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I write every day about living with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. I've written and published more than 1.3 million words


Who Are The People That Matter?

6 min read

This is a story about estrangement...


I had a theory, a couple of months ago, that if I chucked all the spammers off my website and stopped allowing public comments, it would be 'better'. What I meant by 'better' at the time, was a combination of a better image in terms of not having tons of spammy bots, filling up the comments section, but also, I was fearful that my site would be algorithmically marked as spammy, and therefore expelled - or at least very harshly punished - from search results, burying my writing... making it impossible to find.

My theory backfired. From a peak of 7,000 visitors a day, I am back where I started: I can make an educated guess about who most of my regular readers are.

Of course, we can talk of sour grapes and self-serving arguments, until we're blue in the face, but for one reason or another, a second of my current work colleagues openly admitted to reading, which was very kind of them. So, amongst my [presumably] regular[ish] readers, I can count two colleagues who I work with on regular[ish] basis.

I notice that the first people I told, on Christmas Eve last year, that my kidneys had failed and I was on dialysis in hospital - very sick - were my work colleagues.

I spoke to some people on the phone, like my sister, and a very dear friend from Bournemouth. A friend from London was going to come and visit me. A work colleague - not one of the admitted readers - did actually visit. Another friend who I'd only met in person twice, but have spent a long time talking to online, and who has read my blog, came to visit.

It does concern me, that I have spent a lot of this year, a hair's breadth away from ending my life, and this Christmas is shaping up to be particularly stressful, when I so desperately need it to be relaxing; I so desperately need the opportunity to recover, rest and recuperate, after a pretty hellish year.

I think things were a lot worse earlier in the year. Presently, I have plenty of money and good credit, so I'm prepared to go to any lengths to keep myself safe this Christmas, which basically translates as: not being home alone in a City where I don't have a social support network, the weather is terrible, and where I nearly died a year ago... quite deliberately.

My colleagues never quite, but still, quickly forgot that I nearly died of multiple organ failure, because that's the way I wanted it: I went back to work and carried on as if nothing happened. What almost none of them know is that I deliberately poisoned myself, I knew my kidneys had failed for many days, and I just lay down on the floor - in great discomfort - waiting to die. Dying is not quick, I'm afraid, unless you do it right: overdoses are tricky things.

I did very recently attempt to obtain a potent poison, but it proved slightly more difficult than it first appeared to be. I'm not a stupid man, and of course I have an almost infinite number of avenues I could pursue, to end my life, but death by poisoning seems to be the most preferable: ideally something which quickly brings unconsciousness, and is painless.

Twice in three years, I've been saved in the nick of time. Once, the emergency services got me to the hospital, just before I started having seizures... 15 or 20 minutes later and I'd have been dead. It was a miracle they discovered me and got me to hospital so promptly. The most recent time, I had lain on the floor, with kidney failure, dying very slowly, for a few days... I'd had time to try a few different ineffective overdoses... it was not a well planned or executed suicide at all: I knew that my only chance was to remain undiscovered until I had a cardiac arrest, which my blood toxicity when I arrived at hospital, showed that I wasn't far away from, due to extremely high potassium levels - a side effect of kidney failure, which I knew.

I should make it clear, I do not plan on committing suicide this Christmas. I am doing everything in my power to keep myself safe. I'm not sure what compelled me to try to obtain the highly potent poison, very recently, but I suppose I felt like having the option, ready, at hand, was prudent preparation, because I refuse to have another bad year.

Of course, as I said, I'm not a stupid man: if I make that very definite final decision, I will execute it, and I will not change my mind. Things get a little harder at Christmas time, in terms of options, but there are still a near-infinite range of options, if I really do feel that I absolutely have to end my life immediately.

Things feel a bit different this year. I feel like there are people I would talk to, if I was getting close to attempting suicide. It's been a long time since I've felt like there was anybody who I'd talk to first... before putting plans into action.

Things feel a bit different right now. I feel like I can solve problems, as opposed to feeling like there's an endless procession of insurmountable obstacles, with each one threatening to destroy my life. Ultimately, I have plenty of money and I'm in the right frame of mind to find solutions other than just ending my life. There isn't anything, except a tragic event involving my sister, niece, friends or cat, which would be enough to provoke me, I think, beyond my general state of depression that my life must inevitably end prematurely anyway, simply because that's my [early] retirement plan.

I feel like I've got people who care about me. I feel like I've got people who understand what I'm going through. I feel like I've got [short-term] options. That's enough to keep me alive this Christmas, I think.




Time Poor

6 min read

This is a story about keeping busy...


At first glance, it appears that I'm neither cash poor nor time poor. This year, my life has been revolutionised: all the wasted commuting time is now mine, to do with whatever I want, and I will definitely end the year with a small financial buffer, to shield me from any economic certainty. In theory, I might even find myself in the Spring time, with some 'disposable' income.

Of course, I have time and money at the moment, but I would rather use my 'leisure' time to make more money, and I want to hoard as much money as possible, because I'm always on the edge of suicide, or at least a nervous breakdown; I can feel no certainty about my future: it contains only death and/or serious illness, both of which will eliminate my income, wrecking my fragile finances.

