Monday, October 31, 2016

chemical imbalance

I can't seem to let go of the past.  That whole growing up thing that didn't seem to happen for me.  Childhood, adolescence, I can't get over how wrong it all went.  I can't stop rifling through the memories, trying to make sense of it all.  Could I have done things differently?  Why does it matter?  Why does my mind always end up back there?

Can I do things differently now?  Dissecting the problem always brings me back to the causal chain, it just is what it is.  I thought I'd be able to figure it out eventually.  I thought it was just a matter of hanging in there, getting through it.. but there's nothing to get through.  This is it.  Nothing ever pans out.   Its always my fault one way or another.  Its supposedly my life and all, but I don't remember picking it out.

The Omnitrope sure isn't working any instant miracles, but there's still reason to maintain hope.  It's not like a drug that has an effect.  It's supplementing a deficiency, so results can be extremely gradual.  Though it's nothing miraculous, I am feeling a somewhat better - which can mean that it's not enough to overcome inertia, but maybe I'll handle future opportunities better than past ones.  Maybe if I just hang in there.

Not feeling it, though.   It's not enough to fundamentally change the equation.

I put my fist through quite a few walls, as a kid.  I knew my life was coming off the rails, and couldn't do a thing about it.  Now, I can't even imagine where those rails are supposed to be.  All that's long gone, but I keep going back to it, because I have no idea where else to go.  Beneath it all, still that kid, putting his fist through walls.  I somehow managed to fail at growing up.  How does that even happen.  Given the chance to do it all over again, there's no reason to believe I'd really have any more success.

At the very least, I wish I could just be laid back and positive about it all.  What different does it make.. but no, I don't even get to be that person.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

what is this I don't even

I started keeping a journal when I was about eleven.  I've been writing in it pretty much ever since, though it's taken various forms.  Why?  What am I trying to accomplish?  Am I succeeding?

I'm basically taking notes, scribbling out anything that seems noteworthy.  I must have learned fairly young that it might be a useful technique for figuring out what the fuck is going on. A way of sorting my tangled thoughts, filing them away, in case I need them later. 

It is amazing to me, how much of my life I don't remember.  There's a highlight reel, but what was I doing on Oct. 20th, 2015?  Who the hell knows.  I'm not sure I can recall anything specific that occurred in last year's entire month of October, but if I check what I was writing about, that will probably help.

As I started posting my rambling online, it also became a social act.  Ideally, I hope for others to come along, similarly confounded by life, looking to share notes.  An impulse to reach out for social structure, for reassurance, to figure things out together.  A normal impulse, that plays out somewhat differently for me.

Maybe I'm just crazy, though.  I don't even want to pretend to know, anymore.  Just keep doing what I'm doing, and ah, fuck it.  Whatever.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

the logistics of attention

My computer is offline for a few days.  The CPU fan died, now I'm waiting for the parts to fix it.  In the meantime, I'm using my Note4.  Not as flashy as a Note7, but at least it won't blow my fingers off, right as I'm about to type something brilliant.

What was I talking about?  Ah, right.  Attention.  That's why I title my posts before I even start the entry.  I often need the reminder. 

Sometimes I think this might be the product of wandering the information superhighway all these years.  I'm told it's not even called that anymore.  In any case, there does seem to be a fair bit of evidence suggesting that it might be detrimental to some elements of concentration, focus, attention.

But you know me, I've got to ask what those words even mean.  I want to know which molecules and receptors need the duct tape.  I'm skeptical of the conventional wisdom, which has something to do with just sucking it up and trying harder.  It just doesn't add up.   Responsibility.  Some of us just make the perplexing choice to be incompetent.

Sometimes I think that if I took a break from my PC, it would surely help.  It is a crutch, and crutches can be hard to let go of.  We come to depend on them.  That's what a crutch is all about, right?

So, sometimes we need to have them fail, to realize we can walk without them.  Although, we tend to forget that often people use crutches because they do in fact need them.  I just find myself doing nothing at all.  I don't know that it makes much sense, blaming computers for my deeply entrenched impulse to do literally nothing all day every day.

I'm think there might be a correlation between motivation and attention.  To be focused on the world in front of you, because you're going somewhere therein - as opposed to being lost in thought, drifting through the world not being paid attention to.  At least not in an immediate direct sense.

We speak of an attention deficit, or absent-mindedness, but it's really more a matter of attention redirected.  The mind isn't absent, it's just chronically busy with something else.. and not having my computer doesn't seem to be helping, after all.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

it was a dark and stormy night

I first did LSD in my early twenties.  Not a lot, but a handful of times.  It can be pretty intense, so I didn't like doing more than once every few months or so.  Once, we were able to get mushrooms instead, but that was the extent of my psilocybin experience back then.

For a variety of reasons, the LSD use tapered off after a few years, and I didn't do much else for maybe ten years or so.  It wasn't until I moved to Chicago that I discovered how much can be found online, these days.  From seeds and spores that circumvent the law, to the array of security and privacy software you need to learn how to use, to wade into the dark web.  I experimented a bit.

Even tried a new and largely untested one, 25i-NBOMe - that seems a bit reckless, in retrospect.  These chemicals go straight into the wiring of our minds.  I think it's probably a good idea to have at least some evidence that they don't do any lasting harm, before using ourselves as guinea pigs.  I prefer those that have been widely used for decades, or even millennia.

I seem to be drawn towards playing with the dials, distorting perception and cognition every which way, just to see what happens.  I wouldn't even say I enjoy it, usually.  I've had a few good trips, but most of them were just really interesting.  Crazy, fascinatingly mind-blowing.  Although, sometimes it's a bit like wandering out into the woods on a pitch black night, to jump into a cold lake.  Just to see what happens.  That is, probably not fun, per se.  Sometimes it takes a week or two for me to feel mentally prepared.

Once I feel ready for the impending shock, I dive into these experiences with a sense of curiosity, really not knowing what to expect, or how to plan for it, but having the idea that some degree of planning can be important.  That it can make all the difference between a trip being enjoyable or not.  Beneficial or not.  Each time, as the effects entangle me, I'm looking to figure out what's going on, exactly, and how best to utilize it.  To understand the world, myself, my mind, my life.

This might be why my impulse is to immediately jot down all my experiences, but I've realized doing that has a strong influence on how the trip goes.  That is, writing steers the trip in a particular direction, changing the experience.  As does just about everything we do.  The trick seems to be in learning, in what ways, exactly.  A common impulse for someone feeling overwhelmed by a psychedelic is to curl up as comfortably as possible, in the dark.  Maybe even alone. This will make for a particular sort of experience, and generally speaking, isn't a great idea.

Likewise, writing, dancing, religious ceremony, socializing, meditating, watching the clouds or watching a movie.  A trip can go all sorts of ways, depending on how it's navigated, but being wound up in the middle of it, it can be difficult to remember what's a good idea, what isn't, and why.  It's easy to fall back on innate impulses that can undermine the experience, but I've found it to be a matter of practice.  I've gotten better at it, but there are always unexpected twists and turns.

As I start getting back into this stuff again, it's interesting how the trips vary given the very different place I am, in my life.  It makes for a different experience.  New ropes to learn.  I wouldn't say my last trip was a bad one, but it was pretty rough.  I came out of it feeling I'd made some progress.  Maybe a more recreational experience wouldn't have felt that way.  I don't know.  Guess that's another thing to try figuring out.