Sleep Pseudoscience

This is going to be a weird post, I’m just going to start with that. I’ve been doing a lot of ‘google research’ about sleep, sleep cycles, sleep disorders, and all of the related. I’ve done plenty before, not just because I am trying to understand my own sleep issues, but because it’s a genuinely interesting subject.

Sleep is actually relatively mysterious to the scientific community. That sentence alone took me personally by surprise, as I thought that much of it was understood at this point. But, no- scientists don’t know much about it, they don’t know why a lot of the sleep disorders that people have exist, and they don’t even confidently know why we dream at night. I don’t know about you, but that fact shocks me. I guess I put too much confidence in science with thinking we had it all figured out, but regardless, there’s always going to be more to find out.

I’ve got an idea, maybe an unofficial theory, about a sleep disorder that is probably regarded as the most mysterious of them all. And, I’m gonna attempt to explain it in simple terms, without dragging on, because I’m selling myself on it and I want other people to be sold. Maybe a professional research scientist will read this and he will get funding and figure out a solution to a currently-solution-less disorder. I’m just joking, by the way, but read on if you’re interested.

So the disorder I’m referring to is known as “idiopathic hypersomnia”. Never heard of it? I don’t blame you. I’d never heard of it before I got technically “diagnosed” with it. The idea of this disorder is just a blanket term when they don’t know what’s making you sleepy, really. No, that’s exactly what the term exists for- the word “idiopathic” means of unknown origin, and “hypersomnia” is just a fancy word for super-sleepy. In simple terms, this disorder is “super sleepy for an unknown reason”. Could be anything- anemia, depression, chronic fatigue, etc. But, they can’t figure it out, so they diagnose this. It’s pretty rare, because there are so many other causes for sleepiness, and once they are all ruled out (or, one is misdiagnosed), you’re left with idiopathic hypersomnia.

Usually, idiopathic hypersonic is associated with narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep-wake disorder where your brain can’t regulate sleep cycles normally, causing you to wake up a lot during the night and potentially be so tired during the day that you fall asleep. The difference in the two is very blurred. They both have all of the same symptoms, except muscle weakness known as cataplexy is unique to narcolepsy, and narcoleptics usually fall into REM sleep immediately upon napping. Oh, by the way- the diagnostic ‘test’ for narcolepsy is a series of naps, and they measure how long it takes you to fall asleep… to see that you’re actually sleepy and you’re not faking it or misinterpreting it. You fall asleep on most of the 5 naps under 8 minutes, and enter REM in any of the naps, you get narcolepsy as the diagnosis. You fall asleep in the same amount of  naps in the same amount of time (aka, you’re just as sleepy), yet you don’t hit REM sleep in any naps, you’re diagnosed with IH.

So, as the word suggests, this disorder hasn’t been solved. ‘Idiopathic’ anything is just something that hasn’t been explained yet. Cause and effect. Everything has a cause or an origin.

Anyways, with that brief and probably confusing background, I’ll give my theory.

So as far as modern science understands, the daytime sleepiness seen in narcolepsy is caused by the brain losing it’s ability to regulate sleep wake cycles, and this is most likely caused by the loss of wakefulness-promoting neurons in the brain (named hypocretins). If your brain doesn’t have the regulatory neurons to keep you awake during the day and to shift stages of sleep at night properly, then you won’t be sleeping well- and you’ll be sleep deprived no matter what. That’s in narcolepsy.

I’ve heard from many doctors and people online that in IH (idiopathic hypersomnia), sleep at night looks relatively normal, unlike narcolepsy where it’s dysfunctional and fragmented. So I look over my results for the 1000th time- and notice one thing that stands out- the number of “sleep stage shifts”. That is the number of times your brain changes it’s brainwave activity, from high frequency in light NREM sleep, to low frequency in delta wave deep sleep. I’ve looked up various personal accounts of sleep studies, read a few published research articles, and read personal responses online, and discovered that your brain is supposed to only shift between stages 7-10 times per hour. That way, it can stay in a stage, get it’s benefits, and maintain your sleep.