Looking back at extravagant purchases over the past few years, I've furnished a large house, been on some very luxurious holidays, bought a couple of highly sought-after pedigree cats, eaten in a lot of restaurants, travelled around by taxi, bought a car, bought the latest iPhone and otherwise spent money, without really worrying about it. However, it's not that money that anybody should worry about. That money is just normal stuff that you buy over the course of a few years, working very hard full-time. In fact, I would say that I've spent far, far less than anybody else in my income bracket, who works the same number of hours per week as I do. The lion's share of my money has gone towards debt, taxes and savings... the latter of which I have precious little, when my health is so fragile.

On the matter of fragile health, it seems wrong to write about it, when I don't - to my knowledge - have a life-limiting illness... that is, unless you accept that my depression is so severe that it is life-limiting. I suppose it's grossly unfair to compare myself with a person suffering from cystic fibrosis, who is battling to be alive and has very few choices, versus me who doesn't battle at all, and has an infinite number of choices, right?

That's right, isn't it? My choices are infinite?

Let's just double check this: I can do anything I want, right?


Spectacularly wrong.

Yes, I am fortunate not to have cystic fibrosis, but that doesn't mean I have infinite freedom. Imagine if you met somebody with cystic fibrosis who was depressed about having the condition, and resigned to an early death. Now, imagine you are meeting me, with depression so severe that I have also resigned myself to the early death, which will result from the condition. You will say that I am choosing, but the person with cystic fibrosis cannot choose. You're just plain wrong. If it was a matter of choosing, then I would obviously choose not to have a mental illness.

It seems inconsiderate of me to make this comparison; it seems distasteful, taboo, and somehow intrinsically wrong; incorrect. However, I assure you, that whether it is an auto-immune condition where the body attacks itself, or a mental health condition where the body attacks itself, there is an underlying pathology, which is ultimately prematurely fatal. The situations are, for the purpose of this thought experiment, identical.

The fact that I would continue to do what I'm doing at the moment for 'free' if I was financially secure and independent, suggests that I'm not complaining about a lack of 'spare time' at all. I need my leisure time, with very little to occupy it, because I am so single-mindedly fixated on the outcome of the project I'm involved in. If I tried to do anything extra, I would definitely have a nervous breakdown. Hence, being single and not dating at the moment, for example.

The fact that I do and say whatever I want, whenever I want, also suggests that I'm not complaining about lack of money either. Of course, if my contract was terminated early, or not extended, then I will very quickly find myself evicted onto the streets, penniless and destitute. The question is how quickly? I expect that I can support myself for 4 or 5 months, without any lifestyle alteration. Of course, I also know what it's like to spend the best part of two years homeless, sleeping rough for considerable periods... so it's not something I'm anxious about.

What I fear more than anything is boredom. I like being busy.

I do also fear the loss of my home, and more importantly, the stress that would be placed on me, having to downsize from a 3/4 bedroom house with two reception rooms, a garden and a driveway, to a hostel bed or a tent... or worse still, just a hastily improvised bivouac.

However, more than the fear of the loss of my home, and the associated stress, I fear being trapped as a wage slave; I fear being forced to do a salaried job which I hate more than anything in the world, just to pay the rent or mortgage... locked into a miserable monotonous life, with no option to cut and run from that drudgery.

Perhaps the day will never come - indeed it never has - where I will be able to finally take a year off work, go travelling, write a novel or two, without having a constant anxiety gnawing at the pit of my stomach, telling me that I'd better get back to work as quick as possible, to replenish my rapidly dwindling meagre pot of life savings.

I have, now, considerably simplified the whole thing though: I will work hard, now, while there is the opportunity. Then, I will see if I have the chance, for the first time in my life, to pursue a path just for fun and excitement, as more than just a one or two week holiday, as recompense for a miserable boring job, which doesn't really count. I've never had money, health, and freedom from commitments, ever before in my life. I'm not one of the privileged bunch who got to go on gap years and doss about at uni, because there was a magic money tree which meant they could just drift around, reading a few books and chatting to interesting people... all I've ever done is work.

I'm far too old and far too poor to really be thinking about 'travelling' in a youthful sense... this is more akin to 'early retirement'... except my early retirement, through financial necessity, must end with premature death, which is fine by me, because I am very, very, very tired.




The End is Nigh

4 min read

This is a story about the finish line...


My idea of 'winning' is very different from most other people's I think. Well, actually, on reflection, we are agreed on what would constitute 'winning' but most other people have decided to lower their standards, and call something else 'winning'.

Let me give you a breakdown:

Having a house is something which everybody wants. I want to have a house. Other people want to have a mortgage: the bank will own the house, and allow the person who pays the mortgage to live there, but it's not the same as having a house.

Retirement is something which everybody wants. I want to retire. Other people want to collect a pension: the pension will be woefully inadequate, so the people who are collecting their pitiful pensions will have a new job, which is trying to make their meagre funds stretch to pay for their needs, which is not the same as retiring.

Financial independence is something which everybody wants. I want to be financially independent. Other people want credit cards which aren't maxed out, and a small pot of savings - enough for a holiday or a minor improvement to part of the bank's house - which is not the same as financial independence.

