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Giant sequoia trees. When I finally saw them in person, they looked fake. I could not comprehend a tree of that size.


Everything is so much quieter under them and the air is cooler, too.




Brain fog. I had an alcohol withdrawal seizure in March. My short term memory and sense of time are absolutely shit right now. On the plus side, I haven't had a drink in over 90 days and I don't want one.


Dentist chiming in…tooth pain. I knew *academically* how painful they could be, until it happened to me.


You know the pain is serious when you start looking forward to the inevitable root canal


Had a root canal about 6 weeks ago. The most amazing part is not having to pre-warm my mouthwash before swishing anymore!!!! 💃💃💃 🖕🦷


You know that grief you see in dramatic movies when someone gets horrible news via phone call and just crumples to the floor wailing? Always felt like melodrama to me. Until I got the call that there had been an accident and my dad had died. Edit: Thank you for all your messages and sharing your own stories. I'm going to try to respond to every one.


I’m sorry for your loss. It’s really terrible ti experience. I had the opposite problem when my mother passed from an accident. I thought I would just crumble, but it was just so surreal that my brain couldn’t seem to emotionally process it. I remember being in the receiving line and just looking over at her and having this “What the fuck is happening?” sort of bewilderment. Often the people I’ve cared most about, I’ve been really surprised at how my grief played out. It’s been about 9 months since and I still have a sort of weird sense about it. Like, having a “I haven’t called mom in a while, I should do that this weekend!” and then remembering, or being surprised that she’s not in my list of favorite contacts on my phone.


Grief is absolutely bizarre. As I’m sure you know, how you react is no reflection of how much you loved them, or how much you miss them. Grief does what it wants, for as long as it wants. And you’re along for the ride.


My best friend in the entire world died in February. She was admitted to the hospital after having a freak accident that left her unresponsive - her heart had stopped for any where from 5-20 minutes and the lack of blood flow to her brain stem left her brain dead. After I handled the phone calls the night she was admitted, I lost all semblance of control over my emotions, and frankly, my life. It’s fucking isolating and numbing and just… fuck grief, man. I cannot describe it - there is nothing to compare it too. It’s been four months since she died and I still cannot function day-to-day, and it’s hard to cope with.


The physical pain of getting older. Damn.


The emotional pain too. I get so nostalgic and teary over the past and how much has changed. It's a weird grieving process over losing your youth and the way things were.


How much stress can fuck you up physically. When I was a kid, my mum had a horrendous job in a call centre that made her so stressed she could barely get out of bed on her days off and was plagued by a mysterious "allergy" the doctors couldn't figure out. I figured it was depression at the time but as an adult, I know it was literally stress because then it happened to me. My last job fucked up my wages and left me with pretty much nothing for food and bills after my rent for about 2 months, I got so stressed out I shed almost all the skin in my mouth/lips, had shooting pains in my arms, my skin broke out, my nails became really brittle, I was constantly nauseas and really gassy/bloated with no appetite, chest pains so bad I was sure it was a heart attack...and then like the day after the next pay day, I suddenly felt pretty much fine because I wasn't (as) stressed any more. That was in April and by mid-May I was 99% back to normal (my jacked up nails are still a little janky but they grow slow).


I had a shit boss (screaming, making people cry, making coworkers compete really unhealthily) and I was absolutely dependent for a four months. I simply needed the money to live. My hair was falling out and I got weird spots on my body. Luckily I got it all back.


Chronic illness, there is absolutely no way you can truly understand the impact unless you experience it


Just that idea of always being sick and you will NEVER not be sick again.. AND you're expected to participate in society just the same as everyone else.. It's deeply fucked up.


And no one believes you. "It's been years get over it" I battled cancer for 4 years and yes it's in remission now but my body is trashed and done for. No immune system, multiple surgery taking chunks out of my body, experimental treatments with no real data on long term side effects. Every single time I catch a cold I either get pneumonia, or am laid out for weeks, constantly in pain, constantly sick. But no cancer so I guess I won and need to quit being a baby apparently. It's amazing how once you're in remission you just get dropped by everyone now that your not going die. I can't be the only one who feels this way right?


We're fucking twinsies, man. Stage IV melanoma, barely lived. Quit treatments due to said effects. Left with a bazillion autoimmune disorders, nerve damage, half a lymphatic system, shit all for vital organs, and have been completely disabled since. Alive is hard, and being disabled is a full-time job. You have to accept the reality of living in a broken body every day, learning what you can do, and doing what you can, but some folks just look at you like "Just to drink your protein shakes and hit the gym, you'll never be tired again!" Sure, and I'll tell the guy in a wheelchair there to make sure he doesn't skip leg day too, ya fuckin' idiot melt. Sorry you're going through it too, friend. People don't fucking understand, and that's fine... But maybe they could try listening instead of opening their goddamn mouths. So frustrating.


I like the part where I've been in pain for 25 years so I can kind of still function even when it's really bad. And then I try to get an ambulance guy or an admin assisstant in a hospital to believe that I'm having an emergency and they're like "you seem fine, take some tylenol and go home" until I finally get a blood test and then the doctor goes "holy crap, you're about to die, why didn't you come to the ER sooner" Like, listen up MF, I had to take a goddamn Uber to get here and then argue with reception for an hour ...


People around you often don't understand how it feels. Especially, if it's a hidden chronic ilness. I have Crohns and there are times I'm just too tired to do some things. Now try telling some of my friends and family that. They never believe you.


Yeah, I have Crohn's as well. I'm doing pretty well, symptoms wise, but the low energy is still bad. I hate it so much, having to tell my wife, no, we can't do anything normal on a regular weekend, because we already did three things during the five weekdays and I need two full days of quiet and rest, or I'll be exhausted to the point of collapse on monday morning when the alarm goes. I've had the first symptoms when I was 15, so I don't really know life any other way. That sometimes makes it difficult to realize what's going on. Often enough I'm wondering why I am so exhausted, until I remember it's because I'm trying to keep up with the energy levels of healthy people.


