Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tales of the Socially Anxious: Pt 1

Recently, I discovered I was a socially anxious person.

A contrived operation to cover up the fact that I'm a mistake making c**t just like everyone else :)

Though I do have a problem admitting this, it is tantamount to the problem itself; social anxiety is caused by a need to be publicly perfect. It is borderline impossible to be comfortably yourself and have a close meaningful intimate relationship with anyone. I really don't know how I manage to be an enduring extrovert, however. Probably because it's better than sitting around thinking of stuff I can't solve by myself. Better to talk to people about a load of crap than sit on my own mulling it over.

Anxiety and hiding.


I think that is why i write though. It's like a warning beacon to people I know and the odd few who read that i don't know;

"This is who i am... BEWARE!"

It occurs to me now why I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so much when I was a kid. I could relate to them; they were teenagers, lived in the dark, wore masks and hid in their shells when threatened. (I'm not sure they ever hid in their shells but I'm using the metaphor anyway!) But I couldn't do ninjitsu... the only form I knew was the verbal sort... I'd turn my enemies' words on themselves rather than their actions so they couldn't hurt me and end up looking quite the fool indeed! The splinter aspect though.

My writing is splintered, and it is my master.

Maybe I can publish all those drafts I have lying about some day. It's all I want to do outwardly. Even if the writing's serious, funny, topical or whatever. I was stupid to ever stop because of criticism.

Damn anxiety!

It's weird. I get so caught up in not making mistakes I miss out on ever learning anything. I think that is why I am 31, uneducated on a practical level and have no qualifications to speak of. The lack of mistake making prevented me from ever actually doing anything because I didn't want to feel bad.

Boy is my face red.

Basically I listen to criticism and try to mold it into a personality. opinions and apparent observed flaws shape me if I care enough about the critic. If you want an analogy, imagine you are a rock and criticism is an old hammer and chisel. If you are strong, it cannot chip away at you. But if you are even slightly weaker, the tools start to shape you until you are moulded in a form you are stuck with. Bits are lying about the floor that are no longer a part of you. You have essentially lost part of your identity. If you were the strong rock, you would easily break those tools.

But you know, I never realised anything was ever wrong. it was just like a crazy kinda conditioning I submitted myself to. See, a lack of wanting to make mistakes meant I took less risks and lived a quite uncomfortable existence, torturing ex-girlfriends and family alike with my undiagnosed whining and irrational decision making.

Funny to think that i acquired girlfriends by trying too hard to please them. No wonder the relationships fell apart. I don't blame the girls at all though. They were great the whole time. Lovely people.

And then one day, not too long ago, the pressure mounted and the proverbial cork popped off and the pressure was released . I found myself in the most unique and challenging environment I've ever been in. It's as exciting as it is scary. I now stand face to face with my problems. I sit every day in a busy house full of strangers; ships in the night. The impermanence of it all forces me to face the one thing in it I was never comfortable with; myself. I am the one component of this situation that is consistent. I have to be myself every day with constantly changing house mates. I have to keep practicing cover ups and cementing myself as the perfect nice-guy. It's impossible. I relate to the ones I like and don't relate to the ones I don't. See, it's impossible to have a fake personality around such a diverse crowd. A real eye opener.

In truth, I have to be a bit of a tit. It would take a magician to hide one's real self from hundreds of strangers.

And magic is not real as both we know.

So now it's just me vs. my anxiety. No family in the way. No shaky relationship to distract me. Just a sense of heightened self realisation. I am forced to "find" and "be" myself and to pull off the action with no fear. I think I'd rather jump out of a plane. Naked. Over a field of cacti.

And that may well happen in the next while if I ever get the fuck out of Melbourne

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hello again, World!

Dear reader
I have been dying to get back into the writing buzz for ages. there have been a few notable factors in the way recently like, lack of ideas, location change, giving a shit whether people liked reading this or not and a struggle as to whether this was something worth pursuing in terms of personal enjoyment or whether it was labourious or not. I mean, i have plenty of ideas floating about, and in terms of logical thinking, this is a medium for uncluttering my lazy brain. When I think, you see, I think in clouds of concepts. I think of an idea and in five seconds flat, I'm arguing for and against the idea. Some would call it reasoning. I just call it, well, daydreaming. This is exactly why I have always farted through life you see... I'm like a fly on the dinner table... I light for a millisecond, find what i want, then buzz off again to pastures new. My thoughts, on a day to day basis, might just be about some random subject or about a girl or something - i dunno - but when there's a serious matter to consider, I'd prefer to put pen to paper and see where reasoning takes me. If I don't do it, I go to crazy town. And that is where I started writing from.

See the worst thing that happened to me in relation to writing these posts was not the lack of things to write about. It wasn't the lack of motivation either. It wasn't that I lost interest or had no time for it. I started to care what others thought about them.

See I have a bit of a general anxiety problem. I get anxious when i cannot find answers to questions or situations that I wonder about or picture myself in. If it's instant, it's OK. No problems. If someone offers me a solution, I consider it a while, then break it down myself into a way that works and then possibly think it out loud. Some folks are good in their minds. I'm not. I have to blurt out the small shit and consider the bigger things, later. Some people get hung up on one problem or phobia or something. I hang on to problems until I can "iron them out" in a quiet way, in my own time. Call it head space or something. I can be a problem thinker, but it's usually always logical, in a way. It's when I start to care about the feedback is when the shit hits the fan. I so dislike doubting my own reasoning! 