My number of sleep stage shifts? 200. Yep. I slept around 8 hours that night, so that equates to about 25 shifts an hour. My sleep was not at all staying in a certain stage; it was constantly jumping up and down and never having any continuity.

There are reports online that make the plea that doctors should pay attention to this, but when going over a sleep study, they don’t pay attention to how many times your brain switches stages, only the technical “awakenings” you had. Being in stage 1 sleep, I’ve learned, is not refreshing and you essentially feel awake. 105 of my sleep stage shifts were back to stage 1. That is enough to make even the longest night of sleep feel un-refreshing. So is this idiopathic, or did I just figure something for myself?

Don’t take my word for it, read an actual scientific study performed, a study that highlights exactly what I’m talking about, and concludes that “number of sleep stage shifts in a night can impact daytime sleepiness”- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2982738/

What I’m rambling about, is that maybe the cause of idiopathic hypersomnia is this. The brain’s inability to stay in certain stages of sleep continually. If it is the cause, that’s something worth looking into. I have no power here, however, I’m just a 20 year old who is blogging it. But that would be something, if this theory became a scientifically backed up cause. It’s a long shot, but I wanted to write, and this is what I’ve been honestly thinking about.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 4:19 PM

Complacency

I just shaved. I don’t know why, but whenever I shave I feel ‘new’ and motivated. I didn’t really need to shave tonight, but I did, because it’s like a little burst of motivation. Is shaving a drug?

So anyways, here I sit, clean shaven and all. Writing a post, its 1:39 am right now. I know it sounds really late, but for me, this is somewhat an early time of the night. I’ve gotten on this ‘3rd shift’ kind of sleeping schedule over the past ~ year or so, where I usually go to sleep around 4 am and wake up around 1 pm. It’s a bad schedule and a habit that I’ve tried to break numerous times, just haven’t tried hard enough, I guess. I’m gonna go to sleep soon, and starting shifting it back starting tonight.

How did I let my sleeping schedule misalign so bad in the first place? I mean, a year is a long time to leave something unfixed. Part of the problem is that it’s okay for me to sleep in- I still live at home, I have a school schedule that caters to the night owl, and my job utilizes me as an evening worker. So, there isn’t a whole lot of responsibility in the morning for me, so I don’t really have to be up then. That’s the way it’s been for the past 2 years now.

The other part of the problem? Complacency. 

Becoming complacent. Being complacent. The thing I always say I want to avoid. I never want to fall into a zone of complacency, a one where my life is essentially ‘what it is’, and I’m not really looking to move the needle at all. I guess that’s standard, to want to be improving, or at least changing. Sure, not everyone actually does constantly improve, yet if you ask anyone, they’d almost all say that it’s their goal. To steadily become better everyday, to move forward and make life better each step.

In a lot of ways, when I look back realistically on me in the past few years (since starting community college), I’ve really become sedentary in a lot of the aspects of my life. I stopped worrying about working out, improving my jump shot in basketball, setting personal goals, and even my morality.

I’m not a saint, far from it, but there was a time in high school where I took morals a bit more seriously. The virtues of self control, willpower, the idea of stoicism, building confidence- they’ve gone missing in my life. I still am a nice person and that’s one thing I’m proud of, I’ve never let the main moral of “treat your neighbor as yourself” slip away from me. That’s the most important one to me. That one above all else. But, I no longer find myself practicing the same standards I did for a while. I used to be much better at being health conscious in my diet. I used to force myself to find motivation in tough spots. It’s like these goals that I would work towards, in order to practice to just be a better person overall, those have silently gone missing.

It’s not that I don’t care, because I do, but it’s that I’ve gotten comfortable. Being comfortable can lead to this idea of complacency. You don’t feel that need anymore, that you once did, because ‘everything’s fine, maan’. It’s not until something happens that kind of ‘wakes you up’, that you realize change is needed. When life isn’t throwing you that message, it can be hard to receive it. How do you receive it, anyway? I find that writing this out, for one, makes me realize what nothing else is telling me: I’ve gotta make some changes for myself and for those around me.

