Archive for confusion

Apparently me thinking I´m psychotic again, but most definitely a whole lot of confusion

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , , , , on December 1, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

I do okay for several days, or maybe experience some moments when I´m really down, but it´s all within reason. Literally. Until suddenly my cognitive functioning breaks down.

Most of the time when I´m down I can describe how I feel and what happens. During a breakdown like this one I can´t. It´s like my mind is cannibalizing itself. I ruminate about myself, then my self ruminates about me, and written down like this it sounds like a witty pun, but in reality I am lying on the bed sobbing pointlessly, unable to put into words or even thoughts what is wrong with me and what I´d need to feel better. This, however, makes me completely helpless. It´s a mental breakdown without any real content; a breakdown of functioning. I cry and cry, and simultaneously I want to dance because there´s a song on the radio that I like; and I´m at a loss to explain where my tears are gone or why they are still streaming down my face while my mind is singing along to Waka Waka. This inability to understand myself or to stay in one emotion for thirty seconds at a time is driving me nuts. Verbalizing is the only real weapon I have against my moods and my mean inner voices, and during those breakdowns it gets knocked out completely.

The only constant during a breakdown is a bizarre sense of guilt. I keep on wondering sincerely how it is possible to reliably do everything wrong all of the time. To be unable to even stay depressed for five minutes. On the one hand, a cheerful song can kick me straight forward into a different mood, and on the other hand, the simple fact that this is so makes me want to kill myself, so what mood am I truly in? I don´t know. It is a circle that perpetuates itself. If I´m actually still depressive, than knowing this should make the unbearable tension go away, but it doesn´t, because the song is still making me happy. I don´t even know how you can have all those affects simultaneoulsy.  And again: How emotional and desperate can I truly be, if I take the time to put the word “have” in italics? Those are questions which, to me, are absolutely condemning, and I don´t even know why. It just seems to me like I am absolutely inconsistent as a person and I cannot cope with that. Maybe according to identity theory (identity as constructs which need to be consistent in order to work) I cannot cope with being inconsistent because it makes it impossible for me to have any kind of self-conception on the basis of which I could try to understand myself or categorize my feelings, assign meaning to what happens inside of me.

I think if the Holy Inquisition still existed I´d go see them and ask if they can save my soul. Now, at the (hopefully) end of one of those breakdowns, I still feel like I desperately need to have all that falseness and absurdity in me eradicated; carved out of my body. I wouldn´t even want it to hurt, though I would want to feel something – the kind of relief you feel when you can at last scratch an itch, or when you finally breach the surface of the water and breathe.

Maybe it is single-mindedness in its literal meaning that I´m looking for. One mood, one line of thought, one emotion. Not all channels open at once. And maybe pain can grant a bit of that. Pain caused by someone else. Get my focus that sharp, fix me there, eliminate. I think my pain perception was a bit dulled during this breakdown.

Oh god, I´d better try to go to sleep now that I have a trace of my usual sarcasm back. Maybe I´m just having that breakdown because I have to study, anyway. Or well…I guess it started because I felt like I´m a complete loser and it just went on from there. Never mind. Never mind, forget it, move on or die trying. Goodnight.

 

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Language, concepts, confusion

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , , on May 10, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

I sometimes feel like I have to re-learn things that once came to me naturally. One such thing is rational thinking. Maybe I´m giving myself too much credit when I say I have to re-learn it, maybe I was never as good at it as I thought. What I have to re-learn, though, is the confidence that logical thought leads to correct conclusions, or that logical thought is even possible.

A few years ago everything seemed to dissolve. It´s like I wasn´t sure anymore of the meaning of words. I felt like I couldn´t make any definite statements anymore. Instead of saying “I feel lonely” I would have wondered if what I feel can really be described as loneliness. This would have come with a sense of being an impostor. Did I even have the right to claim such expressions for myself? I felt like if I got it wrong and said something untrue that would be some kind of lie, crime, philosophical sin.

Rationally seen, this is a matter of statistics: Which feelings, sensations and thoughts does the majority of people label as “loneliness”? Maybe you can give this a philosophical edge and ask how much freedom you should have in using language, if you can use words at will and in unusual ways. If you could, if you felt like it, use the word “loneliness” in the way other people use the word “hunger” and still be right in saying you´re lonely when your stomach growls.

Language, for all I know, is a mere convention. We might as well call things by different names. So in a way my question was meaningless. Calling something “loneliness” which other people wouldn´t call loneliness is, from this point of view, not a sin but a simple error – like using a wrong word in a foreign language.

