Building Habits

Building Habits

11.05.2019

I didn’t drink alcohol today, although I felt the need for it. Instead, I experimented with unconventional builds in Dota. That’s pretty entertaining. Two of them worked, too. This Huskar position 4 thing was rather… mediocre. But Sniper 5 was surprisingly effective. I will probably include that in my support repertoire. Probably I’ll get some reports in the games that we don’t win, but hey, memes and stuff. Is it now really the case that in these pages I think about the hobby in which I have literally invested thousands of hours during the last years? Obviously. The fact that I feel a little strange is probably also because I’m still part of a generation of gamers who grew up with being told that their hobby was a waste of time, dangerous and generally horrible. Things like that do shape us somewhere, even if we are reluctant to admit it. The new generation is much less aggressively persecuted by this stigma. Gaming is part of everyday life, the associated industry turns over billions every year. Well. Sometimes I wish I had been born fifty years from now. Just think of all the technical possibilities! The idea alone makes my thoughts race and my pulse rise. But it obviously wasn’t meant to be. Would have been too good. I don’t want to die. I just became very aware of that again. Sure, most people probably don’t want that, but for someone like me this thought is still an adventure again and again. After all, it seemed quite different for years. However, a few days ago I hurt myself and my parasuicidal behaviour increased. Difficult. Currently I feel quite indifferent towards most things. Nothing is really good, but also not really bad. At least I don’t want to reach for the next knife and press its tip against my upper body until the physical pain numbs the emotional one. That’s good, I think. But in the past I have often enough noticed how quickly something like this can turn around again. Somehow this whole situation is incredibly paradoxical. During the good phases it feels as if there has never been a problem, but as soon as the mood changes, I am permanently on the brink of complete emotional overload. Often enough beyond that. But these good periods make it incredibly difficult to take preventive measures for the bad ones. It doesn’t seem to be necessary, the pressure of suffering is gone, somehow everything is only distant and doesn’t matter. My mind knows which measures to reasonably take, but the rest of my body often resists them quite successfully. After all, I have managed to form a new ritual through this daily writing. That’s not too bad, I think. My brain forms new networks, creates habits and quite quickly I develop a need for them, because otherwise I notice that something is missing. Actually damn brilliant, this mechanism. What if I were to use this property for other things as well? So I develop other, positive and life-enhancing routines in order to fight against the existing toxic and self-destructive ones? Or even to overcome them? That actually sounds like a pretty good idea. Now all I have to do is find out what kind of new habits that should be. I suppose they will have a lot to do with sport and education. I train body and mind in the truest sense of the word. Even more than is already the case. How would it be if I decided to learn a new skill every six months? For example, I will resume my psychology studies in October. So it would be pretty good if I became a true statistics expert. After all, Big Data is one of THE big topics of our time and quantitative data has always fascinated me. So it’s high time I put more energy into developing my statistical skills. One hour of learning statistics a day should be enough. Always make sure it happens regularly. Expertise is generated by continuity. Only constant training leads to success. Remember. Do. Win. Huah. And now everyone is cheering loudly after our super original motivation mantra. Huah.

