Monday, 21 June 2010

Uh... Help?

Danger, Will Robinson! This is going to be one of those posts. Long, angsty, self-obsessed, and more than a little incoherent. You may want to skip it if you don't have a lot of patience for me talking about how I've got, as the kids these days say, Issues. That is all.

* * *
I don't feel well
I've got this rattling in my chest
And the doctor says I should give it up
Because I'm clinically obsessed
So I've just finished re-reading Michael Chabon's (excellent) novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union. I bring this up because spread throughout it are the arc words 'these are strange times to be a Jew'. I'm not even slightly Jewish, but the fictional Sitkaniks don't have a monopoly on strangeness. Actually, a friend of mine at Croydon used to ask sometimes whether I felt like I was in the middle of an absurdist play, and that's pretty much what life is like at the moment. Although perhaps a better comparison would be Ibsen, or Chekov - gloomy, purposeless, and really quite dull.

Strange times indeed. I'm waiting on my mum's house move coming through so I can move out of the city I've lived my whole life in, to one that I don't know at all. I feel directionless, uncertain. And combined with the prospect of leaving everyone I know down here, and Fathers' Day just having gone past, it's got me in one of those awful philosophical moods that makes me write long, rambling, pretentious blog posts to no-one in particular.
I'm back on the self-loathing thing again, too. It's been a while since I indulged in a really serious bout of it, but I'm making up for it now. I blame The Bell Jar, actually. I'm dragging myself through it at the moment; it's the first time I've read it, and over the course of the first few chapters I've already flung it across the room a few times in sheer exasperation. Mostly at sentences like 'The first time I saw a finger-bowl was at the home of my benefactress' (giving Sylvia Plath some credit, it must've taken an incredible literary talent to have written that in earnest), but also because thus far it's striking me as impossibly bourgeois, pretentious, shallow masquerading as deep, and utterly self-obsessed. And then after a second, I start to think 'Oh Christ, is that what listening to me is like?'.

This is a problem with misanthropy. Start believing that people are fundamentally some variation on a theme of venal, corrupt, bigoted, violent, conceited, hopeless sickening bastards*, and you have to include yourself in one or all of those categories too. Otherwise, you're just being hypocritical. You could probably add 'hypocritical' to the list as well, come to think of it, but that's just a little bit too meta for me at the moment.
It also strikes me that I don't really know how to deal with people. That's not dislike or even contempt, more outright fear. I can go through the motions OK, when I put my mind to it, but a lot of the time I find it hard to like people, care about them, understand them, make any kind of commitment to them. And all of that goes double for myself. I don't really like that part of me. In point of fact, I hate it. Misanthropy isn't a fashion accessory for me. It's part of a grab-bag of neuroses that comprise something that looks like a personality from a distance.
Mind you, I don't think I'm wrong about people. But maybe the trick is to be able to see all of the fucked-up repugnant shit people unleash upon the world, themselves and each other, and still be able to believe the in the best of human nature. I suspect that particular feat of mental gymnastics is always going to be beyond me, though.
I'm a little bit fucked physically at the moment, too, and not in the good way. Occasional bouts of mental weirdness that are hard to describe. I start to feel wildly dissociated from everything. Slightly nauseous, too, with a strange sort of empty feeling; the best I can describe that last part as would be a headache, but stranger. That's rather underselling it, though. Things start to seem a little unreal, and that's a scary prospect.

The paranoia doesn't help. All the miscellaneous aches and pains and shakes that come with a pack-a-day nicotine habit and a caffeine, sugar and alcohol rollercoaster are immediately indicative of having caught some horrific disease or condition (neuroses of mine; it goes a long way back - probably something to do with scary experiences in hospitals with childhood epilepsy). What's really getting to me at the moment, though, is a more existential version of the same. I start to worry that I'm losing my grip on reality. Start thinking about schizophrenia. I can't really seem to shake off the feeling that something is going badly wrong. I'm familiar with the wonderful 'feelings of impending doom' that come with panic attacks, but this is different somehow. A sort of low-level fear and trembling sort of thing.
I haven't been sleeping, not really, and when I do it's at odd hours, days apart. I wake up in the middle of the afternoon, covered in sweat, shaking, with horrible images of rotting flesh in my head. That can't be normal, although it's not exactly news, either.
I don't really know what to make of all this. I hope it's just stress. That things will be better with a fresh start. I'm almost starting to fetishise stuff to put in a new flat. The strangest things, too. Aluminium giraffes, for fuck's sake. Bookends. Tat. It's the IKEA generation, taken to its logical conclusion; hold onto your self-identity with objets d'art. Maybe it's about control**. Having a space that's definably mine, to do what I want with. That would certainly explain the bewildering desire for a big mahogany Edwardian desk with a lot of drawers that lock. I don't even have anything that needs protecting or hiding like that, except maybe myself. I feel vaguely ashamed of having elevated materialistic, aspirational 'lifestyle-building' to an art form like this, but at the moment it feels like something to hang onto. 'I am a human being. I know this because I own an interestingly art deco set of coffee spoons'.
But right now, what I need is an anchor. Metaphorically, not literally. Even I'm not that kitsch. And if that means measuring out my life in coffee spoons, so be it.

