Endurance [NOT 25/2/22]

It will make you stronger

Istanbul view from Bosporus
Istanbul and the Bosporus Strait Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Istanbul_am_Bosporus_(21604132503).jpg

What Have You Endured?

Deadsplinterites are tough. We all have stories of enduring something and coming out better for it. Let’s hear some stories and fortify one another.

For example, many years ago I was on vacation in Turkey. Being a cheap youngster, I decided to save on a night in a hotel by taking an overnight bus from Izmir to Istanbul, which would also mean I could sleep while I traveled instead of burning a lot of daylight hours.

Unfortunately, a problem developed in my plan. My bus left Izmir around midnight. Izmir is a gritty city and the bus station was looking a bit seedy, so I decided to skip the station bathroom and rely on the bathroom on the bus. Except I found out after boarding that this bus, unlike your typical Greyhound, had no bathroom at all. I was stuck all night on a nonstop bus and had to hope I could endure the night.

Fortunately this is NOT a Drew Magary poop story. I felt growing discomfort from the caffeine I had drunk while waiting for the bus, but was able to keep everything together and slept fitfully through the night, cursing my planning failure. And hours later as the sun rose, I was treated to the sight of the domes and spires of Istanbul rising above the Bosporus straits, which was striking enough to make the college kids who were riding the bus all stop chattering to take in the sight too, despite no doubt having seen it many times before.

When we arrived I made it off the bus and quickly checked into a pensione without needing an emergency cleanup and change of clothes. And now I had a whole day to start exploring.

So what’s an event you have endured and come out better for it? Maybe a violin recital, a 20 mile hike, or a weekend as a bridesmaid helping fix little dramas to get the wedding to work? Driving home in a blizzard and not going in a ditch, writing and giving a speech before top management, or selling 50 boxes of fundraising candy in fifth grade? Cleaning two years of grunge from an apartment to reclaim a deposit, running your third grader’s talent show, or hauling six tons of rock to build a retaining wall? Share something hard and demoralizing where you ended up on top all the same.



  1. i walked across kos once…on beachfront bought slippers

    beach to sheer cliff and back down to beach….was a 12 hour trip….give or take

    i was pretty pleased with myself and couldnt walk normally for a couple days

    not sure i came out of that better

    also met an older lady over there ..maybe 20 years on me…kept running into eachother at the music pub

    she always commented on my sleeveless vest (motorhead) and how she liked it

    anyhoos… one of my last days there…i woke up wearing her top

    cant remember if we traded or had sex or whatever….

    wierd times

    skinny me looked good in a half top tho

  2. I used to be a long-distance bicycler. In Florida you can ride year-round, because no snow. And now there’s no winter to speak of, but I digress. I would typically ride about 30 miles each day (a lunch ride and then one after work). On the weekends I’d take longer trips.

    I was trying to impress a young lady from my university, and decided to ride over to her town, about 30 miles away. I knew she was working at a bank, so I thought, hey, I’ll get some exercise and get to talk to her. Unfortunately, that day she was posted at another branch about another 20 miles away. I thought about it, but I wanted to make sure I was home before dark, because bicycles + elderly + dark = dead. So I rode to her father’s car dealership and introduced myself. Then headed home.

    Her father told her I must be really infatuated with her to ride a bike that far.

    We’re married now.

  3. There’s a few options, but here’s one it took me a long time to admit to.

    Content warning, eating disorder talk.

    In college, the freshman 15 hit me hard. I was already fat and getting OMG fatter so fast was a real mind fuck. Anyways, the combo of no one keeping an eye on my behavior and access to a walking distance gym was not a good mix. You know, totally normal to do 2 hours of cardio a day and eat 1200 calories. Totally normal to have a handful of broccoli for lunch. Or to eat food that I knew would trigger digestive issues from my food allergy so I could “look normal” with friends but I totally wouldn’t absorb those calories from the meal since less than an hour I’d be sick as fuck in the bathroom.

    So, this worked for a few months, until I stopped losing weight doing it. To be clear, I told myself that whole time that it totally wasn’t an eating disorder because I was eating more than 1000 calories a day and hey, I was still fat. Restricted eating disorders are just for really thin people, for us fatties it’s just a strict diet. I remember having having a moment of just going, well, yeah, let’s try bulimia and see if that works. Which it did, for a while, until it didn’t.

    I’ll be honest, if you ever know someone with an eating disorder and you can’t figure out why they do it, there’s this weird high that happens with that level of restriction and abuse of the body. I felt so weirdly powerful that I had that much control over things. Just fight through that light-headedness or cramping, I was stronger than that. It was worth it to not be so fat. So what if I passed out a few times or had severe headaches. I was losing weight and that was all that mattered.