I’m sounding super general, I know, but it’s just because, well, in general I need to change some stuff. I don’t want a new school or a new friend to be that thing that ‘shifts me into gear’ all of the time. It’s not a pride thing, it’s just that I believe I need to invent my own gear shift. I feel like everyone should have the ability to find fault in themselves and seek out a solution. In saying that, I hope I’ll practice what I’m preaching.

A customer came into Starbucks a few days ago. He points to a bagel and asks “Is this the sprouted grain vegan bagel?” 

“Yeah, I think. It replaced the multigrain bagel”, I say, with a slight bit of doubt. I didn’t realize we had a ‘vegan bagel’, I thought it was just another bagel.

“Is it vegan? I didn’t even know that! Are you yourself a vegan?”

Yeah man, I’ve been trying to switch to veganism. It’s hard, I’m only on week five, but I’m hoping I can keep it. I’m feeling more ‘chipper’ already since I started watching my diet”.

Five weeks? On a vegan diet? To me, that seemed impossible. It’s not impossible, obviously, but man, I just realized how far off I’d be from having the same sense of willpower as this dude has. He’s kept this incredibly restrictive diet up for 5 weeks straight and is rolling on, meanwhile I had some southwest chicken microwavable taquitos with a soda late last night. I give this guy props. I could learn a thing or two about self determination from him.

With that, I’m gonna wrap this one up. We all need self determination, or the ability to produce it. I don’t have it, but I hope I’ll stop being a lazy fuck and actually fix that. Maybe by the end of summer, I’ll be awake in the morning, hitting the gym in the afternoon again, and mentally overpowering that urge to get some Jack in the Box tacos.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 2:08 AM

The Key

What do you value most in your life? Really though, have you ever thought of that? What do you personally put most value in, what is your ultimate goal, what do you live for, etc etc.

I think I’ve mentioned this before on here, but to me, the ultimate goal and the key to everything is happiness. In my life, that’s what I put atop the totem pole. It’s what I aim for, it’s what I deem necessary, and it’s what I truly live for. It’s pretty simplistic, maybe I’m a simple kind of person.

Do you ever stop and think about this idea though- the idea that lots of other people don’t put happiness first? I’m not trying to say that just because I personally think happiness is the true goal in life, that everyone else should feel the same. Maybe other people already have happiness and don’t need to prioritize it. Maintaining happiness, as a constant, 24/7 thing, is impossible. It just is- you’ll have days where it seems to disappear, and on the contrary you’ll have weeks where you feel euphoric. But, it fluctuates, and I’ll make my case for why happiness is what you should aim for every day. Not money, not social status, or whatever else you could think of.

Skip back to what I said earlier:

“It’s what I aim for, it’s what I deem necessary-“

Wow. Quoting my own words felt incredibly douchey. It’s for style, ok?

Anyways, notice how I claimed that happiness is a necessity, amidst that sentence of explaining why I value it? It’s kind of a strange way to put it, isn’t it? It sounds like I’m saying that you need to be happy, and in a sense, I am.

Obviously, it’s okay to not be okay. It’s alright if you’re dealing with depression, you’re having a down day, or you just aren’t feeling it. That’s totally normal and I’m not at all saying that it shouldn’t exist, because the fact of the matter is that no matter what, it will always exist, in some shape or form. What I mean, though, is that in order for you to live your best life and do what you are capable of doing, you need happiness. 

It’s a baseline. A key ingredient. 

Last night I came across this realization: you don’t hear about people in the news who aren’t happy. If you do, it’s because their career is slumping- maybe the actor has been out of the spotlight for a few years, a musician hasn’t released an EP in a couple years, or the director hasn’t got on the set seriously in a while. It’s more or less a fact, I’m starting to understand, that when you’re happy, you’re doing your best work.

I came across this realization last night watching a music video with my sister. She was showing me a new band I hadn’t really heard of before, Diiv. The band is an indie/alt-rock sort of group, and she figured I’d like them. Well, I did, but one of the first things I noticed is that the lead singer, Zachary Cole Smith, looks a bit like Kurt Cobain. I really like Cobain, and so does my sister, so I mention it to her- “He kinda looks like a younger Kurt Cobain”. She nods in agreement- “Yeah, and he’s also addicted to heroin like Kurt was. He’s gotta get off it. Look at him in this video, he’s clearly on the stuff”. 

