The One Reliable Short-Term Depression Solution that Will Simultaneously Create More Agony the More You Use It
Learn to identify this pattern and step back from the ugliness it can add to your life
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Now, let’s dig into this weeks Jack Hopkins Now Newsletter.
August 27th, 2003
Have you ever heard of the Crazy 8 pattern? Whether you’ve heard of it, or not, chances are good that you’ve either seen it in action, experienced it yourself, or both.
For many years of my young adult life, I suffered through countless bouts of the Crazy 8 pattern. It was an exhausting cycle that I hadn’t yet identified.
I simply lived it, not understanding what was happening, or why. I just knew my life was usually in shambles.
“So, tell us already, Jack! What the hell is the Crazy 8 pattern?!” Okay. Fair enough.
The Crazy 8 describes a behavioral pattern where someone seems to be always looping, over and over, through what could be described as a figure-eight shape, that consists of a period of depression/anxiety, followed by a short burst of anger….and then dipping back down into a longer period of depression, then, another short burst of anger etc.
Some people will be stuck in a pattern like this for months, or even years at a time. Some will even spend their entire adult life in this frustrating and often devastating cycle.
Let’s look at what’s going on with this pattern, and what purposes it serves.
When people are depressed, just making it out of bed and into the bathroom to brush their teeth can seem like climbing a mile long incline with lead weights strapped to their feet. The world seems to lack color, and it can feel as though you are living inside of an old 1940’s era movie made in black & white.
Nothing in the world smells good, everything tastes bland, and feelings and sensations, both internal and external...are thick, numb, and dull, with your heart feeling like a heavy, leaden ache of emotional anguish.
Your thoughts while depressed? They can seem like a mix of a thick London fog swirled around with an equal mix of confusion and lack of clarity. Thoughts that used to come effortlessly and memories with near perfect recall, now seem to require great effort to call forth. If you are able to recall them, they somehow don’t seem right, like you’ve left something vitally important out...but, you can’t be certain...because you have no idea what it would be...because...you just can’t remember it well enough.
You might start to think you’re losing your mind, but you stop short. You just don’t have the energy or ability to even think about it long enough for it to be troubling. You just don’t give a fuck...about anything.
Living like this is a hell on earth. An emotional and physical burden that no human being should have to endure for too long, if at all. In fact, it’s such a soul crushing onus, that our brain has figured out a way to escape it. Well, at least temporarily.
Let’s look at an example: One dreary afternoon, Sierra-a single mother of two young children-is driving down the Interstate, carrying the beastly, life force draining burden of deep depression, like some dark, 800 lb. gorilla that is riding on her back, having its powerful hands wrapped around her neck. Life, for her, is currently experienced as being extremely heavy and fatiguing.
Suddenly, a car cuts her off, causing her to brake hard, and quickly finding her speed falling from the 70-mph cruising speed she had been travelling ...to less than 35 mph...in the blink of an eye, almost causing her to lose control of the vehicle. “You FUCKING BITCH!!” she screams at the woman driving the car that cut her off, as it accelerates down the highway ahead of her. Sierra thrusts her arm out the window and flips the lady the bird.
After somewhat refocusing on driving her car....and trying to let go of at least a little bit of her anger, she turns on the stereo. “Ozzy’s Boneyard. Sirius XM!” the deejay says, as the music fades in with “Welcome to the Jungle” by Gun’s N’ Roses. Before she knows it, she’s playing air guitar on the steering wheel, and singing along with Axel Rose at the top of her lungs. She’s racing down the Interstate once again, without a care in the world. For about the next sixty to ninety minutes, all is well. Things, seem perfect. Everything feels perfect. “You know, life’s pretty damn great after all. It really is!” she thinks to herself.
By lunchtime the following day, Sierra finds the massive & demoralizing “gorilla”, is once again hanging from her back with a knee-buckling heaviness. “Whyyyyyy?!” Sierra’s mind screams out in desperation. The funk of depression that she had somehow managed to escaped for the last thirteen hours...was back.
Sierra will find herself living the next twenty-one days of her life beneath the dark shadow of her depressive thoughts and feelings. And then, once again...for some yet to be discovered (by Sierra) reason, she’ll be able to again slip free of the almost permanent grasp of a gloomy depression that always includes the all too real feeling of the 800 lb. gorilla on her back.