The Difference Between “I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!” and “I don’t care.”


In increasingly frequent operation of the CBTN Twitter handle (and life in general, when I find myself interacting with others) I’ve come across a troubling prevalence of the retaliatory statement “I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!

The thing to which this FUCK! is not being given is an insulting statement or stigma, often unintentional or passively ignorant – mental illness isn’t real, or eating disorders are stupid, et. al. ad infinitum/naseum/triggered-episodium.  I think you get the idea (and more than likely have both used this standard retaliation or at least borne witness to its implementation).

I here (with a metaphorical nod to the importance of primacy in being candid) admit without a shred of shame that I am myself a recovering addict of this type of categorical ‘self-empowering’ outburst, all-too-often for the reasons mentioned above: Fuck me? No, FUCK YOU!

The problem I came to understand was that…

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9 thoughts on “The Difference Between “I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!” and “I don’t care.”

  1. I like what you write John, even though I can only just understand you (I don’t care that I’m not overly intelligent either 😊) and despite a tendency to sometimes get lost in long posts (if I’m listening to someone talk too much I tend to switch off quite quickly as I’m reminded of my dad).

    ‘I don’t care’ is a kind of motto for me at the moment as I move on from ‘I don’t give a fuck’. It’s come with age and having lived in ‘the dark’ for so long (and almost not made it out). And fuck it’s awesome! I have moments and I think to myself ‘I’m so happy’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think anything you don’t understand is my fault, not yours, so don’t worry too much about that. Hah. I do the same thing – I have trouble reading most of my own posts. I should probably take some kind of lesson away from that.

      I’m sorry you’ve been in the “dark” for so long – I don’t wish that on anyone – but I’m glad you’re coming out of it. As you say, it’s precisely that darkness that makes you appreciate lightness. It seems you have a great attitude about it – fucking awesome indeed! I think it’s cool you got what I was getting at with the difference between these two statements.

      Good luck as you continue on – I’d be curious to hear more of your personal thoughts on the whole MH thing. Do you mind me asking: What’s your diagnosis?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Severe depression is my diagnoses. I self-medicated though and that became an addiction. It wasn’t till I had my son that I understood that depression is my primary issue. There is so much in between though. And trauma as a result.

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      2. Sure. The key thing here is that you can’t borrow my time machine, if you know what I’m saying (because I don’t have one – nobody does).

        I’ve seen so many people get stuck in past fuck-ups and I’ve heard responses and attempts to help that range from just get over it to you can’t dwell on the past. I’m not saying this is easy, but the goal here is to ignore the former type and accept the latter while remaining cognizant that neither of these suggestions include any real how-to material; they’re both just sort of static statements or tell-you-what-to-dos.

        That was never enough for me, though don’t dwell on the past has always resonated for me – I just lacked an answer to why not? for a while (certainly I can dwell on past good things, can’t I?), but I more lacked a logical explanation of why not to, and how to do it.

        After thinking about this for nearly my entire life, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no past – there is only the now, or maybe the “now” is the only thing worth thinking about. This absolute statement excludes planning for the future, which I think is solid advice; but what’s more important and perhaps hidden in this rather ancient concept is that you can’t dwell on the past because it’s not there – and I mean this literally.

        But, you might say, look at this photograph! That’s the past right there!

        I would say no, you’re showing me a picture right now. Sure, it might be a still image of some other quote unquote time, but you can only ever see it, sense it, or share it in the now. The same goes for music, film, literature, etc. – the question of when they were created and where they exist have two different answers.

        What I’m getting at is this – and maybe this is an unpopular or ill-advised thing to say – I think it’s quite possible you really did fuck up in the past. Hell, it might have even been entirely your fault, and you may have been an utter and total piece of evil shit.

        That’s not now.

        Still further, the lower you used to be, the more credit you deserve for your climb. I don’t see any real value in comparing yourself to other people – it becomes both depressing and limiting. One of my most helpful revelations was to learn I could do more than just try to be “as good as other people” – I could actually explore “how good I can be to the best of my ability.” I started to use my maximum as my referent instead of others’ status or condition. This was remarkably liberating, and I accomplished much.

        So maybe you did self-medicate; maybe you were an addict; maybe it really was your “fault,” if there is such a thing. This just gives you even more value with every day you get through being better. And none of those things exist now. If you relapse, tomorrow’s another day.

        It might seem daunting, but I’d bet there’s a very good chance the secret to success and happiness overlaps a great deal with Calvinism – to try as hard as you can, as long as you can, until you die. Traumas happen – but trauma from regret is literally illogical it doesn’t do anyone any good, especially you.

        Finally, on a personal note – thank you for sharing your diagnosis. I’m sorry you’ve been through hard times, and I’m happy to hear you’ve reflected on them and identified the primary issue. Yes, life is a little more complex than that oversimplification, and you clearly noticed this too. You’d be surprised what you might learn if you learn to compare yourself to what you might become.


    1. Nah fuck that. Randi and I talk about this a lot. We both have a bad habit of apologizing for being truthful. I personally, far more than her, have a pathology where I’ll over-apologize to the point where it’s that in and of itself that actually pisses her off. So I get the embarrassment; I do it too.

      I think the thing to keep in mind – at least with me, in this venue (CBTN) – is that I couldn’t possibly judge less. If anything I’m grateful you’ve the courage to share what you have so far. If you’re wondering what I’d prefer (which should matter far less than what you think is good for you), I’d encourage you to keep asking questions, share more of your thoughts (I can tell you already have some great ones), and work on simply not being embarrassed or feeling insecure – that’s the whole point of CBTN.

      You might consider posting anything you don’t want slapped up permanently beneath a post in the CBTN Forum – it’s a little slow right now as we just launched two months ago, but both Randi and I check it fairly often and are hoping more people will get involved and develop a self-feeding back-and-forth.

      If it’s not too much pressure, you might also consider writing a guest article.There’s a bit of a stricter standard than the forum; the latter is more for anything that crosses your mind, shorter thoughts and questions etc. – but if you have some stories or longer thoughts that you think you could (and wouldn’t mind) jotting down and working out the typos, grammar etc. (purely because I don’t have time to edit), we’d be happy to post it here.

      Anyway – that was a bit tangential – don’t be embarrassed, at least not on our account. I’m not saying I don’t understand the insecurity because I have it too, but for what it’s worth I actually got some pleasure out of waking up to see your comments, and seeing them to be, still-further, very much interesting and open.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thankyou, I’m so relieved and happy to hear you did get some pleasure out of my comments. I guess it will take some time before the confidence outweighs the insecurity. It’s taken me 34 years to get to this point.

        I would love to contribute something, if I feel I can. I’ll work on it.

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