Contrasted with the real

22 10 2018

And quiet as a mouse I nod and go along and speak about work matters alone. I won’t hurt you. I hope I am just one of many who will be gentle for you. Who will try to carry you in their thoughts gently as your life is torn. That pain I can see, that I can almost feel, that I can only imagine feeling. Who could repair it better than you? And yet, here you are, suffering it. I wish I were more practical, that I could supply the lignocaine, the sutures, the strong dressing, the happy voice, the sound advice, the script for the antibiotics. But here I am trying to feel some of your pain for you.

There is this story that has ended. And rather then it ending and just finishing and being forgotten its like aspects of the story have been distributed in the minds of people who have known her. So you need to tell us those. Distribute the story to those who might listen.

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Romantically frustrated

21 10 2018

I wish he would give me a sign. I would change my life completely if he asked me to. If it meant I could spend a week with him. That’s how over the top I feel. I have never been this far over the top. Never. Not once. And that’s part of the reason I am feeling this way now. I don’t care anymore. I don’t care about my future or propriety or who it would hurt. I want to be desired by a man I desire. I want to feel alive. I want to feel desired for my mind, my body, some essence of me. I want to desire a beautiful man impractically, wholly, tearfully, sorrowfully. I want to dress up one night and drink good wine and have one true conversation. I want to wear beautiful clothes. Lace and silk and his hands on me, his fingers in my mouth in the night back from the theatre. I want to show him slowly, with glances with words and gestures toward him, drawing him in to a shared understanding. I want desire to grow, unfurl between us like some rare nocturnal flower that lasts a single night. I want the world to concentrate down into this desire. It doesn’t need to last. Just that heavy sweetness. The back of my fingers along his cheekbone. To watch his kind, beautiful eyes, quietly.

Of course it all just exists in my imagination. Surely this is what imagination is for. To imagine such passion because such passion could not exist in reality. That all of reality conspires against it makes it all the more needed.





Notes to self

15 10 2018

What am I anxious about?
My future
what is this anxiety really about -> That I will die having made the wrong choices and never have experienced that which my heart yearns to experience.

what could go wrong (darkest); you lie on your deathbed filled with regrets and pain
how would you still be ok. That the self will always be an illusion anyway. A sweet illusion which is the body’s attempt to express itself outward, onto a higher and immortal level, a great ambition for a body, but was always going to be a sweet failure anyway as the existence of self is based entirely on the physical substrate of the human body which is temporary. An heroic failure; that is; a tragedy. Humans have always struggled with this. With this being half-way between the material and the divine. Everyone struggles with this, so your struggle with it is common to humanity and you are not unusual.

Who and what am I upset about? I am upset with myself. I am not really angry at anyone else.

Why? Because I have self-sabotaged myself for 2 years. i have not studied for exams, i turn up to work late, i have not kept up with college requirements, i have not reached out for help that people have offered me thinking that it won’t work, or it would be expensive or that I would not have the time, i have not reapplied for my job, i have isolated myself almost completely, i have not kept up hobbies that enrich me, i do not take care of myself, i try to concentrate and be my best but a part of me always fails. It all feeds back into a general sense that I am a failure which fuels further self sabotage. I am a world class avoider of this self contemplation. Because to contemplate how, in so many ways I am a failure is so utterly painful. I will choose almost anything else to think about. But I am close to the bottom now, and people have shown some concern for me and I have to think of what to do.

describe them in great detail
if this happened to a friend what would you do;
I would hold their hand.
I would cry with them.
I would speak with them.
I would offer them a wine and play a game of cards with them.
I would write them a letter of love and understanding.
I would ask them if its alright if I let others know.
I would talk with them again and again.

what other explanation could there be?
There are some other explanations.
The roots of your self-isolating defences lie in a childhood where your needs were not often heard and acknowledged. Your brother and sister took most of the attention. They were louder and more disturbed and disturbing in general. You hid in a shell and spent too much time on fantasy and video games. Your fantasies were escapist and heroic. An heroic survivor in a post-apocalyptic world. Temperamentally you are not that reserved but from about the age of 6-14 you experienced repeated rejections from groups at school. You moved country to country school to school too often. You were always the new kid and you got picked on or collectively ignored because you looked different and your accent was different and groups of kids partly define themselves by what they collectively dislike or reject. People would literally turn their backs on you. It happened so many times you believed there was something truly wrong with you at a deep level and you grew to actually hate yourself. As a child you were filled with so much self doubt you questioned your likeability, you questioned the acceptability of your physical appearance, you repeatedly questioned whether you would ever be normal. You tried obsessively to be normal. You also developed a deep antipathy and suspicion of organisations and group-think and at your worst think all of humanity is not worth the time. But you so wanted to be part of it. You obsessed over magazines. If you just looked a certain way and acted a certain way you would be acceptable. You starved yourself in your late teens. You were on the precipice of developing an eating disorder. You certainly had body dysmorphic disorder.

That was the depression of your 20s which you grew out of with sertraline and with sheer hard work and effort on your part. Not feeling like you deserved friends or would ever belong you instead threw yourself obsessively into work and then study. You liked not having alot of responsibility but just being able to lose yourself in the stories and lives of others. Some days you worked 14 hour shifts and almost wet yourself driving between jobs becuase you just wanted to work continuously. Your car almost ran out petrol between jobs several times. You panicked but you found a way. You were surviving just like the same way you survived in your childhood fantasies.

