Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ленивец

I've often noticed that when I go through a particularly dark mood, I go through all sorts of irrational thought processes.  As I come out of it, as I always do eventually, I look back with a sense of perspective and objectivity.  I can see how irrational I was being, interpreting things in awful ways, coming to even worse conclusions.

We often underestimate just how potent it can be, to be lost in the midst of delusion.  I've been wary of this my whole life, and yet, can only really see past it, from a safe distance.  What really gets me is that if my "safe distance" is really just another delusion, I'd be no more capable of realizing it, than I was of realizing the delusions of deep depression.  From the perspective of depression, feeling better seems pointless, hollow, but neither is really wrong, per se.  Just different.

There's a clear cognitive bias, to wanting to believe that it's more real, when I'm not so depressed.  A great relief in finding ways of thinking that aren't painful.  If my current state of mind involves a more pleasant brain chemistry, I'd sure like to think that it's what's real.  I'm just not sure there's much reason to conclude that's actually true.  Most people believe all sorts of crazy things, and often seem to think very little about the complex layers of causality that really drive everything.

As I finished my first cup of coffee this morning, my daily self-diagnostics were not looking good.  Going for my usual run felt out of the question.  Not because I was all that miserable, but critically unmotivated.  I know this feeling well, and it sounds a lot easier to get over than it is.  In the midst of that state, there was no getting over it.

Few hours later, I began to realize I felt all sweaty and unpleasant, and that a shower would probably be a good idea.  As I moved to do that, I figured it would probably make sense to run first, then shower.  Not to be reductive, and might have been coincidence, but sweating is a side effect of increasing cortisol levels.  A more primary function being how it factors into motivation.

So, out of the blue, I was all sweaty and motivated, and it got me moving.  Was I delusional before, thinking that I couldn't move?  Or did my endocrine system finally kick into gear the way it's supposed to?  If that is the real culprit, is it delusion to blame distorted thinking and bad feelings?  Is it delusion to blame delusion?

There are almost certainly elements of both, and the flawed thinking would not be believing in either one, but in disbelieving in the other.  A sort of delusion that seems quite common to me.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

middle path regime

I've noticed a pattern, in my own behavior, where at first, I realize that I might have a knack for something.  This inspires me to push myself harder, as it starts looking reasonable that I could be really good at it.  If I work at it.

So, I do, but my rate of progress doesn't really improve that much.  Not only am I still an awful long way from being really good at much of anything, but I still keep making all sorts of stupid beginner mistakes.  So, I push myself harder, but eventually I'm starting to overdo it, sabotaging my progress, not giving myself enough time to process, rest, recover.  I get frustrated.  I clearly just suck at this.  For some inexplicable reason, I don't feel like doing it much longer.

So, I theorize that it might be a good idea to cap my goals, my ideals, even my principles.  To push myself about a step beyond what seems to be a realistic baseline - and no more.  What seems to matter above all else is that I keep doing it, indefinitely.  Without focusing on what I'm trying to achieve, but on the practice itself, as a part of who I am.  Just something I do every day.  Or every other day.  Every Tuesdays and Thursdays.  As long as it's something I keep doing month after month, year after year.  This seems to be the most integral part of how anyone ever really gets good at anything.

It also just seems to be a healthy way to keep doing healthy things, when I really really don't feel like it.  Which is kind of a lot.  I sure wish there were something I could do about that.

I also theorize that things like running regularly should help.  I must have way more mitochondria by now, right?  Still, by the time I've made my morning coffee, I feel like I'm done for the day.  I need plenty of time to recover so that I'll be able to make myself another decent cup of coffee tomorrow.

Я много отдыхаю.