Archive for madness

Appeasement

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

Today was a very bad day depression-wise. On days like these I have this vague feeling that it should be allowed to officially distance yourself from the person you are. To say: “I acknowledge that I am a horrible, useless person and I want nothing to do with myself. Please hold that in my favor while you exorcise that person.”

The triggers for this were as trivial as it gets. Last night I whined to my mother about how difficult studying is and how I hate all my fellow students, from which I woke up feeling pathetic; and then I realized that I´m broke again, one week before Christmas, with zero presents bought. It´s not that much of a desaster, I have some money put aside which I can access easily and I´ll probably get some for Christmas, too, so I will neither have to starve nor tell my parents. It still sucks, though, because a) I´ve proven once again that I´m incapable of managing my finances and b) I´ll have to run around like a penitent for the rest of the month questioning every bloody chocolate bar I buy. Maybe part b) is actually worse.

I´m trying humour, and I´m trying hard work. Studying helps, but underneath my almost manic behavior is a steadily deepening abyss of horror. Maybe it has to do with the penitent role my depression forces me into currently. I´m play-acting that I´ve learned something from this, or that I´ve changed in some way, that I´m now the kind of person who studies hard and forgets about how pissed off she is that other students appear to have an easier time, but this is just a perversion of my real feelings. In fact, I am so crushed, frustrated and tense that I have no idea where to go from there. This moral masochism is the only way I can move into any direction; and while I´m really trying to feel what it suggests to me, I know that as soon as I feel better again, it will pass.

I feel very anxious about happy thoughts right now. To think, for example, that I can drop the act if I pass my upcoming exam, even seems to jinx me. I don´t deserve it, both morally and judging from what I learned yet (but mostly morally), it would be better for me if I failed it because if I pass that would allow me to still think of myself as superior to the other students, and therefore, I must make a pledge to stay in this masochistic mindset even if I pass. In trying to pass this test, I´m essentially fighting myself. It´s like a part of me is hell-bent on sabotaging me in order to put me to justice. I´m not going to contradict that part, as this only seems to make it stronger, and besides, it has so much power over me that I simply don´t dare make it “angry”. The only thing it approves of is rock-bottom humility.

I´m sometimes tempted to give it what it wants. It wouldn´t be difficult to figure out. But then, at some point, another part of me cries out and asks me what I´m doing here. Don´t I want to maintain some sincereity? Can I still bear looking at myself after groveling like that? Isn´t it just a cheap thrill, anyway? Am I throwing away years of defensiveness for what will probably be nothing? Do I want to compromise myself like that?

It´s true that quite possibly nothing would come from it. To every internal accusation I would say “yes, it is like that, and yes, I feel awful and pathetic for it, please help me change.” The reply would be: “Well, you´ll have to stop being like that yourself, you can´t expect someone else to sort you out. It´s your responsibility!” To which I would say: “But I don´t know what!” The reply: “Well, think harder!” – “I´m thinking as hard as I can, it´s like my head is going to explode!” – “Actually you don´t want to think of anything. You don´t really want to change, you are not sincere, you are phony, you´re every bit as bad as you were before. You have not really distanced yourself from who you are!” And there goes my peace of mind. Nothing about me is acceptable.

 

 

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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.

 

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.

Reality Checklist

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

This checklist is personal. It is not intended as advice, not even for me. It is my best shot at what might be a realistic conception of my own psychopathology, whatever its nature might be in clinical terms. At the moment I don´t even want to know anymore. I need to re-define myself on my own.

This checklist is something to come back to when I have another attack of madness in the broadest sense. It could be angry inner dialogues, it could be theories about the origin of my illness. I will look at this list, feel invalidated by it and thrust it aside. But once the acute phase is over, I can go back to the list and re-orient myself. I hope that this way I won´t have to figure all this out time and time again. Like I said before, my (inner) life is subject to constant disruption. Maybe you could say that this list is a lifeline from the sanest perspective I´m capable of. It might help me integrate my latest experiences of madness. I hope to be able to understand where I went wrong, where I strayed from realistic and identity-building thinking.