What am I currently excited and ambitious about?
What recently made me excited, envious or desiring?
Well that would be obvious.
I am completely envious of anyone who doesn’t seem depressed. When that person also carries out the trick of being intelligent and not depressed I am doubly impressed. When an intelligent non-depressed person can also be reflective, sensitive and caring and turns up to work every day and does research and teaching then it completely steals my heart and mind. I fall in love with that person on some level and dream of them holding me and I wonder whether I am too overt with my infatuation and hoping to god I am not too much and that I don’t cross any boundaries. I think this is showing me if I am a little more like them then I could be happier. I look at this person and think, but I could never be like you. You are strong and dedicated you have formed a purpose and consciously shaped your life. I tried to do that but it turns out that I hadn’t grappled with my deeper issues and I feel further behind then ever.

I think to live a fuller life I need to have friends and interests. I don’t think I can have friends and interests if I am spending all my energy at work. I find it hard to draw boundaries on my time at work because work has become my only source of self esteem and the only place where my care and energy is being expressed.

Describe it as to a friend
What would it be to change your life in the light of this?
What does this show you about what you are missing?
If this thing could talk what would it tell you?
If this thing could change your life what changes might it advise?
If other parts of your life were like this what might they be like?





I

15 10 2018

The formation of the self is a self-iterative process

‘I’ becomes the central referent to a system of symbols that are required for the maintenance of several goals; instinctive, social, creative. I did this. I looked for that. I felt embarrassed. I laughed. I worked out what was wrong. I proposed a philosophy of self. And so on.

Instinctual goals include food, sleep, affiliation, laughter, desire. Does it also include a love of reflection and consideration itself? Is that an instinct, too? A rarefied one?

‘I’ is an organising illusion. Like its central command. But its not. There is no central command. Our cognition is distributed into millions of parallel processes; only one or two can command attention.

We love our ‘I’ that is ‘I’ is attached to itself and want to project it into the future. The authorial voice is an attempt to represent the ‘I’. For ‘I’, by ‘I.’ We realise that ‘I’ won’t last forever. On realising it won’t last forever we come to understand that it is not real because we understand that it is paradoxical to try and project a future self after the body which contains it dies. ‘I’ cannot adequately imagine ‘not I’ ‘I’ can only incorporate more of the world into its being.

But remember you were alive 2-3 years before there was even a trace of an ‘I.’You were OK then. You weren’t depressed or psychotic then. You just needed food, love, routine and play.

Losing the organised self into a fractured, dysrhythmic state like psychosis is frightening because it shows us the illusion of the ‘I’ and that it is dependent on the health of the brain substrate.

In depression one is overinvested in the ‘I.’ Keeps reference to the ‘I’ into sickening self-obsession. The person withdraws in attempt to avoid the ‘I’ which is deemed not good enough in some way, interacting with world.

In borderline the nature of the ‘I’ is unstable, untrustworthy, changeable, ragefully and destructively moving in reaction to the world around it. Without strength to endure.

Mental illnesses show up as illnesses of the ‘I’ or of the self.





Get it together, woman

13 10 2018

So it goes. His mother is not well, dying I hear. Could that be why I felt that sensation 2 months ago of his hand slipping over mine? Could it be that is why the strange and rare sensation of staring into the abyss accompanied by another occurred?

A part of me, reminds myself that there is nothing but a few gestures and thoughts that have formed the basis of my unrequited love for him. Caution. Do not harm. Restraint.

Sad to think for the rest of my life that this is what it will likely be. Occasional deep attraction to men who I admire with parallel firm restraint on acting upon it. Placing boundaries around my desire. Never truly holding or being held.

Such men may be friends, supervisors. But love will never visit your door again. Not that it ever really did except in the shortest of moments. Lover is another identity that is to be denied me. I have fewer and fewer.





Life is suffering but it is life

11 10 2018

So here’s a paradox.

Life is suffering. Is madness. There is always pain and there is always death and there are always people who are horrid and pained and take it out on you. Its like pain is a substance of a given quantity in the universe and it will always follow you and settle on you no matter what it is you do. Starving on the street one day, feeling guilty or bored in a palace the next. But you are alive. The essence of being alive is continuation the never ending recursion of the ‘I’ elaborating itself since you were a little girl and you remember deciding what to wear that morning. It was a cotton navy halter top with a white trim. You remember liking the colour and shape. You remember wanting to wear it because it was a hot sunny day outside and you wanted your arms to be free. And that you liked the contrast of navy and white on your summer brown skin. And your second choice would have been a dark pink. You remember also because it was the first time you were aware it was you that was making the choice and the reasons why you were making the choice. It struck you that it was like looking into a mirror, this thought. That you were not just a being, but a part of the being looking at the being and so on as in a Droste effect or a hall of mirrors. It struck you enough to remember it now what must be 38 years later. This memory being a collection of neurons and impressions, so connected, that have imprinted these associations as having significance for 38 years. It is a collection of associations that would have absolutely no significance to anyone else. Except to say that many people must have first memories of self-consciousness and perhaps for many they are tinged with these striking emotions of abstraction and strangeness. Not too strange, perhaps.





Well that was extreme

10 10 2018

Yesterday’s blog post was full of self-pitying extremity. I’m still in trouble. I’m still a backslider. But I don’t have it as hard as my patients. I don’t even have it as hard as many of my colleagues. But I’m still doing it hard.

Today. The depressed and stubborn boy.

The colleague overburdened by unfair stress.

The fledgling raven, naive in the backyard while her severe and glossy suited father perches close by, but not too close, a look of anxiety and bit of pride in his pose. Corvids are intelligent. The fledglings mother chases wattlebirds off. I hope a cat does not appear. The fledgling still has some chick fluff on the crests of her wings and bright blue eyes. She is a bit plump and only occasionally plaintively half-crows.