On Anticipation

by Mattved
3 minutes
On Anticipation

When life takes wild turns unexpectedly, we experience a short period of shock followed by a long period of adjustments. And no matter how profound the former is, one follows either the compulsory trauma cycle, manageable especially owing to Peter Levine's lifetime of research and practice, or, in more grave scenaria, the generally known ride through 5 stages of grief introduced by Kübler-Ross. Both of these are well understood topics in psychology and are able to facilitate smooth and timely recovery, albeit with assistence of a professional.

The real trouble appears to come when such turn is anticipated in inadvertable future. That is when compulsive thoughts penetrate our mind and drive anxiety levels upward. The stages of grief do not complete in acceptance; whenever the slow anergy-draining recovery through the phase of depression seems to be at close, the true future level of satisfaction, being driven by present value of future traumatic event, plummets again.

The financial economics terms are absolutely used on purpose here. See, it is like involuntary play in the bond market. You are given a financial security that, for some reason, pays periodic coupons in mental pain and at maturity, a date you know, it pays you principal in units of physical pain. The biggest trouble is that you may not exactly know how much the principal is. You don't even know the coupon rate of the bond. And that sucks.

In the goods market, you could think of it as a free self-driving car, which constantly pisses you off by the laggy user interface, the next update to which will cause a traffic accident that might or might not kill you. But you live in the middle of a forest, seven miles away from the nearest supermarket, your bicycle is broken, and there is no way you could afford a fairly normal lemon. Sure, you could sell the murder machine, but it won't go well in the current market.

Analogically, positive expectations act as the more conventional kind of a bond, only with the added risk of potentially lower principal, which could obviously lead to more frustration. And with that added, it can be said with clarity and confidence that anticipation is undesireable. I mean, sure, look forward to a boat trip you have full intentions to make happen through buying a boat and paddling yourself. Commit. But looking forward to something that depends significantly on others or worse environment is in my view something you want to avoid no matter how strong your empirical support for belief in it happening is.

Living by the day kind of makes sense, especially for people with my health issues and general background story. Somehow, it still doesn't cut it, though. I work toward achieving further milestones on the road to adulthood. But because I feel that the only person I can rely on is myself, things get hard. Basically, whenever there is an event coming up, I wonder how and who/what is gonna come by and fuck it all up.

And I shouldn't. And I am going to fight it. My surgery coming up this month will result in the best possible outcome and I will back to the mental and physical state from year 2 in Plymouth. The state in which I started this blog. And I am going to push it forward a notch. Push all that is under my control forward.