my bag of potions, pills, and medicines
Sunday, January 11 2015
There aren't a lot of mood-altering drugs that are available over-the-counter, but I've been exploring all the ones that are so I can better manage my wakefulness and sleep cycles. I'm already familiar with Ambien (which is not an OTC, but which Gretchen has a prescription for). Ambien is the closest thing I know to a wonder drug, but I wouldn't want to depend on it to get to sleep every night. Similarly, I wouldn't want to depend on booze. Ideally, I'd have five or six reasonably-powerful depressants and five or six reasonably-powerful stimulants (all of them using different biochemical pathways) to alternate between as needed so that my body never habituates to any in particular.
I have two good OTC stimulants, caffeine and pseudoephedrine, and I have a third if you count lobelia (though it's nausea-inducing). Also, for me, marijuana is usually a stimulant. (I know it's illegal, but it's as easy to obtain as pseudoephedrine.) So I'm almost where I need to be when comes to stimulants. An Obamacare prescription for Adderall is really all I need at this point.
As for OTC depressants, they're harder to come by. There's alcohol, and, for a long time, that was pretty much it. But recently, in an effort to cure insomnia without alcohol or Ambien, I've taken an interested in the Benadryl drugs diphenhydramine and doyxlamine (they're essentially the same). I took diphenhydramine a couple times before and a couple during the Belize vacation, and I've found that its effects stretch for hours into the next day. (That Ambien doesn't do this is part of what makes it a wonder drug.) Not only does diphenhydramine make me drowsy the next day, but it tugs subtly on my cognitive powers and even affects my vision. Still, it's a surefire way to fall asleep, so it's a good thing to have in my bag of potions, pills, and medicines.
Last night I took a relatively-high 75 mg dose of doxylamine, and while it put me conclusively to sleep, I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. I was up for a couple hours and realized that I really needed more sleep, so back to bed I went, not awaking again until 3:00pm.
Even after awaking a second time, I was sluggish and dull. Still, I managed to finish one important web development milestone (in addition to failing so badly at installing an alternative version of PHP on a CentOS Linux server that I had to ask the people at the hosting company to do it for me).
At various times today, I tried to watch parts of a cam-ripped version of Interstellar downloaded using Bittorrent. The video quality wasn't too great, but I could see and hear enough of it to recognize a terrible script combined with boneheaded direction. It sounded like a crappy movie from the 1980s, with Matthew McConaughey exuding a caricature of plainspoken John Waynish anti-intellectualism that comes off as groan-inducingly dated in 2015. I'll have to watch the whole movie to form a proper opinion, and that will have to wait for a better download, but for now I am not impressed. I can't believe reviewers have been so kind to it.
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