Monday, September 24, 2007

The boomerang effect.

I am discussing my issues with a shrink and it all comes around the idea that everything should and should not make sense at the same time. No,. this is actually my idea. Together we came into the conclusion that the fact how deadly seriously (or accurately) I take things is the most serious problem here. And I do agree with that. I already know that. I just need something to persuade myself to act different (see one of my previous posts) and while most other people would JUST act without asking, I needed a whole analysis on how everything balances in thin air, a whole justification that it's ok to pretend and not take someone's words and critics too hard but even act like you listen to him or say something pretentious to show you somehow agree yet his logic do not match to your case or even try to disagree as a game but not taken seriously, even let a second mind analyze your discussions and his/your reactions to your little fake game. It's even fun to think it like this, ironic my brother would say. Anyways, this is a game I already started playing especially towards the people who annoy me with their presence (as I can't struggle trying to be honest with them anymore, they won't listen really) and perhaps I will still be honest with true friends. Yet, here I am honest for all of you (because it's a blog of my thoughts that just come in my head) and even more honest by announcing to you that I will become more pretendious and less real in social situations, especially against those cases of people and conditions which normally make me struggle. Oh yes, I will be a shameless actor and it's fun, really fun!

Thus I still have this feeling that things are serious and not serious at the same time. And I am one of the few still being hurt by trying to make a sense out of all these. For most people there is no time for caring but they wouldn't show that. They would pretend they are also caring as I seem I am pretending too. Because I thought that what I see in other people and think I don't have it, I may still show it or may have it too as it's natural. It's natural to care more about yourself and only make the sense or pretend making speaking of sense (logoi?) that matches what makes you feel good, not what is definitelly there. So maybe I am just pretending and don't know it or maybe it seems to the others that I am pretending. But why do I care about what others see upon me. Do they ever tell me? What matters more? What if at that moment feel fine with what I am or what do I pretend? What if everything makes the perfect sense to me and I try to place a sense to every thing, the right and the wrong ones (who could tell what is right or wrong anyways?). Isn't that people do? The difference that I tried to be far too critical, far too precise, concerning my choice of what is right and what is wrong.

And they tell me about grey. Grey is popular. Everyone talks about grey. So I already knew about grey before people telling me. It's a catch up phrase to say that not everything is black and white but there is grey too. But who defines grey? Who defines what's right, wrong, too much, too few, who defines balance?

So balance would be to be not that much serious yet not extremely funny. Funny, I mean unserious, not caring, indifferent, reckless. The other side. People talk about sides and that there needs to be balance. Well, I think this balance (at least concerning my case) is too thin. I know now! For people who take things seriously and ideas accurately, everything must make a perfect sense. The balance is thin. One little step and everything is wrong. And sometimes I see contradictions. For some other people, whatever they like is the balance and everything they dislike should be criticise as extreme. But it's easy for them to not see their inaccuracy and lightly believe and feel everything is alright under their own logic and they even work fine in their case. In their case I would easilly see my blatant mistakes and blame myself. But that's overanalyzing and criticising every side of my life. My shrink says it's like every day in my life I give exams about my life and every way I act/everything I do. It's a very nice and accurate analogy I think.

So, let's return to the contradiction. For me, balance is like two opposite forces dragging me. I even visualised that oneday in my mind (and thought of something I'd like to paint one day in my computer, two angels of opposite philosophies dragging me from both sides and me not being able to decide whom to throw down and where to go. Crazy!). There are many cases where we say that A brings B and B brings A or A and B have their possitive and negative sides and someone need to get the best from both. And that drives people to converge into the popular "Pan Metron Ariston" which for some reasons I dislike, not because I am extreme and they are balanced, but because it's too general and people can use it and think everything is fine with them and yet at the same time using this overrated ancient greek proverb to criticise me for being on the edge.

