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Warp Factor 9 - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Warp Factor 9
Thanks to everybody who replied to my questions about compliments; thank you for making the effort to explain things that are probably blindingly obvious to you. Your comments were all helpful in different ways, and a couple of you left really long comments that I haven't replied to yet because I haven't read them closely enough yet (particularly kaet's comments!).

I'm currently looking at the MoodGYM thing that anat0010 recommended, and it starts with a long questionnaire about "Warpy Thoughts". Now, before I start, anat0010, please don't take the following as criticism of you or ingratitude for the suggestion: I think it's a great idea and I'm going to work through as much of it as I can bear to. However...

As usual with these inventories, my answers to most of the questions are "mu". All of the following have the options "Strongly Disagree; Disagree; Neither Agree Nor Disagree; Agree; Strongly Agree" -- there's never an option for "Not applicable / not relevant / not understood". So, more for my own record than anybody else's really, here are my real answers:

--- The need for approval from others ---

1. If people criticise me, I am not a worthwhile person.

I do not feel like a worthwhile person. I do not know if I "am" a worthwhile person. (I do not know if that question is a meaningful or useful one to ask.) Please apply this to all relevant questions, as it holds true for all of them. As for the other part, criticism often upsets me (though it depends how/what they're criticising), but it's orthogonal to the fact that I feel worthless.

2. Other people's approval is very important to me.

I don't know. I don't know if/when I have other people's approval, so I don't have a clue if I'd be happier if they did and/or if I knew/believed they did. The question makes no sense.

3. I can make everyone like me if I just try hard enough.

Okay, this one I just flatly disagree with. I don't think it's ever possible for everyone to like you, whether you try or not.

4. The most important thing in the world to me is to be accepted by other people.

I have no idea, because I don't know what it feels like. I'm not good at having burning ambitions towards things I don't understand. I don't think people shun me or anything, most people seem fairly happy to talk to me, but I don't really know what "to be accepted" means in this (or any, for that matter!) context, so I don't think it can be the most important thing to me. Not-hurting-other-people is pretty important to me, though, if that's relevant. Making other people happy would be a good thing to do.

5. I find it impossible to go against other people's wishes.

Nah, I just disagree with that.

6. Unless I get constant praise I feel that I am not worthwhile.

Mu. I don't get constant praise; I don't want constant praise; I don't think I deserve constant praise; I don't think anybody does "deserve" constant praise; and even if they do, I don't think it's realistic to expect it. I don't feel worthwhile. I have no idea if these things are related. I know that praise does not make me feel worthwhile.

--- The need to be loved ---

7. Life is unbearable unless I am loved by my family.

I'm lucky enough to be loved by my family. Life often seems pretty much unbearable despite this. I'm fairly sure it would be worse if they stopped loving me, but then, if they'd never loved me, I might not miss it. Who knows?

8. If I am not loved it is because I am unlovable.

If I'm not loved by anybody, then yes, the common factor in all my failed relationships is probably me. If I'm not loved by a particular person, then it's not necessarily anything to do with me. I don't think I'm lovable, though.

9. If I love somebody who doesn't love me, I must be inadequate.

I feel inadequate. If I love somebody who doesn't love me, I feel rejected. If I carry on moping after them when they don't love me, I'm just plain stupid.

10. I need to be constantly told I'm loved to feel secure.

I don't know. I don't feel secure. Being constantly told I'm loved doesn't seem to help.

11. If I were a better person then somebody would love me.

I don't think I can make myself be loved by everybody (see above). I don't know what would happen if I were a better person. If I could imagine being better, I'd probably be better.

12. In order to be happy, I need someone to really love me.

I don't know. I am not happy. Being with somebody who says they love me and who I feel that I love makes me happy in the short term, but I don't believe that having "someone to really love me" is not going to cure depression. I don't think that's how it works; I don't think it is (I hope it isn't) a question of if-you-love-me-enough-I'll-be-happy. That would suggest that all the people in my life so far just haven't loved me enough, which would be fairly unfair to them. I don't believe it's anybody's fault except (perhaps) my own that I'm depressed.

--- The need to succeed ---

13. I can't feel equal to others unless I'm really good at something.

I don't know. I don't feel equal to others; I'm not really good at anything. I don't know if these are connected. I can't imagine being really good at anything.

14. I only feel valued if I achieve my goals.

I don't know. I don't know what it means to feel valued, though I believe that people value me (and this baffles me). I don't achieve my goals. I can't remember the last time I achieved a goal.