A short, very simplified theory of madness which might prove helpful to me:

  • It lies in the nature of madness that the symptoms (feelings, attitudes, perceptions…) make no sense. Looking into the past for an explanation that gives a seemingly understandable meaning to them is to deny their nature as expressions of madness. If I get terrified in my own room and conclude that something terrible must have happened there I am denying that my fear is irrational and that I am mad. Fear is not a proof of past or present danger.
  • Madness proceeds in several stages: You start with having symptoms like panic or other emotions which seem out of place in the situation you´re in. This is something that simply happens to you. How you deal with it determines if the madness can proceed to other parts of your psyche or if it is stopped, that is, you stay sane, though ill. If you look for explanations for these symptoms which give meaning to them instead of acknowledging their insane nature, you let madness take over your cognitive capacities as well. Not only do you have false responses to situations, you also start to cognitively distort reality. Hearing voices is a hallucination, a disturbance of the senses. Attributing them to CIA mind control is the beginning of a delusion, a disturbance of cognition.
  • There are two different ways of looking at your history: You can acknowledge that you are mad and look at how being mad has influenced your life and your self-image. And you can look at your symptoms and try to deduce from them what must have happened to you in order for a (as you believe) sane person to develop such symptoms. The first way can be helpful, the second way leads to delusions.
  • Sanity is to be free from delusions, not free of symptoms.
  • By believing that your symptoms are meaningful, you make it harder for you to gain inner distance and freedom from them. If your fears and other problems are rational and make perfect sense, then it would be mad to break free from them and stop being frightened. Thus, delusions prolong and intensify your suffering.

How to obtain a narrative which gives me a sense of identity:

  • You can only gain a workable identity from a narrative that focuses on agency. While, of course, sometimes things happen to you, focusing on these things won´t tell you who the person is to whom they happened. If I view myself as a passive object floating in a cruel sea, I´m victimising myself.
  • The answer is not to simply claim responsibility for everything, and especially not for the actions of other people.
  • When evaluating past situations you feel guilty about or ashamed of, ask the following questions: 1) What situation did I believe to be in? 2) What did I want to achieve or avoid? 3) Which observable actions did I commit? 4) What situation was I really in, seen from a distance? This also includes my level of knowledge at the time. 5) What could I at best have expected to achieve?
  • A perspective of agency does not imply that you brought everything upon yourself. It is a biography focused on your thoughts, actions, motivations and evaluation of situations. It doesn´t really matter if much, little or nothing bad happened to you – you´ll probably always need to develop a perspective of agency in order to move on.
  • Look at what was important to you in past situations, not at what turned out to be important after the fact or at what other people deemed important. In order to judge your behavior you need to know your own perspective.
  • Just because you develop a perspective of agency doesn´t mean that all of a sudden nothing happened to you anymore. Things still happened to you, you are just looking at something different for a change.
  • Identity is fluid and needs to be constructed and reconstructed steadily, especially after (social) defeats, attacks on your self-esteem and current identity, being at fault. If you fail at this, you will fall into an abyss of demoralization. Overcoming this abyss is the implicit aim of everything I do.

With regards to inner tension, angry dialogues, shame:

  • No one is saying anything to me at the moment. It is not real.
  • The people who write things that make me feel any of the above are not talking about me. They don´t even know I exist.
  • Whatever the solution to my problems is, it is never that I should feel this way. A real solution will not feel like this.
  • Imagining humiliating scenarios is simply something I instinctively do in order to try and relieve the tension. It might not be the only way, and even if I needed such things to happen to me in order to relieve the tension, it wouldn´t mean that I deserve them.
  • Just because the voices in my head aren´t real doesn´t mean I was never bullied or verbally attacked. While they certainly use every interpersonal defeat or even conflict against me, though, they are an entitity of their own and they consist of more than things that were actually said to me. The dialogues in my head are no flashbacks of dialogues that have taken place in real life. They are fantasy. They have never happened and they are not really happening right now.
  • I feel angry at people I argue with internally even though those people (real people) have never said the things they say in my head. It´s because of this that I don´t feel sure if they have really given me a reason to be mad at them or if I´m just a vengeful person who cannot cope with herself. This, by the way, sounds like a black-and-white distinction.
  • Just because the dialogues aren´t real doesn´t mean it would be alright to talk to me this way. It´s normal that they make me feel the way they do. It´s just not really happening. Therefore, even by winning discussions with them, I don´t stop any kind of real life evil from happening.

