Updated: November 27, 2017
Last article published
I’m still behind on publishing articles, but I’ve made huge progress. I have three that have been draft published and I’m illustrating them. I’ll have one out to everyone soon(ish)! Getting my depression under better control has helped immensely (more on that below).
Upcoming articles in progress
These will (probably) be published in this order. Some are working titles. I put them on this list once I’ve started outlining.
- Part 1 – How to Say “No” and Make It Stick: Your Comprehensive Guide to Putting Yourself First
- Part 2 – How to Say “No” and Make It Stick: Your Complete Action Plan for Putting Yourself First
- Why Following the Rules Hasn’t Made You Happy: How You Got Lost on the Path to Success, and What to Do About It
- The Myth of Aging with Grace: Winning the Struggle for Lifelong Health
- All About Luck: Making It, Faking It, and Learning to Live Without It
What I’m thinking and doing
As I explained last time:
I don’t know what it was about September 18. On that morning, I woke up experiencing some of the worst depression symptoms I’ve ever had. It’s gotten only marginally better. I’m somewhat holding it under control using every technique I’ve figured out over time. I’m on the precipice of tears often, no matter what I’m doing.
I’ve had two bits of improvement:
Restarting Testosterone supplementation helped me from falling completely down the pit when I had a setback. So, that was good progress and I’ll be continuing that. But an antidepressant is still necessary.
I’ve been doing a lot of research and thinking about which neurotransmitter should be addressed first, since I don’t like to take a random “try it and see” approach to anything. For a variety of reasons, I’ve narrowed it down to Dopamine (vs. Serotonin). I’ve experimented with a Dopamine precursor that has helped. I’ll see my doctor soon and discuss treatment recommendations based on my observations.
I can tell that I’ll need to update/add to my depression article based on what I learn.
We hosted this year and my adult sons both said they wanted to pit roast a pig. Since I was averse to digging a hole in my yard, we constructed a temporary above-ground oven. My concerns about it not staying hot enough were misplaced; we ended up with an extremely well-cooked pig, which I won’t post a picture of because it’s a little difficult to look at. But it was edible! An interesting exercise overall. Pic of the “oven” in action below.
As I said last time, my genetics are against me no matter what I try. I’m not just treating a lab value; my coronary calcium CT scan score worsened. I expect to start a statin soon after gauging the impact of my antidepressant med.
Images from my life
A random piece of writing, either a reject that didn’t end up fitting or text/ideas for a coming piece. This month, I’m sharing a portion of my upcoming article on “why following the rules hasn’t made you happy.”
Growing up is all about learning the rules – social, academic, financial, and more – that allow us to survive. But we’re taught something else in addition to the rules:
It’s ingrained in us that mastering the system leads to success in life.
The system tells us to do this, and that will result. It’s always some variation of: Get good grades –> go to the right college –> get the perfect job. Easy-peasy, step-by-step.
But there’s a problem with this pseudo-knowledge that we absorb from both conscious instruction and subconscious experience: when we are growing up, success is mostly built in.
I’m talking here about our perception of success, which for the human mind just means moving forward toward some (often hazy) goal.
And “move forward” we do, from birth to early adulthood. The process of growing up is a long conveyor belt.
We are plopped onto one end of this conveyor belt shortly after birth, just like a lump of raw material making its way through the assembly line in a factory. At each stage of manufacture, we are progressively formed into nearly identical copies of the standard functional member of society.
And what do children absorb as they go through this process? I mean, besides their multiplication tables and the hidden meaning behind To Kill a Mockingbird?
Children learn that no matter what they do, they move forward, ultimately achieving their full glory.
Yes, glory: their penultimate achievement of finally attaining the starring role in the movie script of their young lives, otherwise known as being a high school senior.
Even the non-popular kids and non-athletes who didn’t achieve the pinnacle of high-school fame still got to play king of the mountain for a year. Their mountain may have been smaller, but they were still standing on the top.
At the end of the high-school section of the conveyor belt, some people hop onto the “college extension” conveyor belt…which for many students (but not all) is more of the same.
And every step of the way, every person becomes more convinced that they, and they alone, were the ultimate driver of their own fates. Indeed, each traveler on the conveyor belt thinks, “I did it my way.” (Cue Sinatra.)
An image from an upcoming article
What I’m reading
I’m on the fourth book of The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey.
How about you?
What’s going on? Do you have a comment about any of this? If so, use my contact form. Happy to hear from you!
Until next time…remember: Think about it. A lot. Then do something.