"I can't just go about my day as if nothing is happening. I'm writing to you because I don't know how to help, and I can't help, not really. No donation is going to help my people," the message reads. The author identifies herself as "an Uyghur girl," and she asks me, should an article be written, that her identity remain anonymous, for the sake of protecting her family. She is willing to speak, perhaps at great risk to herself and those whom she loves. "I want people to know," says the young woman whom I'll refer to as Meryam, "and if not understand, at least acknowledge what is happening."
The Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group, most of whom––an estimated 80 percent––were born in China's northwestern Xinjiang province. The World Uyghur Congress estimates the Uyghur population numbers between 1 and 1.6 million. Human rights groups note that in the last decade hundreds of Uyghurs have been forcibly relocated to China from their homes in places like Egypt, Turkey, and Thailand. Many are interrogated by Chinese agents on foreign soil, detained indefinitely in foreign jails. Those who live in China don't fare much better, and are subject to the Chinese government's "re-education efforts."
We've seen this sort of thing before. In Canada, the Indian residential school system, a network of boarding schools for the indigenous population, removed children from their homes and assimilated them into the dominant Canadian culture, a policy initiative which, in turn, deprived indigenous children of their ancestral language and subjected them to physical and sexual abuse. In the United States, legislators passed Americanization policies as part of an assimilation effort which robbed the Native American population of much of their tribal traditions and forced Native children to learn English and convert to Christianity. And in Australia, the "Stolen Generations" of children forcibly removed from their families and made to integrate into Australian society lent credence to "die out" and "breed out" policies which sought to preserve white supremacy across the continent at large.
Such is the plight of Uyghur children. A Radio Free Asia report from July, for example, details at length how dozens of Uyghurs have been sent to live in orphanages. It is in places like these, Meryam revealed, where these children are expected to abdicate themselves from their culture; the government has made this clear "by not allowing kids to learn the Uyghur language or enter mosques to pray." Their parents suffer, of course. "The government threatens their identification documents (passports, visas) and their family members. They are forced into indoctrinating classes where they are to renounce their faith, their Uyghur identity, and claim loyalty to the current Chinese government," Meryam told me. "They are degraded and treated inhumanely. They are held for an indefinite amount of time and tortured."
The Chinese government, she continued, "claims this is a countermeasure against Islamic extremism." Indeed, state media quoted State Councilor Zhao Kezhi telling officials in May "to comprehensively implement measures to address the root cause and improve anti-terrorism work system" and to amp up efforts to "destroy the breeding ground of terrorism." But these are hollow justifications which, Meryam relayed, are part of a smear campaign to scapegoat the minority Muslim Uyghur population. She notes that "what the Chinese are doing to my people is basically genocide."
"The government is punishing them for their most horrendous act: being Uyghur," she said. "They want Xinjiang to be under their control for resources, and they want Uyghurs to be either absorbed into Han Chinese or just gone. Uyghur women are being forced to marry Han Chinese men in what is basically government-sanctioned rape. They are told that their family members will be returned if they marry Chinese males."
The Uyghurs have been steadily losing their culture since the 2009 riots which left hundreds dead and thousands more injured in Ürümqi, the capital of the Chinese-ruled Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Tursun Izchi, a witness to the riots, recalled "a confrontation between Chinese soldiers and Uyghur students" which quickly escalated when soldiers began rounding up Uyghurs at the People's Square "as they tried to flee from arrest in all directions." Suddenly, he said, a group of Uyghurs arrived and began to cause significant damage to storefronts and property. "Surprisingly, Chinese soldiers and police didn't arrest these Uyghurs but just watched and videotaped them smashing things. It was as if the Chinese soldiers and police intentionally left them alone for some other purpose," he said. "My impression was that these were saboteurs sent by the Chinese government to intentionally create a scene of total chaos and riot to justify the later armed crackdown."
A mix of ethnic Uyghur and Han shopkeepers hold large wooden sticks as they are trained in security measures on June 27, 2017 next to the old town of Kashgar, in the far western Xinjiang province, China.