Me and Others:

  • It is okay, even expected of me, not to expose my innermost secrets to everyone.
  • Lying and keeping my feelings to myself are two different things. I can give my honest opinion without having to give away how personal the issue in question is for me.
  • People who meet you for the first time don´t know that you believe you can make yourself invisible. It surprises them when you don´t greet them, look away and fail to display a normal amount of self-confidence.
  • People who meet you for the first time don´t know how you think about yourself. You can actually shape how they think about you.
  • Trying to influence peoples´ view of you is not per se an act of people – pleasing or self-denial. You can use it as an act of self-protection. It is very reasonable to keep your vulnerabilities away from people who have views which might hurt you.
  • It is legitimate to protect yourself. You don´t need to use relationships to other people as a punishment.
  • Nobody can read your mind. Most people probably aren´t even noticing you.
  • You don´t have to agree with others. You don´t have to discuss everything. You have a right to private thoughts and opinions and no one can first demand to hear them and then be upset.
  • Other people aren´t all out to psychologically demolish you. You have experience with this. You´ll recognize it when it happens. Relax.
  • It is okay to postpone discussions and responses because you want time to think.
  • When in doubt, keep your emotions under wrap, politely tell people you need time to think, remove yourself from the situation, sleep over it, rethink it, respond.
  • Other people are not the Holy Inquisition. They have just as many issues as you, and those who act like the Holy Inquisition probably have most.
  • When criticism is mingled with aggression, cruelty, scorn, the way you´ll feel about yourself receiving it does not reflect who you really are, even if the criticism itself is justified.

To be, I am sure, continued.

Agency and Identity

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , , on April 26, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

I think the unsatisfactory thing about many of my narratives (that is: how I tell my story) is that they tend to make me a passive being. Like this, though, they cannot give me a sense of identity. I still don´t know who that person is to whom all of this happened. The way to get a sense of who I am, then, might be to create an active narrative, a narrative in which I am an agent.

Some people – I´ll boldly say misunderstand – this approach. They seem to think it is enough to claim you are responsible for everything that happened. You are not what you did and intended at the time you acted, you are what resulted from your actions. Implicitly or explicitly those people assume everything that happened is something you secretly (consciously or unconsciously) wanted to happen.

I think that is nonsensical. It defies common sense. This kind of thinking is incredibly wide-spread at the moment, but I think it´s a fairly recent trend that will go away again. If I want to believe this, I also have to believe courts judging people on the grounds that they did or didn´t have certain intentions are acting unfairly. With the approach above you don´t have to ask for intentions. The agent has always intended to achieve exactly what happened anyway.

What I want is a narrative that allows me to feel like I´m the end product of my life story and that I can move on to working on my aims now. I want a narrative that enables me to act, and I think the only such narrative can be one that focuses on my own doings. What else can give me a realistic idea of my behavior patterns and my previous and current limits? The key here is, of course, realistic. Blindly taking responsibility for the outcome of everything I was ever part of is useless because it leaves just as much of a void as seeing myself as completely passive.  It is just as impersonal. Absolute victim and absolute perpetrator are both images which disable me from feeling a sense of identity.

