I have read various self-help books, psychology books and articles online. From these I’ve learned that most problems between the ears, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia etc stem from, quite simply, thinking negatively. Here’s highly relevant section from the book ‘Conquering Your Critical Inner Voice’.
Yes, pills will help, meditation will help (and meditation might be the whole solution), but the problem may come back if your habit is to doom, gloom and catastrophize. If you’re perpetually hypervigilant for disaster because you have little faith in your ability to cope. You need to break the habit; you need to think positively. But you can get setbacks. I was pushing myself in that direction but, with the perpetual anxiety I was getting, and the panic attacks that had now decided to move into my meditation sessions, I couldn’t help but sometimes think I was fighting a losing battle. However, a recent low point pushed me back to reading and looking for answers, and, in the same book as above, I found this.
This gave me encouragement because rather than a sign of failure the anxiety and panic attacks are a sign that I am progressing … no, that I am winning! This pushed me back to reading Rob Kelly’s Thrive. There I learned that a good technique is to go somewhere quiet, a few times a day, and make yourself have, effectively, positive fantasies about the future.
So at 10 o’clock on Sunday I spent 10 minutes doing just that. I then set my alarm clock for 11 and thereafter for every hour on the hour for 14 hours. The result of this was that Subcunt (my name for that critical inner voice), the horrible little devil I have felt sitting in my mind like an abscess, shrank. He no longer had something to say to my every thought or hope. I felt good. I did the same on Monday for a total of 170 minutes, and I am doing the same today.
There have been some crappy periods when I’ve gone down for a couple of hours. And when I go to bed at night I don’t pleasurably contemplate the day or the future, but seek oblivion. I use a hypnotic recording to shut up my mind. I don’t expect miracles. However, I do expect results. I have felt some immediate ones and see that this is definitely a positive step. In Thrive Kelly cites two weeks as the time to undergo a complete change. I’m aiming to do it quicker!
Anyway, while I’ve been doing the above, other thoughts occurred to me. The fantasies I have been running through in my mind are of the kind I used to have when going to sleep at night. And yeah, including the dirty ones, but overall about happy future scenarios. Sometimes I see myself at my desk banging out the next book, energized and positive and happy about what I’m doing. I’m laughing often. Things are going the way I want them to go. I’m strong and getting stuff done. I’m enjoying my life. This is the kind of stuff I used to dream about in the past, so when did it stop?
I think I know. Prior to 2000 I used to dream about a big publisher taking my books, about seeing them in bookshops, about succeeding at my writing. Beside the hand-on-cock fantasies, these ones about writing were my main ones. They were fantasies I had for over 20 years. But after 2000 they (not at once) ceased to be fantasies but the reality. In a brief spell during that period I can remember allowing myself to feel depressed and empty and, back then, I identified the reason why. I no longer had that aim to fantasize about and it left a hole in me. The dreams stopped for a time when they came true. Later I filled the hole with ongoing success, buying a house in Crete, enjoying life. Of course recently they have stopped again through all the negative shit I’ve been allowing to occupy my head.
I want the dreams back!