The sadness in gay men's eyes

  • GREEKy

    Posts: 50

    Sep 14, 2012 7:18 PM GMT
    k3l3k0 said
    YeahhBrah saidMy eyes are full of joy because I get to have sex with hot boys so idk icon_lol.gificon_wink.gif


    LOL trolling again I see, Michael

    as for this thread - it's done a good job of making me feel sad...


    If you need some comfort...call me ;p
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    Sep 14, 2012 7:19 PM GMT
    Yeah.. It's sad to see that of course, thing is.. You might be able to fake a smile but, you can still see the truth in the eyes. ;P
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    Sep 14, 2012 7:22 PM GMT
    JOOU saidI don't know if you guys noticed, but there are so many gay men that I meet, and they would have this sadness in their eyes. It's not a sad puppy eyes look, like they're trying to be cute or anything, but it's a real, deep sadness that I can feel. It's not a brooding look either. Rather, it feels like it's coming from a soul level, like you can just gaze in their eyes and you'd drown in them. Sometimes I wish I can just give these guys a deep long hug and make their pain and sadness go away. I don't know what these emotions are, but if I have to guess, I'd say it's a longing to be understood, a longing to find a kindred spirit, and a wanting to be unchained by rules in society. I'd say I see (in many) an inner child that had suffered trauma, and is in great need to be healed. I don't know if I am right or not, and this observation definitely does not apply to many out there. I'm just saying that I have noticed this.


    You're more right than most people will admit. You're very perceptive.
  • GREEKy

    Posts: 50

    Sep 14, 2012 7:25 PM GMT
    Theantijock.. your post hit a chord for me... my grandfather is starting to forget simple things. He always had a boyish mischievous gleam in his eyes. He has lost hope and i fear he wont listen to others. He just eats his misery away but wont admit it.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9225

    Sep 14, 2012 7:36 PM GMT
    I think that most of us learn to either not make eye contact with other men, or certainly to not hold eye contact, for fear that the other man is straight and will probably get angry if we smile at them and hold eye contact for too long.

    That's my guess...
  • rnch

    Posts: 11557

    Sep 14, 2012 7:39 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidI think that most of us learn to either not make eye contact with other men, or certainly to not hold eye contact, for fear that the other man is straight and will probably get angry if we smile at them and hold eye contact for too long.

    That's my guess...



    THIS is why I love living in my gayborhood so much. In this part of town, you are automaticlly assumed to be either gay or at least gay-friendly. A cute guy staring into your eyes is NOT taken as a personal offense.



    icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 14, 2012 7:46 PM GMT
    Come on fellas. Everybody feels down from time to time because life doesn't seem to be going their way.
    Believing that this is something unique or prevalent amongst gays is no way forward, because in a way you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy; If you believe that it is normal for you to feel more sad than the average Joe, then you are giving yourself an excuse to lament longer than what would be considered healthy.
    Save the sorrow for when you really need it, don't carry it around as if you feel like it is a permanent part of your being.
    And if you do feel like it is a permanent part of you, then seek professional help.
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    Sep 14, 2012 8:11 PM GMT
    yourname2000 saidHaha --Looks like I hit a nerve, lol. I'll ignore Southbeach (BostonSam) ---if there's a bigger piece of shit in this world, I've never seen it. MuscleBadger: if one post is enough to write a person off, then go fuck yourself: maybe you're not the "man" I thought you were either. To the people who got my post, I'm glad it shook off the cobwebs of misery that the OP was trying to spin; to the others, "cry and you cry alone"....or certainly you cry without me.

    Ya know what makes me sad? Hearing a 20yo on RJ talk about how his life changed since he was diagnosed with HIV...hearing someone (anyone) say they just put their pet down....or hearing about some other strife that was just too big for the person to conquer....you know, REAL things. Hearing someone whine about the fact that they weren't born blond enough or white enough or straight enough or "masculine" enough ---just fuck off. It's on par in my head with a toaster whining that it's not a kettle...it's pointless. If that's you, quit trying to be a kettle and resolve to be the best damn toaster you can be. GOD MADE YOU INTO WHAT YOU ARE (and my spiritual beliefs are such that I believe He did that AT YOUR REQUEST, so you could learn the lessons YOU set out to learn in this life.)

