February 10th, 2005

Little searches, little tests

So, I was about to go to bed and realized that I needed to take my pills. In the evening, I take a calcium tablet, a stress multivitamin, and my thyroid medication. I want to get in the habit of taking my thyroid medication somewhere between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. at night, so I've taken to carrying my Cytomel in my coat, since I'm often away from home in that time window.

I didn't find the bottle in my coat. Collapse )

Why did I feel a need to recount in excruciating detail this tiny little personal drama? Because two things clicked into place when I had the pill bottle in my hand.

One, if I had stopped to think this through from the very beginning, and assumed I had behaved in a reasonable fashion, I would have jumped straight to the right answer. My first theory after the normal places came up dry was that I had done something atypical and illogical (stupid). Instead of searching in the order: Reasonable, Habitual, Stupid, or Habitual, Reasonable, Stupid, I chose the order: Habitual, Stupid, Reasonable.

Two, my search heuristic was pretty good. I tried the first tier places first. Then I started an organized search pattern, with inclusion of irrational but non-random possibilities and double verification. I should, perhaps, have done the thought experiment after trying the normal places and failing. But still.

In short, I just got a demonstration that, no matter what my fears are, my mental processes are still in fairly good shape, particularly if I don't panic. I'll grant, I'm worn a bit by anxiety. I'm possibly slowing down a bit due to the hypothyroidism. But the analytical tools and the habits of logic are still there, and they still work. I *want* blazing speed and inerrant recall. But if I have to settle, for now, for being logical, methodical, and still mostly right, well, I could do worse.

Take that, Demons of Anxiety.