One of the beauty of writing online is that we can share our half-baked thoughts and feelings in real time, and others can read them and observe the evolution as it happens without having to wait for ideas to mature and turn into boring and incomprehensible jargon. Who knows this process might lead to solutions which no amount of university money and discipline can provide.
This comes with challenges of course:
But if the writer writes with honesty and the reader reads with sensibility, both the writer and reader can learn, grow, and change together. Teaching and learning from one another — with mistakes and all that.
I say all this because I want to share yet another half-baked thought about something that is sensitive to a lot of people and incorrect/incomplete ideas about it could have disastrous consequences.
Of course, I am talking about Anxiety!
Anyone who has read my works here knows that I suffer from Anxiety. Or, whatever this is called:
A dark cloud dwelling inside me blocks the sun I need to feel strongly and all I am left to do is get drenched in incessant rain wondering what I am doing wrong.
I suffer from it to a level where my life for most of the time feels like Dostoevsky taken to execution.
Yesterday I wrote about my inability to feel excitement and blamed anxiety for it.
In fact, I have blamed anxiety for a lot of things that are going wrong in my life.
And in that story I tried to see what could bring excitement back in me.
‘You are too alien to yourself. Know yourself first,’ I told myself and detached myself from people and places. I locked myself in an oven and surrounded myself with more books, PDFs and diaries.
Everything has its time, phase and place.
The time is done. The phase is over.
It’s time to pack my bags and leave this room!
I said and closed the piece. This was the gist:
I can remove anxiety and feel excitement (the window to all other feelings) by moving-on from ideas that have fulfilled their tasks. Which means, I have to pack my bags, close the reading room door and book a ticket to somewhere, anywhere!
And I had gotten excited at the idea. The idea of me with a black cap, standing on an airport terminal staring at airplanes below.
I thought I had found a solution. I had found a way to defeat anxiety and feel again.
But that was just one idea. This morning I had another:
I am suffering from anxiety because my mind with its thoughts and emotions functions at a different layer from which I normally do.
At the layer in which I normally function — conscious layer — if I have a fight with a friend, we make-up by shaking hands and continue hanging out. But at the layer in which my mind actually functions — subconscious layer — it feels things such as hurt, pride, and ego and doesn’t forget about them. The anxiety is arising because I am not thinking, writing or talking about things such as ‘hurt, pride, ego.’ I am merely floating my mind on the surface while it wants to be deep below.
My mind wants me to address how I should approach a long lost friend
while what I spend my time doing is watching a fifty-year-old cricket game.
And I blamed the modern culture, arts and my religious system for all this and said I would go deep and wrote ‘depth’ on the wallpaper image and updated my phone wallpaper.
Two ideas about anxiety in two days!
What’s more interesting is that the wallpaper doesn’t consist of just two ideas. There are 10 such ideas. All conceived as a solution to my anxiety.
I have written about ideas and their nature here:
How Do You Manage Your Ideas?
So many ideas, such a small head! (AND THEY ALL SEEM IMPORTANT.)
This morning as I sat pondering the importance of depth in our lives and how modern life doesn’t allow us to go deep and instead suggests temporary methods of anxiety-removal like physical actions, meditations, and medications, I realized that I have been going through a process for a long time and have been equally convinced that each idea I discovered/invented would alleviate my anxiety permanently. And then I wrote something I want to share with you:
Do I mean to say that the many causes of anxiety in me are due to:
Lack of depth + Lack of quality art + Lack of socialization + Lack of closures + Thinking in void + Stuck up in Kathmandu + Lack of travels + Professional failures + Lack of actions + Too much at home + Lack of writing community + Lack of money + Useless thoughts + Fear of family tragedies + Coffee + surya red (a cigarette brand I quit).
I realized that all the above have been the causes I discovered for my anxiety at different times. And at different times, I have put their antonyms in my wallpaper.
These are the terms I am using now:
Depth, Art, Socialize, Act, Experience life and mind, Learn, Lifestyle, Calmness, Strength, Write.
If you have read the idea story above, you would know that it was now time to GENERALIZE.
‘What is in common to all the above?’ I asked myself.
‘I haven’t been doing the right things,’ I answered and laughed.
I laughed at the thought that in the year 2025, a genius psychology professor from one of the world’s best universities might publish a boring book on anxiety (which becomes a bestseller, of course) with a simplistic conclusion that ‘We suffer from anxiety when we don’t do the right things for ourselves!’
I laughed at the thought that such a fundamental and obvious insight could be the pinnacle of academic finding.
That’s why: Let’s keep WRITING AND READING this way!
I’ve got to go write ‘do the right things’ and set it as my new wallpaper!