“i” meets “I”

This entry was inspired from a post by talented Mrs Ray.

And it is part of my introduction to the “imaginary numbers”. I love their philosophy since they have that title opposed to the “real” numbers.

Suppose there is a problem in maths… Something you can’t solve. Or, better yet it is impossible to solve. The healthier approach would be “ok, can’t do this, lets go out for a drink”.

But in my “modest logical mind” there is another approach. I have no idea if its healthier and since it is mine I suppose it is not. But It is fascinating.

You invent something. In the title posted by Ray you “invent” a number that does not exist and you name it “i”. The basis or imaginary numbers. This number is special because it has a quantity that is impossible in maths. The square root of dear old “i” is minus 1. And this is impossible. But you assume that it can be done since you must continue and base all your theory in that tiny quantity.

This is an “axiom”.

An axiom or postulate is a statement that is taken to be true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning and arguments. The word comes from the Greek axíōma (ἀξίωμα) ‘that which is thought worthy or fit’ or ‘that which commends itself as evident.’

The second step to that give that “i” a reason of being. Give him characteristics that worth building an entire theory on him. I’m not going to bore you with fancy maths trying to be smart and distant. It is not my point.

And the third and most important step is strip “i” from its original quantity, give him an everyday use, let him compete with real numbers and see how does it do.

And there’s the magic of “imaginary”. It blends with “real” and it works. In most of the times it works better because it has that certain quantity that allows it to get a bit further than its adversary. It is more useful in “radical” and “outside-of-the-box” thinking since it lacks the boundaries or “real”.

Sometimes this is how the “I” works.

When facing some tough or impossible situation, it stops, it seizes and the it reinvents itself. This time with a quantity that wasn’t there before. A quantity that seems impossible at first. But necessary to get over the wall that is placed opposite of it. The wall that was impossible to get over.

And when that wall is behind at las (most of the times it doesn’t even realize that the wall is not there anymore), the “I” still works.

And if we’re lucky and we can come in terms with the process and not just “go out for a drink” we can see it works better.

I can see the wall.

I can see the new “quantity” given to me.

I can’t decide if the wall is no longer there.

to be continued

Enjoying?

Took a look at my cell-phone. I tried to reassure my self that my only motive was just to check the time. But as easily as I can lie to other people and hide myself in plain site, it seems I can’t lie to my-self.

Or can I?

I’ve been siting in this table for a bit more than an hour. It wasn’t crowed when I came in, now it is. After all it’s the 14 of February… Despite being Tuesday, there are people that still want to go out and enjoy themselves.

So the million dollar (or euros in my case) question is: Are you outside, sitting alone in front of your laptop writing these lines and “enjoying yourself”?

Since I can’t lie to myself and thus can’t lie to you, the truth is I don’t like myself the past couple of months. Or perhaps I’m just tired of me.

On there other hand I’m going to use my “writing” skills in order to transfer you here. After all isn’t that what us “writers” do. We mentally project an image to the “readers” out there. My images are dark and gloomy but they are still images nonetheless.

So lets say you just walked in here.

It’s about half an hour past seven in the afternoon. It’s 14 of February. It’s a coffee-bar, one of the most visited here. It’s well decorated, one can say Indie or even hipster. After all it is a rock bar. White walls with black and white drawings. Music is not loud since it is early and you can hear the buzz of the voices of the people in here talking. If you concentrate hard enough you might even follow their conversations. And imagine to participate.

Most people are males, in companies of three or four. Only two couples, a young one both with cellphones in their hands and an elder one which is actually talking. And holding hands.

A bit far in the corner is dear old me. In front of my laptop. If this was Facebook or another social media (junk), it would be the time for a selfie. With a sophisticated look hidden behind my black and white hipster glasses. And perhaps a hint of a dark smile (no colors, remember?)

But no thanks. I prefer the anonymity of my writings and the mental image you might have in your head. A mental image of me, if any. Would help a bit though…

Grey hair, hipster haircut and (of course) a beard. Black T-shirt with the cover of a band’s album (a place to bury strangers – exploding head) and B&W glasses as you might have already imagined. An earring in the helix of my left ear and a tattoo (saying “it is ok to break” in tengwar) on my left arm, covering some scars.

That’s me, the unconventional alternative math professor/amateur dj/writer. With bipolar mood swings, currently in one of my lowest lows.

Hiding behind my laptop, writing. And mentally transferring images.