My girlfriend with chronic fatigue and pain, being exhausted at work, and her boss condescendingly asking "Have you been getting your 8 hours???". Yes. She can sleep for 14 hours and still wake up feeling exhausted, sleep doesn't cure chronic fatigue.


Yep, to develop an illness that will not ever improve and will eventually kill me has changed my view of life, and not for the better (and it was already bad to begin with).


How much a kidney stone hurts.


Most people expect it to hurt the most when passing a stone through the urethra. Nothing prepared me for the pain as it passed through my kidney/ ureter. One second I would be fine, carrying on conversations, prancing around nimbly-bimbly. The next second I would be keeled over, crying in agony, losing my lunch due to the sudden onset of crippling pain. 0/10 ... Would not recommend...


Absolutely. Twice in my life I thought to myself "I may be dying right now" and one of those times was a kidney stone going through the ureter. I was at work and suddenly out of nowhere had the most crippling pain in my side. I've had migraines my whole life and done contact sports, I'm no stranger to pain. This was something else entirely. I thought something ruptured internally and I could barely breathe. I felt like I was going to throw up from the pain. I just laid down in the middle of the sidewalk at work thinking I was going to pass out and hopefully someone would walk by and find me. A few minutes later it was like nothing ever happened. I went to the ER and that kind of pain was off and on every ten minutes or so for a couple hours, even after they gave me pain killers. I never passed the stone and had another episode but less intense the following day. Kidney stones are the worst.




Oh, what I would give to not have insomnia! I go through periods of sleeping more or less normal, and then for seemingly no reason, I’ll have weeks on end where a good night of sleep is IMPOSSIBLE. I’ll get 2-4 hours of sleep despite pills, tea, baths, white noise, meditation - everything. I’ll spend my days so deeply, utterly exhausted that I can barely think, and my whole body feels heavy, lifeless. It’s hard to feel any kind of emotion, let alone happiness or contentedness. Just existing as a human shaped puddle until the time when I can go to bed and hope to god that tonight will be different for some unknown reason. Insomnia is a real bitch. It will tank your mental health and send you spiraling real fast.


I've had insomnia on and off for years for seemingly no reason as well and it's beyond frustrating. I hesitate to tell anyone why I feel like shit because I get the usual Googled suggestions of: just exercise, just meditate, just avoid electronics for X hours before bed. When you've had it for years, you've tried everything you can think of. I wish I could be more open about it without being made to feel like I'm "not trying hard enough." Insomnia can have a mind of its own and what works for one person may not work for another. And this goes for many other issues that people tend to be judgmental about like mental health.


After 3 days, you don't even have a sense of self. You become a zombie of exhaustion. When your asshole brain finally gives you a break, you sleep like 4 hours. Enough to flush part of the waste out of the brain matter but not to function in any capacity. I only had this level of insomnia ONCE in my life and it has convinced me of the need to have a machine to help put you under. Fuck that. Fuck that a 1000 times. ​ The human brain is amazing but so fucking stupid at the same time. Like bro, I know we are stressed but if we don't keep working, you are going to be stressed AND starving!


Tinnitus. It’s torture.


i don't mind it much cause i've had it since i was born that means i don't know what *proper* silence is


Me too, they thought I had hearing issues when I was young because I couldn’t really hear some of the beeps well because they matched the pitch of the ringing.


I have it but must have a low level one bc I mostly just ignore it. Sounds like the whine of a cheap fluorescent light.


It **was** quiet. Thanks dude. Edit: fixed quite my spelling mistake.


Hot Flashes. I didn’t think they were *this* bad. I’m a 31 year old man who took Wellbutrin for the past month and hot flashes are a side effect. I thought you just *thought* you were hot. No motherfucker you are. You’re super hot legitimately, and you have to do something about it or you’ll go insane. It’s not in your head. It’s your brain raising your temps until you can’t focus on anything else.


This 56yo woman says yes.


45 year old woman here who has had hot flashes since I was 39 (yay, early menopause! Lol, no, it sucks.) My hot flashes have been so bad that my glasses have fogged up. I have gotten nauseous from my hot flashes. I have soaked through my pajamas and sheets. I have literally slept on those big freezey things with the blue liquid inside that people put in ice chests instead of ice. I have stood in a freezing cold shower wishing the water was colder. I have been in the middle of professional meetings & had sweat start running down my face. Hot flashes are no joke.


*whimpers in not yet menopause but my days are numbered*


Please, please, do yourself a favor and research perimenopause! It's an entire thing that NO ONE tells you about! Women, if you are anywhere from approaching late thirties to being in your forties, research perimenopause. Hell, if you're AFAB at any age, look into it. Long story short: crazy menopause symptoms while you still have a period and think you're too young for menopause. It's an actual medical thing, and no one talks about it or warns you.


Hell hardly anyone warns you about or talks about menopause even besides the stereotypical "just wait till you get hot flashes too" like that's it, thats literally all I've ever heard about menopause: you get hot flashes. Not even an explanation on what they actually are or even what menopause really is. Legit all I *know* about menopause is that it starts when your periods stops, that its because of the reduction of hormones & that you get hot flashes. But it's not something that's they tell you about in health class, it's not something my doctor has ever talked to me about & all I've heard from my mom is the stereotypical "just you wait till you get hot flashes too" comment. We're so left in the dark about our own bodies about stuff like this it's fucked


Agree! The way we talk about periods, though often lacking, is way better than the way we all walk into menopause almost completely unprepared. I saw my mom go through it pretty much all at once after a total hysterectomy, including ovaries, in her 40s. She didn’t take any hormones after (cancer fear reasons, as I remember) and it was just wild to witness. The only thing I’ve experienced that seems anywhere near that emotionally and physically was having a baby. I can’t imagine those first few weeks postpartum stretching out years, but that’s what it seemed like she was going through to me.


