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Ugh. - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Ugh.
I have just realised something I didn't want to realise. I would now like to unrealise it quickly, please, so that I can remain in denial a bit longer.

Does anybody have any good ways of stopping oneself thinking?
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Comments
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: January 29th, 2004 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Robert and I have considered 'frying pan to the head' for getting to sleep purposes. I imagine it might work for stopping thinking too, but i can't vouch for the after-effects.
huskyteer From: huskyteer Date: January 29th, 2004 08:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Singing loudly can do it for me.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 29th, 2004 08:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Depends what sort of things you want to stop thinking.

I can stop thinking about things I need to do, by coming up with some plan for dealing with them which can often just be doing it later, then distracting myself.

I can stop thinking about or remembering things, if I lie down and close my eyes and just kick the thoughts away when they come, until I fall asleep.

I can sometimes stop thinking about things I didn't want to realise, by clinging on to some unlikely indication otherwise.

Are you absolutely sure?
j4 From: j4 Date: January 29th, 2004 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re:

I can sometimes stop thinking about things I didn't want to realise, by clinging on to some unlikely indication otherwise.

That's the one. :-/ I've sort of tried that, but there's only so long you can keep picking at crumbs before you get too hungry to keep pretending that crumbs are enough.

Are you absolutely sure?

That I want to carry on being in denial? Definitely. Reality is overrated.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: January 29th, 2004 09:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Short of catching a cold, suffering sleep deprivation, or sustaining a blow to the head, no, not off-hand. I know exactly what you mean, having something I am trying to avoid thinking about (and largely succeeding).

Divert yourself though - you can't stop it but you can misdirect it. Can you come up with a plausible reason for [insert stupid paradox, goof or other niggle here] in [book or film of choice]? Can you come up with a good book for me that will benefit from being read in small chunks? What would be the best solution for the top-up fees issue? What should imc and I have for tea tonight? Any idea why my bank have decided to credit me not only with my missing 34 quid (see LJ entry when I get around to writing it up) but with a mysterious 39 quid as well, that doesn't show up on my statement when I ring up, just on my balance? How can I stop smallclanger playing with the laptop dongle? How many songs containing "snow" can you think of? How many more questions is it possible for me to type in this box?
j4 From: j4 Date: January 29th, 2004 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re:

blow to the head

Sometimes I think that would be the best option. :-/

Can you come up with a good book for me that will benefit from being read in small chunks?

Would a book of short stories do? Or do you mean smaller chunks than that? I can definitely recommend Richard Brautigan's Revenge of the Lawn, which is sort of short stories (well, short prose pieces) but some of them are very short, like, a page or so. I started reading Don DeLillo's Underworld and had to read that in very small chunks because every five lines or so I wanted to rush off and read bits out to other people; but then I stalled on that about a fifth of the way through and still haven't managed to restart it, so maybe the book didn't really benefit from being read like that. I keep trying to read Ulysses in very short chunks and I've enjoyed all the bits I've read, but I've never got very far with it. There are things that I've read and re-read so many times that I can just pick them up and start them anywhere -- all the Chalet School books are like that; likewise all the Tamora Pierce books I have (do you still have my first two books of the Song of the Lioness quartet, btw?) and a few odd others (To Kill a Mockingbird; Alan Garner's Red Shift; Stephen King's The Dark Half; Waiting for Godot; The Waste Land -- crikey, I wasn't trying to be screamingly eclectic, but it did rather come out that way).

What would be the best solution for the top-up fees issue?

I'll say what I said to the earnest students who wanted me to sign petitions proclaiming that we should return to 1975 levels of student grants -- "if you want that, you'll have to go back to 1975 levels of admissions as well". The best solution would be to abolish the culture that rates the undergraduate degree per se as being better than relevant qualifications/experience. As it stands, everybody needs a degree, because all good jobs are graduate jobs; but they needn't be. I spent 3 years working for a company that only employs graduates, doing a job that I could have easily done at age 14. Rant, rant. Too drunk to have this conversation. All I know is that once I have my shiny new job I am going to open some kind of savings account so that I can start paying money in now otherwise I'm not going to be able to afford to send my children to university. :-/

The other good solution is the Wise Woman's third option: "Kill EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD!" That'd fix it.

What should imc and I have for tea tonight?

Macaroni cheese.