I don’t like me, others may like me, I suppose. But currently I have to live with myself. I’m not doing my best but I’m trying. Perhaps I lie to myself and I enjoy this dark romantic, self destructive image that I project.

But right now I’m tired.

And I need to smile.

And taken care of.

Or perhaps start anew.

don’t know if I’m enjoying my self

The Grey Monster

Some people would say Mondays suck. It’s the start of the working week, it marks the end of the weekend hence the start of the loop work – home – work.

On the other hand, Mondays mark a beginning. I suppose many of you out there had started a sentence, or several sentences such as “I will start doing … on Monday.” But there is another point of view.

The grey monster.

This is the way I see my condition. A way to rationalize it, to separate it from myself.

I watched a movie past weekend called “Daybreakers”. Nothing fancy, just the end of the world, vampires and some poor humans suffering.

But it had a certain point of view that was unique. When it was night-time and a vampire was there, the movie was black and white. When it was daytime (rare) and a human was there, the movie was in color.

One can give a reason for the director using this technique, or many.

Vampires=Soulless monsters=No colors=No feelings… etc.

But it is not my point. After all, meaning is for each and everyone to give, regardless of its existence. Something like “Schrodinger’s Cat”, it’s either there or it isn’t,  depends if you want to give a meaning or not.

I want, but that’s for another entry.

My point is the “greyness”. An entity that’s inside me, consuming colors. Feasting on feelings and pleasures. Replaces everything with shades of grey. So I can’t differentiate time at work from time with friends. Time to rest and time to spend doing maths. Time alone and time with my son.

All feel the same. All seem the same. No sense of continuum or purpose. No sense of rest. Just time after time after time.

That’s what my “Grey Monster” does. Devours colors, feelings and purpose. Takes away meaning.

So either Monday or Friday, it makes no difference.

Just emptiness…

Void.

don’t know if I can continue.

L.

Only lovers left alive

It seems like ages ago…

I have seen your “things I want to have above all else”. But it was this Christmas. The OST from the Jim Jarmusch movie “only lovers left alive”. I can still remember the conversation, our conversation…

“Please watch the movie, you will understand the way I feel about you”.

And I did.

You said “You’re the Adam to my Eve. You’re the black and I’m your white. Please remember that”.

And Adam in that movie ordered a gun. And Eve in that movie came and took the gun from his trembling hands. And saved him.

And now I need you. I can’t deal with this alone. There’s no point in knowing there is a light out there if it can’t shed some light in my darkness. I don’t see your love if I know you’re far away. I need it here, near me. All the stories, all my stories that start with the sentence “I need some space” end with a mathematical certainty at me being alone. And empty. And this time I think I won’t have the strength to get up again.

And now, as if amazon is mocking me, the parcel containing the vinyl of the OST just got delivered to my door.

And your birthday is in thirteen days.

And I have no idea what to do.

Tame your demons

I read a post of a fellow blogger/co-sufferer a few days ago. A brutal one. Talking about suicidal thoughts and how they effect our lives. So…

Last Thursday I tried to kill myself.

Being with this “state of mind” for many years and riding the roller-coaster of my troubled mind I know that suicidal thoughts are on the menu along with two oranges after my training or cereal for breakfast. But this time it was different. The thought became reality.

A reality that was permanent.

A universe of certainty in which I had no place.

In which I didn’t belong.

In which everything would be better if I didn’t existed.

In which my absence was justified.

All seemed logical and all made sense. There was a mathematical certainty in my mind that my most precious “cause and effect” rule applied. And in mathematics there are no grey areas. There’s only right and wrong. Black and white. And since my black was measurable and had a “true” value only one thing was missing.

Action.

There’s no point of details I suppose. The fact that I’m blogging about this means that either the wi-fi of Hell inside my mind has an excellent signal all the way to the afterlife or that there was a mathematical glitch in the universe that I don’t exist.

And believe me… I know my maths.

Lets not discuss about my options. Lets not get in an endless discussion of medication, therapy, loved ones and afterlife. We’ve all been there and we know that the spotlight mostly doesn’t care about punishment for taking your own life, doesn’t measure the pain we will inflict on others… It cares only for lighting the “no other way out” sign.

Instead lets focus on that darkness whispering. Perhaps we could see that certain of its attributes gives us something that other people lack. That would be different to each and everyone of you. But I think you all know what I mean.

For me is a better use with words (I dare not say writing), an understanding of maths and an affection for everything that is dark and gloomy. Something that distinct me from everyone else. The darkness whispers false words but on the other hand, darkness is us. It is a part of us.

