Elephant vs Mule

I haven’t been able to focus on getting any work done in the past couple of days. I just get distracted so easily, or generally feel apathetic towards just about everything aside from going to the gym. Then I reflect on how little I’ve done with all the time I have throughout the day, how I’ve failed to get up early in the morning time and time again, and it just becomes this recursive loop of self-loathing and depression… it’s like, the fact that I’ve already failed in one instance is proof that it’s pointless for me to even try because I’ll just fail again. Seeing the words on the screen, I can recognize that this line of thinking is bullshit, but when I’m by myself and in the midst of whatever it is I’m dealing with, that negative inner monologue just seems so convincing.

It’s likely part of the reason why I’ve stopped updating this blog on a regular basis. I convince myself that I’m such a fuck-up that nothing will help, and so it’s futile to update this blog and reflect in the hopes that looking at my thoughts will help me sift through them and re-orient myself.  I haven’t written… ANYTHING that wasn’t school-related in what feels like nearly a month. Once again, that same thought pattern kicks in: “You call yourself a writer? A writer WRITES. He doesn’t just sit on his ass and bitch about how he’s too tired, or doesn’t feel like it, or how he’s not good enough. You whiny, lazy piece of shit. It’s laughable to think that you imagine you could have a career in writing when you can’t even update a fucking BLOG on a regular basis.”

Just got distracted again. Fuck. I have to ACTUALLY keep reminding myself out loud to keep myself from surfing IGN or any of my usual time-wasting sites. I don’t understand why this is so difficult for me to do! I mean, I use an app that blocks sites on my normal browser, but I always seem to manage to find a way to squirrel my way around it and get my way to them anyways. *sigh* I’m beginning to think that no tool or pharmaceutical is going to cure me of this on its own. I do think that I need the latter, but I can’t allow myself to think that it’ll be a substitute for self-discipline and taking responsibility for the things that I need to do. It’s funny. I never really used to think about this in a political sense insofar as liberal or conservative values, but it’s kind of a useful analogy. Conservatives preach personal responsibility, drive, hard work and ambition, and most of all independence. Liberals preach empathy, altruism, giving people the tools, education and help they need. Coming back to my own mental life, it feels like those two sides of my brain have been battling it out for supremacy for a while with negative results.

Distracted again. Really? Anyways, back to the brain battle.  I’m beginning to realize that going too far to either extreme hinders more than it helps. Being too mentally conservative causes me to beat the shit out of myself when I make a mistake, dismantling my confidence and bringing with it all the negatives that come with that. That being said, I need aspects of that conservatism. The knowledge that success will only come if I put in the time and effort, that no one can MAKE me do work, no drug can, no time management method, no schedule, no alarm, nothing. Eventually it all comes down to me making the conscious decision to sit down and do work. All the supplementary factors in the world only serve to make things incrementally easier, but nothing will make me cross that threshold if I don’t want to. Likewise, thinking too liberally makes me TOO forgiving of myself, and makes me adopt precisely the negative mindset I need that conservatism to rail against. “If only I had this I could work”, “I can’t focus, I need that”, “my writer’s block is killing me right now, so it’d be unreasonable for me to try and write.” Just… absolving myself of responsibility for my actions due to some trick of biopsychology. But at the same time, I do need to be able to recognize when I need help from others. When I can’t do something on my own, or when to stop pushing myself so far I begin to sacrifice my health or mental well-being.

Distracted for the third time. Jeezus. *sigh* Point is, I need to balance these forces out and take what I need from each of them, as WELL as controlling the external factors within my life. Aside from being put on the Zoloft, I haven’t really been taking responsibility for my mental health as of late. But the nice thing about Hume’s Problem of Induction is that the future need not resemble the past. I’m already in a better place right now than I am normally, having woken up early (I always feel better when I do). So now it’s time to take advantage of what I’ve been given and get to work, keeping all I’ve learned in mind. I’ll return tomorrow to write about how it went.


A Turning Point (hopefully)

So I started anxiety meds two days ago. I haven’t gotten a restful sleep either night since. I don’t know whether to blame this on the meds themselves or the myriad of thoughts I have squirreling around in my head keeping me awake. I just got smacked down by a midterm this past week, have two papers due by the end of the month, as well as a Statistics Lab Exam this upcoming Thursday. I’m really beginning to feel the pressure, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to stay focused on maintaining academics while not letting my health deteriorate.