It's been a hell of a break. I've been meaning to get into this writing vibe again. There were a few of you out there who liked to read my stuff too, I heard. I'm grateful, really. Initially, I started writing here just for something to do. I was spending endless hours pouring over what it was I wanted to spend my life doing and all that free time doing nothing, was wrecking my head. And there was lots of time. But it turns out that I like writing. From the top of my head. In my own style. About things I want to write about. Honestly is the best policy, they say.

I am obsessed with the process of thinking. I went through a period of strange thinking recently. The kind where you picture a scenario (that more than likely won't happen) and argue for ages with someone in your head. I asked myself why this was happening and after a few days I conceded that it was because I wasn't doing what I wanted in lieu of appeasing a silly force external to me that I had no control over - the opinions of others. I was actually avoiding criticism. "So" I asked myself ... "continue to be dishonest in what you want to do to maybe possibly keep people happy or just write away to keep yourself happy" 

The choice was a no-brainer. I quote one Scroobius Pip - 

I remember when I was a kid and that
Way before I found beards and caps
Pencils came with erasers that
Could erase your mistakes erase, retract
But in the real world things just ain’t that easy
You can’t take back your mistakes so freely
You gotta take them in think about them deeply
Not ignore them and just move on discreetly

They say Jesus died for somebody’s sins but God knows he didn’t die for mine
Coz I’ll stand accountable for my own damn sins each and every time.

And if my sins are too great to be accepted in the circles which I strive
Then I’ll go right ahead and live a lone lush life in some small dive

This is how I'm starting to feel about my life, my writing, my opinions and my anecdotes. 
There's some fucking serious shit going on and I have not been acknowledging it. I wear my heart on my sleeve, always. But some mistake this as an invitation to give me advice I do not ask for. The power of the blog was a means for me to think in a readable format for myself, and anyone who was bothered enough or indeed bored enough, to read and muse over. Then it was taken a little too seriously by some, leading me to spend my time in the dank uninteresting place that is my brain. I don't mind now, being imperfect enough to blurt out every little thought I have about this and that. half the time, I'm just playing devils advocate and that is good enough for me. I don't expect it to be good enough for anyone else or to go as far as to please them! If you want to chat me something i have been thinking about I'm all ears - hell, it's not an epitaph! I reserve the right to change my mind any time! And if you're the type to hold me to my thoughts, no matter how arbitrary they are, I'd rather NOT talk to you! This is just a place for me to empty my head and for you to get five minutes entertainment. Hell, you can marvel over it whatever way you want. 

I honestly don't give a shit any more.

Next post: A decent discussion! (promise!!)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Defeating negativity with reason

This is not going to be a blog where I give out about something. At least, I don't think so anyway. we'll see how it goes

the worst thing I've done recently was give up writing... Writing helps me clear up my thoughts on certain things... pretty much whatever I'm mulling over that day. I like to take a central position when I think about things... the pros versus the cons and basically have a conversation with myself on screen.

I think a lot. Generally, I regard myself as somewhat a shallow thinker. I type and think at the same time. the Concepts turn into words and the words hit the paper and it's as simple as that. The problem here though is I care too much too.

When I started to care about the criticism I was getting for my pieces, my thoughts turned inwards and I was looking for someone to blame, so rather than take strength from it and continue regardless, I stopped writing. The simple fact here is, if someone doesn't like me for sharing my views and speaking my mind, I'm the one in the wrong for trying to change to keep them happy or close to me. I can see a million motivational posters in my mind's eye as I finish typing that sentence.

I love to write. Writing helps me to channel the reasoning part of my mind that clever people can like a light switch. Unfortunately, ideas pop about in my head until I can get them onto paper and truly challenge them. it's therapeutic in that respect.

and speaking of respect; I have always respected strong minded people, those who stand by with their courage alongside their convictions. I have always gravitated close to those who have firm goals and strong opinions, whether I agreed with them or not. I'm a loyal friend, it seems.

But that is the chink in my armour here. My loyalty trumps my decision making.

I'm one of those people that will probably never be famous. I'll probably plod along for the rest of my life trying to achieve what I want in life. I would love to act and sing, write some music or poetry, but unfortunately, my confidence is not as solid as some. I do write but purely out of scratching an itch, or just clearing out my mind of clutter. I am starting to give less of a damn about who reads this if anyone, or what they think of it. I'd rather not follow a strong crowd and just start laying the paving slabs for the path I want to take myself down. It really is that simple. Everybody needs a companion... I don't want to amble along being someone's buddy. I'd rather amble down my own road and see who would join me. Writing brings me closer to that dream. Maybe running might bring me down it a little faster. But as soon as I can trust myself to be happy enough, this will take hold.

it's gotten to a point whereby a new perspective is needed.. something fresh. When it hits you that you're only human and have a limited time in which to accomplish all the things in life you want... those little dreams in your head or heart, those little visualisations, rather than the spelled out criticisms in your head because you feel like you may be in the wrong, it's time to say "fuck it". If the actions I take, the things I say or the pieces I write are not good enough for those close to me, it's time to change who I travel with on this road I've laid down.

I'm already passed that and I'm not going back.

my fear of point of view it seems, stems from the fact that I am just not confident enough to take on the roles I imagine for myself; the good guy, the pleaser, the one who keeps everyone happy. I cannot continue this way. Also, I must accept myself for who I am. Forgive my mistakes, leave my past behind and take criticism from those who don't agree with my ways... then leave them behind too.

if you end up dropped, it's nothing personal. it just had to be done.