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Stress is an interesting thing.

Posted November 18th, 2013 at 9:48 AM by Kanzler

For me, stress sets in a haze around my head. It starts with the eyes. I become myopic. Peripheral vision seems to fade out of perception and nothing seems vibrant anymore. The sky isn't nearly as blue as I remember it, the smells that I thought I've smelled once don't seem to be there. And the haze is ever-present - just constantly buzzing - and it makes everything fuzzy - that youtube video, the assignment I'm supposed to be working on, that squirrel outside, that empty candy wrapper on my desk that I still haven't thrown out yet - all of it looks and feels the same. It's as if nothing matters anymore - it doesn't make a difference whether I stare at one thing or another because I don't know why, it just does.

And then apathy sets in. To put it politely, every useless action that I could possibly think of doing is somehow elevated to the importance of what should be my task at hand. Staring outside my window at a still picture becomes imperative. There is, ironically, so much focus with so little drive. And then I lose control. It's not that I'm unsure of what I'm doing, it's that I'm unaware that I'm sure of what I'm doing and too often I stay unaware too long until when I finally am aware of how unsure of anything I was for the past hour or half of the day - ehh it's too much to think about let's go do something enjoyable. It's not thinking, just doing, just existing. These action patterns self-perpetuate without intervention, they don't seem to go away on their own. It's thinking without thinking. It's my brain running through patterns that aren't questioned critically.

Is it a bad feeling? In the pure sense, no, it isn't. It isn't feeling at all. Upon closer inspection none of this behaviour is reasonably beneficial, and I can't avoid the sense of guilt that comes from the plain wasting of a good day, but as it's happening there's no feeling. It's not part of the equation, it doesn't factor in. And even sometimes as I'm brooding about what I didn't do and what I should have done these feelings shut off and I'm off in lala land again. It's soo easy not to feel. It's easy to distract yourself and work those thought patterns. It's an illusion of doing something while doing nothing yet it feels so real. And I try convincing myself along these lines, that I shouldn't do what's easy and that the only reason I'm acting this way is because it is easy, but there's great inertia in doing so and it's a huge burden to lift. I can push through one day to reap exhaustion the next. And it build and builds until I don't remember the last time I wasn't exhausted.

So it's chronic. I think that's what they mean when they say "letting yourself go" - the act isn't conscious nor active, but more like relinquishing. I lose track of what I'm doing, but I also lose track of what I'm not doing. I don't remember when it happened, but somewhere along the line I started sleeping at one, then two, then three. Somewhere along the line I stopped taking care of personal hygiene - although these were "habits" that had been established for almost twenty years eh? Why stop now? How did I undo over fifteen years of "good" habits? Aren't they called habits for a reason? It's contradictory - it feels that this decay has no beginning, yet in the big picture it must have only affected me only fifteen or ten percent of my life.

So it's not the end of the line. Sometimes I feel like I can make a change, and believe it. Of course, good feeling doesn't really do much, sometimes I grip it so tight that I become overconfident and slack more. So far, all good feeling's done for me is to reassure that everything's going to be alright when that assumption is probably questionable. I become a slave to it, good feeling. It keeps me going, no doubt about that. But is it doing anything? As it is right now, I live life to feel good but life isn't changing. It's a superficial and fleeting feeling that is so real face to face and yet so false as soon as I turn my back on it. Good feeling, for its own sake, has a weak facade. It's all look with no substance.

The only thing that seems like a good idea is to fight fire with fire. If it is so easy for me to perpetuate bad habits, then it must also be easy for me to perpetuate good habits. After all, in terms of them being habits, there's not difference between bad or good - it's all just habits right? I could be a slave to good habits, just as unfocused and out of control as before, and yet without any conscious input I would be gaining from it. However, while stasis can be unconscious, change must surely require a conscious effort. If I could, the most rational thing to do right now is to use as much as self-control as I will ever have now and make the change, and perhaps save a small amount for maintenance purposes. But the goal seems to present itself clearly - focus now so I can do without focusing later. Be aware now in order to be free of needing to be aware later. I think I realize now that it's hard for me to focus on anything, so I must exploit it as much as I can. I need to take what is an absolute weakness and turn it to a relative advantage. Given the world as is given to me, this is the best I can do.
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  1. Old Comment
    Synerjee's Avatar
    Posted November 18th, 2013 at 9:57 AM by Synerjee Synerjee is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Meganium's Avatar
    You've made it this far, bis. You cannot just give up now and focus on what's really important later. What if it's too late? What if the worst case scenario happens and there's no turning back? Now is the good time to focus on the positives and push all the negativity aside. I know you have all these distractions, these bad things that keep you behind, but they're easy to beat. These bad habits can be killed off easily, but you're missing a little discipline, which is probably the main reason why you're stressing. I can empathize because I've been through the same thing. Taking a short break helps a ton. Minimizing your activity on the net, and putting tons of study aids and reminders around you helps as well and keeps you concentrated.

    Stress is very interesting, it can either benefit you or kill you mentally. If you focus on what's more important you may kill it off much quicker than you should. You still have time to fix those good habits again, those got you to where you are at now. Remember, you have the power to change all of it. It takes courage and dignity to do so. Myself, and your friends here on PC, we believe in you. Motivation is what you need and you just got some...right now.
    Posted November 18th, 2013 at 10:20 AM by Meganium Meganium is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Kura's Avatar
    You're the opposite of me: the candy wrapper on the desk, the assignment due tomorrow, the mail I need to sort through.. they all need to be done at that very moment and it's constant go-go-go for me instead of relaxing and saying "Don't worry, you can deal with it later." If I do put it off, I think about it constantly because I fear I will forget it. I become overwhelmed, headache-y, drained, tired, have stomach problems over it, etc.
    Working on steps to think about things I need to do more logically instead of having to be in panic-mode about it. I think you will be able to take steps too since you're already aware of how it's affecting you. Keep us updated as I want to see you get better.
    Posted November 18th, 2013 at 10:55 AM by Kura Kura is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Tek's Avatar
    For what it's worth, I feel you. Your stress patterns describe much of my life.

    It's not stress for me, though. It's pervasive fear of anything and everything; fear which I am slowly becoming conscious of. I'm averse to the things I should do, and nervous to think about the consequences of not doing them, with paralysis as the result. Then I retreat into whatever will distract me from the world.

    Dunno if that's helpful unless you happen too be an Enneagram type 5 like me. Though I'd wager that just posting all that was a weight off your chest, at least for a while.
    Posted December 14th, 2014 at 4:18 PM by Tek Tek is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Kanzler's Avatar
    It's not stress for me, though. It's pervasive fear of anything and everything; fear which I am slowly becoming conscious of. I'm averse to the things I should do, and nervous to think about the consequences of not doing them, with paralysis as the result. Then I retreat into whatever will distract me from the world.
    Yeah, I can really relate to this. I think the best way to get over this is to not think about it and just power through it.
    Posted December 14th, 2014 at 5:46 PM by Kanzler Kanzler is offline