The military crackdown did, in part, embolden the Chinese government's efforts to relocate Han Chinese to Xinjiang and other heavily Uyghur populated areas. The indoctrination camps themselves, I was told, are an opportunity to subject Uyghurs to cultural cleansing by way of praise for Chinese President Xi Jinping's hardline nationalist Communist Party, self-criticism, and belittlement, if not outright physical torture methods.
An Associated Press report from May, for instance, details the internment of Omir Bekali, a China-born Kazakh Muslim who described being strapped into a "tiger chair" which immobilized his wrists and ankles and being hanged by his wrists against a barred wall only to be transferred to a compound which housed more than 1,000 detainees who each day were made to sing the Chinese national anthem, raise the Chinese flag at 7:30 a.m., exclusively study the Chinese language and culture, and thank the Communist Party effusively upon receiving meals. A separate report describes how Dolkun Isa, the president of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress (WUC) exile group, learned his mother died while in detention, a fate which seemed all too certain given the Chinese government's propensity for detaining the relatives of exiles abroad, many of whom are jailed on suspicion of harboring "politically incorrect" thoughts.
In a piece for Jacobin, David Brophy, a senior lecturer in modern Chinese history at the University of Sydney, observes that international attention on the oppression of Xinjiang's native Uyghur population "still lags behind the well-publicized case of Tibet." This makes for a sobering reality in Xinjiang, where there are "police stations at every major intersection, ubiquitous checkpoints where Chinese sail through as Uyghurs line up for humiliating inspections, elderly men and women trudging through the streets on anti-terror drills, television and radio broadcasts haranguing the Uyghurs to love the party and blame themselves for their second-class status." He recounts witnessing Uyghurs clearing the streets as the city went into lockdown for divisions of Chinese People's Liberation Army soldiers who chanted and stressed the need to maintain "stability" in the region. This desire for "stability," as well as the Chinese government's calls for terrorism prevention measures, however, is not based in fact: The Uyghur resistance is far less organized and militarized than China would prefer the global community to believe:
It is true that some desperate Uyghurs have found their way into the ranks of Islamist militias in Syria and Iraq, hoping to acquire the military training and international jihadist solidarity which they see as necessary for a fight in Xinjiang. But this dead-end strategy poses no threat to Beijing — and certainly not one that could justify today's crackdown. China maintains a choke hold on Xinjiang's entry and exit points; only the Chinese state benefits from the presence of Uyghur militants in this far-off battleground.
These facts––not to mention our surreptitious conversation––weigh on Meryam. "I just need the world to know that there are one million people held illegally and are being tortured right now. There has to be something that can happen because I'm going out of my mind here," she said.
The reaction within the United States to the Uyghur diaspora has been to pursue sanctions on Chinese officials involved in Xinjiang's security crackdown. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Laura Stone said in April that the U.S. would impose sanctions under the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the U.S. government to enforce travel and financial restrictions on individuals anywhere in the world who are implicated in human rights abuses.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), chair and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China respectively, have taken vocal stances on the Uyghur plight, urging U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to visit the XUAR and present a report on the Embassy's observations of a "grave and deteriorating human rights situation":
We are seeking a report on the Embassy's efforts on these issues, both in terms of diplomatic engagement and the Chinese government's response. In the cases of the detention of the RFA reporters, we urge you to personally lead diplomatic efforts to prioritize these cases, seek clarity as to the whereabouts and well-being of these individuals, and press for their release. If there is no immediate resolution to these cases, we ask that the State Department consider denying visas to executives or administrative staff of Chinese state-run media operating in the United States.
A hearing entitled, "Surveillance, Suppression, and Mass Detention: Xinjiang's Human Rights Crisis" was held on July 26 and included testimony from such individuals as Gulchehra Hoja, an Uyghur Service journalist with Radio Free Asia whose career began in Urumqi, the capital of the Uyghur Region.
"For the 17 years since I've worked for RFA, local police and authorities have harassed my family," she said. "They've watched their every step, monitored their movements, and constantly questioned them about my whereabouts and whether I plan to return. The treatment my family has had to endure is because of my decision to come to America. Authorities considered it a betrayal."