I find again and again that it doesn´t really matter what I did in my life, what matters is how I look at it. The moment I can look at it through the lens of agency I feel safe from the judgment of others. I am my own judge then, and I can decide on my own how to deal with myself. I get a sense of self-respect just from that, independently of the actions I´m judging. Consequently, my current shame and lack of self-respect do not so much result from my real life actions, but from the way in which I´ve seen myself and my life. Most of the time, after all, I have adamantly refused any sense of agency. Everything just happened to me.

This, right now, is a mere assessment of reality. If I want self-respect, a sense of identity and to stop fearing the judgment of others I need to take a realistic and ego-syntonic perspective of agency. This is not yet a perspective of agency itself. It is at best a mission statement.

Actually, nothing changes so much. I still need to look at my life, and in order to get a realistic assessment of my own agency I also have to look at the actions of others or how I perceived them. This “sense of agency” revelation is more like an explanation as to why combing through my memories again and again and writing down the same complaints again and again doesn´t set me free. It becomes clear to me what I need, and it becomes clear to me where the source of my shame lies.

Maybe, just maybe, this sense of agency also describes the difference between sanity and madness.

What are The Voices?

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , on April 25, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

What are The Voices?

I don´t know. Right now, all I can feel about them is a presence. An inner (or invisible, god-like outer) observer who sometimes approves of, sometimes condemns me. Right now there is approval, inner peace, a warm little glow. I feel it where, on other days, I feel the tension.

With The Voices, I never feel alone – for better and for worse. Their approval gives me a sense of security, like: My cause is righteous, so nothing can happen to me! I feel like The Voices can protect me, they can shield me from danger, they can carry me away if they must. Well, those are visions I have when I get scared of something. At other times, it feels like I´m blessed with such protective powers myself, like I´m projecting those shields, or like I can influence things (traffic lights switching, goals being scored) myself. Like I can use such powers for my own benefit. That only works, though, if I am deserving of such privileges. I must be a particularly good person in order to earn it, and I must not have any petty feelings.

In those situations its mostly me who does the talking. I address the voices, I get confirmation or reprimand, and I accept both mostly unflinchingly, only sometimes I try to negotiate. I guess it´s a bit like constant prayer. In those moments The Voices feel like some outer entities who are above all mankind and judge from afar, and I´m very lucky for having such a close connection towards them. It separates me from other people, since they are unaware The Voices even exist. I sometimes feel like I represent all of mankind to them, like I have to speak for everyone.

***

So, here´s the thing: The Voices have been with me for at least 15 years. And while I didn´t always believe in the explanations I found for their existence, I always believed in them. Those states of mind – being the chosen one versus being everything I hate – have always been there. I think to some extent it were The Voices themselves who socialized me, who were responsible for how I saw myself. Maybe they filled a void which my parents had left, I don´t know. Maybe, also, I never even listened to anyone else because I had the voices. Those two interpretations are good representations of the two different states of mind.

The terrifying thing is that I feel like without them I´m nothing. I feel like I have no character strength of my own, it all comes from The Voices and the discipline they subject me to. It all comes from the feeling of being chosen of sorts. Without that, why would I hold myself to any standards at all? When I´m not under that spell, then what do I think and how do I behave?

Funny. I was starting to think on my own after the break in this post, instead of harmonizing with The Voices, and suddenly I´m back to condemnation. Damn, I don´t want to make this any more real by saying “they punish me, they don´t want me to be independent”. “They” do and want nothing, if anything I am delusional.

But why “if anything”? Because I have a nasty feeling that my interaction with these voices is a little too active in order to pose as a victim here. A part of me cooperates with them, in some kind of twilight zone between “in my head” and “for real”. I grew up in that twilight zone. I feel like I was raised more by The Voices than by real people. I feel like I´ve passed the point of no return. I cannot become sane and return to reality. I cannot live without those voices, as it would mean that the last 25 years of my life have been worthless and nonsensical.

I wonder to what extent The Voices are an explanation themselves. I sometimes have moments in which it feels like I´m thinking up their responses myself. It is still very important to me, though, that most of the time I´m not doing this myself, that they are real.

