Author Topic: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?  (Read 4881 times)

PalmerEldritch

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Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« on: May 09, 2018, 03:43:21 PM »
7 years ago I was broke with maxed out credit cards, no job, no stable housing, and going through a bitter custody battle. I spent the next few years in survival mode clawing my way back up. Today I have a six figure job where I work from home with a Tim Ferris style optimized work week, 250k in cash and investments, ZERO debt, primary custody of my kid, and a great relationship with a partner who shares my values. I invest 60% of my income and I'm on track to retire in my early forties, earlier if I reduce my spending to truly Mustachian levels.

But here's the rub: I feel like I've got the biggest safety net I've ever had and I'm constantly worried that everything is going to fall apart.

I've got a ton of free time and I spend a lot of it fretting and worrying. It's hard to find people to relate with because I feel like a jerk complaining when so many of my peers are still just struggling to make enough money to pay their creditors and rent.

The majority of my investments are in stock that I could liquidate at a moment's notice if I needed to and I keep a relatively large amount of emergency cash.

I worry that I'm going to get fired even though I'm on track for a promotion and I get perfect performance reviews.

I exercise, spend a lot of time outdoors with my family and dog to try and stay happy. I've got great medical and life insurance to hedge against risk. I've been building side businesses and getting good traction as a secondary stream of income.

I guess, I'm just hoping that when I hit my 'magic number' for Financial Independence I'll finally feel a little peace.

Things were simpler when I was super-focused and working 60 hour weeks just trying to feed my kid and stay one step ahead of the bills.

I hope this community can maybe relate and offer some advice or just share similar stories. Did you struggle with anxiety, restlessness and worry when things were finally on track? How do you deal with the fear that comes with having something to lose for the first time?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 04:22:52 PM »
The Inner Bag Lady/Man is strong with quite a few people around here, it definitely comes out in me sometimes, though we haven't made quite the same financial leap you have. It can be hard, but being aware of what it is and where itís coming from helps me deal with it.

PalmerEldritch

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2018, 04:47:05 PM »
Thanks FurryChickens! I searched the 'inner bag lady' and could definitely relate.  It's weird, even though I've been nearly homeless and fought my way back and I know that I could do it again if I had to do it's still always there lingering in the back of my mind. On the one hand, I think that fear is partly why I've been able to save and live like a student while my coworkers spend $$$ as fast as they get it. On the other, I really hope it goes away eventually, haha.

Also, congrats on homeschooling! I was mostly homeschooled and it was super great for me :) Lucky kiddos!

lbmustache

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 07:24:24 PM »
It's definitely anxiety. I suffer from the same, always a sense of "waiting for the other shoe to drop" or worrying about something going drastically wrong. Meditation has helped me a lot. CBT or other mindset changes may be an option. There are always anxiety meds (or CBD/marijuana, perhaps).


mozar

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 10:52:21 PM »
In addition to CBT you can also get treatment for ptsd. It sounds like you are traumatized from that period of your life.

WalkaboutStache

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2018, 12:41:22 AM »
I felt the same once and thought it was actually adult ADD.  Went to a psychiatrist, we talked for an hour and she said: "there is definitely some attention issues there, but why don't we treat that anxiety first?"  Within less than a month on some very mild medication (one sleep aid, one that is often prescribed for OCD, I was out of that hole.  Less than a year later, we ditched both and I have not needed either since (though I am sort of thinking about seeing one to get me through the finish line of this FIRE plan). 

If you had an odd bump in your head, you would treat it right?  Take the pills and do the things your doctor tells you.  Same goes for the bumps inside your head.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2018, 06:21:33 AM »
I know the feeling.  Anxiety about the possibility of losing my job and not being able to find another suitable job has caused me many problems over the past few years.  And I know it's incredibly stupid to get stressed about something that may never happen.  Yet I know it could happen, and this makes me want to downsize my lifestyle even more to accelerate my FI date.  It is a huge motivator in terms of saving money, but I don't think the stress and anxiety it causes is worth it.  I felt much more relaxed when I had just entered the workforce and had a negative net worth.  Now my net worth is $400k and I constantly worry about the future.  It makes no sense.  Time for another therapy session.

FireHiker

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 09:36:04 AM »
I know this all too well; I have spent some time working through my anxiety with medical professionals and on my own with yoga and exercise. I grew up very poor with a lot of instability, and have been through a divorce and being a single mom. Now I'm remarried, we are happy and very financially stable, and l always feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop! I certainly haven't worked it out for myself, but I try my best to acknowledge the anxiety when it comes up and be up front and open about it. I've found it helps a lot if I talk to someone about it. I don't know that the "inner bag lady" will ever go away. You're definitely not alone in this.

