Monster space

Saturday, July 14, 2018 4:11pm

Jonsi’s Grow Til Tall… AGAIN.

High five to me for writing…the day BEFORE posting. Holy crap. What is happening? We really are in the ‘upside down’ if yours truly is planning out this far in advance.

But you know what gave it away that I’m still not really in the upside down? The fact that I stayed up until almost 8am this morning, playing a video game throughout the night.

Yes folks, I am an addict to {addict of?} video entertainment, especially [Stars of the Lid’s Ballad of Distances] video games. I feel like such a loser admitting that. I haven’t talked much about my so-called entertainment addiction on this blog. (And am I really addicted to it? I mean…I started playing this particular game because a friend merely mentioned it to me. Yes, then he showed it to me, but it’s like… oh wow, it’s really highly rated game… [SOTL’s Requiem for Dying Mothers] – suddenly I’m $30 bucks out and the next 24 hours are spent bingeing this game. Losing sleep, not eating or drinking anything, not answering calls / texts, and then afterwards feeling majorly depressed and constantly brushing away suggestions of suicide – is that addiction?)

Most every time I go out and meet with people, on the journey back home I think, wow, life isn’t so bad. It – the interaction – was a pretty good time. They seemed to like me. The conversation brought up stuff I was interested in – stuff I had forgotten that I had been interested in, and I think, hey I could do ‘that’. I could get back into ‘that’. And then I start planning out and having visions of my life getting back in shape again. And by the time I get home I’m riding this high of, THIS is the day / week / weekend I turn my life around! And then the moment I walk through the door of my apartment all of that falls away.

What do I want to talk about today?

  • Facing my ‘inner, unavoidable, fundamental monster space’?
  • The power of ‘reward time’?
  • What I offer to the world?
  • The power of just getting the fuck out of your apartment?

Am I valuable?
Am I good?
Do people find me interesting?
Do people think I am intelligent?
Do people like me?
Do…you/I like me?
Do I have something to offer the world that people want to keep coming back to? And is that something I, in turn, enjoy?

Facing my ‘Inner Monster Space’ (DSM-5 approved lingo folks. The DSfuckingM)*

*((sorry** I’m swearing. Don’t know why I’m suddenly self-conscious of swearing. … **Sorry for saying sorry X infinity.))

monster

Here you are internet. My debut as the world’s best goddamn graphic designer / animator. Revel in its glory.

THIS. (or that) THAT is my monster. Or rather the monster in the monster space. Actually, it’s one monster of many monsters. But with one original monster. It’s like Hinduism in a sense – {wtf???} {{Bear with me. You’ll see. You’ll definitely see}}. So you know like in Hinduism there are a bunch of deities which are incarnation of the same deity? Yeah, so that’s what’s going inside of my head, or at least, how I try to understand what’s going on in my head. So for eg, the voice monster that goes like: “You fucking idiot, you’re a failure-loser and you’re always going to fuck everything up for yourself” is really the incarnation of: “I’m scared / confused and don’t know what to do.” …Yeah?

ANYWAY.

What exactly is the space ‘monster space’? you ask.

It’s the space, not just where you face your fears… it’s the origins of those fears… I dunno – this is just the term I came up with a couple days ago when I was actually an adult for a couple of hours and paid my utility bills.

See…the reason why I binge games and Netflix and YouTube so much is because when I start trying to be an adult… suddenly….

I’M IN GODDAMN FUCKING MONSTER SPACE.

 

Suddenly there’s scary ass monsters flying everywhere around my head. And it makes everything I attempt to do REALLY HARD and REALLY SLOW. I have to pause literally every 30 seconds to try and focus on the original goal, because somewhere between ‘Open a browser window’ and ‘go to your electric provider website’, the You-are-a-fucking-piece-of-shit Monster decides to show up. Here he is again:

monster talk

Thank you YAFPOS Monster. Thank you. Oh what…it’s 30 minutes later and I haven’t done anything? GREAT.

This is turning into a MUCH longer entry than I thought.

