Is my hobby (fishing ) source of my anxieties ?

Postby Demipouce » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:18 pm

I have always been very big into fishing, but since I moved to Australia it has definitely been a game changer. The fact that you can do big game fishing at your doorstep and chase marlins, tunas and various very large species of fish is amazing. But it all comes down to a cost and I have been wondering if my mental health has taken a toll. Fishing is meant to be a relaxing hobby, but what happens if it's turned into an unhealthy addiction ?

As a child I have always been the stressed one, anxious over the tiniest things , and once they are past / gone I realised it wasn't that horrible and I worked myself up for no reason.
Unfortunately I do think most of my anxieties and my stress and the fact that I feel that I am trapped at work or in life comes from Fishing / Spear Fishing, or just in general the chase of the bigger better fish.

Chasing big fish requires to understand the environment they evolve in, at what time and understand which variables come to play to make the mission a success. Having social media helps because you can see reports from other people , but at the same time it is bad because it gives me the worst fear of missing out and I struggle to cope with the fact that someone has caught the big fish I wanted to catch when I was stuck at work and I should have probably just called in sick and try. If I did do that and the mission failed then I would have 1 called in sick for no reason, two would hate going back to work the next day because I know I could also give it another shot. This is why I can safely say, that in the making of websites as part of my job I probably spend ¾ of that time thinking about where I could be and what I could be achieving, and gives me that feeling of being trapped, forced to do something I do not want to do.

One major problem with fishing is it's endless. You can always catch better and bigger and you can spend 10000h in the ocean and still not have caught what you have wanted. Someone on social media might catch a bigger one , at the same spot in the ocean 1h after you have left and gives you the worst feeling of insatisfaction. It's always a happy moment catching the fish you have been targeting. But after that what happens ? Your only memory would be a photo you share with people , maybe to make them jealous if they are into the same thing as you ? " Hey have a look I caught bigger than you did last week , I therefore must be better than you ". And the cycle kicks in again.

Its expensiveness has never been a problem for me I believe you have to do what you have to do, and just a car needs fuel to run, you need fishing gear to fish.

I always find that the time spent fishing should be great for the mind and a happy free moment, but am I just escaping from reality and making it worse ? I feel like the ultimate aim is just show off in front of other fishermen, I find that never getting satisfied AND always wanting to do it again at the price of anything, is wrong. I think they are two things that when combined do not go together ?

You cannot get away from it, every day, every hour, looking at the wind, tides, currents, water temperature, who went where when how fills my head with constant thoughts that are very far away from the reality and could have an effect on the direct things you need to focus on in life, health, family , relationships. I know this sounds exaggerated and it’s not and I am sure a few people could relate to that. When you could go away with your partner for a holidays and you realise you second guessed yourself thinking … What if the fish are going to turn up in front of Sydney and I cannot target them, what if I miss out ? Maybe I shouldnt be going away ?

Maybe this also comes down to impatience, always wanting to achieve right now, not thinking I ultimately have my whole time to be catching that fish. And it’s not like we don’t know what we are doing, we have been there and done that, we already have achieved it but it’s just never enough.

I hate myself for the state of mind it puts me in sometimes, a prime example would be that week where very large fish could be spearfished off the rocks, and I couldn’t go because the weather was just no good , and I just hated that situation so much that I was very cold to my partner the whole weekend, and then hated the week of work. And I know I can give her the silent treatment sometimes. Am I just an eternal unsatisfied ?

I have wanted to pick up surfing recently and have been getting lessons. I obviously love the ocean and what it offers, and I did find it very relaxing, but I found I got hard on myself and I already started to want to be better , faster. And I am worry the relaxation surf can bring to me would turn into an obsession of wanting to surf bigger and all the time.

So what is the point ? Can you hate something you love that much ? Do I just love it or do I just do it because I have been doing it for so long now, it’ll be weird not seeing myself holding big fish ? Is it that bad that it’ll come first, wherever I go whatever I do , whichever situation I find myself into I’ll always be thinking about WHAT if I was fishing, or damn it I cannot fish today … my day is over …

I am just looking for a second opinion. I know everyone is different, and I know that people fishing the rivers are more relaxed because it’s not as precise, time consuming and life doesn’t have to be on standby. Maybe some of you could relate with different hobbies ?
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:40 am

Fishing is not the source of your anxiety. Social comparison is the source. It doesn't matter which hobby you choose, you will feel anxious as you compare your abilities to others on FB or against what some other person can achieve or accomplish.

Stop with the social comparisons. ... g-strategy
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