“A Tale of Two Stories”
The say don’t judge a book by its cover- you have to know more than just what you see on the outside before you can tell if what is on the inside is any good or not. Maybe they should also give a fair warning that that what is on the inside may have two very different appearances too, depending on who is reading it. The person telling this story talks of 30 years of life where they wanted to die almost as long as they can remember, and of a person that feels like they are a burden to their family, have struggled with addiction, can’t find or keep a good job, still living at home at 30.
Everybody else reading his story sees somebody that is the embodiment of kindness and politeness-– literally every response he starts by thanking the person for their time, ignoring his own pain for long enough to show appreciation. A person that always finds time to offer encouragement to those that are struggling around him.
The reader will find a person that looks past their own pain and struggles and instead of being worried about being triggered if somebody posts about addiction seeks that person out to offer guidance and support that they themselves never found in their own struggle- just because they know that is what is really needed.
While many people in the pain of depression and suicidal thoughts find it hard to think about the way others may feel because the pain is so great, this person’s ultimate thought was “I certainly have no intentions of hurting even one person who cares about me.”
Jdot – SF’s Spotlight Member for January 2017
Congratulation to Jdot, and thank you to Jdot and the members that nominated him. The above was just the first impression I got from Jdot when I started looking at his many contributions to SF and reflecting on what was said in the nominations. While that says a lot about what type of person he is, there is a lot more to him than that.
Jdot lives in the US, the East Coast state of South Carolina. He is 30 years old and despite degrees in psychology and training in computers he has, like so many that were entering the work force back in 2008/2009 amidst the worst economic downturn in half a century, struggled with getting and keeping meaningful employment.
When he was finishing the university the unemployment rate in US was highest it had been in years, and when the economy picked up again, there were another 3-4 years of more recent graduates to compete with, and him having a gap in employment and university due to the downturn to compare on his resume- a situation that he is still struggling to fix today. When asked If could change any single past decision what would it be his reply was “honestly I would have got a BA in networking instead of psychology.”
Still single, his only two meaningful relationships having ended badly which he says gives him some trust issues now in forming new relationships, he likes music, particularly Kpop (his favorite band is 4Minute ) and collecting records. He admits to trying to stay busy to keep the dark thoughts away, sharing this with us when asked “I try to keep busy doing something. If I’m alone in the dark thinking to myself my thoughts get scary. I start overthinking my life and thinking about everything that is wrong with the world. I try my best to stay away from thinking about politics because I get upset easily when I think about that. It’s part of why I can’t watch the news. If I’m trying to fall asleep and my mind goes to a dark place, I’ll just wake up and do something.”
Too much time and not enough ways to fill that time have led Jdot to the typical problems- problems he has spent years struggling with. Like most people, sometimes more successfully than others. His life struggles, as shared in his very first SF post –
“Hello. This is my first post. I’ve dealt with depression, OCD, and Tourette’s almost all my life. The idea of ending it all has entered my mind probably every day since high school. This year these thoughts have intensified to the point where I wrote a note and started doing research. I recently turned 30. Things haven’t gotten better in the last ten years and I don’t see things getting better in the next ten.”
It is these struggles, along with others he has since shared on further posts and when asked directly when discussing this article, that sum up his reasons for being a member of SF and how he got here. He became a member of SF in October, 2016 on a particularly bad day when was on the computer searching for “painless way to commit suicide”. His time since then has had its up and downs as well. When asked – What is going on in your life that made you feel like SF was a place you needed to be? Are you still dealing with these things? Are you suicidal/why?
