Anhedonia means lack of pleasure. Normally someone with schizophrenia feels overwhelmed with either ideas or various stimuli. I definitely could relate to that prior to getting treatment. Some days felt like a million things had happened and once I started treatment I discovered that actually nothing had been happening at all. Before bed for example and while I tried to get to sleep my mind seemed to race with so many strange ideas. There were so many ideas that I could only pick out one or two and on closer inspection it was just noise. The noise was ideas like ‘you have a brother who is doing x’ so the fact that I don’t have a brother and have no idea what this idea is about was strange and kind of overwhelming. From a vaguely Jungian perspective you could say the contents of the unconscious are spilling over into consciousness. My ability to write stories seems to come from the fact that I dredge any old scenario straight from my unconscious. Anything is possible in the unconscious. Yet when you can’t stop it, it becomes overwhelming.

These days I do get pleasure from so many things. Such as from fine Chinese teas, classical music, reading, writing and painting to name a few. Though I still don’t get a lot of pleasure out of socialising. It isn’t that I don’t like socialising, it is just I can only do it occasionally rather than a lot. The reasoning is mainly that I enjoy quiet times listening to music and thinking. When my Taoist group was doing online Skype lectures I enjoyed that because it was a learning environment and so I could get something out of it and it was sort of social. One thing that is annoying about me is that I try to have an interesting conversation whenever I can, yet socialising is meant to be fun, not just about x or y. I can relax into the flow of socialising quite easily most of the time but alas I can find it boring if I do it too much. I can get excited by people’s projects and ideas but a lot of the time when socialising people want to forget about themselves and enjoy the moment. That of course is fair enough I suppose these days I just go with the flow in these social encounters and enjoy the company rather than get stuck into too much detail.

The other problem with having a mental condition is to read too much into events that are at best random. A lot of people have this problem even if they are classed as pretty much normal. I like to have an alternate scenario so I can feel that events have meaning even if they are random so I try to have both perspectives. For one I like to spiritualise events because that gives me meaning in my life. I want to understand some phenomena and events as meaningful even if they are open to interpretation such as being meaningless. I also understand that we use spiritual and other perspectives as a way to create meaning in a world that has very little to do with life forms. For example lightning, a process of particles that become highly charged sometimes hitting someone. There is the random event where a person is injured or killed by lightning yet there is the interpretation which isn’t to say the event isn’t random yet meaning can be applied to it and that depends on what you know or think you know. So I suppose what I am trying to say is that random events simply get meaning applied whether it is ‘random’ with random being just another meaning or it is ‘not random’ which is just another application of meaning. So whether you like it or not humans just slap meaning on everything even when they claim it is random because the idea of random is pretty loaded with meaning.

To conclude my musings I have really fallen in love with aged Pu’erh tea. What a pleasure to drink! I had it at my Taoist training pre lock down and I bought some the other day after we were allowed to meet again. It really is a great brew.

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