15. My success in life defines my goals.

I just plain don't understand this question. What is success? What are my goals? This is a nonsense question.

16. I need to be successful in all areas that are important to me.

If I do "need to", it's just tough tits, isn't it. I don't know many people who are successful in all the areas that are important to them.

17. Life is pointless if I don't have goals to chase.

Life is pointless, period.

18. Without success in life, it is impossible to be happy.

I am not happy; to the best of my knowledge I have not had "success in life". I don't know the answer to this. I fear it may be impossible for me to be happy; I don't know what "success in life" means for me. I don't think I'll ever achieve it, though. I suspect happiness is "success in life"; that is, if you are happy, you have succeeded. Which means I'll never have either.

--- The need for perfection ---

19. I see no point in doing anything unless it can be done perfectly.

I don't believe anything can be done perfectly. I have never done anything even nearly perfectly. In the grand scheme of things, I see no universal "point" in doing anything; in the short-term, in a localised sense, you just have to invent your own "point" to doing things. I often wonder what the point is of doing things. That doesn't mean I don't do anything.

20. There are no second prizes in life.

For fuck's sake. There are no prizes.

21. Things must be done to certain standards, otherwise there is no point in doing them.

Depends on the "things".

22. If I make mistakes then others will think less of me.

Probably. I don't know. People's opinion of me doesn't seem to correlate with what I do.

23. If I don't do something perfectly then I don't like myself very much.

I don't like myself at all. I have never done anything perfectly, and I'm not convinced it's possible. I don't know if these are related. People seem to manage to love themselves despite not doing things perfectly.

24. I never seem to be able to reach my own high standards.

I don't have high standards. I never seem to be able to reach even my low standards.

-- The sense of being able to influence other people's needs ---

25. I can prevent people being upset by thinking about what they might need.

Uh? No. I can minimise their chances of making them upset if I'm considerate and thoughtful. I can't control all external influences.

26. If I have a fight with my friends, it must be my fault.

Sometimes. Not always. I can't tell if saying "I disagree" to this would mean "It can't be my fault" or "It needn't be my fault".

27. I should be able to please everybody.

I don't expect to be able to please everybody. I don't believe it's possible. I think I should try not to upset/offend/hurt people as far as possible without compromising my own wellbeing.

28. I am responsible for other people's happiness.

Depending on what they mean by this:
- I don't believe that it is my duty to make everybody else in the world happy.
- I don't think I do much to make any other people happy, and I think this is a bad thing.

29. If people are uncomfortable around me it is my fault.

Sometimes. Not always. (See 26.)

30. If the people around me are upset, I usually worry that I have upset them.

Depends on the people, how close I am to them, what I've done/said to them recently.

--- Happiness is contingent on external things ---

31. I can only be happy if I have the good things in life.

I don't know. I'm not happy. I have good things in life. I don't know what count as "the good things" for the purposes of this question.

32. Unless I have expensive possessions, people won't approve of me.

Who knows?

33. If I were rewarded for the goals I achieve, I know I could be happy.

Who knows? I don't achieve my goals. I can't think of a "reward" I'd want except not needing the bloody reward. I am far from convinced that it's possible for me to be happy, irrespective of whether I'm rewarded for my buzzword buzzword buzzword.

34. If my friends are unhappy, then I cannot be happy.

I am not happy. I am likely to be more unhappy if my friends are unhappy too.

35. Everything has to be going well in order for me to be happy.

I have no idea. I don't believe that "Everything" will ever be going well, so if that's a necessary condition for happiness, then I will never be happy. This may be true anyway.

36. My happiness depends on others.

I don't live in a vacuum. Other people make the food I eat, other people write the music I listen to; everybody depends on everybody else for their happiness.

--- The sense of feeling deserving ---

37. If obstacles are placed in my path, it is natural that I would get angry.

I don't know if it's natural. Sometimes I do get angry and I can't help it.

38. Things should always go right for me.

Hahahahaha.

39. If I do the right things, people should acknowledge it.

*shrug* Don't know if I've ever done "the right things". What are "the right things"? Who would dictate that people "should" acknowledge it? Who would have the power to police that? The question's just meaningless.

40. If I feel that I deserve something, I should get it.

Er, no.