Freedom is something which everybody wants. I want to be free. Other people want to be told when and where they should be, for the majority of their time, and otherwise controlled by the limits of their meagre finances.

All I want is everything.

That's all.

Of course, we can all agree that owning a house - outright with no mortgage - not having a salaried job, having enough money in the bank to last you for the rest of your natural life (at a high living standard) and otherwise being free from any commitments or other coercion, would be the dictionary definition of 'winning' right?

So, why then do I sound so ludicrous when I say "that is what I want"? Why does it sound so implausible? Why does it sound so impossible; such an unattainable fantasy?

I'm getting close.

I'm getting really close.


My version of 'winning' is a shit version of 'winning'. I will buy a shit house. I will live in a shit part of the world. I will not be able to live for very long, at a reasonable standard of living, before I run out of money. My freedom will cost me the ultimate price: premature death.

Is that so bad, premature death? Many people who pay off their mortgage and retire, do not live for very long. Are they 'winners'? Obviously not.

To win the game, you have to have spent more years of freedom, financially independent, retired and living in a house you own, than anybody else. The winner is the person who spends the most years in that situation. There are no prizes for paying off your mortgage, retiring, and having a huge pot of savings, when you are 65 years old, and you die 16 years later, having spent most of that time with no freedom at all because you are old and sick and dying.

In terms of quality-adjusted life years, if I spend just 8 years with good health, right now, I will have achieved more than 16 years with arthritis, dementia, cataracts, deafness, incontinence, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes... not to mention the vastly diminished energy levels, fragility of my body, and far greater length of time for any injury to heal.

Why wait?

I don't need to wait until I'm pensionable age to take advantage of my health. In fact, to wait would be incredibly foolish, because it's inevitable that my health will deteriorate, and there's an ever-increasing chance of death. How stupid it would be, to die before retirement, or soon after.

Sadly, there's a finite limit to the length of my early retirement, which dictates that my life must be cut short, artificially, in order to yield the high-quality years of freedom which I quite rightfully demand. There's a price to be paid, and I will pay the ultimate price on a pre-chosen day, in the not-too-distant future. However, don't be sad... everyone dies you stupid cunt.




Everybody Wants to Die Rich

5 min read

This is a story about retirement...

Opera house

It's unusual that nobody sets out to be impoverished in old age - quite the opposite - but most people will end up poor during the twilight years of their life. It is unusual that so much money is pumped into pension funds, but so few enjoy a wealthy retirement.

I suppose, for people who work but don't earn much, there's an ever-decreasing opportunity to build up any kind of pension pot. Since the demise of both final-salary pensions, and social housing, the difficulty of balancing the immediate needs of food, housing, clothing and other essentials, far outweighs the impending old-age poverty. Although the home-ownership fetish appears to lead to some security, in fact the cost of council tax, energy bills and food, is still substantial enough to erode anybody's meagre pension income, even without the cost of a mortgage. Old-age poverty is inevitable.

Given that we are all aiming for the same thing, in theory, it's remarkable that most of us fail to achieve it.

I suppose some will say that they love their work, and they're happy to accept that they're underpaid, because they are happy with their career. I suppose some will say that friends and family are their wealth, and haven't paid much attention to the trivial financial nonsense. In fact, they all care about what happens to them in old age, it's just that they assume - wrongly - that things will work out OK. Things will not work out OK.

Pensions are, unfortunately, a Ponzi scheme. All public companies function on the basis that very large pension funds will automatically have to buy their shares, once they reach a certain market capitalisation (i.e. valuation). Many private companies, angel investors, venture capitalists, private equity fund managers, entrepreneurs, investment banks, and whole swathes of other ancillary leeches, function on the assumption that there is a virtually unlimited supply of new suckers, prepared to pump a substantial portion of their wages, into the Ponzi scheme, allowing others to siphon it all off. There are more people withdrawing obscene amounts of unearned money, than there are honest hard-workers injecting new money into the system, and as such, failure is inevitable.

I find it very unusual that many people feel wedded to a particular corporation, which evidently pays them very little versus the market value of their labour, which can be worked out by the profit generated for the company. The argument is often that it's a "safe" job, that redundancy money provides "financial security" and that they're somehow locked into a pension scheme, which is expected to provide a "generous" retirement.


Everybody wants to retire well-off, but unfortunately, demographics and the refusal by the generation who most recently retired, and are in the process of retiring, has brought the whole Ponzi scheme crashing down.

Not everyone can retire on a final salary pension. In fact, already, far too many have been allowed to retire on a final salary pension. The huge burden placed upon the few at the bottom, by the massive number of grotesque fat greedy pigs at the top, creates an inverted pyramid which must, inevitably, topple over.

Yes, it's all well and good having a lot of industrial action to demand the impossible. Useless do-nothing people in do-nothing jobs went on strike, threatening to do nothing and harm nothing... then when they finally pissed off and made some space for others to get promoted and start earning a decent wage, there are now too few of the decent salary earners to pay for the disgustingly high final-salary pensions which were unearned by the lazy fucks who expect to spend a far greater proportion of their natural lives than any generation in human history, riding on the backs of the overworked and underpaid working class.

