I keep cruising through Newcomers just to see if there's any good stuff happening here... what a good thread. This thread was a godsend to me. I got so mired into this "forest" again that I was unable to see the trees with my sitch. You forced me to think again

Here's some stuff I've done that's really been helpful to me:

- I helped a friend who's husband recently passed away to paint her new home. Physical work combined with buddying up with someone else who's experienced a loss helped me a lot. She's gone through some tremendous experiences lately (tragic death of an spouse and cancer) and her attitude has really helped me along... it's infectious. She's a really positive person and doing something for her that she couldn't do (she's still having a hard time doing really physical work) was helpful to me. I'd suggest to anyone that they buddy up with a same sex friend to accomplish something together... it's a great feeling to know you can mutually support each other.

- Updating my appearance. I never believed I was unattractive, but I realized I probably looked like the geek I am. (I wear the label geek proudly -- hey... it puts food on the table and it's a great career.) So, slowly over time as my budget could handle it, bought new clothes, changed the makeup, decided to break the contact habit and change my glasses... I shake it up between wearing a couple of pairs of different glasses and my contacts... changed the hairstyle... made sure the DB diet weight loss stuck... small things like that add up to big changes over time.

- Made it a point to meet new people outside of my normal circles. Most of my friends were work related (coworkers and clients). But I learned ways of meeting people outside of geekdom too. It broadens your perspective a lot to do that, and forces you out of self-inflicted "caves."

- I've started to learn to meditate. That helps me a lot to focus myself... although I still would like to make it a good habit yet. When I get distracted or upset, I toss this aside and begin to flounder emotionally/mentally. This requires some discipline. But... the discipline slowly returns after I tell myself to snap out of the self-pity mode.

- I write. A lot. Even though it's my "real" job. It helps me focus my thoughts... even if what I write ends up being deleted. I guess the skills I've learned to present an idea or a thought and organize the materials professionally kind of helped me there... it's helped me to know that I have an outlet for venting, thinking, organizing my thoughts when I am alone and unhappy and need to communicate. I learned I am my own best listener