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Addiction 2021.1

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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Addiction 2021.1

Old 03-17-21, 06:59 AM
  #9826  
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Originally Posted by datlas
Ugh. I hope all three of you are feeling better soon.
Same
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Old 03-17-21, 07:11 AM
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So here are the brother stories in brief.

Youngest brother: Smart, sweet, guy, late 50s, Ivy-educated, lovely family, good marriage, successful ER doc in Seattle. Plagued with anxiety all his life, which I didn't really understand until recently. Was working as Medical Director for a big ER group. Is bored out of his skull and has too many rich friends. One of his buddies talks him into taking on a job at a tech startup providing online care and consulting. He is immediately put in charge of 80 people and has no idea what he's supposed to do. This triggers bad anxiety and he basically has what people used to call a "breakdown" and quits after a year of agony and terror. Goes back to working in ER and gets terrified of solo shifts because people have gotten sicker due to COVID and no one leaving the house unless they're at death's door. He's convinced he's lost his skills, sinks deeper into panic and depression and quits. Takes another Medical Director job at a hospital he describes as a **** show. He is convinced he will fail and sees no way out. Is convinced he has ruined his life and failed his family and is getting ready to sell his second home and quit with two kids in college. Sounds not so bad, right? But he's in a hole so deep and black he can't see how fortunate he is.

Middle brother. Early 60s, also brilliant, Ivy-educated, Gay with prickly personality. Never had even a medium term relationship. Bounced from theater to food, to wine, had interpersonal conflict everywhere. Moved back in with my parents when they got sick and had primary responsibility for both of them until their deaths about 10 years ago. Stress was huge. He put on weight, developed heart issues and early diabetes, arthritis, etc. Quit work as a wine publicist on contract with European produces when they died because he couldn't hack the travel, but made the decision to hold onto an 8-room apartment in Manhattan, thinking the co-op owners would buy him out. Instead he got into a useless legal battle, took in bad roommates, and got into another situation. When COVID comes, he starts a bakery business with a partner upstate and rents a house. They are immediately successful, but the work is brutal and the partner is revealed as an abusive, bullying, nightmare. Brother is the business guy and spends his time on the road doing sales. He gets COVID last week, fortunately a week after his first vaccine shot (heart problems) and is now mildly ill, but the business has to shut down for two weeks Partner and his ******* husband immediately attack brother for his negligence in getting sick(!) and start calling up everyone in the small town and telling them about it and how he's ruining them. He is simply crushed. Never heard him sound so down. He wants out, but they're still no break-even and he has no idea what he's going to do at age 62 and mostly broke. Frankly, I don't know either.

Yup: bad decisions, personality is destiny, First World problems, but that doesn't make it any easier for the poor bastard struggling with the demons or being trashed when he's gotten a potentially deadly disease by working his ass off. Wish there were more I could do, but both of them are at a point where all I can do is listen to them.
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Old 03-17-21, 07:19 AM
  #9828  
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Listening is important.
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Old 03-17-21, 07:51 AM
  #9829  
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Ugh. Hang in there. Hope you all feel better soon.

And now after reading the details, I feel bad for your brothers. Having these issues at this stage in life is terrifying, no doubt.

Last edited by mvnsnd; 03-17-21 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 03-17-21, 08:00 AM
  #9830  
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Originally Posted by rjones28
Listening is important.
This.
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Old 03-17-21, 08:11 AM
  #9831  
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"When you're going through hell, keep going"?

Tough situations all around - hang in, folks.
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Old 03-17-21, 08:17 AM
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Tough stuff, Mo. At 63, I have no idea how I would start over if I had to. It would put me in a world of gloom.
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Old 03-17-21, 08:52 AM
  #9833  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
Wish there were more I could do, but both of them are at a point where all I can do is listen to them.
I know that feeling very well. It really helps a lot but certainly doesn't feel like it when in the middle of things.

Hang in there.
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Old 03-17-21, 08:55 AM
  #9834  
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Originally Posted by ls01
So it's contract time here at the place where I am employed for the moment. And it is truely, a **** show. People turning on each other, management abusing it's work force, tons of uncertainty everywhere. I hate this place.
Since the pandemic began I've been coming in an hour earlier and performing calibration/testing on equipment that normally falls on the crews. But in order to isolate everyone, I was told to do it.
One of my Co workers complained that it was unfair that it wasn't an equitable distribution of overtime. So, I am back on 8 hours. Have I mentioned that I hate this place?
They have cut our staff to 50% in an effort to force overtime.
I need 5 years min. To make my pension work. I don't know if I'm going to make it.
I didn't know how I was going to make it for several years. Time goes by pretty quickly and seems to speed up as you get older. I wanted to retire at 62 but just couldn't and the last 3 years were tough but I made it and retired as soon as I could get Medicare. It's been 2 years and every time I go by the job to visit or get parts all the old memories come back.
I've never been good at dealing with stress but I got through it somehow. Most days I could leave it at work. It took a long time for me to be able to do that.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:19 AM
  #9835  
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I find myself really envying Dad's generation, who had pensions, and jobs that lasted them entire careers.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31
Tough stuff, Mo. At 63, I have no idea how I would start over if I had to. It would put me in a world of gloom.
Me too, but think it might be different for you or I than if we got there because of something basic and unfortunate about who we were.

My parents were always worried about my middle brother and told us to watch out for him after they were gone. I thought they meant he was going to unhappy because he was Gay and we kind of scoffed. At the time it looked like my parents were indulging his bad decisions. He seemed think the world owed him success and he blamed all failures (theater directing career, restaurant, etc.) on outside forces All the arrogance has worn off now and he's just left with bad judgment. I don't see a happy ending.

