My biggest fear is the fear of the supernatural. I am deathly afraid of ghosts, spirits, demons, and even angels. Well, it is probably the fear of possession more than anything else. It’s the same idea that people are not afraid of heights, but rather that they are afraid of falling. It’s an irrational fear as I do not know anybody that has experienced possession, and anybody that tells me they have, I would immediately label them as a sociopath. Yet, it was a large enough fear for me that I attributed a lot of my drinking to dealing with “intrusive thoughts” about the supernatural. The analogy I used to describe these thoughts was that they were like pop-ups on the internet. Unwanted thoughts or messages that I kept having to “close” whenever I was attempting to watch a video on por… Er, looking up something extremely important on Wikipedia. These thoughts came mostly at night when I was trying to sleep. An example of one of them would be, “there are demons in this room right now.” Shut the fuck up, thoughts. *Closes pop-up.* Drinking relieved me of the anxiety surrounding these thoughts and gave me the liquid courage to deal with them. When I would get enough liquor in me, my thinking would turn into, “Satan doesn’t exist anyway, and if he does, he’s a fuckin’ pussy.” Sleep eventually came easily. However, booze warps the mind, and the problem continues to get worse when having to deal with them sober. What am I going to do? Put a pint of whiskey down every single night just to sleep? I mean, that’s what I did anyway, and it didn’t *actually* help. So, how do I deal with them now? This can be comforting or scary, depending on how you look at it, but here is what I know now that I didn’t know then: Every single thought we’ve ever had is a pop-up. Not just the intrusive ones.
The average person has more than six-thousand thoughts per day. If you’re like me and you’re in your head constantly, it’s probably way more than that. If, by chance, there was a log of all my six-thousand thoughts of today, about four-thousand of those would be “COUNT THE HEADLIGHTS ON THE HIGHWAYYYYYY!” “Tiny Dancer” was in my head all fuckin’ day. Great song. Anyway, I did not voluntarily think that line four-thousand times. As a matter of fact, I was trying to do everything I could to get it out of my head. Well, what’s the difference between that and some stupid thought about pussy-ass Satan? Nothing. It’s just that our brains scan all six-thousand thoughts of the day, and we latch on to the ones that make us feel something. Good or bad. I’m pulling the following numbers out of thin air, but I probably take four or five thoughts with me into the next day. Four or five thoughts out of six thousand. You’re on the internet trying to find a charity to donate to, definitely NOT heading to xv.., and a pop-up catches your eye. Maybe just for a brief moment. You remember that one, though, and not the twenty-seven other pop-ups you had already closed en route to depositing more money into Bov.. I mean, depositing money into the Barstool Fund. I can’t plan out what I’m going to think for the day. It just happens, whether I like it or not. Here is a horrible example of being in complete lack of control of our own thoughts, but if you say you haven’t done this as well, you’re just lying. You see a guy on his bike about a quarter of a mile in front of you while driving. “Oh my God, I could totally wreck this guy’s entire life if I swerved into him.” But you don’t do it. You thought it, but you didn’t do it. Why? Fortunately, our brains have built-in virus scanners, and those types of thoughts are undoubtedly a product of a virus. We just remove them from our system. Obviously, some viruses are harder to remove than others. Is it scary or comforting how close our brains are to computers? In this context, I would imagine it comforting.
Everything we see, read, or hear is like installing a new program on our computer. When we read a book on, I don’t know, emotions or something, files on emotions get stored onto our “computer.” If and when in conversation the topic of emotions comes up, we run our metaphorical “file scanner” and see if we have anything on emotions. Then, we just say that. I’ve seen and heard people deal with small talk in my life. Usually, somebody just goes, “That’s interesting. Okay, well, I have to go. Bye.” Now, I just do that when somebody loses my attention. You might be thinking to yourself, “Well, yes, but I have my own spin on certain topics or interactions.” No, you don’t. There is just more shit installed onto your computer. Some programs are good for your computer, and some are bad. Installing and keeping the good programs and removing the bad ones is the task at hand here. Control Panel-> Add/Remove Programs -> Remove Alcoholism.exe. Or pride.exe, ego.exe, over-eating.exe, or whatever the case.
Then, we hear people talk about what we control vs. what we don’t control. Lol. (So unprofessional. But seriously. El, oh, fucking El.) We aren’t even in control of what we think. All we really can control is which messages we decide to latch onto that our sent to us by our.. brainputers. I’m not even really sure that we can control that, but I think it’s probably better to delude ourselves. Ah, yes. The question of free will and whether or not we have it and I meet again. The truth is that we probably don’t have free will. But fuck that. For you and I, that can’t be the truth. We have to reject that truth. What is “the truth,” then? I’m manipulating the word here, but the truth for us is whatever keeps us moving forward as a species and as a society. If the truth is that we do not have free will, then that is not the truth, even though it is. Which it is. But it isn’t. Wait! CLOSE THE FUCKING POP-UP ALREADY! CONTROL, ALT, DELETE! CONTROL, ALT DELETE! RESTART! SYSTEM RECOVERY!
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