Well, the good news is that the new antidepressant I’m taking seems to be helping. For all the people who said I was “over-thinking”, that may have been technically correct, but it was the wrong focus. The actual problem was that I was under-feeling, so any over-thinking was an attempt to fill in the gap. So, the actual fix wasn’t for me to work on thinking less, it was to figure out how to feel more.
The bad news is that the “feels” that I have been having are bad ones. To do a little “vaguebooking”, I really shouldn’t have been reading those old emails I was reading. …and no, they’re not to/from the person you’re probably thinking about. I know better than to read emails traded with her.
I followed a Facebook link to this article tonight. This line totally stood out to me:
Thinking “too much” about things would become a character flaw.
What people who know me need to understand is that when I hear the well-intended thought that I’m over-thinking, that’s how it comes across to me.
Continue reading Over-thinking Perceived as a Character Flaw
Something that’s so clear to me sometimes seems like pure fantasy at other times, and I think that right now I understand. Because of that, I think it’s critical that I write this now. For me, words are so powerful, that things that I’m feeling are simply not real unless I can explain them with words.
This morning, the words are describing a concept that’s pretty much obvious to people that know me. I’ve had a crisis of confidence for something like six years now, and it’s at the base of pretty much all my problems. Paradoxically, this crisis of confidence is the very thing that keeps me from truly believing that it’s the real “root” of my issues. The crisis is basically “protecting itself”.
I’m already beginning to lose the “edge” of feeling that was driving this, so I’m not going to be able to finish writing about it in this post. Heck, I’m probably not even going to be able to really get started. What I’ve done is added a new tag (“crisis of confidence”) that will allow me to write more later, and the tag will tie all those posts together.
Here’s a quote I ran across tonight:
You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.
I think the quote is true, and I’m betting that most of my friends know who I think I was “lost in”. The real trick is, though, that there’s a big distance between realizing that and knowing what to do about it. I had become so comfortable being “lost in” her, that my first instinct is to do it again with someone else.
For anyone who didn’t catch the reference I made in my previous post here (stealing from Kevin Smith on that one), I don’t think I’ll be “chasing Amy” any more. In truth, I stopped doing that even before she left, but it’s comforting to finally (I think) understand the “disconnect”.
One of the basic contradictions I’ve been trying to figure out is the difference between how I saw Amy and how some of my friends saw her. As is always the case for me, though, I’m not able to fully understand something unless I have words for it. This morning, I think I finally figured it out. Hang on, because this one is definitely going to be a bumpy ride. ;)
Continue reading Discerning Amy
I just tonight realized that my web log is the perfect place for something I’ve decided I’m going to start doing: making notes each time I notice myself feeling an emotion.
One of the very common comments I get is, “You’re over-thinking.” I’ve said before that’s not true, but I think strictly it is true. The reason why it’s simultaneously frustrating is that the implied fix is for me to think less. The problem is that the reason I’m “over-thinking” is that it’s an effort to compensate for me not feeling (so, it’s often the only way I’m able to process something). I think that most American men “over-think” in an effort to “drown out” feelings that they’ve been conditioned to believe are wrong. For those men, thinking less is an appropriate instruction, because it allows feelings more room to work.
However, I don’t believe that feelings are “bad”. I’m not thinking more in an effort to “drown out” the feelings. I’m doing it because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be processing <whatever it is> at all. So, for me, thinking less about something usually translates to processing it less. While it’s probably true that I need to “think less” about many things, the reason is because I need to feel more about those things. For me (unlike for most men), thinking less about something doesn’t result in me feeling more about it. The focus should be on me feeling more instead of thinking less. “Think less” sounds a lot like the common anti-intellectual crap that pisses me off so much.
I was chatting with a friend online today, and she said something that just felt right. She agreed to let me quote it, so here you go:
I’ve come to the conclusion that the point of being alive (for me, at least) is to be known and know other people as deeply and real-ly as possible.
I had another realization before I got up this morning, and I want to share it.
As a total aside, I didn’t realize how much agreement I had with Penn Jillette before today. I really need to listen to and read more of what he’s said publicly about atheism. He has a talent for explaining things in a way that’s simultaneously easy-to-understand, compelling, and non-judgmental.
Continue reading It’s _Not_ Self-Damning
I read this post tonight, and it does a pretty good job of explaining something I’ve tried to describe before.
Here’s two very relevant quotes:
A fundamental, but very challenging part of my work is moving white people from an individual understanding of racism — i.e. only some people are racist and those people are bad — to a structural understanding.
The two most effective beliefs that prevent us (whites) from seeing racism as a system are 1) that racists are bad people, and 2) that racism is conscious dislike.
I’ve written before that discrimination doesn’t start with people using fire hoses on each other. Bad intent isn’t a necessary condition for the existence of racism (or sexism, or any other kind of discrimination).