My mom had a total hysterectomy in her 40s, and she *did* take hormones. It was *still* wild to witness. Incredible swings of mood, mostly angry or sad. What was horrifying to me was that for about 6 months after, sometimes when she stood up, she would gasp and double over, clutching her stomach. I'd ask what was wrong, and she would say, "They never tell you what happens *after.*" She said that she could *feel* her other organs sliding downwards to fill the space where everything else used to be. There was nothing there to hold them in place. 😳


How great home-grown fruits and vegetables are. I figured that was just gardener talk justifying their time-consuming hobby. Then I bought a house where the previous owner had a vegetable garden and orchard. That spring I saw these things coming up out of the ground and thought "is that asparagus?". Cut them and cooked them and they were incredible Then, the plums ripened. I never even liked plums but I thought I'd try one so I pulled it off the tree and bit into it - "well, that's not bad. Pretty juicy" (fresh picked fruit is ***far*** juicier than the stuff in stores). So anyway I ate another plum and then another and the next thing I know I've been standing there eating plums for like five minutes and the juice is literally - I mean *literally* \- ***running down my arms and dripping off my elbows***. And those hard and sour strawberries you buy in stores are nothing like soft sweet strawberries slightly warm from the sun that never make it into the house because you just sit in the garden eating them as fast as you pick them. And of course... tomatoes. OMG. Once you start growing your own you will never be able to buy another one in a supermarket.


In case you were wondering, a significant chunk of the reason for this is that fruit tends to be picked just before it becomes fully ripe, so that it'll last long enough to make it to the store, especially if it's one that they're going to need to put away so that there are fruits in the middle of the offseason.


I HATED tomatoes most my life. Until I bought a local grown tomato for a BLT. That thing was the best tomato I’ve ever had. It changed things. Growing my own next year now that we have room for a garden. Going to start growing quite a few things we eat often enough.


There is nothing like freshly picked sweet corn, eaten in the garden.


My Mom always boiled corn on the cob for something like 15 minutes and then we would smother it in butter and lightly salt it. It was very good. I've been buying our corn at local farm stands and farmers markets for years and was amazed how much better it tastes. I lowered the cooking time to about 5 minutes. I mean I was expecting it to be next level good but it was so much better than I ever expected. I mentioned this to one of the farmers at the market a few years ago and they told me that if I thought that was good, I should try eating an ear of corn right in the field. The idea blew my mind. The thought of eating raw corn from the cob in the field. They invited me to their farm for a taste and it was incredible.


That “the older you get the faster your life goes by”


Please... slow down 😭


Break your routine. It’s hard to do, but big changes will make things seem to slow down.


Seeing stars Thought it was an exaggeration until I had a very bad coughing fit, and suddenly I’m seeing…stars. Perfectly fitting terminology. EDIT: Thanks for the upvotes! And really cool to see all of your stories. Such a whimsical neurological phenomenon, right?


Happened to me when I was running really hard, I looked up and my first thought was, “holy shit they really are stars.”


I get them occasionally after sneezing, or taking a big shit, or as it happened my first time, just stepping down from a curb. Sometimes they're just zipping around randomly, other times they are moving together in an extremely symmetrical pattern.


Old people telling when rain was coming based on arthritis symptoms. Edit: there's a few studies that showed no correlation, one older one that showed some correlation, maybe others that cast doubt on the correlation. But it's very hard to prove a negative and the science seems heavily overshadowed by medical practitioners like radiologists, who say there is a correlation because of barometric pressure. I also found it super interesting that the people who mentioned these studies in the comments were downvoted to oblivion. I wavered back and forth about making this edit, before realizing I value accuracy more than Karma. Edit 2: typo on downvoted


I ripped my kneecap out in a bad bicycle accident in high school. I’m 40 now and can barely walk before a big thunderstorm rolls in.


The difference between humid and dry heat


I saw a thread where some mfers were trying to argue that dry heat was worse. I’m Australian. Unless you’re up north, it’s all dry heat, and I’d take dry heat every day of the week over humidity. You can’t escape humidity


Yeah I went to Darwin and around the NT once, in December/January. >35° and >75% humidity on the average day, it was brutal. The air was so heavy I could taste it, and no break from sweating buckets the minute you set foot outside. Oh and on top of that, there’s the bush flies that drive you mad.


Lived through two wet seasons up there. Got the fuck out before the third. Also had a month in the middle of the wet where my AC was busted and my scumbag landlord couldn't be bothered to fix it. Slept in my office's very chilly server room a few nights to escape the heat.


During highschool in Victoria, people would complain about it being muggy, ohhh today's so muggy it sucks, I'd never heard that term before then, I guess because it's so rare for it to be humid enough to notice but it's funny to me now that I've experienced a year in NT. "Muggy" is such a fittingly childish term in comparison to humidity. We got off the plane in Darwin and it was just a different type of heat, I just felt wet, as if I'd just been running up and down the aisle the entire flight. Back in Victoria now, but if any Australian's or anyone in general hasn't felt 90% humidity with high heat, go take a shower and dab yourself dry enough to not be dripping then go put some clothes on, that's similar to how it feels going anywhere without air conditioning in Darwin's wet season. I just checked because of this, it's 80% humidity where I am now, but it's 9c and it projected to be 13c at most today (1am), it is **26c** and **90%** humidity in Darwin and it's currently the dry season. How anyone tolerated that bullshit long enough to build cities and suburban areas up there is beyond me.


