Posts tagged introspective
Posts tagged introspective
The only major thing I really regret is my meltdown some years ago.
It was unavoidable, really, in some respects. I had been under a lot of stress from high school and I was under a deep depressive and introverted streak, keeping all this bottled up inside. And then my girlfriend dumped me. That was the final straw and I went a bit nuts.
Looking back on it, I was a real dick to a lot of people and probably lost a few good friends in the process. I will always regret my behavior at that time, but I look back on it as a reminder of why I shouldn’t let myself get all stressed out like that and why it’s important to have people to talk to. Some good came out of it as well. The relationship I was in wasn’t really a healthy one and while it hurt to lose her, I think that was good for me in the long run. I also made one hell of a good friend in the process (she and I have been friends now for something like thirteen years) and learned a lot about myself as well.
Still… I kind of wish I could round all the people I was a jerk to up and apologize to them. Oh well.
Well, yes, self analysis.
Although one must still remember the need for spontaneity and the willingness to take leaps of faith. Again the lesson I learned from Atrus: Balance is the key to life.
However, what I was commenting on was the fact that I find it nearly impossible not to think about things in the world around me. This includes many things that most people are willing to just unplug their brains for, such as movies and television. Often I have been told that I need to think less or that I should just ‘not think about it so much’.
The problem with these suggestions is the idea that it is possible for me to disengage my brain from the input. It is not. At least, not usually. For me to stop thinking requires an interactive activity. A video game, some thing creative or imaginative. Writing, drawing, singing, etc. And in these cases it is not so much that I am not thinking, as much as my thought is absorbed in something else. In video games my mind is absorbed in the mechanics of the gameplay. In creative endeavors my mind is absorbed in the imaginings of whatever I am working on. And so on.
I simply cannot not think. To do so is like trying to stop a raging waterfall. Yes it can be done, but it’s a lot easier to just make use of it.
It’s like pebbles on a shore, there are some you like and want to collect and there are others you don’t like and don’t bother with. You build your little pile of pebbles, gathering the ones you like. And that’s fine. You’d be content if that’s all there was to it. But then people come along and knock your pile over and scatter the pebbles around, telling you that you should like their favorite pebbles and that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t. And, if this goes on long enough you start to get defensive of your little pile. You hide it, protect it and lash out at anyone you think might be trying to knock it over. Eventually it goes too far and you start knocking over other people’s piles just because you feel threatened, because they remind you of the people who knocked over your pile. And suddenly you’re one of those you hated, you’ve become the person you despised.
It’s not your fault, though. You learned this behavior to protect yourself. If you’re lucky you can recognize it and try to defuse it before it goes too far. Or pull yourself back before you cause serious harm.
[Once again, this is a reply from a forum topic. This time I posted it, but I think it might do well here too. The topic was an open one for anyone with thoughts or feelings about depression. These were mine, from my own experiences. Perhaps others who suffer like I do might find them helpful… and maybe they might have things to say themselves]
Hm. Well, while I’m not diagnosed with a particular depression-related disorder… there’s no secret among my friends that I am… moody. It’s something I have struggled to control all my life. As a child I was prone to strong and sudden mood swings and was sometimes very hard to get along with because my form of depression can be a very angry one. I’m the depressed guy who gets resentful and bitter. As I’ve gotten older, it’s become easier to manage, as I learn to recognize the signs and be conscious of my mood-state. Still… it doesn’t stop them from happening, just allows me to deal with it better.
They’re mostly triggered swings. Sometimes life-related stress… sometimes it’s obvious things, like when my father passed away or just the average things that can make a person feel bad.
The worst though are the random things. I suffer from an odd sort of mental state where things… unpleasant things will sometimes just pop into my mind. No particular reason that I can find… just suddenly these terrible ideas or thoughts appear in my head and I can’t shake them no matter what. They eventually pass, but there’s no real way to actively fight them - they must pass out of my mind in their own time. Thoughts of death, pain and suffering, fear, hopelessness and despair. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s like this sort of oppressive cloud of anxiety and/or guilt that nags incessantly at my mind and I have a very vivid and visual imagination so it winds up playing out in scenes and sounds and thoughts.
Sometimes it’s a sudden and irrational fear of death, like suddenly I can feel time passing, slipping by and that if I closed my eyes I could open them again and be an old man with few days left. Sometimes it’s images of violence and suffering that appear and drive me to feel deeply sad and remorseful, almost always revolving around people or things I care about… but even sometimes it’s random things. To this day I am haunted by recurring images of a kitten that my mother and I saw… it was a poor, scrawny little thing with an injured tail. We couldn’t take it in, but we left it a bit of milk to help it survive. I don’t think we ever saw it but that one time and it as almost a decade and a half ago, but it still sits there on the verge of my memory and sometimes it doesn’t take but a random sad or plaintive thought to bring it back and almost cripple me in remorse. It can be nearly crippling at times… especially when it’s vague. Specific things I can fight with distraction, logic and reason, but the vague emotional shifts, unconnected and unreasoned are nearly impossible to fight. Sensations of loneliness and isolation and worthlessness with no real reason.
Even right now, just talking about these things sends small tremors through my mind… talking about the kitten particularly causes me to twinge with sadness.
I cope with my moods with entertainment and distraction. I read, I write, I draw, I collect, I photograph, I watch fun things and look for jokes in everything, because it helps offset the other side, because sometimes, if I’m surrounded with joy, then the times when I feel awful can be mitigated, drowned out by reminders of all the good things, all the reasons why these irrational feelings are just that: Irrational. And irrelevant.
I… don’t know if that really fits this topic? I think it’s a form of depression and anxiety. I’ve never been professionally diagnosed because I don’t want to be medicated. Of all the things in my life, I don’t want to be medicated. As long as I can manage myself, I want to do that… medication is complicated and has side-effects. Watching Raocow on youtube is easy and has few side effects, other than to make me smile. I can come here, post silly things in Mayhem or joke about in other topics, play Minecraft, listen to music or a million other things that can lift my mood without the terrifying side effects of medication. As long as that works, I’d rather do that.