I spent most of last Sunday night slowly and steadily working through the heap of responsibilities that I had steadfastly ignored in favor of the weekend. I did this despite knowing the pitfalls of procrastination, and unsurprisingly, I was tired when I woke up in the morning. I walked to meet a friend for breakfast, silently bemoaning my terrible decision the whole way there, and when I arrived, she was not in much better shape. We exchanged mumbles, I admitted I’d brought this fate entirely on myself, and her reaction was misguided, although sympathetic: “You want an Adderall?”

I have reached a moment in my life when my various mental functions seem to have gone south, or at least are heading in that direction. At going on seventy-seven years old, many of my old abilities of past celebration have indeed deserted me. As a member of a small writers group, I am faced once a month, with an “assignment” to fulfill. It has become something of a difficult task of late. It is, however nothing I find discouraging in any way. And so last December I decided to tempt fate and go where what remaining creativity would take me. The subject of the assignment was something like “Humphrey Bogart revisited.”

We think, and conscious lives are fed by our subconscious mind and inflicted behaviors unwittingly become us.  In a recent conversation with Gordon Davidescu, we examined sleep learning and the power of the subconscious mind in the comments stream:

I take walks, too, when I get stuck on a problem. I go out, think about other things and then later on the answer magically appears on its own. Consciously letting go of the problem is the key to making it happen. That’s the hardest part to learn because we tend to want to actively seek solutions until we feel we’ve solved it. Letting go of unsolved things is tricky.

On April 29, 2011, I wrote an article for the Boles University BlogBipolarism and Sugar  Consumption — where I argued depressed people were self-medicating with refined sugar to create a false high that then quickly resulted in an even deeper, depressive, low:

Bipolarism is defined by manic highs and severe lows and medication can help keep that under control, but there is the silent danger of the over consumption of sugar to help retain those dramatic highs and valley lows — but few patients and doctors are prescient enough to also prescribe a “no sugar” diet to Bipolar patients in addition to medication.

If you suffer from Bipolarism, and if you crave sugar to unwittingly help replicate the emotional highs and lows of your disease — try carving sugar out of your diet, and that includes alcohol, too — and see if you don’t immediately start feeling warm and neutral and safe again.

I have written a lot about caffeine.  I have been horribly addicted.  I have tried to find outs, but I’ve always been sucked back in to that artificial high.  My addiction started at age nine when my mother gave me a triple-shot of gross Taster’s Choice instant coffee to help give me that “oomph” to shovel a basketball court-sized driveway after a Nebraska-sized blizzard.  I remember getting that first, tingly, caffeine high — and the elevation it caused in my mind — and I chased repeating that dragon for decades.