On getting over yourself

I’ve just read your piece “On a beautiful mess” for the fourth, maybe fifth time since you posted it. It was the first time, however, that it brought me to tears. That girls’ words have resonated with me before, but never so strongly. I’m too tired to wait for an answer to arise inside me though. My therapist suggested I go on antidepressants a few months ago but I just can’t do it. If I start taking them, I won’t be ‘me’ anymore; my personality, my true identity will be covered and shaped by those pills. It feels like I’ve got no way out since I can’t live a normal life without them either. I don’t believe that a human life has any inherent value really, not more than any animal’s life, or that we’re here for a reason or that there’s anything ‘on the other side’ so why not end this? I’d rather kill myself than be a fraud, a ‘happy robot’… I guess my question is — is a life worth living if you know you’re not really yourself?


I’m very sorry that you’re suffering from depression, but do yourself a favor and quit being such an asshole. Taking antidepressants doesn’t make you a fraud. They don’t turn you into a “happy robot,” and you’re a fucking idiot for saying shit like that.

It’s perfectly fine if you want to be an existential nihilist, but it’s not okay to be a whiny little bitch about it. Sure, life is meaningless and death is likely to be an eternity of nothingness, but so fucking what? That doesn’t mean life is without inherent value. Life is incredibly valuable. Life is precious. Life is all we’ve fucking got, and the reason you’re such a gaping asshole is because you’ve been given an opportunity to vastly improve the quality of yours, and all you can do is whine about it. Fuck you.

Speaking of which, there is no such thing as “you.” There is no “true identity” that exists as some static, concrete artifact to be covered and shaped by antidepressants. That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works. Your fear of antidepressants is childish and ignorant, and the whole dumbfuck myth that you won’t be “you” anymore is insulting to the millions of people whose lives have literally been saved by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Take the fucking pills. That’s not a suggestion. That’s an order. While you’re at it, quit “waiting” for the answer to arise inside of you. That’s such a lazy way to think, and with that kind of shitty attitude, you’re not gonna stumble onto any profound revelation.

Like I’ve said before, the answer does exist. It’s already inside you, and it really has been there all along, but you’re never going to find it as long as you keep clinging to this depressed, whiny version of yourself that you insist is your “true identity.” It’s not.

Seriously, get over yourself. Tell your therapist that you’re ready to try antidepressants, and take the fucking pills.


On where to start

You said my question was stupid and I don’t have any information to claim otherwise. I know a little about the political landscape but not anywhere near enough. I’m worried I’m just parroting fear-mongering bullshit that I’ve heard on the news or in articles on the internet, but I also don’t want to invalidate everything I know (or think I know) about the world. Something about Hillary Clinton scares me, but I’m not sure if that’s just the propaganda working very well. The solution is to read more but I don’t want to internalize more trash. Where should I start?


First, read Ezra Klein’s Understanding Hillary. Then read Michael Arnovitz’s Thinking About Hillary — A Plea for Reason, and since she scares you for no particular reason, see if you can spot yourself in Michelle Golberg’s The Hillary Haters.



On having reservations

Maybe screaming down left wing voters for “having reservations” about Hilary is exactly the problem. Because that’s the entire Democratic Party approach in a nutshell, and it’s not working very well so far hey. Maybe, just maybe, some of these reservations are actually fucking legit and worth talking about. Maybe, this is time to talk about how a two horse race is a fundamentally flawed example of democracy.

The “Democratic” party expectation (and it is an expectation) that; —“If you are left-wing leaning you MUST vote for this person, no question about it, OR else YOU are responsible for fucking the world up with the Trump monster”—- is so incredibly far out of touch it’s condescending. Not to mention ironic. But I guess it does illustrate a fairly typical American view of ‘democracy’.

The truth is, Hilary Clinton neglected the core “Democratic” constituency long ago. Hilary Clinton will continue bombing the Middle East , funded by the banks, and we will continue on with the neo-liberal status quo, with rising global inequality and environmental destruction.

Maybe people don’t want that future. Maybe the conversation shouldn’t be about Clinton v Trump. Maybe the conversation should be creating a better system, for the long term.

But that’s hard, I know. Especially when screaming VOTE HILARY over all the (often valid) reservations is so easy.


Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Maybe you should quit acting like party unity is a fucking disease. Maybe you should recognize that creating a better system is a painfully slow process measured in decades rather than election years. Maybe it should occur to you that in this particular election, your left wing reservations are more dangerous than right wing ignorance. Maybe I should just tell you to go fuck yourself.

Listen, kid. You need to grow a thicker skin, because you damn well know what it is I do here. You love the way I write when you agree with me, but now that we’ve got some minor political differences, suddenly I’m condescending? Get the fuck out of here.

And you know what? As long as you’re voting for Hillary, we can sit around all day and talk shit about her centrism, her hawkishness, or her shitty position on Palestine. It’s a bit of a stretch for you to define truth on behalf of the core Democratic constituency, but hey, we can ramble on about global inequality and environmental destruction and the faults of a two party system for as long as you like, as long as you’re voting for Hillary.