    I'm lucky....all my worst experiences in life have almost certainly already happened. And I wouldn't trade them for the world, because it's pain and suffering that --like waves washing away the shore--uncover the "true you" --that resilient, unshakable, strength that was hiding under all that soft pliable dirt.

    If any of you have watched Dune, perhaps one of the lines in there made as much an impression on you as it did on me: "Fear is the mind-killer" he repeats, over and over again. It's a great line. The years have shown me though that it's actually NOT true: fear is NOT the mind-killer....SELF DOUBT is the mind-killer. Fear is simply a flashing amber light telling you to be careful....trouble ahead. But it's self doubt that causes some to lay down their tools and surrender to it before the fight has even started....with no cost, no challenge to the very thing that stood in your way....you just give up. It's an insult to life and an insult to all that God, your parents, your friends, mentors, and everyone who came before you and walked a similar path gave of themselves so you would have a fighting chance to conquer such obstacles

    OP: if you look in my eyes, you won't see a sadness....you'll see passion...drive....hunger. I don't repeat to myself "fear is the mind killer" anymore....I repeat "this universe bends to WILL". And my will doesn't surrender so easily. I certainly avoid using such a powerful weapon as it against myself, through self indulgent wallowing about imaginary troubles.


    I think that's the key word. Surrender. It means you're fighting. So what are you fighting? Yourself? Your past pain, sadness, suffering, fear? Your perceived inequalities in the world? Straight people? Other gay guys? As you said in your post to another member to f*ck himself. I cannot imagine that you are as enlightened as you claim yourself to be. I'm not sure what your intentions were, but I hope they are a good one, one that wants people to get past their agony, and not one that is adding salt to the wound. You have to realize that everybody is at different places in their lives, as they are looking at the world through their own eyes, from their own angles. So if someone chooses to experience a sadness state of affairs in that junction in time, who are you to judge them of their lives, except just offering some advise and comfort, and trying to take away that pain. If someone choose to lick their wounds and wanting to be rested before facing the world again, let it be. After all you are not living their lives for them. I do think I know where you are getting from, but your posts are a bit harsh and for people who don't know your intention will misperceive you as an egotistical arrogant prick, which I hope you are not.
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    Sep 14, 2012 8:16 PM GMT
    Latenight30 saidWhen you hear how the world isn't supporting us, it's pretty bleak. It would make ones eye sad.
    Its a quiet protest to how 'we' as a group are treated.


    I agree.

    Hearing the hate spewed by individuals, groups and politicians on a daily basis for the past several years has affected me. I feel that every one of their attacks is aimed at me personally. They are. A group is made up of individuals.

    It's hurtful.
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    Sep 14, 2012 9:26 PM GMT
    GREEKy saidTheantijock.. your post hit a chord for me... my grandfather is starting to forget simple things. He always had a boyish mischievous gleam in his eyes. He has lost hope and i fear he wont listen to others. He just eats his misery away but wont admit it.


    Sorry for you greeky. I also went through this with my grandfather in my 20s, then with mom in my 40s. Just comes down through that one line and their siblings didn't get it so I'm hoping it's gonna be my brother and not me haha.

    You never know the course of it until it happens. We lucked out in a sense because mom managed to maintain much of her personality and even the important aspects of memory (love & recognition) through to the end. Others of my friends (and this is happening to a lot of us now) were not so lucky. The worst so far was a friend in my life since I was about 3 years old whose mother turned violently abusive. So while she's changing her mom's diapers, her mom's cursing her out and none of her siblings lifted a finger to help. My friend is an incredible person. But life tests us always.

    It's tough to experience but I can see in the sadness of your face that you will survive it well. Be there for your parents as this will be even harder on them. As tough as this might be on you, this is just your practice run. Let the tough things in life not harden you to it. Never fear to feel. It's only life, after all.
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    Sep 14, 2012 9:28 PM GMT
    yourname2000 said

    Ya know what makes me sad? Hearing a 20yo on RJ talk about how his life changed since he was diagnosed with HIV...hearing someone (anyone) say they just put their pet down....or hearing about some other strife that was just too big for the person to conquer....you know, REAL things. Hearing someone whine about the fact that they weren't born blond enough or white enough or straight enough or "masculine" enough ---just fuck off. It's on par in my head with a toaster whining that it's not a kettle...it's pointless. If that's you, quit trying to be a kettle and resolve to be the best damn toaster you can be. GOD MADE YOU INTO WHAT YOU ARE (and my spiritual beliefs are such that I believe He did that AT YOUR REQUEST, so you could learn the lessons YOU set out to learn in this life.)

