The Philosophy of The Grum Reapur: Part 2
After coming out of the ward (without any further psychological help being offered) Brad decided he would stop drinking and didn’t touch alcohol for 4 years after this. In that time he distanced himself from the toxic people in his life and ended up meeting much better people, ones who would not shame the emotions that are part of his condition, who accepted him for all his quirks, including his wonderful partner of 8 years. With the support of these new friends and girlfriend he was able to begin putting the pieces of his life back together and really getting to grips with existence.
These circumstances meant that he was unable to work in a typical work environment and this made it hard to find a job and so he spent all his free time working on figuring out his condition and working on the things he was passionate about before the years of depression.
Figuring out his condition took a mixture of self-learning, therapy and many hours of introspection a day. He began learning about sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy and the human condition. Why do humans think the way they think and how far out of that frequency is his own thinking? This turned out to be the wrong question to ask and instead he found himself drawn to the harsh observations from the Greek Philosophical period in particular Stoicism, Cynicism and Existentialism.
“The most powerful thought I had was that we are as clay, we can start off as a grotesque pile and work ourselves into a beautiful sculpture. Notice the blemishes that we may have without judgement of who we are, in the knowledge that we are sculpting something new. We look at the clay for what we can make of it, not for what it currently is and we need to apply that sort of thought to ourselves, others, our lives and our careers.”
This is why the Stoic proverb mentioned in last week’s blog was so prevalent to him, all the negative responses he had to external stimuli were empowered by his very opinion of them. All he had to do was break apart the conditions that lead to the opinion and he would be able to overcome the issues.
“Did you know you can unlearn the act of riding a bike? If you get a custom bike that turns left when you try to turn right and vice versa you will not be able to ride it…at first. With a little practise each day you get slightly better until 18 months to 2 years later you will be able to ride that bike as well as you could a normal one. If you get back onto a normal bike you will struggle to ride it, most likely fall off and be incredibly confused. This means that whatever the conditions are inside my own head, the ones that lead to damaging coping mechanisms are just lessons that have been taught as I was growing up and as such I can unlearn these responses in order to replace them with the most optimum behaviour.”
That ends this week’s blog, to find out how this all came to a head be sure to checkout part 3.