Yes. My granny and granddad spent approximately 15 to 20% of their lifetime in retirement, which was pretty good going. Now that has doubled. To expect to spend 35 to 45% of your life, with good health, living by picking the pocket of your sons, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, is criminal.

The generation who just retired and is in the process of retiring, will die rich, up to a point. Inflation eroded their debts and gifted them vast property wealth, without having to do a single day of labour. They will, of course, have to relinquish a small amount of that wealth when they eventually need to go into a nursing home, but because of good diet and medicine, they will enjoy the health of a 40 or 50 year old from their parents' generation... for many decades.

Meanwhile, the generation who are working now, today, will have no opportunity to retire rich, unless they are in the top 2 or 3% of earners; born into a wealthy family. For 97% of the country, nothing awaits in old age except for cold and hunger.

It is highly unusual that, despite all the furious energy expended, scurrying around busy as hell, so few people have managed to comprehend the fact that their effort is futile: they're going to die poor, and their children are already poor; their grandchildren are just utterly fucked. Take a look around: there's nothing for them... no jobs, and no comfortable retirement at the end of it. It's all fucked.

I'm afraid neither compound interest, financial planning, nor hard work is going to make the blindest bit of difference: the numbers are too stacked against you; Ponzi schemes always fail eventually.




Too Many Hours in the Day

4 min read

This is a story about time to kill...


I wouldn't call myself a workaholic, but I hate to be bored, with nothing to do at work. I like to keep myself busy; to keep my mind busy.

It seems extraordinary that I would struggle, then, with evenings and weekends. If I've got something better to do with my time, then why do I hate being bored at work? Why do I insist on having such busy working days, when I'm obviously so bored in my leisure time.

The reality of my situation, is that I'm completely tied to a time and a place. Given that the prime hours of my waking day, and the majority of days of the week, I have a commitment to be available at more-or-less a moment's notice, it would be very difficult for me - although not impossible - to get involved with another major project, in my leisure time.

Psychologically, I'm not built to context-switch. I spend the majority of my income-earning hours context switching, to the point which would make most people's heads spin. My approach to my work doesn't allow for any long periods of concentration, although the role does demand concentration: the only solution is to work extremely quickly, and get very good at context switching. It's enormously taxing, to have your train of thought interrupted continually, and to manage to still be productive; to not forget any of the important details.

I never really thought of myself as a details person. Certainly, names and dates often seem to be filtered out by my brain, along with other trivia deemed worthless. I'm completely clueless about pop culture. I'm utterly divorced from tabloid gossip drivel. I'm culturally disconnected from the bulk of my colleagues, for example.

Although it's pretty obvious that I'm an arrogant and aloof individual, condescending, conceited and full of a misguided and misplaced sense of superiority... I don't actually think that my life is better than anybody else's. In fact, I am acutely aware that my life is considerably worse than the breeder plebs who spend their life watching soap operas with their grubby progeny, and otherwise festering in a pit their own ignorance and stupidity: sounds like bliss.

There's nothing quite like the miserable realisation that you made a substantial wrong turn in your life, and it's too late to make different choices. Once you're beyond the point of no return, inured into a life of isolation, then your fate is sealed. Just as it was when I was a schoolchild, as an adult it will be immediately obvious that I don't fit in.

What I'm left with, would be considered extremely valuable, for those who couldn't wait to fulfil the will of their genes, as a mindless vessel for DNA replication. I sleep as much as I want - which is a lot - and I have as much leisure time as I want. Perversely, I have too much leisure time, and I wish I could work twice as many hours in the day, and 7 days a week... but it would be so irregular that it would cause more problems than it would solve.

My strategy is to sprint and coast. I am working as hard as I can, in the hope that I can take a short career break. I am working as hard as I can, so I can enjoy a period of time to pursue whatever I want, uninterrupted.

Of course, everyone's strategy is to work as hard as they can, so that they can have a lengthy period without work... for most that is retirement. For me, that's not an option... I'm working to a constricted and constrained timescale; my choices are limited. I don't know why other people think - naïvely in my opinion - that they'll get to enjoy their retirement: the omens are not good, health-wise, financially and more generally in terms of the benefit that's been promised, versus the likely reality. Your strategy is to defer that period without work until later life, gambling that your health will be OK. My strategy is to live my life within the parameters of what is for certain; that I have my health right now, today.

It might seem appallingly churlish to complain about long evenings and weekends, bored, but I assure you that the time is filled with seemingly interminable suffering.




The Expectation of Better

5 min read

This is a story about strategy...


We might say, unquestionably, our lives are better today than the lives of our grandparents; our quality of life is vastly better than when our grandparents were the same age we are today. Infant mortality and deaths in childbirth are vastly reduced, antibiotics and vaccines have virtually eradicated major diseases, food is abundant, high quality, tasty and nutritious, war is almost a forgotten memory; certainly the horrors of war are long forgotten... the proliferation of jingoistic moronic idiotic imbecilic poppy-shagging flag-shagging brain-dead meathead pillocks, is alarming, and those utterly brainless waste-of-space people think that war is glorious; they romanticise war.... however, there is only a tiny fraction of the war we once had, and that's a really good thing.