    And then I plateaued. Somehow. Still fat. 183.6 lbs, I’m 38 now and I can remember the weight I plateaued at if anyone is wondering just how fixated I was on that situation.

    I’d love to tell you I had a come to Jesus moment and realized I couldn’t keep doing that to myself. That it wasn’t healthy. Or that I didn’t need to be thin to be happy, etc. Nope, I stopped because with that plateau I felt like goddamn I’m such a failure at losing weight that I couldn’t even succeed at having an eating disorder.

    So yeah, I consider that semester an experience in endurance. Fun fact as I got older and did more research, not only do I still have disordered eating tendencies that I have to keep an eye on, but also I had disordered eating tendencies since about the 3rd grade.

    Moral of the story, don’t call your wife fat in front of your daughter (who is fatter than your wife) and maybe don’t make fat comments about other people in front of kids, because they notice and internalize that shit real quick. It’s bad enough that there are constant messages that being fat is omg the worst, getting it at home doesn’t help.

    • Related note – anyone you know obsessed with “clean eating” or “superfoods” etc etc? Hyperfocused on it, not just casually into fruits and veg.

      Major red flag, that’s probably someone who either currently is dealing with an eating disorder or had one at some point in their lives and haven’t shaken out of that mental fuckery.

    • My wife would always call herself fat in front of our daughters.  She is 5’7” & about 120, muscular & not fat.  I always got mad at her about that.  Her sister was anorexic & I had a big fear of her giving my girls that issue.  Luckily so far they have a good relationship with exercise & food.

      • My mom was really good about never criticizing my size. Her mother was a real bitch to her about her weight to the point that she was under 100lbs when she started high school and her mom was still “wow you’re so fat, unlike your sister.”

        However, my mother would also very much talk bad about herself and go on diets where all she would eat is oatmeal for days, things like that. I knew objectively I was fatter than her, because duh clothing sizes, so that definitely still played into my psyche despite her not saying anything ever about my size.

        I’m glad your daughters are okay!

    • Thank you for sharing. Unfortunately this (these) issue(s) is (are) ubiquitous and too often ignored.

      Moral of the story, don’t call your wife fat in front of your daughter (who is fatter than your wife) and maybe don’t make fat comments about other people in front of kids

      If I may take this a bit further? I’d like to say that there is never an acceptable excuse for body-shaming regardless of the target audience or possible second-hand observers/listeners.

    • Thank you for sharing this. It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I almost did a post on it. I have been in and out of treatment for eating disorders for most of my life. Disorders plural. Because it’s not uncommon for people to cycle through more than one or all of the disorders.
      I distinctly remember the first time I heard the word anorexia. I was nine years old. My brother was telling us, at the dinner table ironically, about a high school classmate who was in the hospital for this new disease where she stopped eating. I knew the young woman, she went to our church. She was tall, thin, blonde, and popular. Everything short, dark, stocky, and attention starved me wanted to be. I didn’t hear it as a cautionary tale, instead it was #goals. I made a conscious decision to stop eating.
      I’m sorry you dealt/deal with this too, but I’m glad you recognize your disordered eating tendencies. Strength to you my friend.

    • “not only do I still have disordered eating tendencies that I have to keep an eye on”

      I feel you SO HARD on this, Brighter!💞💗💓

      And TW’S for anyone who may meet them, because I’m going to explain how my “food issues” trip me up…




      I tend toward disordered eating when I’m stressed, and in hindsight, went through a phase of highly restrive eating for a stretch when I was in high school.

      Mine (luckily!) isn’t tripped as much by feeling that I “need to diet” (I’m fat/chubby and because I can look at women on BOTH sides of my body who have “my build, just taller,” I’ve known since I was st my skinniest–back when i was on the swim team in HS–that this body will never look the way society says women “should” it’s literally impossible😉)

      for me, the issue has alllllways been “there’s too much chaos surrounding _______” in my life, and often boiled down to the idea that the food I ate was one of the few things I could control.

      I’m sure that in my case, it’s tied to my ADHD, & ASD-tendencies, because even at my “baseline,”  when things are going well & smoothly in my life, I tend to catch myself eating the same foods for weeks or months at a time, until I notice I’m in a rut (again!), oooorrrrr someone points it out to me, because I’ve brought *the same lunches* most weeks, for weeks on end😆🤣

      I consciously don’t weigh myself too regularly (because I DO hyperfocus!), and I haven’t ever really “dieted” to lose weight–it’s just always been an issue of “control over chaos” or falling 100% into ruts, over the time/ease of meal prep/etc.

