After the last two weeks, I have freedom from stress right now (as in how long for?), but as I went from ech (as in feh, yugh or blech) to nothing, I wasn't ecstatic just because the electrodes were removed from my testicles. I also seemed to get a rebound effect the next days when this happened where I seem to have expended so much energy over the previous week I am worn out and feel physically and mentally like shit instead of happy and relieved.
So with a basically free week ahead, and my kitchen finished a few hours ago (last missing bits) it is a start, but I need more. My health has been so ragged since the summer I reckon if all my energy was back and I had no panic attacks that would overshadow anything else that was absent on the positive side.
It's a lot better than it was of course, but I am testing my pills every few days as I have no idea which activity will trigger an attack till I'm there. The old pills almost took the tendency away, these are very different and are mainly targeted at physical symptoms.
Last week's review included a little work, gardening for my mum (which I enjoy) and my monthly accounts work. It was also still a little early considering the clocks went forward and I really felt I was up an hour earlier than usual up to two weeks afterwards. Then I did almost sod all for three days, I bought the third or fourth power supply in about 6 years for my radio and then realised the reason the last ones had blown is the ampage was way too low. I didn't unpack the new one so it's back to Surrey to get the proper one and hope it works. Otherwise I saw Manchester Utd wallop Arsenal on Sky TV, and sport coverage for four solid days (golf, rally etc) which was something.
Little this week beyond dull and boring chores not worth reporting, and predictability tells me 90% of what I usually expect happens as the routine is so fixed. Boring is the word.
I had one dream which provided a little insight to a few things so I'll both report it and its meaning to me. I have been struggling to think of a way to share a house, especially when my old one went on the market last week, and the dream involved asking a woman if I could move in, and she said yes and kissed me.
It was very realistic (pardon the font, I'll let the blogger system win this time), not that good but told me a few things about life. I used the dream to extend to imagining living with this woman, and realised if you can fantasise about anything you like and enjoy the fantasy, you aren't suffering from clinical depression. It's a good test. Clinical depression isn't affected by life. You could win a million pounds and get offered sex by Carol Vorderman you'd probably do it but feel exactly the same. But if even imagining anything like that clearly enough and finding it makes you feel happy means there's nothing wrong with you. You just have good reasons to be depressed that would depress most people.
I know enough people with lives much like mine who feel much like I do. Cause and effect. Every year buries the certainty deeper, and though we're not in prison we don't have a release date either from isolation, if at all. Isolation seems to appeal to some people from big or dubious families, and good luck to them. Just don't expect anyone to be there for you when you change your mind. There's an exception to every rule and just because a minority do the exact opposite to the norm means nothing to those who don't. 'I enjoy pain' or 'I like the rain' (sorry Sharon, but it was a good example!) won't make it feel any better for those of us who don't. Masochists do exist, but it's not recommended. As for the Buddhist 'end craving' I can add wanting the end of pain is not the same as craving pleasure. And what's wrong with pleasure anyway? Whoever made us gave us that bias and we aren't designed to override it.
I am not bothered about much in a material way nowadays as I've never done too badly on that front, but it is people I need. Just one or two special ones. Teachers promise (after 10-30 years of work minimum) you can become enlightened and not be affected, but what about all those years where you are almost guaranteed to be? Being told bias towards pleasure is an illusion is little use until it's already happened, in which case until then knowing it is of no practical use at all. How can you step outside of your nature? My yogi teachers agree, and ignore enlightenment for pleasure. My heart is split between the two, as I was recently told pleasure is step one on the ladder of enlightenment, implying enlightenment is beyond even pleasure itself, like being told about new colours you can't yet see.
Teachers can become stuck up their own arses. I have seen so many patronise and criticse students for daring to want to feel good. Telling them pleasure and pain are illusions is no different from telling someone who's depressed to snap out of it. Just because something in them snapped and they have a bypass of all the crap 99.999999% of the rest of us are stuck with doesn't mean we can all relate to it. I am referring to a hard core of teachers who appear to have used mistranslations of eastern languages and trying to convey concepts very different from what was probably intended. One simple example is concentrate on the tip of your nose. In fact it's the third eye point, translated from various languages to English, and some were expected to focus on the end of their noses as the teachers didn't have the basic theory to work out the meaning logically. If that got through imagine the other mistranslations that only challenging and questioning a teacher personally can get sorted out.
Otherwise you are pointed in some very odd directions and likely to go mad long before you are enlightened.
Nick Roach, being my current teacher (as in been through a few but not intending to keep looking), agrees with an approach I would take. If I became enlightened I'd find a simple method, work out how long it may take to work, and what to expect as it does.
Nick's means take up two lines (maximum) and writing hundreds of pages. Why? Because the mind wants to know why we are doing what he askes us to, and as soon as it finds a gap it feels like giving up. He has to plug as many holes in the mind as possible or our practice could give up purely from lack of trust in it. My old meditation works so drastically the first time for most people that's it. Unfortunately it can wear off or tail off and we stop through lack of time and patience. Nick's practice may not work quickly or obviously. It does work on trust and we need to know why it's better than what we were doing before. So every question that can be asked (plus a whole raft of my own) has to be written and answered or people simply won't believe it's worth the effort.
Well, I have in my head expected 90% of the week ahead, being mundane, relatively harmless, and totally free of joy. My dream could bring that person into my life (for she is a real and desirable one) and maybe I would have that joy if it did.
But a final note, I used to think 'If I had x/y/z I'd never have problems again'. I got x and y, not z or w, and as x and y took the edge off my problems rather than cured them, I no longer expect anything to have evn a short term effect on my life until it's happened. It's far better and more realistic except you can feel very happy imagining something nice even if it never happens. Now I am cured of expecting anything to be good until it is, I still expect other things to be bad. Only half way there, and need less time to worry about all that shit. I have to clear up mistaken thinking when I spot it, but all I do is find the next and the next. I'm getting to be too old to use it at this rate...