Laura33

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2018, 10:34:09 AM »
I think it is very, very natural that overcoming major obstacles goes hand-in-hand with feeling like the Sword of Damocles is hanging over your head long after the actual obstacles are gone.  Why?  Because most of us have the privilege of living in a soft, fuzzy cocoon of denial.  Bad things happen to other people, right?  And whenever we see a story about something bad happening to someone else, we can almost always rationalize how in some way they brought it on themselves, or that they were subject so some particular situation that doesn't apply to us.  So of course those bad things won't happen to us, because we are smarter, or luckier, or live in a safer area, or whatever. 

But when really bad shit actually happens to you, it completely rips that veil away.  You are forced to realize that sometimes bad shit happens just by sheer chance or bad luck, despite all of your best efforts.  And when that veil is ripped away, you can never really, fully replace it.  Because if bad shit happened once, there is absolutely no reason on God's green earth that it cannot happen again.  Or that even worse shit won't pile on top. 

Look, I had several miscarriages, despite having done everything "right" in my life up to that point.  The first one was a sad stroke of bad luck; the second felt like a trend, and evoked an icy-hot rage like I had never felt.  Even when I managed to hold onto a pregnancy, I spent the entire rest of the pregnancy expecting to lose the baby, and the first solid year of her life expecting something horrible to happen to her, like me falling down the stairs, or a car jumping the sidewalk and running us both down.  Because that stuff can and does happen, and I am demonstrably not immune -- so what's to keep it from happening to me again? 

I think the only thing that can really help with this is therapy -- you have to find a way to break the mental cycle, that little voice in your head that gets triggered by some event or some conversation and slowly convinces you that you're going to end up back on the street.  I learned to fight it by basically arguing with it -- the nasty lady in my head would say "you know you're going to lose this baby," and I'd say, "well, then it's a good thing we have the resources to do IVF if we need to"; she'd respond, "yeah, right, you know you're never going to be able to keep any baby," and I'd say. "well, then it's a good thing that we have the resources to adopt."  Etc. ad infinitum.  It was my own personal version of CBT before I knew what that actually was, just fighting those negative thoughts by pointing out to myself, every time, how silly and self-defeating they were. 

The other thing is this:  bad shit is either going to happen, or it's not.  If it doesn't happen, why would you want to waste your time worrying about something that wasn't there?  If it does happen, then why would you want to suck the joy out of the good years that you do have fretting about something that you can't change or avoid?  I realized after a couple of years that I hadn't really enjoyed my pregnancy or even the first year or so of DD's life, because I was so worried about what might have happened that I missed a lot of the wonderful stuff that was right in front of me.  What good is having two wonderful kids if I can never enjoy my time with them -- if I spend their entire lives waiting for the other shoe to drop.  So, what, I finally relax on my deathbed, because I successfully kept them alive my whole life?*  Carpe some damn diem, you know?  You worked your ass off to get where you are, and you have proven to yourself that you have the skills to do it again if you have to.  So you deserve to enjoy and appreciate the good times for as long as they last, knowing that you can handle whatever happens next.

Tl;dr:  You are a badass.  You have to be to have gotten where you are.  Because you are a badass, you can handle whatever comes next.  So give yourself permission to relax and enjoy what you've earned.

*Yeah, right.  At that point I am still fretting, because now I won't be around anymore to protect them from future bad shit.

never give up

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2018, 10:44:42 AM »
Hello. Yes I'm a fellow worrier too. I find the following helps me:

1. Having a plan. A solid, robust one at that. We can only control the controllables.
2. Exercise.
3. Knowing I'm living on less than minimum wage. In the case of redundancy 100% of jobs meet my financial needs. If I needed £100k a year to live on only a small percentage of jobs exist that pay that well.
4. Having a larger cash position than is generally recommended on here.

In your favour you have the extremely impressive accomplishment of knowing you have fought back from financial woes before.

The main thing here is the difference between FI and RE I think. FI is great and an incredible goal to have and to achieve. However you are at the point where you have free time now, and too much time to think I never find is a good thing. It's the tough choices now of what do you actually want to do with your life? How do you want to spend your time? So when you hit FI and have even more free time is this feeling going to get better or worse? You need more hobbies and interest to fill that time I would have thought. My mental wellbeing is always at it's best when I'm busy. As you say sometimes 60 hours a week focussed on living in the now is easier in some ways.