Any idea why my bank have decided to credit me not only with my missing 34 quid (see LJ entry when I get around to writing it up) but with a mysterious 39 quid as well, that doesn't show up on my statement when I ring up, just on my balance?

Eh, your bank gives you money? Don't complain!! :-)

How can I stop smallclanger playing with the laptop dongle?

Wire it to the mains. ;->

How many songs containing "snow" can you think of?

"In the bleak midwinter"
"let it snow"
"jingle bells"
"winter wonderland"

Errr... can't think of any others. I blame the b33r.

How many more questions is it possible for me to type in this box?

None, now. :-)
keirf From: keirf Date: January 30th, 2004 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

Any idea why my bank have decided to credit me not only with my missing 34 quid (see LJ entry when I get around to writing it up) but with a mysterious 39 quid as well

When Lord Scanlon started his first factory job as a young man, he was overpaid in his first week's pay packet and said nothing about it. The second week saw the amount he was overpaid deducted, and he went to the management to complain.

"You didn't complain the first time we were in error though, did you," was their reply.

"One mistake I can forgive," Scanlon answered. "But not two."
From: kaet Date: January 29th, 2004 10:23 am (UTC) (Link)
ITV.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: January 29th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

I really like that icon.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 29th, 2004 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re:

I know this is really area-man-does-not-own-television, but ... I don't like television. I really don't watch television, except occasionally "Have I Got News For You" and "Jonathan Creek", but even those irritate me eventually.

Hell, breathing irritates me eventually. I'm unbelievably irritable. If I die young it will be because I've just got too irritated with being alive.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: January 29th, 2004 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
No, but replacing the troubling thoughts with less troubling ones sometimes has the desired effect, even if sometimes only in the short term. Not always easy, though.

Triggering your physical senses reasonably intensely is often a useful technique. At one level, when trying to go to sleep at night, cuddling a favourite toy very firmly can help in some cases; at another level, I've heard of people who deliberately go and eat hot chillies and/or hold ice-cubes when the overwhelming urge to self-injure is a thought they desperately want to stop themselves thinking. I've heard a third possibility which involves sex and/or masturbation, though troubling thoughts can make it difficult to sustain a sufficiently good fantasy to make the effort worthwhile. Whatever works for you is good, on the whole, but you may have to discover what works for you on your own.

Unrelated except for the title, but it often entertained me: I Can't Stop Thinking!
j4 From: j4 Date: January 29th, 2004 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re:

Triggering your physical senses reasonably intensely is often a useful technique. At one level, when trying to go to sleep at night, cuddling a favourite toy very firmly can help in some cases;

I always fall asleep cuddling my pillow. I can't sleep any other way. :-/

at another level, I've heard of people who deliberately go and eat hot chillies and/or hold ice-cubes when the overwhelming urge to self-injure is a thought they desperately want to stop themselves thinking.

Never tried that. And I do still get that overwhelming urge sometimes, but ... I dunno, it's something I Just Don't Do Any More. I don't know how I stopped, I just stopped, and it's not something I want to analyse too much, particularly not at the moment, because the urge to start again is far too strong. The scars are more or less healed but I still don't want to pick them too much.

I've heard a third possibility which involves sex and/or masturbation, though troubling thoughts can make it difficult to sustain a sufficiently good fantasy to make the effort worthwhile.

<shrug> Nobody to have sex with; and masturbation is boring. I mean, I do do it, sometimes, and it gets rid of an urge, like drinking water stops me being thirsty; but drinking water isn't something I actively enjoy, it's just functional. I don't really have fantasies. ... Is that weird? I just don't. I'm not embarrassed about the idea of sexual fantasies, I'm not "in denial" about them, I just don't really have them. And I can't be bothered to try to make myself have fantasies. I try, sometimes, and I find that it helps me get to sleep. Mostly once I get to that stage though I'm more captivated by trying to consciously catch myself snoring...

(Okay, I'm boring. I don't care.)

Whatever works for you is good, on the whole, but you may have to discover what works for you on your own.

Well, I've found that being too busy and too tired to care about anything except "When can I next get some sleep?" helps, but I wouldn't want to rely on that for too long. Reading helps, but only while I'm actually reading. (There was one memorable day a few years ago when I read my way through half a dozen books in a day, because if I stopped reading, even for 10 minutes, I would start crying again.)