I think The Voices are a strong reason why I do not really live my life. They keep me out of this world, make it seem unnecessary to strive for anything, they make me feel like I´m completely different from everybody else. It´s not anything anyone did. I can accuse my parents of many things, but The Voices are not their fault. They are my very own craziness, and they are the greatest part of my inner history, of my identity even, since I always failed at finding an identity in outer roles.

Sometimes I think that most of my life has been madness and I want to resign. Then I turn it around and say that madness has been a great part of my life – and suddenly I have a story. An identity, possibly.

 

Paranoid visions

Posted in health, mental health, morbid, personal with tags , , , , on April 22, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

Fear and confusion are increasing. I feel unable to describe what´s going on inside of me, and I´m not sure I want anything to do with it. I feel like I´m living in paranoid visions.

A vision of me seeking psychiatric help. A vision of everything I believed to know turning out to be false, of me having to learn that I´m thoroughly paranoid, that everyone I perceived as cruel only ever wanted to help me. The idea that my suspiciousness might be part of crazy.

It what I wrote in the last paragraph is really true, then I don´t want to live anymore. There seems to be no point in it. If all my feelings are completely dumb and paranoid and unrealistic, then I don´t see why I should stay alive. What for? To have a family, have a job, contribute something? If all my feelings and perceptions are nonsensical, then what exactly do I have to contribute? Intelligence? So others set the target, and I work on it? We have computers for that. If I fail in all that makes a person human, I don´t see what I´m supposed to be doing here anymore, goodbye. I´m not going to start some stupid cheesy “journey towards healing”, take pills throughout the last years in which I might pass as young, make myself dependent on so-called well-meaning people who tell me what is real and what isn´t and then work in some job that requires no qualification because that´s a mentally ill´s place in this world. It would be so bloody easy, wouldn´t it, if being insane automatically meant you have no wishes and ambitions anyway, right?

It would be so easy if only I could consistently stay sane and cover up what´s going on. Sanity IS covering up what´s going on on the inside. If you are me, then revealing it would be self-destructive, and self-destruction isn´t sane.

***

Not quite. What´s going on with me is that apparently I´m extremely angry, and that must have been building up for a while. I don´t know why I´m so angry. Maybe those visions make me so angry because their content makes me feel threatened. When I say visions, I mean: It´s like having a nightmare while I´m awake. I don´t believe I´m in some kind of hospital when in fact I´m sitting in my room, but in my head I can hear everything I assume the doctors would say. Most of the time I´m not thinking these thoughts on purpose, only sometimes, when I´m in the middle of such an internal argument, I mentally say what I believe they would say. Most of the time, those thoughts just come to me. They are intrusive and they cause me a lot of inner tension and aggression. I feel like lashing out against anyone who talks to me.

Good. So these visions…they make me angry. That´s most definitely crazy, thank fuck we have that settled. But they´re just visions. I don´t have to do this to myself. I don´t have to go out there and make people punish me like this. Because that, too, is something that goes with these visions: A nasty little belief that I have to make this happen to me. That I need it. That adds to the stress.

Now that I have this figured out, the vision changes. I go see a psychiatrist, I actually manage to tell her about these visions/voices, she thinks that just because I don´t believe they are coming from other people or because I can gain some minimal mental distance from them, they must be some kind of neurosis that can be resolved by looking at my inner conflicts. In other words: She might think there is some truth or some meaningful feeling behind these visions. She might think that I gain something from this, the primary gain that allegedly lies in neurosis, or that I´m just trying to evade something.

That vision makes me feel terrible because it 1) makes me feel like I´m being left alone in this inner chaos and 2) fuels the first kind of vision, the vision where everything is my own fault after all and I “just don´t want to see it”.

Actually, dealing with these visions as psychotic instead of traumatic in nature does not make such a terrible difference right now. It even helps me gain distance and tell myself this isn´t real. If my visions are madness, then what those voices say is madness. That´s quite comforting. It means, like I said, I don´t have to seek out this kind of treatment, this kind of mental breakdown that reduces me to a groveling hysteric sobbing what a moral swine she is.

