About David Lim

David (LCSW) is a licensed therapist (LW60177117, State of Washington) and parent coach. He holds a MSW from the University of Southern California, an MBA from the Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine, and has Bachelor’s Degrees in Communication and General Science from Purdue University. David has a diverse professional background – which includes providing individual psychotherapy, facilitating psychotherapy groups, serving as a parent coach, teaching (adjunct professor at the University of Southern California), business and non-profit leadership in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Lim-Sanity: The Psychology Of Losing

JDdavid5Here’s a different spin on the psychology of losing.  Insanity has been loosely defined as being a Purdue, Northwestern, Chicago Cub, Seattle Mariner, or Los Angeles Clipper fan: Watching the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  The Red Sox fan and the White Sox fan used to be part of this club. For the longest time, the Colt fan also a member of this club. My membership is thick … for I am a die hard Purdue fan, Clipper fan, Colt, and White Sox fan. I also am partial to Northwestern. I used to be a Cubs fan, till I could stand it no more.

I am defining a loser as follows:  the team that consistently loses the big game OR can not win more than it loses OR finds way to choke — when they are the favorites. So technically, a team can have a winning record and still be a loser. The Indiana Pacers, therefore, technically do not belong on this list, even though I am a die hard Pacer fan. They were not expected to beat the Miami Heat this year or last year. They weren’t expected to beat the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2001 for the NBA championship either.

Here is my evidence:  I watched a really good Chicago Cubs team with Ivan DeJesus, Bill Buckner, Manny Trillo, Bruce Sutter   …   blow a 600 zillion game lead.  I listened to the same Cubs team score 22 runs in a game against Philadelphia … and lose 23-22. I have watched the Clippers, season in and season out, win 19, 23, 30, 16, games a season. I watched Purdue take the honor of blowing the biggest lead in a bowl game and lose. And of course the Kyle Orton fumble against Wisconsin in 2004.

For years, decades,  I’ve thought, “there is something very, very wrong with me. I watch the same thing over and over again, I follow the same loser teams over and over again.”  And it appeared I had very good evidence to back this up.  For Purdue, it started in 1971. Leading number one ranked Notre Dame 7-0 with minutes left,  on fourth down, inexplicably Purdue decided to punt out of their own end zone. A bad snap, a panic-stricken punter, a fumble, and ND wins 8-7.   In 1973,  I watched Minnesota and Rick Upchurch go wild against Purdue 34-7.  I watched that game on a 12 inch, black and white television set. After the game, I cried.

“Yep, there’s something very wrong with me …”

This past basketball season, I predicted Purdue to upset Indiana. Purdue lost by the most lopsided score in history.

But then I took a look the people who I have known for years, decades … people who I have admired because of how they have coped with the ups and downs of life … who ride the waves of life with poise. People who have experienced loss, hardship and pain AND still find joy and passion … who ALSO follow the same sports teams I do.

The conclusion?   “It takes a person in tip top mental health form or at least a person who aspires to be in tip top mental health form … to be a die hard fan of the losing team.”

For example, in order for the Boilermaker fan to endure football seasons of: 3-8, 2-9, 1-10; in order for the fan to endure a game in which Purdue scores 56 points and loses; in order for the Purdue fan to sit through scores like 62-17, 58-14, 49-0;  in order for Purdue fan to watch one athlete after another go down with same injury 12 times; sit through quarterback fumbles returned for game winning TDs; missed field goals, missed last second shots, and turnover after turnover to lose games … one must have the following qualities, skills, and coping tools:

1) Unwavering loyalty 2) Passion 3) Optimism 4) Acceptance 5) Faith 6) Reality Testing 7) Never give up attitude 8) Coping with getting your heart handed to you on a regular basis 9) Coping with wild, unexpected bad turn of events. 10) Emotional bounce back.

How one deals with disappointment can be a predictor of how one deals with anxiety, stress, depression.