A brings B and B brings A. Personal example. If I think it too much that I MUST do something, if I am oppresive with myself and fear of negative results, it won't work. I will get anxious and not function properly, thus producing what my anxiety wanted me to avoid. E.g. I should be social, I should be calm, yet by thinking that I SHOULD be calm, I become anxious and am not calm. A dead end. A vicious circle. I think we all know the classical phenomenon. I also call it the boomerang effect. Also we said I should stop being as serious. What happens here is I get anxious about not succeeding in being less serious, so I become more serious about becoming less serious. Crazy!

I become more serious about achieving my goal to become less serious. So I am still more serious. What to do. Ignore becoming less serious. Stop caring about the results. Easy to say but hard to do. In some other cases there is me not trusting myself of letting me go with the flow. I mean,. I have seen another case where I need to do programming work on my computer. But I am lazy and surf the net or play some games instead! Yet I am anxious that for yet another day I won't work on my programming job but instead be seduced to play some nifty new games because it's nicer than coding. So I get serious about my programming job. Yet when I am getting too serious it's a struggle and so starting to work becomes a more struggling idea and it's even more struggling that I will not do that and play games instead. A crazy vicious circle! So one solution is to just let myself do the lazy stuff instead (inet, games, etc), to willingly select to not work for today and relax, because that anxiety about working is what drives me to not work. The anxiety about doing A has the exactly opposite results to not do A. Boomerang. Yet, I have another anxiety there. That if I leave myself to play and do fun stuff for the pretense that I need to relax so that I have more mood to work, maybe the same will happen tomorrow and after tomorrow. Yet another vicious circle! And I float around these things or these things float in my mind and so I am always anxious when I sit down to work on something creative.

How can someone escape from this dead end?

There are two primary solutions I know:

  • Starting is everything. My fear/anxiety of not starting working on something makes the situation so unbearable that works as a boomerang effect and I will never start actually working and as long as I see that I didn't start, I will think that the same thing will happen the next day and will be dissapointed even more that I will be fed up of thinking about working so that I will avoid working. To break this cycle I should shadow these feelings and JUST DO IT! If you don't, the unfinished job will still be there annoying your mind. Just finish the damn thing!

  • Just do exactly the opposite of what your anxiety says (this is similar to the technique for fighting the struggle of OCD compulsions). Is it the anxiety that you won't work on your programming projects but instead being seduced to play some nifty new games on your PC? Just allow yourself to not work and play games for a day or two without caring much. Relax and forget everything! Your problem is not really a problem. When you take it seriously it becomes a problem and your anxiety has the exactly opposite effect of what it's supposed to fight. So just pretend it doesn't matter you and even do the opposite to break the cycle.

The 1st solution reminds me of obsessions followed by compulsions. I must work, I must work, I am not working enough, I am not productive enough, I wasn't good enough. It's what works wrong in extreme doses of anxiety and produces the opposite effects. Sometimes it works for an instant but doesn't kill the cycle of anxiety. If I finish my first computer project, I will start making plans for another one, yet oppresing myself to JUST DO IT for another damn time. The problem is solved only temporarly.

The 2nd solution is something to be taken with patience and self-trust, because your first thought is "But if in that problem I just allow myself to not work and play, then I will do the same thing the next day and the day after tomorrow and after three days I will see I haven't worked and become anxious again and even more anxious than if I had JUST DONE IT!". Something scares you away from this sollution because if it doesn't work, you've just lost another 3 days of productivity.

Personally I have tried both solution. I understand the logic of both. I understand why both sound good and perfect yet both make no sense at the end because of their flaws and my thoughts bouncing from one to the other. Lately, I do some mixed shit, like both having open a compiler (for programming/work) and the net and working for few minutes, switching to browsing the net, switching to playing some game, switching back to working, not the best but sometimes worked. Because I feel I both relaxed and done a small portion of work instead of nothing. Though it feels mixed.

It feels like a dead end in the thing people call balance which is for me a very thin line I have to balance on. I can't find that balance everyone talks about but noone really cares about. Maybe I just shouldn't care too and enjoy the moment no matter if it's right or wrong or grey or anything. And pretend it's the right thing for me if anyone asks me!

