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Good Riddance To The "Oughts"!! : The worst Decade EVER!

Updated on December 28, 2019

Good Riddance To The "Oughts"!!!

By the “Oughts”, I’m referring to the first Decade of the 21st Century, from  1/1/2000- 12/31/2009. (“Remember back in the “O’s?” doesn’t have the same ring and “Remember back in the “Oughts?”) The word “Ought” is an uncommon derivative of the word “naught”- meaning “Zero”. How appropriate?! That’s exactly what the Oughts were to me -and me to the Oughts: NOTHING…ZERO….all for NAUGHT…Waste of Time!  This ‘damned’ decade was filled with difficulties for me which are truly indescribable! Not to be mellow-dramatic, but It’s impossible to someone to comprehend the type of turmoil that I experienced unless they also have had  a damaged brain which was incapable of rational comprehension- yet knew how things  ‘should’ be.  That being said, please don’t think that I’m insinuating that my Problems are more significant to me than yours are to you. We all face trials and tribulations regardless of our place in life. And they are all relative: regardless of how high or low a person may be, our Trials threaten the quality of our Lives at that given moment. There are certainly people who are less fortunate than me and can put my problems to shame, but relatively speaking, I feel like my entire Life and well-being have suffered quite a blow this past Decade. And Hubpages is a vehicle which allows me the therapeutic ability to write everything  down and feel the ‘release’ from its’ grasp. (I apologize in advance for unloading on you, but thank you for hearing me out- this will help me out greatly!)  I hope that by getting many of my problems off my chest, that I’ll be able to LET GO and MOVE ON with my Life! 

Several of my writings have been about perseverance and overcoming adversity (“You Still Can Shine!”) and even feeling a sense of Pride in looking back at pains and sorrows of your Past (“Pride In Scars”). But this is far easier to say with your mouth than truly believe in your heart and live out with your actions. And, I was referring to Adversity Overcome- the “Fast Pain” which has a defined beginning and end. Unfortunately, “Fast Pain has a point, Slow Pain still makes me ask “Why?”; Easier to get up off the floor, than to still hold my head high!”As psychologists are paid to do, I could help you with the “Fast Pain,” but there is no advice that could soften the blow of “Slow Pain”!! “Slow Pain’s dagger is dull, but still continues to try; the gash left is jagged, the wound leaves nothing to stitch…” Trust me, this is the worst type of Pain- the Pain you can’t let go of…that won’t let go of you….that makes you lose sight of your dreams….your reasons….. your SIGNIFICANCE!! The type which turns you into a hardened warrior… battling simply to Persevere until the next day…. living only for the HOPE that the sun will again rise! This was my place in Life for most of the “Oughts”, and although my sky had brightened for a bit, I’m now back here fighting again-- 10 f-cking years after this all started!!! It’s a really sh-tty thing when your biggest accomplishment over the course of a decade, and your main “strength”, is your ability to Persevere. It’s not a very inspiring source of pride that I’m able to write: “I’m the proof that Strong survive, but I’m TIRED of proving that I can!”

So, my plan in writing this story is to document ofl these negative things, triple padlock them- complete with ALL of my Pain, Sorrows, Frustrations, Losses, and the defeatist attitude which threatens to latch on- in a concrete coffin, and sink them in the deepest depths of the Sea…. to be forgotten forever!!!! Actually, I guess I don’t exactly have plans to be near the deepest depths of the Sea in the next few days- so instead, I’m going to feel sorry for myself for one afternoon, document and post my laments then print this document and BURN the damn thing at 12:01 tomorrow morning- JANUARY 1st, 2010! (I would like to apologize in advance for unloading all of this on you, but thank you for hearing me out. It should help me out greatly.) So tonight I’m going to celebrate the death of “The Oughts” and the birth of a New Tomorrow, “The Teens”- pure as a crisp, white, winter morning and brimming with Hope and Optimism


2000- Fast Pain

(March)- turn 21

(July)- Terrible Car accident- the beginning of my personal Hell

*Caused by undiagnosed Sleep Disorder (appointment to be checked out by Sleep Doctor scheduled for 9 days after car accident occurred!!)

-Physical trauma/therapy

-Forced to Relearn EVERYTHING- from walking and talking to basic reasoning to even putting a stamp on an envelope!

