Saturday, October 13, 2012

Harsh Times

(I write this quickly to get this out there before work. Please find it in your heart to forgive me if there's any spelling, grammar, or syntax errors, but I'll understand if you never want to speak to me again because of it . . .)

Aye yes! I was gone extra long that time wasn't I? But I haven't forgotten that you all exist. A kind of another life update: The context and general situation of my life remains as good as last time, though I admit I've been struggling with some personal issues deeply impacting my personal life, more deeply still impacting my habits. Writing is one of my most unsatisfied urges, so write about it now I shall.

Though, it is odd talking about my emotional health so sporadically. The difficulty in not being consistent is that once I do get back to the subject, regardless of how open I was prior, the lack of habit again makes it feel like a tender and private subject, even though the can of worms has been opened before, so now I'm just taking again to pour them all out.

Anyhow, I have to admit that I've been doing rather badly on the psychological level, and while I'm regaining my composure I confess I was actually on the verge of a nervous breakdown a little while ago, such stress which has been making me such a poor writer and all.

While I'm in a good spot in life and all, having a job beneficial to my goals and having my own private living space, the frustration of not being where I *should* be has really be catching up with me these past weeks and pushing my stress levels beyond max. I know I really harp this tune too much, but it still pesters me that I'm a dishwasher. I've been in the restaurant industry for nearly three years now and have seen person after person get promoted ahead of me, people with inferior skills, less experience, less responsibility, and less overall time put in towards the promotion, while I get left behind in my starting position because my enthusiasm makes me too indispensable there, so while the reason for my ambition was to show how valuable I could be to the restaurant overall it ended up being my downfall since it tends to lock me in. It's like having your car jacked up so the driving wheels are off the ground while you put the pedal to the metal: A lot of exertion and speed, but no traveling whatsoever, and all while watching others coast down a slope by casually disengaging the brake.  

I've been thinking lately, and I'm started to conclude that the obscene lack of progress in my career is creating a massive psychological need which may be giving rise to my other bad habits, such as not tending to self-improvement goals, eating healthfully, or even doing chores on time. I once had exploding passion to exert myself strenuously both at work and at home to become the best human I can possibly be, and to see so much energy going nowhere professionally, I think, is petering out my interest to the point where it leaks over to my home life too, making me far lazier and irresponsible than would be otherwise. In other words, I think that because I've been exerting myself so much to make progress that isn't being made professionally, especially as I see undeserving people get ahead, it's demotivating me to exert myself to the same degree since the value I chase after, with previous, unjust employers, becomes more unobtainable the harder I chase it and all too easy to reach for those who idle at the opposite end of the spectrum, doing little to nothing to deserve it. Subconsciously I feel progress isn't possible, so if progress isn't possible I've been losing my taste for self-improvement too, which, in the past, has been my primary character trait. Hence, I've been losing a lot of interest in my work, and I don't feel any enthusiasm towards the rigors of pushing myself at home, such as by studying books, doing brain exercises, disciplining myself in diet, and so on.

I have to wonder what kind of impact it would have on my entire character *if* this psychological need for progress were actually met. I think back particularly to when I first discovered Objectivism. Back then I was absolutely addicted to video games, as they were my way of taking my mind off my life, which was far tougher then. Upon opening *The Virtue of Selfishness* my addiction almost literally died overnight. There was just no urge to play anymore; I wanted to read and expand from then on, which is amazing consider I maintained the addiction for nearly fifteen years, only to have it collapse so suddenly, and all because a primary psychological need was met: To understand that life is worth living and paying attention to.

So, if progress was made career-wise, could too my anxieties, misbehaviors, and pitfalls crumble overnight too? Probably not, but it'd probably strike a healthy blow against them, making it far easier to dispose of them. Forgive the wishful thinking, but, oh, I do wish I could make the satisfactory progress for this to happen.

But it is certainly fallacious to sit around and wait for that to happen. This issue is within myself, and needs to be addressed within myself, otherwise the draining of my ambition could be my own personal undoing, damaging my chances at actually fulfilling the said psychological need. It will require pushing through some negative resistance, but I must pull myself to demonstrate my worth so that can happen, as I am with employers I trust now and have had the best working relationship with in my professional life.

While this writing is primarily to complain and vent, I take moral responsibility for my character. I am in control. These are decisions I'm making for which I ought to be held responsible to. Whatever pitfall I engage is of my own choice, regardless of how an anxiety may have pushed me to it.

At this point it looks like I may not be writing that post on mental health this year as I thought I would, as at the beginning of 2012 I captioned the year to be the Year of Self-Mastery, and obtaining solid mental health has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. Definitely the hardest endeavor of my life! But I've made *a lot* of progress and learned *a lot*, so while I could write up a post of practical and rational detail, I feel like I'm going to be a hypocrite for doing so until I achieve a healthful state where enough methods have been learned to make permanence possible. (That is to say, there is no possible way to make mental health permanent, so I want to discover enough methods and whatnot to make permanence *possible* so long as I consistently employ my understanding.)

While it may be a wee more complex, I think all I really need to do right now is meditate, "mentally rehearse," and write in my journal, as really, I think all the other methods I've employed have done their job, so to secure matters all I really need to do is strengthen my concentration and will to keep my mind set upon the constructive and to shut out what which isn't healthful. (I don't have time to elaborate on mental rehearsal, as I'm dashing this off before work, and I'm going ahead and publishing since I might not otherwise publish this later if I save it as a draft.)

Once I can control every thought I have, squashing any other urge or temptation, that's when I'll have every ounce of control over my actions. It is obtainable, and I shall pursue it. The vision of the ideal self is still locked in my head, and I am adamant on persevering to take the steps towards making it real. Life is worth living, and achieving.

I would say "more later," but I might dissipate for awhile again, unless you're friends with me on Facebook or something, so as always don't assume I'm dead in a ditch or anything. Now, after having dashed this off, it's time to dash to work!

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