Jessica Batke, a senior editor with ChinaFile and former research analyst with the State Department, noted that "The Party-state's policies related to Xinjiang have become startlingly more repressive in the last two years, even for a region that was already under more intensive digital and physical controls than most other areas of China," and stressed that, among other things, "the recall and forcible repatriation of ethnic Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim minority Chinese citizens from abroad" and the "rounding up of those same populations in Xinjiang to put them into what are frequently called "re-education camps" do not "represent the full scope of day-to-day repression that we see in Xinjiang."
"I do believe that we can only treat the phenomenon with the seriousness and alarm that it merits if we first label it accurately," she added. "Therefore, I encourage further thought and discussion about how the U.S. Government and the international community more generally should refer to these camps."
The global response has been considerably more muted. A petition to the United Nations and humans rights groups by Freedom's Herald has gained some traction, thanks to the commitment of bloggers both in Tibet and Xinjiang. The organization has documented a slew of humans rights abuses, including the decisions by the Chinese government to burn all Islamic holy books, force Uyghur government officials to "sign for cremation instead of Islamic burial" and to criminalize the usage of "Halal" labels for food production.
"From the Uyghur I have spoken with, the incarceration of their family members doesn't matter whether or not they speak out and many are speaking out now," said Jack Churchward of Freedom's Herald in an email. "What motivates my advocacy - I coordinated activities against the Florida Splendid China theme park and became friends with the Uyghur, Mongol and Tibetans being portrayed there. When the theme park closed and the Chinese consulate in Houston called my house and threatened family members, I backed off as part of a family decision. When I started to read about the concentration camps, I had to jump back in and do what I could to help."
But the call to help the struggling proved stronger than any threats from the Chinese government, says Churchward. "As far as others criticizing me, what are they going to do to me that the Chinese government hasn't already threatened?" he said. "Here is where the narrative will be spoiled - I am a white heterosexual aging male Republican that voted for Donald Trump and will vote for him again if given the chance."
And yet the Uyghur struggle is not trending news. As Meryam pointed out to me, the human rights abuses taking place in Xinjiang as we speak rarely make it onto major news sites. It's not the subject of viral social media campaigns. The likelihood of it making a major international splash akin to the fervor which defined #BringBackOurGirls is low, given the Chinese government's surveillance measures and the very real possibility that those who speak out––even from abroad––risk condemning their family members to internment. Unfortunately, as the tumultuous public policy in the case of Boko Haram's abduction of 276 schoolgirls from their dormitories in Borno State demonstrates, the probability that the fates of Uyghur men, women, and children will continue to be tragic is all too real, and accusations that China has wielded its economic clout to silence any criticism continue to mount.
This is not to say, however, that there is no value in speaking out against the crimes of an oppressive regime, or that advocacy is a fruitless endeavor. But there is a tinge of exhaustion in Meryam as she contemplates the relative silence from the international community and the potential dangers increased attention might mean for Uyghurs and their family members both inside and outside of China.
"I reached out because I want the world to see the crimes done against my people," she says.
Over-sharing is a thing. Sometimes, people really just cross the line in the information they've decided to volunteer to us.
It's hard to control who does this to us since it tends to take us by surprise, but hearing some of the things that people have suffered having to hear can easily act as cautionary tales to us.