41. If I go out of my way to help others, they should do the same for me when I need it.

Well, the more people out of their way to help others, the higher the chance that somebody will do the same for you if you need it. I don't think there's any "should" about it, because often the people you help aren't in a state to help you in return -- that's why they need the help. What goes around, comes around.

42. I shouldn't have to work so hard to get the things I want.

Where does this "should" come from? It all depends what I want. If, for (ridiculous) example, I wanted to be a GP, I would have to work bloody hard, and I don't think that's unreasonable. On the other hand, I think a courier service whose entire raison d'être is delivering stuff from A to B should be able to deliver something on the day they say they will, to the address given, without me having to make three irate phone calls. Reasonable expectations based on some kind of woolly heuristic involving the difficulty/importance/availability of the thing you want, etc.

***

All this doesn't help (and I say that not petulantly or frustratedly, just stating a fact); it just feels slightly bewildering and largely irrelevant. I feel as though I don't have the right context to answer the questions. ... Tangential ramble follows. My dad once filled in one of those awful consumer surveys, and one of the questions was "Do you drink tea?" He ticked "No", but there was no instruction along the lines of "If no, proceed to..." so he continued to answer the subsequent dozen or so questions, which were of course about the type of tea you drink, how often you drink tea, etc. Irritated by the poor design of the questionnaire, he wrote "DO NOT DRINK TEA" (that is, in the sense of "I do not drink tea" -- I don't think he minds other people drinking tea) after every tea-related question, sometimes with arrows to the original "No" answer. My sister and I thought this was hilarious, and "DO NOT DRINK TEA" has become something of a family catchphrase meaning "If you'd listened to my previous answer you wouldn't be asking this" or "Incorrect baseline assumption" or similar. As you'll have worked out by now, this questionnaire was a bit of a DO-NOT-DRINK-TEA thing for me, only it's more complicated than that, because the questions seem to interrelate in ways I don't entirely understand, and take as axiomatic all sorts of things that I don't believe, don't understand, don't regard as interesting/meaningful/relevant, or all three.

(I do drink tea, by the way. I'd be happy to answer questions about tea.)

It makes me worry slightly that I'm more messed-up than I thought because I don't even seem to be speaking the right language to "fix myself" the way people seem to expect me to be able to; but on the other hand, I feel the same levels of frustration with most polls/questionnaires/quizzes etc., from the most trivial to the most (supposedly) important -- I could often make a plausible case for any of the available options without lying about the way I feel. Perhaps this is as meaningless a quiz as "Which internet quiz are you?".

So I guess the real problem is that I don't know if any of the options are true for me. I don't know what "true" is. They all seem to be questions about things that everybody else either Feels or Just Knows; it seems to me that most people Just Know/Feel that they are worthwhile, in the same way that they know they exist, and the question "Are you a worthwhile person?" is as meaningless to them as these questions are to me. This isn't a random, hysterical "Everybody except me knows what they're doing," it's just a kind of bewilderment; it's also evidence-based: these are questions which people who are depressed are supposed to be able to answer, and despite being reasonably well educated and self-aware I don't understand how to answer them according to the rules in a way that gives a truthful and/or meaningful representation of how I feel/think/behave.

I feel as though some part of me didn't get wired correctly. It's like missing a sense that everybody else can report on accurately but that I just can't see/feel/touch/hear/smell ... and I don't even have a word for what it is I can't do.
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Comments
emperor From: emperor Date: June 10th, 2005 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Questions about tea, as requested :)

What sort of tea do you prefer to drink? do you have it with milk or sugar?

Are there other teas you like too? Any teas you really dislike?

Do you make tea from bags, or leaves-inna-pot? why?
j4 From: j4 Date: June 10th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Questions about tea, as requested :)

NB I didn't request questions about tea, I just said that I would be happy to answer them...

1. & 3. I think my favourite teas are probably Lady Grey, Earl Grey, and Russian Caravan. But I'm happy to drink PG Tips or whatever. Sainsburys Economy Tea is a bit beyond the pale, though; and at the other end of the spectrum, I really don't like Lapsang Souchong (though it's a taste I have tried to acquire!).

2. If I'm drinking PG Tips or similar then I often have it with milk and sugar, because I want the comforting hotness and sweetness; but I'm happy to drink it black. If I'm drinking more interesting teas I drink them black with no sugar.

