A long time ago, I decided to stop torturing myself by playing my game every day. ...or maybe that was two months ago. Anyway, it just seemed like a bad idea. Every day I would play the game and just fly around half-brain-dead, bored out of my mind. I decided I just had to stop doing it.
So I looked for new things to do. I did manage to play with the ATtiny13A for a few days. I ordered the larger chips I needed for my remote control project, and my idea of making a MIDI synthesizer, but never did either.
I did spend some time trying to build a radio receiver. I accidentally built one twice, in that I have no idea how it worked since it wasn't correct at all. After spending a few weeks talking with some people on a ham radio forum, I came to the conclusion that that is essentially the only way anyone builds a radio. The only guy who seemed to have a clue what he was talking about eventually posted a schematic of an oscillator that made no sense at all, and when I asked him how it worked, he explained it the way I initially thought it worked until I realized I was looking at it incorrectly. ...which, of course, means he didn't know either, he just got lucky. Well, fuck.
I then decided to try cleaning my house. After a week of very slow progress, I eventually one day felt quite a bit better towards the end of the day, and managed to do half of the cleaning in that one night, the other half being spread out over a week of mostly lying around feeling too tired to do anything. Anyway, my house is arranged quite nicely now, which is super awesome. It feels better to live here now.
Then spent the last two weeks trying to track down exactly what the hell happened that one day that most of the cleaning was done.
Back when this all started, I had been looking for files on my computer and accidentally came across a sleep respiration recording I'd made of my mother. It was quite sad, in that it showed no respiration for minutes at a time. At the time I'd tried to convince her to see a sleep doctor about it, but she wanted nothing to do with it. This was about a week before I was to see the sleep doctor myself. So I figured I'd just wait until after I got myself fixed up, then work on convincing her to do something about it. Then I forgot all about it what with the sleep doctors all being bitches.
So I bought an appropriately-sized CPAP mask, and insisted that she let me use the CPAP on her. I'd wired it to my computer so that I could control the pressure remotely, in addition to monitoring it. So I went over there one weekend and stayed up all night watching the thing while she slept. No problem the entire night, except early in the morning when the circuit broke and pumped the pressure up to infinity. No idea why her breathing is fine now. Interestingly, my newphew, whom I made let me test it on him before my mother got home from work, said that he liked the CPAP machine, and that sleeping with it was somehow comfortable, and that I should bring it back next weekend, though I never saw any problem with his breathing either.
Anyway, after wondering for a while how my mother would even be able to function when her respiration recording looked so much worse than mine, I eventually remembered that the difference between sleep apnea and UARS is that with UARS, the brain wakes up rather than be unable to sleep. Thus the sleep apnea people actually don't have it quite so bad. ...and I already knew that, I just somehow forgot.
...but that made me realize that essentially the only thing causing me to have UARS instead of sleep apnea was that my brain was so damn worried about breathing that it wouldn't just sleep and suffocate for a while. Thus it seemed that the best thing I could do for myself would be to just try my best not to worry about it. Thus, I began trying to ignore it and just not give a fuck.
Anyway, I did such a good job ignoring it that I eventually forgot what I was even doing, and started paying attention to it again, but I eventually remembered again. However, just ignoring such things and trying not to worry about them isn't a simple thing to do.
Meanwhile, I'd been trying random supplements, vitamins, extra hydration, sleeping pills, etc., trying to find something to make me feel better, or sleep better, or something. I also added alcohol to the mix. Every day I'd wake up, feel like shit, lie around staring at the ceiling for a while, until deciding to try some random thing in my inventory of bullshit. Then I'd either feel a little better, or a little worse, or no different at all. Then I'd try something else. Then I'd try to go back to sleep. Some days I'd try more coffee. Other days I'd try avoiding it. Pretty much a little of everything.
Also been watching a lot of television. I set up mythtv a few months ago, and it had stockpiled a good week of random shows, which I eventually ran out of. Then I discovered I hate Slashdot more than ever. So I found a deck of playing cards, and decided to see how quickly I can sort them. So far, 1 minute 42 seconds is my record.
Today, while lying around brain-dead, I started thinking about what exactly it takes for me to have fun, hoping to discover what exactly my disfunction is. I've noticed too often that I feel better half-way through the day, rather than at some more logical time like right after waking up from some good sleep, so I've been on the lookout for something else that might be wrong. Anyway, I came up with three ideas, and wrote them down so I wouldn't forget, as it seemed I was about to.