But it is within Monster Space – hey maybe that’s the title of this entry – it is within this mental space where I have to learn to live. I have been trained to live in, or rather, EXPECT, ‘Rainbow Land’ as being the dominant state of my mind, but when Rainbow Land DOESN’T happen*

*which is pretty much all the time / the whole nature of life!!!*

*then I panic and try to escape Monster Space, by trying and recreating RL through video entertainment. And because today’s VE is a pretty sophisticated light show, it succeeds in being incredibly distracting, and my inner scared child goes Kevin style in Home Alone:

“Hey! I’m not afraid anymore!” But really I’m just staring, slack-jawed, at a screen, simulating RL.

My mind looks like this (kind of, more or less):

monsters

And I am somewhere standing in the middle.

Ugh, I’ve taken way too long trying to figure out how to make drawings.

The point is… if I want to get my shit together… if I want to stop being so addicted to video games… I have to acknowledge that ‘Monster Space’ is just a part of life. Occasionally the monsters say truly awful things. And sometimes they say tiny stuff. (Like, huh…that person’s voice sounds weird. <-Jackass).

But within Monster Space, there are gems. There are the good voices. The more time I spend in monster space, the better I’ll get at navigating all the different monsters and their tricks, as well as see what’s really going on. (This is all sounding like Inside Out – great movie btw).

But HOW do I stay in monster without having my anxiety SHOOT THROUGH THE ROOF. Because that’s what’s going on. The inner child is freaking out and it feels my body scrintching (<-DSM-5 baby) in stress, and the stressed out inner-parent is like uuuhhhh I KNOW! Here’s a video game! And…..ok here’s a 3 minute YouTube video! And….oh you haven’t watched THIS movie….in a while, so watch it again! Ah, it’s 12am and you need to get up in 5 hours? Does your body feel exhausted? Ok, that’s probably a good time to…WAIT NO WORK TOMORROW???

Hello 8am. Hello bed.

#winningatlife

And in the meantime, truly awful things are going on in the world and I am in my own stupid, pathetic drama.

Ok, ok. Pipe down.

  1. The way to stay in monster space (because monster space is really just normal ‘head space’ <- that’s a meditation app. {Wait…is the this very sentence ALSO the name of an app? 😉 😉 omg best joke ever})

SO THE WAY TO STAY IN monster space <- people, THIS is what it is like in my head. Everything is bouncing around all at once and can I just fucking focus on one thing for a bit?

I’ve also happened to catch myself in a goodish mood, also after coffee.

And… I decided to write this blog post and play around with trying to create stick-figure monsters INSTEAD of falling into my usual video entertainment trap.

SO THE WAY TO STAY IN MONSTER LAND IS:

Just create a ‘reward period’.

Tell myself/yourself that, ok, I am going to have play time at THIS specified time AFTER I have done adult stuff for X amount of time.

I’d like to show a couple extensive hyper realistic flow charts for all this inner programming of my thoughts / behavior:

Current behavior:

flowchart 1

What I’m trying to shift to:

flowchart 2

As I navigated those treacherous 2 hours of my life, whenever I ran into a ‘monster’, I had set out my large notepad, and just wrote whatever ‘it’ was saying down including the time. This was time consuming, yes, and I didn’t get much done, but it somehow…writing it down, and documenting it was helpful. It let me proceed. Often, inside, there is this terror of oblivion. Of struggling, crying, screaming – in silence – and if I write it down…maybe I think, “See, it is real. I am struggling.” Or…maybe it’s me trying to come to grips with the actual fact that time is passing, that it’s a process, etc (hence recording the time).

So this small practice was extremely helpful.

I’m gonna end it here. It feels sudden and abrupt, but I have to go and I’ve spent over 2 hours on this (6:12pm).

In essence, for me, it’s crucial to show my all powerful inner child that, ok, you CAN go to Rainbow Land / video games etc, but do it AFTER you work, and then you won’t feel as much shame and depression later. When the inner child (and the inner parent SEES / know’s there’s a plan.

[Note: Sunday, July 15: I was going to write more and finish this, by I just didn’t get it together. But hey – this whole thing I’m doing right now is about just being consistent and producing SOMETHING. So that’s where I’m at.]

Hope you enjoy.