Pleasures of Self-Destruction

Pleasures of Self-Destruction

04.05.2019

Today was…extreme. In many ways. The fact that I write these words in the middle of the night before going to bed and not, as usual, in the morning after waking up, already speaks for itself. I actually wanted to go to the ASP concert and meet Alicia. Instead I struggled half a day with panic attacks and spontaneous howls. I tried to get rid of my ticket so that at least somebody would get some joy out of it and so I drove halfway through town to give it to somebody who wanted to try to get rid of it on-site. People were everywhere. So many people. I could literally feel my pulse accelerating with every second I spent among them. I just wanted to scream, wished they would suddenly disappear. I had to think of Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen. There’s this one scene where he’s pestered by a crowd in front of a running studio camera and confronted with a situation he can’t control. A quiet “leave me alone” is followed by a louder one, then another, until he finally uses his powers to teleport all the people away from the TV studio. Unfortunately, I am not Dr. Manhattan. Although that’s probably better. Otherwise, many of the places where I find myself would very quickly be very empty. As long as I was outside, I could still keep myself under control, but as soon as I had returned to the safety of my own walls, these powers left me. Again and again I had to pause because emotional pain took my breath away and I lost the fight against tears every time anew. The desire for a few milligrams of Tavor and a knife had rarely been so strong. I haven’t felt this extreme despair for years. For so long I thought the worst was over. I had hoped that I would never have to go through these extremes again. But now I’m not so sure anymore. The desire for nightly excess returns. Drugs, sex, alcohol, no matter what, as long as it simply destroys me. Anything is fine by me as long as it numbs my feelings. I miss those days. When nothing mattered. It was only the rush, only the excess, only the countless nights in a state of altered consciousness. Sure, now I live safer, healthier, better, fitter and all the other beautiful, shiny depictions. But with every day that passes I feel more fucked up than ever. What do I care about alcohol poisoning if I feel at least for a moment a bit less? My best friends have been trying for weeks to persuade me to go back to therapy. Fuck, I admitted it to myself a few days ago. And now what? Now I want rush and a knife. Life at the crossroads. I have to decide how I want to spend the next few years. Either in excess and die before I turn thirty or listen to the advice of wiser people and seek professional help. My mind knows exactly what to do. My completely crazy emotions are not so sure. They love the rush. They remember the intensity of those nights back then. How reckless I was then. Nothing was important, just the moment. Night after night spent in crowded clubs and bars, sweating, drinking people around me and for a short time, the pain disappeared. But when it came back, it was all the more violent. It was also the time when I was repeatedly driven to the clinic by ambulance because my mind could no longer bear the strain. Or I myself drove to the psychiatric emergency room with my roommate in the middle of the night to get some Tavor which at least calmed me down a bit. The excess and its drawbacks. There’s always a morning or night after, but it’s usually much worse than anything that happened before. So I’m lying here in the middle of the night wondering what to do with myself. Therapy seems to be the best of all options. Would at least increase my chances of survival several times over. But will I be able to wait at all for months? Do I have the strength to wait so long for help? Maybe a clinic would be better. At least for a while. Until I have regained some stability. Oh, I don’t know either. My thoughts are confused. I would love to cry again. But I probably won’t find an answer through that either.

Despair

Despair

30.04.2019

Yesterday was… intense. To be honest, it was incredibly crappy. Mood swings have always been part of my life, but for a long time they weren’t as intense as yesterday. I suddenly started crying in the shower and when later not even the physical exhaustion  of my workout provided the relief I had hoped for, I took the knife for the first time in ages to numb the emotional with physical pain. At least that brought some relief. Certainly not an ideal method, but it is much easier to live with physical pain. And that’s what I’m still doing. Living. I am still not suicidal, some days are harder than others. I have been thinking for some time about starting a therapy again. So far my own pride seems to keep me from doing so. After all I was able to do the last few years without it, I got through reasonably well. And I have written a whole chapter about how to deal better with such episodes. However, I have always stressed how important it can be to lay the necessary foundation through professional help so that the mechanisms I have described can work. How can I expect others to follow my advice if I don’t even do it myself? Do I owe it not only to myself, but also to my readers, to stand by my own words and to act accordingly? Would that not also be a form of hope that I can pass on? If I succeed in overcoming my pride and seeking the help for which I myself have been so aggressively advertising for years? Perhaps it is time for me to actually reflect on what I have written myself. So I will get a prescription from my general practitioner and go looking for a therapist. Surely it will take a while until I find what I am looking for and the first interview takes place, but that would at least be a good start. Just start. The eternal mantra. As hackneyed as it sounds, there is so much truth in these two words. Basically, it is a very simple cost-benefit calculation: The probability that I will feel better as a result of a new therapy is quite high, whereas doing nothing will probably contribute to a worsening of my condition. Another advantage of my smarter self in comparison to then: I am more honest. I didn’t tell my therapists some things out of shame and vanity or simply lied. Meanwhile I have become aware that it does not make sense to leave these things in the dark, which is why I can deal with them more openly. I am thinking about whether I should spend time with people today. I’ve wanted to go debating again for months. Maybe today would be the right moment. Social isolation is not necessarily the Grail’s Path to get out of an emotional low-point. Whereby, right now I at least don’t feel as crappy as I did yesterday. Right now I’m back in my everyday state of indifference. Not too much better, but at least I don’t have the immense need to reach for the karambite on my desk and inflict pain on myself. After all, this is a start. Perhaps the next step would actually be to be among people. I don’t know how much my debating skills have suffered without the training of the past months, but starting again can’t be too bad. When I think back to how much fun I had at tournaments and what fantastic people I met there, I realize again how much I miss this whole scene. I think it’s time for me to leave my hole and climb up the wall. The best antidote to despair is action. I forgot who wrote this quote, but there lies an undeniable truth in it. If I do the same things every day, follow the same routine, it’s hardly surprising that I regularly feel like shit, because I do (or don’t do) those things that contribute to that feeling. If I want change in my life, in my perception, I have to change my actions. Only then can I succeed in breaking out of this self-destructive everyday routine and setting new impulses. If I always only expose myself to my thoughts, then I will not gain new insights. Contact with other people, on the other hand, can be extremely enriching.