* If you grew up Catholic, you might reasonably call that original sin. Me, I call it human nature.
** Someday I will write a big long blog post about BDSM, and what it says about my incredible level of fucked-upness that I need it in my sex life, and how as with cutting, pain becomes something of a tethering element.


aethelreadtheunread said...

Uh... Help?

Consider me the online equivalent of a St Bernard dog with a barrel of rum around my neck... ;o)

You don't ever come across as self-obsessed or pretentious to me, Alex, or, i'd guess, to anyone else who reads this - i mean, we like you, it's why we read your blog. :o)

Everyone - even people with a Grade A* in their Sane Exams - will start to experience things like racing thoughts, anxiety, delusions, even hallucinations if they are sleep-deprived. It's also not uncommon (it occurs in about a third of the population, i think, although i can't find the reference) for people to experience things like your visions of rotting meat at the moment of waking up or falling asleep, especially if their sleeping patterns are disturbed. They're more like nightmares/ night terrors than anything else, and on their own aren't enough to make a diagnosis of mental illness (although that doesn't make them any less horrible to experience). Feeling peculiar when you're under stress and not sleeping well isn't a sign that you're irretrievably losing your marbles. A couple of good nights' sleep in a row, and you'll have them all neatly gathered up again. Well, mostly... ;o)

This is not to say that what you are experiencing isn't real, or that you're making a mountain out of a molehill. It is, and you're not. The Big Move is a scary prospect, and a leap into the unknown, and it's the most natural thing in the world that you're feeling apprehensive about that. I think you're right to identify stress as lying behind a lot of what's troubling you at the moment. I think you're right, as well, about needing an anchor, and are right to see your nest-building instincts as part of that. You can't control exactly how the future will work out, but if you decree that it will contain aluminium giraffes then it will. :o)

It might help to remind yourself that actually you are in control of a lot of things about the move - pretty much everything, in fact. It's your choice to go, which means, if you want to, you can change your mind and stay where you are. Or you can go, decide you hate it, and come straight back. Or you can plan to go for a trial period, to see how you like it, and know that you're not comitting yourself one way or the other at the start. Pretty much all things are possible! Including that you go, fall in love with the city, make new friends while keeping in touch with old ones, and decide it's the best thing you've ever done - things don't always have to turn out for the worst. :o)

Sorry for the essay. I won't bore you with my thoughts on misanthropy at this time...

M said...

Interesting, Ive read this blog post twice.

Little Miss Sunshine said...

If you're not a fan of The Bell Jar, don't go near Prozac Nation. *shudder*

*Refers back to Aethelread's comment*
We read your posts because we like reading them whether you're self obsessed or not, which I'm fairly sure most people don't believe you are.

My Friend said...

Or you can plan to go for a trial period, to see how you like it, and know that you're not comitting yourself one way or the other at the start. Pretty much all things are possible..//

sales recruitment agency leedswebsite design and hosting

mrblack said...

Slow the track down if required – I used to use minidiscs for my transcriptions and the player I had came with a facility to reduce the speed of the recording. This brought with it obvious problems over pitch, but it was easy to resolve simply by transposing the keyboard I was using to align with the drop in pitch. There is much software on the market now that will reduce the speed of an mp3 or other audio file without affecting the pitch. Check out Transcribe or for the iPhone, the Amazing slow downer (which I do not have a copy of, but hear great things about. gold charmsSugar Daddie Dating
red pine oil capsulesbest hair colorists on Long Island

mrblack said...

Astonishing Stories was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published by Popular Publications between 1940 and 1943. The magazine's first editor was Frederik Pohl, who also edited a companion publication, Super Science Stories.
ProvironThailand airfreight

mrblack said...

