Thursday, April 03, 2008


I think I've found a deeply alarming pattern. This discussion started from a single key point. Given how interested I was in my classes last quarter, why weren't my grades better.

The simple direct answer is that I didn't work hard enough. So we get into a discussion of why I didn't work harder. It gets a bit fuzzy here, but a lot of it revolves around a depression cycle, so the real key is understanding that cycle. If I can break it I won't have a gradual drop in performance like I have every damn quarter to date.

The fact that it's recurring on that level suggests a number of things. The first and biggest thing is that I'm filled, as I usually am, with a lot of "This time it's going to be different, this time I won't screw up" kind of feelings. Those good vibes allow me to be confidently be myself, which is really the key to success.

Now those feelings are obviously going to undergo some degradation over time, but negative and positive feedback determine where you go from there. The ideal is to go to a "Awesome! things are going as planned, I'm succeeding" mindset, and get into a cycle of positive thought, but there are a lot of little things that can screw the whole thing up.

I've been analyzing my negative cycles for a while now and there are some recurring patterns. They're almost universally self reinforcing too, so it's really a very dangerous game. What are the early triggers though, what is it that starts the process that ends up with me waking up at 8:45, realizing I've missed an 8:30 class, and saying "Fuck it I quit" instead of "crap, I've gotta move if I'm going to make my 9:30 class."

The most obvious one is the gradual decline in what I'd refer to as my "fire." In a good state, in what I consider to be an attitude truest to myself I'm a fairly fiery person. What comprises that is kind of tricky, but readiness of public speech, and predisposition to a state of activity are the key signs I'm working with here. This is also where the first bit of self deprecation and ultimately self destruction comes in.

Take for example my PSYCH 209 class. Medium lecture hall, I sit fairly close, on one of the flanks, so I can get room for me and the additional space I take up, without concealing myself with distance. Right now, since I'm still riding the buzz of new, I follow a fairly constant pattern with regards to responding to questions posed by the prof. Wait either 15 seconds, or let the lecturer's gaze sweep the room three times, and if none of those who have volunteered using the ancient hand symbols of this environment are selected, with a given that I'm also signaling, I don't really feel bad in just switching to stage voice and responding without a direct prompt.

The action is clearly resultant of confidence, but in doing so I tend to trigger a reflex which leads me to destruction, because after enough of these incidents I become self deprecating about always answering.

Is it actually bad that I'm doing this? Hard to say, the knee jerk answer I want to give is no, but the real one is much more complicated. It involves a brief analysis of the hesitance of my classmates, the intentions of the lecturer, and brings up the grand question "If it were really a problem, wouldn't she just tell me to shut up?"

In either case my buzz has just been lessened. This example speaks to the overarching problems that I'm simply not yet fully comfortable being myself as I am, as I like being, with my own fire. Some part of me still feels bad about being that person, and it's got enough clout in the grand council of self to rebuke me for it. I've heard of similar a condition, so I know what I would call this affliction, but I'm just going to refer to it as RDS to avoid some awkward conversations of how and why I know certain things.

In essence RDS is a form of self deprecating cowardice in response to a part of oneself which acts with greater tenacity, and I wholly intend to cure myself of it, but I'm still not entirely certain as to how. Two key things come to mind.

1) Embrace the inferno. Actively seek out opportunities to be this person, and get comfortable being it/him.

2) Silence the critics. Remove all the little blocks that you can. The sources of the secondary lashings in response to behavior/scenarios brought about by being.

Hard to say, both will be used, and we shall see.


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