Monday, October 11, 2010

Rubberducking Therapy Update

I really wish that I would have thought to use rubberducking as a mode of therapy much sooner than this, as it's done well to relieve stress that's been pent up for over the past year. To illustrate its power: Recently I went to work and I did neither my Mental Calvinball game nor my conceptual or thinking exercises, so I allowed my mind to freely wander. Previously this would have been a recipe for extreme frustration in that I would inevitably start contemplating the Circumstance and become depressed, but that night it didn't happen. While I was mentally unproductive, I was still able to easily keep my mind from dwelling on the Circumstance for more than a few seconds, which led to a very pleasant work shift in which I was able to stay entirely consistent in my mood. Rubberducking, it seems, has been successful to the point that I've satisfied the urge to dwell on the Circumstance and so am able to clear my mind of it. The long-term still has yet to become apparent, but I'm pleased by the results so far.

I think I may understand my fluctuations now: In the past when I undertook to cure my dwelling on the Circumstance, I merely used suppression as the remedy. This is the equivalent of trying to keep submerged by hand a basketball in the deep end of a pool. For a while -- a week or so -- I would be able to "successfully" suppress my thoughts on the Circumstance, but inevitably the basketball would come bursting forth and I would suddenly find myself obsessed with the Circumstance. Turning things into a vicious circle, I would then try to suppress those thoughts too, leading to another lapse in the future.

I'm still not sure if this rubberducking method is entirely sound for the long-term -- I certainly still need to complete my Project to cure what ails me -- but it is by far the most effective method I've tried so far. On the first day when I told my Bowser statue my ailments my brain felt physically pleasured. It felt as if a gland was emptying itself of a fluid it had been achingly filled to the brim with, and after I finished talking there was a pleasant burning, electrical ache throughout my entire head, and a complete silencing of my thoughts. Peace at last! As I continue to do such talking, I find myself almost involuntarily taking deep, coldly relaxing breaths and more silencing of my thoughts.

I've taken to doing most of my rubberducking in the car when I'm traveling to some place. With my windows rolled up nobody will hear me and will just assume I'm using some hands-free phone device, and I find it helps defeat the boredom inherent in driving that even music can't seem to defeat. A most wonderful use of my time, I think.

Additionally, I've noticed that there are other difficulties I need to solve as well. Apparently I seem to have a very mild, almost imperceptible anxiety problem, as my breathing tends to be shallow by habit, causing me to become short of breath when I talk. When I become cognizant of it I tend to feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen, as I'll inhale deeply but won't feel like I'm inflating my lungs fully. I got tested at my doctor, so I know I don't have any medical conditions in that regard. The remedy -- which I've tried and succeeded with -- is to take as many deep breaths as I need to in order to establish normalcy. It's strange to think of this as a problem spawning from my emotions since I'll believe I'm indifferent at the times I experience the breathing difficulty, so I guess the anxiety is so mild I really can't detect it except for in my behavior. Noticing how I breathed while talking to the statue has brought this back to my attention, so now I can work on it again. Don't want to suffocate, you know.

I'm still having trouble with my concentration however. While I may not be dwelling on the Circumstance, it seems that daydreaming and procrastination has become a problem again. It doesn't seem to be linked to any other problem other than lazy habits from the past. I was only slothful for about three or four days last week when I became obsessed with the Circumstance again; could I have really set myself back that far in so short a time? However behind I've become, it's time to catch pace again.

For those of you who have your own problems to deal with, at the moment I'd give a hearty recommendation to using rubberducking as a mode of therapy. Use a teddy bear, a plastic toy, or, heck, even a washing machine. However absurd a practice may appear, nothing should be outside your standards to help you achieve your happiness. If you're really embarrassed, use a small object you can carry around with you, like a plastic soldier toy, and talk silently to it whenever you feel secure with your privacy. No matter how bad or frustrating things get, one must keep moving forward.

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