Home > General > The best cup of coffee of my life

The best cup of coffee of my life

I drank a cup of coffee today to pep me up before doing some daygame. I don’t normally drink much caffeine so it has a very severe effect on me; probably akin to giving a six year old a snort of charlie.

BOOM.

My mood goes into the positive and I suddenly realise that I’ve been depressed for the last month and I haven’t realised it. The caffeine dumped a load of serotonin, dopamine, whatever into my brain and it was like having the veil thrown off. I even chortled a bit. So! That’s what’s been wrong recently. It all makes sense now.

The biggest problem with depression is that it’s very hard to realise you are depressed. The ‘evaluating ego’, the part of the brain which realises this, is quietly switched off. What a great cup of coffee. A life-changing realization for a few pounds.

You may be reading this thinking “isn’t this a ‘game blog?’”. In fact the answer is no. This is a blog about me and my experiment. I’ll write whatever I please, and today I’m writing about depression.

So my magic cup of joe wakes me up and makes me realize why the last month has been so utterly awful. I have decide to come to terms with the fact that I am a person prone to depression. Yipee! No, seriously, this is progress.

A big leap I’ve made today is realizing how the process works. It’s like being a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. When you are Dr Jekyll you can look back and see all the times you were Mr Hyde. However you have no awareness when you become Mr Hyde. The change is very subtle and surreptitious and almost impossible to notice. The very first thing it does is flick the switch to turn off the evaluating ego. You ride out the course as Mr Hyde, and Mr Hyde believes he is Dr Jekyll. He doesn’t actually think he’s Mr Hyde (I differ from the original plotline here). It’s not until the malaise wears off that the switch gets turned on and Dr Jekyll realises he’s had a visitor.

What’s it like? I described how I felt to a friend the other day and they thought I was joking. It’s like having an invisible, cold, clammy blanket of anxiety hanging over you. You have a gnawing sense of dread and panic. Your energy levels are very low. You ignore all mundane tasks and feel incapable of carrying them out. You don’t understand how people manage to handle their busy lives and all their chores. Yours just pile up… and make you feel worse. You stay up late and struggle to get up. You see no real future path in your life. Sometimes when you think of all the things you have to do in your life you get a wave of hysterical panic wash over you. You regard your life as being in endgame. You think about disease, cancer, dementia. You don’t exercise. You put on weight.

This is what I feel like when I get depressed. For weeks or months on end. It seems pretty obvious to me now, now that that precious single cup of coffee flipped my evaluating ego back on, however when you’re in the depths of it I guarantee you can’t see it easily. It’s no wonder to me my ‘game sabbatical’ has been struggling a bit. Christ! How did I do ANY sets in that mood? Result! I had a Day 2 with Dream Chink yesterday as well!

How is depression triggered?

I’m not really sure on that one. I think people are just wired differently. I’m a natural worrier. I think when negative things happen normal people get sad, pissed off or a bit miserable. Depressives get depressed. Normal people worry a bit. Depressives go on an odyssey of bleakness. Things which cause anxiety are the worst. Like having a father slowly getting worse with Alzheimer’s disease for example. Awesome. Stress makes normal people stressed, and sometimes depressed. It makes depressives stressed and depressed.

Moving forward..

It strikes me as incredibly odd that one massive hit of caffeine can wipe out a month of depression. I’ll take it as a gift from the gods of game for my recent progress. How can I take action and try and stop this happening again, or lessen its effect?

I think the key thing is this:

  1. Accept that you are prone to depression.
  2. Take some remediation action.

Acceptance

This is harder than you’d think. The second big problem with depression (the first being not realising you’re depressed) is that it’s very had to accept you have this problem. Society, family (especially) and friends often find the subject quite distasteful; to them it reeks of self indulgence and whininess. Everyone feels down in the dumps now and again, right? No need to make a big deal of it.