I promise, kid. Screaming you down for having reservations is not the fucking problem. People like you deciding to stay home on election day is the fucking problem, because if Hillary loses, all those other problems that you care so much about won’t mean dick in an administration run by a narcissistic demagogue.

Your frustration with the system is justified. Truly, it is, and I totally understand your desire to make the conversation about something else, but you’re a childish asshole if you think you actually can. The conversation is about Clinton vs. Trump. You don’t get to change that.

Have all the reservations you want. Hold your fucking nose in the voting booth if you must. Resent the shit out of me for telling you this, I really don’t give a fuck, but goddamnit vote for Hillary.


On third party voters

I fucking love my boyfriend, but I’m running out of arguments against his libertarianism. He is truly team Gary Johnson 2016. Help me find the right words to express why I think libertarianism is insidious and not the whole picture?

(To be fair, he always listens to what I have to say and we’ve come to the uneasy agreement that, while we hold most of the same beliefs, he simply has more faith in “individual choice” than I do.)


Libertarianism is for selfish children. Your boyfriend is a selfish child. Worse than that, he’s an self-aggrandizing sanctimonious asshole who’d rather use his vote to make an empty, ego-gratifying statement about “individual choice” instead of eagerly voting for Hillary Clinton in light of a grotesque clown like Donald Trump being the Republican Nominee.

I detest people who vote for third party presidential candidates. Some of you are probably too young to remember, but Ralph Nader’s Green Party candidacy cost Al Gore the 2000 election. Contemptible fuck-puppets like your boyfriend are the reason we got George W. Bush.

I will never forgive the Green Party for their role in the 2000 election, and if a Gary Johnson/Jill Stein circle jerk gets in the way of Hillary Clinton winning the presidency, I will hate the Libertarian and Green Parties even more than I already do now.

I know you want me to give you the magic words that will remove your boyfriend’s head from his ass, but there aren’t any. He’s gonna sit up there on his insipid pile of half-assed libertarian principles and pretend he’s on moral high-ground, and there’s not a god damn thing you can do to stop him.

He knows Gary Johnson will never be President, and he knows there’s a real risk of Donald Trump winning, but he doesn’t care. He’s such a selfish piece of shit that he would rather stroke his own smug-fuck male ego than do his civic duty to prevent a narcissistic garbage monster from having the nuclear launch codes.

Your boyfriend can go fuck himself, and you can tell him I said that.


On your boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend

I’m obsessed with my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, or rather, with my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend’s self-presentation. I feel good with him — secure, everything — after a year of togetherness. I feel as pretty as I normally do, which is not that pretty, yet also not (I hope) overly concerned with my face. And yet I can’t stop looking at pictures of her face, her outfits, her new nails. I no longer remember when or why I started.

The other day, I started looking through her tagged images. From there I started looking through her friend’s Instagrams for pictures of herself she’d untagged. I noticed she had untagged a photo of herself with my boyfriend, taken with what seemed to be a selfie stick, from about a month after he and I started dating, when he said he was no longer seeing her. I want to ask him about it, but I don’t want him to know what I’ve been up to — not because it’s wrong, but because it will make me seem pathetic in his eyes. I’m sure she’s not spending hours looking at pictures of me.

Am I pathetic? Am I…sympathetic? How do I find enough sympathy for myself to stop doing this, and should I try to get sympathy from him, or will I only get — only deserve — scorn and pity?


On general principle, never be jealous of anyone with a selfie stick. That being said, as much as it would please you, I seriously doubt that your boyfriend would react with scorn and pity if you were to bring up a year-old Instagram of him and his ex. You’re aiming a bit too high with scorn and pity. Those are soap opera emotions, which I suppose is my polite way of calling you a drama queen…

Read the rest over at Real Life Magazine.


On some sage advice

You’re so desperate to sell your stupid book you’d rather answer questions that can serve you as a way to promote it more. What a shame, I come here for some sage advice I can relate to, not to see you answer obviously planted questions by you just so you can link your book to Amazon.

You’re a sellout to your own greed coke. Shame.


You want some sage advice? When a writer provides you with nearly a decade’s worth of free entertainment without so much as a single advertisement or sponsored content of any kind, you do not whine. You do not complain. You do not act like an ungrateful little shit-goblin by calling that writer a sellout.

What you do is show that writer some fucking respect and graciously click on the provided links and pre-order several copies of that writer’s book, because over the years the writer’s words have played a small but relevant part in your development as a human being, and you’ll eventually want to give the book as a gift to various people who are important in your life.

Then, after pre-ordering multiple copies of the book, you send a heart-felt note to that writer apologizing for your shitty attitude and rude behavior.

Shame, indeed.


On hearing you

I’ve written to you so many times and never gotten a response, and at this point I have no idea why I keep writing. It’s almost as depressing as sending dozens of resumes out into the world and never getting any responses…like, hello, does anyone even hear me? I try to communicate and connect but am I even making actual sounds, or did I just imagine that part? If a person is crying in a forest and no one is there to hear it, is her suffering even real?


