Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Adrift Again

It is strange, but it seems as if my rubberducking therapy method has done some sort of psychological reset with me. On one hand, I am dealing with the Circumstance much better than I have before previously; on the other, I'm having a hard time concentrating and being productive again, almost as if my goodly established habits disappeared over night. I speculate that it may be the case that since I was dealing with the Circumstance on the basis of suppression my good habits of concentration and productivity were being built on that same base as well, so when my suppression collapsed and I became obsessed with the Circumstance again, my good habits collapsed in conjunction.

Though let us not interpret that in a too negative light. In relieving my suppression, my emotion consistency and health has been much better lately. I've been at peace while at home and have been able to maintain my concentration at work, as well as be able to control any potential mood swings, if not prevent them altogether. I also seem to be sleeping more peacefully, thinking of pleasant and comforting thoughts right up until drifting off. Best of all, I've been able to control my thinking about the Circumstance much more easily: Eliminating those thoughts now is more like popping a soap bubble rather forcing a basketball underwater (or, god forbid, a beach ball).

Truth be told, however, I don't think I'll know the true benefits of the self-therapy I'm doing until about a month or so has passed. I've been able to suppress my thoughts for over a week or two before it would finally collapse, during which I would be able to lead a temporarily productive life. A month, I think, would be a good amount of time to wait before drawing definitive conclusions because I've never been able to maintain a suppression anywhere near that length of time.

My main concern here is the corollary effects either the self-therapy or the collapse of the suppression has caused: The retrogression of my ability to concentrate and a lesser ability to be productive. Despite the fact that I employ the helpful Getting Things Done methodology for productivity, I've been looking at my to-do lists with a sense of disdain and haven't been engaging them much. That's not to say that I've been neglecting my to-do lists entirely again -- I am keeping an eye on and am acting towards achieving my weekly goals -- it's just that I haven't been doing as much as I could be. Instead I'm procrastinating or engaging in some recreational activity. However, I do experience pleasure instead of guilt in engaging in those recreational activities, so maybe that's a sign I haven't been engaging in productive rest often enough, or that I've been neglecting some psychological needs. For instance, I've been casually reading Good Eats 2: The Middle Years here and there, and since I'm not doing much in the way of innovative cooking it could be an indication that I've been neglecting engagement in my culinary-oriented central purpose in life.

Additionally, I've also been looking at my study subjects with an aura of disdain, and have been refusing to engage in any thinking regarding my entrepreneurial pursuits. While I think these may be related to my general lack of productivity, I think they may have an essential difference in that my disdain in this area could be due to engaging too much in abstractions detached from my life. I don't mean to say that they involve abstractions detached from reality, but rather that I'm not doing well to modify my modes of acting in order to make what I'm learning immediately applicable to my life. For example, I feel psychological resistance to doing my mathematical practices (where I solve problems in an online equation generator), and I think the resistance may be due to the fact that, as of current, math doesn't play an active or intricate role in my life. I'm solving equations -- for what? While I know what these particular mathematical operations correspond to in reality, I'm not doing well to ensure that they correspond to my own little section of reality, my life. My subconscious knows I'm engaging in a practice that isn't entirely relevant right now, and so sends me psychological impediments to encourage me to stop such a practice since I have no use for it at the time.

My entrepreneurial concerns are similar. I have lots of learning to do and steps to take, but right now I really can't bring my entrepreneurial ideas into existence in the short-term. The one idea I spoke vaguely of previously I have decided to shelve since I can easily delegate its construction to other people while I work on research and thinking, so I don't want to detract from my real interests by trying to accomplish by myself something that would keep me from my deepest interests. Beyond that, all my other entrepreneurial ideas are documented in such a way that would remind me of their entirety even though they aren't exhaustively detailed, so I think the reason why I'm disinterested in thinking about my entrepreneurial aspirations now is because I've sketched out the skeletons and have satisfied my subconscious' desire for written documentation (for memorization), so my mind has been cleared of such ideas and now I need to start the learning and take the concrete steps needed.

Aside from the specific concerns in my studies and entrepreneurial pursuits, the general solution is to simply retry the strategies that got me to establish my good habits to begin with. I need to struggle with my reading to test my concentration like a muscle, to read out loud to avoid daydreaming, to work to mental exhaustion, and so on. Those methods, I think, worked the first time and are not to be considered fallacious due to my retrogression. For all I know it may be the case that I didn't retrogress as much as I thought and can get back on track in a few days. As for my studies and entrepreneurial pursuits, different strategies are needed. For my studies I need to figure out some way to make what I'm learning as immediately applicable to my life as soon as possible, so that I can train my subconscious to know that I'm not engaging in pursuits detached from my life. I haven't thought this out, but one possibility could be to construct homework assignments that challenge me to immediately apply something I just learned, like seeking out a real-life example of a fallacy for a logic course or to immediately employ a cooking technique I learned. More thinking needs to be done. As for my entrepreneurial pursuits, I simply need to keep at my studies and take the physical steps towards my goals, such as studying and practicing cooking. Given that I have a general outline of where I'd like to go, I think my actions will correspond logically with the hierarchy of things I need to do since I know the general order things need to be accomplished in.

However set back I am in my practical mental ability, I am glad that emotional healing appears to be taking place, at least. I'm also undertaking to rubberduck about other aspects in my life, to see if this method could perhaps carry me further in my psychological improvement, much like how it's contributing to my goal of forming a more lovable self. I hope my combined efforts to relieve suppressions and to reestablish good mental habits will allow me to make major headway on achieving my idealized self.

And maybe I should get a plush for nighttime rubberducking.

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