Seriously, Who Asked<p>I used to work at an animal shelter and we had several people who would come volunteer to help out.</p><p>One of the women who came there on a regular basis went to lunch with me. She was such a sweet woman, a little older than I was at the time. She proceeded to tell me that she used to go to the park and hook up with old men because she felt sorry for them.</p><p>WTF?</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/moviesandcats/" target="_blank">moviesandcats</a></p>
Decent Bloke....<p>I (25f at the time) was at A&E in the UK. I got discharged and was waiting for my taxi outside. This buff shirtless dude, covered in tattoos (they were decent too, imo) comes over and asks for a light. I bought a zippo for novelty so I obliged.</p><p>We got to talking and he told me how he had just got out of prison after serving a life sentence for killing his father, after his father murdered his baby sister. Had his records on him and everything (he was at the hospital as he was diabetic and had experienced an issue of some sort after being released - I have no expertise here).</p><p>I have never feared and respected a man so much in my life.</p><p>I bought him a pint after my taxi decided it wouldn't be arriving. Decent bloke - we still speak 9 years later.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/heavenhelpyou/" target="_blank">heavenhelpyou</a></p>
Oh....Sounds Fun....<p>My sophomore year In college a girl who I had a group project with told me that her first sexual experience was getting tag teamed by a couple of guys while she was in high school. </p><p>I just told her "wow, that's pretty intense." She told me that she loved it and then I changed the subject. Until that point nothing sexual had come up in the conversation.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Nothing_/" target="_blank">Nothing_</a></p>
TW: Suicide<p>My manager at my job in high school decided to tell us about how she tried to end her life on my very first day. </p><p>She was like, "One day, I decided to take some pills and end it all. I grabbed a pill bottle out of my mom's cabinet and took a handful without even looking at what it was and then lay down to die. I was so surprised to wake up in the morning perfectly fine. Confused, I checked the bottle to see what I had taken."</p><p>Yeah, it was estrogen.</p>
Please Tell Me About Your Infidelity<p>My wife loves to tell this story.</p><p>Her first day at a new company she was to meet another employee who would show her around the office. She met her in the lobby and on the elevator ride up to the office she proceeded to tell my wife how her husband has gained some weight and she is considering starting an office affair with a co-worker who is really into fitness and 'has muscles' (apparently she made a gesture where she fanned herself while saying muscles)</p><p>Like literally my wife met this lady 5 minutes earlier for the first time in the lobby and she is already unloading all this stuff on her.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Boxman75/" target="_blank">Boxman75</a></p>
TW: Abuse<p>I was seated next to a quiet kid on a high school band bus to a football game. He'd been in my band class for years, but I had never really spoken to him. He was the type who didn't fit into anything at school that I ever saw. I resolved to get to know him a bit and open up a conversation since we were going to be sitting by each other for a few hours. It was like a dam burst; that dude talked for the whole trip.</p><p>At one point, he told me that his mom was really unhappy with his stepdad but couldn't afford to divorce him. And then he told me that his stepdad would get drunk and beat him with a stick, but he wasn't sure if his mom was also getting beaten and that scared him. There was a brief pause before he said "I never told anyone that before..." Then he changed the subject completely.</p><p>I must've been seventeen or so. It shook me. Like... Obviously I was old enough to know that sort of thing happens, but too sheltered to think it happened to anyone I knew. I told my parents about it-- seemed the right thing to do. I don't know what happened from there. He and I never really spoke of it again. I just looked him up on Facebook, though. Looks like he's done really well for himself.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/DietrichBuxtehude/" target="_blank">DietrichBuxtehude</a></p>
Not The Thing To Tell Your Nurse<p>I was doing my practice in a hospital. They brought a young man in the neuro clinic, he was my 1st patient. He was around 30 and he had fallen from a tree while working. </p><p>He turned out to have a complicated neurological condition that had nothing to do with his fall. He was also diagnosed with severe depression. He was in there for months and no one ever visited him, the only time he felt a bit better was when I visited him and did some tests to him. </p><p>He said "it's nice when you come and make me play with the coloured toys and make me draw things". One day he was looking out of the window, when I came in he looked me dead in the eye and told me "you know, if the windows didn't have protective bars, I'd jump right out". It was the 1st time I'd heard such thing and I remember it ever since.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Shoddy_Natural4217/" target="_blank">Shoddy_Natural4217</a></p>
Ope Okay Guess We're Going There<p>Coworker took out a client for a business lunch at a small town restaurant. He asks the waitress "How are you?" to be polite. </p><p>She proceeds to go on a 5 minute spiel about how terrible her ex husband is and how he's ruining her life and how she feels like crap because of it. After she finishes, takes their order and leaves the customer says "So you must know her pretty well?" </p><p>"Only well enough to say hi in passing." </p><p>"Oh, so then that was just as awkward for you as it was for me then?" </p><p>"Yes, yes it was."</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/NowhereinSask/" target="_blank">NowhereinSask</a></p>
The Evidence Is The Burn<p>Some guy next to me on the bus once went into a long elaborate story about how he burned his house down for insurance money like three weeks prior.</p><p> I wouldn't have believed it if his hands didn't have massive burn scarring.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/STARCRUSHER99/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">STARCRUSHER99</a></p>
Who Are You Fooling?<p>Met this dude in college when he moved into the dorm. Goofy looking redneck kid from the San Antonio area. I'm getting to know him when I notice his Spice Girls cd (this was like 2003), and I commented on it. </p><p>He then goes into this long story of how he was at the Walmart in San Antonio, looking at the CDs in that store and just happened to have bumped into Ginger Spice who invited him into the tour bus that no one had noticed, and he lost his virginity to all the Spice Girls at once.</p><p>My thought was "Thank you for this story, I know instantly that I can never trust or believe anything you ever tell me again." It's been almost 20 years and I still can't believe that was something he said in the first five minutes of meeting me.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/GreatJanitor/" target="_blank">GreatJanitor</a></p>
We're never that surprised when we encounter people who are lackluster at their jobs. Bad waiters, rude customer service people, dishonest contractors, or inept colleagues abound throughout daily life.