Man, that’s some serious stuff, heroin. Goes without saying. And this guy, is at risk of losing his career because he can’t stay off it- he’s been arrested multiple times in possession of it, and as of now he’s in inpatient treatment to try and break his addiction. Good for him. His band has a lot of potential and, well, heroin isn’t going to get that band where they want to be.

Then, I had a crude thought. In all these studio recording videos, it was pretty clear that Smith was on his drug of choice- his eyes dilated, his face calm, and his gestures a bit slowed. Wouldn’t being drugged out mess up his playing?” I ask, sounding like a 5 year old. My sister tells me that he seems to play better on it, and I can’t dispute it. He is passionate in these videos, stringing together melodies with his brother and the rest of their band like it’s nothing. He really loves what he’s doing!-or, is it the heroin?

Seriously. Why do people usually get addicted to drugs anyway? To me, most cases must be because they’re fed up with their reality and are tired of fighting, in a sense they take an alternative path. Some people say it’s the “easy way out”, but I’m not gonna say that because you can never know how bad someone is struggling if they resort to something as infamous as heroin.  And, much like the man who I compared him to, Kurt Cobain, Smith has a history of depression, it turns out. No surprise there.

I don’t judge people who are addicted to drugs as much because of this. I give them the benefit of the doubt, as we should as they’re all people just like us relatively sober people. I obviously want people with addictions to get off them, because they’re flat out life threatening, and there is other help available.

But, back to the point I’ve been trying to make- Diiv may not be heard of if it weren’t for Smith artificially manufacturing his happiness. It’s something to think about. Heroin is horrible and he should’ve never turned to it, but he likely did it to escape depression. And, when he did, he found happiness, and he found his art. He made it big, and I don’t doubt it’s because he was happy.

In less severe cases, we see people on television who appear happy all the time. Think about Jim Carrey. As a kid, I thought he couldn’t frown. He was always having fun, making jokes, and seemed to not even know what the feeling of sadness was. As I grow older, I find he has a history of manic depression that runs in his family, and that comedy has always been his scapegoat. It’s great, that he could find happiness in the comedy genre, because that vaunted happiness made him a legendary career. Would Jim Carrey ever have been heard of if he chose politics? Well, if he were happy doing it, maybe. You won’t being doing your best work until you’re happy doing it, and that translates. People feed on it, and you sort of become one with what you do.

Personally, I know it to be true. I can’t create if I’m depressed. Whenever I’d have a spell of sadness, I usually don’t do what I want. Then, that day where the sadness would cease to exist, I’d come up with a bunch of ideas for a painting or video.

That’s why I put happiness in the number one spot on the life goals list. It’s always important. Even when I have it, I’m trying to keep it as long as I can. I’m trying to manufacture it in the hardest of places. The reason I do that, is because I know it’s vital. Happiness first, the rest will figure itself out.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 6:35 PM

Managing Perspectives

“I’m a million different people from one day to the next”

It’s a lyric from a song that we’ve probably all heard before, Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve.

Well, he wasn’t being literal in the lyric. Obviously. He was, however, being somewhat realistic. At least from my perspective, we are all different people depending on who’s listening. To some extent. Or, maybe not to any extent. I’ll speak for myself.

Well, I definitely have different faces for different crowds. It’s always been that way, and it centers around how I see them react to how I act. There are stages in any relationship- any friendship, partnership, etc. That first stage, when you’re getting acquainted with someone, those first impressions- for me, that’s a template I work on. I have that filed into the back of my head, and I edit it continuously. Hey I’m Luca, how are you doing? I like art, basketball, favorite genre is alt-rock. Now, obviously I don’t just spit out that sentence when I meet someone. But, that version of me that’s introducing himself, is universal. Generally speaking, that’s probably the closest thing to who I am. Other friends that I have, see other ‘phases’ of me if that makes sense.