I have discovered that I am defined by two personalities. A deadly serious and perfectionist self yet a funny, simply crazy and unorganized fellow. And they usually are in a conflict.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Organizing thoughts.

Look at this scheme. It's just another theory trying to make a connection between four different mental disorders that seem to relate somehow. Yet it's interesting and the first thing I find when googling for "OCD autism". Someone told me that many people on the autistic spectrum also show OCD symptoms. It was interesting for me to find out more about it and how things really relate because I believe there must be something else that explains all these cases instead of strict medical categorization. There is a vast variety of people out there and each of these disordered people is unique. Sometimes the medical distinction doesn't match with various cases and this either leads to confusion or invention of new disorders. So, I have a great urge to find out more about all these and where my place is and that's what I am going to discuss here for a while.

In this scheme, OCD is only about the popular side of it, like object sorting, excessive cleaning, etc. There is no place for my kind of Pure-O OCD, the repeative thoughts totally taking place inside my mind without showing any external rituals. What is interesting here is the 3rd column. It seems that my Pure-O OCD matches mostly this column even if not for sure. Another strange thing is that here Asperger's is explained as the struggle of someone to organize his thoughts about everything he senses. Asking someone what is autism or AS in a nutshell, he'd reply that it shows as the inability/difficulty to communicate/socialize because social skills do not come naturally to this kind of people, thus they have to learn them manually. It's nowhere here on this scheme, however someone would easily connect the explanation here (Organizing thoughts, trying to make perfect sense from all things around) to the inability in socialization (Remember my previous post, socializing is not about the truth but foreplay) => (I will explain this later). And then there is Kanner's autism which is just about the other side of autism where the individual is too sensitive to lights, sounds, etc. And also ADHD which I cannot analyze right now but really need to learn more..

What surprised me is how much the 3rd column in the scheme fits me. Please, I don't try to claim that I am autistic or anything here (currently I am only 100% entirely sure about my Pure-O OCD) and you don't need to bring on the argument of imaginary disorders. Let's say that I am just talking in theory and wish to point out some things that I find interesting.

It seems that trying to obsessively explain everything I sense around me by analyzing deeply, constantly talking to myself and writting huge texts where I repeat several of my ideas I don't feel absolutely confident with yet, is happening so excessively that I cannot doubt much about fitting in this category. Even the label "understanding" really speaks to myself about it. I am so obsessive about the perfect truth, the one that defies any doubt, that which speaks really of UNDERSTANDING of what is actually there, hidden by the piles of imaginary ideas that we use to communicate. I really feel that I don't relate by words and their feelings but trying to sense/understand what is there, how I feel about anything, what's the possibility with the rest of the world that I try to understand in order to have a whole answer, which might also be a vain search however it doesn't matter right now. What matters is that something in my nature (or my personality someone would say, doesn't matter for now) compels my mind to really think like this. It's what drives my endless ruminations and big texts.

The Asperger's explanation that my Pure-OCD matches more in this scheme but still not entirely because it does not mention thoughts that are incompatible to the individual's personality but only the struggle to organize thoughts according to your senses in a way that all makes perfect sense. Though, this element seems to be very primary in my case of endless ruminations and at the beginning I thought it's just a side effect of my OCD. But then I find it here as a primary element of Asperger's. Strange.

Now some good questions would be: What is the common thing that connects Asperger's and OCD, how the overanalyzing/thought organizing compulsions relate to Pure-O OCD irrelevant annoying thoughts and how is the social inability also connected to all these?

In an attempt to draw some fast conclusions, I'd start from the thought organizing compulsions and say that it seems to be connected with everything else. I think that this issue relates with my previous blog post concerning my obsession with the truth and how most of the other world (and so socialization too) works in a different way of thinking.