-Everything that hurt the most, was best for my recovery (hmmm?!)

--Doctor’s Prognosis- “he might be able to be self-sufficient some day, but we can’t be sure of that”

-Indignant DEFIANCE of bullshit doubt- driven to prove them wrong!

2001- Fast Pain

- Passing, yet frightening Homicidal thoughts- world spinning/ total confusion

-Suicidal- gun in mouth!- utter hopelessness

- Psych hospital

-Total Depravity- (So ALONE!)

- Literally shoved and threatened by The Devil itself!! (“the Valley of the Shadow of Death)

-1st hand experience of God’s Love and Providence CARRYING and Protecting me

--Face the world as a “crazy guy", fresh out of the psych hospital

--While I was in Exile, the World still turned

- Friends all grew up- moving on

-No social life

--Identity Lost

2002- Slow Pain

--“All messed up” every day-as medications were adjusted

--Insomnia- sleepless for weeks on end

--Absolutely no social life

--Ashamed, lonely, zero self esteem/confidence

-Didn’t want anyone to Like Me How I Was Then- I didn’t Like Myself!

--Began to realize how much I’d lost/ current condition

--World moved past too quickly- life was literally blurry

--Brain tired out every evening – felt self-conscious and stupid

-- Begin writing= half therapeutic, half to occupy time

2003/04- Slow Pain

--Bought condo from friend

--Brain continued to ‘tire out’ daily- numbingly frustrating!

--Ever so slowly began to heal- FRUSTRATING does not do this justice!

-“lab rat” for doctors experimenting with medication combinations

--Transitioned into new group of friends

--Best Friend moves to San Diego- exactly where I want to be

-Too many complicating factors and not enough confidence to make the move

2005- Hope renewed

--Healing mentally- brain healthy all day long

--Becoming closer with friends

--B-TCH girl hired to be my boss- stressful situation

2006- Slow Pain

--Stunningly Laid off by employer after 9 years- the only employer I’d ever had

--Finally healthy physically AND mentally, but now out on the street

--Acquire licenses, become Financial/Insurance Adviser

2007- “Reprieve”

-- 1st Book draft shot down by Publishers/Agents

--Marginal success as Financial Services Advisor

-Money dwindling away

--Relatively happy and healthy

--No major Dilemmas- Hope renewed

2008- Fast Pain

--NO Money- dead broke!- big bills to pay

--Big drama, misunderstanding= felt like one of my best friends used me

-- Developed Panic Attacks/ Anxiety Disorder- Paralyzing!- again Insomnia

-Wished for death/ considered it

--Sold Condo- Lost last $40,000

--Quit Finance- became Car Salesman

--Rent parents’ basement- by necessity

--Parted ways with my car dealership, mainly because I was leaving town

--However, my Nearly finalized plans move to California crumbled at the last second

-- Unemployed- still in W.Michigan but mind 2000 miles away

2009- Slow Pain

--Cashed in retirement savings to pay (some) of my debt

--“friend” exposed as a fraud- used me for Thousands of $dollars

--Renting Parent’s basement (dependent), living day-to-day on Unemployment $

--Car demolished in (non-at-fault) Accident

--Torn right shoulder

“-Resigned to” Temp Factory Work/ anything to earn money

(December)- Audited by IRS- fined $1800 for 2007 mistake

-Have $0 to my name, actually (-)$4500 is more accurate

***Faith or Ignorance?-feel “betrayed” by God(?)= empty promises

***Hope fading- and that’s the only thing keeping me alive

***I’m 30 years old now and I have nothing/ have no-one/ I feel Insignificant in EVERY way!


Yesterday, I was talking with a friend who has had an extremely rough stretch of life herself, and I respect her greatly.  She has been abused, abandoned, disgraced, taken advantage of- and left with the bill. I’m pleased to say  that things are finally turning around for her these days. So I appreciate her views and advice more than most, as she has some idea where I’m coming from. However, I’m completely unable to accept her words as anything more than supportive rhetoric when she says, “Someday you’ll look back at things and say that it was all worth it, that you would do it over again.” NEVER!!! Absolutely Impossible!! I would never wish the “Oughts” on anyone- friend or foe!  Even if I become the most glorious Royal Monarch the world has ever seen, I will NEVER say “I’d do it all over again”…… NEVER!!!