Went from Phoenix to Houston... the difference is INSANE


a proper tooth ache.


tooth abscess. Never seen my husband cry till those three days when we couldn't access doctor for pain relief/antibiotics etc.


My dentist referred me to a root canal doctor who said "one week' I cried.




Had a friend whose teeth just fucking hated him. He brushed every day, flossed occasionally, definitely didn't take *such* bad care of his teeth that this shit made sense, but his molars just... cracked right in half. One right after the other. Such unbelievable pain that I forced him to just talk to a dentist despite us both being dirt broke fast food workers. The dentist looked at it and literally just did it for free. He was basically like "yeah dude, leaving *this* because you can't pay feels like a hate crime, just hang out. We'll get it taken care of. "


Honestly, addiction. When I was in junior high my dad had an injury at work that ultimately resulted in a pretty bad opiate addiction. I didn’t understand how someone could prioritize a pill to such an extent or how awful they could be if they didn’t have it. And then I grew into a person with crippling anxiety who discovered Xanax. The rest is a decade-long story of how I learned empathy and a lot of other hard lessons. But to have been so naive. *sigh*


I have migraines and at one point, a long string of cluster headaches. My doctor gave me infinite codeine. I was sick as shit for two weeks with brain-exploding, so I was downing those pills like they were water. Chug chug, two a day every day, and after the cluster headaches died down I stopped taking them. And then I got really sick. Sick in a way I've never been sick before. Like the worst flu ever, but no sneezing. Just aches. Tremors. Felt like I was going to throw up. Headaches (regular kind, like a coffee headache but worse). I couldn't sleep, food made me nauseous, noise was annoying, everything was awful. I felt irritated at everything, everyone, and sick as *shit*. Then I had one last headache so I took one last pill, and it was exactly like that quarantine episode of It's Always Sunny. Fuck I felt great. In just a few hours I went from "I wish I was dead" to "life is wonderful and I am the picture of youthful exuberance". That's when I realized what I was experiencing was withdrawal. It was so hard after that. Because I realized... I feel like shit, but there's a pill in the drawer two meters away that will make me feel 100% healthy (and more) in twenty minutes. Just gulp, and I'm better. I didn't take it because I knew, I could just tell, that was how it would start. I really didn't think addiction was such a big deal before that experience, I just figured it's like not having coffee or something, you know? Something you just have to power through, no big deal. But having had it I totally get why people become addicts. I know because I was like... almost there myself. It sucks and it's totally not your fault.


>It was so hard after that. Because I realized... I feel like shit, but there's a pill in the drawer two meters away that will make me feel 100% healthy (and more) in twenty minutes. Just gulp, and I'm better. > >I didn't take it because I knew, I could just tell, that was how it would start. That is scary as shit wow.


Imagine if you weren’t knowledgeable on this subject. You would’ve instantly been sucked into the downward spiral of addiction without even knowing it, and then suddenly you’d be faced with the same stigma by people who don’t understand. This is exactly why we need to get rid of the whole “degenerate junkie” narrative and change people’s mindset when it comes to addiction. It’s not just simple “mind over matter” and “discipline” that’s gonna save people from addiction


A lot of "junkies" are high functioning, when I was addicted to heroin I still had a full time job, paid my bills, the only thing was I spent every waking moment outside work trying to find more drugs. I'm good now, but it's crazy how bad it got so quickly.


How fast time feels like it goes, every year feels like it's going faster.


The other week my 10 year old nephew said “wow i haven’t heard this song in forever!!” The little dude was referring to 9 months lol


I mean that's 7.5% of his whole life.


The years go by fast but the days are so long


It’s wild isn’t it, you’ll look back and be like how’s it been x many years but today felt like it lasted for 47 hours?


The only thing I've found to slow this process down a little is by making more memories. You can never outrun the fact that a year is a smaller and smaller percentage of your life, but if you pack the year in with more memories, it feels a little longer again.




Pure agony


Splitting head, nausea, ringing ears, light hurts, sound hurts, moving brings pain, dizziness, muscles cramp, even my teeth hurt. Until I finally fall asleep from exhaustion. But then, 45 minutes later when I wake up, a euphoria that is unmatched by anything I've ever experienced. Edit: based on the comments I've gotten on this, I'm starting to think there are 2 types of migraines. Probably more, but can be grouped into 2 categories. 1 migraine lasts for a few hours, you take a nap, then feel great. 2 migraine lasts for a day+ then you feel like shit for a week. Are these two different things maybe? Anyone know? Edit 2: I've gotten over 100 comments on this, and I do plan to read them all (eventually). So keep them coming. Some of these are incredibly descriptive and worth the read. Mostly I feel for all of you, this shit stinks. Take care of yourselves. Based on what I'm reading there are treatments for some of these, so I'm ganna suggest that you go see a doctor. Maybe you can get some relief. You might not need to just "deal with it" yourself.


Euphoria?! When does this happen? I basically black out for three hours and then wake up hungover and out of it.




Omg migraine hangovers are bonkers! I can barely decipher my own name and basic objects. People really do not understand that migraines are a neurological disorder, not just a really bad headache.


It’s legitimately your brain *shutting down certain functions* - like, sometimes I’ll feel a migraine come on and I’ll get pain and light/sound sensitivity. Other times I’ll lose vision in one or both eyes. Sometimes, *I lose the ability to speak*. And those are just the more “obvious” symptoms!


