Sunday, April 12, 2015

Carousel in the Crazy House

Christian Ortiz, 2011

It's been two and a half years since I was partially hospitalized for depression and anxiety, and I'm still battling cognitive distortions and negative thinking everyday. It seems I was born with an internal radar system which, in the event that things are going well, will scan the horizon, home in and hyperfocus on the nearest negative thing.

Over the past few days, I've been thinking about this a lot, and about how our thoughts shape our experiences, in this moment and in the future. But it is so hard to catch myself when the negative filtering begins. It comes so naturally to me.

And it isn't just negative thinking that stops me up. I just spend way too much time in my head. Socrates said that "the unexamined life is not worth living", but I think the over-examined leads to insanity. Many people go through life blindly, on a self-made treadmill, letting things happen to them without considering why or the endless possibilities that exist for change. I, on the other hand, obsess over the "why" and the endless possibilities for growth and self-actualization - so much so, that I struggle to get started. I'm on a mental merry-go-round, waiting for the perfect moment to get off and move forward. But that moment never arrives.

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