I cuss around my best friend. I watch my mouth around my friend who is religious. I flirt with the single girl who I’m getting into. I refuse to be controversial around my serious friend. It’s that kind of thing; I shift my mold based on how people expect me to be, or how it would best suit the relationship. It is the concept of being a ‘million different people’- you wouldn’t say those cringe jokes you make with your best friend at 3 am with your date. You might later, but for now, you want her to get comfortable, and you assume you being too off the wall would deter her. So, you change your face to save face. Don’t know how clever that was because it only makes half sense, but that’s the point I’m trying to make.

There are a lot of frustrations with this, clearly. I hate when I’m hanging out with a friend and they’re like I didn’t know you could be serious! Because, my relationship with that person was casual- oh yeah, I’m forgetting that duh, of course they think I’m constantly joking- because, around them, I am.

Not everyone sees you for even half of your day. Even the person you live with, be it your family, wife, husband, bff- they don’t see you for 50 percent of your day. Unless they were just attached to you at the hip, they’re not gonna know you like you know you. And, especially for those friends you see off and on, they may think you’re a totally different person than you really are.

That last sentence frustrates me. I could tell you with confidence that I’ve turned a lot of people off via SOCIAL MEDIA because of how I accidentally portray myself on it. I make awkward humor, self deprecation, and then before you know it people have an idea of who you are before even getting a coffee with you. I know for a fact it’s ruined chances at dating someone before- a girl once texted me verbatim “you’re not my type at all ahahha” after I jokingly said “I’m gonna have to drown in my tears, then” when she rejected my coffee date invitation. Look, I was 16, and it was a joke. Intended to make her laugh, no matter how cringe-inducing it was. She’d never seen me in person. We’d never hung out. We’d been texting a week (maybe two?), and she’s already hitting me with that “you’re not my type”- WHAT? That awful phrase “you don’t know me” is actually relevant here- she didn’t know me. She didn’t even know the surface of me; that ‘template’ I was referring to when I’m getting acquainted with someone. She didn’t even give me the chance to show her that, because she gathered from my retweets and Facebook posts that I was just not her type. Fair enough, I can’t get upset about that. I mean, I can, and I was, but I’m not really allowed to voice that. It’s her right to rule me out based on her pre-conceived notions. For fucks sake though, really? Give me a chance. When I’m up at 2 am still listening to your personal problems and your current boyfriend is ignoring you for 12 +hours, I’ll just say I told you so. Oh wait, it won’t get to that, because that was 3-4 years ago and you didn’t give me my chance.

That’s not the only time that’s happened. And, it has happened on wider scales too. I’ve had periods where no one would invited me to a party based on who was there. Okay? Well, the guys who did invite me kept inviting me because I made them laugh. They’d give me a chance and I was able to repay them by making it more fun. And, don’t act like it’s never happened to you. You know some people won’t hit you up because they think they know who you are. Sometimes it’s fair and just; don’t ask me to get high and watch the big bang theory with you, because we both know I don’t do those things often. In fact, I never watch the big bang theory. It’s not funny to me. We both know I’m not the guy for that. But, the only reason that you know is because you got to know me.  And, you saw me through the lens I showed you.

Everyone has a different angle for a different situation. My crude humor turns into awkward kindness at family gatherings. It’s what I wanna do, to make a joke about something preposterous, but because I know my aunt wouldn’t laugh, I bite my tongue. It’s a thing we do as people to make conversations and relationships as fluid as possible. It’s a good thing, in general. To try and compensate for not only yourself, but the other person you’re interacting with.

But man, the whole “overthinking” part of anxiety really nails me here. If I let myself think into this concept too long, I’ll start uncovering some tough truths. Maybe the reason this person doesn’t wanna hangout with me is because they think I’m always making fun of life and never able to be mature. Maybe this person thinks I’m too serious for their taste because I thought it’s what they wanted me to be like. It’s not being a people pleaser when you concede the fact that you have to monitor what you say based on how the other person would take it, to a certain extent. You are just trying to keep the peace, after all.