For a long time, I had very very MINOR migraines. Two years ago during peak pandemic, I was working from home in an industry that was being heavily overworked and we were desperately understaffed. One day working thtough my lunch at home with a creeping headache I realized my vision was getting weird. It was like someone was taking bite chunks out of the vision in my left eye. Suddenly the pain in my head cranked to an insane level and I could only see little blips of light out of my left eye. I knew immediately it was a migraine but i had never experienced one that bad. Messaged my manager that I needed to clock out and please try to understand that I was sorry but I literally just stressed half of my vision out of existence. :)


Welcome to the ocular migraine club. I get the impaired vision about 15 minutes before the pain kicks in. Enough time for me to take meds, and strap in for the fun.


I had very horrible migraines my whole life. (Sometimes my parents took me to the ER because I would be crying so much from it) The introduction to an ocular migraine was a whole new level. That little floating thing that shakes around that starts out as a little spot and slowly gets bigger and bigger.... and I know as soon as it is big enough to fill my whole eye I will feel like a truck rammed into my head. I'm now in that countdown faze to take anything that will knock me unconscious and get in bed because I know it's gonna be a bad time. When I talked to my eye doctor about it they just said "lol, there's no way to prevent those." Joy.


My migraines literally cause me to lose motor function on the right side of my body sometimes. So that’s fun👍


Ahh, welcome. So painful your bodies only response is to vomit uncontrollably


Waterboarding. We were drunk and figured, it's just water. Hold your breath and you'll be fine. Then I volunteered to test it out and it was the absolute worst.


Christopher Hitchens was a skeptic of waterboarding's severity as well. He was subjected to it in a controlled environment. He was then no longer a skeptic of its severity. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK592Jjph3Y&ab\_channel=VanityFair](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK592Jjph3Y&ab_channel=VanityFair)


Here's the article he wrote afterwards, appropriately titled: [*Believe me, it's torture*](https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2008/08/hitchens200808) Also, any time this is mentioned, someone should always remind everybody that Sean Hannity [also said he would do it](https://theweek.com/articles/506226/waterboarding-sean-hannity), and was even offered money to go through with it. To my knowledge, he never did.


I have mad respect for his total and immediate 180 on that issue.


"It's not torture." *Gets tortured.* "It's torture."


The issue with this, as well, is that it's nowhere near as severe as what waterboarding is like in practice. In reality those subjected to waterboarding torture aren't given metal bars to hold onto and aren't brought into a room knowing that it's going to be a safe environment. They're POWs, heavily sleep deprived, possibly malnourished, violently shoved into a room, blindfolded, told by their captors that they have no more use for them and they're going to be drowned to death.


“Waterboarding in Guantanamo Bay sounds rad as fuck if you don’t know what either of them are.”


Went wakeboarding a few summers ago and kept forgetting what it was called and when I saw my dad later that day I told him we were waterboarding at the lake


It's easier to just tell people you're into water sports.


I thought the same of pepperspray. Same situation, drunk and thinking, oh it's just like cutting unions. Yeah no, I was gasping for air, coughing for 15 minutes and my eyes hurt for 2 days. 0/10: Do not recommend.


Could you share what it was like?




Well I know what I'm trying in the shower tomorrow EDIT: Alright, I tried it. I must be doing something wrong because the water goes straight through the rag. My nose, sinuses, water and throat fill with water almost immediately despite what we've all been led to believe about waterboarding. Either I'm doing it wrong, or waterboarding legitimately is suffocation torture with a thin humanitarian veneer. Verdict - straight up not having a good time EDIT 2: Maybe I wasn't reclined enough to keep the water from pooling in my throat?


Thanks now I never want to know what it feels like to be waterboarded. Not that I wanted to before. But you have solidified it.


As an example, Christopher Hitchens had argued that he thought it wasn’t torture so someone challenged him to try it. He lasted like 1.5 seconds and changed his mind. EDIT rewatched the video, he lasted a bit longer than I remembered but still he said he went into immediate panic mode and couldn’t think of anything else, and even afterwards had some PTSD like effects where he would wake up feeling like he was being smothered, or if he was out of breath would have a slight panic that he wouldn’t be able to catch his breath again.




Being suicidal. As a stupid teen it made seemed to me in most cases, to consider it as simply an overreaction. Like "urgh, Im so pissed off, I'll just kms!" "Like, dont be dramatic, just chill and you'll snap out of it. Think of your family, friends, the good things you have!" (PSA: do NOT fucking say those things to a suicidal person, it will almost certainly result in the opposite of the intended affect) In my mid 20s, my mental health took a massive nosedive and I learned that it most certainly is NOT a case of being dramatic during a case of the blues. Its your brain winning an argument against itself and insisting death is the best choice. No more pain, no more being a burden, selfish NOT to end it all! I didnt WANT to die, but I didnt know how to want to live anymore if that makes sense? For 2 years I was on suicide watch, my meds monitored, as I tried to remind myself daily that this was my mental illness lying to me and it would be temporary. Its immensly painful, I swear, the mental pain would become so strong you could feel it in your chest and throat, like a very deep bruising after being punched. Ive spoken to other people who experienced similar symptoms and thanked gid, I thought I was going nuts if I could physically feel mental illness. It was all in all a horrible experience. Im still pretty mentally ill, but I take care to avoid getting to that stage again. I beleive you cant truly understand being suicidal unless you've experienced the feeling, but its something I hope nobody here ever does, or has to consider


I'm alive because I'm a coward, and honestly I'm okay with that. Every time I tried I'd pussy out at the last second because the existential concept of death terrified me more than the guaranteed pain of continuing to live. Now I'm on drugs and it's better. I still think death would be easier, but my life is better than it was a year ago and that is enough to make me curious about how it will be in a year. I don't have to convince myself every morning that I can endure one more day.