4. Whatever's going. I'm not a snob about the type of tea I use. Tea-bags are more convenient, though, obviously!
emperor From: emperor Date: June 10th, 2005 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Questions about tea, as requested :)

I've never heard of "Russian Caravan" before. What's it like?
j4 From: j4 Date: June 11th, 2005 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Questions about tea, as requested :)

It's like tea, and it's nice. :-)
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: June 10th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Questions about tea, as requested :)

Incidentally, when you make it to Montreal there are at least two excellent tea places I am going to take you.
bluedevi From: bluedevi Date: June 10th, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
DO NOT DRINK TEA: Best. Catchphrase. Ever. I'd start using it myself only no one would know what I was going on about.

j4 From: j4 Date: June 10th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
If we use it, people will learn. :-)
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: June 10th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Myself, I like "Bite a goat for me."

Which comes from the hunting strategy of Komodo dragons, which is "Spend most of the time lying around. When a goat comes near, bite it. Sooner or later, it will get septicaemia and die. Sooner or later, a goat some other Komodo dragon has bitten will get septicaemia and die near enough for you to eat."

I like it both because of the fundamentally co-operative nature, and because I spend most of the time lying around.
pseudomonas From: pseudomonas Date: June 10th, 2005 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's wonderful! (in principle, rather than from the goats' POV)
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: June 10th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think you are answering the questions (at least, a lot of them), and by your answers indicating that some part of you understood them. It's just not a conscious part. It's like you're trying too hard (except that you're not actively doing that AFAIK or you wouldn't have written this post), you are finding shades of meaning and whatnot in the questions that were never intended, because this is meant to be a fairly black and white join-the-dots tool, not a freeform write-your-own-diagnosis one, so of course you find it impossible to answer them using the questioner's template. Q7, for instance.

7. Life is unbearable unless I am loved by my family.
I'm lucky enough to be loved by my family. Life often seems pretty much unbearable despite this. I'm fairly sure it would be worse if they stopped loving me, but then, if they'd never loved me, I might not miss it. Who knows?


Ok. If they stopped loving you, would life be unbearable? If you managed to fix all the other parts of life so that it was bearable but all your family members suddenly decided they hated you and would never speak to you again, would that tip things back over into unbearable? IF yes THEN... If you were never loved by your family, you would probably have constructed a replacement family from friends, as people in that situation often do. If this second family suddenly stopped loving you, would life feel unbearable? IF yes THEN... you can answer the question. Or, from what you've written, it is possible to infer an answer. One assumes you'd agree with it since you provided all the evidence.
j4 From: j4 Date: June 10th, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
If they stopped loving you, would life be unbearable?

I've no idea! I can't imagine being able to fix everything else, and I can't imagine my family (who are by and large generally amiable and tolerant people) behaving like that and still being the people I know. I'm sorry, this really is an imagination failure on my part. I don't see what the point of answering it is, either, though; I really have absolutely no complaints about my relationship with my family. I love my parents and my sister, they (as far as I can tell) love me, they're groovy people, I find them interesting to talk to, they don't interfere in my life (nor I in theirs) any more than we're all happy with, I don't find that I'm craving attention from them that I don't get, they've never indicated or even given the vaguest impression that they feel I'm neglecting them or taking them for granted in any way.

I can't imagine them suddenly turning round and hating me. It would be incomprehensible; it would be like waking up to find I'd turned into a large beetle. So yes, I guess, it would be unbearable; but it seems like if I answer that I'm effectively saying "I am utterly dependent on the love of my family," and I don't think that's necessarily true. It is, and I live in the context of that, and I'm not interested in disappearing up my own what-if about it; I can't remove that context.

Do you see what I'm getting at? I feel this kind of is-ness about a lot of things. That it's nonsensical to question whether things would be different if they were different, because they just are. Would I be happier if I'd been born as a man? If I'd grown up speaking Mandarin Chinese instead of English? Who knows? So many other variables would have had to change as well that the I-of-whom-you're-asking-the-question wouldn't exist.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: June 10th, 2005 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I get what you're saying, and I think you've illustrated again what the trouble is with this kind of thing; you can't stop thinking about it. :) And you break the test when you do that, it's not designed for that level of deconstruction. Your reaction to it requires half an hour of delving and probing and codifying and analysing, when all the test wants is 'do you feel close to your family, are they really important in your life?'. If something did happen to make them disown you totally, would you miss these kind, decent, tolerable people? And I imagine you would.

