Nicky's Blog

Too Much Information

There's a lot of things I wanted to talk about this week. Topics that have been overfilling my bucket for a few weeks now, that I wanted to get off my chest and shout about into the void. The problem with this becomes twofold.

First, there's the fear of vulnerability. No-one I know personally will be reading this blog, and I hit around 10 readers on a good day. On the other hand, that still means some people read this blog, and being vulnerable around others isn't something that comes naturally.

The other issue is when I open the tap, there's so much built up that it all gushes out in one go. Many a therapy session has been on the topic of building a better pressure relief system than offloading decades of pain and confessionals in one go on one poor, unsuspecting person. This then feeds back into my vulnerability fear, which then leads me to clam up, which makes the problem worse.

I have too much information in my head, which then turns into too much information for someone else's head.

On top of that, the sheer depth of all the information becomes difficult to communicate to others. More than once, the person listening has struggled to piece it together, which then gets me frustrated that I can't make myself clear, which then causes me to stop trying and say 'I'm fine, I guess. Just tried and frustrated'.

Writing it out becomes difficult. Doing it by hand leaves me at the mercy of my terrible handwriting. Typing it out leaves me open to the plague of type-delete-type-delete looping over and over. This post alone has been written and re-written three times this afternoon, and the topic changing every time in fear of Too Much Information. Either way, I just build more and more frustration with it all, and manage to get very little out.

What do I do then if I can't talk it out with someone, or write it out of my head?

There's a trick used in software development called rubber duck debugging. An engineer stuck on a particular problem will explain their code line by line out loud to a rubber duck (or whatever substitute they have to hand). The idea is that by explaining the intent of the code out loud and matching it with the results you're actually getting vs what's expected, you spot where the problem lies and what is required to fix it.

I do a variant of that. Not being able to do it easily to a rubber duck at home where I can be easily overheard, I'll go for a walk to a more remote place and start talking. Sometimes I'll direct it at God (depending on how religious I'm feeling that particular day), sometimes just to whatever cosmic force may exist, and sometimes just to the Other Me, the voice that rings in my head. I rant it out, work through the emotions, and wait for the inevitable connections. I don't always feel better for it, but I do usually feel 'lighter'.

I don't do it enough, because it means being selfish and taking time away from my responsibilities and my wife. By not doing it though, I make myself worse and then shirk my responsibilities and grow distant from my wife.

With some recent events taking hold , it might be time to start being a little bit more selfish in this regard.

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