Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
All on and each one on a different channel. That’s how my head feels on some days. It’s absolutely exhausting.
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Indeed. If only there were a switch to make it go silent.
Mindfulness meditation? Seek silence, and allow the thoughts to be, without paying them too much attention. Practice can make the mind quieter. Not worrying about it can be good too. Don’t force yourself. Ignore this if it is not helpful.
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Monkey mind – we’ve all got them, it’s just that you’ve noticed yours and most don’t theirs.
Really? How could anyone not notice? I find the noise an absolute nightmare.
The mind abhors a vacuum, so all minds chatter by their very nature. Most is inner verbalisation, but visual artists may get visual thoughts in the main, and musicians may mainly get sounds. It’s all thinking, chatter, flotsam and jetsam. About 2% is useful. I had a very close association with a Buddhist monastery for 25 years, virtually living there, and know some recluses extremely well. Everyone has a monkey mind, and it’s just a question of degree. When people come on silent retreat for the first time, they’re often shocked at how active their minds are – and have always been. We live highly distracted lives, and hardly anyone knows what tranquillity is. All that stuff going through your mind – it’s just clouds passing through, the insubstantial ephemera of mentation. See it like Clare says. If you fight it, it’ll fight back. If you think it’s a nightmare then you’re fighting it, resisting it, and actually pouring fuel on a fire in doing so. Minds can be trained, but it’s hard work, takes time and needs daily practice. It depends how much you want to fix it. Most opt for dope or booze or Prozac or sex or food, but it always ends in tears.
Alcohol is usually my choice 😛
Have you ever tried sex?
I’ve tried everything. Mdma works well, but I’m past he age for those things…
It’s either brandy or the Buddha for you then, young man.
Unless Buddha is the nickname of a fat drug dealer who frequents rural French towns I’ll stick with brandy.
Have u tried legal highs?
LSD in the seventies, a few times. The eighties were interesting. I worked in the music business. Drugs became industrialised as the rave scene came in, and by then I was where you are now – disinterested in all that. Drugs can be an eye-opener as to what the mind can do, for sure; so they (and much else besides) led me into exploring awareness itself. By that I mean not consciousness – mental objects, thoughts – but the illumination of it, free of objects. Have you tried hallucinogenic drugs?
I’ve tried everything that comes in pill or powder form- or that can be smoked 😀
Well, only the mind can overcome the mind, but as with modern psychiatry and its preponderance of drug administration, we just look to suppress the symptoms with external things. And as with modern psychiatric treatments, the symptoms return once the outside things are removed.
I agree with Hariod’s diagnosis but not necessarily with the cure. Any kind of physical activity can work to calm that inner chaos, but it has to be something you /want/ to do. And it helps if it’s something physically creative – pulling an acre of weeds could work but I doubt you’d want to do it. Spinning lumpy pots on a potter’s wheel is good coz that eternal spinning is almost hypnotic. Dancing is probably as close to sex as you can get standing up. Tango? That should appeal to the perfectionist in you. 🙂
Or wait! How about something in the culinary line? Thai cooking? New tastes, new techniques, something for one of those tv’s to latch onto so the others pipe down?
Was that from memory of the other blog or a coincidence? In Spain I went to tango lessons on Thursdays 🙂
Oh! No, I didn’t find Pinky’s blog until later so I didn’t know at all. How’s that for coincidence? Maybe you need to start again, or go on to the Passo doble [sp?]
one word, Pasodoble 🙂
lol – oops? I’ve only ever heard it pronounced! Thanks Pinky, you’ve saved me from a bad typo. 🙂
Apologies that this will sound like a TV commercial, but: Ask your doctor about propranolol. It blocks excess adrenalin, and so it might block some of that noise. Generally, it’s used to treat high blood pressure, but it’s also good for stage fright, PTSD, and anything else related to an excess of adrenalin. It’s old, cheap, and well worth a try. You won’t feel it, much less get high from it, but you will think more clearly, with a lot less noise.
Propranolol can be used for stage fright yes, but it’s not one of the recommended uses for the drug (in my country that is).
Beta blockers helps against the physical symptoms of anxiety by reducing tremor and the heart rate, but doesn’t really help against the thoughts themselves.
I’ve not heard any patients say that such drugs have helped against a “cluttered head” like Mr Merveilleux is describing here, but I might be wrong.
In my experience it might actually make some things worse. I remember when my mom was on it, she had such vivid hallucinations that she had to stop. It made her mind more “cluttered” so to speak.
I can certainly sympathise with the television comparison, but it’s slightly different for me. Because of my OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), I don’t have many TVs on, just one that is extremely loud.
It changes channels a few times a day when it is triggered by something I read, a sound or a some visual change. Then it stays on repeat, constantly repeating some annoying news story, a song or a phrase over and over again.
I will suddenly remember something embarrassing or bad from years ago, and the TV will spend the next two days showing it over and over before it changes the channel again.
I’m unsure which one of us is worse off. 😛
I don’t really know of any quick cures for neither my problem or yours.
We just have to keep ourselves occupied to get some relief for a while.
I know your symptoms well 🙂 I spent much of my life experiencing them as well. CBT and citalopram have helped me tremendously. What I’ve got now is much less debilitating.
I’ve also thought about CBT, but it’s not exactly a fast cure that either. Especially here, it takes about half a year before you even get to see a therapist.
I’m just too lazy I guess, but I probably should force myself to try it. 🙂
It’s the obsessive thoughts that’s the worst problem for me. I only have a few compulsions and they rarely bother me much.
When you have thoughts of some prior bad times in your life or of a trauma, and then your mind simply will NOT let them go, you can try self talk. You say these EXACT words out loud, “It is okay to remember this but I am going to think about it less and less,” then you literally force your mind into thinking of something else. That something could be about a garden you want to plant, or where you would like to go on your next vacation and mentally start planning how you will research it, but it should be something for you to get into. To really think on. The instant your mind snaps back, you repeat the self affirming words out loud, even if it is just a mumble, you don’t have to shout it, but you need to verbalize the sentence. If you keep it up, repeat it, eventually those thoughts you don’t want to have will go away.
Replace your unwanted thoughts with something in the future to think on, not something from the past. You can reflect on your life how good you have it. When your mind wants to take you dark, say the words above out loud and then do it, follow through. You can get over these episodes in 30 minutes or less.
I’ll definitely try it!
Running usually works quite nicely.
I imagine especially well if it’s into a brick wall 😀
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