PalmerEldritch

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2018, 11:07:37 AM »
Thank you everyone for all the heart-felt replies and for sharing your stories! It means so much to me know that I'm not alone in feeling like this. @Laura33 you summed it up perfectly, once that veil is lifted and you understand how quickly things can fall apart, despite doing everything 'right', things are never truly the same again. I had some pretty intense and sudden familial loss in my early twenties that I probably still haven't fully bounced back from even before all the other stuff went down :/

Sounds like I need to get back onto the therapist's couch and keep up with my meditation. Thanks to everybody for the reminder that there's professionals out there who can help. Also, staying busy is a good thing!

It's good to get a reminder that what I'm feeling, while understandable, doesn't have to be the norm. Great reminders that 'security' is a state of mind rather than a number on a spreadsheet. I was safe, healthy, and taking care of my kiddo just fine even when I was dumpster-diving and taking random jobs off craigslist. No reason that I should be so concerned now haha!

Again, thank you all for being such a smart, kind, and welcoming community :)

Lanthiriel

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2018, 12:19:01 PM »
I have this too. My husband was laid off almost exactly two years ago. He worked for a few months at a summer job in construction and then was on unemployment. He started getting job offers and none of them were in-state. So I had to sell the house I loved, leave a job I loved, and move out of a state I loved to go back to a city and state I'd lived in before and didn't love. It felt like failing even though we're now both making more money, have a nicer house and cars, and doubled our net worth (even excluding those houses and cars).

I worry every day that the other shoe is going to drop and everything is going to go to shit here the way it did there. Even though my husband and I are both high performers in in-demand fields, and the economy here is much more stable, I deal with daily anxiety that everything we have is going to be taken from us. Or that we're going to have to start over again. We've moved 8 times in 12 years for various reasons (3 of those out of state) and I'm just tired.

Therapy didn't help me at all. I went to someone I had seen before who did a great job helping my husband and I through a rough patch in our marriage before all this happened, and she was useless against this fear. So I'm trying hard to work on it on my own by having more uninvested cash available, doing guided meditation, and trying harder to feel thankful for what I have that can't be taken from me (family, friends, dogs). I know that the truth is that we came through his layoff essentially financially unscathed and that would probably be true of any future lay off or other work-impacting incident. We're two smart, hard-working people with good credentials. But I can't quite shake the anxiety despite all this.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one with this problem.

meghan88

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2018, 02:19:37 PM »
This is me, too.  And in addition to my inner bag lady, I have/am an outer bag lady because my inner bag lady keeps me from buying clothes or spending anything at all on myself.  My inner bag lady has also been hoarding cash in high-interest savings accounts rather than investing because of extreme loss aversion.  My inner bag lady also believes that the world as we know it is headed for the shitter in most respects, and whatever savings are on hand will never be enough in a few years because [____insert whatever economic and environmental doomsday prophesies are floating around today____].  Plus, the inner/outer bag lady will spend the last few years rotting in a hospital bed while the orderlies rob her blind, because all family and friends are older and will have passed on, but at least this is Canada and we have Medicare.

However, I do my darndest to live in the present and enjoy the good times while they last, and I exercise a lot and keep active to boost my mood and self-esteem.

And as the others have said, you are badass.  Be very proud of yourself.

Reynolds531

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2018, 06:09:16 PM »
I would really like to hear how you fought your way through the last seven years.

Adventine

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2018, 10:56:07 PM »
I would really like to hear how you fought your way through the last seven years.

I would love to hear the story too. Especially as I am also going through a rough patch (working through a family financial crisis) and would love to hear more stories about how it gets better.

SpreadsheetMan

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2018, 12:04:22 AM »
Hello. Yes I'm a fellow worrier too. I find the following helps me:

1. Having a plan. A solid, robust one at that. We can only control the controllables.
2. Exercise.
3. Knowing I'm living on less than minimum wage. In the case of redundancy 100% of jobs meet my financial needs. If I needed £100k a year to live on only a small percentage of jobs exist that pay that well.
4. Having a larger cash position than is generally recommended on here
.

In your favour you have the extremely impressive accomplishment of knowing you have fought back from financial woes before.