According to a classmate in 12th grade economics, I’m quiet and not much else. It’s all they’ve ever seen from me. But, according to the 6 or 7 different people I’ve seen in the past week, I can actually talk. According to my Mom, I’m a serious, diligent worker. However, Kevin sees me as a sailor mouthed comedian. I could pile up these comparisons for days. Is it being an enigma? No, it’s being human. At least, that’s how I see it.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 3:32 AM

Self Control

The elusive virtue.

Well, maybe not for you, but for me definitely. I have a weak sense of self control, I really do. And I’m not proud of it, obviously. But, it is definitely one of my weaknesses.

Self control is just the ability to ‘say no’ to certain things, or to hold back from doing something, in an effort to be tter a situation. In everyday life, it manifests itself in eating habits, what you say, what you spend money on, those types of things. It’s essentially the power to hold back on something.

The religious theme of “resisting temptation” is exactly what the concept of self control is about. Could you say no, would you say no, or did you say no? If you had the choice and did, then that’s a point in the self control category.

The past few years, I haven’t scored a whole lot of self control points. I’ve become more and more lenient on ‘letting things slide’. It is what happens when you become less disciplined, in essence.

Why does a person become less disciplined? Is it because they don’t care anymore, because they’re lazy, or did they just get tired of doing it? I don’t really know. One of the things that would always prevent me personally from doing something dumb was anxiety- the fear of what could happen, or the negative thinking that correlates with higher anxiety can be a self control moderator in itself. But, that’s not really you- anxiety can’t be the thing that holds you back. If it is, then is it really you that has good self control, or is it just your mental anxiety? To me, I never wanted to credit anxiety with anything. And, now that I’m a few years older, I don’t have as much anxiety as I used to (thankfully)- so, consequently, I worry less. Worrying less may have led to further lenience on having a discipline of self control. The more confident you are, the more choices you can make, It’s true- it opens doors when you leave anxiety in the rearview.

Again though, I’m not sure if that’s what explains it. I’ve always had issues with saying no to things that I want, I’ll just say that I used to be better at it. Nowadays, I think I generally make better diet decisions, but that’s because I feel like I have to- I don’t make an earnest effort to workout anymore. I’ve got a bad habit about going back to old habits without breaking them. That’s a form of low self control. Having the courage to say “I shouldn’t say this to this person” or “I’m better off leaving this alone” is something I consistently find myself failing at, it’s frustrating.

I swear this blog isn’t going to become a 24/7 negative post-fest. I just realized it must seem that way. The few posts I have published in the past few months have all had some kind of negative tone it seems. There are plenty positive posts to come!

I shouldn’t just talk about my self control issue, I’ve got to work on it. It’s a virtue that really everyone should work towards. Think about how many times that lack of self control has gotten you or someone you know into trouble. Or how many times it caused you to slip up or be setback. It’s the culprit of a lot of that, isn’t it? Well, at least it is for me.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 12:30 AM

My Dilemma

What’s up. It’s been a little over a week since I even thought to write a post on here. I’ve been really busy. Working, creating stuff, catching up with friends, sleeping in. I haven’t really had time to post much.

It’s been only about 6 months on the stuff, but I’m growing pretty tired of taking vyvanse every day. It definitely gets tiring to deal with amphetamine coursing through your system every hour.

Have you ever taken a stimulant? Ever been prescribed one? For whatever reason. ADD, ADHD, whatever. I mean, taken one for an extended period of time?

If you have, you’ll be able to relate to what I’m about to say.

Vyvanse, adderall, ritalin, you name it- prescription stimulants- may seem perfect when you take them for the first time. You’re up and at it, getting stuff done, feeling more awake and alert, and probably scoring higher on a test. Taking them for a day, a week, or a few weeks, they seem to work miracles. You might wonder why I’d even think to complain about them.

It’s something different though when you have to take it. Over time, your body gets used to it, it loses it’s “day 1” efficacy, and some of the negative effects start to kick in.

Vyvanse does the following for me: helps me feel awake, keeps me focused, makes me want to get things done, and helps me complete things/tasks.

Of those things, there are plenty of positive things. The whole part about being more productive is a definite reason to take it. I’m not prescribed it for that reason, though. I feel the need to tell people this when they ask why I take it. Well, I don’t wanna take anything. I like being sober, I like living my own life, outside from drug interference. But, I have to take it. I mean that.