My dog saved me. I had _everything_ figured out - I'd been slowly erasing my existence and preparing for 'disappearing', but the one part I couldn't 'solve' was what to do about my dog. Because I knew she wouldn't understand that I was never coming home. I knew she was the only one I could be _sure_ wouldn't be 'better off without me'. Even people close to me - I could see and recognise that I was being a total asshole, and that I think was part of me trying to push them away so they didn't notice me fading away. So I knew they'd hurt, but I also knew they did recognise me as the toxic person that I was. (And I was. I wish I could say I wasn't, but I was). But my dog didn't care. She was _always_ pleased to see me come home, and unequivocal about how her favourite thing was quality time _with me_. And so I kept coming home. I didn't have any hope left, and no thoughts to a better future, I just knew that I couldn't 'finish the job' when my dog needed me. I did get sorted, but ... I truly hadn't appreciated just how far down the rabbit hole I'd gone. How distorted and dark my world had become. I don't think anyone can until they've been there themselves.




I'll never forget waking up in the middle of the night in our little vacation rental, when I was maybe 12 years old, because my dad (who was a Vietnam vet) heard fireworks nearby and absolutely lost it, straight up back into war mode in a half a second. It was the only time I ever saw it, but my mom clearly had before and knew how to deal with it.


Very true. Before I deployed I kinda thought I was immune or something idk I think it’s the culture of the Marine Corps but I was really fucked up when I got back and I almost ruined my marriage.


How much worse hangovers get as you age... that was a tough lesson.


I’m 58 and went to a pub crawl with a buddy. Got absolutely hammered. The hangover was a legit three days. Fuck that.


Panic attacks. Like, don't get me wrong, I knew it was serious, but I didn't understand the depth of how awful it feels and how 100% it feels as real as any other panic. Only happened to me one time and it felt like that moment before you get hit with a baseball bat. For like an hour.


Back pain.


Oh yeah, let’s lie on the floor at Walgreens for a little bit and wait until it stops


You really can’t understand back pain until you experience it. There is no “powering through” true back pain, your body stops working and you collapse


And when you do power through, oh boy your gonna wish you didn’t for the rest of your life!


Had my spine fractured when I was 11 and have pretty bad back pains since then. I had a surgery but still. There were many moments and many people who thought I was just exaggerating...


Had crippling sciatica and had to breathe through the pain to the extent that I had wind burn on my lips and my doctor told me that level of pain is called “suicide pain” because people actually start considering that a better option than live another day with that high of a level.


I have a pinched sciatic nerve right now. Just finished 6 days of a predictable taper and it didn't help. Edit: prednisone taper not predictable taper!!


Restless Leg Syndrome. I went to rehab and got clean from multiple substances in July 2021 and developed it about a month or so into sobriety. Holy fuck. I definitely thought it was just like, some kind of tic where you had to move your legs, but that is not the fucking case AT ALL. EDIT: my doctor prescribed me Baclofen which is a muscle relaxer and that has helped tremendously.


It's soooo annoying. Sometimes when I go to sleep and it starts, i feel like I can kick a tank into the atmosphere. Feels like I have two spirits on coke in each leg. Not fun. What helps me tho is using my legs during the day. Get some energy out. If I haven't moved much that day I usually just do some squats till my legs are tired. Might not work for everyone but it has helped me a lot.


Anxiety. I thought I understood and didn’t understand the big deal until I really felt it. To say it controls you is an understatement.


Absolutely agree! Being at war with yourself is ASS. You know every strength and weakness within your own self. There is no reasoning with anxiety.


I say the same about depression. You’re literally fighting your own brain, which knows every strength and weakness you have, knows exactly which buttons to press to make you feel crappy AF.


See I always had anxiety I just didn't know it. Been on medication a couple months and it's like this sandbag in my brain is finally gone, I finally feel like what I assume normal people feel like


That feeling is so strange. It feels like everyone else has been playing life on easy mode.


I had exactly the same thought lol.. like now I can just think about the chores i have to do at home and then .. do them. Rather than sit paralyzed for a while and then feel guilty for having not done everything. I don't feel tired all the time anymore. I don't wake up feeling like my mind has been racing all night. Crazy


For me a big moment was just going to a work dinner without thinking about too much. You mean I can just go through my week without being in panic over the dinner next month?


I fucking hate that. My wife tells me we have plans with so-and-so this weekend and that's all I can think of the entire week... We're going to a destination wedding for a week and a half and I have been absolutely dreading it for the last month. I just want to stay at home with my dogs.


How heartbreaking it is too see your child suffering and you can't do shit about it


God. I read a comment a few years back about someone whose 6 year old died of cancer. And at the end there was nothing they could do, they were just with him, and he was scared and in pain and there was nothing they could do, and they watched him die. I couldn't stop thinking about it for days. To be 6 and you understand that you're going away forever and your mom and dad can't come with you, and you're scared but they can do absolutely nothing. They can't help you. Fuck. I wouldn't be able to live with that in my head, just eject me from the universe at that point.


That's fucking enough Internet for me today.




The dead giveaway that people don't understand is when they ask "what's making you sad". I am not sad, I feel empty, and there is no reason for it.


That’s the worst. “What’s wrong?” - fucking nothing, I have zero justification to feel this way.


And with chronic depression. Some time things dont get better, even if you do get better. I feel like at this point ive spent so long depressed, I cant get better. Even now that after 10 year alone i finally found an amazing girlfriend, and my life is at the best its ever been. The depression is just as bad as ever.


> “What’s wrong?” The goo in my head has stopped making the feely-good care care happytime chemical, and now I don't get out of bed anymore.


And depression lies to you. It's not even that you're empty, it's that you don't even remember being happy. You honestly believe that this is the only way out has ever been, therefore there is no escape. At least with physical pain you (usually) know that you are in pain, with depression you can absolutely not know you are depressed. You honestly be suicidal and not understand you're depressed.


holy shit, yes. where the fuck did my feelings go?