But it's interesting that we expect to encounter that kind of ineptitude far less with certain professionals.
Salt in the Wound<p>"I was dealing with a lot of family issues at the time and my ex had just broken up with me that week so I was taking it fairly hard."</p><p>"My therapist said 'it's because they found someone better' and when I said no and tried to explain she just dug in deeper that my ex had dumped me because they found someone better than me."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goytctg?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">sgrmw</a></p>
Suddenly, a Brainstorm Session for Insults<p>"14, telling my shrink about how I was bullied in school."</p><p>" 'Do they make fun of your nose?' "</p><p>" '...nnnno....?' "</p><p>"And that's how I found out I have a big nose."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gp0jn7u?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">KindlyOlPornographer</a></p>
The Exact Wrong Outlook<p>" 'You'll never do an important job like doctor, veterinarian, firefighter, lawyer, conselor...You'll probably end up in a Walmart for your whole life.' "</p><p>"I was 8 years old and still remember how mad my parents were lol."</p><p>-- -<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyug8s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SincerelyDontCare</a></p>
Mourning Snooze<p>"Nothing. She fell asleep in her chair while writing notes....I was talking about the death of my parents. I was 16. Never went to another therapist" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gozuyga?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Papismurf101</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"After reading a few of these I'm convinced some therapists get there education on a milk box. Flipping heck. I'm so sorry that happened to you." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gp2zydy?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">illthinkofonel8er</a></p>
When Word and Deed Do Not Align<p>"When they say things like 'okay I understand how you are feeling thank you for telling me' but proceeds to ignore most of the things I've said. -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyrsef?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PrestigeZyra</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Ugh I hate that. Sympathy is not Empathy."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Rephrased: 'Based on what you've shared, I think I'm starting to understand what you have been through. Thank you for telling me. Now you said X, would you like to explain that further so I can better understand?' "</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"It's called motivational interviewing and that specific technique is 'reflecting' and 'clarification' to ensure the client is able to fully explain their meaning without the provider 'assuming' anything or ignoring the person's statements." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gozv732?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">jhorry</a></p>
Proven Wrong Almost Immediately<p>"Go back to work, you'll be fine, you don't need different meds."</p><p><em>"3 times being sent home and psych ward visit later" -- </em><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goygpxp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BalancedJoker</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goygpxp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>"let me guess, diagnosed with depression (unipolar). prescribed an SSRI type antidepressant. turns out you have biploar depression and without mood stabilizers the SSRIs sent you into a strong manic episode." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gp0hdbz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SecTrono</a></p>
Doubling Down<p>"I had a psychiatrist who was convinced I was anorexic even though I wasn't."</p><p>"It really sucked because my therapist and my psychiatrist worked at the same company and they had a policy where they don't help people with eating disorders."</p><p>"So even though I went to a specialist and they confirmed I didn't have an eating disorder I was still banned from that facility and lost my long term therapist."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyzbxh?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">assainXD1</a></p>
Throwing Shade on a Healthy Habit<p>"I use my creativity with art and craft as both a coping skill and as something that gives me extra purpose in life."</p><p>"A psychologist told me that doing so is maladaptive. I didn't go back."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyloq7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BlackCaaaaat</a></p>
Wut<p>"Had a therapist tell me that my soul, long before I was born, chose my parents and subsequent childhood abuse so that I could learn from it."</p><p>"By this logic, of course, the abused person is always in control and the abuser is helpless. Argue with that logic. Needless to say I never saw her again."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyszg6?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mercuryrising137</a></p>
On the internet, people tend to say things they likely would not in the real world. The anonymity of a forum or comment section--composed only of verbal contributions beneath made up names--compels us to socialize with less inhibition; we take more risks with the peers we can't see in the flesh.
