Monday, October 12, 2020

My recent bout of depression is over (I think – this may be prescriptive, maybe not), largely thanks to:

1) Interacting more with my mother, as we're the only two bodies in the house with my father in Taiwan. My father's presence is not missed; he filled the house with a cranky, demanding energy, even though all he did was sit on the couch and watch Korean soap operas. Interacting with my mother, through the asking and answering of simple questions, such as “What do you want for dinner” or “Do you need to do laundry” or “Where are you going hiking,” allows me work some hidden empathy muscle that has largely atrophied. I feel like my mother cares for me; she also knows that I care for her. Of course, these mutual feelings are understood to be unsaid, but verbalizing them indirectly through questions helps reinforces my psyche: I don't feel like I'm doing things alone.

2) Taking Vitamin B12 and D, and enjoying their placebo effect on my mental health.

3) Not being neurotic about working out. I have an app with a strict workout program (nSuns 531). Often, I miss gym days when I drive to downtown Los Angeles for in-office work; when I arrive home at 10 or 11 pm, I'm exhausted and cannot drag myself to the gym, even after chugging a Miami Cola Bang with 300 mg of caffeine.

However, when I miss a day, I subsequently stress at night and have trouble falling asleep because I'm thinking of ways that I can somehow make-up the workouts I missed for that day – knowing full well that I'll never wake up at 5 am no matter how many alarms I set on my phone, or that I'll never spend 3 hours in the gym trying to combine two workouts together.

This weekend, I went to the gym to complete workouts that I missed during the week, yet maintained a more casual attitude. I did not make a concerted effort to hit 100% completion for the week, and I felt less anxious. I enjoy the rush of endorphins that comes with lifting heavy weights, but not so much for that rush (or the chase) to become a sword hanging over my head.

A couple behavior modifications that may help curb the exercise neuroticism:

(a) Not reading the r/steroids Daily Chat threads everyday.

(b) Reducing social media use/consumption, especially Twitter.

© Reducing my porn consumption.

(d) Not trying to “maximize” my gym subscription.

4) Giving up on trying to play catch-up with work, and as such, God blessed me this weekend by sending Ukrainian hackers to infect my firm's databases with ransomware – and as I'm typing this, the firm's IT functions are still offline, which has relieved me from working. God, if you're hearing this, please make the ransomware as encrypted and unintelligible as possible.

5) Listening to Jay Electronica's Act II, especially the back-to-back tracks of “Better in Tune” and “Letter to Falon.” The orchestral elements of each track make me feel wistful, which replaces the internal emptiness with a warm longing that is much more preferable.

6) Researching the candidates and measures that appear on my ballot to actually make informed decisions when voting.

7) Reading, listening to, and watching Supreme Court Justices conduct oral arguments on the Oyez Project, and give interviews on YouTube. I have particularly enjoyed the intelligence, logic, and oration of Justice Anthony Kennedy, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Justice Stephen Breyer. They embody a sort of stoicism that I would like to emulate.