Episode-2060- Dealing with Darkness in Our Lives — 17 Comments

  1. Jack,

    My Nephew acts like this, courtesy of his mother. His father believes the mother is B@T$H!T crazy.

    Jackstroodomus strikes again.

    Thanks for all you do, and this I think is one of your better episodes, because you are not only making sense, but you are right.

  2. Well this is timely…. I occainsonally have bouts of depression and I’ve always wondered how to deal with my episodes in a SHFT scenario and even if I could mentally deal with the aftermath of a disaster no matter the scale. One thing I have realised is my mental state is situational. Like jack says in the notes, it’s a lot to do with the people around you and wether you feel valued.
    I’m looking forward to listening to this,
    Thank you Spirkodamus….

  3. I’ve been thinking about suicide a lot since two of my heroes committed suicide this year.

    Thank you for this episode, Jack.

  4. Much of this episode I felt that you were speaking directly to me about my life. I am not suicidal, but I do go through periods of darkness for sure. I may explore some related “questions for Jack” moving forward, but for now I just wanted to say thanks for offering some perspective AND a kick in the ass.

  5. A few weeks ago one of the guys I work with went in for couples counseling. His wife never met him there and I gather she had told him things were over. He went home and hung himself in his basement. A lot led up to this but I had no idea how dark things had gotten for him.
    You just don’t know what is going on with anyone other than yourself. Good timing thank you Jack.

  6. 49:37 is THE most important advice one can give, ever:


    man, oh man. That is so flipping fundamental. We rely way, way too much on others to make us happy, be it people, things, money. etc. And those things always let us down. So, then we become unhappy. Yet, you can’t put that burden on someone, or something, else. They didn’t ask for it.
    My dad, for all his idiocy and for whom I haven’t spoken in 20 yrs, told me this a long time ago and it’s always stuck.

    AA reinforced it in me when I first gave up drinking in 1997 and I’ve always tried to live by this rule, only I can make me happy. Which means, I must learn to be happy when I’m alone.

    Great, great stuff Jack.

  7. Thanks Jack,

    I am over 100 episodes behind and catching up (Epi-1919). But I skipped the rest to listen to this one out of order. It was needed by me right now.

    Each day at work I listen to the Celtic Woman song The Voice before listening to you. (
    The first time I heard it I had been Listening to TSP for some time and the hairs on my neck stood up.

    You are that voice on the wind.

    A heart felt thanks for everything you do Jack, keep up the good work.

    In Service,

    • dude, that video is fantastic! Absolutely loved it.

      It reminds me so much of CS Lewis “The Screwtape Letters’ where Lewis, who was a Christian, writes from the perspective of a demon training young demons on how to tempt humans and lead them to hell.

      Literally, the best book I’ve ever read. Lewis said it was his most exhausting work because he had to think like the Devil, basically the exact opposite of what we SHOULD be. Similar to this video.

      Thanks for the heads up!

  8. I almost skipped this one due to the title but ended up listening to it anyhow, it was one of your best in a while. I feel like you were spot on with many of your comments. In many parts of the podcast you were describing my spouse.

    Any exceptions, additional comments or guidance you would add if the person/people you were describing was one’s spouse? To be honest, I’m not sure how to deliver these messages in a way that my spouse would want to hear it or whether they would stick around to listen to it. But maybe that’s the answer in it of itself.

    • I am really leery to advise anyone of their marriage especially without knowing either party.

      This is what I have observed though with this type of thing, the spouse that doesn’t want to do anything, is always negative, etc. They end up making the other spouse like them, the other party is always waiting on all the things they want to do in life for that spouse to get on board.

      They don’t take trips because the other doesn’t want to, they don’t take courses they want to, they don’t participate in groups, events, hobbies, just waiting or trying to find something the other party will do.

      Hence two people become depressed instead of one and one is waiting their life waiting on something that will NEVER happen if life continues as it is.

      So when it comes to do you leave her, do you get counseling, shit like that, I HAVE NO IDEA AT ALL.

      My only advice is DON’T WAIT on the other party to do the things you want to do in your life. Say, hey I want to join a ______ team or hey I want to take a CEU course on _____ do you want to do it with me?

      Anything other than yes, or what is it like, okay sorry but this is something I want to do so I will be gone on _____ nights for ____ hours. Sure wish you would consider doing it too.

      That isn’t everything but that is the THINKING you have to have. You have to LIVE YOUR LIFE like it is the only one you have got, because it is.