I don’t know what went wrong a year ago or whatever, I don’t know why I all of a sudden got more and more tired, but for whatever reason, it just happened. I hope this never happens to you, because it’s extremely frustrating to deal with and literally explain constantly. It’d be different if I had a firm diagnosis, people would understand- but then again, I don’t wanna be diagnosed with anything. Safe to say, I have something in the realm of narcolepsy. It’s not full blown narcolepsy, I’m not gonna fall asleep while driving, but I’m gonna be about twice as tired as I should be. How do I know? Because, before this year, I never had these issues. Whatever, I’ve said this all a million times- point is, I don’t have a choice whether or not I swallow that capsule every day I wake up. Yeah, I could go off it- but I know what will happen, I’ll be sleepy and constantly fighting the urge to nap. Yes I’ve tried it.

The dilemma is that I’m not myself when I’m on vyvanse. I’m awkward, I’m only focused on work, I get shit done but I forget to enjoy stuff. The caveat to the productivity part of vyvanse is that if you aren’t productive, you feel shitty. You’re restless, irritable, and your day feels hollow. Social anxiety is magnified x10 on vyvanse. It doesn’t “make you nervous” so to say, but it makes you hyper aware. You focus so well that you focus on what everyone around you is thinking about you. The result is watching your every move, being overly self aware, and just being a robot socially. I’m too damn robotic and wanting to work. When on vyvanse, your first thought in response to someone will be What’s the the most logical response here? This makes me so fucking awkward, trying to just make conversation work as if it’s some task. It’s the way your mind works on vyvanse, and God forbid you notice the other person’s tone change. Then you focus on your own social rigidity, it’s a cycle, and thus boom- you’re awkward.

That’s my daily dilemma- do I wanna feel awake? Or would I rather be sleepy but feel more like myself? It’s annoying. I want both. I want to be able to have my confidence that I know I have, but I also want to be able to stay awake- and feel awake. That feeling you have after a 5 hour night of sleep in the morning- that’s what I’m talking about. That’s the “issue” I have- I have that feeling regardless of amount of sleep, and it doesn’t go away after a few hours of being awake.

Personally, I’m gonna pick the option of feeling awake. I guess I’ll just keep trying to get over my lack of personality whilst being on it. Man, those days when I’ve got nothing going on though, and I decide to skip it- those days are really just a reminder of what a different person this drug makes me. All of a sudden I’m making people laugh and I’m not worrying about what I’ve gotten done. Sure, I’m tired, but I’m myself. Fuck the social awkwardness, because I got over that shit 3 years ago. Well, I did, but this new crutch I have brings it back. That’s the dilemma.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 3:09 AM

Ego

Ego: A person’s sense of self esteem or self importance.

So, ego is a subjective thing, then. It’s a person’s own opinion on themselves, essentially. You probably already knew that, though, because the term ego is oft-used. “He has such a big ego” “That’s so egotistical”.

Acknowledge that everyone has an ego. Sort of weird to say, because we usually only associate an ego with a narcissistic type person; it’s a word that we usually use against people. You’re always told when your ego is showing, or maybe you notice that you have an eye for the self-obsessed. It’s a general rule that we all either follow or say we follow. That rule is that you’ve gotta keep that sense of self esteem in check: you can’t let it get too large, but you also must keep it above sea level, so to say.

It’s another one of those ‘fine lines’ that I notice. The other one I posted about was the fine line between caring what others think and becoming a people pleaser. Well, this line is at least thicker than that one- there is more ‘grey area’. But, who really determines where that grey area ends? Hint: no one.

It goes without saying that one person can’t determine how much you should value yourself. But, I notice issues with the whole thing. I’ve heard people tell me I need to ‘take a stand’ for myself, as if to say my ego was too low, yet I was completely content with how I was acting. On the flip side, I’ve gotten complaints from my guy friends for ‘posting a bunch of selfies on instagram’. Why complain? Well, it gives off the vibe that you think you’re all that, and boom– all of a sudden you could be labeled as egotistical. That’s the thing. You can’t avoid criticism in this department, no matter how humble or how full of pride you are. You’re gonna hear about it from someone at some point. 

