Our Personal Therapist

May 23, 2013

So, I wrote a blog about my father.

And I wrote a blog about my sister.

And as I near the end of my High School career…I can’t help but notice there was one person I left out: My mother.

I think the reason I put this off so long is because it’s hard to describe the relationship between a mother and her kids. It’s easy to look at Dad and recognize him as a role model. He’s hilarious, he’s happy, and he seems to have it all together. It’s easy to look at Molly and know that she’s one of my best friends on this planet. And she always will be. But it’s hard to look at Mom and sum her up in one, quick swoop. I don’t say that to belittle the relationships that I’ve built with my other family members…but I’d be surprised if anyone could accurately describe the intricacies of motherhood.

Because mothers are so much to children. Life-givers. Care-takers. Wound-healers. The list goes on. Most apparent, however, is a mother’s ability to understand human nature. It just so happens that my mother also majored in psychology. So…I mean…that was kind of nice for Molly and I. She was like Our Personal Therapist. The public school system can get a little sticky at times, it’s nice to have someone to talk to. And Mom is always understanding. Sure, she could apply a little tough-love sometimes, but it never took long for us to realize that she was right. She was always right.

You know the funny thing? And I know, I just know I got this from my Dad: Sometimes, it would take me forever to realize I had an issue only Mom could solve. (Stupid pride.) I would be faced with a moral dilemma and it would worry me for days before there would just be some night that I’d look at her and think: You Idiot. There’s the solution right there.

And, without fail, the solution was right there.

She’s brilliant. She’s the taker of blurry photographs. She’s funny. She’s the inventor of the middle-aged-woman-friendly dance move: “The Margie” (which mostly just involves snapping your fingers to either side of your head.) She’s got great stories. She understands people better than I ever will. And she was always this constant support in my Life that I know I would be nowhere without.

As I go off to the college where she got her doctorate, I want to raise a glass to her and say: This one’s for you.

This one’s for the Track meets. The PAC shows. The Cross Country races. The Homecomings. The Destination Imaginations. The banquets. The books. The Proms. Everything. This one’s for you.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Our Personal Therapist

Attempting Lucidity

October 4, 2012

Recently, we’ve been learning about dreams in Psychology. Dreams and what they mean. And to say that I find it fascinating is an understatement. Specifically, I’ve become very intrigued by the idea of a Lucid Dream.

Now, I’m not the kind of person who remembers their dreams. Very rarely do I recall a dream after I wake up. And even if I do, they’re gone in an instant. But we’ve been studying dreams and how to remember them and what they could mean and, most importantly, the possibility of Achieving Lucidity.

A Lucid Dream, for anyone who may not know, is a dream in which the dreamer realizes they are in a dream and can therefore manipulate their surroundings. It is a dream that can be controlled (to an extent.) To put it quite bluntly: it’s totally like Inception.

I’m not going to pretend I’m trying to Achieve Lucidity for noble reasons. I’m definitely just doing it for kicks and giggles. Some of the articles I’ve read on them say that any number of things can be achieved in a Lucid Dream: Flight, teleportation, shape-shifting, almost anything that can be imagined.

Not only do Lucid Dreams hold entertainment value, they can also be used to face irrational fears. In a Lucid Dream, when one is encountered with some kind of terror, they have the power to overcome this fear. They have the power to abolish this horror. In this way, the conscious can take an active part in the correction of the subconscious. Your ability to be aware of the dream gives you the power to affect your own inner thoughts.

So, I plan to Achieve Lucidity.

Today at Cross Country practice, all we found ourselves talking about was dreams and the possibility of having a Lucid Dream. A teammate of mine, Brady, decided to join me in a quest to Achieve Lucidity. Over the next month or so, we’ll run periodic tests on what can induce Lucid Dreams. Tonight is the first test.

