Restrictions

I have enforced a strict mental diet upon myself. In particular, I´ve stopped reading psychotherapy forums. I want to reduce my anger.

It´s not a whole lot of fun. Zimmer was right when he said that the constant drama in self-help and psychoanalytical groups can be addictive – addictive even to the point of self-destruction. It is very, very easy to become addicted to drama, especially when you´re still hoping to find your own views confirmed. The first step out there is to understand that this is not going to happen. The next step is to understand that you are not going to win arguments with people who apply circular reasoning, make claims without providing evidence, snub science and live in a world of relentless subjectivism and relativism. The best thing, however, is to understand that even winning an argument or two would accomplish nothing, which also means that losing them doesn´t matter. Actually, everything those people say doesn´t matter. Why am I even listening to them? What is the virtue in listening to everyone, even if you know they neither know the facts nor care about them? It is a virtue of the same relativism and subjectivism I´m trying to escape.

Being in such forums for too long turns a dissenter into a hypocrite. It is very hard for any civilized, well-mannered person to tell another person (even via Internet) that she doesn´t respect their opinion, especially when it comes to touchy, personal subjects such as psychotherapy and mental illness. I don´t even know how well-mannered I consider myself, maybe it is my lack of manners that forces me to be hypocritical where I don´t want to be downright offensive. But I´m tired of hearing myself weaken my own points and sugar-coating my opinions to avoid the level of clarity that would create a backlash; and also I´m tired of listening to me telling myself that I do, in fact, respect the other person´s opinion, it´s just that….

It isn´t. I don´t. I believe that everyone has the right to state their opinion. But I also believe it is inhumane to demand that we should have respect for everything. No. Sometimes we just think something is bullshit. Hilarious, even. Some opinions, some lines of reasoning make us laugh incredulously. There will always be people we consider stupid. If we wanted to avoid this, we´d have to switch off our brains. We make such judgements even if we try to suppress them, reprimand ourselves, try to humble ourselves. Actually, those exercises are missing the point anyway. Even if you were able to put yourself down to the point of not considering yourself worthy of criticizing anyone or anything – it would change nothing about the fact that you´d believe in a hierarchy of character and intellect.

Maybe it is inevitable that such hierarchies exists in peoples´minds.  The ideal of not judging is merely another way to create a hierarchy: Who´s most non-judgemental? While many people will notice this ideal is paradoxical, they will merely consider this evidence for its esoteric truth. It doesn´t matter that you cannot obey a paradoxical order. At least trying to gives you something to do for the rest of your life. Anyone who has ever been bored and dissatisfied for a longer period of time will understand the allure of this. Besides, the idea you might be able to make sense out of nonsense is a promise of future superiority. Another thing that is very hard to resist, especially when you aren´t happy with what you have achieved.

I´m staying away from psychotherapy forums because I want to get all this false thinking out of my head. Arguments and lines of reasoning become an automatic thing if you´re exposed to them long enough. I know from experience, though, that they can go away again if only you stay away. It doesn´t mean I will no longer deal with why they are wrong. Doing so is absolutely vital. I will not, however, knowingly expose myself to lines of reasoning and styles of debate that cloud my judgement and lead nowhere.

By staying away from the drama I´ve been following, I´m ensuring my mood doesn´t depend on whether I get confirmation or food for doubts. I´m trying to make this irrelevant to me. I guess to be absolutely sure I´d have to stay away forever. Of course the key to that is having something else to do, something that is more worthwhile. Such things aren´t always easy to find. I´m bored a lot lately. I feel caged in.

 

 

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