This argument doesn´t take away my deep sense of mystification and confusion, though. I wasn´t concerned with signifiers, but with the signified. I think I tried to explain this some time before: When I thought “I feel lonely” I was wondering if how I felt was how lonely people feel. “Lonely people” were a definite group,  and there were strict rules as to who could be part of it. And that was true for every feeling, every statement about my inner life. Those groups were looming over me like angry judges, and if I tried to become part of a group whose membership I didn´t deserve I was treated as an impostor, a liar, someone who undeservedly wanted to gain the benefits of being part of that group.

I think I had started to think in a psychological way. In order to explore the human mind scientifically you need strict definitions of the words you use to describe it. The words used to describe mental processes, though, are often derived from everyday language. Shame, guilt, fear. When I was younger I could use these words without thinking much about it. Now, though, I constantly have second thoughts: Is what I feel really guilt? Or is it – JUST! – shame?

I think these definitions are not so much derived from actual scientific studies in psychology. They come from books and articles written by psychotherapists, from self-helf materials, from blogs and forum entries by patients. This is a problem in itself, as apparently the only vocabulary I had left signified concepts of mental illness. The idea that my inner life could be described in a different fashion was alien to me.

I don´t think I´ve ever perceived myself as normal. But before I anxiously submitted my use of words to the use suggested in psychotherapeutical and “emotional healing” literature I had no qualms about describing my feelings. I could use words like fear, shame, guilt, self-loathing and depression in an informal way, feeling deeply serious about it and at least I still had the satisfaction of being expressive.

Insight therapies are all about talking. They were not, though, at least in my case, about me just telling my story. I said something, and often I was interrupted in order for me to clarify something, like a word. Or Dr. Stoneface took what I had said and expressed it differently, or, as I thought sometimes, not at all. I sometimes feel like psychotherapy is some kind of word-policing, language-policing, where the way you describe your inner and outer life is corrected until it corresponds to reality as the therapist perceives it. It is less absurd than it sounds, language shapes consciousness and once you´ve learned a certain jargon it´s hard to unlearn. The words in question, after all, all signify complicated, abstract entities. Shame is an abstract entity. Narcissism, the Ego and the Id are even more abstract. They don´t exist anywhere inside of you. They are mere concepts, and yet in therapy they are treated as real. Shame, at least, is something you can feel. Words like narcissism, Ego and Id are purely derived from theory.  Theories you can buy into or not.

I think I lost my ease and also my joy in writing fiction when I lost my innocence in language use. Athena once told me I´m not cut out for science, I´m an artist. It was not very much of a compliment, and I think it isn´t true, either. What was implied, in our complicated private world of meaning, was that I didn´t understand the truths I spoke through my writing, that I was accidentally right, but that understanding these truths would devastate me and make me unable to write. She, of course, was the scientist, braver, more stoical, breathing clarity. Maybe it was this statement which ruined writing for me. I want to know what I´m saying. I´m lost in a labyrinth of confusion, though, and I need to find my way back to clarity. What I need to re-learn, maybe, is not so much the technique of rational thinking, but the definite truths that can be derived from it.

If you want to read something that makes no sense at all, try this entry

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , , on January 17, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

Loneliness can turn all the air in a room into something leaden, something that weighs on your chest and suffocates you. Same with silence, which is almost the same. Now that I live alone, and not having a job or anywhere else to go regularly, it happens that I don´t talk to anybody all day. Essentially I´m just waiting for the day to pass, for me to be “allowed” to go to bed, as if tomorrow would bring anything different. Today I went to the store not because I needed to buy something, but in order to get out of the house. I feel like I have no business just leaving the house when I feel like it, not to mention have any contact with other people. I feel like some kind of prisoner, however nice my prison is. Weird.

I´m reluctant to admit all this because it makes me look so dysfunctional. It makes me look like no one wants me. Which isn´t even true, I´m in a relationship. Anyway. I´m in a situation where no one will contact me on his own accord, or at least that isn´t likely to happen. Apart from me, only five other people even know where I live, and three of them are pretty damn far away. If I want human contact, I have to actively “go out there” and seek it. Most of the time I do that online, and I don´t address people directly, I just answer their posts or comment their blog or wait for them to comment on mine. Goodness. Actually, there´s some mails I should answer, but all that´s not the same as going to someone and saying “hey, right this second I´m feeling lonely, could you give me a hug or tell me a joke or whatever”.

I am disoriented. I forget who is “real” and who is just a stranger from the Internet. I forget to write to people I actually know, because they seem so far away from the daily treadmill of my thoughts. On the Internet, I pick acquaintances according to mutual interests, so they seem closer even though I don´t even know what they look like. This, however, is so incredibly impersonal. Most of them wouldn´t care if they are talking to me or to anybody else who holds similar opinions. I as a person am as non-existant to them as they are to me.

