How I'm dealing with my paranoia
Well, this will be a dark ride for sure. I’ll talk about how deep I dropped in the paranoia bucket and how I’m struggling to find a balance between insanity and complete complacency.
My paranoia started back when I was around 15. It was a time when I needed my own space and I wasn’t getting nearly enough of that at home. My door was constantly being opened by parents who couldn’t knock, or they could but wouldn’t because why should they? That is when I started my obsessive door-locking. I see an open door somewhere I haven’t been before? I close it. No matter how much the other people want it open, I’d close it. My own door? I lock it whenever I walk through.
That is one part. The other part started when PRISM got out. What Snowden uncovered touched me deep inside. Google knew everything about me. Apple wanted to know everything about me. Facebook was selling my shit to anyone who asked for it without a second thought. That’s where I started. I deleted my facebook account around 2014 or so. Haven’t looked back since, not even for a simple burner, fake account. It’s a shitstorm I just don’t want to touch.
Since then, I’ve become wary of my own tech. The phrase “If you can’t mod it, you don’t own it” resonated with me. When my eMachines broke, I bought an X220. The trackpoint was great, and it had Linux from the get-go, but I also removed the camera and blocked every kind of access I couldn’t control. I believe a few months later, Spectre and Meltdown hit. By that time, I was following the infosec news rather closely, which meant that I knew what a fucking disaster it could be. After that, I hopped from X220 to X200 and librebooted it. Not really related to Spectre, but hey, it was something to do against the IntelME. As a small gesture, I removed the front and back camera from my phone, just because fuck it, why not?
Well, fast forward to last December. My paranoia hit its greatest low. I started having dark, very dark thoughts. Everyone around me was a stooge, an actor supposed to lead me through life in a way they wanted. My girlfriend didn’t love me, she just pretended for some strange reason before the chance to kill me presented itself. Shit like that. I was losing my mind over this, not on the outside, but on the inside, I was waging a war against everyone.
That is when I decided to talk to someone. I found a psychologist I knew from high school and met with her. We found out that I only get these thoughts when “things are okay”. When everything around me is fucked, I’m cool, calm and collected (as Tinker might say). I found that I got my kicks from danger, but that becomes really addictive and really boring (hence my drive to get into redteaming).
Since then, I’ve been working on getting my paranoia under control. Sure, I’m still suspicious of everything that is said, but I’m trying to get back past the “everyone is out to get me” mark. I started out as a mental exercise, but I need it to get back to that.
This is the reason I’m blogging right now! I’ve gotten so scared of social media I didn’t have any at one point. I felt extremely lonely and sad, didn’t get to talk to anyone. My mantra used to be “No one shall know anything about me.” I haven’t had a good job since I started down that path, so I had to readjust. Now, I’m going to publish bits and pieces about myself, but, as Marcus in John Wick said, I go out on my own terms.
I doubt that I will publish my real name anytime soon to the general public, but some people know it. Some people can link m4iler to the real person behind the keyboard. Right now, it’s like this: If my name leaks, there are somewhere around 20 people who could have leaked the info, so a short kill-list ;-)
I need to deal with my issues in my own way. This may not work for you, but I hope you enjoyed this little confession.