Roy Batty knew how to die, so why don't I?


I’ll second that. If you didn’t want to freak people out…

Reading this thread, I’ll just add that there are insanely successful people who are depressed and despondent, and people with very humble accomplishments by the same standards who feel content and find joy and wonder in numerous moments and things. People hype meditation a lot, but it will shed some very practical light on this discrepancy and how you feel isn’t just about what are you doing. What you want isn’t a fixed function in your mind. You can watch it, you can understand it, you can change it.


There’s no action I can take that wouldn’t cause trauma, due to my responsibilities to others. The best I can do is withdraw as much as possible. I have to change something


Thanks for following up. Taking some time away from public life doesn’t seem like the worst thing to try. I recently setup my router to block twitter and forums for certain hours of the day and I’ve found it helpful.


I understand that sentiment. I’ve deleted most of my logins and profiles and stopped post to social media, etc. At first, it was hard to break habits of checking them. Once I got over that hump, I didn’t miss them at all. Qt3 is pretty much the only website I visit anymore that is social. (The qt3-leagues Slack, too.) Lots of artificial stress is gone and I’ve been focused on doing fun things with my kids. My oldest daughter and I are doing Taekwondo together now, etc. the class is like 30 kids and me but that’s ok.

I hope you continue to hang out here. Feel free to hit me up if you need anything.


Hi Wumpus, I had a longer post, it seems like you’re a great person and it feels not so much like depression but maybe just needing something else as you look to the future. I was thinking that people have almost three pillars to our identity. Plus a bunch of other interests, hobbies and friends, e.g. QT3, but three main things, and two of them are often taken up by career and family. For me the third thing is cycling, and if you don’t have a bike, try taking it up. Really. I know I’m biased but cycling opens a world of personal space and hopes and planning for the future and conversations with strangers and it ties into activities with the family, friends, and career too. Thing is, it’s not like I have time to really cycle with two small kids and a growing career, I just get in 4-8 hours a week at most. But it’s enough for me to love it. But for others it could be anything from landscaping to cooking to photography or drones, fixing up cars or volunteering, just it should get us out of the house on a Saturday morning. It’s ok to be a bit selfish, personally I’d hesitate before making it skydiving. I don’t think investing or reading or even gaming are quite enough (though I say that with sensitivity on this forum, we have a pretty great and acceptable hobby). Think back to what you miss most from when you were 23 (and it’s not chasing girls :), and try building on it. Just my 0.02.


Hi @wumpus, long time lurker here. I just registered to say - Stack Overflow (/Exchange) have literally changed the world as far as I’m concerned (as a programmer). I cannot even imagine what kinds of things that already have been made possible by SO, simply by existing.

Being an introvert myself I totally understand how your path is not necessary to go out and work directly with people - but surely there are many things that need or could use an engineer’s approach?

I don’t know what that is (opiods? fake news?) but I know for certain that what Stack Overflow have already done makes ‘Big Change’ possible. I think that there is a lot of other stuff to fix out there.


Ain’t it the truth. Stack Overflow helped more than I can say when I was in school, and I anticipate it being integral in my career now.


I hope I understand this. All that you do and have done, mean nothing to you? But you doubt the meaning of your life? Please PM me. I’d like to talk.


I am happy with what I have done and it can endure but I don’t need to. Still, I have responsibilities which means I am here until the bitter end.

Learning to deal with that is what I am attempting to do.


Bad advice time: I’ve always planned that when I get older and “ready” I will do all the dangerous and stupid things I’m not doing now since they are dangerous and stupid. Jumping out of planes, mountain climbing, smoke pot, etc.

Do stupid rich guy stuff for a while, see what happens.

But don’t do anything illegal or bad for the family, obviously. :)


“Midlife crisis begins sometime in your 40s, when you look at your life and think, Is this all? And it ends about 10 years later, when you look at your life again and think, Actually, this is pretty good.”


I’m with DeepT.

Enjoyment as much as possible. Find things you enjoy and maximize those.

I played Warcraft with my 12 year old last night, ran a few Herioc Dungeons…we were both laughing and having a good time. That’s it right there.

My mother a long time ago was talking about death. She started crying, saying if we are not all together in an afterlife, what is the reason we love so much in this life…meaning love is just a waste if it all just ends. From my persective, love is what keeps us going in this life. I love my wife, my kid. When I was single, I loved travelling and playing Rainbow Six Raven Shield online and watching football games with my friends.

