neuromonkey t1_ja150nd wrote

Reply to comment by DistanceSuper3476 in Where? by Technical-Role-4346

There are plenty of charming, rural towns in Maine. They're the ones with names that are mostly unknown to tourists. Time, however, does march on, and we're all so fucking tired from the march that we forget that the best course of action isn't necessarily the one that generates the most money.


neuromonkey t1_j20bs4i wrote

You picked a good starter winter! It's been pretty warm, and relatively snow-free so far this year.

Learn to dress in layers, if you don't already. This helps you adapt, wherever you find yourself. We keep our house fairly cool (62-65F / 16.6-18.3C,) but I have friends who keep their houses at ~78F (25.5C,) and it'd be misery if I couldn't pull off a few layers.

I rely on O'Keefe's Working Hands to keep my skin from cracking. I got some Weleda Skin Food for xmas, and that seems pretty good as well, though its twice the price (or more) of Working Hands.


neuromonkey t1_j1feg2i wrote

Yup. The KKK got going up here because of those damned Catholics! My friend Charlie travels the state, shooting photos in every town. His memory is as good as mine is bad (and that's really saying something,) and he has some incredible stories about Maine's past & present.


neuromonkey t1_ixwtalq wrote

You could learn to ride a bike in a few days. Not that that's necessarily the answer in a big, rural state like Maine, with snow on the way, but finding a bike and learning to ride is a fairly quick, easy thing to do. Dealing with getting arrested for driving without a license will affect you for years.

Being thin isn't the same thing as being healthy. Quite the opposite, if you're underweight. Eating decent food and exercising will put on muscle. You'll improve balance and coordination, and the secondary effects of improved cardio and respiratory health can be life-changing in themselves. Your body will feel better, and that'll affect your mind, too!

I've tried dozens of approaches to dealing with depression and anxiety. None of them helped much... except exercise. Turns out I like felling trees. It's hard work, and it's potentially dangerous, which keeps me on my toes. After many passes at working out at a gym, playing sports, walking more & doing a twice-daily pushup-situp-etc routine... felling trees taught me that physical exercise is a magical method of working hard that I actually found really fun! Learning that was profound, in terms of showing me what was possible. After a life of depression, I could start changing course. Before that, I didn't really believe I could do anything to change my constant depression.


neuromonkey t1_ixwsgh4 wrote

I think you may be missing the help that people are offering. Nobody is criticizing your ability to drive a car. To drive well, you need to make good decisions. Driving without a license would be a very bad decision.

(wow. my insanely long comment could have just been that^^ ... I guess.


neuromonkey t1_ixwrrjk wrote

I'm not calling you stupid, I'm referring to the stupid, destructive negative thinking we've all got. The stupid monkey is deep within all of us, screeching in terror & anger when things don't go well. We can't get rid of idiotic little jerk, but we can learn to stop letting it steer our lives. If you're around little kids, they're going to be loud little dipshits who do and say stupid things. They yell, they break stuff, and they're completely controlled by their instantaneous emotions. Are you going to let a four year-old kid squirt superglue up its nose? No, because that's fucking stupid. Do you worry that you might let a four year-old squirt superglue up its nose? No. You wouldn't allow them to play with superglue to begin with. In exactly that way, we can start to learn how to take care of the the parts of ourselves that react like babies. The stupid monkey. Should I have eaten half a gallon of ice cream last night? No. No, I shouldn't have. But I did. So... I'm an asshole. I'll always be fat and out of shape, and I'll never learn to control myse----whoa. Whoa, there. Those were bad ways of reacting to my questionable ice cream-related decision. I'm not a bad person, I'm a person who sometimes lets the stupid monkey influence his behavior. But... I'm learning... slowly, but I'm learning.

It is possible to improve your mental health, but you need to work at it. You need to look for suggested approaches, and you need to try them. At the outset, you can't know which things will work for you. Grab a book or two on CBT. Sign up for MaineCare, and ask about other services that might help. Above all, you're in charge of steering your life. Don't be a dumb-ass. However hard your life is now, driving without a license could make your life a whole lot worse. Trust me, you aren't a good driver yet. Deciding to drive without a license is exactly the sort of judgement error that a driving test is meant to catch. (The tester doesn't give a rat's ass about you, personally, or why you did something wrong; only that you did.) You aren't incapable of driving well, but deciding to drive illegally would be strong evidence that you aren't making good decisions.