So for all the die hard sports fans who support their perennial losers … take comfort … your mental health may be absolute winners!!!

Lim-Sanity: (starting over at 50) The Start Over 50 Somethings

david-bio-pic-2A pair of “Thirty Somethings” helped me better understand starting over at 50.

Jenn Bernert, LHMC (my business partner and friend) and her husband JP Anderson (PhD to be) represent the “Thirty Something” group very well. Smart, empathetic, creative, genuine, wise. A

However, on Father’s Day, I found myself feeling a heaviness of heart –a combination of mourning and uncertainty. I was describing my lament to Jenn, when she said: “Well, it sounds like you are in two places at once.”

She is right.

I am part of the “Start Over 50 Something” population (starting over at 50) people who have “found” themselves at a later age professionally, emotionally, spiritually, or personally.  There is a certain energetic and youthful vigor when you find new passions, new relationships, new families, new careers, new directions, and new beginnings — at the age of 50.  It’s also really awesome to feel younger again.

However, starting over at 50 means you are a demographic that marks the event horizon into senior transition. The longer you live, the more you will lose.

Perhaps it is the decline or loss of physical stamina and strength.  Maybe it is divorce. Or multiple divorces.  It could be about leaving loved ones or loved ones leaving. Or losing friends. Perhaps, a financial loss. Loss of career. It could also be about the mourning of long-awaited wants that may not come to pass. Maybe all of the above.

Starting over at 50 = being in two places at once.

For the Start Over 50 Something, it can be hard balancing the infinite-ness of new beginnings and the very real finite reminders of conclusion, closure, endings.

However, on the plus side, it makes things a bit more interesting.  For example, it’s totally okay to have fun, go to a club AND return home by 10 p.m.   Professional relationships become a very good blend of youthful energy and acceptance. Intimacy is both passionate and comforting.

Remember dating “in your 20’s and 30’s? It’s a completely different ball game for the Start Over 50 Something (that’s my next blog).

The psychology and emotional needs of the Start Over 50 Something can be unique, difficult, confusing, joyous — similar to two other groups: teens and two year-olds.

The most difficult thing for a teenager is being caught between two different places. The teenager is entering adulthood and feels that new beginning. The teenager also clings to remain a child, to be taken care of. For the teenager it can be a difficult and confusing place to be.

Between the ages of two and four, a child becomes more aware of his/her individual wants. The child realizes ownership, space independence, and concepts of “mind not yours.”  AND the child is still absolutely basic needs dependent. It is a very difficult and confusing place to be.

The Start Over 50 Something is a dialectical experience — the experience of youthful energy and uncertainty when starting over AND the real experience of decline, loss and slowing down. It is both life affirming AND confusing.  It is filled with uncertainty, risk, energy, vigor, and grief and loss — all at once.

To be a Start Over 50 Something is not the same as being in a midlife crisis, because it’s not about being in a crisis.  Starting over at 50 is about choices and being given the opportunity to take a chance again.

And at times it can feel as fearful, uncertain, and confusing as a crisis.

Lim-Sanity: Is It Harder To Quit Cigarettes or To Quit Procrastinating?

Research has shown for decades that it’s damn hard to stop smoking and here are a few reasons why:  Nicotine molecules fit very nicely into neurotransmitting grooves. Thus the brain gets “hard-wired” very quickly.  A cigarette is a very nice, small, compact way to “avoid” anxiety, stressors.  Most people who smoke report a sense of relaxation or calm after that first drag. Yet, a cigarette ACCELERATES everything in your brain and body.

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Lim-Sanity: The Middle and Working Class — Profitizing Mental Health.

THE MIDDLE AND WORKING CLASS carry another profit burden — profitizing mental health.

If you can afford to pay out-of-pocket or carry premium health insurance, then for the most part, accessing behavioral health services is typically an after thought.  For others, however, there is a reason why they are members of Health Maintenance Organizations or Cooperatives — its what they can afford.

AND there are definite beneifts.

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