Just maximize the fun in life or find things you can enjoy within the context of your life. Whether there is an afterlfe or not, you might as well just have as much fun as you can however you can!


I found this recently and thought it was very interesting. I’d always heard of Alan Watts when I was in my 20’s and peripherally interested in Zen but never read anything. Towards the end of the video I’m reminded strongly of McLuhan’s famous “The message is the medium” line.


I like that quote, and the article. I keep thinking hey, I’m 45, I’m probably due for a midlife crisis. But then I think to myself maybe not - I got mine out of the way in my mid 20s. I realize that sounds ridiculous, but all the earmarks of a midlife crisis that people mention, the dissatisfaction, the feeling of not having accomplished anything, and of being trapped - I felt that intensely when I was younger. Not the same thing maybe, but close enough for horseshoes, I’m thinking. I spent my mid to late 20s in a city where I know nobody except folks I worked with, and they all had families, no time for me. I couldn’t seem to meet anyone I really connected with. I had a job that frequently took me out of town and I jumped at those opportunities, I’d stay on the road for 2, 3 weeks at a time. I loved it, it kept me sane.

My travels finally pointed me to the place I live now, my favorite place I’ve ever been. And eventually, my wife and kids. I didn’t realize at the time, but I felt terribly lonely. As an only child, I don’t remember ever feeling that way growing up. I always appreciated my time alone. But getting older, I just felt left out. Didn’t realize it, but I was lacking in human connection. Why that’s easier now than it was then, who knows. But I can say I’ve reached a state of, if not happiness then definitely contentment. I wouldn’t change anything.

Personally, I don’t find the concept of “meaning of life” to have much meaning itself. It’s a blank slate, isn’t it? You make of it what you will. Hopefully, when it’s all done, you step back and say hey, not bad. That bit there could’ve been better but wow, check this part out! My son’s preschool had this book they would read just about everyday, about the bucket. Not a bucket list, but a bucket of fulfillment. If you were kind to someone, you were helping to fill their bucket. An unkind act, an insensitivity or thoughtless act, would take out of their bucket. And the goal was to help your friends fill their bucket. That’s as good a meaning of life as I’ve yet heard.


I just don’t want to play the bucket game, or any game, at this point. And for that matter your money can fill buckets much more effectively than you can, as a single person.

If not for the children I think I would already be gone.


Okay, I’ve been following along here, trying to read your posts in other ways, but you’re beginning to scare me, man.
I don’t even have any advice, beyond what you would already know. Wish I could help. I don’t want you to disappear one day. I’d miss you.


I do, go see a psychologist and get evaluated. Depression is very common and is often a chemical imbalance easily corrected.


Yeah, I feel the same way. I wish I had something I could say here. Looking at your list though, this isn’t one you can ever really complete, right?

“had a reasonably positive impact on the world”

Seems like the world needs people like you right now more than ever. And please don’t underestimate your impact on your kids, however old they are. My dad passed away 7 years ago and I constantly wish I still had him in my life. To talk about being a dad and raising kids, among many other conversations we never got to have.


If money’s your thing, sure why not. I’m not gonna tell you what motivates you.


FWIW I think it’s a backwards rationalization to conclude that “I don’t feel like living because I’ve accomplished this checklist.” That’s the human mind trying to create order and explanation out of a feeling it can’t explain, but the feeling is what comes first, then the mind trying to explain it by making stuff up. People in all kinds of wildly different situations feel the same way.

It’s a strange moment when you realize that you don’t want to be alive anymore. If I had feelings, I’m sure I would have felt surprised. I have spent the vast majority of my life actively attempting to survive. Ever since my most distant single-celled ancestor squiggled into existence, there has been an unbroken chain of things that wanted to stick around.

Yet there I was, casually wishing that I could stop existing in the same way you’d want to leave an empty room or mute an unbearably repetitive noise.

That wasn’t the worst part, though. The worst part was deciding to keep going.

When I say that deciding to not kill myself was the worst part, I should clarify that I don’t mean it in a retrospective sense. From where I am now, it seems like a solid enough decision. But at the time, it felt like I had been dragging myself through the most miserable, endless wasteland, and — far in the distance — I had seen the promising glimmer of a slightly less miserable wasteland. And for just a moment, I thought maybe I’d be able to stop and rest. But as soon as I arrived at the border of the less miserable wasteland, I found out that I’d have to turn around and walk back the other way.