Friday, March 25, 2005

There's this interesting thing in therapy, called a stress index. It's a level of.. well, change and upset in people's lives, things both good and bad. More things on the list that have happened to you within a certain time frame, the higher your stress index is.

Like most items of therapy and in fact modern psychology, it's kind of a nifty theory with not a lot of science behind it.

But there is an intuitive sense to it. Lately, and this is true likely for many, in these exciting days, it seems more and more happens to me, nearly before I can process and decide how to react.

Those near and far may know that despite not being the most social or the most... considerate of people, I have managed to accumulate a goodly number of people I care about, and care about me. Like most weakly correlated events, their crises tend to cluster. It seems now is another of those times.

Tonight I was treated to a conversation with my father, who has my brother effectively institutionalized in a wilderness therapy program, and is attempting to put my sister into rehab for various things. Then I got to miss my scheduled phone call with my lovely girlfriend, because I've been so behind on my work that I was struggling to get a document to my coworker Todd so he could get on with his tasks. Then, because an ex-girlfriend of mine had a nephew die, I took a phone call from her, which disintegrated into me attempting to console her and simultaneously explain that I have another girlfriend right now that I care about very much, and so on.

On the positive side, we had an investor kick a lot of money into our project, and prospects for the rest of the funding we need to scale up look very good. A respected man, Jeff Hawkins has started an AI company, another step in legitimizing the field I work in.

Honestly, I feel guilty that I'm not doing better. I just had a lovely visit with aforementioned girlfriend, and I am working on really interesting stuff. Also I'm pretty sure I'll be able to visit Crystal again next month, albeit for a much shorter, weekend length.

I should be doing awesome. But I'm working much below potential. It took me all of today to get ready to do something I thought would be over with this afternoon. I've been so distractable that I thought about raising my caffiene to self medicating levels, or even pulling out some of my strattera that I have from last year when I was indulging in the idea that I could be medicated to normalcy. But I'm pretty sure it wouldn't help much.

It's an unfair thing, to be so out of control of yourself. I can deal with every individual situation I'm in, and have come to conscious peace with all the various crises, at least shallowly. But the mere overlap in time has me stitching.

I remember when I first encountered the stress index, my first thought was that it was absurd that people would have an architecture that conflates both positive and negative things into the same heap. It's absurd and unfair. One ought to think that such things would rather behave like positive and negative integers, giving some kind of balance to a busy life full of positive and negative changes. But that is just the kind of strange apes we are.

So I sit and try to distract myself, and not think about the sleep I should be getting so I could get up early and do my work. Because I know I couldn't sleep anyway until I actually feel tired.

Which is about now, actually. Reflection always helps me feel tired. Another absurdity, but at this moment, a welcome one.

Cheers and sympathy, for everyone else out there scared of success, and Jeff Hawkins. Who is bringing the end of the world nearer with his filthy PalmOne money.

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