Stop explaining your behavior. Almost nobody in life will give a shit about why you did a thing--life isn't a movie, and you aren't a superhero whose backstory is relevant to the plot arc. I'm not saying that your experiences aren't important, I'm just saying that your actions tell the world who you are. If you drive without a license, you are, by definition, a bad driver. And you can change that, if you want to.


neuromonkey t1_ixwrjto wrote

tl;dr-- Under NO circumstances should you drive without a license, nor even consider it. If you drive without a license, you are, by definition, a bad driver.

I apologize for the gigantic wall-of-text answer. I'm procrastinating. Very, very well.

Back up to the previous question. Re-read it, and then read your answer. Can you see that you didn't address the question that /u/MaybePirateDom asked? They didn't ask why you didn't pass the test.

You've asked a question, but I'm not sure you're being open to taking in the answers. That isn't necessarily your fault, but you should try to hear what's being offered to you. Car engines are extremely powerful things, and cars are massive objects. You need to understand how to control them before you can drive safely around other people. If you're making bad decisions, you haven't gotten past the first step of becoming a good driver. You can't be a good driver if you do things that aren't safe, and could really screw up your life.

I know what depression is like--I've dealt with it most of my life. One of the aspects that isn't discussed as much as it should be is how it affects executive function. Depression changes your perceptions--a lot. Perfect self-confidence or self-worth isn't necessary to drive a car, but if you're so depressed that you aren't thinking clearly, you absolutely MUST NOT DRIVE A CAR. Experienced drivers with no mental health issues get into accidents every single day. Sadly, a lot of these result in horrific injuries and deaths. Giving you a FAIL on the driving test wasn't a punishment, or a personal criticism. It was a gentle hand on your shoulder to help you see that you need to finish Level One before going on to Level Two. If you can't see how that's true, it's OK, you'll get there. Really.

The best driver in the world started off exactly where you are. The most brilliant chess masters ever weren't born knowing how the pieces move. Relax. It's fine. You'll get there.

If you aren't sure whether you're thinking clearly or not... you need to get someone else's perspective. Ideally, you should talk with a counselor or therapist. If that isn't possible, you need to ask a friend or family member for help. Call an agency like Penquis CAP, or even a local hospital. If one person can't tell you how to find help, they can direct you to someone who can. Even moderate depression and/or anxiety can seriously screw up our ability to drive safely. Driving on public roads before you understand the laws & rules, and before you're comfortable enough to respond quickly and properly when something unpredictable happens... That stuff is no joke. If you think your life is difficult now, you absolutely do not want to make it 10 times worse by damaging property, or hurting someone.

Being a good driver isn't only about being able to operate a car. It's also about dealing with the many different kinds of crazy shit that can get you killed. I just took a two hour drive to meet my mom for Thanksgiving. On the way down there were two times where another driver did something really, really stupid. One guy changed lanes without looking, straight into me, while driving at ~10 mph over the speed limit. Later, two drivers tried to race into the same gap in traffic, narrowly avoiding each other and other cars. I was doing ~75, and they blew past me. Just to be one car length ahead of the other guy. This shit happens all the time on the road. That's why ~32,000 people are killed every year in collisions. Think about that for a second. Thirty-two THOUSAND people die every year in the US. Nearly all of those people died unnecessarily, as the result of negligence or stupidity. They all climbed into their cars thinking that nothing like that would happen to them, especially because they were such "good" drivers.

You can pass the driver's test. That's not even a question. But you must spend the time to learn the rules of the road, and how to safely operate a vehicle. When you have that down, your anxiety about being watched and judged will be a distant whine, rather than a loud scream. If your judgement is skewed by depression, PTSD, or anything else, you are NOT in a good place to learn to drive. That means that the most important thing for you right now is to get some help with your mental health. The good news is that that IS possible, and you can find ways to make that stuff better.

Nobody here is telling you that YOU are a bad driver. We're saying that nobody can drive well when they're preoccupied with worry, fear, sadness, self-doubt, etc. You don't need to solve all your problems to become a good driver, but you do need to get enough experience so that you can drive safely while suffering from a head full of screaming monkeys. The good decision-making and quick, correct reactions needed to be a good driver can only come from only thing: experience. You aren't a good driver trying to cope with cognitive and emotional problems. (Everyone has to deal with those things at some point.) You are someone who knows how to operate a car, but can't be a good driver yet, because those things are too disruptive. Nobody can be a good driver while there's a monkey in the back seat, lighting off fireworks. You're someone who can operate a car well.

