Stoic All Along?

Week 27 Excerpt

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After more than six months, I think psychotherapy has reached the point of diminishing returns. Has it helped me?

Oh, yes. Being able to talk about stuff that makes others flinch away and stay away from you helps, it gets it out of your head, relieving the pressure of not bottling it up. One tool of many it has served me well, providing new directions to look and new things to uncover. Adding it to the toolbox I can go into the shop and put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. You will still see the cracks of course, some things cannot be unseen, unheard, nor forgotten, and it is how you decide to live with it.

While in Oklahoma I bought Antifragile by Nassim Taleb for Kindle, and I found it very educational, deciding to incorporate some of his strategies, philosophy, and some of his rules of thumb while adding my own. He took the ancient ideas of ancient Mediterranean philosophers, particularly Roman Stoics and coined the term Modern Stoicism. I could be a poster child at times for being stoic so like most things I took what I could use to construct into a day-to-day mindset that works with my nature.

As I had previously written about, I have a tendency to be proactive and a bit of a control freak; so much so I frequently hear I need to relax. It is good advice and this helps me loosen up a bit as long as I have the big problems covered, redundancies ready and just enjoy life. The little things are just noise, the things that do not really effect your life in a major way, gossip, rhetoric, or most things on the news. It is the pattern or ‘signal’ that matters, a lesson learned awhile back when I was on the news on what’s important; it is not the social media/internet jury with their five-minute attention spans or people not involved in your life. That classifies as noise, not an informative signal.

Life is a pain in the ass and precious at the same time, it is going to hurt so wishing and whining does not help. I know, I have tried it and it does not work. Life is what it is and it could be worse, sometimes it is worse, that is just realism. Life’s stresses are information testing how weak or strong you are and when it finds a crack you learn from it. If you have not prepared for it or it is just too big, and then embrace the suck, you cannot run from it but if you live, you can damn sure learn from it. By having this in place you act, instead of just reacting unless it is an emergency.

Doing this has helped me relax with my moods stabilizing and not getting as worked up, even showing in the shorter insights from my grief journal. It takes a particularly bad day to get me writing in it, like the news of another kid the same age as my godson, shooting himself; it wears on me. Flashbacks, they are still there, though not as frequent one day I had three in a row. It is something I cannot stop, only endure, and take it as a lesson on perspective of what is important. Dark thoughts cross the mind occasionally, do not entertain them and I usually have been making a point of staying away from everything that depresses me. Enough of that I carry in my head as it is without letting outside influences adding to it.

What are your thoughts about this?

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