You consider doing something (X). X is something you could do if you chose to, but not something do very often if at all. You would have to go out of your way to do it. You imagine what would happen after you do X. One of the results is something that would be dangerous or unpleasant (Y). You imagine that you would be scared or upset if Y happened. You can easily and reliably prevent this unpleasant thing Y from happening by not doing X. You don’t do X. You stop worrying about Y.
You remember what happened the last time you did something (A). You thought A was a harmless thing to do, and you did it almost without thinking, but then something else (B) happened because of it. B happened suddenly and unexpectedly, and it was very hurtful and/or scary, and you were terrified. Thinking about it now, you’re still terrified. What if you do A again by accident? And not only that, if something as harmless-seeming as A can make B happen, what if other things you do cause B to happen, too? You are constantly on alert to keep from doing A. You are constantly afraid of B.
Both of these things could be described as “learning from the consequences of your actions,” but they are not the same thing.
I’m going to continue my habit of posting something every day, but I’m not going to be doing it here. (I am going to try to post here at least once a week, though.) Fewer space-filling posts about my everyday life, more substantive posts, more focus on autism, anxiety, and sexuality things.
The big gap in posts in May/June is when we moved, the short gaps in August and September/October are when we had visitors. The gap in late October is when I was travelling to a family funeral. And the end of December was (is) my visit to my parents for Christmas. That’s a lot of gaps (even if for good reason) and there are also a lot more small gaps this year than last year.
I made 339 posts this year.
I intend to continue my goal of posting every day in the coming year, but I’m debating whether this is the best place to do it. I might make this blog more focused on autism and mental health things, and move the more slice-of-life stuff elsewhere.
I’m still feeling pretty mushy but the truth is I’ve gotten a lot done. I’m two-for-two on Important Emails, and I finished a work project despite a bunch of tech problems, and I also cleaned and organized a bunch of stuff around the house.
and I really just need to do as much work as possible before I go away for the holidays (though I’ll probably be able to do some while I’m on vacation) but I keep stalling out. I got a pretty good amount done today, honestly, but still not as much as I could have. The cats have finally kinda-sorta gotten used to the daylight savings time schedule, but Sparkly has been going to bed later and I’ve been staying up with em.
I think I’m going to be talking about this distinction (between “control a problem/prevent a threat” and “help a person” as basic premises for healthcare/government aid programs/etc.) a lot more, because often there’s a thing that happens where
I’ll hear about some new policy or whatever and go “Ooh, that sounds like bad news,”
and it’s not that the specific practical things it proposes to do are totally bad, some of them may even be pretty beneficial,
but if the tone, the mindset, the overall goal is “prevent these bad dangerous people from causing trouble for good normal people,”
that obviously makes me suspicious even if the actual plan is basically good.
I stayed up late talking with Sparkly. Mostly about music and college experiences, although we started off talking about different types of apartments and houses. Ey’s been watching interior design shows on TV lately.
I’m realizing that I really don’t undersatnd what distracts em vs. what helps em focus. We’re very different that way.
I literally didn’t give a second thought to “”self-diagnosing”” social anxiety (as a teenager, before I spent much time online, before I’d ever heard the term “self-diagnosis.”) It seemed pretty foolproof. I had anxiety about social situations: social anxiety.
But the more I read in-depth stuff by and about people with social anxiety, the more convinced I am that I acutally kind of don’t have it. I don’t have the same kind of anxiety about social situations that most people mean when they say “social anxiety”, anyway.
One of the big differences is, social anxiety is supposed to have “self-monitoring” as a big component– like, wondering how other people are perceiving you, what-iffing about negative ways you might be perceived, doing extra careful things to make sure people perceive you the way you want them to. And with the post about bars, I got to thinking about the fact that I do the self-monitoring thing sometimes (see the points about dancing), but I don’t really do it that much.
And when I do, there’s either an anxiety/shame snowball effect where I very quickly worry myself into total incapability, or it sort of dead-ends because I have no fucking idea how people actually perceive me, what I might be doing “wrong,” or what I might need to do to “fix” it, so I just exist in this state of tense balance/calm given-up-ness where I think I should probably be doing X, but I’m probably failing, but I’m going to keep trying to do X anyway.
I’m not smart enough to what-if during social situations (and I don’t really do it outside them either.) I’m not quick enough. I don’t have enough extra brain capacity. If I really start what-iffing, I stop talking (and probably start crying.)