    I'm lucky....all my worst experiences in life have almost certainly already happened. And I wouldn't trade them for the world, because it's pain and suffering that --like waves washing away the shore--uncover the "true you" --that resilient, unshakable, strength that was hiding under all that soft pliable dirt.


    This was awesome. ::claps::

    I agree with your spiritual beliefs, though it's easy to forget or not believe in that sometimes.
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    Sep 14, 2012 9:47 PM GMT
    active_athlete said
    yourname2000 said

    Ya know what makes me sad? Hearing a 20yo on RJ talk about how his life changed since he was diagnosed with HIV...hearing someone (anyone) say they just put their pet down....or hearing about some other strife that was just too big for the person to conquer....you know, REAL things. Hearing someone whine about the fact that they weren't born blond enough or white enough or straight enough or "masculine" enough ---just fuck off. It's on par in my head with a toaster whining that it's not a kettle...it's pointless. If that's you, quit trying to be a kettle and resolve to be the best damn toaster you can be. GOD MADE YOU INTO WHAT YOU ARE (and my spiritual beliefs are such that I believe He did that AT YOUR REQUEST, so you could learn the lessons YOU set out to learn in this life.)

    I'm lucky....all my worst experiences in life have almost certainly already happened. And I wouldn't trade them for the world, because it's pain and suffering that --like waves washing away the shore--uncover the "true you" --that resilient, unshakable, strength that was hiding under all that soft pliable dirt.


    This was awesome. ::claps::

    I agree with your spiritual beliefs, though it's easy to forget or not believe in that sometimes.


    THANK YOU. Those shallow pricks infuriate me to no end.
  • Pontifex

    Posts: 1882

    Sep 14, 2012 10:16 PM GMT
    I think a lot of people gay or straight have forgotten that they can do things that make them happy. They spend too much time worrying about their problems. Worrying doesn't solve anything. Use that time to do something you enjoy. Most people can't turn off that part of their brain that keeps going over the same problems over and over again. It changes how people act and takes away their ability to enjoy things. Even the important act of sleeping. How many of these sad people get enough sleep? I know a lot of people who sit around worrying instead of sleeping or escaping into fantasies that allow them to ignore reality.

    I've also noticed that people in general do not improve themselves and grow. They don't read books, they've been listening to the same music for 20 years and just don't seem to be growing as people. If I was the same person for 5 years I'd be sick of myself too.

    I've been there, I still kind of slip once in a while and you might notice the smile isn't there a lot of the time but I put in the effort and try to experience new things, meet new people and do something productive.

    You can't live online. The internet is a great place to meet people from different backgrounds and with different experiences but you need some real relationships. I keep hearing people on this site complain that all the great guys seem to be on the other side of the world. They only meet people on the internet. If you go out, enjoy yourself and meet new people you might actually find out that there are some great people a little closer.
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    Sep 14, 2012 10:17 PM GMT
    Guys:

    I apologize if I did not make it clear in my OP, but this thread was not intended to be a sob party or "I'm a victim" mentality thread. I simply pointed out a phenomenon in which I observed that are COMMON among gay guys. Yes, it's a generalization, and if it doesn't apply to you then it doesn't, exceptions do occur in life and that's fine.

    I also wanted to point this observation out and perhaps someone who would be insightful enough to offer some sort of solution or helpful advise. I don't want judgement on the guys who fit into this category (i.e., being sad). I do not welcome haters, and I certainly do not welcome people who has an attitude like they are better than anybody else. I welcome solutions and recommendation that are based on reason and positive emotions such as compassion, courage, and faith, not hotheaded back-and-forth name-calling just because someone else's opinion is different from yours. The whole point of having a forum is an exchange of ideas, it's not about using people as your sandbag. There's the gym and the boxing ring for that. We are adults here and for topics that are serious we should treat each other with respect, rather than behaving like a bunch of schoolgirls with catfights and all that shit. Leave the high school mentality behind and let's be mature ADULTS. Jokes are welcomed. But if there are any more of those hostile comments that I see, towards me or anybody, I will ignore your posts.

