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10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

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As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

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BlackSwan90 is doing 43 things including…

Beat my depression

14 cheers


BlackSwan90 has written 5 entries about this goal

Stupid hopes.

What, the hell, was I thinking.

Why do I say to myself ‘maybe this will happen’. Or ‘maybe I could do this.’ Why do I hope for things that, in reality, I’m just not capable of? Things just do not work out.

I will never have a career. I have no qualifications, I will never, ever, ever go to college/university, other people might beat their social anxiety enough to go back into education but to me university looks HORRIBLE, like high school but older. And with sex, drinking, and clubbing. Also, I have never known what I want to do. I’ve never been particularly good at anything. I have never gone ‘yes, that is the career for me, the job I’d like to do’. I’m 22 next week. I’ve never had a job. My social anxiety is so bad I still struggle to go out in public, something that, after 8 years, I should frankly have gotten over. I should be way further than I am. It’s so PATHETIC how I’ve stood in one place for this long. People must really pity me (in fact, I know someone does. Someone is really impatient with me and thinks I’m a flake. And probably rightly so). The other day I thought ‘maybe I could be a picker and packer.’ Just get the things people have ordered online, pack them up, and ship them. I love online shopping, and I love sending people things. But would I do a job like this for years, for life? And could I really handle even that? No. I doubt it very much. I’m so far gone, in my depression, but mostly in my anxiety, I know I’d freak out. I could never be employed to do anything. I am not reliable. I am not even reliable, to myself. I thought ‘you know what I’d love to be? A magazine columnist.’ Please.

And my long-distance relationship… I’ve been reading a lot of online break-up articles. I wrote a list of reasons it didn’t work out/things I disliked about him, as the articles said to. I planned all the things I will need: ice cream, doritos and dip, chocolate, Bill n Ted, Cosmopolitan, tissues. I chose two ‘break-up buddies’ to help get me through. But. He told me his work timetable and it’s ridiculous. He literally has no time to spare. There is no good time to have That Talk. And today I realised… if I break up with him, I will never see him again. No-one will visit me. I will have no-one to watch movies with. I will have no-one to go out with that I feel safe, and comfortable around. I will have no-one. I’ll be lonely. And while I don’t particularly crave a boyfriend, I do crave friends. I have no local friends. We grew apart a long time ago. My other friend is away at uni. Then there are friends I made online, some I have met some I have not. Because they live so far away, time and money are necessary to see eachother. I am so pathetic, I have trouble with trains. I can’t drive (and never will). They say they they’ll come here to my town, and have a day out, but one is so incredibly busy with her career, she has no free time. Others need to save up enough. I guess I am worried I won’t see them. I wish I could jump on trains and go to meets, I know that is really what is holding me back, what is stopping me from getting out there. Everyone else is train capable. Why aren’t I? I guess I am scared of being alone. I don’t want to be lonely. I am already lonely. Breaking up would make it worse. I don’t talk to him anymore. I haven’t seen him since last July. But he’d visit eventually. Eventually.

I have no friends.
I have a boyfriend ‘of sorts’ that doesn’t talk to me, doesn’t want to see me, miles away across the country that does not want what I want. And that calls me his ex-girlfriend’s name during sex. (I’ve been ‘with’ him 5 years.)
I have no qualifications.
I have no ambition, no motivation, no drive.
I have nothing.

So afraid, weight of the world on my shoulders

I don’t write many entries for this goal. I don’t know why that is. Maybe I try to ignore it and focus on other goals. But I cannot deny that lately, my anxiety and depression combined have gotten to me, I am balancing too many problems and worries and I feel so trapped, so stuck, I can’t ever see these going away, they just pile up and pile up, I feel so powerless and I know there is no-one out there that can really help me.

First, I want so much to enrol for the English course and I have been working hard in preperation, but my confidence is extremely low, it has been 6 years since I was tutored, my vocabulary is terrible, I don’t remember simple grammar and my brain is so foggy all the time I don’t think I can really write good assignments and I’m sure to fail the exams. Plus, my mother doesn’t want me to do it, she says I might fail, and then the £350 will have gone to waste. This makes me feel so hopeless.

Second, I cannot be in this ridiculous ‘relationship’ any longer, it hurts too much. I have been hurting for 4 years and I’m tired of it. I don’t want to be a girl that needs more, that needs a future with someone and commitment, but I have always wanted that with him. I read on a blog the other day, that with men, it’s not what they say it’s what they do. I have known for a long time that he does all the things people say are warning signs, but somehow I have always managed to convince myself that he does love me, that he does want to actually be with me ‘if only he could’, that it was simply the universe against us. It’s bull. He has absolutely no motivation to even talk to me, never mind see me in person. I have decided I cannot be powerless anymore, letting him have all the say and just sitting around wasting my life with a ‘boyfriend’ across the country that might text me some day this week. I’m probably letting my fellow womankid down by being so pathetic. A real woman notices when a man is bullshit and drops him, and certainly doesn’t watch the clock with a broken heart.

Then there are so many other things, fears that I am so ashamed of I have told nobody, because they make me look like a nutter. I am a nutter, but typical reaction to this sort of thing is smirking, eye-rolling and patronizing reassurances. Then little things that are trivial in comparison but I’m tired of them being on my list of problems.