Although I will always carry scars from the “Oughts”, they really aren’t debilitating in my day-to-day activities.  This story, written one long afternoon, does not describe ME  or my attitude or mindset overall. In fact, by “letting of this steam” and unloading all this negative energy onto my computer screen, it should help keep me from wallowing in my Shit and letting the stench begin to define me. What’s done is done. Both HOW and WHY are inconsequential! I’m HERE and NOW, and all that matters is what I do TODAY, and where I go from HERE FORWARD!    


The Curse of the “Oughts” is over!- IT’s 2010 NOW!! The exciting thing is that I finally have a defined closure to these trying times. Since “Life is 10% what happens and 90% how we respond to it,” (Lou Holtz)- I will now “Advance confidently in the direction of (my) dreams, and endeavor to live the Life which (I have) imagined…” And - Lord Willing- starting with the very first day of the New Decade: The “Teens”- I will “meet with SUCCESS unexpected in common hours(!)”- (Thoreau). And the bitterness of the “Oughts” will make this Success taste ALL THE SWEETER!!


© 2009 Daniel Austhof


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for being you.I love it and admire your friendship

    • aim4strz profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Austhof 

      11 years ago from West Michigan

      Thank you James and itakins, I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. I really put myself out there, exposed, by this Post and I'm grateful for any positive feedback.

      Best Wishes

    • itakins profile image


      11 years ago from Irl

      Onwards and upwards-you certainly have the spirit;a sad story indeed,but you show a lot of courage-well done and good luck in the 2010.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      aim4strz— This is quite a story. It is obvious to me that God has given you this story as a testimony for others. Thank you for having the guts to share this publicly.

    • aim4strz profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Austhof 

      11 years ago from West Michigan

      Thank you so much. It means so much to me to recieve positive feedback and support when I write things like this that expose me so, with the details of my troubles and weaknesses.

      And I really feel like we can speak with power when we reference the Word of God, so it gives me a boost to have a friend point me to powerful passages like Psalms 91 and 126.

      Again, Thanks so much!

    • Lady_E profile image


      11 years ago from London, UK

      Aim4strz, You have a special purpose in life and I am glad that through all that's happened you are still standing. Sometimes life is just so difficult to understand "why bad things happen to good people" etc.

      Whatever is the root of the badluck (bad things) that have happened I pray God removes it and from now on Nothing hinders your progress in life.

      May new doors of opportunity that will make you like them that dream (ps 126) open for you. May you be in the right place at the right time.

      No disaster shall ever come near you again (ps 91). Not only will you be Blessed, you will be a blessing unto others as your cup runs over. I'd love to go on an on but it might turn into a Hub. Just hang on in there, don't give up. Remember the latter of Job. He had 7 times more of everything he lost.

      Writing it all out is Good. It's sort of like Therapy.

      Wishing you Well and surround yourself with positive.

      Have a Blessed 2010.

    • aim4strz profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Austhof 

      11 years ago from West Michigan

      Thank you. I wish I wasn't the object lesson, but you're right: if my experiences can guide others through similar ordeals and offer Hope where there is none, then my Decade will have served a purpose.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image


      11 years ago

      It is funny, Aim, my son tells me that all the time! "Mom, what doesnt kill ya makes you stronger!" And he is correct. I believe that absolutely nothing happens in God's world by accident. We just dont always see His purpose up front...apparently, your journey will help inspire others or your experience allow you to reach out to someone who is walking where you have...its hard to know how this difficult time can be of benefit, but be assured that it will...Hey, your tenacity and courage have inspired me!!!

    • aim4strz profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Austhof 

      11 years ago from West Michigan

      Thank you Tenderheart, it has been a rough stretch of life, but "That which don't kill you, can only make you stronger!" So I guess I'm better equipped for...something in my future, I just hope to find out WHAT, very soon! Thanks again.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image


      11 years ago

      aim4strzs, You are a survivor, and a strong, courageous man. I have found writing to be very cathartic and freeing. I applaud your willingness to expose your pain and struggle to the sunlight, moving forward with hope. Thank you. May this year be filled with joy, peace, and fulfillment!


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