How do you keep going when there's no hope for better?

The world is a cruel dark place where sociopaths reign and on a personal level? My life has been stagnant for the past twenty years. This makes giving a damned when i can get… nowhere… pretty much a dud.

So how do you guys keep moving on?


I’m too stubborn to give up. Too many kids need my help. Too many assholes to fight. The secret to continued survival is simply… Continuing. Have something worth fighting for. And know that we’re here. We are not alone.

Fuck 2017.


make silly jokes about moose and squirrel.


I wish I had a good answer for you, in no small part because it would suggest that I had one for me as well.

Honestly, I mostly keep going because it’s the path of least resistance; and because I don’t really have any alternatives in mind(that are both well defined enough to even seriously consider to be plans; and are even remotely achievable).

I don’t really like the things that a I do do; but they are mostly stripped down to a core of things that have fairly immediate and painful consequences if I stop(like ‘eating’ or ‘showing up at work’); or mentally anesthetic time-killing activities; which are all too clearly a mixture of the useless and the actively destructive; but are also a pitiful sort of local maximum. The sort of thing any decent optimization algorithm is very careful to avoid gettting stuck on; but there mere knowledge of that is only necessary, not sufficient, for doing anything about it.

I really don’t like how much I don’t do; but I haven’t the faintest idea what to do about that. So much of what I once did has slipped away; and so little replaced it.

Present circumstances obviously don’t help; but I’d be kidding myself I treated that as a primary cause; the chronology doesn’t even line up.

I’d totally be up for moving to Stardew Valley, if that weren’t fictional(and, perhaps more importantly; if I had any reason to suspect that I’d be the player character rather than Shane if it were real).


Well, I find it easy to believe that much of it does not affect me directly and that there are people whose livelihood depends on depicting things as much, much worse than they actually are.

I fear I may be saying the same thing in another ten years. (And I do mean fear, in the sense of a constant, gnawing panic.) But for now, the memory of occasions where the stagnation was thoroughly and unexpectedly upended keeps me going. It happened a couple of times already; there’s no reason it can’t happen again.

“People are like dice – a certain Frenchman said that. You throw yourself in the direction of your own choosing. People are free because they can do that. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but no matter how small the choice, at the very least, you can throw yourself. It’s not chance or fate. It’s the choice you made.” –Black Lagoon


Generally, life sucks. But there are perfect moments in between the sucky parts. Sometimes they last a moment, sometimes minutes, sometimes longer (not very often). You acknowledge the perfect moments when they happen (in your head, if not out loud), and squirrel them away for reflection later, during particularly sucky or boring times.

It may be only a bite of really good food, or appreciating a flower or well-crafted woodwork or a painting, or a “you had to be there” joke, but those perfect moments can give you a smile, both when it happens and later upon reflection.

Hope for more perfect moments is what keeps me going. I have no control over governments or economies or cultural movements, but I have learned to appreciate the little things in my life that aren’t sucky or frustrating or annoying or boring. That’s my coping strategy.


Yes. The world is a cruel dark place. It is also an incredible unexplainable mystery that I exist; that I wake up each morning. What is this me thing that I experience? What is preventing me from tearing down this shit for walls that I have built for myself?

Those are the words that get me through the day.


The world is worse than cruel, it is indifferent. The world has no personal interest in our suffering, that’s why the more we care, the more we suffer.

To me it’s the moving on part that’s inevitable, I’ve thrown myself into family, responsibility and debt so stopping is the most terrifying thing that could happen to me. This leads me to believe that the only difference between us is that what you call moving on I call being dragged unwillingly by obligation.

The closest thing I could give you to an answer is that surviving is good enough as moving on, and if one must be consumed by worrying then forward is better than back.


The Cambridge University dictionary lists “strong willed” as a synonym of “bloody minded”, but most dictionaries are less charitable and define “bloody minded” as being unreasonably cantankerous and obstinate. This is pretty similar to how other people describe me, so, I will say I keep going because I am bloody minded. The BBC dark triad test says I am “infrequently vile”. Or, to paraphrase @Mister44, “there is a limited amount of @medievalist that most people can endure.”

I keep going because it’s the path of most resistance.