My self evaluation has always been generally positive. What do you evaluate yourself on? What is the criteria to which you rate yourself?

What I’m personally talking about (when I say my “self evaluation”), is my sense of appearance, morality, and value to others. Three vague terms, but they all come to mind when I think of my ego.

I always have tried to keep my ego in check, as nearly everyone does. I think that for the most part, I’m successful. Back when I was younger, and through my early teen years, I never had to worry if I was getting too self-absorbed because I was focused on other things. Anxiety things. But, as of today, I don’t worry much about that, and I’ve returned to having more confidence. I really admire humble and selfless people, so I try to be like them. Often times, however, I fail. Whether it be because I post a picture trying to show off my face, or I ramble on about what I’ve done, or what I know, it all just comes back to a leak in my ego. It comes out every once in a while; but, like I said, everyone has an ego. And it can come out at any time. But, let me say this out front: I don’t ever believe I am better than another person. Not one. I might think I was good looking one day, or that I know about basketball or philosophy, but never does that lead me to thinking I’m above another person. Hence, the site motto.

Having a personal blog makes me confront my sense of personal importance often. It’s in the name of the job. So, I often think about this topic. What makes a person become egotistical? Why do some people have such low self esteem? Does anxiety rule out ego entirely?

So why does a person become egotistical? 

It’s a very complicated question, let me just go out any say that. Obviously. I think it stems from who they surround themselves with. In the end, it’s not you that keys yourself into the idea that “hey, I’m pretty important”. It is always other people. An example: Jimmy Butler is an NBA player for the Chicago Bulls. You may have heard his name before, as he is their star player nowadays. However, no one predicted he’d be this good- he was a second round pick, didn’t play much for his first two years in Chicago, and most of all, he is a rags-to-riches story. He was homeless for part of his growing up, and just being drafted was huge for him. He quickly became on of my favorite players: he was a hustler, he played hard, never got into any altercations or fights with other players, kept his mouth shut and let his game do the talking. Now? Well, he’s become a known quantity with trash talk the past year or so. He caused locker room disruption, spoke out against some of his teammates, and all round just does not give off that humble vibe that he once did. It would make sense, that one goes from zero to hero and it gets to their head. How does it get to their head? Well, more and more people tell Jimmy he’s worth top dollar, more and more he thinks about it, more and more he believes it. And, over time, he subconsciously tries to be that in real life. What other people think of you really does determine some of what you think about yourself.

How do you keep an ego in check? I don’t entirely know myself, as I constantly slip up and say something pretentious or get too far ahead of myself. But, I do try, because the last thing I wanna become is a ‘self proclaimed king’. No one likes a person who thinks they’re better than everyone else. And, I don’t like it either. I don’t wanna be seen that way, people don’t wanna see me that way, so I try constantly to keep my self value balanced. 

How, though? Well, personally, I practice the “do good and tell nobody” thing from time to time. If I do something I’m proud of, a favor or something like that, I try and bite my tongue. I don’t post on social media about how I gave a homeless man some money, how I helped a mouse in my backyard out from my cat, etc. It’s tempting to, because if you post about it you’re likely to receive support/likes/a cheap self esteem boost. But, practicing that gets easier and easier, and in the end, you’re developing integrity: the idea that you’d honestly do the same if no one was watching. Another thing I try and do is to not talk about myself so much. I do talk about myself at times, if I didn’t it’d be unhealthy. You’ve gotta care about yourself. However, I try and not to let myself drone on and on. No one likes a one sided conversation, and even though it’s more fun to blurb personal experiences, I think it’s important to sit back and listen as well. Finally, I never tell a person my raw thoughts on myself- good or bad. If I have a day where I think I look really good, I don’t ever state that. On the other hand, if I’m feeling like an idiot, I don’t spread that, as it only spreads negativity and can be a tactic to fish for compliments.

At the end of the day, I still fail at being humble from time to time. The ego is a complicated subject.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 4:55 PM