      The reality though, is that the other party is just as likely to react negatively as they are positively to this approach. That said YOU CAN’T MAKE ANYONE ELSE HAPPY, it is hard enough to simply make yourself happy most of the time.

      You might share the video that supershak shared above, but don’t make it like, I think you need to watch this, make it like, hey this makes me think of _____ surely you know someone else in that mode, then she may watch it and she MAY as in MIGHT self identify.

      IDK, I would say ask her to listen to me, but my gut is that won’t help even a little bit.

    • Jack,

      Thanks for replying to NotoriousAPP’s question as I had the same question.

      In my life, it is my spouse. She calls you “That Crazy Podcast Guy”.

      Slloowwllyy she is coming around to modern survival because I do not tell her that the examples and opinions that I spout off with are from you. No, I don’t agree with everything you say, but the stuff I do agree with I do repeat to her when it seems appropriate to do so. She is starting to repeat what I have told her and she is getting better. She has been a sleeping zombie/sheeple for most of her life, waking her up is a slow process.

      Don’t wake your zombie/spouse too fast, start slow and keep a steady pace. Try doing small things like copy canning for everything you want to prep for, don’t tell your spouse, just do it and put the stuff where it needs to be for when it will be needed, use it when you need it.
      Example: bug spray in the BOB, when your spouse is being eaten alive, pull it out, use it, put it back. you get the idea.

      In Service,

  9. It’s a good day to have a good day. That’s my slogan.

    This was a great show! It took me most of my life and a tremendous amount of bad people , bad luck and bad choices to figure it out. But I did. My health is trashed and getting through a day has become difficult but I still have options; there is still plenty I CAN do. Plus having learned from all of my bad experiences has given me the knowledge I need to help others avoid these same pitfalls. Nothing is without purpose. In all things, give thanks…even the bad stuff.

    I fwded this show to a friend who does Suicide Prevention and she is very excited to hear it.

  10. Inspiring words, Jack. Thank you.

    I recommend the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. From this book I learned that every man perceives his suffering in his own way. What seems easy for me to endure, may seem insurmountable to others and vice versa.

    Faith in G-d in not enough although it is a good starting point. Ritual is more important to stave off depression… a community ritual with people joining together to help each other on a regular basis.

    To be religious is to be linked in time and routine. When we say, “Bob goes to the gym religiously” it doesn’t mean that Bob goes to the gym to pray. It means that on certain days and at certain times you know where Bob is going to be and what he will be doing… LIKE CLOCKWORK. And what he does at the gym does not help him immediately. At first, it is a pain, but over time it becomes easy. And when the day comes when Bob really needs those muscles to save his life, they will be available to him.

    I am a volunteer chaplain at the local jail. I will speak to as many as 30 inmates in a group and visit individuals at their request. I don’t push religion. I talk about how certain aspects of religion have helped me (and how other aspects of religion seem ridiculous, but I do them anyway). I admit my faults, and tell them how I have improved. Often they laugh, but they are not laughing at me. They laugh in recognition of themselves, and I am glad.

    It is possible to return from a trip to Hell and be happy again. I know because I have done it. I’m not special. If I can do it, then so can you.

    Alex Shrugged

  11. Jack: I just came back here to say thanks for replying to my comment. I did take some time to think about what you wrote and took action with it, it helped to formulate a message to my spouse.

    Duncan McDuff: Thanks for the input but the prep side of my life is a non-issue and my spouse has no issue with any of it. It’s more the “living life to the fullest” aspect of life that is challenging for me by living with her. Outside of marriage, life is about as perfect right now as it could be: multiple six figure household income, house will be paid off next year, paid off cars, no dept, paid off BOB/vacation land with cabin, healthy and wonderful child, I get 9 weeks of vacation/year, I can work from home 2 days per week, I actually really enjoy my work, etc. The one thing I’m missing is excitement, adventure and happiness with my spouse. This is the time in my life where we should be enjoying it to the max before our bodies begin to fail (I’m <40 yrs old). I've worked hard to put myself in a position where I could more or less coast around 40, do only things I chose to do and simply enjoy life. My wife can't understand this, she's happy to stay in the house all day, only go out to shop for groceries, not interested in being social, no shared hobbies, barely any shared interests, negative outlook on almost everything. I surround myself with positive people that attempt to live the life to the fullest, that's how I am as well, it's a drag being attached to a person that doesn't desire to thrive.