It’s not the better part of us and some of us would absolutely say “I can live without the darkness if it means I get to live”. I couldn’t agree more. If that was actually an option. In my mind it is a bit different. At least for the past couple of days. Perhaps it’s the creative part of us. Perhaps it’s some sort of twisted compass that points to a direction. A weird self-destructive direction. Will follow it for a bit and let you know.

“All you have is your fire
And the place you need to reach
Don’t you ever tame your demons
But always keep them on a leash”

to be continued

The Kindness Of Strangers

More than a week has pasted since my first entry in here. I try not to think about it as a blog/social media rampage of likes and followers. An endless self consuming pursuit of “look-how-handsome-and-clever-I-am”.

Instead it is a journal and a self-exploration and a healing process. A conversation with oneself about one’s deepest and scariest things that dwell in one’s mind. A search for a light (or lights) that might lead somewhere bright and sunny.

Or at least … some light. And I really need it.

I know (we all do) that there are simple answers to our questions, answers such as:

  • “It’s all in your head, there’s a spotlight that amplifies what to feel to the tenfold”.
  • “Try to find the light wherever you can and acknowledge it for what it is.”
  • “Share with your loved ones”.
  • “A therapist in addition with the right medication can improve things”.

I suppose there’s no need to go on. We’ve all been there. We all know that feeling, despite the difference in our condition.

So we all know the feeling of despair, emptiness and darkness that makes us numb and self destructive. That forces us to stay in bed and do nothing. That makes us walk around in circles not ready to face the “nothome” reality of our home. That urges us to get lost in crowded bars, lonely between other people. That drives us to get connected with wrong people, just to get a reassuring word and a touch that in our troubled mind says “I care“.

I need not go on either I suppose.

But being here among you BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE taught me another thing.

We’re not alone, or if I can rephrase it with one of the most beautiful comments that I have read, “let us be alone, together“.

Anonymity is also a blessing in which we can talk without being judged.

There are people out there that suffer as you do and within their suffering they still find the strength to offer a hand and say “I’m here, I can relate”.

They care and they read and they comment and they share. So we all can continue sharing. And we all can continue being. And we all can see our suffering from a set of fresh eyes and say “I can continue”.

I thank you all you beautiful people.

and the most important thing…

MY BOY THANKS YOU ALL.

to be continued

Meaning?

It was more than a week ago, along Christmas holidays. No reason to write about the endless loop of despair and self doubt my mind was swimming with joy, most of you know that exact feeling.

As a sentimental (and romantic perhaps) move I bought along with my newspaper and two books a toy figurine of Wolverine, sharp claws and all, ready to defeat bad guys and save the day.

Though I felt like “Logan” in the latest of the wolverine sequels, I tried my best to sound a bit optimistic and send the following sms…

“There is a gift that I bought for you, something silly and meaningless perhaps but it meant a great deal to me. You will find it at the windshield of my car, it is parked just outside my house, you can’t miss it. It is there to protect you when I’m lost in the dark corners of my mind and I can’t help you myself. Love L.”

Three hours later, when my class ended I passed with my motorcycle outside my house. The Wolverine figurine was still there covered with snow. I turned on my cell-phone and read…

“Sorry babe, I just saw the sms. What were you talking about?”

No trusting my mood and my mind I didn’t reply and let it the incident get lost in some dark and dusty corridor along with other thoughts of despair, loneliness and self doubt. Took the figurine and left in somewhere in the chaos of my working desk.

This Friday afternoon, in a break between classes, my phone rang. It was my son, he was waiting with my parents at my house (it is my weekend with him).

“Thank you so much dad for the gift, found it on your desk.”

Puzzled, I tried to remember what gift was he talking about.

“I love wolverine, waiting for you to come home and play with me.”

Tears flood my eyes, feeling both an inadequate and a blessed father at the same time.

???

to be continued

 

Self Doubt

No kickboxing training yesterday evening. No endorphins either, so less light this morning than yesterday morning. Have to take a mental note and learn how long the endorphin effects last.

A beautiful mind is multitasking, seeking knowledge wherever it can. (applause please).

Didn’t want to go home either yesterday, so I took my books, my notebook and pen and my earphones (a must have if you wanna isolate yourself) and went to a crowded bar, one that I’m DJing from time to time.

Bipolar entertainer (applause again please).

