↑ comment by OrphanWilde ·
2015-10-14T15:22:20.922Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
At the start, I decided that emotions were holding me back, and that logic was the more appropriate path, and so sat down one day and destroyed my emotions.
Over the next few years? I graduated high school, then college, got a couple of low-level jobs, then a real job, which I've held since. Dated a few people, role-played a normal person in the course of my interactions with them.
My emotions weren't completely gone, over this period of time, but rather... remote, happening to somebody else. If they got particularly intense, I could observe my body's reaction to them - hands clenching in anger, for example - but I didn't actually experience them. The emotions were there, but the connection to my conscious mind was severed.
At some point in there, I read Atlas Shrugged, which convinced me that emotions were not, in fact, useless distractions from pure logic. I still wasn't experiencing them, but the absence was no longer desirable; at that point, it was neutral. Everything was neutral, really. That began the gray phase of my life.
I honestly don't remember much from that period of time. Nothing had any kind of significance. I worked, I dated, read books, played games. None of it particularly mattered; existence was a habit without importance. It wasn't unpleasant, because unpleasantness would have been something. I was told I was depressed. If I was, if I wasn't - didn't particularly matter.
Then I tried LSD. And... I had a day that wasn't gray. I appreciated the green color of the leaves on trees, the texture of the bark. Shrug So I decided I would prefer to live like that all the time, and started permitting myself to experience life again. Started taking Vitamin D, which kick-started the process.
Which began a rather dark period, as allowing myself to experience required confronting all the suffering I had avoided. The deaths of some people who had been close to me in my youth. An ex-girlfriend raping me, and before that with another partner, my first sexual encounters having been undesired, but my having not refused because I didn't care enough to. How inherently abusive many of the relationships I was in were, how dysfunctional the situation I had allowed myself to get into was. Admitting to myself that much of the past decade of my life had been a failure.
And then things got better, because the recognition that things were bad was the same as the recognition that things could get better, and so I starting making things better. I got out of the situation, and have started working towards the next phase in my life.
Replies from: polymathwannabe
↑ comment by polymathwannabe ·
2015-10-14T16:06:08.956Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
That's an amazing journey of self-discovery. I, too, had a period where I wanted to erase the parts of me that I found useless, but I didn't go as deeply Vulcan as you did. (You're the first person I've met who became more sensitive and overall nicer because of Atlas Shrugged.) I'm sorry to hear that you went through so many dark places during your process, and I find your final meditations on the meaning of suffering to be quite inspiring. You have my admiration.