About the ugly thoughts of Pure-O OCD. I am so strict with what is there and how I sense things that I cannot leave the fact alone that a random thought of something I disapprove suddenly past through my mind. Maybe thoughts come randomly and have nothing to do with the personality of the individual but though it really mattered me that I made that ugly thought I am ashamed about or incompatible with. Now imagine someone who even does not care about the contradictions in his everyday beliefs. He would care even less about his random thoughts because nobody can read his mind and so for the people around him he is still a great guy. I mean,. it really matters me to the core about everything I think and whether it's compatible with myself. No matter if I can hide it, it still hurts me inside. For other people, what matters is what you show and not what you really are. Maybe they are not much aware of their true self or do not wish to. In fact I can't know how other people think and feel, but I do know that this obsession of all my thoughts being in order really makes a sense concerning the fact that some random thoughts annoy me. This is another theory of how the 3rd column and Pure-O OCD could be connected.

And what about the social inability? There are several relations here. First of all, remember the previous thread, socialization is incompatible with what is really there but rather works with what shows to be as most people will like to perceive. It's not the truth, it's not actuality, it's just senseless and contradictory. So? What if someone would not care and just try to socialize regardless if it's true or not? What if I try to just be myself regardless the reactions? What makes me struggle is fear and while someone would say it has nothing to do with the inability of autistic people to socialize, I regularly read that some people in the autistic spectrum are living between two worlds and there is an awareness that someone actually is ackward in social situations. I know about such people who ask to themselves "What am I supposed to do now? How do I react in that social situation? What did I do wrong?". Maybe there are some autistic persons who don't ask these questions and are totally lost in their own world but there are others who are aware of their autistic condition. And that creates fear and doubts concerning social situations, which drives them off.

Still, there are a lot of things unsolved, and while I started writting something about thoery of mind and it's contradictions, I discovered that I have to read a lot more first. Also, the post became much bigger than I thought and so I'll stop here.

What I know now is that my excessive way of thinking that causes also those ruminations and big texts is what is described in that table. Regardless if it's named Asperger's or has no connection, it seems to be connected with my OCD.

And yet I must find out more..

p.s. The scheme and categorization is explained in this site

Monday, September 10, 2007

Something I've just learned.

Things don't work very well for you when you are too honest. Acting is very beneficial most of the times. Very few things seem to be true in our society. Since the beginning of civilization we've tried to describe everything with words. All our ideas, our perception, our views, our beliefs, our thoughts were build upon each other since the beginning of time. Everything is just a huge pile of imaginary beliefs. We needed some common references in order to be able to communicate.

Socialiazation is based upon this scheme. It's not necessary connected with what really is there. Some of these "imaginary" might actually hold a piece of the truth, however it doesn't seem that anybody really cares about unfolding what is real while socializing. Some of it's functions is to present your beliefs (yourself), try to get along by converging with everyone's opinion (which is sometimes ok however because everyone holds his own truth on things), arguing about things for other reasons than what people think. Someone should not take things too seriously because socialization is not driven by the urge to find what is actually there but what people wish to hear, combining words and ideas to what feelings/effects they have on them, some quotes and beliefs spoken are too general and also differently perceived by each of us, at the end we just wish to feel comfortable among people and have fun. Ideas and beliefs are just that. Not to be taken seriously.

My mistake is that I take things seriously. Everything has to make sense. I have to analyze things harshly, being accurate on what things are supposed to mean (especially those that matter me), being too doubtful, organizing ideas perfectly in my mind. Everything has to make perfect sense. Whenever I meet a popular idea that felt so wrong I become furious. No matter how wrong it may feel to me, since it is popular it is generally accepted for the sake of socialization. Because it's not based on truth rather than the feeling someone agrees with the average person's beliefs so he/she is normal/ok. It's not just about socialization but also about all the ideas that become criticism against my way of life. I took them seriously while I shouldn't. Then why am I puzzled?

You know why? Because there is a big contradiction here. If people spoke to me honestly it could be different. Come and say: "You know, beliefs are imaginary. We don't really mean it. It's all ideas that we once defined in order to help us relate to what we call reality. We just want to show off. I just have to recite a popular belief that sounds true whether or not anybody can prove it or else everyone will think I am not the cool guy. It's a damn game, don't take it seriously!". But sometimes people speak to me in a way that I feel they take these things seriously.