I don't know that answering 'yes, it would be unbearable' necessarily correlates exactly to 'I am utterly dependent on the love of my family'. One can be quite independent in many ways but still feel comfortable in the knowledge that the family are there to go back to, underneath it all - and equally, devastated if that connection is severed, even if there's been no meaningful connection in years. 12,000 miles and years of being away aren't enough to sever some family connections; 5 miles and decades of ill-concealed loathing are more than enough in other cases. Dependence is not a firm concept IMO.

Would you feel happier if you'd been born a male Chinese beetle? Who knows, but we wouldn't be debating it on LJ if you were. Nor would you be trying to use this kind of test to find out. :)
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: June 10th, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I did this; I think I went 'Whuh?' at a few of the questions, but IIRC it says you're supposed to do it all as fast as possible, taking your first answer, so I did. You're thinking about it a lot more than I did, certainly. Yes, they're woolly, but it's an internet whatsit, woolliness comes with the territory.
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: June 10th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thought: would it help if I went through this and illustrated my own reactions?
j4 From: j4 Date: June 10th, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know it's supposed to be taking-your-first-answer, but I don't have a first answer! My first answer is "Huh?", and then once I've realised I don't have an instinctive answer, I have to think of an answer.
(Deleted comment)
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: June 10th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel as though some part of me didn't get wired correctly. It's like missing a sense that everybody else can report on accurately but that I just can't see/feel/touch/hear/smell ... and I don't even have a word for what it is I can't do.

Fwiw, I'm sort of meta-sympathising with this because I very much get that feeling whenever people talk about anything tying in with sexual jealousy, envy, or insecurity about people they are involved with doing things with other people or having other partners; my reaction to "a person I love very much and am sharing my life with is out having fun with someone else now" is basically always "OK, I'm on my own for a bit, hope they have a good time, what do I want to read next ?"

Observation suggests most human beings find this more fraught.

It's also, before Yet Another Poly Argument takes off, sodding annoying to express this and be treated as if I were claiming moral superiority rather than trying to get a handle on selective emotional blindness.
hairyears From: hairyears Date: June 10th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Mu Kau Conspiracy


Amazing how these questionnaires seem designed to make you doubt yourself, angst-ridden and contemplating the need to Seek Professional Advice. Or at least, worried.

Not necessarily a bad thing, if you're the kind of person who feels real benefit from self-examination, but this inventory seems to be particularly unhelpful.

I feel as though some part of me didn't get wired correctly

That's a feeling that a lot of people 'round here - and a few other places - will recognise; the question is whether it is amenable to verbal reasoning and can therefore be expressed in terms that give a rational answer. At the non-verbal level, where and with whom do you feel the most 'wired' or the least stressed? I won't asked 'doing what?', the answer might be rude. Or far too much fun. Whatever and whoever, that's a good place to start: see more of them, do more, expand your life from there.

Meanwhile, I like green tea a bit, orange Pekoe a little, and hairy-arsed builders' tea most of all. Complete heathen, that Hairyears, he is.

verlaine From: verlaine Date: June 10th, 2005 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think that most people "Just Know/Feel" that they're worthwhile. I think a hell of a lot of people have moderate to severe doubts that they may not be; and then beyond them there are the lucky ones *who don't think much about the question at all*. (Come to think of it, I suspect that someone who actually spends time crowing to themselves about how very worthwhile they are is probably as psychologically unbalanced as anyone with self-worth issues.

So, not that this is any real help, but my guess is that it's not so much a question of changing what you're doing in the world until suddenly your brain stops criticising you, as finding a way to stop dwelling on the subject. I can think myself into a right old depression if I put my mind to it, but from the sounds of it you're much worse off than I am because you're always or almost always there. I think it's because you're obviously a much more profound and meticulous thinker than I ;) In the end intelligence above and beyond a certain level of animal cunning doesn't really make us happier, and having a big brain for our body mass is our species' greatest tragedy. All I can offer is sympathy as a fellow sadperson, and the firm guarantee that no matter if you can never feel worthwhile to yourself, you'll never stop feeling worthwhile to me, and so many others that we both know.
ewx From: ewx Date: June 10th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think those questions would have me throwing things at people long before I reached number 42. But (i) I'm not sure if there's context around them that makes them less stupid, since the link at the top seems to go back wherever I started (perhaps it's better that way); and (ii) perhaps I just need to throw things at people at the moment.
jvvw From: jvvw Date: June 11th, 2005 08:46 am (UTC) (Link)
My reaction would also have been one of frustration at the meaningless of the questions.