I´ve heard in that long-ago lecture by Dr. Psych that delusions and delusional belief systems often rely on existing, fairly wide-spread belief systems. A textbook examply is religious mania, but there are also other examples: Alien abductions, current conspiracy theories, the Truman show… Mania attaches itself to whatever it finds. It´s no surprise that with me it was repressed memories and sexual abuse, since I had encountered two such cases some time before. Also, it´s no surprise that my visions deal with psychotherapy since many of its theories cannot be falsified, just like conspiracy theories. The ideas of Freud or Reich are questionable, and I´m by far not the only person to question them. I´m not completely off with the things I say about them. The problem is that I say them coming from a place of deep paranoia. I have voices in my head which interpret my thoughts, feelings and behaviors in a particularly cruel, pseudo-therapeutical fashion (though these voices are informed by what I read and experienced), and I have yet another voice in my head that tells me all this is what should happen to me.

What I feel when I write things like these is deep demotivation. So I´m merely crazy after all. And without some kind of mania my life is incredibly empty. I wrote that two days ago, how empty my life must have been for me to have a vision about the future, slip on another identity and forsake everything. It would be sane to go through with my plans. It would be sane to get a job that binds most of my intellectual capacities so I don´t have too much time to ruminate. It would be sane to get a job that forces me to work scientifically, that gains me recognition and a fair amount of money. It would not just look sane, it would keep me sane. I was my most sane when I was at school. It was always during the summer holidays that the breakdowns came. I need some outside structure that forces me to stay out of the twilight zone for eight hours at least. And yet recognizing how crazy I am deprives me of all motivation. Get a job just so I´m NOT myself? If I´m so bad, then why bother exist?

***

Again, madness is not myself, madness is not who I am. I´m defending something I´m not. The feelings I have because of my visions are part of who I am, but it is normal to respond with rage to the content of my visions. The visions themselves are something crazy, but my reaction is quite healthy and where ever I encounter such behaviors IRL I´d be a good person for responding with anger. Also, the fact that these visions aren´t real doesn´t mean anything that happened to me with Dr. Stoneface and Athena wasn´t real.

It´s useless. I cannot comfort myself like this, I don´t believe in it. It matters a damn whole lot just how crazy I am. If I´m completely nuts, if my perception was always distorted by such visions and voices and expectations, then maybe anything they ever did was brought onto me by myself.

***

Rage. Rage again, because I feel threatened and helpless again. I know no way out of this. All that might happen is that other visions, daydreams come to my aid, that a voice says: “Don´t worry, we´ll kill you!” That would be so damn nice of you, you have no idea. But that, too, is just a result of this inner tension. It is another outpouring of rage. Saying this doesn´t change anything, though.

Distraction, feeling like I can see through things, that´s the only thing that helps. Maybe my feeling in analogies is just the only way I can express my visions? I don´t know, I´m getting so tired.

I wonder if I should ask others what they think of my state. I feel like I need to keep it together in front of everyone IRL, because they cannot afford looking at me as a crazy person who needs help, for one reason or the other. They don´t want to lose me to a world of pills, institutions and big psychiatric terms. It should move me, but right now it only burdens me. And I cannot even be sure if that´s a realistic prediction based on experience and empathy, or if it´s just my paranoia speaking.

***

Embitterment, another tangible feeling, thank fuck. I´m tired of believing I´m crazy, I´m tired of visions of my own mental and intellectual deconstruction, I´m tired of ruminating, I´m tired of feeling attacked, I´m tired of BEING attacked in my visions, I´m tired of having no one to blame, I´m tired of having no one whose head I can bash in for this, I´m tired of being conscious of myself, I´m tired of myself, I´m tired of almost everything and remarkably enough some small little things can still make me want to live for another few days, weeks, maybe months. Overall, though, I wouldn´t mind to take a hammer and demolish all that I am.