The Exigent Duality
How to Feel Normal - 15:00 CST, 3/18/23 (Sniper)
Regular readers will know that I suffer from such intense stress and lack of sense of well being on a daily basis that I am under a permanent condition clinically known as "derealization". I've been in therapy for some time now, and while it has helped me correct some of my errant thought processes, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that there is still some underlying root cause.

Having ruled most everything else out, a strong remaining possibility is that my condition is due to a lack of either Seratonin or endorphins, or something related to the processing or uptake of those chemicals. I've been subjecting myself to various experiences, then evaluating how "normal" I felt afterwards. Here are the five most effective things I've found, putting them in rank order from most effective to least:

  • Sexual Intercourse
  • Eating
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Pornography
  • Exercise

Taken in order, sexual intercourse only happens a handful of times per year for me, since I'm monogamous and married to a very busy and stressed out wife. Besides, the effect wears off too quickly unless it were to unrealistically happen daily. Eating brings with it the significant side effect of weight gain, which happens rapidly for me and which carries with it major blood pressure issues. Long-time readers will recall that the prescription drug "Abilify" turned me into a hyper-productive manic self, but also eliminated my ability to sleep. I've given up pornography because it does weird things to the brain's receptors. And exercise is only effective when I get massive amounts of it, and it is very rigorous-- which is difficult to consistently obtain in my relatively isolated rural setting, plus given my inherent laziness and hatred of "exercise for the sake of it".

I feel phenomenal today, almost anxiety free-- because I ate a huge bag of M&Ms, drank a Coke, consumed a half dozen donut holes, and put down an egg omelet as well. Similarly, when I have a long pornography session, I feel fantastic coming out of it. Conversely, on a day when I am living "healthily" and sustainably-- no porn, no sex, exercise, seventeen hundred calories (which is the maximum I can intake without weight gain)-- I can barely function due to how extreme my feelings of unease are. It feels like I'm in a gunfight, and about to get shot at any moment. The baseline just isn't high enough for me to not feel miserable.

Computers and video games used to rank really highly on the list. I lacked the self awareness at the time to know this for sure, but undoubtedly they were a huge part of what kept me "in balance" as a child. I've already flogged the dead horse enough on this site, on how weirdo Millennial and Gen-Z SJWs have irrecoverably destroyed that hobby and stolen it away from me-- the topic doesn't deserve any further treatment.

I pray to God every night for an answer to this dilemma. I know that He doesn't want me to be a glutton-- one of the Seven Deadly Sins-- or to do things which are contrary to what he desires for me. I also know that, logically, He doesn't give anyone a cross which they cannot bear. Indeed, I've borne my current one for over ten years now, while still being a great father and a successful career man. But my life's satisfaction on a daily basis could certainly use some improvement. Therapy and improving cognitive processes only seems to nibble at the fringes.