THANK YOU<p>"Maybe not small. But my job is sort of essential. I support software that is used by many hospitals and medical facilities."</p><p>"I've pretty much worked every day and made sure our sh** didn't blow up whole covid wrecked shop. I get no mention. I get no praise but damnit I'm happy to keep helping fight the fight."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5ubry?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">shartnado3</a></p>
Making All the Right Moves<p>"Trimming 7 years (so far!) off our mortgage through minor payment tweaks and tax return lump sum payments."</p><p>"It takes planning and discipline, but means we'll both be able to retire without house-debt. Planning to surprise SO with this next year once I get it down a little further." </p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5w7mm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">flitterbug78</a></p>
The Leap<p>"I finally got the courage to apply to, interview for, and accept another job, and quit the job I've had for a decade." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp63t9k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">whatisgoinghappen</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Good job. I change as well last September. After 14 years it was stressful. Especially with a wife, a mortgage and a kid depending on my income." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp8x685?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Angio343</a></p>
33.83 Years of Training<p>"I successfully plunged a toilet today! For the first time in my 33.83 years of existence! I'm just relieved I don't have to call the guest house manager."</p><p>"That'll teach me not to flush toilet paper in India smh."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp69rfb?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">fvckyes</a></p>
Keep It Going, Keep It Going<p>"Running 45 minutes to one hour most days for the last four weeks." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5uufd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">InbhirNis</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's brilliant!! Geesh if you can keep that up, even if it becomes just a few times a week you are adding YEARS to you lifespan, as well as LIFE!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp6gjdv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BlueLunarStar</a></p>
Pristine Extremities<p>"I been biting my nails all of my life and have finally stopped. I always feel a little silly to show my friends and be like, look, I have nails!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp64l2e?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mobiuthuselah</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Hey that's awesome! I've been biting my nails for like 20 years, it is a HARD habit to break. 👏👏" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp8cu86?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">takethehiddenpaths</a></p>
1, 2, 3<p>"I did three loads of laundry today. Folded and put away too!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5tmtb?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">rockbiter81</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Is..is that humanly possible? I mean put away and everything?" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp71hfd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AtheneSchmidt</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Several years ago, when I was majorly depressed, laundry was the hardest thing to do. It felt never <a href="https://ending.to/" target="_blank">ending.</a> To this day, keeping on top of laundry is like saying 'I'm doing ok' for me."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Doing three loads, folding AND putting away is amazing from my perspective! Congrats! Good job!!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp7bebe?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Smartass_Narrator</a></p>
Step One, Check<p>"I've been making a point to try and shower every day."</p><p>"It doesn't seem like much, but when I'm going through a rough bout of depression - it's the biggest accomplishment I can muster and I'm very proud of myself and my current level of stinky-ness"</p><p>"(current stink level: not stinky!! Yay)"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp61um4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">datCHEESElife</a></p>
Upswinging<p>"Drug addict for the last 10 years, tomorrow marks 2 months clean. May not sound like a long time but it's longest I've gone ever" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp601uu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">yo_Slick</a></p><p>"Been an alcoholic for 9 years. 2 weeks sober tomorrow" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5v4ol?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">IscreamwhenIsh**</a></p>
Here's to You Making It<p>"today is my 26th birthday and I'm still around for it" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5uq5b?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">b4byd0t</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I've been depressed for decades. I just turned 49 four days ago and I never thought I'd get here. It's been rough for most of those years, but I'm still here and I think of all the people I've helped that wouldn't have happened and it gives me a purpose. Do the same."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Think about anything you've done, even if it's just giving directions to a stranger. You helped that person get to where they needed to be. If you weren't there, they might still be lost now." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp7yyjw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">eddyathome</a></p>
Time and dedication is critical to learning new skills.