This is absolutely the most dangerous and ignorant attitude. Depression is real. It’s a condition. Some people’s brains don’t do the serotonin bit right. Is that so hard to conceive of? The problem is that it crosses the mind/body link. The ignorant like to believe that their thoughts and actions float about in a land of pure logical and will and are not subject to the grubby, chemical, bubbling vicissitudes of their fleshy encasement. Wrong. Big time wrong. It’s as much chemical as logical.

The other problem is jealousy. How dare someone claim they have some kind of ‘special sadness’ which makes the hard bits of life harder for them to deal with than others. The nerve! Sorry bud; that’s exactly what it is. Unfortunately I’d have to say that the depressives don’t help things; as I’ve known plenty of depressive people in my life who are awful, selfish, narcissistic, irresponsible people. A lot of ‘depressives’ actually are just pathologically selfish and fucking miserable.

Acceptance is something that has to be worked on and maintained. It’s a process. It needs repetitions. Things will try and erode this. For me the big problem is my sister. She’s really my only family left and this means so much to me. When I have important stuff like this I feel an urge to tell her and get some sort of ‘ok’ from her. The problem is that families have baggage; years and years of history, strata deepening like a coastal shelf. This needs some thought. One option is to simply work on rewiring this urge to get familial approval.

Real acceptance is unspectacular. This is not the self-absorbed attention seeking of the average emo Prozac-guzzler. There are no touchy-feely chats with mates; I can’t imagine anything more sickening.

Actions

Moving forward I can make some battle plans.

Uncertainty

My life has been very uncertain of late. I quit my contract and took a risk I could get another. Uncertainty. I started thinking perhaps I’ll not bother. I despise Britain and have been thinking about working abroad again in the future. However I’ve just signed a six month lease on an expensive apartment. Mmmm this game thing isn’t going well… Uncertainty.

What’s going to really help me is removing uncertainty as much as possible. Having a plan. I have worked out my life plan for the next 12 months now and will be posting this up soon. Feel better now.

Anxiety

I’m going to do what I can to put an action plan in place for my dad. Very simply it’s this:

  1. Organize additional care in his home for him. Get this up and running smoothly so the care can be piped up and down as required.
  2. Research and visit care homes. Find the best one for him. Put him on waiting list. Work with my sister and put together a financial plan.
  3. Visit less. Maybe once every six weeks.
  4. Go abroad. Out of sight out of mind. I’m not doing this because of him, I’m doing this as part of my (soon to be blogged) life plan, but it’ll really help with the situation I think.

Work stress/Anxiety

I’m starting job-hunting next week. That removes some anxiety straight off as it removes the fear of the unkown. Beyond this coping with workplace stress is INCREDIBLY important. Jobs can easily destroy you. The most important step is to just not give that much of a fuck. Seriously. No job is worth it. Decide in stone what you will and will not accept and stick to it. If you get sacked then so be it. For me I will not work weekends more than once in a blue moon. I will not work long hours. Long hours cause sickness and stress and ill-health and I just won’t do it. Nine to six. I won’t tolerate a bullying manager. I will literally physically escalate there and then on the spot rather than put up with that.

I’ve found that drawing a line in the sand before starting a new job is very effective, as important as the ‘3-second rule’ in pickup. If you start a job and start as you mean to go on and never swerve then people accept this with far less fuss than trying to change later.

Ultimately I’m pretty well up in this category. I really don’t give that much of  fuck about career progression (I have reached my target role and will stay here) or the profits of who I work for or working extra to please some manager. I just don’t care. I have realised long ago that it is all pointless anyway. Working hard for someone else’s benefit rarely gets you anything. Going the extra mile or working an extra hour each day does nothing. Working smart.. YES! I’m all for that. Working hard because you’re interested in it and it makes the day pass quickly: YES!

I’ll try and get a new contract. I’ll try and get something interesting. I will be honest about working overtime or weekends if asked. I’ll start as I mean to go on. I won’t take any crap. I’ll work briskly to keep myself interested and make the day pass quickly. I’ll work cunningly and smartly; using my social skills to their full advantage to consolidate my position.