1. Energy. The less energy you have, the more trivial problems seem insurmountable. The more energy you have, the more that dealing with complete bullshit is just something to do.
2. Stimulation. It certainly helps if things are interesting to wake me up. Stupid boring shit just isn't fun. Like most of what's on television or the internet. I feel like I've seen it all and it just isn't that interesting.
3. Focus, concentration, and memory. You can't have fun with something you can't pay attention to. However, with enough focus and concentration, there's certainly new and interesting things to discover about a lot of stuff, but if you can barely pay attention then you're not going to notice the interesting things.
I figured #1 could be a metabolic issue, but I'm just not convinced. I did one day find that my frequent "too tired to breathe" problem may actually be dehydration. After someone in my game suggested that I may be dehydrated, I got a glass of water and found it all too easy to drink, and so I drank more and felt better. That said, I've tried drinking a lot more water, but there seems to be only so much it does, and that seems limited to fixing the "too tired to breathe" problem. Once I'm past that there's just no point in drinking any more since it doesn't do anything. ...and neither does consuming corn syrup for it's pure glucose wonderfullness, nor sticking to non-sugars hoping to acheive more stable metabolism, or consuming all those vitamins that are supposed to help with energy metabolism. Plus, I just don't feel like it's an energy problem. Sure, I feel tired, but it seems to be that I'm tired because I don't want to fucking do anything. If I do find something I want to do, I also find the energy for it.
I figure #2 could be a real problem, but what am I going to do? The world is what it is. It's also dependant on the other two factors, in that shit is more stimulating when I have energy, and my brain doesn't feel broken.
So that left me with #3, which is like ADD, or if I toss in #1 as well, maybe it's a sleep disorder. Great, whatever...
Then I realized that caffeine is a stimulant, and people at least think it gives them energy, and that it helps with focus and concentration. So I drank some massive amount of coffee, such that I felt kind of bad. ...and I felt better, for about five minutes, then back to feeling like shit.
After a few hours I drank some alcohol too, in order to relax myself and maybe go to sleep. Then I laid in bed for about ten minutes before deciding I'd had enough of this shit.
A few days earlier I was eating a bag of brown sugar. I'd bought it a few months earlier to make some chocolate chip cookies, which after a week of eating them, I'd gained like 20 pounds. One day a week earlier I'd decided to put some in my coffee or something, and slowly became addicted to the shit, eating more and more of it. Anyway, I'd decided I needed to do something before I ended up with diabetes, and so I shoved one more spoonful into my mouth, then walked into the kitchen to the sink, where I then had to consume another spoonful, and while still eating that I quickly turned on the faucet and filled the bag with water, to wash the shit down the sink. It was the only way I could stop. Sugar is just too fucking addictive. Just to be safe, I also washed down the bag of white sugar. I hadn't been eating it, but no need to take chances.
Anyway, I'd been thinking for about a week that I need to do the same thing with all the fucking supplements I have. I've kept them even though not thinking any of them work because I figured it was better to have them, so as not to decide one day I needed to give something a second chance, and waste even more money obtaining more of it. However, at this point, they'd all had a ridiculous number of chances. ...and there seemed to be no point at which I was going to stop. I certainly wasn't addicted to any of them. I was just addicted to the idea that I'd find something to consume to make me feel better.
So, like I said, after lying in bed for ten minutes, all hyped-up on caffeine and somewhat mellowed-out by alcohol, I decided enough was enough. So I went in the kitchen, washed all the giant bags of various supplement powders down the sink, dumped out all the bags of coffee, and tossed all the pills in a pan of water and boiled the fucking thing until they all dissolved into some crud I could wash down the sink. Better than just tossing out the bottles, as I won't be tempted to siphon the shit out of the sink. It's just plain gone now.
The yellow color is mostly due to the riboflavin, as I tossed all my vitamins in there as well. Vitamins are as much bullshit as supplements are. Sure, they're essential, and bad things happen if you don't get them, but unless you're on a boat eating nothing but seafood for a year, you're just not deficient in them, just like with all the "essential amino acid" supplements. Hell, I'm rather convinced that most drugs are bullshit. I'm pretty sure that tylenol and ibuprofen don't actually do anything for headaches.
