Author Topic: Not Crazy  (Read 1154 times)

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Not Crazy
« on: November 14, 2018, 05:21:02 pm »
I'm not crazy.

It's weird, because I spend a lot of time crazy, but right now I'm not. I'm sad, and scared, and have a problem with procrastination and confronting things sometimes, but it's not crazy. It's just human shit.

I wish there was a way to explain that subtle divide between crazy and not, to wrap it up in neat little paragraphs or poetry and go "see? This is the line." I don't even know how to start.

Maybe it's an issue of cohesiveness: an internal experience that's all one thing and not a war of screaming invasive thoughts and impulses. It's knowing the things that are in your head are all yours -- strike that, knowing that it's all you -- and not feeling a need for a dialogue or a conflict with it. It doesn't mean anything is resolved, there's still all the emotions and practical concerns that were there yesterday, and I'm crying at the drop of a hat and barely caught up with half of my work, but I'm not crazy.

The world is still a terrifying place and there is still so much wrong we may never recover, and I may be leaving my children a far more difficult life than my parents gave me. There are still fires and the theft of elections and the threat of war and social collapse. There are still nazis on our doorstep. Relationships are still hard.

I want to say it's like being in a pool, hearing everything muffled and muted by the water, but it's not like that at all. There is a reduction in the intensity of the experience, yes, but it's more like someone was screaming into a megaphone next to my head and only just now put the damn thing down. It's like finally taking your hand off the hot burner. There are still problems, and there is still pain, but it's less.

I've had times like this before. I know it's no guarantee that I've "made a breakthrough" and I'm "cured." My crazy is deep and rooted in the genes of my ancestors, a long line of uppity women with private battles as far back as the stories reach. I am not deluded.

I feel like I should be happier about this, excited, but really it's just a thing. I spend a lot of time crazy, so I have a lot of stuff built up to make me a functional crazy person. When I'm not, it's almost a little trouble adjusting back. Have to relearn how to make art like this, how to write, how to relate to other people. It's not a complaint, either, I like being safe in my own skin.

It's worth knowing. It's worth talking about.

Dildo Argentino

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Re: Not Crazy
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 06:09:17 pm »
I hope I won't cause offence by responding with an angle on my own life, but this seems all too familiar to me. I'm of the bipolar persuasion with no hospitalisation events (so far). Right now, Im not feeling under the weather and I don't think I'm being manic, either. But I'm keenly aware that when I'm manic, I very rarely notice it. And I sleep less than I did two months ago, when I was still brooding over our house renovation and move, which I then considered a shameful failure. And I know that pretty much every time I have miraculously exited through the rear end of a depression, I thought I had finally cracked it and would not get into that terrible black pit of dejection, self-loating and emotional deadness again. Until I did. But still, right now it is good.
Not too keen on rigor, myself - reminds me of mortis

Doktor Howl

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Re: Not Crazy
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2018, 03:16:02 am »
I'm not crazy.

It's weird, because I spend a lot of time crazy, but right now I'm not. I'm sad, and scared, and have a problem with procrastination and confronting things sometimes, but it's not crazy. It's just human shit.

I wish there was a way to explain that subtle divide between crazy and not, to wrap it up in neat little paragraphs or poetry and go "see? This is the line." I don't even know how to start.

Maybe it's an issue of cohesiveness: an internal experience that's all one thing and not a war of screaming invasive thoughts and impulses. It's knowing the things that are in your head are all yours -- strike that, knowing that it's all you -- and not feeling a need for a dialogue or a conflict with it. It doesn't mean anything is resolved, there's still all the emotions and practical concerns that were there yesterday, and I'm crying at the drop of a hat and barely caught up with half of my work, but I'm not crazy.

The world is still a terrifying place and there is still so much wrong we may never recover, and I may be leaving my children a far more difficult life than my parents gave me. There are still fires and the theft of elections and the threat of war and social collapse. There are still nazis on our doorstep. Relationships are still hard.

I want to say it's like being in a pool, hearing everything muffled and muted by the water, but it's not like that at all. There is a reduction in the intensity of the experience, yes, but it's more like someone was screaming into a megaphone next to my head and only just now put the damn thing down. It's like finally taking your hand off the hot burner. There are still problems, and there is still pain, but it's less.

I've had times like this before. I know it's no guarantee that I've "made a breakthrough" and I'm "cured." My crazy is deep and rooted in the genes of my ancestors, a long line of uppity women with private battles as far back as the stories reach. I am not deluded.