The main thing here is the difference between FI and RE I think. FI is great and an incredible goal to have and to achieve. However you are at the point where you have free time now, and too much time to think I never find is a good thing. It's the tough choices now of what do you actually want to do with your life? How do you want to spend your time? So when you hit FI and have even more free time is this feeling going to get better or worse? You need more hobbies and interest to fill that time I would have thought. My mental wellbeing is always at it's best when I'm busy. As you say sometimes 60 hours a week focussed on living in the now is easier in some ways.

I am also a not-entirely-rational worrier and have arrived at the exact same set of principles in my own situation.


Schaefer Light

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2018, 07:15:39 AM »
So I'm trying hard to work on it on my own by having more uninvested cash available, doing guided meditation, and trying harder to feel thankful for what I have that can't be taken from me (family, friends, dogs).

I don't mean to be a downer, but those things can also be taken from you.  Health, money, family, friends, pets, etc., can all disappear.  The only thing you can count on is you.  And from what you've posted, it sounds like you're well equipped to handle just about anything life throws at you.

Jenny1974

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2018, 07:28:40 AM »
Honestly, when you go through a period in your life when you struggle financially, I think it brings on a type of financial PTSD.  For me, that happened because we were so broke when I was growing up.  In my adult life I am terrified of ever being back in that place.  So, I sit her with about $2MM and STILL fret about finances.  I think it's just really difficult to completely leave the past behind.  I remember my mother seriously considering whether she was going to have to give up our home after my parents divorced.  She was B-R-O-K-E.  Those things stick with you.

Don't beat yourself up.  Once you put a bit more distance between you and that financially bad part of your life, it will get easier to let go and relax a bit more.

PalmerEldritch

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2018, 10:38:29 AM »
Happy to share my story.

I had been working my way up in my industry for 10 years. By hopping companies both by choice and due to layoffs (volatile tech industry) I slowly went from a lowly production grunt up to a team lead. We never had much in the way of savings or assets and carried about 10k in credit card debt. After almost 5 years at the same company I was laid off. Within a couple of days my wife went on the offensive starting a very dirty and underhanded divorce/custody battle. I lost all my possessions and all access to my kiddo.

I spent the next year living out of a backpack bouncing between friend's couches and spare rooms, looking for work, going to court dates, maxing out my credit cards and borrowing money from my parents for legal fees. I started smoking again. I felt numb, like a zombie who just rolled from one crisis to another. The only emotions I could feel were terror when the phone rang from an unfamiliar number that it could be more bad news or sadness at everything I had lost. At this point I was applying for any kind of job I could get. Eventually I found a junior project manager position in a totally different industry at about a 50% pay cut from my previous job. I started working 60+ hour weeks while still going to regular court dates. I rented a little basement apartment from a super nice immigrant family who lived upstairs.

After a few months of hard and dull work I was promoted to a full project manager with a pay bump that got me almost back up to previous salary. More 60 hour work weeks and more stress followed. But the tide had started to turn in my court cases and the judges figured out I wasn't the monster my ex made me out to be. Just a hard working guy doing whatever I had to take care of my kid. I did everything they asked, jumped through every hoop, if they asked me to run a mile I ran 5, if they wanted something in a month I got it to them in a week, if they wanted 5 documents I gave them 10. It was by far the most difficult thing I had ever done. I watched as so many other dads go down in flames in court due to their own pride, anger, entitlement and outrage. I sucked it up, set aside any feelings I had of my own wounded honor and fully submitted and co-operated with the court, the police, family court services, and child protective services. I was polite and friendly through 5+ investigations. I went through supervised visitation. I never said anything mean or bad about my ex or made any false claims. Just politely pointed out logical inconsistencies and falsehoods in court filings. I put the kiddo first. I spent thousands of dollars on therapy for me and the kiddo.

Eventually the divorce was finalized and within a couple months I fully succumbed to burn out. I had some health issues and was in and out of the ER. Ended up having surgery and recovering well. But the last couple of years had taken their toll. I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I was exhausted. Tired of working for people who didn't give a s*** about me. Tired of relationships with people who hated my guts. Tired of spending every waking moment doing things I didn't want to do.

I saved up a few grand and quit my job. They tried to convince me to stay by promising less hours. I asked for more money. They said no and I politely told them to go f*** themselves. I started tutoring friends in music (my side passion) and taking random jobs off craigslist to pay rent. I got great at dumpster diving and my year of unemployment had taught me how little money you really need to live on. I wrote music every day and played shows. I spent a ton of time with my kiddo doing fun and free or inexpensive things. I lived that life for about a year until the debt finally caught up to me and I needed to find a full time job.