Thinking about things a bit more, however, we cannot say that universally life is better. It depends what you value. If you value a job for life, a good pension, community spirit, lifelong marriage, affordable housing, pleasant and rewarding work, beating your wife, beating your children, beating homosexuals, beating Black people, beating Brown people, imprisoning homosexuals, murdering criminals, oppressing women, murdering, beating, and oppressing the native inhabitants of the far reaches of Empire, and other 'old fashioned' values, as well as watching a substantial number of children die before reaching maturity, women dying in labour, masses of people dying from preventable diseases, shorter lifespans... if that sort of thing is more your cup of tea, then yes, maybe life has got worse.

We might consider, on a shorter timescale, whether our own life is getting better or worse. My own situation is mostly unchanged: I would have been able to afford an apartment in very central London as a twenty-something, and I could still afford that same apartment today, but it would swallow a larger proportion of my income, and I would have to cough up a larger chunk of my life savings as a deposit. We might consider the realistic prospect of me retiring: in my early twenties it looked likely that I would retire at age 50, in considerable comfort. Now, retirement at 75 would be possible. I suppose my options have not disappeared altogether, but I am a highly unusual individual; highly atypical.

Perhaps it is my expectations which are wrong?


The range of my expectations includes committing a victimless crime - defrauding a bank or other parasitic organisation out of such a tiny fraction of their exorbitant profit that it wouldn't be missed by anybody - and either netting myself enough money to retire, or a custodial sentence to provide food and lodgings for the rest of my natural life: a win-win situation. At the bottom end, my expectations also include homelessness, and indeed sleeping rough, both of which I am all-too familiar with: they hold no surprises for me; I know what to expect. At the top end of my expectation range, there's nothing more than owning a dwelling of some kind, and having enough money to eat and pay the mandatory minimum bills... better than a prison cell or whatever shelter I could manage, sleeping rough.

This, again, is very atypical.

If we study most of humanity, we see that the strategy is very different. Most people are engaged in the bestial pursuit of making copies of their genes through offspring. Most people are in denial about the decline in living standards, and are attempting to use their sharp elbows to barge their way through the crowd, in the delusional belief that they'll be able to - through sheer willpower - bend reality to meet their psychotic hallucinations. "This will make for a great anecdote during your interview at The University of Oxford, dearest little Joshua" parents will be saying to their children, as they scavenge through a burnt-out supermarket in the shadow of derelict skyscrapers, unable and unwilling to ever accept that thrusting their progeny into the middle of the post-capitalist collapse of global civilisation, was perhaps the most stupid and selfish act ever committed by a supposedly sentient creature.

Conversely, you might think that I am stupid for not having children and shackling myself to a job that I hate for the rest of my life, in the hope of receiving a measly pension in the twilight years of my life, which I won't get to enjoy because of heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. I am prepared to consider that maybe it's me who's got things wrong. Except, you'll have lots of time to think about it, until your dementia sets in, whereas I won't have to think about it at all, because I'll be deliberately dead at my own hand, having avoided my own suffering, and having avoided inflicting life's suffering onto any innocent children.

These are not original ideas, of course, but we would be wise to consider the alternatives to what might appear, at first glance, to be the obvious answers.





4 min read

This is a story about wishing my life away...


As a child I wanted to be a grown-up so that I could drive a car and buy whatever the heck I wanted; eat whatever I want; do whatever I want. Life has, in fact, kinda worked out for me in that regard. Life has, essentially, turned out to be everything I expected it to be. It really is child's play in fact, provided you stay true to your childish ambitions: I do, in fact, enjoy driving, expensive toys, eating whatever I want, and doing whatever I want.

I don't think I was ever so naïve as to think that things didn't have to be paid for. In fact, if there's one thing which has been front and centre of my mind, since the moment that consciousness sprang into my infant mind, it's that everything has to be paid for. You have to pay to play: I've always understood this.

As with childhood, I know that there's no other route to get where I want other than waiting. I had to wait until 17 years of age to get a full driving license, to enjoy the freedom of the road on my own. I had to wait for everything else I wanted too. I'm waiting now. My whole life is mostly waiting. Waiting for the stuff I want.

Older people, and particularly parents, are somewhat idiotic in telling children and younger people to not wish their lives away. It's moronic to tell somebody who has no freedom and cannot get what they want, that they should cherish a time of misery, suffering, deprivation and unmet want. What is there to cherish about being homeless? What is there to cherish about being hungry? What is there to cherish about having the world flaunt everything in your face, while you can only look on jealously? What is there to cherish about the impotence of having your life controlled by others? What is there to cherish in the waiting?

I've often written about this, but if I could take a pill and wake up ten years from now with no memory of the intervening decade, but all of my earnings in the bank, of course I'd take it. There's nothing I want from the present. I only want the opportunities which money can buy, which are locked up in the future, with nothing but grinding standing in the way.

