Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Still a bit down in sober towers

You tell lies thinking I can't see,
You can't cry because you're laughing at me,
And I'm down,
I'm really down.

Thank you Macca for that, very nice. Unlike Beatle Paul no-one's hurling obvious falsehoods around, or writing them on placards seeing as Paul reckons Miss Down-Causer (as we shall call this horrific slattern) thinks he can't see them. No-one's chuckling either; sniggering while they should be joining me in empathetic melancholy.

Yet still, I'm down. Yeah thanks Paul, you'll get paid mate don't worry - yeah, thumbs up yours too.

A bit melancholy me. I'm sure the reasons are the usual, which are too archetypal to bother listing again, and it, like all things (royalties for George!) must pass.

The atypical, and therefore interesting factors in this, of all the downs, are a bit of cognitive dissonance (I'm quite verbose tonight aren't I) and the fact that I feel more relaxed about it than maybe I should feel.

I'm probably misusing cognitive dissonance, but, never mind, it's a phrase I like so I'll go on merrily misusing it all I damn well like. I've been down the pub (orange squash) this evening and discovered I've been misusing winsome. I'd been saying my mate D liked winsome girls, thinking I meant rather wholesomely appealing women. D said he'd looked it up and it just meant pretty - I'm not convinced.

Cognitive dissonance though, I'm a bit stronger on. Down to D again. I gave him a book called The Psychology of Military Incompetence which he, an anarchist by leaning, has devoured and praises so highly that he's lent it back to me to try and get through it again.

Cognitive dissonance - which quite often afflicts our martial leaders so the book would lead us to believe - is an inability to cope with a change in circumstances which contradicts the plan of action. In the case of our generals it would appear this often leads to massive tragedy - sending troops to die futile deaths after an objective has become unreachable because the commander simply cannot accept failure is a possibility.

That sounds just like my favourite film, Paths Of Glory, an extraordinarily moving account of an episode in the First World War in which French troops are tried for cowardice for failing to take an enemy position against impossible odds. I get the feeling the First World War is filled with cognitive dissonance, and on Armistice Day it seems right to mourn all those who have died in war, whether the reasons have been given a fancy psychological name or not.

My cognitive dissonance is of a much smaller order with far lesser consequences, but I'm sure when I get round to reading this fascinating tome of which D is such an evangelist I'll discover that the outcomes for individuals with a touch of the old cognitive dissonance are Not Good Things.

So, I'm having trouble matching the man who tells his counsellor so brightly that he's going to do this or that, and the loathsome lethargist who spends most of the next day in bed or sitting, spliff paralysed, by a window or in joyless masturbation (apologies for the unpleasantness, I'm trying to be honest here).

The loathsome lethargist seems to be winning the battle at the moment, so, I've got to make sure he doesn't win the way.

In some ways I think I deal too easily with these dual personas of mine - and do occasionally worry that it could be a sign of a more serious mental health problem. With over-protective parents and terrible social anxiety I've grown quite the expert at appearing to be not what I am - oh, the disguises and deceptions I've played out. And, I think of this as quite natural, to the extent that I believe that if I'm not observed then nothing I do matters at all or has any consequences - at it's crudest level this is why I so often fall apart when Mrs CD is away. There is no reason to appear kempt, clean, engaged.

And, as I said, I feel quite relaxed about this, it's another routine in which I can hide, like not going to the doctors if I can't get there by noon, like always walking the same way to the Community Addiction Unit, like always going there before anywhere else, like always listening to Radio Four on my headphones as I go to sleep and countless, countless others.

Something to be thought of there. And, something to be challenged: my weapons? Well, I'm awaiting my three book prescriptions on self-esteem and if I start to believe I matter then there will be motivation to look after myself, enjoy myself even - God, that would be good, I miss enjoyment and it comes along so rarely now.

Perhaps, as my other two bestest imaginary friends say, I should turn off my mind, relax and float down an octopus's garden in my yellow submarine?

Now, there's a thought.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

Cardiff Drunk.

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