    Thank you for your attention.
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    Sep 14, 2012 10:25 PM GMT
    I won't comment to specific posts, but it's very sad to see so many people act so dismissively of people with emotional and psychological trauma. The notion of "pick yourself up and get over it" doesn't work for everyone. That's why the armed forces perform exams and psych evals on new trainees. Everything they go through is designed to test them to see if they can handle a particular way of life and a particular way of handling emotions and the like. Some people just aren't cut out for that. But there isn't anything necessarily wrong with them because of it.

    Yelling at me won't make me work harder necessarily (unless its in the gym) but that doesn't make me weak. People who don't understand the concept of different personality types end up persecuting people of types they perceive as "weak." To be a "damaged" person, you don't have to have been beaten as a child, or raped, or had your parents taken from you violently. These are "visible" hardships. The sort of things we immediately identify as "bad" and don't need to share in the experience to know it is.

    Having lousy parents isn't necessarily an excuse for feeling lousy yourself but if a child has a mental illness and the parents do not handle him or her with care, love and understanding then they, the child, can be damaged for life. Imagine an autistic child growing up in a family where no one made any allowances for his condition, a condition that he cannot help in any way whatsoever. Imagine the punishments, the yelling, the frustration and the hate that would have saturated that child's formative years. Even if he was able to get away from them once he turned 18, the damage is still done and it could take years if not a lifetime to undo, if it's even possible to undo.

    Now, how do you think it makes him feel if he meets you, a person who judges him the same way his parents did? Without any consideration (or possibly knowledge) of his condition, where he came from, what he went through? Can you imagine how heartbreaking that would be? To find only hate and derision in those whom he has sought out for help? Eventually he stops seeking people's help and turns in on himself, internalizing all the hate, mistreatment and abuse that's been heaped upon him his entire life.

    These are the people we see on the evening news being placed in body bags; a gun, bottle or pills being taken from their hand as people stand around and shake their heads, wondering why.
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    Sep 14, 2012 10:33 PM GMT
    theantijock saidLots of excellent thinking in this thread. Nice job OP.

    Apparently mom must have put you on the payroll.

    Mom didn't have a speck of sadness in her sparkling blue eyes and often she acted a little ditzy under all that blonde hair. And with that figure and those breasts she could not hide, you'd think she got around. That face lit up a room and that laughter infectious. Not long after she died, a cousin of her generation said to me "your mother beamed."

    She was funny and silly and sometimes in her elder years she would get the urge to start skipping through Mizner Park as we strolled after dinner arm in arm, dignity be damned. Other than her compassion and consistant concern for others, most of even her closest friends knew not her depths, never suspected her pain. She once told me "only let them see you smile. Keep smiling. Eventually it will get inside."

    I'm one of the only people on the planet who ever saw my mother cry. Even while suffering through Alzheimer's and putting on her happy face for her grandchildren and other visitors, she never cracked a sad face so that no one would know her suffering. But when we were alone she was free to communicate to me her pain. She knew I could take that on. I practiced for that my entire life. I am a gay man and I know pain. We are the empaths.

    empath504.jpg

    Smiles are not natural to the contours of my face. I've had grandpa's bags under my eyes since my early 30s so everyone thinks I just woke up and that I must be still a little tired. When I look at someone out of curiosity or when I am analyzing them, I'm told I look surly even if I am delighted under the skin. And sometimes during sex I giggle.

    Just because I have not engaged an expression, do not presume me empty of thought. Do not even try to read me. When need be, I'll let you know what I'm thinking. That sadness you see in my eyes? It is not mine; do not judge me by it. It is the pain that I see in the world.

    Thanks for sharing this... it broke my heart, held it and healed me from beginning to end. This made think of my first week working... I wasn't accustomed to the people in my area, so I had no filters... all I got was a dredge of emotions that I couldn't recognize, or block. I've gotten good at hiding what I feel until now... Something about being sincerely happy makes me start to cry, and I don't know why. Its hard to let through cause I don't know when it's going to stop. I don't share it with people, cause I'm scared of my emotional cracks becoming bigger. I don't have a support system out here I can talk to in person... and the internet is a risky place to post.
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    Sep 14, 2012 10:45 PM GMT
    GREEKy said
    k3l3k0 said
    YeahhBrah saidMy eyes are full of joy because I get to have sex with hot boys so idk icon_lol.gificon_wink.gif


    LOL trolling again I see, Michael

    as for this thread - it's done a good job of making me feel sad...