Gratitude:
Discovering a random world cup party in the streets.
Good food.
My cat.
I dunno I want to keep saying friends but I’ve said that a bunch so far, but they are kind of my only lifeline (besides my sibling, who really is my lifeline).

Until next week. MBM

Weekly entry

Sunday, July 1, 2018 8:58 PM

Feeling worthless again. Has been a very hard couple weeks.

Why does life feel like this constant struggle?

Sitting in my car before going back into my apartment and for a second I got a feeling about what it might be like to just feel at peace with life.

It was gone as so as I entered into my apartment. I have a roommate that I am close with, but they are often out, and when I enter alone, a wave of depression hits me.

But then again, when I’m alone and being productive and my roommate returns, suddenly I can’t focus as well anymore.

Does anyone experience this as well? Specifically the wave of depression upon entering back into your home? Sometimes I hate returning to my apartment. Why? I hate being alone? There are many times where I love being alone. But… I am definitely looking for a partner. Or at least I want a partner.

Gah I’m struggling to write, now, but I need to just keep writing. I want to find my voice. Eventually the idea is that I’ll stop apologizing for my writing and my feelings and settle into a sense of identity.

And that’s just it – so many successful people have this solid, stable sense of identity – of how they act around people, of what they do for a living, of what they do in their free time, of what they are working toward in life.

I don’t have any of that – the stability that is. I am always wondering about how I should act, what I should do. Maybe I am not so alone in this. Maybe I’m just jealous of those who have always known what they’ve wanted to do, or at least have stable careers, incomes, parents.

Ok I know I’m in complaining mode now, but I don’t care. I have this compulsion to just regurgitate whatever I’m feeling. We are in FMV mode – find my voice mode – right now. I do want to become a better writer. Best way to do that is to write. A number of people have told me to tell my story, and that I have a lot to say [eye roll] … [eye roll at the eye roll]. I’d like to do that. I would.

Do I want “fame” or anonymity? I think a lot of us have craved fame, but it comes at such a big cost of privacy. I want to be able to just explore and observe the world without wondering when I am going to be interrupted next.

Write and read. That’s what I need to do. Feels like there’s no time for any of it. That I’m just stuck in my terrible job. But hey, I’m writing here now instead of watching some mind-numbing thing on YouTube or playing a videogame.

Hate myself. But I don’t. Ugh. I feel like I have the beginning stages of schizophrenia sometimes. I hear my thoughts way too clearly, all the time.

I could rename this blog “cringeworthy”. Uggghhhh. There is nobility in the effort though. When will I be able to point to something and say, “Yes! That – that is not cringeworthy – that is worth sharing”? I don’t know. Why do I share these stream of conscious rants? Because I need a witness to my life. Some kind of witness. Maybe it’s related to the biological urge to reproduce / create and pass of genes / information – is the urge to reproduce in its essence DNAs “desire” for immortality? It knows that its host will eventually die and that it must survive somehow? Is me writing this and sending it off some form of wanting to be immortal? To somehow survive my death, regardless of how? Or is it just for attention (which could be argued is also related to reproduction?).

I don’t know. It doesn’t matter.

My goal is to try and get a post out at least every 2 weeks. Maybe eventually 1/week. I want to develop a habit of writing / publishing. And I do feel slightly better.

Recapping my last post, there was no engagement, ha, but that’s ok. The post was all over the place. I’m resigned to the fact that for the next few posts (and who knows, maybe this entire blog) will simply be an awkward cringeish stream of conscious that I will never read again and hope someone burns after I die.

Just one human trying to survive. Just trying to find a sense of peace and purpose. I find glimpses – not everything is doom and gloom. Some good things:

Free outdoor concerts | finishing a section of a language program | icepops on a hot summer day | running into friends | clean laundry | good coffee | a small bit of activism | family

Ok, until next time. MBM

Is the world doomed or can we save it?

6/18/2018 6:52:57 PM

Monday

[Grow Till Tall -Jónsi]

Taking another crack at this.

I enjoy writing, but I feel like it can be missing a lot. I wish I could add pictures, illustration, video, music.

Have lots of feelings and ideas, and writing / reading can only do so much.

I have a few personal projects. What kind of personal projects are you all trying to accomplish?

Being better about practicing an instrument or a language or cooking?

