Avoidance and Angry Dogs

I have angry dogs in my head.

That’s how my internal voice manifested in therapy. (This recent post details where these angry dogs came from and what they sound like, without using the dog imagery.)

It’s interesting, because the angry dogs in my head have little to nothing to do with how I react to real dogs in real life, but I’ll get to that later.

All day, every day

Having angry dogs in my head means my goal in life on a day-to-day basis is to escape or avoid those headdogs.

The easiest way to avoid the headdogs is to hyperfocus on something else. Anyone who knows me well (not many people) knows I’ve always been good at obsession. If I can find something external to obsess about, or just get into in a really intense way, I’m capable of wholly ignoring the headdogs’ rage. It’s not that I don’t hear them, or that they’re not there anymore; it’s just that I can face away and pretend they don’t exist for a while.

The easiest ways to avoid the headdogs are activites that lend themselves to the exclusion of any minor thoughts, e.g. video games, books, television and movies, even writing sometimes. When you’re into a really good story, the kind that suspends disbelief, your real world fades into the background. I seek that fading action constantly.

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Pride?

What’s one thing you’re proud of?

(LYL again.)

I’m proud of my son, but he doesn’t really count. All of his accomplishments (at a whopping one year of age) are his own, not mine.

I’m proud that I’m still alive, but that’s fraught with so much negativity beneath the positive, that it seems unhelpful to dwell on it.

I’ve finished three post-secondary schooling programs and I should be proud of those, but I’m not really. It’s not that they weren’t challenging, but it’s more like if I start something, of course I’m going to finish it. The reason I’m not proud of them is because I feel as though I’ve done nothing with them, because I went into them in order to move past them, but in the end, I never did move past them.

This is going to sound ridiculous to the vast majority of people, but I think as far as accomplishments go, I’m proudest of my time leading a raid group in World of Warcraft. I had to be organized. I had to follow a schedule. I had to do research. I had to communicate with people. I had to resolve conflicts. I had to make hard decisions and stick by them. I believed in what I was doing and, while both enthusiastic and apprehensive at the time, I enjoyed it every week. I also actually believed I did a really good job both while it was happening and after it was over. The group accomplished a lot with me at their head, and came out victorious over some really tough struggles.

It helps that it all came to an end under circumstances that were out of my control. I didn’t regret it coming to an end because of that, as opposed to most things I start out being proud of that I then regret choosing to put a stop to. I would have liked it to continue, sure, but it was just one of those things.

I felt most in control of my self when living a vicarious life. Go figure.

Danger to Myself

The title to this is probably more concerning than it needs to be. I’m not writing about a concern here. I’m being analytical about how I’ve ended up in the place I’m in mentally. It’s going to be far from pleasant, but any concern is also far from immediate. If you want to read that analysis, please continue.

Continue reading Danger to Myself

Netflix Series Review: Atelier

I’m not a huge anime fan. (This review is not about anime, but this explains why I ever watched this show in the first place.) I’ll watch what floats to the top of the best of the best lists, and occasionally take a dip into the weirdness that lurks below the surface. Usually those dips make me recoil and avoid returning for a long time. Recently, however, I got tugged in by a couple of new slice-of-life genre anime series. I loved the echoes of a place I’d seen as though in a dream years ago. I loved the way the characters seemed like believable real people. I loved noticing the ways cultures differ and separate that are completely invisible in the fantastic and giant robot genres.

So when Atelier drifted by my Netflix recommendations, I thought I would give it a try. In addition to the slice-of-life Japan trend I was following, I enjoy giving Netflix brand Netflix series a try. There are hits and misses, but the very quality of that variety feels worth the effort. I didn’t even know there was a Netflix Japan.

Atelier is very slice of life, wonderfully so. While on its surface, Atelier is about a young woman’s first job being at a custom-made lingerie boutique, at its core, Atelier is about creativity, art, beauty, and the trials and tribulations of discovering and chasing one’s passion. And those are all things I really needed to hear about, so I’m ever so glad I discovered this show.

Despite having a tried and true coming-of-age theme, the secondary characters are what make the tale being told truly compelling, especially the enigmatic and intense boss, Mayumi Nanjo. The more we learn about her, the better the show gets.

Again, this isn’t going to be a broad recommend, because I can’t picture most people enjoying this kind of story. But I adored it. And if you’re looking for something with a softer pace and a heartfully beautiful story, this is it.