I think people are living between two worlds as much as I do. There is a need to define things and base beliefs upon popular beliefs. But there comes also the need to just be cool and have fun. There are no rules really in sociability rather than the need to feel confident and show off, and being honest or doubtful (which is primary to discover some hidden facts that are shadowed by the accepted beliefs) is not an option. People can contradict in their discussion and not care. When I contradict I can't handle it. I mean, I do too (everyone does), it just kills my self esteem. I can't get away from it. I feel like I need to justify things perfectly or else I am lost. But things are subjective really, they are just ideas/beliefs. Some people though make me believe they are serious and contradict themselves but don't show this last fact openly. There is where I am lost and wonder.

For example, yes I agree that you need to not be so serious in life and take some things lightly. Most people tell me things like "Carpe Diem", etc. To take things lightly in other words. Some of the same people also approach me to criticize my life in a way that hurts. Sometimes they consider even my most innocent yet strange curiosities as a problem. And then I am taking their words seriously because they are presented in a serious way to me! Carpe Diem is lost? If some of my weird habits that make people look strange at me are not much of a harm, then why should I suddenly get sad and think something is wrong with me. Some people who like to play cool and recite "carpe diem" beliefs, are actually the same they make hard critics on me for no apparent reason. At first they agree to the general popular idea that "I should be/accept myself and just take things lightly" while at the same time they feel the strong urge to alert me how bad something is about my life and that "I MUST try in life (as they point that something must be definitely wrong with me). Trying to be the way THEY want?", yet another popular belief they also have to recite.

BE yourself yet TRY. Maybe it's ok for someone to tell me to try. Maybe he doesn't mean it too harshly. However when someone tells me to TRY (and insists telling me that I MUST), I receive the emotion of ALERT about myself, that he suddenly get serious, more serious than I sometimes am concerning my case. He shows me that there is a SERIOUS problem with me that he HAS to tell me because I may not notice it and it's REALLY SERIOUS to discuss it with me or else I will become 40 and stare back at a lost life. Why don't you just tell me: "Hey Optimus! You are a funny character. There is nothing bad with you. No problems. You have no girlfriend, you live with your parents, it must be hard for you but someday things will get better and you shouldn't push yourself too much with that. You are asocial, hooked to your hobbies, sometimes wishing to stay alone but this is just your type not mine or anyone else's. You look weird, it's nothing worse than just funny because it's different. Who fucking cares anyways?". Or something like that anyways and also point out some examples of what kind of lies are making me worry for the wrong reasons. I am anxious because of a bunch of lies that sometimes people take lightly but sometimes they inflict the pain on you by criticizing you based on these beliefs.

My mistake was that I took all these believes seriously. Because people weren't always funny and well being. Because people were playing between two boards, they weren't always serious or always carpe diem. It just depends on their case. So I mostly thought that people really mean it. And if I ask them now they will deny "that they do", yet in another occasion they'll reply exactly the opposite (whatever favors them best at any given time). And sometimes they will be cryptic and wonder around several points, like "I wasn't meaning exactly that, yet I meaned this but you should also this, etc.." because "being nice and just have a time" is a very popular idea while "Getting serious and doing things in life as they MUST be done" is yet another popular belief as opposed to the popular belief that some people are just lazy/not trying enough (Which is yet another myth I'd like to discuss in another blog post). These are all popular beliefs that are frequently exchanged for the sake of socialization while regularly contradicting each other, yet nobody wants to notice.

I'd say we are just schizophrenic. Hey! Don't take it harsh, I don't mean it. It's just an idea. Imaginary remember? (Now you see how much do I contradict :)

Don't get me wrong. I don't say that whatever is imaginary is wrong. I just like to emphasize that whatever we discuss, whatever we believe in, whatever we argue about, whatever disagreement has brought wars and pain, whatever opinion has brought stupid flames on the net, everything I write here, are just beliefs based on beliefs. Even if I try to get away from beliefs, my whole perception on things and the feelings that words bring to me are elements of the past which are based on how we decided to define things back then. It started from the day that the human mind decided to give a name to that object that is called "tree" so that he has a reference for the needs of communication, went on in order to define more abstract things like "justice", "good", "bad", "meaning", "life" and "normal" till we reached today, though everything is based on our own definitions. For the universe things aren't "good" or "bad" or "wrong". They just are.

