[Off Topic] On Dealing with Completely Impossible Situations


Just some non-infosec-specific thoughts regarding things I’ve learned about dealing with burnout, and the really bad days:

  • Steve, Diane, Kay, Erica, Bryan, and Anna taught me that sometimes you just find family when it’s needed. (Say yes to seeing your friends, even when you’re indescribably exhausted.)
  • Jack taught me to have a breakdown plan.
  • Col E. taught me that it’s not weakness to ask for help when you really need it.
  • Rance taught me that sometimes you have to put on the chicken hat and dance besides it all.
  • D.T. taught me that you can be lying there missing a leg in the hospital, then marry your nurse.
  • Johnny taught me that even on a really crappy day, a lightsaber battle is still okay.
  • Selena taught me that writing about the worst situations can help you face them (and help other people, too).
  • Reggie taught me that however messed up things are, it’s not too late to reconcile with people you fought with honorably, like a true samurai.
  • 60 hackers confirmed that our community is real, and if you’re not a dreadful person both the “black hat” and “white hat” people in it might send cards and books to a person across the planet who needs them, without prompting or asking questions.
  • Jodi taught me be unapologetically your own self, and keep fighting and screaming at what’s wrong in the world, even when the world is beating you down.
  • Two ER visits and permanent health damage have taught me that there are repercussions for not taking care of yourself under continual and intense stress.
  • Completely impossible situations taught me that you never really know what you’re capable of dealing with until you’re faced with one. Overcoming those obstacles are the memories you keep.

I hope someday when you are going through an impossible time, you can come back to this post and find some help and hope.