Getting a degree?

Raising a kid / family?

I am trying to love myself and my life more. For a long time, I have been in a dark place. Have felt very alone at times.

At the core of it though is a sense of worthlessness. That I have nothing of value to bring to the table. Which means, if I ever do become a subject of conversation for whatever reason, I’ll be met with pity, derision, bafflement, or perhaps the worst – complete disinterest. For whatever reason… I am hard-wired to think about how I will present myself to others. Or how I will fit in with others. I can’t seem to stop thinking about how other people will think about me.

[Hengilás -Jónsi]

While I know I ‘shouldn’t’ care about this, I do. This is part of who I am – wondering about what others are thinking. Wondering how every little action, word, expression, reaction, nonaction is being interpreted, if at all, and why. How are all these reactions changing my relationship with the current person I am talking to, if at all? It’s like I am constantly aware of the relationship and watching a constantly progressing line graph – with every good joke or interaction I make, the line rises. With every bad, the line falls.

So rather than berating myself for caring about what others think so much – as yes, I am working on developing my own sense of self regard – that is absolutely priceless and indispensable, but for me to have the goal of stopping carry what others think about entirely or even to a tiny fraction of my day is just not worth my energy right now. What is worth my energy is figuring out how to channel this proclivity.

[Festival -Sigur Rós]

I love discussion. I am bad at it, haha. But I love it. I love analyzing discussions and seeing the flow of logic. Again – I think I am bad at it. I am an ok writer. Not great. I tend to ramble. My thoughts are scattered. I hate being critiqued. But… like before, I can’t seem to stop thinking about discussions and the flow of energy, logic. Has someone been persuaded? Is there merit to what is being said? What drives someone to stick their neck out there and state an opinion or reaction anyway?

Maybe (more rambling) I just enjoy collaboration?

I want to collaborate and explore topics together.

One thing I love are book clubs – even though I’ve only discussed one book in a book club in my adult life, not including college. The process of picking things apart. Seeing the merit. Giving others the benefit of the doubt that their perspective is valid. Seeking understanding and learning instead of bristling at different viewpoints. Respectful dialogue.

Where am I going with all of this?

[Youth – Daughter]

  • How do we love ourselves in the face of feeling absolutely worthless? Why do we feel worthless in the first place?
  • What are some holistic approaches to addressing the different kinds of depression / social isolation / addiction that draws upon the best research? What are some of the cause of these?
  • How do we make the world better? (with the implied question of – the world is in need of betterment / how is the world need of betterment?

These are the questions I’m thinking about right now – I welcome dialogue and your own questions. Maybe we can try and explore this together so we are not so alone with our questions and feelings.

And sure… I could start a discussion club with real live people… in some ways I am already taking steps toward that because of a new group I am beginning to dabble in.

[Ether -We Are All Astronauts]

But writing is also a creative and expressive process. I enjoy the aloneness of writing, but also the wonderment of… who else is watching / feeling this (feeling my same feelings, asking my same questions) from across the gulf of time and space / the internet?

Critical me: “You know, I bet what you just wrote has been written a million times on a blog. Aka, you’re unoriginal. No one is going to want to read this. People will have seen this a million times before. Aka don’t publish this. You also haven’t edited it at all. Aka it’s bad. Just don’t do this. Don’t do this.

Response: Yeah… some of what you say may be right. But… I know you’re also coming from a place of fear / protection – you just don’t want me to be hurt. What’s the worst that can happen? I get a bunch of comments criticizing me? Ok. Say it happens. Was it worth it? I enjoyed this process. I am curious about exploring this process more. I am curious about the equation of:

I put time / effort into expressing myself in some way -> I put it out there as a question to begin a dialogue / collaboration with others -> I wait and see the results.

[M83 – Un Nouveau Soleil (audio)]

At least I tried something?

And the theories of probability / physics know I’ve been trying for a really long time. At least I’ve got that – my heart is in the right place, even if it is blindfolded in a dark room, bumping into wall to wall, making more trouble for itself.

Will I just make more trouble for myself? Eh.