So it's in our human nature to define or base on previous definitions. It's not right or wrong. All of them are OUR IDEAS about the things. Not the truth (if there is such a thing). Several ideas conflict. Everyone has his own ideas. Several of them converge in what we call common beliefs. Others are too extreme for the most. There are wars, disagreements, pain, sorrow, negative feelings, even those stupid internet conflicts because someone was too furious about your ideas. Crazy! All this pain, all this anxiety, all this stupidity just because of some imaginary thing that we defined. And yet some people tell me to take things lightly yet they argue strongly on some ideas. But it's in our nature. The human mind does it. And sometimes we NEED to have an opinion on things when we socialize with others. People argue about the most abstract things at times like whether the soul exists or what the meaning of life is. Look! I am doing it by writting this blog too. I can't avoid being opinionless. It's not so bad afterall..

With my words, I just want to make people aware of the imaginary of ideas. And yet present the contradictions in these ideas which nobody cared as much as me though because some people are serious about only a portion of the truth which just needs to sound nice and be popular to the people around. He doesn't care about the whole. I was to vain to care. Yet, even if these ideas are imaginary and even one of these ideas also told me to not take things seriously, some people contradict by trying to force their specific beliefs against my way of life. If I ask someone why does he insist with these thoughts, he tells me that he is just trying to help or he is not really harsh at me yet at the same time he changes his mood into forcing me into things because he suddenly is alerted that something is not wrong and I need to be told. Confusing..

People contradict. They are not straight and to the point. Whoever would try to seriously study things trying to make some sense of all this contracting chaos,would definitely fail. I did so. How would I be so foolish to think that I would find a true answer inside the imaginary we have created? The answer was that everything is just a game where people try to balance between taking things lightly in life while maintaining some serious beliefs. And because that doesn't make any sense, the way to play the game and succeed is to just be an actor. I doubt if being honest atleast to yourself if not at all would work very well here. You must not think that things contradict, everything is simple and fine and you are great too. Well,. it's nice to think that you are great and not have your second self making you doubt. I think most people are actors and that's why society works in a similar way because it's in their nature. I think that it's also in my nature to overanalyze and take things seriously, it's in my nature to want to organize thoughts and try to make sense out of everything, it was in my nature but that was conflicting with the way of life in our society. Nothing is right or wrong however. Things just are.

This post was based on the ideas I have been discussing with James. I think that since the beginning of forming the idea of everything I have written about the imaginary, thinking about it and our contradictions helped me a bit whenever someone tried to criticise me harshly about things. I have seen that negative emotions are feeling less harsh when I concentrate on the idea while someone tries to inflict sadness on me through his beliefs. Whatever he or everyone says are just ideas. They just never told me that. How would they be able to make me feel sad without a real problem if they were honest about their lies? It's not beneficial for them. Stupid ignorant sneaky bastards! :P

And when they change attitude by telling me that they didn't really mean to be harsh or they just want to help me, in order to surprise and confuse me, I will agree with an ironic grin and just go on with my own "wrong", "stupid", "lazy" and "ugly" way of life, since when nobody really means anything and things need to be taken lightly, the only way is to just don't give a damn fuck to those hypocrites and follow my own imaginary ideas on life :/

Ok,. this went too far! Oh, I have news about you. Things like "hypocrisy" or "egoism" don't really exist. I would like to show you how "hypocritical" or "egoistic" is someone when he calls anyone else these names. That for another post ;)

I don't mean anything eh? All imaginary! We get along well eh? Hahaha!!!



What I have really learned out of all these is something even more funny than the whole stupid illusion itself!

The best thing and true friend in my world is alcohol itself!!111oneone

Because it's the only thing that honestly and clearly told to my brain: "Hey Michael! Wake up!!! Things are imaginary. Everything is a lie ;)"


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