I feel like I should be happier about this, excited, but really it's just a thing. I spend a lot of time crazy, so I have a lot of stuff built up to make me a functional crazy person. When I'm not, it's almost a little trouble adjusting back. Have to relearn how to make art like this, how to write, how to relate to other people. It's not a complaint, either, I like being safe in my own skin.

It's worth knowing. It's worth talking about.

You know I know those feels.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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Re: Not Crazy
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2018, 04:13:48 am »
Here is my first delusion:

Part of me is never crazy.  Part of my mind is perfectly objective and entirely rational.  This is That which Watches.  It calmly and stoically observes my limitations, my irrationality, my stupidity, and comments on them.  It is limited only by the accuracy of the information it possesses, and the processing capacity of its platform.  It can provide advice, which is always correct, and almost always useless.  "If you don't want to do that, then stop doing it."

The Me that Watches is not in control.  I can, with significant focus and a huge expenditure of energy, put it in control for brief periods of time, but this is not helpful.  Perfect objectivity simply doesn't apply to the human experience.  It can tell you how to reach a certain goal, but it can't tell you what goals you should have.  And it doesn't want anything.

The Me that Is has good days and bad days.  The pills help.  But bad day or good, crazy or not, it's all me.  The me who has to fight to make eye contact and the me who likes to try new restaurants may seem very different, but we have the same memories, wear the same skin, and we both have the same Watcher lurking backstage.


My second delusion is that, if I am confronted with my delusions, I will correct them, no matter how painful and traumatic.  I've already gone through this at least once.

My third delusion is that I don't have many delusions left to confront.

The Me that Watches, having read this post, suggests that considering it to be a separate entity is a fundamentally flawed viewpoint.  But I'm too sleep-deprived to work through that.
"When I say 'engineering', I have unreasonable expectations.  It must - as you know - look good in PADS AND give you plenty of help ducking and weaving in meetings.  But it must also, at some distant point in time, function.  If it does not, then you must accept that you are not in fact an engineer but instead an MBA.  Hang your head in SHAME, sinner!"

Doktor Howl

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Re: Not Crazy
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 04:52:33 pm »
Here is my first delusion:

Part of me is never crazy.  Part of my mind is perfectly objective and entirely rational.  This is That which Watches.  It calmly and stoically observes my limitations, my irrationality, my stupidity, and comments on them.  It is limited only by the accuracy of the information it possesses, and the processing capacity of its platform.  It can provide advice, which is always correct, and almost always useless.  "If you don't want to do that, then stop doing it."

The Me that Watches is not in control.  I can, with significant focus and a huge expenditure of energy, put it in control for brief periods of time, but this is not helpful.  Perfect objectivity simply doesn't apply to the human experience.  It can tell you how to reach a certain goal, but it can't tell you what goals you should have.  And it doesn't want anything.

The Me that Is has good days and bad days.  The pills help.  But bad day or good, crazy or not, it's all me.  The me who has to fight to make eye contact and the me who likes to try new restaurants may seem very different, but we have the same memories, wear the same skin, and we both have the same Watcher lurking backstage.


My second delusion is that, if I am confronted with my delusions, I will correct them, no matter how painful and traumatic.  I've already gone through this at least once.

My third delusion is that I don't have many delusions left to confront.

The Me that Watches, having read this post, suggests that considering it to be a separate entity is a fundamentally flawed viewpoint.  But I'm too sleep-deprived to work through that.

Bang on.  I refer to that part that watches as "the glass hallway".  You see everything, but none of the poo gets on you.  You don't get upset.

But that's not who is driving the car. 
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

LuciferX

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Re: Not Crazy
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2018, 07:01:14 pm »
Quote
The Me that Watches, having read this post, suggests that considering it to be a separate entity is a fundamentally flawed viewpoint.  But I'm too sleep-deprived to work through that.

Sometimes I feel I must sleep-deprive myself just to take the edge off.
So that that great lathe can't so closely carve my flesh from bone.
That it be forever interrupted rest of this sentence incomplete
Cleaved from the memory of it's sin
    &      lost without confession's bite
Strung together like a roll of freshly sliced and strangled meat

oOf course The Other will not let me sleep against its point
    &.     Pierce the reason of its being
LayeRED before me in concentric rings of thought dismantled
As IT sucks the marrow of my soul from whence it came
Decorated in the skin from animals of old and those unborn still
Becoming the silence that whistles through my empty skull.
Hic Salta?
________
Constant Eso-Opthamologist of Elicited Stopped-Clock Illusions, brings it back, or sinners just repent______

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Not Crazy
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2018, 03:12:34 am »
Here is my first delusion:

Part of me is never crazy.  Part of my mind is perfectly objective and entirely rational.  This is That which Watches.  It calmly and stoically observes my limitations, my irrationality, my stupidity, and comments on them.  It is limited only by the accuracy of the information it possesses, and the processing capacity of its platform.  It can provide advice, which is always correct, and almost always useless.  "If you don't want to do that, then stop doing it."

