learned-helplessness

Learned Helplessness

Thoughts.In the hundreds, thousands, millions… an endless, constant stream cyclones its way through my brain. When was the start of all this? The end? I don’t know. What I know is that, if I stop thinking, I don’t know what else I would do.

I wish for, one day, I would wake up and not have a thought hammer through my head. Actually, I had a day like that, some time ago when I was in Syria. I took with me nothing to sleep, and I woke up with nothing.

It almost felt like death, a sweet death that is. When our to-do basket is finally, truly empty. You’d not want to wake up.

I thought of those things while I was jogging. I thought of those things during three, probably four steps. I still had many steps to go.

“You need to change your strategy” my buddy Windspeed had said, just a few minutes ago. It resonated in my head, awakening other thoughts that have laid dormant for the past month. It woke up my uncontrollable – or seemingly uncontrollable – work train of thought. The coal has been lit. The wheels slowly turn on the spindles. The rail rings with the vibrations, shaking of the dust, alerting the little thoughts that have been asleep for miles and miles ahead.

Miles I would be jogging, along with the train.

It reminded me of a game called StarFox. It is a rail-shooter. Basically you pilot a plane and shoot enemies down, but you don’t have the full freedom to maneuver your ship. You could only do so within limited range – the game programming has control on where you’d go.

You can only do so much and you see the end coming.

This is learned helplessness.

Except I can’t turn off the game, press the reset button, or put in another cartridge. Maybe I could, but I’m too helpless to do it.

I’d tell Windspeed about it later.

On my desk at home I have lots of thoughts scribbled on paper everywhere. Post-its take the majority of the credit – they’re pretty short and sweet and to the point. I have more than five diaries, two of which got burnt and one got lost. Only two remain – one in the closet and one has two pages left. It is the most depressing, and thickest, of the bunch. It chronicled my time since 2003. That’s quite a list of thoughts, a love relationship which ended up as a love fucktagon, and some pretty amusing and terminally scarring events that took place. I flip through some of the pages and the only thing I could see there is that I have always had hope. Helpless and hopeful.

Self imprisonment.

But then again, what do you expect when people close to you accuse you of being a terrorist because you go pray? What do you expect when you had to drink water from the sprinklers and eat only in public events because you had no money (something mandatory for all expat students to go through)? What do you expect when you could count the number of “thank you”s over the past years on two hands and a foot? What happens when you feel alienated from your friends and family and the only solace you can find is in videogames, books, and a fluffy bunny? What do you expect when people are freaked out because you’re reserved, observant and smart? What do you expect when you become so stereotyped among people you know that any attempts to rectify the situation just fires back? What do you expect from someone whose first words were spoken when he was 3 years old, spent his younger years in a catatonic state?

A post-it stuck below the keyboard at home reads:

My name is Kinan Adnan.
Dear Samer, thank you.
Same7, sigh.
Jibneh, I have to go to Kal7a. Good fatteh.
Jarjous. Jar. Jajajaja.
Thanks for everything!
Out of milk. But you don’t drink milk! I might. I think.
Nice messenger.
Bad CAD. CAD cat bat fat mihmih.

In the office I have several post-its, most of them Fairuz songs with several IP addresses stuck in between. It is funny.

How many steps has it been now? 20? 30? This beach road is long. Funny, though, I am guided by this pavement. And in the end I would be stopped by the wall of the villa at the end of the road.

StarFox, railways. I need a gun to shoot things down. Or maybe I should just record these thoughts orally – through a recorder. I already write as much as I can but there is much more to say.

It is exhausting… my mind that is. It feels so helpless and challenged. It just wants to explode.

A nice gun would do. Beretta 9M is a good gun. Does wonders in Resident Evil.

But then who’d clean up the mess. I don’t have energy to start thinking down those lines.

I think I got to 50 steps now. I lost count. I will start counting again after the next lamp post.

It just occurred to me I had a dream a few years ago. I was walking on water – Hamza remembers this I am sure, I boasted about it a lot – and there was a presence behind me which I couldn’t identify. I started to run on the water – endless water everywhere. I was probably running from that thing, or something, I don’t know. I don’t recall now if I had a sense of purpose. I probably did, considering the rest of the dream. While running in the middle of the water, I jump, and the water splits apart. Just like the Moses thing. I fall down into that abyss, with plenty of waterfalls going down around me. I spin and twirl with it. I suddenly open my eyes, and I sprout six wings of light. Yes, an archangel. Or something. The water around me splits in billions of drops, which become rain to the city below. I fly over the barren lands with the rain.

I had the six-winged dream again, some time later, but I was flying over a multi-layered Dubai.

A post it on the speaker says:

Call Sandra. Siyan. Get book.

It hasbeen there at least 4 months and I even got the book, I think.

Almost there. I can see the wall.

Point blank. On the grass. Little mess. I don’t know what I am running from.

It is funny – today I wanted to get a new diary and write my first positive entry in a long time. I have progressed well in my reinvention plan. And my running with Windspeed has helped me a lot. I feel alive. I feel loved. I love my friends and family and life.

I just couldn’t find a good looking book with good quality paper. Yes, label me with OCD. I’m Monica! I dunno how Chandler found her hot. I think some people have fetishes for skinny ones. So anyway, can’t find a nice book to use as a diary.

Which is fine, I guess – 2 pages still remain in my old one.

I wrote them here instead.

 

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