Grinding is a well-understood thing, amongst younger people. In the absence of any realistic prospect of being able to afford to buy a house and start a family, it seems obvious that virtual worlds would flourish. Starting with games like The Sims, and then the infamous World of Warcraft, there has been an enormous explosion in popularity of games which aren't won per se, but instead offer a virtual reality where achievement and progress are possible, in a way which is not possible in the real world. No amount of supermarket shelf stacking will enable a young person to escape from their socioeconomic predicament - their preordained doom - and as such, it's little wonder that their tiny amount of disposable income would be frittered away on virtual objects; purchasing power so inadequate as to acquire any of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, such as shelter.

The gamification of life is all-pervasive. School is not about learning, but about grades to get into university. University is not about learning, it's the only route into a career without a ludicrously low glass ceiling. Jobs are not about passion or vocation, but each one a means to an end: a stepping stone on a career path towards... towards what? Towards a pension, and death hopefully. At least, hopefully, a long, painful, uncomfortable, illness-ridden, but not impoverished retirement, hopefully. At some point along the way, a partner will be acquired - whose looks and intelligence will be scored - and later there will be children who will also score points for their academic achievements. Everybody is keeping score.

The grind seems necessary, somehow. A means to an end, perhaps. Except, the summit is never reached. The goals are never achieved. There's no winning this game.




Treatment for Social Jetlag

4 min read

This is a story about alarm clocks...

Kitchen garden

How many people start the day, jolted from their pleasant slumbers by their alarm clock, repeatedly pressing the snooze button because they want and need more sleep? Is it 50% of the world's population? Is it 75% of the world's population? Is it 95% of the world's population? Certainly, in Europe, North America, New Zealand, Australia - and a bunch of other 'westernised' societies - the figure will be exceedingly high. That's an incredible amount of unnecessary human misery and suffering, in my opinion. Why the hell is society functioning like that, with its most productive members so exhausted?

I do not subscribe to the rat race, insofar as accepting that social jetlag is an inevitable part of the prime years of my life. I do not accept decades of torturous suffering. I refuse to be part of that.

Many years ago, I was unable to get out of bed, one morning. I lay in that bed for weeks, paralysed by depression. But, I don't think it was depression: it was my body's natural reaction to an abhorrent situation. Nobody should have to get up in the morning, against nature. It's unnatural. It's an offence to human existence. It's toxic to human health and wellbeing. No. No way. Not doing it.


It's almost impossible to fight against the established order of society. Even though almost everybody is exhausted and socially jetlagged, because of the rat race, nobody wants to flinch first; nobody wants to be the person who gives up, lest other eager competitors steal their place in the rat race.

In an arms race, eventually, the only outcome is the destruction of human civilisation. This is the point that we've arrived at: life has become uncivilised in the extreme.


What are we going to do about it?

Let me tell you a little bit about my life. I go to bed at the same time every night, and I always fall asleep quickly. Then, I always wake up before I need to wake up. I never set an alarm clock. I'm never woken up unnaturally: I always wake up, doze peacefully a little longer, start thinking about my day, read a little news on my phone, then get up when I'm ready. I'm almost always among the first of my colleagues to start my working day. Sounds too good to be true? Well, yes, certainly this can't be achieved without a little cheating.

How do I cheat?

Well, that's really easy, so I'm not going to beat about the bush. The answer is obvious: sleep medication.

Yes, that's right, sleep medication is the obvious treatment for social jetlag.

Sleep medication.

It's that simple.

There are two problems: firstly, your doctor will not give you any effective sleep medication, because otherwise society would be a happier, better rested, and a less miserable torturous place, and we couldn't possibly have that, could we?!?! Secondly, getting a great night of sleep every night, and waking up naturally every morning feeling refreshed, starting work early without need in alarm clock, is really great so it's hard to want to go back to being tired all the time, and hating every single morning when the alarm goes off. Obviously, you need a virtually unlimited supply of effective sleep medication, to last you until retirement.

Good news though: capitalism plans on continuing to manufacture goods and services, for as long as there's demand. Also good news: while you continue to be useful to capitalism, you will be given tokens which you can exchange for goods and services. More good news: while you have needs and valuable tokens, and capitalism produces goods and services, there will be people willing to facilitate the exchange of those tokens for the goods and services, in exchange for a profit margin. Good news all round: while capitalism demands that you get out of bed unnaturally early in the morning, there will be a plentiful supply of sleep medication, to allow you to cope with the social jetlag.

Of course, when capitalism collapses, I'm going to have some pretty bad insomnia, but maybe that's advantageous. When everybody else is sleeping, overcome by exhaustion, I'll have plenty of extra hours awake to scavenge the looted supermarkets for scraps.

Don't waste your time with your doctor: capitalism has already created efficient markets, where you can procure whatever you need at a highly competitive price.




Easiest Way to Kill Yourself

9 min read

This is a story about dying with dignity...

Bottle of pills

Continuing on with the theme of giving my readers what they want, I've decided to write about the most searched for thing which brings visitors to my website.

I lied.

I'm not going to write about the easiest way to kill yourself but instead, I'm going to write a detailed account of when, why and how I'm going to kill myself.


If you came here looking for suicide methods, I wrote about that at length here.

If you still want more detail, have a read of this.


Firstly, we need to acknowledge that life can be pretty damn abysmal, if luck doesn't go your way. Sure, if you're reading this then you're lucky enough to have access to a computer, tablet and/or a smartphone, and you're able to read. For many, that would be considered a privilege, but in reality it's a curse: it would have been far better to remain stupid and ignorant, and not be troubled with existential angst.