From what little I've seen of you, Mojo, that's not you or me.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:36 AM
  #9837  
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Originally Posted by genejockey
I find myself really envying Dad's generation, who had pensions, and jobs that lasted them entire careers.
"What's a pension?"

Signed - a millennial.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:39 AM
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I have a pension, which I collect having retired into the identical job (after a "national search," of course), for which I receive full compensation and benefits.

Long live the government!

The military is still giving out pensions for ≥ 20 yrs of service, but who knows how long that will last.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:39 AM
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still nasty out.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:54 AM
  #9840  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
Me too, but think it might be different for you or I than if we got there because of something basic and unfortunate about who we were.

My parents were always worried about my middle brother and told us to watch out for him after they were gone. I thought they meant he was going to unhappy because he was Gay and we kind of scoffed. At the time it looked like my parents were indulging his bad decisions. He seemed think the world owed him success and he blamed all failures (theater directing career, restaurant, etc.) on outside forces All the arrogance has worn off now and he's just left with bad judgment. I don't see a happy ending.

From what little I've seen of you, Mojo, that's not you or me.
I get what you are saying, and you are likely right. Last year I had a huge downturn in my business when my largest client filed bankruptcy in June. Forty percent of revenues just disappeared, and my personal income about halved due to that and Covid. But, I just dug in, revamped my marketing, cut costs, and we were fine at the end of the year.

Fortunately, we do have savings and could live if I just stopped working, but we are not quite where we would like to be on that spectrum and would have to significantly downsize our lifestyle. But, if I had to work and lost my license, I have absolutely no idea what I would or could do, and that seems rather daunting.

I also have a brother that sounds like the brother you describe. The difference is that mine is a crack addict. He has been living with my parents for a number of years, and while that has provided them with some help as they age, it has not done a thing for him. All of his failures are the fault of others, in particular his siblings. I see him just falling off a cliff when my parents pass.

Last edited by Mojo31; 03-17-21 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by abshipp
"What's a pension?"

Signed - a millennial.
What's a pension.

Signed - a boomer.
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Old 03-17-21, 10:00 AM
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Wow.
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Old 03-17-21, 10:00 AM
  #9843  
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I'm contemplating taking up distance walking until the knee allows for cycling again.
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Old 03-17-21, 10:01 AM
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Downsizing, I would have to upsize first. Actually, for 2 years I have been fine on SS, haven't had to dip into my meager savings yet. Would really like to move someplace where the rent wasn't 2 grand. Thankfully she splits it with me.
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Old 03-17-21, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31
I get what you are saying, and you are likely right. Last year I had a huge downturn in my business when my largest client filed bankruptcy in June. Forty percent of revenues just disappeared, and my personal income about halved due to that and Covid. But, I just dug in, revamped my marketing, cut costs, and we were fine at the end of the year.

Fortunately, we do have savings and could live if I just stopped working, but we are not quite where we would like to be on that spectrum and would have to significantly downsize our lifestyle. But, if I had to work and lost my license, I have absolutely no idea what I would or could do, and that seems rather daunting.

I also have a brother that sounds like the brother you describe. The difference is that mine is a crack addict. He has been living with my parents for a number of years, and while that has provided them with some help as they age, it has not done a thing for him. All of his failures are the fault of others, in particular his siblings. I see him just falling off a cliff when my parents pass.
Yeah, I know that feeling. Fortunately, neither of my brothers has substance abuse problems.
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Old 03-17-21, 10:15 AM
  #9846  
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Originally Posted by Mojo31
What's a pension.

Signed - a boomer.
Mom had a pension from her job at the Hospital, in addition to Dad's pension from the company he worked for essentially from the end of WWII, at the age of 26, until he finally retired for good and all at 78. Their mortgage was all paid off (which was a lot easier after the inflation of the 60s and 70s made $125 a month almost a negligible expense), and they lived in a small town where living was pretty cheap.
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Old 03-17-21, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
Yeah, I know that feeling. Fortunately, neither of my brothers has substance abuse problems.
Feels like the margin for error is pretty slim, if you can end up in dire straits without a substance abuse problem.
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Old 03-17-21, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Mom had a pension from her job at the Hospital, in addition to Dad's pension from the company he worked for essentially from the end of WWII, at the age of 26, until he finally retired for good and all at 78. Their mortgage was all paid off (which was a lot easier after the inflation of the 60s and 70s made $125 a month almost a negligible expense), and they lived in a small town where living was pretty cheap.
My dad gets a union pension, and "retired" in his 50s, but I thing that was just a matter of being beat to death and injuries in the construction industry. My parents live in the house dad built in 1960, and has been long paid off as well. I don't know if I could live with the frugality they have!
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Old 03-17-21, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Feels like the margin for error is pretty slim, if you can end up in dire straits without a substance abuse problem.
Since discussion has turned to pensions and dire straights, this seems appropo:

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Old 03-17-21, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by big john
I didn't know how I was going to make it for several years. Time goes by pretty quickly and seems to speed up as you get older. I wanted to retire at 62 but just couldn't and the last 3 years were tough but I made it and retired as soon as I could get Medicare. It's been 2 years and every time I go by the job to visit or get parts all the old memories come back.
I've never been good at dealing with stress but I got through it somehow. Most days I could leave it at work. It took a long time for me to be able to do that.
Thanks. That there is the rub. One of the things I find particularly abhorrent in an employer is one that, so I won't have to use obscenities let's call it, " takes advantage of an employees personal off time" by forcing them to work overtime against their will. I have had a lot of experience with this type of abuse. This particular one is now availing itself to my weekends when it finds it useful, or convenient. On top of the threats of job loss, lower wages etc.. ad nauseum...
I remember when I was so happy, after 4 years of trying to get this job, that I received my "you're hired" letter. Thought I had won a cosmic lottery somehow.
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