Exercise

My moods stabilized a lot last year when training for a half marathon. It may have been coincidence but evidence suggests it’s not. I believe that I need to exercise intensely, five days a week to help with my condition. I’m also considering just exercising every single day, till I die. Making the jump. Even if it’s just twenty minutes of yoga. Getting into an unbreakable habit.

I think doing a form of boxing will also be very good. Sparring and fighting will stimulate my brain and trigger the release of the good stuff. Man wasn’t designed for staring at the wall. He was designed to encounter stimuli and physical risk, fear and discomfort were part of this. Somewhere us modern morons forgot this. I love reading about those Victorian scholars and gentlemen who used to also box, row or wrestle to keep fit.

I can’t emphasise enough how strongly I believe in exercise. I think it may be critically, shatteringly important. I also believe that perhaps decay of the body causes decay of the mind.

Chinese brain oxygenation theory

As a side note I once met a quack Chinese doctor. He watched me and said that I yawn a lot and the reason for this was that I had a huge ‘billionaire’s brain’ and it didn’t get enough oxygen, and that for the sake of my health I had to take an hours exercise at least three times a week to ‘oxygenate my brain’. I actually think this guy is a genius. Think of it; a high performance brain is a great evolutionary advantage. Perhaps some of us have reached an evolutionary point where our brains became so big that the physicality of our lifestyle could not support them? GENIUS. Exercise. Oh.. and food.

Food

I don’t find it hard to avoid junk food as I’ve eaten healthily for years and don’t like the taste of a lot of that stuff. In general what I need to focus on is eating very high quality food. Lots of Mediterranean-style dishes. Spend lots of money. Shop in M&S. Take fish oil. Buy a case of Clif bars and always have a few in my bag as a snack.

You are what you eat. So true. Most people in this country live off filth. I don’t intend to.

Male company

It’s easy to not receive enough social stimulus if you live in London and work in a profession full of anti-social freaks. Female company? Not that important. If you’ve got one bird on the go and you’re fucking her at least twice a week then you don’t need any more. What you do need, however, is male company. With the decline of industry in this country the infrastructure of male socialization has crumbled away. Never mind the influence of social Marxism and the feminization of society. Women bond with women; it’s easy for them. They just get together and talk shit. Men need a catalyst. Five a side football. Great. Golf. Round table. Great. This is a very important reason why I’m interested to start boxing. It’s predominantly men and there is a share objective with an element of suffering and danger so this has a good bonding effect.

Light

Might try one of those lightbox things.

Pussy

I swear to God once I’m getting laid a lot of this will just slough off me. Hopefully at some point I will have sex with a woman. Regularly. For free.

Whores do nothing. Rubbish. I fucked one the other week and felt no reduction in my sex drive at all. I have a theory here:

Bhodisatta’s Cunt-Crack Theory

When a woman really likes you her cunt emits special pheromones. When you fuck her without a condom or eat her out a lot then you absorb these. Evolution has made it so that men will have a terrible, burning sex drive and feel quite shitty unless they’re soaking in this cunt-crack. It forces those cavemen to chase pussy more; so their DNA survives more. A perfect evolutionary explanation.

The problem with Western whores is that they don’t like you so they emit none of this minge-manna and also you’re rubbered up so you couldn’t absorb it anyway. The only solution is to get a real girlfriend, who likes you, and fuck her without a condom or eat her pussy a lot.

Care and Maintenance

This is not really a single item but rather a concept. I think one of the best ways to handle depression is to accept that you are prone to it, then get part of your brain to step back in the third person and be responsible for taking care of yourself as if you’re a prize racehorse. Constantly be proactive in the battle against Mr Hyde. Spend extra money on food. Be brutally disciplined with exercise. Pamper a bit. Schedule twice or thrice yearly holidays to somewhere hot. Seriously. Just fucking do it. I’m going to. I feel better already. Three times a year I’m off somewhere hot or cool or fun. Once a month I’m off on a cheapie weekend break somewhere in Eastern Europe. I’m upping my food budget to something ridiculous, £150 a week or something; fuck it. Accept this will cost money. Stop fighting it. Deal with it.