Secondly, we need to acknowledge that there's no legal or moral requirement to continue living, if life is hell. There's no reason why we have to die of 'natural causes' in old age, which pretty much means dying in agony from cancer or some other dreadful disease, or otherwise dying when your body parts become completely worn out. Why would anybody go through life with uncertainty - a surprise death hanging over them at some unpredictable future date - and the inability to plan ahead?

Thirdly, we need to acknowledge that the freedom to choose is what makes us different from the beasts - the animals - who are driven by instinct; driven to survive at all costs. Why would we choose to act in a bestial way - barbaric and primitive; animalistic - when we are blessed with a huge brain and the tools of cognition and reason; advanced thought and language. We are able to plan, so why do we not plan our lives to include a predictable and known date of death?

Of course, my ideas are not original. There are plenty of dystopian novels, films and other art forms which depict fantasy worlds where euthanasia is part of those imagined societies. Of course, I'm not talking about euthanasia for you I'm talking about euthanasia for me.

If we recognise that the world is overpopulated, overcrowded, over-competitive, and that the natural resources of the planet are being over-utilised, then it seems like a very selfless and generous act, to quit living before becoming a burden on the healthcare sector. Of course, I'm talking about me and me alone here. I very much wish any older people who want to live as long as humanly possible, a long and healthy life. If you want to live, good for you... but I very much think that if you came to this website then you're not 100% sure that living is for you. Anyway, this is about what's right for me, and me alone.

As soon as I'm dead, my estate can be given to my sister and niece. My death frees up the resources that I possess, such as housing and a job, that could be utilised by a younger person. The money I hoard - arguably to protect myself from any period of unemployment, and for my retirement - can go into the hands of the living, instead of being hoarded in the hands of the dying. I can much more accurately plan for how much money I need if I know when I'm going to die.

I've decided that it's too expensive to buy a house and have a pension. I had a series of major setbacks in my life, which wrecked my finances, and now it doesn't make financial sense to plough all the money I need today into things which I might need tomorrow. If I'm going to live until I die of natural causes, I might need a lot of money, and in order to ensure my pension pot goes as far as possible, it'd be better if I owned my house and wasn't paying a mortgage or rent anymore. Having a pension and a mortgage-free house would rob me of money which I need now while I still have my health. Why do I want to have housing security and financial security during a period of my life when I'm old and senile, in pain and discomfort; dying?

Also, suicide is a form of protest. Why should my parents enjoy dying before me, when they ruined my childhood, and consequently my later life? Why should my parents' generation die without seeing the horrors they have inflicted upon the younger generation? Why should the capitalists continue to delude themselves that capitalism is a good system, when clearly it exploits people and the natural resources of the earth, to the point of irreversible devastation and destruction of our only habitable planet?

There's nothing worse than playing by the rules of the game, when everybody else is cheating. Being an honest player in a rigged game is torture.

I've done the calculations. There's no way I can keep playing this stupid game. I quit.

Did I mention dignity?

Dignity is important.

If your parents and the wider world have not given you the opportunity to have dignity - to live as an independent adult with an acceptable quality of life - then personally, life is not worth living. Sure, if your parents are neglectful, abusive, selfish, narcissistic shits who took no interest in helping you achieve an acceptable quality of life - helping you to live independently - then you might still have the opportunity to pull yourself up by the bootstraps; you might have the opportunity to work hard and get yourself to where you deserve to be, through sheer force and determination. However, you need to do the calculations. If your calculations tell you that you'd need to work 25 hours a day, 8 days a week, 13 months a year, for the next 250 years, in order to achieve financial security, housing security and other basic human needs, then you are playing a rigged game. This is not a case of petulantly blaming everything on our parents, although it's undeniable that they deserve the lion's share of the blame. No, this is not about expecting that the world owes you a living. This is simply saying that no matter how hard you work you have to run just to stand still; the game is rigged and you won't accept it; you won't play a rigged game anymore.

So that's the why.

When is easy: my career spans four decades. It'll soon be time for me to have a long-overdue career break. In the absence of any new route to earn money, which is not part of the capitalist society which I refuse to prop up any longer, I refuse to continue to play the game. Therefore, I just need to do the calculation to work out how long I can maintain an acceptable quality of life; how much does my minimum standard of living cost? With that number calculated, I can then set a very precise date for when I need to be dead by.

What about the how?

How is probably easiest of all. I often thought about cutting a carotid artery or jugular vein, but it seems far easier to simply swallow a deadly poison, such as cyanide, which is easily obtained. The how is really the most boring part of it all. Swallow something highly toxic, and it's done... easy!

It gives me a great deal of comfort knowing that the remaining period of my life will not fall below a minimum acceptable quality. It's greatly comforting to know that no poverty or destitution awaits me in old age. It's great to know that pain, discomfort, illness, senility, incontinence and other dignity-robbing ailments of old age, will be completely avoided.