I debated for an hour whether to also trash my last bag of coffee, and my alcohol. After all, I felt much better while destroying everything else. However, I've had coffee and alcohol on a lot of other days. What made today so special? That I had more coffee than usual? That I mixed the caffeine with alcohol? It just seemed too much like the same thinking behind trying those fucking supplements again and again, so I dumped the coffee in the trash and the alcohol down the drain. Fuck it all, because whatever's made me feel a little better for the moment has nothing at all to do with any of that bullshit.
Indeed, I'm almost warmed up to psychology. I mean, I keep trying to convince myself that I don't have a sleep disorder, hoping to find something I can actually do something about, and certainly a psychological problem would be a nice solution. However, I have a sleep disorder. There's just no getting around it as the evidence is too great. Last night, after having some more alcohol, and falling asleep rather nicely, I woke up after a few hours breathing heavily, and just lay there quite tired, catching my breath, and not really even conscious of the fact that I was awake for the first few minutes. It's obvious as hell what's going on.
My interest in psychology, however, is that while I may not have a psychological problem, it certainly seems like the only worthwhile improvement I've ever found for myself has been seemingly entirely mental. I hadn't taken any supplements that one day when I began making real progress on cleaning my house. I'd been eating nothing but spaghetti for two weeks, so it wasn't diet related. There wasn't any physical change to trigger it. It just happened.
I also wonder just how depressed I am. It's certainly possible to feel bad about feeling bad, just like that one time when I got so happy about feeling happy that I felt like I had some sort of happiness orgasm.
Also, while cleaning my house, or rather thinking about cleaning my house, I noticed my major disfunction was that I'd look at the mess and try to think of where to start. Eventually when I started making progress, I noticed that there was no thinking involved. I'd be standing somewhere, notice something out of place, and just pick it up. ...and that made sense because, with cleaning, it's not like you can really optimize it. Shit's where it doesn't belong, and you just start moving shit. However, it was like my brain wanted to spend more time trying to find the ideal method to clean the mess than it could ever hope to save by cleaning more efficiently. The next day when I was again barely making progress, I noticed that the problem doesn't seem to be that I'm trying to think of how best to clean, but that my brain sees multiple ways to approach the problem and just locks up trying to evaluate them all.
Similarly, the other day I thought maybe I'd finally modify my soldering station to automatically power down after some time had passed, since I often forget to turn it off, which just ruins the soldering tips. So I took the thing apart, and spent about an hour tracing out the circuit and drawing a schematic. So then I began thinking about how to modify it, but again, there are certainly very many ways it could be done, and my brain couldn't even begin to evaluate the possibilities, or even fully form the idea of any of the possibilities.
...and then, sometimes this problem just up and disappears.
I wonder if it's even related to the sleep disorder. It's quite possibly some other problem entirely. ...and that's where I started trying all the supplements again, and all the caffeine, but none of it did any good.
So I don't know what's wrong, but I'm more than certain that those fucking supplements and vitamins and coffee and alcohol (btw, the alcohol was for reducing anxiety, which also seems to be a problem) aren't doing anything to help. I'm not going to make any progress trying the same shit that hasn't helped before, and so it was necessary to get rid of it all. Otherwise I'll certainly forget that I'd decided to stop with it all, or come up with some other dumb theory of why it might work now when it hasn't hundreds of times before. As for the possibility of wasting more money buying the same supplements again, I don't really have the money to waste, so I don't think I need to worry about that.
I've been thinking I probably need to write more blog posts. When my brain is totally broken, it's always thinking about shit. I think that if I write about the shit I think about, maybe it'll help somehow, by forcing my brain to actually concentrate on shit rather than mindlessly wandering, as it'll have to form a coherent blog post. Also, one day I needed to do something, and decided to write a blog post as a way to get my brain going, and it did seem to work, though I don't think I even posted what I wrote. Getting my brain to do something somewhat constructive is probably a great first step to figuring out how to make it work right. So be prepared to be assulted with long rambling blog posts about nothing important.
Considering my new-found appreciation for the psychological aspect, I briefly considered seeing a therapist, but after thinking about it for an hour, I remembered that those people are fucking morons. If there's any science to psychological therapy at all, then every therapist I've ever seen apparently slept through most of their classes. At least when I try to think about why my thinking isn't working, I occasionally come up with an idea that seems to make sense. All I remember from therapists is a lot of talking about nothing of any matter, and none of it making any difference in any way. So to hell with that idea. If there's any useful psychologically that I can do to help myself, I'll just have to figure it out on my own.