Swipe Left Face, Swipe Right Personality

Robot Brain

I know I’ve been talking about spending too much time in the virtual world and trying to find ways introduce myself to reality. But I really hate winter. I know it is not close to winter but I can feel it approaching quickly. Last year I was lucky and we had great weather through the end of October. I was still out riding my bike in shorts and t-shirt. I even pushed it an extra week by wearing a hoodie. It was not out of necessity. I had money in my Uber account and only had to pay the tip out of pocket.

Yesterday (Friday) it was cold and rainy which ended my streak of leaving the house for walks almost everyday for the past two weeks. The difference yesterday was I stayed home voluntarily. I still wanted some kind of interaction with another human but didn’t know what to do besides text and I do most of that in the morning. I don’t want to bother people all day and I have never been much of a texter anyway.

My reptile brain was making plans on how to get me drunk. Not really what I wanted to do. Luckily, I had another synchronicity Thursday. It was another in a series. Since I started a couple months ago trying to figure out how to stop the automatic negative thoughts I would think of a new thing I need to work on. Most times I googled, “How do I deal with [whatever], I would find I am already doing most of the right things already. Many of the techniques were had commonality and were logical so they were no surprise. Since I discovered I had no idea I had the criteria of perfectionists and that tied into why I drink, I’ve been hitting on some pretty lucky discoveries in the right place at the right time. [I got distracted] Last week found a webpage that helped me and it mentioned a book. I didn’t think I would be interested but on impulse I checked my app and put a hold on it.

Thursday morning I read another interesting article about perfectionism and fear of failure and learned it is very common among alcoholics. The book I put on hold was supposed to take 2 weeks but when I opened my tablet to text I had a notification the book was ready. I started listening to it and it wasn’t my thing but I still listened to the first chapter and it was about fears in general and ways to combat them. I’ve been working on that for a while and my anxiety has dropped to almost negligible levels. In the book she gave specific instructions to pay attention to the fears you have that day and decide if they are real. I did that and no, they are not. Yes, I have fears but they are created by my mind. It helped Friday to remind myself when drinking popped into my head to remember it is based on fear. It helped. It only took a couple seconds.

I had to find something to do other than sit inside doing nothing. I relented and went online. Again the groups I found were based around drinking and my brain would think, that sounds like a good idea. (Habitual thinking) There are a lot of groups held online but I’ve had a fear of Zoom and they handle privacy worse than Facebook. I’ve never used it. But I thought what would someone find out from my iPad? I text my family a lot? I finally downloaded it. The most popular Zoom group is a speed dating site based in Boston. That did not sound like a good idea to me. I’m not ugly but I’m not going to win many votes in a beauty contest. Then I saw they give you one on one with a person for two minutes at a time. I could just imagine, my face on a video screen trying to answer conventional dating questions as quickly as possible. How many times do I want to get rejected in an hour? I’m not even looking for a relationship, especially online with someone who lives an hour away. Then I saw it was for professionals. And it cost $25. Not going to happen.

I thought there has to be something. I saw something about, social skills and communication. Like an hour long lesson but I thought that sounds like it could be good for me. I’m good with conversation but with some people or certain situations I feel awkward and fall silent. Then I saw it was based on the teachings of Scientology. Okay, maybe I won’t do that. Still nothing else coming up on 7pm and boredom is another factor for me. I figured how much different could it be than any other lesson? Aren’t they basic skills you need to practice to get good at them? Would I dismiss it if it just because it was put on by a Catholic? I joined through Zoom and the first thing the guy started was talking about how much of a genius L. Ron Hubbard is and everything he says is true, etc… (Ugh) Then I noticed, this guy is not very good at communicating. The group started with 35 people and they were dropping out left and right.

I decided to see what happened. I don’t know what kind of genius this was supposed to be. He kept putting up a picture of a triangle and the three points were labeled, Affinity, Reality and Communication. He was explaining it like people had never heard the words before and repeating and he only got to the first two points and it was halfway through the hour. Basically, if you like someone and you share a common reality, such as you both agree the sky is blue, you will have an easier time communicating. Well, thank you very much! I put on the Red Sox, they lost and I went to bed. But my brain had stopped telling me it would be a great idea to take an Uber to a bar in Nashua. I guess it wasn’t a waste of time.

This morning I was up early and I had already seen there were online meditation groups. I didn’t think I would like it but I clicked “attend” on two of them. One was in Portland, ME with 7 people. I hit the link and it was on Google meet. Another app I don’t have. I might as well go all in. I downloaded that. It’s not costing me anything. I had no idea what Sahaja Yoga was and I was the first one there and the guy started asking me a few questions. I think I was the first new person to the group for a long time. It had to do with Chakras and I’m not really into it but what else am I going to do at 8am? He wasn’t doing a great job of explaining it and then showed a video of a woman with a dot on her head giving a speech. They were losing me and then totally lost me when the meditation was silent. I already do that when I’m alone. At least I lasted 45 minutes.

I started typing this post until the next one started at 9am. It was Sahaja Yoga too! They had the same chart on the wall with the Chakras but they only spent a minute on it and got into a normal guided meditation. This time my camera wasn’t on so I kept typing but it was nice to have the voice in the background. Then they started playing the same video as the last group! They lost me and I kept typing this until I heard my name… What? The woman was asking if it was my first time there and did I like it. I kept tapping to unmute the microphone but it wouldn’t and they almost gave up but I finally answered, Oh, yeah, yeah, it was great, thank you. (At least I made it all the way through the hour)

Oh well, it got me through the morning and my daughter will be picking me up soon. Maybe I will be spending more time online. I forgot all about winter. There are other groups they show me are pretty out there. One was about psychics talking to the dead and wanted $150? No thanks! Zoom is all across the world. I’m sure I can find something I am interested in.

The woman I told I couldn’t make it earlier this month in person sent me an email which surprised me. I didn’t think I would hear from her she said they also do an online empath support group. I had no idea so many empaths were struggling. I don’t believe in much mysticism and she believes in everything. Maybe I will watch. I never studied synchronicity but I know a little about it and I do have a lot of strong coincidences when I feel like I am on the right path. Maybe we will have that in common. I want to believe! Ha Ha.