15 April, 2008

Dream Psychology

I made a revelation last night.

When I'm faced with an unfamiliar situation, I get very anxious, particularly when I don't know what's expected of me - considering that I'm always too afraid to ask. So what happens is, I feel like no matter what I end up doing, it'll be wrong, and I'll either be scolded, or people will think badly of me, both of which are outcomes worse than death. So I freeze up, because every potential course of action is flawed, and I can't bring myself to commit to any of them, and whenever possible, I turn around and back away from the issue, and I hide from it, trying to delay the inevitable, but only inevitably prolonging the agony.

But then I realized, even if something bad were to happen, it's not the end of the world.

My words can't possibly convey the deep level of meaning behind all of this, which is part of the reason I gave up songwriting. I mean, it all makes sense from a logical standpoint, but getting yourself to actually /believe/ something is a feat that requires some kind of miracle.

Anyhow, it's not like I actually think the world is gonna end if I do something wrong or screw something up or disappoint someone - that would be ridiculous - but the amount of stress I experience /is/ proportional to such a catastrophic outcome, and not proportional to the actual situation. In fact, that's what the psychs call "catastrophizing".

It's one thing to talk about it and say, "that makes sense". But last night I was thinking about it, and I actually realized that the amount of stress I experience over something so small is ridiculous. So I told myself "it's not the end of the world", and it makes me feel a little better. So what? The world's not gonna come crashing down around me. Whatever happens, even the worst-case reasonable scenario can't be all that bad - certainly not as bad as I'm treating it.

So then I ended up having a very vivid dream about the same issue. I had been involved in something illegal with the mob - they forced me to do something that I didn't want to do, but I felt responsible for it, and furthermore, I was certain that if the authorities found out, regardless of my circumstances, I'd suffer a fate worse than death.

So I was convinced that the only option for me was to kill myself. And the mob helped me in giving me the freedom to kill myself before getting captured by the authorities. I flew around in a helicopter, planning to crash it, but then I decided I wanted to spend my last moments somewhere that meant something to me, so I flew to Deep Creek Lake.

Then, there were other people around, and I wanted so badly to kill myself and end it all, but I just couldn't do it. I bashed an acoustic guitar against a dresser, and said that I wanted to do the same thing to my head, to bash my skull to pieces, but that I couldn't bring myself to do it. It was very intense. A feeling I'm very familiar with, though not usually related to killing myself - the intense desire to do something or have something or be something, but not having the power to make it so.

Anyhow, a revelation came to me, and suddenly I realized that even if I was captured by the authorities, it wouldn't be so bad, it certainly wouldn't be as bad as ending my life. In fact, I discovered that the mob had tricked me, and that instead of helping me, they were using me, trying to get me to kill myself, most likely because I knew something that would compromise them, and they figured it'd be easier to let me kill myself than to murder me. And I felt so much better.

The force that I thought was protecting me, the source of my stress - that avoidance and catastrophizing - wasn't helping me, it was actually hurting me, and deceiving me. It's not my friend, but my enemy. It does not speak the truth, but lies. And I must not continue to listen to them.

1 comment:

  1. That's beautiful, that's a book. I mean it would need a start and finish, but there's the climax right there. That dream makes a good story.

    I won't condescend by commenting on the actual content, as I assume me to you is like everyone to me, and everything everybody/I say is just bollocks.