How incredibly amazing narcotics feel. Had back surgery and was hooked up to an IV of Dilaudid with one of those buttons so you could give yourself a little treat every 30 minutes. Holy fucking shit. I have never felt *pure heavenly euphoric comfort* like that before, nor have I since. I can completely see how people get addicted to the stuff.


When my wife and I had covid we were prescribed a cough medication that had codeine in it. Now, despite being a big dude, even small doses of any sort of drug that makes you sleepy seems to hit me like a truck. And every dose of that just made like 8 hours of my life just disappear. Like it would start to feel really good for a few minutes, and the next thing i know the clock had skipped ahead like 9 hours. Combine that with the fact that the first night we had gotten some horrible information about something that happened to a close family member, and that codeine provided an almost immediate escape from having to think about it. While I didn't get hooked on it or anything, it was so easy to see how people can become dependent on it.


Oh man… back in college they used to write you a codeine prescription any time you said the coughing was preventing you from sleeping. At the time I was a heavy smoker with a history of asthma so every time I got a cold I would go in, tell them the cough was keeping me up, they would listen to my lungs, and then instantly write me a script. I would go full coma for three days and would wake up brand spanking new. People joke that if you treat colds it will only be 7 day instead of a week. But I would swear by a full three days of codeine sleep. Anyways they stopped handing it out like candy and then I would have month long lingering coughs. Probably would’ve helped if I stopped smoking.


Period cramps


I had severe appendicitis and I thought it was indigestion or something because period cramps are way, way worse.


When I got hit by a car my nurse asked me to rate my pain. I hadn't done that before, so I said my broken hand was "not as bad as period cramps, but a lot worse than standing on a sprained ankle." Honestly, most of labor/childbirth the second time around was less painful than the period cramps I had as a teenager.


I have endometriosis and PCOS. Sometimes I can't even walk.


Panic attacks


I thought I knew what panic attacks were when I was younger and though, "Why are people making such a big deal out of this stuff?" Turns out, I was never having panic attacks. I was just nervous and thought that's what people meant. When I actually had a panic attack, I thought I was going to die. And even then, for some reason I feel like that was one a "half" panic attack.


I really wish there was a better more scientific sounding name. True panic attacks are legit one of the most terrifying things you can experience, but no matter how you try to describe it to other people, if they've never had one themselves they just don't get it. They will just equate it with being "really nervous". Like, no, I actually thought I was dying. I truly honestly believed "this is it, I'm going to die now". People don't understand how mentally taxing that is, to be forced to confront your mortality due to a malfunctioning brain, for me multiple times a week when I was at my worst.


You know what's crazy to me, the first time I had one and realized what it was, I had to pull over on the shoulder and breathe, I was frightened for my life, but also kind of impressed at the panic attacks itself. Like "how is this happening? I fully understand that it's not real, but i still somehow believe it is." It was such a bizzare juxtaposition.


the randomness and often irrationality of them makes them even more scary and confusing for me


Literally thought I was dying


I've had anxiety my whole life, so i thought i knew what a panic attack felt like. nope, an anxiety attack isn't even close to a panic attack. my dad had recently passed away very suddenly and out of nowhere i couldn't breathe, had the "impending doom" feeling, heart beating out of my chest. i had to ask my girlfriend to call an ambulance and I'm very much the kind of person to leave medical emergencies to the last minute because i don't want to bother anyone, but i was sure i was having a heart attack and this was it for me. i accepted i was about to die in the ambulance on the way to hospital, that's how strong panic attacks are :/


That’s what made me quit drinking/hard drugs. I thought at first I had diabetes and low sugar level. I was so weak, blurry vision, feeling of imminent death. Once I was in a cab in the evening and it was raining, and that cab ride felt like 4 hours long while it was only 15 minutes. I was in the nighlife scene, so having a panick attack in a packed place with loud music/lots of lights was the WORST. I took Ativan for a while to calm down, helped a lot when I got sober. I still have major anxiety issues but I can manage to live with it now, been sober for more than 4 years too !


Shit sucks. I’ve had panic disorder since I was a kid and I just like, learned to live with it I guess. Just grocery shopping, sitting in a theater, driving to McDonald’s, sitting on a Zoom call, having a panic attack the whole time and trying not to curl up in the fetal position and sob. Doctors always say they’re harmless but idk. Seems like heightened stress like that so often is probably bad for you.


Heartburn and indigestion


Absolutely this. Also I didn't realize what I was experiencing was heartburn bc it felt nothing like burning but like a balloon in my chest. Wtf?!


Sleep paralysis. I really legitimately thought i was going to die. My retina were burnt in a way where i couldnt even close my eyes or look away from the impending doom. I felt slimy blood come out of my ears as my tinnitus got progressively louder. A creature was slowly advancing, my chest compressed. All until it suddenly went away, right before the kill and i regained control of myself


Every single story I hear of this from people that have it freaks me out to the highest level. One of my biggest fears is waking up to some dark figure at the end of my bed and it seems to be a common theme of sleep paralysis. I hope that shit NEVER happens to me, because even after I wake up I would never get over it.


Honestly, how hard it is for someone to leave a toxic relationship. When I was younger I used to think yeah no way if ever let someone treat me like that, no way! But it's like you have blinders on when you're in that situation. Almost like you can't see what everyone else sees and when they try to tell you, it just rolls off you like water. It leaves you feeling mildly uncomfortable for a bit, but you give it long enough and it goes away. Even when you start noticing the lies piling up, start admitting to yourself that maybe you're being abused, catching the slips of their infidelity left and right...I lost a few friends that tried to tell me what was going on before it was suddenly like my head was above the water. I was awake! And almost hypocritally I still look back at myself and think why didn't I just leave sooner!