Oh well. Maybe sleep will help. Time for bed.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: January 29th, 2004 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re:

It sounds like you do know what works for you; there are many far worse things that it could be than reading books. Good to know that you have at least one technique of some efficiency to get to sleep, too, when sleep has often been difficult to come by; it frequently works here, too, sometimes rather more rapidly than I'd like, though sometimes not at all.

Perhaps you could try other forms of strong physical sensation as a distraction tool - off the top of my head, perhaps you could get a bottle (etc.) containing some strong scent with associations you like.

Mostly once I get to that stage though I'm more captivated by trying to consciously catch myself snoring...

Have you ever explored the practice of lucid dreaming?

If you would like something different to think about, the five questions game seems to be doing the rounds again. There's neither pressure nor rush on this (saying "no" or "not now" are both absolutely fine) but if you ever think of five questions you'd like to see me answer, I would very much appreciate it if you could fire them my way.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 30th, 2004 06:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

Have you ever explored the practice of lucid dreaming?

Lots of people have asked me this. The answer is still "no, not actively". I know what it is, as a concept it sounds interesting, but I've never really looked into trying to have lucid dreams. Partly I think because I'm a bit sceptical about whether one can do it deliberately, it sounds a bit too take-control-of-your-karma-by-knitting-your-own-yoghurt for my liking.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 30th, 2004 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: gimme five

Oh, and five questions -- yes, sorry, I completely forgot about that. If I think of some questions I'll ask them, but I couldn't think of anything terribly exciting at the time & I doubt if I'll be able to now!
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: January 30th, 2004 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: gimme five

No problem at all. No need to try at all hard with these; indeed, it may be better if you don't consciously try hard.
nou From: nou Date: January 29th, 2004 10:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thinking about knitting has been working for me. Planning out what to do with the yarn I have, what pattern stitches, what colours to put next to each other. I can distract my brain with this for quite a while. Maybe planning out a cake decoration scheme could do the same for you.
huskyteer From: huskyteer Date: January 30th, 2004 02:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

Mm, forgot that one. I often go to sleep thinking about elaborate craft projects that I'll never actually do, because they would never turn out as perfect as the vision in my head.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 30th, 2004 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

I don't plan cake-decorations. I mean, I make them up when I decide that I want to make a cake for somebody in particular, or for a particular occasion, and there usually isn't much planning to do, it's just "I will put this thing on the cake and I'll make these bits out of jam and these bits out of antelopes" and I only really know how it's going to work once I start doing it.

I don't really like making plans any more -- it's just depressing because I know they'll never actually happen.

It is a long time since I've done a cake though, I will have to see if any good occasions come up. Mind you I probably wouldn't have time to do one now anyway. :-/
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 1st, 2004 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

~ I don't really like making plans any more -
~ - it's just depressing because I know
~ they'll never actually happen.


Most things, even good ones, end in failure. Accompanied by deep depression and a total lack of belief and interest in the future. But most things start with a degree of optimism, or a clutching-at-straws relief at surviving the last failure and obtaining a ready income.

You mentioned Making Plans.

The actual plan, age 14, was:

~ Go To A Good University;
~ Study Medsun;
~ Distinguished career as surgeon or scientist or both.

The actual result, 20 years later turned out (in no particuar order):

Failed medical student, civil engineer, silver service waiter, private dinner-party chef, cartoonist, speechwriter, charity fundraiser and organiser, insurance salesman, conference organiser, kamikaze pizza-delivery boy, shelf stacker, impoverished part-time student, stock controller, DIY instructor & demonstrator, layabout, programmer, database developer, Visual Basic über-anorak, seasonal caterer for a pub in Ballylynan, systems analyst, consulting nerd.

Current status:
~ Absurdly inept student of the Martial Arts;
~ Occasional snowboarder;
~ Geekus Vulgaris (subspecies Leguminocomptator Londinium);
~ Dirty old man.

Current Plans:
~ Dan grade in Ki-Aikido, about 2 years off;
~ Start that part-time Msc in Financial Mathematics
~ 'cos I can afford to now, with student loans;
~ Remain single and a DOM, it sems to suit me;
~ Get out of the house more;
~ Redecorate. For the excitement.

I have no idea how any of this will actually turn out and you can see why.

Find a vaguely interesting thing and call it a plan. Or wait 'til it finds you: they seek out bright people. As a hint, your accumulated ramblings rants and burbles might be worth gathering together.




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