The Me that Watches is not in control.  I can, with significant focus and a huge expenditure of energy, put it in control for brief periods of time, but this is not helpful.  Perfect objectivity simply doesn't apply to the human experience.  It can tell you how to reach a certain goal, but it can't tell you what goals you should have.  And it doesn't want anything.

The Me that Is has good days and bad days.  The pills help.  But bad day or good, crazy or not, it's all me.  The me who has to fight to make eye contact and the me who likes to try new restaurants may seem very different, but we have the same memories, wear the same skin, and we both have the same Watcher lurking backstage.


My second delusion is that, if I am confronted with my delusions, I will correct them, no matter how painful and traumatic.  I've already gone through this at least once.

My third delusion is that I don't have many delusions left to confront.

The Me that Watches, having read this post, suggests that considering it to be a separate entity is a fundamentally flawed viewpoint.  But I'm too sleep-deprived to work through that.

Okay, so I want you to imagine this feeling:
What if you were used to having different parts of you, doing different things and generally keeping the ship running. A crew of sorts for your brain. And sometimes it seems a little crazy and sometimes you're at odds with yourself or whatever, but this is How Brains Work and that's all well and good, and you define "sanity" as "all of the parts of me are doing their job more or less as they are supposed to."

Then one day, with no warning, there is no crew. No different jobs, no internal dialogue, no imaginary homunculii climbing the rigging and setting the sails. Everything in your brain, all of it, is inexplicably, 100%, YOU. There are no divisions. There is no "self that watches." There is no running internal narration or anything. You are in the driver's seat. You are the driver's seat. And try as you might you literally cannot separate out the parts into what you're used to.

Then, an hour or a day or a week later, it all settles back into your familiar mental model.

chaotic neutral observer

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Re: Not Crazy
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2018, 04:56:01 am »
Okay, so I want you to imagine this feeling:
What if you were used to having different parts of you, doing different things and generally keeping the ship running. A crew of sorts for your brain. And sometimes it seems a little crazy and sometimes you're at odds with yourself or whatever, but this is How Brains Work and that's all well and good, and you define "sanity" as "all of the parts of me are doing their job more or less as they are supposed to."

Then one day, with no warning, there is no crew. No different jobs, no internal dialogue, no imaginary homunculii climbing the rigging and setting the sails. Everything in your brain, all of it, is inexplicably, 100%, YOU. There are no divisions. There is no "self that watches." There is no running internal narration or anything. You are in the driver's seat. You are the driver's seat. And try as you might you literally cannot separate out the parts into what you're used to.

Then, an hour or a day or a week later, it all settles back into your familiar mental model.
That is outside my experience, so imagining it is difficult, and one of my brain's safety functions fights back, hard, when I try.  But let's try anyway.

First, I think my input filters would fail.  Instead of being able to ignore unimportant sensory inputs, or defer handling them for later, I'd have to deal with everything, all together, immediately.  This would lead to paralysis and panic, since I simply couldn't process all of that at once.

Since I would be stuck in the present moment, I would have difficulty anticipating the short-term effects of my actions.  Some of my social skills are operated reactively and manually, rather than on automatic, so those would cease to function, which would be unpleasant.

Switching back to normal would be very rough, since I would afterward spend hours or days reviewing everything I said and did, over and over, cataloguing my mistakes, real and imagined.  (My "normal" has a touch of OCD).

But setting all that aside,
Quote
There is no running internal narration or anything.
That scares the hell out of me.  I can't remember ever being without an internal narrative.  If I was alone in my own head like that...it would be like being dead.  I might break if that happened.
"When I say 'engineering', I have unreasonable expectations.  It must - as you know - look good in PADS AND give you plenty of help ducking and weaving in meetings.  But it must also, at some distant point in time, function.  If it does not, then you must accept that you are not in fact an engineer but instead an MBA.  Hang your head in SHAME, sinner!"

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Not Crazy
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2018, 05:08:22 am »
Yeah, there is an element of scariness and discomfort to the whole thing, for sure.

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Re: Not Crazy
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2018, 09:02:10 am »
Yeah, there is an element of scariness and discomfort to the whole thing, for sure.
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