I guess I’ve just decided I’d rather light a candle than curse the dark, and that no amount of wind can make me stop trying, even if I never succeed. Success is overrated anyway.


Are you in a position for the “Sports Car and high class escorts” option?

I’ll take that as a no. I was hoping you could pick me up.

Well, there are two issues, the world around you, and your personal life.

The good news is - the world around you isn’t as bleak as some people would have you think. Now, this isn’t saying things are anywhere near perfect, but objectively, and measurably, we have more people alive, healthy, and not living in abject poverty than ever before. Unfortunately, the news focuses on conflict, and the way it is presented usually confirms one’s biases that the world is shit.

Sooo - I guess in that respect one has to seek out the good. Maybe do your own small part with volunteer work or help out a neighbor, or one of those programs where you lend someone in Africa $20 so they can do something with it.

Now on a personal level - eh - I have less advice. My previous life goal was to not be cripplingly depressed, get a job, and become “productive” again. Ok, I have largely done that. Though I sit at home with a literal mountain of things I need to take care of, but I make it to work on time and do a good job and find time to do stuff with my kid and I actually gained back some weight so I am now above my ideal by 10, rather than under it by 20. Progress, I guess.

But, like you, I do feel stagnant. I am not sure on your age, but it looks like I might be having one of those cliched mid life crises. I feel like I should be doing more, and getting paid more. I am too smart for Bobby from high school to have a nice Vette and doing better than me. He was like a C-B student. I was in all the honors classes. Ah, the pitfall of not applying yourself.

I have a couple things that I think that I COULD do, and if successful, reap the rewards. But unlike my high school self where I would spend hours doing my own thing, I now spend hours ingesting other people’s things. At the very least, I could just start looking around for better job opportunities.

I do a thing some times I call “Phoenix-ing”. When things are so dirty they demand a cleaning, or I finally get up and do something productive, it is a liberating feeling to rise from the ashes and end up with clean dishes or folded laundry or what ever.

I think I need to just start setting and keeping small goals, and hopefully that will snow ball into bigger things. Small increments and daily rewards can reinforce the behavior and eventually one should see a change. I hope, at least.


I have been coping with depression, anxiety, negative feelings about myself and my self-image, non-existent social and romantic life, poor job prospects, and little to no money in my bank accounts. All of this pretty much since i graduated high school, you’d think i should be on medication (and some days i think i should be). But honestly i’ve coped by being mindful and self-reflective, making sure not to think of myself as a victim that things happen to, and that even though i’m terrible at planning i have some general goals to work toward and that i want to improve year over year. I’m very cynical and jaded but at heart i’m terribly optimistic, almost to a fault and drives some people kind of crazy but frankly it’s all i have and its what has kept me whole, sane, and in some small way happy.

My advice for people struggling with dread, depression or anxiety? It’s ok to feel that way, and make sure to keep perspective on what is going well for you and whats important in your life. Prioritize that over everything else, there’s a slice in your personal life that you can control so be mindful of that and put it first. We have no control over the outside world, but it doesn’t have to control everything about you.

Also never feel guilty doing things or spending money on the things that make you happy. You’re allowed to bring yourself joy, and cherish those small moments because they’re yours. I buy myself nice beer once in a blue moon, or books, or small little cute figures, etc. I don’t do this often but when i do it brightens my day. Also make sure to spend money on things that will allow you to grow as a person or on fun experiences like a night out at the theater, or to a movie. Hell i go to concerts and musicals all by myself. It’s a bit awkward doing so but i’ve found the experiences so joyful. I also try to keep little mementos of every experience so remind myself what i’ve seen :slight_smile: helps me remember all the fun stuff i’ve done throughout the years.

Edit: Also wanted to add. No one can take away your personal story, good or bad. Even if you haven’t done a bunch of things, changed the world in some way, etc. you’ve lived through and experienced things and that’s valid and important. No one can take that away from you, be proud of your story. Keep working on it and make your story grow a day at a time.


Hope OP is still clawing up from the ashes.

Still hanging in, and thanks to @Medievalist things are slightly nicer. Overal situation isn’t better, but hanging in is just a bit easier.


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