I know that some people want to live as long as possible, in order to see their children and grandchildren growing up and experiencing major life events - births and marriages - but not living so long that they see their houses get destroyed by rising sea levels and hurricane force winds, and other destructive effects of man-made climate change. I know that some people want to live as long as possible, but not so long that they see their grandchildren selling their bodies in order to fund their education, and killing themselves because their zero-hours contract McJob doesn't even pay enough money for them to feed themselves, let alone live with any dignity.

Nobody's ever going to look me in the eye and ask "why the fuck did you decide to have kids, when you knew that the old people fucked up the planet good and proper, and robbed all the money and property, and expected to sit idle in their massive houses while all the young people killed themselves because they have no prospect of ever living independently with any dignity and an acceptable quality of life?". I'll just be dead.

Of course, suicide's not for everyone. My essay is only about why I - personally - am planning on committing suicide. I absolutely - and without exception - discourage anybody and everybody from doing what I'm planning on doing.


That's all about me, me, ME! I wrote some other stuff about suicide methods and how to kill yourself. if you're in the mood to keep reading. Please keep reading or get in contact if you're in crisis... or do something to pass the time. I find it incredibly therapeutic to write: it's kept me alive (by a whisker) for many years.




Something to Take the Edge Off

5 min read

This is a story about crutches...

Office chair

Trawling through my photos from the past three and a half months, I found very few which would be suitable to accompany what I wanted to write today. The photos on my phone are mostly of my cat(s) and not much else. However, this photo does - rather cryptically - allude to what I am now writing about.

When I started the lockdown, I decided that I wasn't going to bother with a desk or an office chair at home; that I would muddle by with my laptop on my lap. I decided - wrongly - that it wouldn't be worth the effort of setting up a proper office at home.

As I already wrote a few days ago, I started the lockdown drinking copiously. Every day after work, I would pour myself a large glass of wine. I would estimate that my alcohol consumption was somewhere in the region of 8 to 10 bottles of wine per week.

As I already wrote a few days ago, I started the lockdown physically dependent on medication. Every night I took sleeping pills. Every day I took tranquillising sedatives.

Then, it became obvious that there would be dire consequences to my physical health.

I didn't want to finish lockdown as a fat alcoholic pill-popper with a hunched back.

Because I delayed setting up my home office, I didn't have a lot of choice for a desk and an office chair, hence why the ugly garish monstrosity - pictured above - has become part of my home office. The desk is super ugly too. However, it's good to have a more professional set-up instead of reclining on my sofa.

The health improvements to my life don't feel like they're paying dividends. I still feel overweight, unfit and I still crave alcohol. Ostensibly, I feel much the same as I did when I was guzzling booze, popping pills and spending 16 hours a day reclining on my sofa. However, we must acknowledge that there is a very significant difference between an alcoholic pill addict, and somebody who drinks in moderation at the weekends, and is entirely medication free. That I have stabilised myself and found almost liveable and almost bearable sustainable routine without my crutches, is not an achievement which should be underestimated.

The backdrop to the past four months has been the global pandemic which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, and threatens the livelihoods and living standards of hundreds of millions, if not billions of people. If there was ever a time to feel insecure about money, work and housing, it would be now.

I wouldn't describe myself as a particularly anxious person, but the past 5 years of my life have been spent with the threat of destitution hanging over me. I've been forced to generate vast amounts of money each year in order to protect my credit rating and employability, as well as to simply pay rent, bills and service debts. The amount of money needed to escape my predicament was so vast that I was forced into high-risk high-stress situations, which were potentially high-reward. Eventually, perseverance paid off. There was no other choice: a crappy salaried job would have inevitably led to bankruptcy; the books simply didn't balance with some crap paying job.

So, I've suffered 5 years of incredible, immense stress. I've suffered 5 years of living on the edge of ruin.

When the pandemic started to get very bad in Europe my mood improved considerably. The havoc wrought by the pandemic has brought the stress and suffering that I was enduring into the lives of vast numbers of my fellow people. Suffering collectively is far more bearable than suffering alone.

At some point, I want to stop talking about the difficulties in my past and to talk about the future. I want to put some distance between my past and the present. I want to have a period of wealth and security, which clearly delineates 'now' from 'then'.

I note that my abysmal childhood became unimportant when I started to have success and get ahead in life, in my late teens and early twenties. My rapidly growing bank balance, exotic travel, status symbols - like houses, cars and boats - and adventurous hobbies, felt like I could forget about past transgressions against me: the bullies and abusers were rotting, and I was thriving, so I wasn't bitter and angry; I had broken free from the misery of the past.

My rage at my parents - which has been a repeated theme of the past 5 years - and sad memories of a ruined childhood, which has caused me vast amounts of problems... all becomes irrelevant again, as my health and wealth are regained, and my quality of life improves manyfold.

Yes, my crutches are going to change from alcohol and medications, to be luxury holidays and other trappings of wealth, but I don't care. Alcohol and medications lead to misery and death - they're a dreadful trap, which leads nowhere positive.

I still have suicide as my 'retirement plan' but that's a simple matter of practicality, given that I'm now unable to be likely to accumulate enough wealth to enjoy a comfortable retirement before my health starts to deteriorate. It's something I'm going to have to learn to live with. Or rather, it's something that's going to kill me. C'est la vie. C'est la mort.