Posts Tagged ‘natural high

07
Jul
09

Peace Of Mind

Running on an inclined treadmill for several minutes now, I struggle to catch every next breath while trying to keep my knees from buckling. Just one more minute and I’m done. At this point – lungs burning and screaming for air, heart pounding and begging for repose, legs tiring and starting to cramp – my oxygen-deprived mind is as clear as it can be.

That was an almost-daily scenario for me a few years ago. In its own way, the act of running even on a treadmill seemed to give me the illusion that I was able to run away from my problems and responsibilities. And then during that last minute right before the timer slows the belt to a cool-down walk – that whole minute when I’m gasping for air – there’d descend a rare peace of mind, a serenity even better than any tranquility attained by the bottle.

I guess when you’re fighting for your life or at least fighting for the next breath, every other thing pales beside colorless oxygen, and every other thought gets drowned by your muffled cry for air. And as endorphins are released into your oxygen-starved brain, it’s one of the best natural highs a person can experience. Too bad it only lasts a short time and takes too much trouble to achieve. But it’s worth it.

14
Jun
09

Getting High

(First published in July 2008)

I just had a three-mile run and a quick shower, and the endorphins are still kicking in. Runner’s high, they call it. Now I’m sitting in front of my PC trying to update my blog and hoping to get a “writer’s high”. And should I fail to get the creative juices flowing, there’s a bottle of Scotch sure to give me a real kind of high every time.

But then again I would not be able to write anymore tonight because whatever little artistic inclination I have automatically gets flushed out the moment alcohol enters my veins, and it only makes me want to watch youtube music videos instead. I’m no Edgar Allan Poe.

I remember this book titled The Artist In Society – Problems and Treatment of the Creative Personality. The author, a psychiatrist, explains that contrary to popular belief that artists are more creative when depressed or neurotic, they are actually unproductive in states of depression and poor psychological health because the mental energy and emotional discipline needed to create are absent.

He further illustrates the subtle difference between the artist and the psychotic when both are in the state of withdrawal: the former uses isolation to focus energy into creative activity while the latter merely dissipates incoherent energy.

The book did not mention anything about artists getting drunk and what effect that would have on their creativity. Speaking only for myself as an artist-wannabe, I think it’s a bad idea to drink if you want to write, paint, sculpt or compose, because aside from messing up your mind’s focus, alcohol already gives you the high that you would normally get from creating. There is no more incentive.

Now some people might argue that if one can get high on alcohol – and alcohol gives a very reliable high – why spend time and mental effort writing or painting just to get high? Well I guess the natural high that comes from making a work of art is always healthier and lasts for a much longer time. And it also gives a high to those people who appreciate your art. In the movie Wonder Boys where Michael Douglas is a writer and his girlfriend is a voracious reader, Douglas says, “She was a junkie for the printed word. Lucky for me, I manufactured her drug of choice.”

Wow, isn’t it every writer’s dream to find a girl like that?

14
Jun
09

4am

(First published in January 2007)

It’s four in the morning. When I sleep early at night I usually end up waking at dawn and unable to get back to sleep until morning. This is why I try to stay up until 11 pm at the earliest. But last night I didn’t, hitting the sheets as early as nine, and this is what I get. And this is what you get – a rambling blog from a rambling dazed guy fresh out of dreamland.

Cold water tastes great at this hour. Well maybe that’s because I had some beer yesterday afternoon, and they say that alcohol causes dehydration. Water’s really good now. Ahhh.

Had a great weekend. Well maybe a little too much fun for my own good, but it was really good. It’s not everyday that you get to connect to another human being at a very genuine level.

Recently I’ve begun to notice more and more that people tend to do things in pursuit of happiness, silently working for their dreams. Before, I used to think that people are lazy and would just settle for whatever is fun and convenient at the moment. I used to believe that people are self-destructive by nature, and that it takes a lot of work and courage to be otherwise. Now I believe differently. Yes, people are self-destructive sometimes, but now I’m beginning to believe that this is not innate in their nature, but rather a result of disappointment.

Junkies never really quit; they just find another high: love, sex, the adrenaline rush in sports, deep satisfaction from work, a new addictive hobby. But if these things no longer give satisfaction, they become junkies again.

I believe we’re all junkies, though we don’t all use drugs. We are addicted to certain things – love is perhaps the most common – and we suffer withdrawal symptoms when they are taken from us. And so we either try desperately to regain that love, or we become obsessed with other things just to survive the depression. Typical junkie.

It’s 5 am now, and I’m beginning to feel that sleep is calling me. Tomorrow is another day. innerminds inner minds




Attempts at uncovering the underlying simplicity beneath apparently complex concepts as well as the core complexity within seemingly straightforward issues

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