Sunday, September 25, 2005

Superficial Deep Thinking

Literary Fiction.
Sounds intellectual, don't it? I hear this statement said by many new authors. "My novel is Literary Fiction." I always thought that was determined after the writer was dead, and certainly not by the writer.

I've read many pieces of work that others term Literary Fiction. Some were actually good stories deeply covered by the authors frequent essays on life. The Picture of Dorian Gray was a good example. The story itself is timeless, but I became overwhelmed with fatigue at Oscars conversational essays on Victorian England, women, and politics in general. It's great if you're studying that time in history, and probably much more interesting. But, lets face it; Wilde was simply depressed.

I've been in writing classes where writers are under the impression that depression and despair are the only way to get in touch with yourself. To get 'deep'. Deep Thinkers. Emotionally deep. They were in touch with their inner self.

Happy people are seen as superfical. Shallow. Flighty. Ignorant Head in the clouds. Even selfish.

Happy people see the depressed as manipulators, martyrs, and selfish.

There is an element of truth to both.

Someone who is depressed is selfish, by nature. Their despair causes their thoughts to be consumed by their own pain. They spend so much time thinking on their despair, their feelings, their pain, they barely have time to think of anyone else. Brain chemistry is changed. Neural connections are lost, and depressive ones are made stronger. Depression is a tough thing to work though. I know.

Someone who is happy, by nature, must ignore certain aspects of life around them. The must turn a blind eye to injustice, poverty, the feelings of others, and even their own feelings. But, as you've probably already concluded; that's not real happiness.

Both are selfish states of being. Both have turned their mind so inward, so focused on themselves, their perpective on things around them becomes distorted. Depression doesn't have the monopoly on distorted thinking. Even happy thoughts can become distorted.

"I feel better when I have a cigarette."
"I can drive on one more beer."

If you'll click on a few of the links above, you'll see some of the thought distortions that can happen.

Everyone has thought distortions. It's hard not to. For some, the distortions become so severe, they affect every thought. That's when depression or mania sets in. But someone doesn't need to be in a clinically depressive and/or manic state to be consumed by distorted thinking. Even people who are borderline depressed, or just unhappy have many elements of distorted thinking. The distortions affect the persons perspective of themselves, the world around them, and the people around them. Even the people they are close to.

Anyway, as I read through many 'Literary Fiction' books, the elements of distorted thinking jumped at me from the page so hard, the books flew across the room. I did finish them, though.

Give me a good story, any day!

This weekend:
Yesterday, we went to Epcot. Yeah, we go there a lot. Why? We can.

Lastnight, my computer crashed. I was trying a system maintainence program, mostly to get rid of duplicate files. I tried everything on it, including the registry cleaner. Mistake. Couldn't even reboot. Luckily, us power-users are use to that. Didn't lose any files, program, or anything else except time. Got everything reloaded, and working again. Funny thing is; I learned how to do it listening to Kim Komando. Haven't learned anything close in school yet. Then again, I've only had one class toward this major, so far. We did our usual walks, and visited Sam's Club. Forgot the Melatonin. I hope the sheep aren't too busy tonight.

Some good links: These are some mental health links.

If you're really bad off (suicidal thoughts), this is a good site: Depression Resource, Have-A-Hearts Suicide Help. Visit that one, AFTER you've called the Suicide Hotline, on your cell phone, from Waffle House. Why Waffle House? 24 hour supervision, good food, good counselling, and you'll probably see the same people at the mental health center.

Self Help - Why pay for one? This one covers what most of the others say anyway.

Some Depression Assessment sites: One, two, three, four.

Better yet, get over your damn, stupid-ass selfish self, and go help someone worse off than you. You'll be amazed how quickly your perspective changes.

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