      That first time it happened, back in high school, it was because my before-lunch class was always running up until the bell, and by the time we got to the cafeteria, the lunch line was so long you only had 5-or-fewer minutes to eat, before getting to the next class…

      So I’d just get a granny Smith apple from the “a la carte” (paid food) line, rather than my (free!🙃) hot lunch–because I didn’t have time to EAT food otherwise.

      I only realized it wasn’t normal (or healthy!) when some of my friends started to ask me if I DID have an eating disorder, because I wasn’t at lunch (I’d typically go eat my apple by my locker in the girls’ locker room,because the cafeteria was too damn noisy/echo-ey, and the locker room was typically a quiet spot at that time of day).

      The worst/most recent bout of restrictive eating was around 2017-ish, when things were super stressful with mom (bouncing in & out of the hospital over the winter), and me starting the Bachelor’s degree, and then getting told by my drs that I needed to start monitoring my diabetes better, because my A1C was up around 13…

      Which meant pricking my fingers before eating (and a couple other times a day), whiiiiich meant that I was looking directly AT the numbers on my glucometer, right before mealtime, and *WRITING DOWN THAT NUMBER* multiple times a day, every day, if I ate

      And whenever that # was above my “target range” my higher thought processes would go out the window, because ALL my brain would focus on was “that number is too high, I should wait to eat!!!!”

      And too many times I DID wait.

      I’m NOT the “passing out” kind of diabetic–so it wasn’t dangerous, but it WAS completely disordered & messed with everything (I was EXHAUSTED much of the time, because I never re-fueled properly, my diabetes numbers were ALL over the place–which made me sicker, etc!)

      So when I talked to my diabetic educator at one appointment, about why I stoppedtesting/recording my sugars, she asked if I’d try the 2-week continuous monitoring system (that I’ve been using ever since!😉😁💖💝), and just scan the sensor a few times a day then let HER “worry about the numbers.”

      I swear to dog, her putting me on the CGM was the BEST thing that could’ve ever happened for my diabetes management!!!

      Suddenly I could just wave the sensor.

      I didn’t have to poke myself, then stand there *waiting and hoping* that I’d gotten enough blood in the test strip, and waiting for the dentist numbers to pop up, so I could write them down in the stupid book…

      I just push the button, wave the scanner over the back of my arm, ignore the number (most times), and look at the squiggly-line on the graph.

      And then I upload the meter every so often & meet with my diabetic educator to review what the big trends were.

      It keeps me *OUT* of my head, means I eat better *and* more regularly, and because I’m not writing anything down, the numbers go into my eyeballs, and right out of my brain (because ADHD!🤣🤣🤣), like I need them to, so I don’t obsess😉

      The only issue I have nowadays, is 100% ADHD related, in that, when I’m stressed I forget stuff (even eating!), and that’s compounded by the fact that I’ve always lost my appetite when I’m stressed.

      But it’s definitely not as bad as when I had to stab my fingers multiple times a day, every day, *and* face all those numbers all the time.

    • Thank you for sharing. Eating disorders are so prevalent and we all benefit from learning about them. In highschool, I had a friend who nearly died from bulimia and I only became aware of it after she was hospitalized.

  4. I did a 5 day kayak trip from the north east side of Kauai to the south west side.  I had never kayaked but was a good surfer & had paddled outrigger canoes.  We paddled 3 days & hiked 2 days which was amazing & one of the best trips of my life.  On the last day though we hit some wind & a west swell that made me question if I was moving at all for big chunks of time.  After about 5 hours of questioning if I should just hope to be rescued by Japanese fishermen some time later we made it to the beach at Polihale.   Shitty beer has never tasted as good as that moment we got picked up by my friends family on the beach.

  5. I’ve endured for the better when I was a long distance runner (wow… 17 years ago) and ran my first 1/2 marathon without too much training (I was running almost 24 miles a week.) Ran with a nasty blister that appeared 1/3 of the way in and a slight groin pull, but I managed to keep up with my friend who was training to run the Ottawa marathon. At that point I was the envy of my friends who were already starting to get the middle age paunch and flabby arms. Didn’t last long though…high ankle sprain, appendicitis (four years) and eventually middle aged male flab.