Sat on a table far behind (labeled as “my office”, I use it quite often when I don’t want to go home), arranged my chair so I don’t face the interior but a wall with a black and white picture of James Dean, took out my “Advanced Calculus” and my notebook and armed with my earphones and a storm of loud grunge music I tried to get lost in my haven of maths.

Usually the complexity of maths followed by the inevitable outcome of  certainty that it provides made my mind feel “right”. The “cause equals effect” is something that gives meaning to my otherwise meaningless existence.

But yesterday it didn’t.

You’re bipolar you may add, you’re THE definition of “sometimes-things-work-and-sometimes-they-don’t”.

It’s not quite that simple. I got lost in my haven, I did find a safe place within Bolzano and Fermat. But occasionally i got out, checking my smartphone for notifications and messages, as if I wanted some sort of confirmation from other people. And of course some acknowledgment from my “better half” that I matter.

I’m not a social media junkie, I know that there are no friends in google+ or Facebook. But this thing that I’m doing right now… Blogging?

This is my first try to reach out from anonymity to strangers suffering as I do and get a smile, a comment and soothing word. But is it another rapid-hole that Lewis Carroll (bipolar mathematician and a next-door genius) would absolutely love?

Will have to get back to you on that too (seems that things that I’ll have to “get back to you” are pilling up). Share your thoughts if anyone can relate.

DOUBTING

to be continued

Change

Had a really hard time getting out of bed today. Though I did promised myself I would. Tried to change some thing in my daily routine hoping I’d feel better.

Kickboxing training seems to do the trick, for the time being that is.

My kind of work demands afternoon working hours, so I thought to myself that a workout at 9.00 in the evening perhaps would be possible.

Make a mental picture of a bipolar in his hypomanic mood doing workout in the morning, I almost exhausted myself to death!! So at the time being and due to my long depression mood, I tried evening work out.

So out of my working outfit (black t-shirt, jeans and converse all stars) and in to my workout outfit (black t-shirt, sweatpants and converse all stars). Yay, my inner child is still alive!

Felt a bit ridiculous at first, marching up and down, fists up and punching an imaginary opponent. Luckily my mind was numb from doing maths for 8 hours and the known to us all “you-don’t-belong-here-you-don’t-belong-anywhere-you’re-all-alone” feeling didn’t kick in.

Instead endorphins kicked in. And I pushed myself harder and harder. Seemed like the dark fog that painted everything with dark and gloomy shades of grey, was lifted for a bit. I’m not gonna lie and say it felt great, when black is the only color you see for the most of your life, other colors fail to be recognized.

But it felt different and different was ok. Perhaps different was welcome too.

So I continued till my trainer told me to take some breaths. I asked her to let me strain myself a bit more and she did.

And when I returned home (or nothome, depends how you look at it) I was exhausted but I still felt different. And after a shower I did manage to sleep for 5 hours straight and that was different too.

And now I have something to look forward to at the end of my day.

Don’t know if it will last but the fact that I’m here writing about it and perhaps some of you out there can relate makes getting out of bed a bit easier. Any thoughts are needed/welcome.

SO THANK YOU

to be continued

The Lego Toy

This is going to be a bit more personal since I have noticed that sharing some stuff that’s taking lots of space inside my “troubled” head, actually improved things.

It’s not the cozy feeling of sharing thing with your loved ones (if there are any, part from my son), but the understanding that there are people out there suffering as I do.

Christmas holidays and depression struck fast and hard. Without mercy. My son was on the sofa, holding his tablet and enjoying his game, oblivious (luckily) to my feeling of despair. Suddenly I thought to myself “why is he still playing, has he done his homework for tomorrow”?

I started shouting at him to leave his tablet and xbox and laptop and do his school homework instead… I actually thought that it was a school day and not Christmas… I even unplugged the xbox, grabbed  the tablet out of his tiny little hands and started yelling.

So embarrassed, but I have to get it out of my system… (continue I shall)

Next thing I remember is that I’m sitting on my chair in-front of my pc. I looked at the sofa and there he was, holding his lego toy and crying.

I collapsed, everything broke and the known feeling “he’s better of in a world that I’m not in” was so overwhelming that I really really don’t want to consider the option of what i might have done if he wasn’t there. 

I cried so hard that he actually stopped and came near me, sat with me and hugged me. He tried to comfort me, as if I was the little boy and he was the adult. We stood there for a long time drying both our tears and saying “I’m sorry” to each other.

WHAT KIND OF FATHER AM I?

I can’t say I feel good now… But at least someone else will read this and think “I’m not alone..Am I”?

not to be continued (fingers crossed)