Monday, March 23, 2009


I just spent the last weekend in Muar, supposedly for a restful weeked. I ended up going there and rushing out some legal paperwork for my company. It wasn't pleasant to say the least. Apart from all the logistics issues that comes about when you go to a relatively less developed part of Malaysia,

The most traumatic part for me, though, was the use of a part of my brain that I try very hard not to use - the overclocked processor.

When I was still in legal practice, I was essentially thrown off the deep end and had to learn many complicated things by myself. To survive, I developed (or perhaps always had) the ability to accelerate my thought processes to a point where I can keep up with the deluge of information. Think of it as an adrenal stress "fight or flight" reaction, except it is completely focused on synthesizing and processing information (including, I might add, negotiation tactics).

The cost of this is that I literally shut down all other available functions. I don't eat, hardly sleep, pace around like a madman and do away with most social niceties like grooming and speaking like a human being. I also apparently give of this "fuck with me and you will die" aura.

The price of overclocking my processor this way is that it takes it toll on me. Physically, I end up in the state of physical exhaustion and starvation when it ends and I usually need a few days quiet rest after to get back to 100% again. Socially, it takes a while to repair the relationships damaged through my lack of social niceties.

The worst toll on me, though, is this spiritual chill I feel at the end of overclocking. It's not physical in any way. I just perceive the world as a cold and hostile place, like I'm suddenly and completely disconnected from everything. Nothing I eat tastes good. No gesture of kindness has an impact on me. Nothing.

I believe greatly in positive acts and positive karma. The problem with using this part of me is that it is fueled with anger, hate, and desperation of being caught in an untenable lonely situation. It infects my worldview and makes everything bleaker. Enough of this, and I revert back to negativity - something which I don't ever want to go back to.

And I have just taken another step back to it.


Grisabella said...


While I cannot say I've experienced what you've written about, I think I know that feeling.


Life is beautiful. Don't let inconsequential stuff or people ruin it.

Almost Infamous Anthony said...

I think the really sad part is how -easily- it slipped on. I just fell naturally back into it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kace,

I know exactly what you mean - I've been there too! It takes a long time to recover, relax and go back to being a normal human being again. Luckily my job nowadays doesn't require me to go there (regulatory work is seldom time-pressured) and hopefully you won't have to on a regular basis either. From what you said when we last met it seemed like you'd left all this behind in private practice? I didn't know in-house work got so time-pressured too, unless maybe it was an acquisition or fending off a hostile takeover?

Maybe the answer is just to be away from people when you cannot avoid being in that state so that you don't hurt/scare them. During a bad phase in structured finance it got to he point where I was taking the cargo lift instead of normal lift to the canteen, at non-mealtime hours, just so I wouldn't bump into people and have to interact with them socially. I just wasn't capable of it. I looked and felt a bit like a psychotic murderer during those times. Not full of anger, but just emotionless and wanting to get the job done, perhaps a little irritated.

Don't beat yourself up about it, if this doesn't happen often then plan ahead when you can foresee it happening and just work in the office instead of working from home/holiday location.

Anyway, take care, hope you're ok now! One way to get back to normal that I discovered is by concentrating on a manual activity - for you it would probably be your swordfighting - which uses a different part of your brain.

OK, hope you're well otherwise!


Trebuchet said...

Yeah... that's why I upgraded my software and never looked back. The old version was way too devious to be healthy. Take care man...

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