen" instead of the laptop!

2/21/2007 7:51 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

I agree about meds Blueheron! I had a stupid GP who gave me Paxel (without really listening to my problem) and it nearly blew my head off my shoulders after about the third day (after which I stopped taking it). Then it took another three days to get back to normal after I stopped!

I also agree with you Admin. I hate saying to someone to get medication, but I hate more to see a person reaching that point where stress is tearing down their body. It is a fine line to walk.

2/21/2007 9:15 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

P.S. Good Twinkle, and St. Paul also said that, "...I have learned how to be content in the midst of..." hard times, trials, etc. I try to keep that in mind for myself as much as I am able. It helps.

2/21/2007 9:17 PM  
Blogger Amused2bHere said...

I am so glad you took our suggestion to come to this blog, Chucklez. We all need a safe place where we know someone cares.

A counselor can help, even if you don't think you "need professional help". After my dad died I needed someone to talk to who wasn't going to squirm when I cried. Others meant well, but mom considered crying a sign of weakness (even for girls) and my husband was helpful but I felt guilty always being wet-faced around him. I needed to know there was someone who would encourage me to talk about him and cry too.

I also dealt with depression, and its various symptoms. We eventually decided to try other-than-drug treatments first, and they were sufficient for me, but I was open to whatever was necessary.
So my advice (fwiw) is to decide with your counselor together when and if medication would be helpful.

2/21/2007 10:35 PM  
Blogger Amused2bHere said...

I want to add that when mom died 17 months later I knew better how to recognize and express my grief, so it was different. One blessing was that mom left behind a house filled with 40 years of "stuff" (she was a pack rat) that my sibs and I had to go through. Most of it was her collections (comic books, Avon collectibles, action figures, matchbox cars, porcelain dolls, trading cards, baseball cards, sci fi paperback library, glass and porcelain bells. And such.)

The process really helped provide healing for the interrelationships of my sibs and me. It tooks years, and for some we are still healing, but I am grateful for the griefwork.

I am sorry that you will not have an easy time finding such work to do. One thing I know for sure is that grief has to be worked through. You cannot escape it, you can only postpone it, and that not indefinitely, and then you risk it sneaking up on you and "demanding" your attention, usually in physical ways.

Some say grief is like a giant python. You have to encourage it to eat you whole. And then cut your way out. I didn't understand that until I experienced it. Now I understand, and agree.

Here's a book you might find helpful: Recovering from the Loss of a Parent, by Katherine Fair Donnelly. If you send me your snail mail address, I'll mail it to you if you want.

2/21/2007 10:50 PM  

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