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Why I Feel Better Now I’m Poor

Update more than a month later: take this article with a pinch of salt as very soon after this I collapsed into a very deep depression punctuated by panic attacks – the first panic attacks I’ve had in my life. Living excessively cheap was way more stressful than I thought, and I’m currently rethinking my plans, while desperately trying to care for my mental health.

I have to apologise for not writing for so long. I have been going through a kind of transition. In January I learnt that my financial support for working on my writing was ending. I was consequently faced with the necessity to do something to make ends meet.

I explored various ways in which I might make money, and found myself frequently crying from the stress (plus some unrelated loneliness and heartbreak; it all kind of mixed together). I went in and out of depression.

Eventually, though, I found my feet again. My attempts to earn money doing things I didn’t want to do taught me one thing: I really don’t want to do something just for the sake of money. Somehow I feel life is too short for that crap*.

*I actually don’t mean that literally; I believe in reincarnation. But actually, life doesn’t have to be short for you to not want to waste your time and spirit.

Simultaneously, I gradually reduced my costs to a bare minimum, and finally came to understand just how cheap living can be. My supporter is still giving me free rent, which basically means my only necessary costs are food. I’ve been living mostly off rice and potatoes, and have begun to dumpster dive for free vegetables. I think that at this rate I could live off 50€ a month, which is coincidentally what I earn from the ads on this website.

It’s almost nice to be so poor right now, because for once, at my current expenditure, I seem to have a stable situation. This means I can keep writing for a long time – probably indefinitely. That’s a weight of stress off my shoulders.

Now, having a sense of stability for the first time in a while, I’ve started to think again about something that is long overdue – I should learn to be lighter and enjoy life more. I have been so serious, so weighed down. So fucking stressed out. I want to just let go of all of that and enjoy the moment for what it is.

That’s easier said than done, of course. But it all starts with the intention, and the Universe gets to work…

I have been wondering whether after all these years of suffering, my brain has just gotten used to producing a lower level of pleasure hormones. I have a “habit” of feeling unhappy so to speak.

This was something I started to think about when I took MDMA. The drug works basically by forcing the body to release more pleasure hormones. The result is a different state of being, where basically everything is OK and everything feels good. It’s pretty much impossible to worry or feel bad while on that drug. (Or at least it was for me).

I think experiences like these show us how much being unhappy is a kind of illusion. If all it takes is some chemicals to stop feeling bad, those negative thoughts can’t have been so real in the first place.

I’m not exactly sure what this means in practical terms. Perhaps I can just train my body to produce more happiness hormones. Perhaps I can just learn to ignore my negative thoughts more.

I have more questions than answers in this post. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have any.



Berlin, And Learning Self Dependence

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