So which scenario is correct? I would suspect that the simplest answer - that PC voters switched their vote to the Wildrose Alliance - is correct, however I am hoping to investigate this further in the coming days by looking at the poll by poll results, and plan a final post in the coming days.
Englisch lernenWeight Loss Pills

mrblack said...

I'm not 100% sure i agree with you about the desirability of auteurs in the gaming world (albeit with the massive proviso that i know very little about games). I would worry that might end up like the attempts to have 'auteurs' in television - i.e. massive piles of wank of the Stephen Poliakoff variety - and i think, even in film, it has the effect of downgrading films that are created in a more collaborative way. I think it might be better for games to stay true to their nature as multi-authorial creations, rather than trying to become like other media in an attempt to be taken seriously. It's the model of art that's wrong, not video games, in my opinion.
hotel dublinhgh supplements

Administrator! said...

I will endeavour to do so. In the first place she was seized by your secretary, and stabbed him in order to escape. This catastrophe I am inclined to regard as an unhappy accident, for I am convinced that the lady had no intention of inflicting so grievous an injury. An assassin does not come unarmed. Horrified by what she had done, she rushed wildly away from the scene of the tragedy. Unfortunately for her, she had lost her glasses in the scuffle, and as she was extremely short-sighted she was really helpless without them. She ran down a corridor, which she imagined to be that by which she had come -- both were lined with cocoanut matting -- and it was only when it was too late that she understood that she had taken the wrong passage, and that her retreat was cut off behind her. What was she to do? She could not go back.
keratin hair treatmentgratis dating

mrblack said...

Tot llegint l'enumeració final que esmenta mots com "extraordinari, magnífic, preciós, modèlic, exemplar i grandiós"; he pensat que són epítets que anirien com anell al dit al creador d'aquest Cavall de Rodes i a l'anginesc grup de persones que sovint hi fa un tomb.
badekarshow my ip

mrblack said...

Tokugawa Ieyasu served as regent for Hideyoshi's son and used his position to gain political and military support. When open war broke out, he defeated rival clans in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Ieyasu was appointed shogun in 1603 and established the Tokugawa shogunate at Edo (modern Tokyo).[35] The Tokugawa shogunate enacted measures including buke shohatto, as a code of conduct to control the autonomous daimyo;[36] and in 1639, the isolationist sakoku ("closed country") policy that spanned the two and a half centuries of tenuous political unity known as the Edo period (1603–1868).[37] The study of Western sciences, known as rangaku, continued through contact with the Dutch enclave at Dejima in Nagasaki. The Edo period also gave rise to kokugaku ("national studies"), the study of Japan by the Japanese.
maryland computer repaircanciones gratis

mrblack said...

The need for crowd simulation arises when a scene calls for more characters than can be practically animated using conventional systems, such as skeletons/bones.
download printer driverWedding Photographer Croydon

mrblack said...

It has been noted that users can also open up the casing of the original model's hard drive and simply load it into the drive bay instead of purchasing a hard drive branded for use with the new model.Other notable hardware changes include the use of one larger fan compared to the previous Xbox 360 models (which used two smaller ones) and the design of the vents, which are similar to those used on the original Xbox.
bulk sms from pc to mobilehotels in edinburgh city centre

mrblack said...

The plaza operates as McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, a free public outdoor ice skating rink that is generally open four months a year
bean bagwaxed canvas messenger bag

createforumsfree said...

The minimum recommended safety factor, based on the average
of the test results, is 4 for anchorage components. If the range of test values exceeds the average by
more than ±20 percent, then the safety factor should be applied to the lower bound value.
advertising agencyimmobilier

trung said...

Wickes Promotion Codesbreitling replica

When I couldn't see
For parting my lips
When I couldn't breathe
Thank you for loving me
Thank you for loving me

trung said...

Go Travellingdating personals
And I let it all out to find/that I'm
Not the only person with these things in mind (inside of me)
But all the vacancy the words revealed
Is the only real thing that I got left to feel.(nothing to lose)
Just stuck, hollow and alone
And the fault is my own,
And the fault is my own.

trung said...

Auto Warranty Companylos angeles reverse mortgage
I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.

trung said...

tips to lose weighttop dating sites
I just keep thinking about the love that we had
And I'm missing you
And nobody knows it but me

I carry smile when I'm broken in two
And I'm nobody without someone like you
I'm trembling inside
And nobody knows it but me (yeah)