There are several ways that therapy can help. When you feel like shit about yourself and can barely get out of bed, it can feel like nothing can help you. I get that. The unhealthy part of your mind tells you all sorts of screwed up things: You're a worthless piece of shit. You aren't worth anybody's time or energy. You want friends, you want a partner, but you should just be alone, because you're so fucked up. I could write this stuff for hours--it's been the constant background chatter for more than half my life. The thing is that all that shit is WRONG. That stuff comes from poor mental health, not from the fact that you're a horrible person. You've done shitty things in your life? Yeah, well. Welcome to being human. 97% of us have regrets. We all make mistakes.

DO NOT drive a car (especially in the winter in Maine!) before you have a license. If you're pulled over, you'll get arrested, your car will be impounded, and it'll make it a lot harder for you to get a license. Seriously, don't do it. Do you want to hurt other people? Probably not. I'm guessing that what you want is to wake up one day and feel better about yourself. That can happen, but you need to find a therapist who can help you find ways to improve your destructive, hurtful thoughts and feelings.

> I'm a good driver, and drive very cautiously due to PTSD.

I don't mean to insult you, but the fact that you think you're a good driver is a little scary. Before I went to college, I thought I was a "good programmer." The truth was that I was a shitty programmer who didn't even know what "good programmer" meant. Driving cautiously is good for everyone. If more people drove cautiously, fewer people would be injured and killed in accidents. There are over 30,000 people killed in car accidents in the US every year. Around 32k, though one year had more than 35,000 deaths.

> I tend to overly look, don't go thrue yellow lights, wait till cars pass even if I have time

Good! You need to keep doing those things for a few years after you have your license. Most people think that they're good drivers, and quite a lot of them are wrong. Just about everyone makes judgement errors

I understand being self-conscious, and hating being watched. You can get past that. That's not terribly difficult, if you want to work on it. Most therapists these days use what's called CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) as a first line of approach. That's a fancy name for learning to become aware of how your thoughts influence your feelings and behaviors. After that, you can learn to recognize your irrational, unhelpful, counterproductive, self-destructive ways of thinking. (We've all got 'em; some people deal with them better than others.) Once you start to be able to see that stuff, and see how bizarre and wrong it is, you can start to change how you react to it. Really. It is possible. My depression and anxiety started when I was in fourth grade--9 or 10. It got more intense over the course of my life, and I did a bad job of working on improving things. I still have a long way to go. It's tough, I know. The alternative is a life under the constant weight of your disordered thoughts and feelings. Be brave. You can find help, if you look, and that can improve your life in ways that you begin to imagine.

Please don't drive without a license. It's a very, very bad idea. When you didn't pass your driving tests, it wasn't because you rolled through a stop sign, or didn't use your blinkers. It was because you didn't have to presence of mind to keep yourself from making silly little mistakes like that. It was because you one mistake led to feeling defeated. You were distracted by your anxieties. That's ok--that happens to everyone, and it isn't hard to learn to ways around your stupid screeching monkey long enough to take a driving test.


neuromonkey t1_ixel8qk wrote

tl;dr-- Here's a half-decent WAV file, and here's a smaller MP3.

I used to make the wav, and for the mp3. If you want to grab video or audio with, take the YT URL, and then remove the "ube," so:


This one? ...or this one? Do you want something cleaner than what's on YouTube?

Ah. Here we go! It's from the 1986 Frank Gari Television News Music Package, Good News. Here's a cleaner copy of the audio, without voice-over. It's licensed by Warner-Chappell, but you'd have to find the production number.


neuromonkey t1_ixecxig wrote

Maine recently passed a (very brief) tiny house law. One bit said that cities & towns cannot make laws more restrictive than the state law, and another says that a town can't inspect a tiny house within the first six months. I don't know if the law has been modified, but you could call it a tiny house.


neuromonkey t1_ixebvfq wrote

Yup. Apples, pears, cherries... erm... not on trees, but four varieties of grape. And a couple others that haven't borne any fruit, so I forget what they heck they are. Peach? Plum? Eh, they're still pretty small.

Two pear trees, and the grapes are the most productive. We have many gallons of reduced pear and grape juice. My gf has made a handful of things from them, including a couple of grape shrub (not the bush, the beverage.)


neuromonkey t1_isv65kt wrote

I would be ok with a government full of profiteering jerkwads if they actually stabilized and strengthened the commonwealth and public interests. Education, healthcare, a living wage, pure and applied research, sane & egalitarian law enforcement, environmental preservation, etc.

Do that, and you can make as much as you like.