I hate to admit how lonely, dysfunctional and disoriented I am. It makes me feel even more helpless. I´m imagining people all day, people who are around me, but in fact there´s no one there. Most of the time I don´t even realize it, I just wonder why I´m so stuck, why I lie on my bed all day, why I´m online all the time. It´s because I´m utterly lonely and unable to deal with it. I am unable to do anything other than distract myself from it, and most of the time I don´t even feel the loneliness, just some strange pain and discontent.

For some reason all this makes me feel worthless. It makes me feel like I´m addicted to some imaginary world while neglecting the few real people who care about me, and yet I simply cannot make myself write them back. I lack all motivation to interact with them, and I don´t know why. Maybe I prefer to be lost inside my head. Some voice in my head is scorning me for this, saying that now I finally see that being online all day is not as harmless as I always make it out to be, and then I remember that this voice, too, is entirely imaginary, that no one I know is saying this to me, and I´m starting to wonder just how crazy I already am.

I more or less automatically forget about people, or shun them, or try to make them forget me. I don´t know why. Maybe they are ties to a reality which is too much for me. I wonder if I should even come here to this blog in order to sort myself out. Isn´t that another imaginary place? I feel happy and cared about when someone comments on what I write, but I don´t know the people who do so and in a way that input feels just as fictional as the voices in my head. So what about that feeling? Isn´t it fueling my descent into a whirl of wires and bright screens?

I feel like I´m killing myself. Killing off my mind, that is. I´m turning myself into a rambling lunatic. And on some level I want to. I want to destroy myself because I hate this world, I hate society and other people, and I don´t want to need them. I feel like I cannot be myself around people and I don´t want to not be myself for the rest of my life just for the sake of my sanity. No, fuck off, sanity!

The worst thing is how much I´ve been sucked up by psychological conspiracy theories. All my thoughts are centering around is basically what kind of crazy I am, and what to do about it, and whether or not I´m dead inside… I don´t know. The state I´m in right now reminds me of the mixture of numbness and hysteria I experienced with Athena. My ability to think rationally has gone right out of the window, for the sake of some feelings and other real important deep bullshit without which I´m not properly human, and I´m both disgusted with and ashamed of myself. I feel like I´ve plunged deeply into some preachy, sickly sweet religion that throws around big words like “personal growth” and whatnot, and I´ve swallowed all that and accepted that according to their system I´m a sinner (narcissist) because I´m cynical and not emotional enough yet. Maybe my disgust is a reaction to me understanding that I will never get anything other from this system than hearing that I´m the bad guy. According to that system, I am the bad guy. I am cynical, grandiose, callous and “blessed” with a hypersensitive pride the size of New York City. And, knowing what I am, I feel it´s just no longer appropriate if I stick around. What do I want from this system? I secretly and not so secretly despise it! I´m a non-believer who has no respect for the faith of others!

Two days ago I was at a meeting with my philosophy class. I was supposed to tell them about my work, and I had to realize that while my work was all about defeating the principles of the psychotherapy religion, most of my classmates thought my points were completely irrelevant because there was no rational basis for any of the claims I was arguing against. It was then that I realized I´m surrounding myself with the wrong thoughts. With irrational thoughts. I realized how deep I had fallen. How much time I had wasted. Yes, that´s what hurts most. I pointlessly hampered myself. Just where could I be right now if I hadn´t hooked myself upon this pile of bollocks. And now I can´t stop it, and psychology seems to be the only thing that can help me out there. Oh the fucking irony…

I am such a loser. This blog isn´t worthless, there is potential for some pretty good thoughts on here, but it´s nothing I´d share with other people, nothing that would gain me any recognition other than “you are soooo brave for facing your demons”. Which I´d rather not hear anymore any time soon. What´s worthwhile is writing essays, structured thoughts, that kind of stuff is worth something. I´m trying to do that here. Actually, I´ve battled the voices with rational thought many times. Trying to structure things. Maybe I´m being too hard on myself. Maybe I simply need to accept where I am right now. And maybe these last to sentences are just more of that sickening preachy syrup.

I didn´t take good care of my mind those last ten years. I allowed absolutely everything in, and I screwed rational thought. I was ready to believe everything, ready to believe that my own perceptions where completely wrong and distorted, ready to believe that everything about me was sick, deranged and toxic. I was ready to believe that every word I said was a lie. I screwed rational thought because I believed that rationally I could only come to the conclusion that I was a terrible person, and I didn´t realize that probably wasn´t very rational at all.

Okay, right now basically I´m having fun bashing myself. I guess this is what it looks like when I try to break myself. That is, essentially, what I do. What I´m doing here is nothing but hysteria. This whole entry is gibberish. I´ll post it anyway because for some reason that makes it more real. Even though this is the confusing, illusionary, unreal online world. And another heartfelt oh the fucking irony!

Edit: I don´t want to destroy myself because I hate society and other people. I want to destroy myself because I hate myself and because it feels good to be destructive.