The last two weeks I pulled nighters, and am just generally fucking myself over with my lack of time management skills. The new meds (my doc put me on Zoloft) do seem to, I don’t know, quiet down my internal monologue a little bit. Sometimes it seems like keeping a consistent train of thought going in my head is like talking to a room full of kindergartners hopped up on pixie sticks. The main voice of the instructor keeps getting drowned out because the kids keep shouting out the random things they see/do/think. Those “voices” (I hate using that word, it makes me sound like I’m experiencing auditory hallucinations) are still there, but at least in the past day or so I’ve found them to be much quieter. Part of me keeps pointing out that I shouldn’t jump to conclusions, and that this may very well be a placebo effect. But I really, REALLY hope not.

I want to change. I don’t want to keep having to exhaust myself of willpower everytime I have to force myself to do ONE THING I don’t want to do, because the anxiety (and the thoughts that come with it) are too high a mountain to overcome. I don’t want to keep wasting so much time talking myself back from the edge of dropping courses/dropping out of school/saying “fuck it” to whatever happens to frustrating my goals at present. I WANT SO BADLY to be able to jump into the mindset of, “Okay, that sucks, but this is how we’re going t o fix it,” that I had in Vancouver.  I want to be able to start working on something/go to the gym/studying/reading WHEN I want to, and not when I feel stimulated to, and not having to spend several minutes paralyzed with analysis over the pros and cons of every fucking decision I make.

I need this to be a turning point.

Disorganized Rantings of a Dissatisfied Life

So my pledge to not eat any junk food for the month of November has already run into a few snags. Like, daily ones. So, what this tells me is there is SOMETHING I do on a regular basis (or several somethings) that is making my eating shitty food a consistent thing. I think the fact that it’s a habit is part of what is making it so difficult to break. I use junk food as a crutch for many things.

First, I’m an emotional eater. If I’m stressed, or tired, or need a pick me up, it’s either porn or shitty food that becomes my default. Which is, to say the least, a pretty crappy default setting to be on, if I hope to make any kind of forward progress on correcting my bad habits.

Second, moderation is not something I do well. So the whole “weaning myself off” of junk is not something that I can do. Hence the whole cold turkey. I think part of what’s going to get through this is the acknowledgement that it IS going to suck, and I WILL have to be prepared for the utterly shitty cravings I will have for the first while. Just like the first time I went through this whole thing last fall. Thing is, I DID do it before. I got down to 10.5% body fat at one point! So this is not a physical impossibility. So, advice from my friends to still “let myself” have a sugary snack every once in a while doesn’t help, and honestly, must be ignored. First, they aren’t setting as stringent goals for themselves physically as I am. Which is fine, but I am not them. I do not have their physical, mental, or emotional make-up, so the rules which apply for them for habit breaking, regardless of the validation given them by the social consent of others, are insufficient for me. I will be better than that. I WILL be the exception to the rule.

Tomorrow will be the beginning of me not bringing my credit card/debit card/cash with me to campus or anywhere without the premeditation purpose of A) Buying groceries, or B) the occasional going out with friends.  Resisting temptation is, again, something that is a major weakness for me. Therefore, I will make it impossible for me TO break my promise to myself, even if I wanted to. Thing is, I did exactly this before and it was effective. But I became complacent and stopped doing it, for… whatever reason. Honestly, I think the forgetfulness, the absentmindness, is just straight up laziness. Said laziness, I think, deserves it’s own kick-myself-in-the-ass blog post all on its own.

Also, I need to stop this thing where I totally get distracted by EVERY. FUCKING. THING. on the internet. I’m also sick to death of all of the jokes about how it’s a perfectly normal thing to do and everyone does it. Just because everyone does it does NOT make it something that we shouldn’t ACTIVELY try to stop doing! Jesus Christ! SO many bad/unhealthy things in the world were normal at one time or place. I just… fuck. I know I’m overreacting to this sort of thing, but it’s more just reflective of the fact that I’m scared to fucking death of reaching the end of my life and thinking of the tons and tons of hours I squandered on masturbation and goddamn cat pictures. Gawd fucking damnit. (This rant brought to you by a frustrating digression into exactly that which I despise in the middle of writing this blog post).

Sorry to those of you who read this, if it feels like this post is a big, messy pile of gibberish. But it kind of just feels like what my life is right now. Chaotic. Frustrating. Inert. Just need to get it out there.