    Then I’ve endured for the worse.  Several days after my housemate nearly burned down my house forgetting to turn off the stove my stomach felt like it exploded.  I couldn’t vomit (even though I really wanted to) or anything except roll around in agony on the floor.  I somehow managed to drag my body to my car and drive to the local hospital where I found myself in a very crowded emergency room.  Several accidents and heart attacks happened that day, it seems. I quietly passed out from the agony for an hour till a nurse saw how pale and miserable I was and put me in a small room with a bed for me to lie on.  I was there for at least 5 hours (?) when an exhausted emergency room doc got to me.  I described my agony to him and he thought I had appendicitis or gall stones.  A quick check with an ultra sound revealed nothing.  My pain subsided enough that I checked out and went home.

    Two days later I woke up in agony from my first UTI.  It felt like I was pissing glass shards.  That pain would remain with me for the next 3 1/2 years because I’m a stupid man with a high pain endurance. Instead of going to the doc, I thought I could deal with it.  What I had was a leaking appendix and the beginnings of sepsis.  I was slowly dying by inches. By the time I had surgery to fix a lot of it, I endured two cancer scares, visions of pooping in a bag for the rest of my life and worst of all going head first into an MRI (a buzzing metal coffin.)

    I can at least eat normal, but there are times when I miss the six inches of colon they cut out or when I have to pee more often (my bladder was resectioned due to inflammation from the sepsis.)

    Four days after surgery (3 1/2 hours) I was dragged out of bed by my nurses as part of the recovery process.  At that point, I had an O2 tube up one nostril, a GI drain tube up the other, one glucose IV, one antibiotic IV, the catheter tube, drain tube and the morphine drip.  I was a fucking mess dragging along a IV hanger that doubled as my cane.  Along my walk I encountered a family that had just visited a relation.  I saw the kids gawking at me.  I looked up and saw the adults gawking at me. I lost my temper because I was not a freak (well, I was but I sure as hell didn’t feel like it.) I glared at the kids and pointed a weak finger at them.  I hissed “Don’t get sick!” The family fled.

    As I passed off into sleep, I could hear the nurse telling the story to her coworkers and laughing.

  6. In 2008 I made it through an entire trek the first time I was in a desert. I wasn’t really proud of myself for it until the other night in which I made @loveshaq read about it as on-screen-piffle just for kicks.

    • …joking aside…I’ll spare everyone the tragic and traumatic experiences I have endured throughout my life that have made me obsessed with being a person people can count on. That is the most important thing to me. I like to think I am that person…at least as much as I can be.

      • Empathy and understanding of others especially in situations we never been in or can’t grasp is hard.  It is part of trying to make the world a better place.

        I’ve had more than a few failures of understanding in my life. Have a few more in the future to make, too.

    • @Myopicprophet, I apologize for my insensitivity to your life changing journey.  I took it as a long rant to get to the punchline of I hate the Lakers & jab at me. I will try to do better & be more understanding.  Sowree!

  7. I think i’ma choose “finishing that damn undergrad degree!” as mine for tonight…

    It’s not officially done yet–i have a 3-credit “communication” (Interpersonal Communication) class that i need to get shifted out of the “Global Studies” section of my transcript, into the “Comm” section, but those three credits are the only thing I need, in order to fiiiiiiiiinally be done with my damn Bachelor’s.

    And if I can get those credits switched over before the fall semester starts (OR, if worse cones to worst, if I CAN pass a Comm class🙃), I’ll have finally gotten that 4-year degree…

    28 *years* after I started college the first time!😄😆🤣💖

    Undiagnosed ADHD (and STILL Undiagnosed ASD!) is a HELL of a thing!🙃


  8. Over the course of my internet life I have infiltrated and disbanded online alt-right hate groups including, but not limited to, prepper, proud boys, oath keepers, idiotic meme groups, dark web human trafficking and child pornography groups. The things I have seen, been witness to, and have experienced along the way are horrifying, vile and outright disgusting. Things I can’t even mention because they’d be received as unbelievable to the layman.

    I have a hard time living with myself for some of things I have perpetuated and some of the things I have said and done in order to gain enough trust with extremely deplorable people to infiltrate their hate groups. I try to convince myself that the end results justified the means but sometimes I feel I am just as disgusting, vile, and deplorable as they are.

    I have spoken about this to a select few people but have never mentioned this publicly. There is no escape once you’re privy to such things so my false sense of martyrdom is often all I am left with.

    • I believe that whatever you did it was in the interest of others. I’m sorry that you had to experience some of it yourself. That’s a heavy burden to bear. ❤️

    • I’m sorry about the dark and heavy trauma that you’ve endured for the greater good. You sacrificed parts of yourself as collateral and that deserves attention and healing.

  9. I feel like I’ve had a lot of stuff in my life that was difficult and traumatic, but at the same time, I tend to feel like I’m whining if I complain much about it.

