I had a poignant discussion with one of you in support last night, talking about how we felt about the US election. This user called Beeminder their lifeline. That was so heart-warming and heartening that it snapped me out of my own post-election depression.
Another one: “Even though I feel terrible things I’ve never felt before in 24 years of life, my Beeminder goal will make me clean my apartment for 12 minutes. That’s good.”
And here’s one from years ago (UPDATE: it’s from @bee, qua user-bee, not ex officio; quoted with, and now attributed with, permission) that may be timely now:
I think that it was a good thing I had Beeminder when I was depressed.
I don’t mean to say that Beeminder fixed my depression, but it put a
lower bound on the worst case scenario. You know that thing where,
when depressed, you continue to go through the motions, but you
have this otherworldly sense that you are in fact going through the
motions. You can observe yourself, detached, as if from some
vantage point outside your own self, doing things, and you can’t relate
to yourself or feel anything or get back into your body. You don’t feel
exactly in control, but things are still sliding along hitting all the right
marks and mostly taking all the right cues.
Beeminder gave me motions to keep going through. It was like a stick
I could reach out and use to prod that version of me that I felt so
completely detached from. It didn’t feel like I was winning. And I
certainly wouldn’t predict that it would be like this for everyone, and
perhaps it wouldn’t always be like this for me, but in this case, it
happens that beeminding things kept me getting out of bed. It kept
me engaging in work that I sometimes hated, but usually also
managed to give me some sense of worth and accomplishment. It
kept me doing things that I normally love but the kind of things that
you quit doing when you’re in that state. “I hate everything. So why
bother with this thing I love.” I think that in reality it’s really valuable
to keep keeping up appearances like that. To not retreat completely
out of things you love doing and people you love interacting with.
And don’t forget @philip’s related Beeminder blog post.
How are you all doing?
UPDATE: mea culpa on belated conflict-of-interest disclosure on @bee's quote
crap, i’ve very belatedly realized that the above needed a disclosure (now added)! it’s very genuine and important and true but attributing it to an anonymous user – while also technically true! – was misleading. (bee previously gave her blessing to be quoted anonymously (and, if i recall, had the right intuition all along, saying something like “that seems weird but you’re the ceo so i won’t worry my pretty head”)). it’s really bothering me that i didn’t recognize the need for the disclosure (or if privacy concerns precluded that, then not posting it at all) until now. ok, it’s not like fabricating testimonials or something but it feels bad in a directionally if not magnitudinally similar way and i feel stupid. i guess i finally noticed the badness of this when the topic would come up with users or friends about how beeminder can help with depression and i would point to bee’s quote. i clearly hoped it would persuade people (i still do!) and so, to whatever extent it did so, it was under slightly false pretenses. i mean, true pretenses in spirit in that plenty of other users have reported similar experiences, but, yeah. not ok! i’m really sorry. i feel like i’m normally highly sensitive to this kind of thing and, well, ok, enough said. i screwed up here and resolve to be better from now on!
PPS: Speaking of mea culpas, I’m now kind of gobsmacked that I ever thought it was ok to have an overtly political thread in the Beeminder forum. 2016, such an innocent time! To clarify for posterity: doing this now would be considered grossly off-topic and moderated to oblivion per our new reign-of-terror moderation policy. Luckily everyone who participated here is brilliant and thoughtful and I’m sure this all aged brilliantly. (The first half of that sentence, at least, was non-sarcastic.)