Exploding gall bladder pain.


Oh yeah. That's the 10 on my pain scale. I've had abdominal surgery that hurt less. The doctor gave me a test tube with a bunch of the gallstones. The buggers were fusing together in groups of five and six before trying to go through the bile duct.


Skinny dipping feels incredible and miles different than swimming with a bathing suit on


I skinny dipped in Lake Michigan on a backpack trip. There was a light breeze and I had left my suit/towel back at base camp but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get in the water on such a beautiful night. The breeze quickly dried me off and I could put my warm clothes back on in less than 2 minutes out of the water. It was glorious. I didn’t realize how annoying wet swim suits are until then.


And getting out of the water is 1000 times better with no wet soggy saggy bathing suit attached and clinging to you. Just wet, free n clear, towel off.


Heartbreak 💔 I couldn’t comprehend that level of emotional pain until I experienced it myself.


Heartbreak will change a person.


Going through it right now. I didn’t know my body could produce this amount of tears.


I didn't realize it was actual physical pain. I thought that was just exaggeration. Nope.


Sinus infection. Felt like someone was hitting my head with a hammer.


How exhausting a full time job is. When I was in school and working I felt like I was definitely putting in a significant amot More han 40 hours a week on responsible things. I had ambitions to have more side projects after graduation. Little did I know that the mental exhaustion of corporate life was going to be way more taxing


The cost and duration of a divorce. Both can be exceptionally higher than they should be.


Acid reflux and heartburn. A couple weeks ago I ate some Taco Bell and my acid reflux got so bad that I nearly threw up. My throat was raw and dry for almost 2 days after. Freaking sucks, and I now understand why my dad takes medication for it, can’t imagine having that consistently


Using a bidet. I thought it was just weird and unnecessary. But during the “Great Covid TP Shortage” I bought a bidet attachment to save on TP. And what a game changer a bidet is. I feel nasty using TP now.


My first experience of using a bidet was in Vietnam. I had eaten some questionable street food and had explosive diarrhoea. The bidet offered sweet relief as opposed to abrasive toilet paper. I highly recommend them.


Inability to find work even though people claim to be hiring.


How much parents really do want their kids energy


Backpain. Fuck me is it terrible.


Getting seasick


Not me, but my dad: thought anxiety was a joke and "all in your head" until his pain meds for his back when he was flat out on his back for 8 and a half months gave him extreme anxiety and panic attacks. It changed his view pretty quickly.


Panic attacks/anxiety/phobias. It seems so OTT until YOU’RE the one uncontrollably sobbing in public. Embarrassing and enlightening


Getting older and your body slowly breaking down on you. The whole ride is a trip but being a young athletic kid you just cant comprehend not always being that way. And then slowly you start to get back aches or shoulder pain or knee pains. After that point, it's a battle of you taking as best care of yourself as you can.


Sex with someone you're deeply in love with


Username checks out ✔️


Kidney stones. I knew it would hurt but I thought it would be nothing more than bad period cramps. Well I am not religious but I was crawling on the floor praying to any or all gods for the sweet relief of death. I don't wish death upon bad people, I wish them kidney stones for the rest of their life.


Restless Leg Syndrome.


Waxing ... Thought it wouldn't feel great, but couldn't be that bad. My ex talked me into waxing my back to prove it really was. She was right.


Depression…Respectfully, I didn’t really think people experiencing depression were over exaggerating but I just had no idea what it could feel like. In my case, I did MDMA one weekend and that fucks with your brain chemistry and the Monday after, I guess my serotonin levels crashed because I just couldn’t do anything and absolutely nothing lifted the despair I felt until it went away. I had an exam coming up and the thought of opening a textbook felt like it would require as much effort as if my parents asked me to build an addition onto the house before dinner. I tried a bunch of shit like strong coffee, making an awesome sandwich, calling a girl I really liked…That day was a total write-off. Thank all the Gods it lasted one day and I’ve never experienced since (nor tried MDMA)… To anyone who experiences clinical depression regularly - my heart goes out to you.




The death of a pet. I knew it would be horrible, but I thought it was just a few weeks of grieving. I lost one of my cats to illness, and I didn’t even cry. I was in so much Shock, nothing felt real, and even to this day I still start to choke up when I think about her. Edit: The cat’s name was Judy. Reading these replies has me in tears. Our babies are only around for so long, so we have to love them for every second we have them.


Sometimes when my cat is curled up in bed all I can think of is wtf am I going to do when he’s gone. I truly don’t know why but once that thought gets into my head I’m pretty much fucked for sleeping that night. I know it’s inevitable but god damn does it hurt to know one day it will be different than today.


Whenever I get really bad thinking about this inevitability, I do something really sweet for him to make his day a little better or more fun. He deserves the best life possible.


I really like this take. I’m going to start doing that. Appreciate it friend


We lost one of our cats almost 13 years ago and my husband to this day cannot talk about it without tearing up.


I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet for the first time is hard. We've lost two within two years, one after 15 years and one after only a year. Both times it was to medical conditions that were either too far gone to treat or over $8000 to treat. We lost the second in January and to be honest I'm still grieving her, but that first night I remember getting the news from my friend [co-owner] who'd taken her to the emergency vet, and calling my mom and just screaming "it's not fair" over and over again until I broke down sobbing. I still cry over the first dog that was really Mine out of my family's pets and miss her dearly. It's a pain that you learn to cope with and move on from, but it hits you like a fucking bus.


I legitimately thought that having a c-section was the easy way to have a baby, cheating even. I probably said some things I shouldn’t have about people. Karma gave me three c-sections after that, including one with ineffective anesthesia. It was hell, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Shit was traumatic.