    If you need some comfort...call me ;p


    ha! ya definitely in need of some comfort after this thread
    so depressing!
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    Sep 14, 2012 10:50 PM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 saidI won't comment to specific posts, but it's very sad to see so many people act so dismissively of people with emotional and psychological trauma. The notion of "pick yourself up and get over it" doesn't work for everyone. That's why the armed forces perform exams and psych evals on new trainees. Everything they go through is designed to test them to see if they can handle a particular way of life and a particular way of handling emotions and the like. Some people just aren't cut out for that. But there isn't anything necessarily wrong with them because of it.

    Yelling at me won't make me work harder necessarily (unless its in the gym) but that doesn't make me weak. People who don't understand the concept of different personality types end up persecuting people of types they perceive as "weak." To be a "damaged" person, you don't have to have been beaten as a child, or raped, or had your parents taken from you violently. These are "visible" hardships. The sort of things we immediately identify as "bad" and don't need to share in the experience to know it is.

    Having lousy parents isn't necessarily an excuse for feeling lousy yourself but if a child has a mental illness and the parents do not handle him or her with care, love and understanding then they, the child, can be damaged for life. Imagine an autistic child growing up in a family where no one made any allowances for his condition, a condition that he cannot help in any way whatsoever. Imagine the punishments, the yelling, the frustration and the hate that would have saturated that child's formative years. Even if he was able to get away from them once he turned 18, the damage is still done and it could take years if not a lifetime to undo, if it's even possible to undo.

    Now, how do you think it makes him feel if he meets you, a person who judges him the same way his parents did? Without any consideration (or possibly knowledge) of his condition, where he came from, what he went through? Can you imagine how heartbreaking that would be? To find only hate and derision in those whom he has sought out for help? Eventually he stops seeking people's help and turns in on himself, internalizing all the hate, mistreatment and abuse that's been heaped upon him his entire life.

    These are the people we see on the evening news being placed in body bags; a gun, bottle or pills being taken from their hand as people stand around and shake their heads, wondering why.


    Wow that is a really awesome post. You seem to really understand what some of these guys are going through, and that really is one of the most considerate posts that I have read since I joined the website. I really liked your point that there is not an one-fit-for-all method that would work on people. We all have our own stories and our own personalities, and all of our experiences are different. So what works for somebody does not always work for another. It's about really about being empathetic and really trying to understand this person's story and trying to see what the root cause of that is. Usually it's a belief system that was brought on by a past trauma or unfortunate events. What people do not know is that without addressing these issues, these will resurface when you're mentally weak and really eat you up alive.
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    Sep 15, 2012 12:48 AM GMT
    Maybe I was a tad harsh last night, again I believe if you keep using being gay as an excuse for unhappiness you will not get anywhere.

    Unhappiness happens across ALL HUMANS. It is not exclusively a gay problem.
    Plus who ever said you are meant to be happy all the time?
    Quite possibly the media and advertising agencies,
    If TV news and programming makes you sad why watch? Unless you enjoy wollowing in self pity and by watching all the hate spewed forth by a commercial news service, who ultimately just want to sell advertising space confirms your inner beliefs about yourself?
    Try TURNING THE TV OFF, go outside and see the world for what it is a mixed bag of emotions, people and situations.

    Life isnt easy and thank god it isnt, your most difficult challenges make you the person you eventually become.
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    Sep 15, 2012 12:49 AM GMT
    Gays are mean nasty people. Thats why there is sadness in my eyes.
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    Sep 15, 2012 12:56 AM GMT
    JR_RJ saidI try hiding it as best I can. If someone sees it, they'll ask questions and usually they're not someone I know or care talk to... I've handled my sadness well enough on my own. I don't need to be lectured on it. I'll live.


    I used to get this a fair bit, and more so from aquaintences and friends. "I'm fine" doesn't seem to work with them icon_sad.gif Thankfully if they've spotted it lately they haven't asked about it.
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    Sep 15, 2012 1:04 AM GMT
    JR_RJ saidThanks for sharing this... it broke my heart, held it and healed me from beginning to end. This made think of my first week working... I wasn't accustomed to the people in my area, so I had no filters... all I got was a dredge of emotions that I couldn't recognize, or block. I've gotten good at hiding what I feel until now... Something about being sincerely happy makes me start to cry, and I don't know why. Its hard to let through cause I don't know when it's going to stop. I don't share it with people, cause I'm scared of my emotional cracks becoming bigger. I don't have a support system out here I can talk to in person... and the internet is a risky place to post.