I guess most people have some sort of gradation of happiness even if it's not precisely measurable. Different things make different people happy and most people subconciously identify these things and take actions that they hope will nudge towards the things that make them happy or away from the things that make them particularly unhappy.

I think what this survey is getting at though is that people who's happiness or unhappiness is largely predicated by the approval of others, love from others, success, being perfect, material things, influencing other people's needs and luck are unlikely to be happy because these things are almost impossible to take actions to affect.

I'm not sure what one is supposed to do if one falls into this situation, though clearly what makes people happy or unhappy can change. I'm also not sure what you are supposed to do if you don't experience the full spectrum of happiness and unhappiness.
kosai From: kosai Date: June 11th, 2005 11:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel as though some part of me didn't get wired correctly. It's like missing a sense that everybody else can report on accurately but that I just can't see/feel/touch/hear/smell ... and I don't even have a word for what it is I can't do.

The questions seem very naive to me too. However, I think they're designed to hook on to common depression themes; for example, "I don't deserve to be happy." is something that resonates around many minds semi-constantly, and perhaps those people would feel such a pang of empathy that they'd click "Strongly Agree" without being frustrated by the clumsy line of questioning.

I think what I'm trying to say is that the questionnaire looks like it's designed to ask questions that talk about common "faulty" self-cognitions such that it'll trigger feelings of "Yes, that's me." for someone making those cognitions. That you aren't identifying with them isn't at all bad or broken -- it just means you're having fewer incorrect perceptions than the target audience are when you're depressed, maybe?

- C.
arnhem From: arnhem Date: June 11th, 2005 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
these are questions which people who are depressed are supposed to be able to answer, and despite being reasonably well educated and self-aware I don't understand how to answer them according to the rules in a way that gives a truthful and/or meaningful representation of how I feel/think/behave.

There's at least one fallacy embedded there (quite apart from the obvious one - that it assumes that the people who design such sets of questions have a clue about what they're really doing), which is, I think, that it's implausible that there should be a one size fits all diagnostic tool in this kind of situation. It doesn't make sense to me that everyone, regardless of their background, education, training, natural intellect and so on, should be able to use it with similar benefit, since it is so dependent on particular emotional and cognitive behaviours that are clearly very varied across the population (even if you restrict your population to non-happy people).

I don't think that your response to the questions implies any failure on your part, but then given that my reaction to them is similar, <rice-davies>I would say that, wouldn't I</rice-davies>
teleute From: teleute Date: June 12th, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Totally nothing to do with this post, but it was easier to do this than hunt down your email address. necromimesis has an animated icon that says 'I poke badgers with spoons'. I saw it and thought of you :-)
anat0010 From: anat0010 Date: June 13th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Got it in one.

I've spent my whole life feeling 'different' from everyone else, and feeling faintly bemused how everyone else seems to be happy instead of spending every waking moment fretting about mistakes they have made and mistakes they are going to make and about how they are just a useless lump of meat wasting precious oxygen.

I think the goal of these questions is to start you thinking, which it obviously has. The questions talk about things that 'normals' use to feel 'valued' and 'worthwhile' (whatever these mean). Ultimately these feelings lead to normals feeling contented and even happy.

Being happy and contented is not something I know how to do. But some people manage to do this by having some sort of feelings revolving around the concepts mentioned in the questions. I may not understand many of the concepts, I may be incapable of feeling many of the emotions mentioned, but if 'normals' can feel at peace with themselves by experiencing these emotions, then they might be worth researching.

So, I'm on some kind of a journey to explore the strange land of these previous unknown (to me at least) feelings and emotions. Its a strange world, some of it incomprehensible, some of it frankly scary. So far I've got as far as recognising that some of my thinking might be considered as skewed and unhelpful, and that others might consider my opinions of myself as very different from their perceptions of me. (ah but they don't know the truth now do they ?)
Perhaps this process might not be able to untangle the emotional mess which is me, but it might help, at any rate it doesnt hurt (that much). But it is interesting to learn about how others manage to live with themselves, and if I only get to pretend at feeling some of these emotions, then I'll probably be better off than I am now.

So *big hugs* and start thinking about how you feel, what thoughts make you feel low and what thoughts and activities make you feel less low. Then take it from there.

From: kaet Date: June 15th, 2005 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)
*blush* Sorry about that outpouring, I'd been drinking.
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