Let’s just take a dive. At least I’ll say I tried. The point is that I’m trying to be true to who I am:

I need to express, question, wonder. I am fascinated by what others think. I want to make the world a better place. I want to help others who are going through similar feelings of worthlessness, isolation, despair. I want to grapple with the many social / economic / political / religious / environmental issues. Is there a way to save the world, or is the world doomed?

I guess let’s start with that:

Is there a way to save the world or is the world doomed?

I would love to hear from you in the comments and start a discussion. Feel free to comment on anything else you found interesting in this post. Thanks for reading.

Best wishes going forward and until next time.

MBM

6/18/2018 7:30:49 PM

All I want for

Writing for ½ an hour. I can do that.

Who wants to read the ramblings of a stranger?

Ok, maybe I do. Depending on what they’re talking about.

Loneliness. Isolation. Individualism. Collectivism. Our current dystopian world. Hope?

The body.

Existentialism.

Entertainment Addiction.

Attention Disorder.

What am I?

What are we?

Codes of DNA encased in a flesh shell. All that DNA wants to do is survive and replicate.

Is that all we are?

I am a recovering theist atheist. So for those of you hoping to find solidarity in faith or the beyond will not find it here.

You will find someone who struggles with:

loneliness and isolation

being overwhelmed by politics, wanting to do something, thinking if we got together things would change, feeling like it’s all hopeless

trying to adapt with a mind brought up to think in black and white, positivity, afterlife, everything has a reason that clashes with how things really are

still thinks there’s hope and it’s worth fighting for

Existentialism feels more real to me every day.

But E is nothing more than socially programmed humans who have a surplus of time living isolated, individualistic lives:

What do I do with my free time?

The culture of individualism is a culture of isolation / living alone – which leads to stress – which leads to addictions of all kinds – which leads to more isolation and feelings of powerlessness – and this cycle is how we’re pushed more and more out of power / how more and more voting rights are demolished.

One merger after another. We’re definitely heading towards the BnL Wall-E future. Maybe we’re in it already.

How do we escape?

Is it through intentional communities and cohousing? Is that the crux of all this? Shifting the culture of individualism aka isolationism to ‘cohousing-ism’?

The very thought of sharing my personal space with others makes me want to crawl into a hole.

“I’d go crazy” I think.

But I’m going crazy now.

That’s why I’m sitting on the floor of a darkened room with the glow of a computer screen as the only form of illumination. This urge to EXPRESS…this urge to express ME… to cry out…. am I… REALLY alone as I feel?

Seeing words materialize on a blank white canvass feels…comforting. So the very act of typing feels nice. I’m able to shape and create SOMETHING.

So why publish it then?

I am lonely and so are you.

I…. want it to stop and so do you.

I think.

The world as it could be. The world as it could be.

I was born into an environment that shaped me into an idealist.

Phenomenon after phenomenon.

Is there ‘a god’. Are we here for a conscious purpose?

While I ask these questions, I could be helping someone fleeing a country or someone who is starving. But I have the privilege of existentiality. The horror of the mind and the modern age of surplus time and isolation.

Existentiality is beautiful, but not at the price of inaction.

I know I am grossly misusing the term in a strict, academic philosophical sense.

“Existence precedes essence”

But as I lay on my death bed in 5, 10, 20, 50 years from now – at least I did SOMETHING.

I felt lonely. I moved my fingers. I pushed a button. And other people can see it. Hey, I feel that way, too.

Pointless. Hopeful. Maybe it’s a way out of my crippling escapist behaviors. It’s definitely an EB in itself. But at least it’s better time spent then watching another half hour of pornography or the next show on Netflix. It’s better than just being in a reverie of thought-mulling, a trance of rumination, where thirty minutes has passed and I’ve just been sitting on my bed, half aware of what I’m thinking and half not.

I struggle with this process of sticking my neck out. Of now being open to criticism.

You’re a fucking dumbass.

You’re a shitty writer.

Go kill yourself.

How EMBARRASSING. I feel so goddamn embarrassed for you, you fucking loser. You fucking piece of shit loser. Jesus fucking Christ you are a lost cause. You’ve wasted your life and now this? And now this?

Why in the absolute fuck are you putting yourself through more pain?

The pain of exposure.

The shifting judging eyes.