I hear you.

I can’t possibly respond to even a fraction of the submissions I get, but I hear you.


On a simple fix

LOVE your advice! I’m gonna pre-order 6 books!

I am a 53 yr old widow of 2 years. I had a long successful marriage. Recently I have been seeing a 50 year old man- I’ll call him “W”- who’s had 2 short ,unhappy marriages and at least 2 short live-in relationships. We’re on the same wavelength as far as humor, sex, dancing, music, food, politics but there’s a confusing issue. When we have a disagreement he leaves. I have told him problems don’t get solved by running away. He wants us to see a counselor and I am not opposed to that but only want us to first try some things I think could help – like active listening. And actually talking through a disagreement.

We live an hour apart and have been spending most weekends at my house since March. I’m a retired teacher and he is a semi-retired contractor. Neither of us has adult children or money problems. We both agree that we want
our relationship to “work”. I have no doubts about my suitability for an attachment relationship. I can maintain interest, compassion, trust, and love and I am worthy of these emotional gifts from others. Not so sure W feels so worthy of love and connection. I do think he has an anxiety disorder and some form of hypochondria. Any thoughts ?


I’m so used to 22 year olds asking questions like this, it’s kinda nice to get one from someone your age. That being said, could you have used any other letter other than W? Now I can’t help but picture you dating George W. Bush, and as hilarious as that is, it’s not doing you any favors.

Also, I think your problem is adorable. You two sound like a lovely couple who happen to have different conflict styles. You’re collaborative. He’s avoidant. It’s a pretty simple fix if you go to counseling, so if that’s what he wants, I suggest you do it. It’s really a win-win for you, because the counselor is just gonna teach him active listening anyway, and I guarantee he’s more likely to use the skills if he thinks he learned them from a professional. Plus, if he’s got an anxiety disorder, you can bring that into the room and get him to start dealing with it.

(And thank you so much for pre-ordering a stack of my books. I really do appreciate it.)


On deleting a former friend

I know you get about 1,000 questions per week, so I thought I’d try this again.

Last October I confronted my oldest friend (of 26 years) on a pattern of dick-ish behavior. He replied that it was all in my head, and that I was jealous of him because my life hadn’t worked out. Honestly, if we were making a material measurement, which I believe he was, I’d be generous to say we’re even, but that’s not how I ever thought of us.

To say the least, I was surprised by his very long reply, and then more so by his complete silence.

What’s eating me up is that I’m holding on to it – it’s still on my mind just about every day – and as a means of dealing with this I’ve kept an email in draft that I’ve read and revised as time has gone on. It was very extensive to start, calling him out on a long line of his bullshit, and has since been reduced to a sentence or two; a simple reply to when (not if) he comes around – he’s gone ghost on me twice before, and then comes back with a long story about what he was going through.

My 2 questions: 1) Fuck him, right?, and 2) Why am I holding onto this for so long?

Thanks for your site. I’ve gotten some huge laughs and have forwarded so many of your answers to friends.


1. Sure, fuck him.

2. I don’t have the slightest clue why you’ve been holding on to this for so long. The only thing I know for sure is that you’d be a lot happier if you weren’t.

So, you tell me. What are you getting out of it? What purpose does it serve for you to keep him under your skin?

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s somehow a product of your own self-loathing. (These things usually are.) If you had more self-respect and/or self-worth, you’d have dropped this asshole decades ago and never given him another thought.

If you want to borrow some of my self-respect, go right ahead. As soon as you’re done reading this, immediately trash that email. While you’re at it, unfriend him across all social media. Gather up any mementos or reminders of him that you keep around and either throw them away or stick them in a box.

Fucking delete him already. Let him go. Move the fuck on.

That’s an order.


On being your own advocate

If you believe you were misdiagnosed with Schizo-Affective Disorder instead of Asperger’s Syndrome, but didn’t have a family member that could advocate for you, where would you start to try to get correct diagnosis/help/treatment? How would you convince medical authorities to take you seriously if they’re starting from a “you’re bat-shyte cra-cra” baseline?


I don’t know what you mean by “medical authorities.” I’m not a doctor, but I don’t give anyone authority over my health or my identity. Neither should you.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t listen to your treatment team. You should, but if you feel you are being misdiagnosed, go get a second opinion. Find a psychologist who works with people on the autism spectrum and get a comprehensive assessment.

Maybe you’ll get a new diagnosis. Maybe you won’t. Maybe they’ll tell you that you have both a spectrum disorder and schizoaffective disorder. (That’s possible too.) Whatever they tell you, try not to let any diagnosis become a part of your identity.

If you feel like you’re not getting good treatment, go find it. I know it’s tricky with mental health, because you start to doubt yourself, especially if you’re dealing with psychotic symptoms. Still, you have to be your own advocate. Your treatment team may be experts on certain aspects of mental health, but they aren’t experts on you.

You are the only expert on yourself.