I woke up every day and meditated for an hour. Then I used my craigslist gig hunting techniques but this time on the websites of major companies. I only applied for work that I was over-qualified for. Instead of searching for keywords (which everyone else does) I went through every job one by one especially the jobs with titles I had never heard of to find the least applied for jobs. I only applied to postings that were less than a day old (to ensure I was at the top of the stack). I wrote detailed cover letters that used business metrics to prove the claims I made about my experience (I saved the company $XXX annually, I increased production by 200% in 6 months, etc...) I had no fluff in my portfolio or resume, only verifiable proof of achievement. I wasn't allowed to rest until I had applied for at least 5 jobs per day. I looked at the least sexy jobs that I figured would have the least competition.

Within a month I had an all-day interview at a top tier tech company in another new industry. Pro-tip: project management experience is viewed as nearly universally transferable, it allows you to hop industries and increase your chances of finding work. I really did NOT want to work in an office again. I almost skipped the interview. I would rather eat out of dumpsters than work another job I hated. But I gave it a chance. I walked into the interview determined that it was their job to convince ME to take the job. I asked tons of questions. I grilled my interviewers about projects, metrics, management style. I was very honest and open with my answers to their questions. I wasn't cocky but I was as far from desperate in my approach as I could be.

They offered me the job the next day at 40% raise from my last job, plus stock. I made a deal with myself that I would work there for a few years and then start my own company with what I learned form working there. With my signing bonus, I bought a ten year old dependable Asian car to replace my broken down pickup truck and paid off my credit cards. I increased my spending but not by much. I stayed in my tiny apartment. I shopped at costco. My coworkers bought un-affordable houses and new cars. I saved money every month and I never touched my stock. I kept a running ticker in my head and in my budget spreadsheets of how many months I could survive without working so that if the job ever got bad I could quit on the spot.

Over the next few years the stock gained 500%.

I started reading business and self-improvement books like mad. I got audiobooks and listened to them at 125% speed on my commute. I listened to podcasts constantly. At my peak I was reading 2-3 books/week. I applied everything I was learning about business, effectiveness, results over effort, and personal growth to my job and life. The 4 hour work week was a huge inspiration.

I focused my work days entirely on getting results for my boss and their bosses. I learned what the important business metrics were for my organization and spent all my time trying to improve those metrics. I gathered tons of data to prove my results. I ignored and avoided any work that I thought was stupid. I was strategic in every project I worked on and how it would further my goals. I shared very little about my personal life and was very careful about protecting my reputation. I was friendly with coworkers but never complained about work and only spent time with positive high-achieving people. Because of my results and the unique nature of our distributed team I negotiated a work from home agreement.

I moved in with my partner an hour out of the city into the bottom half of her parents house. They travel half the year and we take care of the property and their pets in return for reduced rent. I now pay $400 month for my half of rent and utilities. We have chickens and a vegetable garden. So yeah, I live in my girlfriends parent's basement. But it's way nicer than my old basement in the big expensive city! We've got three bedrooms down here.

Really my whole story is a combination of being in the right place at the right time but also working hard to get myself in the right place and executing the best strategy I could muster at the right time :) Also, delete Facebook ignore the news and treat your mental diet just like your food diet. Only put good healthy stuff into your mind and body!

So yeah, despite everything working out ok, I think I'm still shell shocked. I made an appointment with a Psychologist this week and have been meditating again. Thanks for the replies and feel free to ask questions.

Laura33

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2018, 12:42:34 PM »
[snip]

Dude.  You are a badass among badasses.  You've got this.

meghan88

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2018, 01:00:36 PM »
OP, that is an amazing story.  Huge kudos for getting through all that without losing your cool.  Badass indeed.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2018, 01:23:35 PM »
That's an inspiring story.

PalmerEldritch

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2018, 01:30:59 PM »
@meghan88 Hahaha. Well I certainly lost my cool in private on a near daily basis. Long aimless runs, staring into space, and cursing/crying in the shower were pretty common.

Adventine

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2018, 01:39:23 PM »
Amazing story. You're come so far!

PalmerEldritch

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2018, 02:01:04 PM »
@Adventine I really love the personal philosophy you posted and how you broke it down to core values. One of the best things about working towards financial independence and on a more basic level self sufficiency without money, is that it's possible to walk away from any abusive situation. Even if you don't have a lot of cash (although its helpful!) if you have the right mindset even a little bit of money, a strong sense of your values and a do-anything attitude enables you say to say f*** you to bad situations and move on!

pdxvandal

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2018, 02:33:15 PM »
Total badassity, OP.