The flying thoughts of judgment like thousands of tiny daggers. The frown. The squint. The click. The turn. The forgetting.

Am I just attention crazed?

Yes. Yes I am. I am in desperate need of attention and that’s why I’m writing and posting on the internet because I have no friends.

(Well, I do have friends, but… I crave community. I crave community. And I crave a life worth living. I crave meaningful work. I crave doing something instead of caving into paralysis in the face of a dystopian society.) Boy, we’ve been fucking dystopian for a LONG ass time. Where the fuck have you been?

Grandpa, what did you do with your life?

Well imaginary grandchild, not fucking much. I did however, once or twice, be in just the right mood to right an existential, rambling blog post.

What I want: a variety of intentional communities (rural to urban) that shifts culture from individualism and isolation and addiction to healthy minded, diverse, and connected individuals who are aware of and participate in the political process, decentralizing power and resources, to create a stable, sustainable union with the planet and each other.

I want to love myself and have the courage to say what I want in front of others, and face the fear of criticism and backlash. I want to believe in myself. I want to believe in the goodness of humanity. I want to believe in hope and give hope a try.

That’s all I want.

An evening of coping with anxiety, despair, and depression

Phase 1 – Denial. Rushing around. Doing things. Doing your job. Going on a run.

Phase 2 – Shit hits the fan with no escape. God no this is real. This is happening. No, no, no, no. Not this. A thousand nos. Sitting on your floor with racing thoughts. Could I turn to this person? This person? That person? Him? Her? Them? No…no…no…no. Alone. I am alone and I … this is all fucked up. I’m fucked up.

Phase 3 – Brief wonder about what my preferred method would be.

Phase 4 – In the shitstorm of despair that is my mind, there are flashes of the ideal group of friends. Flashes of the ideal mentor. Flashes of being loved by my own self. A smile. A denial. At first I feel completely disconnected to it. I am just observing, pushing away, and then seeing the flash again.

Phase 5 – Flashes / Imagining of the ideal become longer. Maybe there are glimmers of feeling in the body. This is the turning point. The internal screams become softer.

Phase 6 – Feel my body again. Feel my aloneness. But I am surviving. Despite my situation, my body doesn’t care – it wants food. I am alone, but I can take care of myself. [Pause for a moment to see my privileges – I have shelter, food, access to a shower, able-bodied. The crises are all internal. No less agonizing, but it could be much worse.]. Get up and take a shower.

Phase 7 – Amidst fits of crying, ups and downs, then sitting on the floor of the bathtub as water spills over me, looking up at the spout, feeling the moment. The warmth. The water. My body. A breath. All these sensations. I am alone, but I am not dead, and I am in company with sensation and breath.

Phase 8 – New ideas. Introspection. A kind of calm. The anxiety, fear, and pain are still there, but they are now shadows. I see the reflection of their eyes, and maybe a silhouette or two, as they wait in the darkness at the edge of the light of the fire. What is the fire? Is it hope?

Do animals have hope? Is that how they fight against depression? Are animals existential? Rhetorical questions?

A message to anyone reading this struggling with despair / loneliness: I am sorry. I am so sorry. It fucking sucks. It feels like the worst thing in the world. I wish I could take your pain away. Things that have / are helping me:

  • Therapy (this develops the ability to comfort, see, accept, and understand yourself when you are alone. I think there comes a time when even your therapist is not able to give you the kind of seeing/understanding you need. But when you have developed critical introspection tools, there is an ability to stand beside yourself, even in really dark times.
  • Exercise (I think a lot of anxiety is partly the built-up unused and excess energy of the body due to a sedentary lifestyle. There’s also a lot of science to back up the health / mental health benefits of exercise
  • Music, shower, writing, breathing, hugging yourself – anything that creates a kind of positing stimulation to begin to anchor you to the moment
  • Imagination: visualization of the ideal of whatever you need being there right with you. Make sure it’s a need and not just a craving / want. What do you desperately need right now? What would it feel like to have that right now? Feel it.
  • Recommended music:
    • Against the Sky -Harold Budd & Brian Eno
    • Even if You’re Never Awake -Stars of the Lid

Honesty.

Courage.

Good luck friend.