Late-night personal thoughts in mid-October

Had another rough day on Sunday, for no particular reason. Nothing had gone wrong, and yet when I woke up everything seemed awry. It does this sometimes, pretty frequently actually. About every couple weeks or so it seems I get a bit depressed, sometimes provoked, other times not. Can set me in a panic. Honestly it is a bit maddening…and that may be an understatement.

Been like this for years, maybe always, though it’s sped up over time — the cycling of it. I share because I can. Because this is not an insignificant force in my life, and it impacts those I love and come into contact with.

When you bring up depression, people like to turn toward clinical talk, but I have no time or patience for that. Chemical changes in the brain — fine, but why? Caused by what? To simply acknowledge an imbalance tells us very little as to its causes, though I have plenty of ideas on how it comes into being and gets firmly rooted over time. Look no further than life experiences and how they mesh with individual personalities. Sensitive people are going to necessarily have it rougher these days, what with all the stimulation, most especially if you’ve come up with pain you couldn’t process. Worse still if you went astray and followed it down into the tunnel, even if you didn’t set out to do so.

Some people go through a lot while coming up, but due to their dispositions and at least some strong family alliances and then later heading in a direction that’s socially approved of they may find some measure of peace and stability. It can be hard for some of them to understand why others can’t keep it together the way they do. Then again, I’ve also known people who came up in loving families and pursued prestigious careers but who wound very lonely over the course of their adult lives and come to a point where they turn toward numbing the pain because that’s all they can manage anymore. We all come from such varied walks in life, but there’s lots of intersections and lots of room to empathize and sympathize.

My own life experiences are what they are. Can’t change them now. People say not to live with regrets, but sometimes we just can’t help doing so. Some things are regret-worthy. And sometimes we regret things that were out of our control, no matter how irrational that might seem to others. Can’t always be helped.

People say, lay it down, turn to God, let it go, tune it out, make sense of it and then let it be — all so much easier said than done.

I think when one feels a lot of pain, one can get sensitized to pain all around to where they can take in too much of it, even what doesn’t belong to them or doesn’t even directly impact them. Like it all starts to flow together. And I suppose that’s where empathy can spring from, so it’s not always such a bad thing, not unless it becomes overwhelming for a prolonged period of time.

Scientists speak on how the brain can essentially become hard-wired over time to ruminate over the same thoughts and to connect those memories with various forms of stimuli. Meaning we can and do get triggered, at least in some cases, and this appears to affect some much more than others. They say years of cognitive-behaviorial therapy is the only promising treatment available thus far. But who has time and money for that? Not me.

When one speaks fairly openly about emotional and psychological pain, plenty of others are quick to judge and to get irritated and to see it as a ploy for garnering pity. That’s unfortunate. It’s what keeps so many people silent.

I’ve heard it said that the authentic response to this is to muster up courage. Well, that’s a tricky subject since I don’t doubt a lot of us out here can find courage when it comes to helping others that we can’t seem to harness for helping ourselves. Probably goes back to the social nature of humans and how we tend to function as a result. On our own what are we? Not much.

Some say you’re “codependent” if you base too much of your life around another individual you love. To that I say: bullshit. We’re interdependent, and yet it’s now commonly framed as if that’s a bad thing, as if individuals should all just stand alone and be about themselves first and foremost, as if that is somehow the key to a meaningful existence. It’s struck me that the more “civilized” we humans become, the less in touch with reality we seem to be. The tales we tell ourselves nowadays obviously aren’t working, not for most folks, and yet we wonder why. We blame the millions of individuals for not bolstering this popularized wishful thinking. Kind of insane when you really think about it. Like we’re trying to convince ourselves and one another that it’s proper and good to fit into a mold that we simply cannot fit into. Now, tell me that‘s not maddening.

But I don’t hate life and I do not blame life. It’s not life’s fault. Might be people’s fault, but we all had choices along the way. I wish I had learned a lot of things a long time ago so that I could’ve avoided some of these unnecessary pitfalls. But ignorance breeds ignorance, both literally and figuratively.

Then again, how do you instruct young people during rapidly changing times? Most of us probably didn’t wish to heed advice given to us long ago anyway. Though, in my case, I can clearly say that I’ve received some incredibly bad advice over time. Some meant well, and some surely did not and were more concerned with their own interests. Intense selfishness has a way of paying forward as well.

