Thursday, January 18, 2007

Anatomy of Emptiness

Well readers, one and all, well actually more like one so far today, you are in for a treat. You get to witness my examinations of a severe emotional episode. All the horror, all the glory and you will have a front row seat. It should be fun (for you at least, not so much for me). It should be, but things aren't always as they should be. Heck, I should not be having this episode, but hey shit happens.

I think I might be misleading by calling this an emotional episode. I do have such episodes occassionally as I plunge myself or am plunged (depends on circumstances and perspective) into deep depression or dangerous esctasy. But this is not such an episode. It is an episode of mental bad health, but it is not emotional so much as anti-emotional. I feel empty, devoid of feeling and motivation, and that is not good.

My emotions have caused me a lot of trouble in my life. Love, fear, self-hatred, anger, etc. have led me to make bad decisions. But ultimately, I don't want to lose my emotions, they propel me to do stuff and such, I just want to control them more. And I certainly don't want to be motivationless. But I am and it sucks.

In hindsight, this is somewhat inevitable. I was feeling this way during Christmas break, after the desperate but invigorating energy of fighting to correct the mistakes of my last depressive episode and finishing finals wore off. I found myself listless, unable to make decisions, uncaring about my life, lost without any purpose and at my core not caring about it. The thinking parts of my brain still knew I had to do stuff, that I wanted to do stuff, but my emotions and my motivational centers didn't. So I did very little, but deep inside I knew I had to defy this situation. So my mind tried various tricks to summon emotion and motivation. Finally, I launched myself on a great bike ride, pushing myself to the breaking limit, and finally emerging emotional, strongly determined, and alive again. And at that point I started to look at my life, and I wasn't happy with what I saw. The directionlessness remained even though my motivation to correct it now returned. I was unsure how though. Unfortunately, as my emotions returned so did my negative ones. They had never gone away but they were dulled during my period of feeling empty and motivationlessness. Now they returned, not in full force, but enough that indecision siezed me, and my confusion over what to do with my life intensified. Ultimately, I decided as I was deciding to keep an option open, one that I was questioning now but one that was still viable, I decided to continue pursuing my application for the graduate school of education. This gave me a momentary direction as I fought to overcome my anxieties and fears to accomplish this. Slowly I became filled with a determination to finish this, to finish this because it was finishing something, a deed that was all too rare in my life. So I did it, I overcame my fears and finished everything up and now today, nearly everything is complete. I just need to dot the i's, although an emergency might emerge which I would have to deal with. So now what, I ask myself and I am unsure.

Now the emptiness has returned as once again I have finished a struggle. The feelings aren't as bad but still are very bad. I maybe should go on another one of those tiring, straining bike rides. I think it worked last time because it appealed to my desire for power, one of the few emotions that remained fully intact. It also appeals to a variety of dulled emotions, bringing them to the forefront, like my desire to improve my body, my love for biking and my desire to be happy, my desire to hurt myself because the biking is so straining, and my desire to accomplish things. Probably other emotions were involved as well.

But it's hard to muster up the emotions to do that. I don't have much of a motivational drive, even one to recover the emotional drive although I know I must do that. Last time I motivated myself to do that by watching Space Cowboys (a great movie, although the whole Russians have a missle thing in space subplot felt kind of tacked on, the charm was just old guys recovering lost glory). And I'm not sure it will work. Tricks and deeper solutions to emotional problems rarely work multiple times for me. The parts of my mind that work against me always find a way around these things.

I also am looking for a more permenant solution. I think I must ultimately reorient my life. I have planned to move away a little from orienting my life around academics which was my previous way of living (especially last semester when I was taking three ackwardly scheduled classes). I have made certain moves in this direction by creating a hugely open schedule. But I am still uncertain as to what I need to do and how exactly I need to reorient my life. Also fear, indecision and other emotions, though dulled remain strong enough to bother me. Add to this the who motivationlessness and you have a rather bad situation moving no where fast.

One thing I kept remembering during my winter break was the words of Thanos in the Infinity War (my brother got me the book for Christmas and I loved it). To paraphrase it: "To survive certain ressurections must take place." Certain parts of my life which once gave me an overwhelming sense of drive and purpose must be brought back and pushed to the front of my personality. New motivations must also be discovered. My biology, my emotions are arrayed against me, but I must overcome these things, otherwise...

Suicide is a possibility. My depression remains, though dull and the annoyance of a directionless, motivationless life and the desire for a sense of power (killing my self does make me feel powerful) might overcome the saner parts of my mind. But my depression is dulled, and my impulse is to go along with the flow, doing absolutely nothing, responding to events, such as the problems generated by this attitude, but then sinking back into the emptiness. That is a very scary possibility. I once swore to myself that even depression was better than being devoid of passion, and I renew that idea now. I must renew myself, there is no other option.

My spiritual emotions also feel dulled, but my mind still has a determination to reach out to God, and I still have a strong faith and love for God deep in my soul, maybe that will help. Or maybe I will be unable to capitalize on that.

A possibility of failure is very real, and it worries me. That is perhaps the reason for the melodramatics. I don't like blowing up these emotions to epic proportions. Ok, I actually love it, it's like crack to me. But like crack it is ultimately self-destructive. But maybe this sort of elevation of emotions can help me ressurect some of them and maybe alright in the short term, although I cannot stay in my head dwelling on my emotions forever. This would in fact prevent me from doing the actions that ultimately I want to do, that these ressurections are supposed to drive me to do.

Hope, love and faith. These are enough, but do I have enough of these. We will find out, the hard way. Stay tooned for the next exciting adventure of Rand and the Insanity Birgade: The Mouth of the Void.

That's enough melodramatics. Even when dramatics are warrented they must be limited. Especially if I am to apply my logical parts to figure out solutions to my problems.

One solution I think is a good woman to devote a part of myself too. I have always believed in the healing power of women (I'm going to save more on my opinions on women for a future session), but I have learned that you can't depend on getting a girlfriend. It would be nice, but other measures must be considered. More clubs would be a good idea, but I have heard very little on that front since it is the beginning of the year. I also am in flux on whether to remain a Libertarian, although currently I am sticking with it, especially since the club has always been a valuable social outlet for me. More writing and more writing-related activities is also a good idea, although it often requires emotion and motivation which I am in short supply of. I did write a few pretty good poems today, so maybe I still can summon it up when I need it. Psycologist visits and talking to my psychiatrist might also help, but ultimately it is up to me. All of these are possible helps, but not definite, and while my mind is still considering other options, it all requires motivation. Maybe a bike ride will help, but I don't know. That is the greatest truth of this emptiness, I don't know.

Again enough melodramatics. In fact, I better stop this session before I get into how my mental problems reflect the battles between good and evil (maybe I'll visit that in another session when I'm feeling in more control of the melodramatics). But I'll try to revisit this whole emptiness thing in a couple more sesssions, maybe another one today or something. So take it to your head, take it to your heart, and remember that Rand rocks. (I think I'll add a little more to my ending, I dunno if I'll keep it long term but I like saying it) Goodnight Folks!

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