"I wish I had worked more in the office," said no one ever on their deathbed.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2018, 04:18:26 PM »
Thanks for sharing :)

pecunia

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2018, 06:33:05 PM »
These stories remind me of the stories I heard from the frugal old timers who grew up in the 1930s.  I remember some of these folks seemed very well off yet they squeaked when they walked.

I guess they were never really free.  FI is supposed to make you free.

These posts also made me see that part of the freedom has to come from within.  I guess you need to overcome the black little worry wart inside. 

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Honestly, when you go through a period in your life when you struggle financially, I think it brings on a type of financial PTSD.  For me, that happened because we were so broke when I was growing up.  In my adult life I am terrified of ever being back in that place.  So, I sit her with about $2MM and STILL fret about finances.

Yeh - I guess you have to logically look at the facts and tell yourself over and over that things are OK.  And,.......after a while perhaps you will finally set yourself free.

MoStache

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2018, 08:10:57 PM »
Thanks so much for sharing your story.

I've been doing a lot of research on recovery from PTSD lately (for myself) and I found a couple resources I will be pursuing.  Posting here just in case you can get some value from them:
traumahealing.org
https://www.amazon.com/Body-Keeps-Score-Healing-Trauma/dp/B00OBT7KAO/

austin944

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2018, 12:08:02 PM »

I'm currently in ER with a draw rate of less than 1% per year, and I still can't rid myself completely of the Inner Bag Lady.  The Lady showed up in my 20s during a period when I was poor and under-employed working as a convenience store clerk.  Eventually I clawed my way up and retired from a tech job where I was making 240K/yr.

I have been keeping myself busy in ER trying to learn new skills that I might use if I ever needed to return to a tech job.  That has helped to reduce the paycheck anxiety, and makes me too busy to sit around worrying.

Regarding the use of medication or cannabis, I would be extremely wary of that approach.  It may have worked for some people here, and I don't blame people for going that route, but it is very easy to use it as a crutch and eventually fall into addiction.  IMO it is much more empowering to completely free yourself from alcohol and drugs.  I gave up drinking socially and I feel much stronger for having done so.

marty998

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2018, 11:06:00 PM »
Commenting here just to say what a fucking awesome story you have. Brilliant!

Reynolds531

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2018, 06:26:32 PM »
One divorced dad to another, bravo OP.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2018, 08:45:44 AM »
I know the feeling.  Anxiety about the possibility of losing my job and not being able to find another suitable job has caused me many problems over the past few years.  And I know it's incredibly stupid to get stressed about something that may never happen.  Yet I know it could happen, and this makes me want to downsize my lifestyle even more to accelerate my FI date.  It is a huge motivator in terms of saving money, but I don't think the stress and anxiety it causes is worth it.  I felt much more relaxed when I had just entered the workforce and had a negative net worth.  Now my net worth is $400k and I constantly worry about the future.  It makes no sense.  Time for another therapy session.

I have a similar net worth coming from negative $220,000 (student loans) less than a decade ago. My net worth is rising $50,000 per year (before stock market and house appreciation) and I still feel like I'm not doing good enough.  I was happy go lucky about money as soon as I left school with all that debt. It's a strange contradiction. The harder you work to put yourself in a good position, the more stressed you get about improving the position you're in.

PalmerEldritch

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2018, 10:10:08 AM »
Thanks everyone for sharing their stories. It really helped drive the home the idea that beyond working on my finances and business, I need to pay attention to mental health. No amount of financial security is enough if I don't change my attitudes and response to stress.
I went ahead and started seeing a really good psychologist this past week who specializes in treating anxiety with cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Again, lots of thanks to everyone sharing their experiences and helping me feel not so alone :)

Adventine

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Re: Things are going great. Why am I always worried?
« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2018, 08:37:33 AM »
@Adventine I really love the personal philosophy you posted and how you broke it down to core values. One of the best things about working towards financial independence and on a more basic level self sufficiency without money, is that it's possible to walk away from any abusive situation. Even if you don't have a lot of cash (although its helpful!) if you have the right mindset even a little bit of money, a strong sense of your values and a do-anything attitude enables you say to say f*** you to bad situations and move on!

Thanks, it's nice of you! Also, you sound like an awesome dad :D