“In honesty I can’t think of a time in my life when I didn’t deal with depression. I remember, even as a child, thinking “What’s the point in all this?” Then I started dealing with OCD and anxiety when I was 14. Toward the end of high school, the idea of life ending became very attractive to me. This past year I turned 30 in October. As I got closer to 30 I became more serious about ending it all. I felt like I was a burden on my family and my life was going nowhere. So I looked up “painless way to commit suicide” on Google and I got tricked into coming to SF. It was probably the best trick to ever happen to me. I started making friends online. I even started helping other people in need. I then went to my doctor to tell him about my suicidal thoughts. He put me on new medication. After a month everything was better. Or at least I thought it was. In December the thoughts came back and more intense and I made an attempt on my life. I spent about a week in the psych ward. My medication got adjusted. I saw a psychiatrist and a social worker every day. When I got back home I realized how much my family really loved me. And when I got back on SF I realized people here really cared. I certainly have no intentions of hurting even one person who cares about me.”
Jdot is active on the forums and answers posts nearly every day. He says he looks for posts that he relate to, like people posting about addictions or when it is clear that someone is completely scared and just needs someone to talk to – things he feels he can understand. It is not uncommon for him to drop into chat as well to share support or just talk about his favorite music with friends there. Since the beginning of the New Year he says he has been on new meds that make him tired, so he been spending more time on chat, and answering posts when he has the energy to.
When posting about his own issues, while he is always happy to get advice, he is looking for some empathy because he says “Empathy. There’s a lack of empathy in the world and we need as much as we can get.” On the bad days he tries to get through the day by watching kpop music videos or listening to his record collection. He also thinks of a particular Korean term “hwaiting”. He explains further – It’s a term of encouragement used in Korea. It’s like saying “good luck” or “fight the good fight”. Another SF member here and I usually end our chat sessions with “fighting” or “hwaiting”. We’re both into kpop.
Jdot is also a very down to earth type of person. Asked about how he sees the future going now he replies “my outlook is unsure but hopefully soon I’ll be able to admit it’s getting better like that Beatles song” His degree in psychology does not make him tend towards the highbrow or overly intellectual manner of speaking and looking at things that you might expect. The straightforward and human side of shows through on his profile posts –
H to the U to the G motherfucker!
And his signatures on sf which he explains himself as –
One of my signature quotes is “Why do we fall sir? It’s so that we can learn to pick ourselves up” from the movie Batman Begins. For starters I’ve always loved Batman since I was a child. But that quote has a lot of meaning to me. I’ve dealt with addiction and relapse since 2008. I recently started going to NA meetings, which has helped a lot. The quote reminds me that I don’t have to be ashamed about every time I relapse. In fact I can learn from them. The quote also reminds me I don’t have to be ashamed about every time I go into a bout of depression. The pain will eventually end, and I can learn more about dealing with the next one.
Another signature quote is “Don’t be afraid to shine. Remember the sun doesn’t give fuck if it blinds you” by CL. CL is a kpop singer. I’m a big fan of kpop and I thought it would be cool to quote a kpop star. I saw that quote and found it inspirational. A lot of times people are afraid to express who they are because of expectations from society.
Jdot’s avatar stands out some on SF but his explanation of it has left me impressed and with a tremendous visual. His explanation might be why I personally think he was an outstanding choice for spotlight member of month. When asked how he chose it – “It’s funny because I get asked this a lot. The truth is that it was random. When I was setting up my account, I went into my pictures folder and the picture of Snoopy was one of the first things I saw. So I picked it. I will say I’m very happy with it. I like to think of Snoopy as a metaphor for SF and the red baron as a metaphor for depression. And we’re all just trying to get through a dark and stormy night.”
While this post was to recognize an outstanding SF member and to thank Jdot for all he contributes to not just SF but to the world by just being himself -somebody that is both kind and real- he shows once again how he always seems to always think of others first by asking if we could make sure to add in from him. “ I want to thank everyone who has helped me out at SF. Thank you for being there for me. I also want to thank everyone who I’ve been able to help out at SF. You’ve given me someone to talk to. And that means a lot more than you probably think it does.”
You are welcome Jdot. And from myself and all of SF- Thank you.
Feel free to l eave a comment for Jdot below.