The story so far…

This isn’t a detailed autobiography, just an outline of one person’s life with dysthymia/depression, so things will be kept general.

~All my life I felt like an outsider. From around age twelve I began to marvel at the capacity for a seemingly natural joy that people could experience, while I watched from the other side of the invisible fence. Around ’79, on the edge of my small town, one sunny, hazy Saturday afternoon behind the school overlooking a field with my friends, I experienced a profound ennui that, looking back, should never have been felt by a fourteen year old kid. How could such a romantic poetic vision and melancholy regret have been made aware by some dumb teen? Very little worldly experience, no worldly loss, no ripping trauma, yet there it was. Without the buffers of time spent in the world, how could someone so young be expected to deal with these adult impressions?

When I was about eighteen I was tired of being tired, so I decided that I should go to a doctor to try to deal with the haze I was living in. I went in, he asked a few questions, I was prescribed vitamin c tablets and booted out the office door…

…WTF… goddamn vitamin c tablets…

…no questions, no interest, no sleuthing for answers to any possible mysteries that one might want to uncover, discover and conquer; y’know… to satisfy the natural male urge to “know”.

Nope. Just vitamin c pills. This begs the query: are doctors taught to be unimaginative dullards? Are all remnants of innate curiosity drained and beaten out of them during training? Is there a liability issue involved that forces them to take an extremely conservative approach? Does this approach prevent in many cases a favorable result? If so, this doesn’t reflect well on Western practices.

With this bad taste in my mouth I realised that I would probably have to fix my problems myself, so through the years I developed a DIY approach to things. I soldiered on and did everything I could to find an answer for my state. I tried every “healthy diet” in the books until I stumbled on the concept of eating to satisfy the human genome. This meant eating, as closely as possible, pre-agricultural food; a paleoesque diet. It worked to a certain extent. In this same “paleo” vein, I started exercising in a more natural way; this meant lots of walking and very little running, and weight training using as many muscles as possible per exercise (compound exercises) and doing it less. This worked somewhat too. With this combination of diet and exercise my anxiety levels went down quite a bit, and only the dysthymia remained. This experiment began in 2007…

…before this time, I’d tried too many antidepressants to name (this would require a separate, lengthy post… maybe later), on and off label, none of which worked, and some of which performed some interesting and nasty business.

One day, while travelling the internet, I discovered the theory that, for some, depression might be caused by an anomaly within the endogenous opioid system, and not necessarily within the monoamine neurotransmitter system, despite all the myopic, narrow research that served to build an enormous, expensive research infrastructure dedicated to that. This pissed me off a bit, and all kinds of government-corporation conspiracy theories and various tie-ins floated through my reasonably lucid, non-paranoid brain.

Thus my discovery of endorphin deficiency syndrome (EDS) theory (h/t Reardon Metal for his passionate dedication to our theory). The fact that our bodies even produce natural opiates wasn’t proved until the ’70s, so this theory can be forgiven somewhat for being so young and unexplored; but that’s no excuse for the lack of enthusiasm and effort by the pharmaceuticals. I’m a libertarian, so believe in property rights and the freedom for corporations to research whatever the hell they want in a truly capitalist system of free markets (no state/corp collusion); but knowing that the government and corporations are so in bed with each other, I can’t help thinking that there exists some suppression of research and therapy (profits and monopoly), and because of this I’m pissed that there are no real signs pointing to opiate therapy research, just a few studies here and there. With the new classes of opiates like buprenorphine, because of their actions, one develops tolerance very slowly, if at all. There is no longer an excuse for ignoring this line of research and therapy.

So, while I dream of a relatively safe opiate therapy, I have to work with what I’ve got. One frustrating afternoon, shortly after I left the doctor’s office, he in a bewildered, puzzled and angry state after going through my internet research papers, I knew that I was going to have to go it alone once again. I refused to get involved with the underground for my opiates, and online non-prescription pharms were too expensive, so I hit the internet for other options. Unbelievably, I found a potent source of opium in plain view of the world, yet thankfully obscured by our lack of knowledge: poppies… the ones grandma grows… the ones that, the seeds of which, can be bought from online vendors or any supermarket spice aisle and planted in any back yard…

…my first harvest was a smashing success…

…I harvested the pods, dried them and finely ground them into a powder called dode, or doda. I developed my own dosing regimen using an accurate scale, started keeping dosing records and experienced a relief from depression that I’d never known… and an opiate dependence.

…and so begins my journey.


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