Our methods will vary from white noises, dream journals, reality checks, periodic awakenings, tracking our REM Cycle, and Binaural Beats. All of these tactics involve relaxation and the enhancement of our ability to perceive when we’re in a dream. White noise and Binaural Beats are used to relax us. Dream journals help us notice patterns in our dreams, therefore allowing us to recognize a dream when we’re in one. Reality checks, (pinching ourselves, watching the passage of time, noticing if we have the correct number of fingers, etc.) used frequently enough, will become a routine in our subconscious and it’s possible to make our dream selves check the reality of the situation, usually resulting in a realization of the dream.

Overall, I am skeptical. It does seem very “out there” and I’m not 100% positive that it will work. But the possible rewards are too great to turn up an opportunity to try. So, Brady and I will work to Achieve Lucidity. If it happens…if I do, in fact, receive a Lucid Dream, I’ll be sure to write a post all about it.

For now, though, this has been a very bizarre post and I’ll leave it at that.

Who knows? Maybe tonight I’ll face my fear of spiders. Maybe I’ll fly. Maybe I’ll become Superman. Maybe I’ll face my fear of growing up. Or maybe I’ll just sleep the whole night and not remember any of my dreams. I suppose I just have to try.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Self-Analysis

September 20, 2012

So, this past Summer, I made some lists. Actually, we made some lists. Me and a group of PAC friends. In particular, Carly and I. And these lists were comprised of everything we wanted to do over the Summer.

We did not complete them. We didn’t even come close to completing them. Oh well, the lists weren’t necessary for the Summer to be fun. They were more…guidelines. Guidelines for a fulfilling Summer. And we had a fulfilling Summer.

Anyway, on one of the lists of things that I had to do was: “Read a book of Carly’s choosing.” And she chose The Diary by Chuck Palahniuk.

In the novel, there is a test. A test that we’ll take together in this post. Try not to skim forward, it’ll ruin the results. Of course, the test is just for you. I would suggest writing down your answer to each question as you move along, so you can hold yourself accountable.

Let’s begin now…

 

First, think of a color. Any color in the world. And write that color down.

 

Next, think of three words that describe that color. Obviously, describing a color is kind of hard. Think of words that sort of personify the color. Write those words down next to your color

 

Now, think of an animal. The first animal that comes to mind, write it down.

 

Then, think of three words that describe that animal. (That’s a bit easier than describing a color…) Write those words next to your animal.

 

And now, think of a specific body of water (one with a name.) Any named  body of water. Write that down.

 

If you guessed that we would be writing three word that describe that body of water…you thought right! Write ’em down.

 

Finally,  picture yourself in an empty white room. And write down three word that describe what you feel in that room.

 

Hopefully there was no peeking! I tried to space the questions out enough that you could safely scroll without giving too much away.

Anyway, what you’ve just taken was a test of the subconscious created by psychologist Carl Jung. I’m no Carl Jung expert, but from what his Wikipedia page tells me, he was a pretty cool guy. Let’s see…he was Swiss. He founded Analytical Psychology. Developed concepts of introverts, extroverts, and collective unconscious. Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be some kind of Psychology 101 class. Bottom line is, you’ve just psychoanalyzed yourself.

Here’s how to interpret your results:

It’s all about the subconscious. The way that you think without realizing that you’re thinking it.

That color? Think of it as yourself. All the words you used to describe the color are how you view yourself.

Carly put me through this test, too. And I suppose I’m not ashamed to share my results. This blog is all about the Truth, right? Well, my color was green. And my describing words were: Natural, Healthy, and Noble. I suppose that kind of makes sense?

And the animal is your perception of mankind. The way you described the animal is the way you would describe humanity.

For the Life of me, I can’t remember what I said for this question…

The body of water represents your personal/romantic/sexual Life. The words you used to describe the water are how you view these aspects of your Life.

I don’t remember all the words I used for this question. I think I chose the Mediterranean Sea and I think I called it Flowing? Or something? And I think I said Salty, too.

Finally, the white room. The white room is your Death. The words you used to describe the room are the words you would use to describe Death.

I vividly remember this one. Alone, Scared, and Cold. That doesn’t surprise me. Not one bit. I think, in that regard, this test has me pegged 100%.

I hope you enjoyed our venture into the interactive blog post. And I hope you found this test fun and enlightening. I highly recommend The Diary, if you have time. It was a very good book.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)