    Taking care of 4 households in 2 different states while taking care of Husband when he had cancer and went through chemo (we were still together, but living separately for financial reasons) and one of our sons spent a few weeks in in-patient mental health care probably takes the proverbial cake for difficult things to get through, though.

    • I know what you mean. I’d like to be able to confide in people a little more, but I’m afraid it will be taken as whining or being dramatic.
      Watching a child suffer through mental and/or physical problems is the worst. You feel so powerless to help them. ❤️

    • …like lymond I failed to make it to this post in time to say so before…but I second their suggestion that one way or another you’re all pretty amazing from where I sit…& also that I couldn’t agree more about this part

      I feel like I’ve had a lot of stuff in my life that was difficult and traumatic, but at the same time, I tend to feel like I’m whining if I complain much about it.

      …truthfully there have been times over the years when things very possibly would have panned out better for me had I decided more complaining was justified…but it’s an unfortunate feature of the world that there’s pretty much a guarantee that somebody, somewhere is having a worse time of it than you are…often someone you know & a lot nearer by than the baltic…& I strongly suspect it being hard to maintain a healthy perspective about that is universal, albeit that means including both directions of travel, as it were?

      …that being the case…& being as how, personally speaking, I find the thing that best manages to keep my sense of perspective on an even keel is hearing other people speak their minds…something which has obviously been a significantly less abundant resource in person over the last couple of years or so…& even when that hasn’t been true is pretty susceptible to the whole echo chamber thing…so there’s one other thing I’d like to note that’s sort-of-tenuously an example of…if not necessarily endurance…then at the very least perseverance

      …back in the day I enjoyed the comments sections of the sites that started out with gawker & evolved (or perhaps more accurately devolved) into what’s left of kinja very much in part because they offered that kind of perspective adjustment…with a copious side-order of humor & a preponderance of goodwill…provided you had a sense for who to pay attention to…it’s probably not an exaggeration to say that through the bulk of the previous administration the comments of primarily (though by no means exclusively) splinter kept me from entirely losing my mind at the seeming insanity of the trajectory the english speaking world seemed uninclined to pull out of…which is very probably a pretty large part of why when they shuttered splinter it took barely a matter of days before I decided to try & build an account that would let me keep a feed of the several hundred commenters whose handles I’d become familiar enough with to be able to remember, track down & follow

      …in quite literally a matter of hours that crowd of people had made it clear that what I’d actually done was to accidentally kick off a sub-blog after the ability to do that in the backtalk/groupthink mold had been quietly murdered while nobody was looking…which may well to date have been the most fun I’ve ever fallen into online…for the few weeks that got away with being a thing before kinja took enough notice to forcibly dismember & ultimately nuke it…& all the other sub-blogs that frankly deserve a better class of afterlife than I think most if not all have found…with the possible exception of the folks at discourse.com…who I like to think might have been paying enough attention to us messing about in the margins to have perhaps taken a view that imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery…& that there might be enough people willing to buy in to the afterlife angle in a literal sense to keep some bills paid

      …not least because the nuking of the sub-blogs in addition to the RIP accounts (which much as I neither liked nor respected I could at least see some potential justification for) I honestly believe was approximately as chickenshit a move as the way that organization treated their staff…particularly after the union stuff got going…& I’m inclined to think the way that whole thing went with the SplinterRIP account makes a pretty valid case that not only were the commenters on those sites one of the biggest draws…& a commensurately sized asset to the business…it was one that the executive level was actively hostile to in a manner & to a degree that to me smacks beyond a reasonable doubt of a less decried but entirely more accurate definition of the much touted cancel culture I too frequently hear exponents of claim publicly (& stridently) to be victims of

      …all of which I suppose is a (characteristically) long-winded way to get around to the part where in the absence of the kinja of old…the fact this place existed through the last few years…& that the rest of you continue to endure the extreme-scrolling events that are pretty much all my posts & probably too many of my comments with enough good grace to produce posts & threads like this one is something I (somewhat ironically) appreciate more than I can put into words…& am quite certain I am better off for

      • Ngl, Jake, when I ended up with that first follow & saw the link to the SplinterRip sub-blog, at first, I thought you were either one of the furniture-selling scammers, or one of the GT shit-stirrers trying to start capital-D *DRAMA*😉😄🤣💖

        quickly realized you fell into the category of neither of the aboveobviously!💖💞💫

        But back then–when GT had that handful of folks (or maybe it was just 1-2 folks with multiple accounts?), that was a much more likely scenario (from my experience anyway!😅🤣🤣), than a real person like you, who was trying to be awesome & to bring us all *together* rather than causing petty in-fights & shit-stirring😉💖

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