    Broke, held and healed? That's just your poetic way of saying I'm being manipulative, isn't it? Thank you for putting it so kindly and well spoken.

    I asked my mother once why she never cries. She told me that, like you say, she was afraid that if she ever started that she'd never be able to stop. She was not an unemotional person, on the contrary, she was about the most enthusiastic being I've ever encountered. Her greetings would make a puppy dog when you first come home look sad in comparison. There was never just one kiss, but a rapid fire series of about 12 of them. And she meant each and every one.

    I wear my liberal bleeding heart on my sleeve and I think I've still got a sticker on my forehead from that last emo party I attended. You know, the one I call my life. Surely there are social situations requiring discretion, analytic times requiring a colder logic, intellectual times unattainable without stepping outside of yourself and then you check your emotional self at the door or only let it run with a governor.

    But you can't bottle it up endlessly without negative consequence. You can't only direct it through any specific nozzle or you wind up with a mess and not always coordinated to music....



    So talk to people. Utilize psychological counseling as need be. It takes some work but you can find that balance so that you are able to express yourself situationally appropriate without overwhelming yourself or selling yourself short. You're all you've got. Just like the rest of us living together alone. So live your life as fully you as you can without negatively interfering with the next guy living fully his life too.
  • Pontifex

    Posts: 1882

    Sep 15, 2012 1:18 AM GMT
    I hope my post didn't offend anyone. It is just what I learned after spending years being depressed and not doing anything about it. I had a doctor suggest anti depressants once but I didn't think that was the answer for me. I can't even tell you what the answer for me really was. A little over 2 years ago I just kind of snapped out of it, became active and started enjoying life. I guess it was a multi step thing when I think about it a little harder but I'm not sure exactly where it started. One day I really decided I had enough with wasting my time playing video games instead of having an actual life.

    The unfortunate thing is that unless you are very lucky someone is probably not going to step in and fix things for you. For me the answer seemed to be centered around taking better care of myself and getting into shape. It could be something like making an appointment with a therapist for someone else or talking to your doctor. I also made some new friends and got out and did a few new things.

    That look the OP mentioned is not exclusive to gay people although it is a little more prevalent in the gay community for obvious reasons. Half the time I go to the bar I end up talking to some of the older guys about how much easier the younger guys have it. It still isn't easier but it is getting better. Some of the older guys I know are still in the closet and have been in there so long they will never find their way out. I can't imagine how depressing that would be.
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    Sep 15, 2012 1:21 AM GMT
    Pontifex saidI hope my post didn't offend anyone. It is just what I learned after spending years being depressed and not doing anything about it. I had a doctor suggest anti depressants once but I didn't think that was the answer for me. I can't even tell you what the answer for me really was. A little over 2 years ago I just kind of snapped out of it, became active and started enjoying life. I guess it was a multi step thing when I think about it a little harder but I'm not sure exactly where it started. One day I really decided I had enough with wasting my time playing video games instead of having an actual life.

    The unfortunate thing is that unless you are very lucky someone is probably not going to step in and fix things for you. For me the answer seemed to be centered around taking better care of myself and getting into shape. It could be something like making an appointment with a therapist for someone else or talking to your doctor. I also made some new friends and got out and did a few new things.

    That look the OP mentioned is not exclusive to gay people although it is a little more prevalent in the gay community for obvious reasons. Half the time I go to the bar I end up talking to some of the older guys about how much easier the younger guys have it. It still isn't easier but it is getting better. Some of the older guys I know are still in the closet and have been in there so long they will never find their way out. I can't imagine how depressing that would be.


    I can identify with that. Sadly for me I have been "stepping in and out of it" for quite some time.
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    Sep 15, 2012 1:32 AM GMT
    That's a very cheesy and very pat maxim. I mean, just think about that statement for a second. No one has that kind of sway over the world.

    That's the trap of Self-Help/Greeting Card positive thinking: it tricks you into believing that not only are your optimistic instincts limitless and magical, but so too are your foibles and grievances just like little red devils on your shoulders.