I can take a good lesson here from the gays that I know. I have never seen a group of men give such careful, detailed thought, planning and preparation to their own comfort and care in my whole life. Great food, expensive clothes, nice apartment, nice furniture, holidays all the time. It’s funny isn’t it how indulgence is whimsical for women and gays yet seems discordant for straight men. Maybe it’s because they’re the ones that have to provide a home for the family.

Brutal discipline and habit

Another concept. Look at all the actions. Doing all this will require a combination of these two tools. If you make things a habit then they don’t need brutal discipline to maintain them; but you have to put the mettle in to form the habit.

Coffee

Very carefully restrict caffeine (as I already do). The power of this magical elixir must be preserved. Should I suspect Mr Hyde has slipped in, perhaps have a cup of the good stuff and see if we can catch him in the act.

Mood questionnaire

Now that I’m Dr Jekyll again I’m going to try and develop a kind of questionnaire with a rating system to try and give a rating to how I feel at a certain time. I can then regularly take this test and file the results and see if I can develop an empirical way to determine if I am Mr Hyde or not. Any psychotherapists reading this; all suggestions welcome.

Medical help

I’m going to go see my doctor and talk through all this. See if there’s any specialist I can go talk to. Determine whether medication may help, although I am very wary of this. I’m really keen to never be Mr Hyde again. It doesn’t seem fair; when I’m Dr Jekyll my life is just so different. It’s literally like being a different person. I’m so positive, so friendly. I feel like I can achieve so much. I don’t feel any great fear about life or the world or the future. As Mr Hyde I’m amazed how people cope with their lives and the fact is that a lot of them do so a lot better than me because their brains aren’t spazzed.

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Categories: General
  1. Jason
    January 9, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Remember that a doctors first response to you talking to him about depression is likely to be a prescription. I think you’ve hit on your solution already in this post. Exercise more. Get more Vitamin D (it might just be normal SAD, that hits me all the time when I don’t get enough sun.), etc. Eat well.

    Self discovery is a beautiful thing. 🙂

  2. Dickfat
    January 16, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Your description of depression is probably the best I have ever read. I’ve got piles of laundry and dishes all around me that have accumulated over the last month. It just makes you feel helpless.

    You have a lot of good points on your action plan. I notice that eliminating video games helps with my depression. There’s a direct correlation between the amount of time I play xbox and the length of my funk.

  3. jimmyjambone
    January 18, 2011 at 8:40 am

    This is one of the best blogs out there, funny, entertaining and at times (like now) it actually discusses something serious.

    Are you up for the Latvia trip with AFCAaron in Feb? Email me for details.

  4. Awaken
    February 16, 2011 at 12:32 am

    i would look into add medications as well. ive suffered from the symptoms of which u speak my whole life. never thought i was depressed because ive always been a positive person. i didnt realize that the lack of energy, focus, and the constant procrastination was a “depressed state”. I also came to find out that i was experience a ton of anxiety and my self prescription was to just stop caring (got rid of the anxiety). But this mentality leads to avoidance and getting left behind in life. So far, all the things you can do to make urself physically healthy will help your mental health ie sleep, eating, exercise, etc. Coffee worked nicely for a bit but i realized i was actually boosting my cortisol levels to high (stress hormone) and my panic stress feelings were on the rise. So far my best solution has been amphetimine salts such as adderall or vivance. The extended release versions work best because they last longer and theres no insane coke like rush at the begining. I take one everyother day so as not to become dependent. I find the effects of the drug tend to carry over a bit into the next day (although not as strong). This is fine…helps to keep me from forgetting how to cope without the drug. just some thoughts that may help you.

    • bhodisatta
      February 25, 2011 at 12:33 am

      Mmm I’ll have to look at Cortisol. I never realised foods/drinks could affect it.
      As for medications I’ve gone off the idea. I fail to see how the body won’t adapt like it does in every other way. I’ve been doing Anthony Robbin’s ‘Get The Edge’ system recently and I’ve found that that, plus a good holiday, have made a massive difference to my life and my depression levels, which are now zero. I’d recommend you look into it.

  1. January 11, 2011 at 11:20 pm

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