People say you have no one to blame but yourself for the outcome of your life. I disagree. We all impact one another in countless ways and not all are equipped to handle that. It’s almost as if we assume humans are ultra-resilient in all ways, and this is a myth. We can be astoundingly resilient, but it’s not always guaranteed. Just depends. Our social bonds and relationships (or the absence of) can majorly factor into how well we cope. That’s not a secret. Should be plainly obvious.

The act gets tiring to keep up. Leaning on loved ones too hard places an unfair burden on them. And I don’t know what we’re to do about this sad fact of life. Some have what they need, others do not. And sometimes even when you do get what you need you don’t realize it until it’s too late and you’ve made a mess of it. Life’s funny like that. Broken people tend to break things…I suppose it’s true.

Could always be worse, not that that’s much comfort right now. Feeling overran by one’s own emotions is very difficult to describe to others who don’t fall prey to such episodes.

I still miss people whom I shouldn’t miss. And I’m still harboring anger at people I don’t know how to forgive. This appears to have been eating away at my soul for a long time now. And I paid some of that forward onto people who didn’t deserve it. Self-forgiveness turns out to be the hardest kind. Guilt is a hell of a slave-driver, whether it be personal guilt or existential guilt, though often it’s a combination.

Others can make living look so simple and easy. I tend to envy them.

Plainly speaking for the sake of sharing. As always, this is between myself and the universe. Guess this is how I pray.

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3 Responses to Late-night personal thoughts in mid-October

  1. Wyrd Smythe says:

    We’ve talked about this a lot, so I won’t rehash.

    You don’t really need any bio-chemical explanation to know that what we do often we find ever easier to do. Athletes and musicians depend on this to develop their skills.

    There is also the Malcolm Gladwell idea that it takes 10,000 hours to become truly proficient in something. The corollary of that is that doing anything for 10,000 hours (or anywhere close to that amount of time) makes you good at that thing.

    If that thing is a certain kind of thinking, then that kind of thinking becomes easier and more familiar.

    The “years of cognitive-behaviorial therapy” are on point in that regard, but you only need outsiders’ or formal help if you can’t change the channel yourself. I suspect you and I (certainly I) am big on self-determination. Others find it easier to have a coach or therapist or whatever applies to their situation.

    Getting out of any mental rut takes a lot of time and effort (again, the whole 10,000 hours thing — that’s almost 3-and-a-half years of 8-hour 7-day weeks). It’s almost as bad as trying to quit cigarettes or alcohol!

    But I learned a weird (almost scary) thing a long time ago. If you go around forcing yourself to be happy, after awhile — a long while — it starts to become real. The thing that scared the shit out of me was that it almost seemed like brainwashing. As an artist, I try to let my mind be unfettered to experience what it can experience.

    That I can b-mod my own mind…. well, then what the fuck is real, then?

    • Byenia says:

      I recall the 10,000 hours claim from an audiobook titled This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin.

      It’s like I change the channel for a while, but the damn thing flips back sometimes without any warning or prompting. Still trying to figure out how to navigate that quandary.

      Virtually no interest in going through a bunch of therapists looking for the best one I can afford. What little experience with counselors I had in the past bombed…piss-poor quality for too much dinero. One was $90/hr. Geez. Just to sit there and listen to someone and barely say anything yourself. They’ve got that racket figured out apparently.

      But quality guides are still sought, online now mostly. Not interested in re-inventing the wheel over here either — might as well listen to what others have come up with over time, see if it jibes. But the hardest part is figuring out where to direct that energy, which is where I’ve been stuck. Have ideas, but then practical concerns try to get in the way. Much to ponder on…

      Quitting cigarettes and alcohol? NOOO!!! We don’t speak such blasphemy! hahaha

      I actually did utilize the “fake it ’til you make it” philosophy during most of my time as an escort. Seemed to work for a few years, then the wheels fell off. So it was back to the drawing board. Not too interested in living as an actress. Feels like what’s the point? Maybe I’m too lazy for such a strategy. ha

      “As an artist, I try to let my mind be unfettered to experience what it can experience.”

      This I agree with. Word, Wyrd. 😉

      • Wyrd Smythe says:

        “It’s like I change the channel for a while, but the damn thing flips back sometimes without any warning or prompting.”

        Relate totally, I can. Some things are harder to get out of your mind than others.

        Oh, and some folks don’t agree with that whole 10,000 hour thing, either. They figure it only takes 9,999. :\

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