People of misery

by Elsewhere 15 Replies latest jw friends

  • Elsewhere

    In my life I have noticed that there are some people who's lives seem to be filled with nothing but misery.

    • Constantly loosing low skill low pay jobs, one after another
    • Frequent run-ins with the law
    • Getting over one addiction, only to pickup another
    • Constantly sick, one illness after another, one injury after another
    • The car is constantly having problems, one breakdown after another
    • Constantly asking people for financial help

    Is it just me, or do some people just have a hard time getting their life in order? I'm not trying to be harsh or mean regarding them... this is just something that I started thinking about while driving to work this morning.

    I have been inclined to help them in the past, only they have become like a stray puppy that you give a treat to... they just keep coming back for more and eventually see you as a primary source of support.

    Has anyone else seen this in someone?

  • Hamas

    Every time I look in the mirror, man.

    Every time I look in the mirror.

  • blondie

    George Santayana, a notable philosopher, coined the phrase,

    “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Revision by Blondie:

    "Those who do not learn from their past are doomed to repeat it."

  • Elsewhere

    I do feel awful bringing this up... don't mean to make anyone feel bad, but I couldn't help but start wondering.

    Are these people just dealt a bad hand at birth? I like to play the solitary game that comes with Windows, and i have noticed that sometimes I'm dealt a hand that is destined to be difficult, while others have all the right cards falling into just the right places resulting in a perfect game.

    Do these people just have bad habits? Were they never taught how to progress? How to plan for the future and how to set long term plans into motion? I've noticed that a lot of them don't pay attention to little things... driving quickly and recklessly... resulting in frequent pull-overs and tickets. Being disrespectful to officers and making intimidating motions and comments, resulting in being detained. Getting into fights at bars, resulting in a night in jail and a fine. When provoked by a drunk, why not just walk away? In my opinion, it's just not worth a police record, a night in jail, and fines.

  • SYN
  • The car is constantly having problems, one breakdown after another
  • That's me. The latest thing that went wrong was that the carburettor's mounting screw broke in half after a long trip across Johannesburg.


    At least I've learnt a lot about fixing cars during the last 5 years with my car!!! I know how to do simple things now, like checking the plugs, brakes, that kind of thing...I suppose that's what you get from a car that's older than you are...

    But at the same time I'm a very independent person, and I hate asking other people to help me...and although I do have an easily addicted personality, usually my addictions are of the beneficial kind...

  • teenyuck

    Yes, I know two people, just like this.

    All you can do is shake your head and wonder at why....I have no answers, however, other than the illnesses, their misfortune was brought upon by themselves.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee


    A few years ago someone wrote a book called "Addicted to Misery" - I forgot who wrote it but an interesting little self-help book.

    There is a phonomenon called addiction to crises and it describes fairly accurately what you have posted. Many (not all) os these people have grown up in chaotic families. There was always something going on, some crisis to deal with, some problem looming on the horizon. Very often abuse is a component of the family dynamics. Emotional management is an issue in these families. Frequently the adults have poor ability to control their feelings or manage the problems. With no adult in charge the children are often left to fend for themselves or become the family care-takers. Some familiy members become excellent at managing the crises, supporting all the others. And some of them never learn how to manage the crises or the feelings. Very often both have learned that there is always another crisis to deal with right around the corner. They live in fear, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Now out of that some people will feel constantly over-whelmed. They bounce from one crisis to another never seeming to get their head above water before they go down again. This group may just have not developed the basic skills of coping with what life throws at us. They become afraid to enjoy anything because deep down they believe nothing will work out. They rarely have an idea what happy is. This group will often resort to addictions to help them "cope" or not have to cope actually. Some will get into "trouble" with the law. Their poor ability to control their own feelings can result in some of the problems you mention.

    Others may vascillate between feeling in control during a crisis and feeling useless, or bored when things are calm. This group winds up finding all the lost causes that need fixing. They have most often been taught to never say NO. They marry addicts (of just about everything), they take on too much at home, at work, with friends, they ignore their own needs to care for others. It is the only role in life they know and they are usually very good at fixing other people's problems. (I came from this group). They often juggle more than most people would venture to take on. And they feel most productive, most alive when in the thick of things. The in-between times are boring, or even worse, fear-filled. If they sit in the calm and start thinking about their problems they get over-whelmed and feel guilty for being so selfish. To ease the fear and guilt they go out and find another problem to fix and since they are good at fixing other people's problems, other people are never in short supply. And sadly some will unconsciously create their problem (like marrying an abuser for example). Many will have "accidents" when there is not enough on their plate to cover over the fear and guilt.

    Needless to say they need therapy to deal with the family of origin problems and the long-term effects of that.

  • Utopian Reformist
    Utopian Reformist

    What an interesting topic! I have no research to offer, but I do empathize for individuals who need assistance, any kind at all.

  • Elsewhere
  • Frannie Banannie
    Frannie Banannie

    EW, I've gone thru shlumpy periods in my life when it seemed there was nothing but misery on the horizon for me and mine......finances goin' in tha breaking down or getting repo'd.....losing a job.....ill health from all the stress of having to raise a single-parent family during even the bad times......these periods lasted for a few years...and I attribute my inability to cope successfully with overwhelming crises, one after the lack of training in living-life-skills and social-skills....but now my past experiences should bail me out, should some misfortunate circumstances arrive once again to overwhelm me.... :>

    Frannie B

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