I just can’t get up everyday and try to study for a course I will fail, look at my silent phone, watch silly movies and pretend it’s all OK. It’s NOT OK that you don’t even talk to me now! It’s NOT OK that I’m still in love with you! It’s NOT OK that I have to do the dirty deed of breaking up with you, and suffering my parents when I tell them. It’s NOT OK that you don’t understand it’s my dream to write! Or that I am SICK of months going by with NOTHING getting done. I am 22 next month! I have been at a standstill for 5 years! NOBODY else I speak to with anxiety disorders have taken as long as I have to get their shit together. AND they dropped out of school like I did, stopped leaving their houses, and battled Social Anxiety, BDD, depression. They realised time was ticking and they found the strength inside themselves to do something. I have not, only now I begin to have goals, dreams, but everything holds me back. My parents are so protective. Everyone else had parents that pushed them, that wanted them to get out there. Mine seem to want to wrap me in cotton wool and keep me here, HEAVEN FORBID I may be too vulnerable to last a day out there.

I can’t do this anymore.
I am 22 next month.

Crying and presents to self

I have spent most of the day crying.

I lay in bed, tears streaming down my face, alone, and I looked over at my new jewellery stands, which I had lovingly filled with some of my favourite pieces of fashion jewellery, ready for my new room when it’s done, and I thought ‘looking at some online stores would make me feel better’. As you do. I went first to QVC… Why? Well when I was 15 and at the height of my depression and new to it all, I watched a lot of QVC, among other things (Spongebob, Harry Potter, and quizcall channels). I first saw Kirks Folly at 15, after a huge row with my parents, I had slammed my bedroom door and lay crying on my bed, and on my TV was Kirks Folly, and all her fairy jewellery and fairy dust. I was just discovering my love for fairies so I was in love. Six years later, I head to the QVC site with tears clouding my vision and putting ‘kirks folly’ in the search box. I didn’t mean to, but I ended up buying a pair of gold heart earrings with red gems. I told myself, ‘You love Kirks Folly. It’s Kirks Folly, you have loved her since you first saw in 2005. Buy it! Get yourself something nice!’ So, I did. It may be both a relief and a worry that I now feel a bit better, though still very anxious (diazapam time).

Last night, I had an idea to tell myself ‘I love you’. I was thinking about love, and relationships, failed relationships, heartbreak, and I thought to myself… The only way I could ever cope, would be to love myself. As I once read, ‘A woman must always love herself more than she loves her man’. I hate myself. I need to start loving myself, and telling myself, ‘I love you.’ I don’t know how. Notes to myself? Jewellery that says ‘I love you’ bought myself, for myself? Is that sad and pathetic? I just thought… Instead of wishing someone would buy me a necklace, a ring with words of love on, why not say YOU ARE WORTHY AND LOVED BY THE PERSON WHO MATTERS MOST, YOU.

Presents to myself… with forgiveness. With love.

Take control

I am sick of my depression dragging me down. I’m tired of having restless nights, and getting up in the morning with a dread in my heart that today is another useless, pointless day. It’s so tiring. I hate sitting here on my computer trying to think of something to do, trying to think of something to say, obsessing about things. I don’t want to do it anymore. I need to take control and plan my days in advance, or… or just stop overthinking everything. Relax… calm down… do I really need to be worrying about this? Do I really need to be so tense? Is this actually important? Do I have to let this upset me? No. No, no and no. I can choose to chill out, I can choose to be carefree about it. I can choose to be calm. If something is making me feel bad, I can stop, and either feel differently about it, or stop doing it altogether. I can make my day better if I try.

Things I need to work on –
1. These ridiculous feelings of inferiority online, comparing myself to other members and how ‘popular’ I am. Pathetic! (not here, btw.)
2. The meetup. I’m so anxious that it won’t work out. But it will. Got a message today that made me feel better and reminded me how silly I am being, how paranoid I am. I am hoping someone will be able to come, just need to wait for her reply, if not, the meetup can still go ahead. And there is no rush. I’m pressuring myself to get it planned asap but these things can take time, depending on communication. It’ll get sorted.
3. Friends. This is a hard one… I have a friend, maybe two friends, who are getting me down with their negativity. I feel guilty about this because they are my friends, and people like me, with social anxiety, with bdd, depression etc, we have bad days. We have outbursts. We get hopeless and suicidal. And you cannot turn your back on a friend when they are in need like this. So I feel guilty… I don’t know if I should cut these people out, or if that would be betrayal. All I know is, texting someone and they suddenly rage about crap mates and suggesting I have said something wrong, is not good for me.
4. My self. I need to stop moping about my life going by. I am doing things… I am planning this meetup which is GREAT and I should seriously give myself more credit for this!! I am trying to find myself. But I need to contact a mental health team and ask for help. I have done, but nothing is happening, I need to keep asking, and be more assertive. If I need help, I need help!

I should plan more things to occupy me in advance, more books, more movies, jewellery-making, games, or just sitting in silence and listening to my feelings. Practicing my posture, my walk, reading self-help books, trying out new looks and pampering myself a little are all things I could be doing. Music therapy is something I keep meaning to do. I need to start making plans for my days. Fill them up with useful things. I can choose whether I sit and cry, or whether I don’t.

(Un?)comfortably numb

I’m sick of this numbness, this feeling that I’m disconnected, trapped in a bubble away from the world. It’s not my meds… I’ve always felt this way. For years. Depression… permanent sadness… I’m so used to it that it sits there in my heart as a numbness and I don’t think I would recognize joy and excitement if I was slapped repeatedly with it. It’s just not something that I feel. When I try to remember it, I think of one day. 8th grade, an end-of-year trip. It was great. I loved my friends. It was a fun day. I saw beauty in the world and I still love the song that I listened to on the radio of my friend’s phone with shared earphones: Rock Wit U by Ashanti. It always reminds me of that day. That day is my memory of joy. I miss it.

I want to FEEL again. Love. Excitement. Adoration. Humour. Serenity. Hope.

Why won’t my heart open? Is it because I’m afraid to open it? To unlock the chains around it? Can I do that? Can I unlock them? What would happen if I did? Despair?... Grief?... Panic?

BlackSwan90 has gotten 14 cheers on this goal.


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