Self-Help

I am currently not a self-help expert, but if I ever manage to completely fix my life, perhaps I should qualify as one. :-)

In July 2014, I launched Non24.Com and Non24.Org. Those sites are primarily about sleep issues like Non-24-hour Sleep-Wake Disorder, but the main goal of those sites is to help everyone, both with or without sleep issues, to achieve more happiness, prosperity, freedom, and control over our own lives and schedules.

I believe I probably have Non-24-hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (a physical problem with my circadian rhythms). Which is such a bad problem that I believe it actually might have done more harm to my life than even other serious problems such as my family's poverty, and the credit card debt trap I fell into when I was younger and more naive.


And even the sick, oppressive so-called child support system, which drained my family of tons of money and tremendously worsened our lives (including the lives of 4 children - me when I was younger, and others) - long before I was old enough to be able to do much of anything to improve the situation.

The so-called child support system also didn't help the intended recipients of our family's money as much as it should have, because I heard that the evil ex-wife wasted a lot of money on things like a luxury car, designer purses, and unnecessary new furniture, rather than spending it on the children.

And her children were mostly deprived of a relationship with their father until after they turned 18, because the evil ex-wife continually interfered with visitation.


That was all truly awful, but, I still think my sleep issues might have harmed me even more than the evil so-called child support system did. If my sleep issues didn't make it much harder for me (compared to the average person) to be a wage slave, I and my family would have been at least a little less poor.

Though, on the other hand, having an easier time being a wage slave would have been bad too, because then I wouldn't have had so much free time to spend on improving my computer programming skills.

After reading the wonderful book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell around July 2015, I have even more appreciation than I already did for what a gift it has been - despite the many drawbacks of my situation - to have so much free time as a result of having had little choice but to let my family support me.


Most of the time, I've tended to be largely financially useless, but, sometimes, I've actually been able to financially support my family, such as when I went into massive credit card debt to help my family.

(Eventually none of us could afford to keep paying those credit card bills, and we started getting hopelessly buried by huge late and overlimit fees, so I had to default in summer 2007.

And, given all the damage that has been done to me, my family, and the world by credit cards, and the fact that we honorably paid so much that if the credit card companies hadn't been allowed to pile on tons of usurious interest and fees which ought to be illegal, we quite possibly wouldn't have "owed" anything anymore... I believe that rather than us supposedly "owing" anything to the credit card companies, the credit card companies should have to pay massive reparations to me, my family, and everyone else the credit card companies have harmed, duped, and taken advantage of.

Hopefully someday, people will create ethical alternatives to credit cards, banks, and lame bank-like credit unions (or if there are good, ethical alternatives already, I hope they'll get more popular), and the ethical alternatives will hopefully make it ever more difficult for all those despicable financial so-called services crooks to even stay in business.)


And, during various family financial crises, using money donated or microdonated to me, I supported my family and paid most of our bills for a few months, which unfortunately used up the majority of the money people donated to me.

Thank you so much to everyone who ever donated any amount. It did a lot of good, though I wish I could have spent a lot more of that money on things of longer-term benefit than just paying our mortgage and other bills for a few months. Not all of it was used up that way, but a lot was.

Luckily, ever since we got Medicaid, at least I haven't been forced to make triage-like decisions like I had to make in May 2013 - which was the month when it was financially out of the question for me to even consider getting a root canal instead of an extraction for my aching tooth, because my family was in serious financial trouble again.

Tremendous thanks for someone's $4000 donation at that time - the most I ever received in a single donation. I hope someday I'll get prosperous enough to be just as generous in return and repay everyone's kindness.


Medicaid is in some ways very nice to have, but, unfortunately has its flaws. Quoted from my blog post from July 6, 2015:

Another reason I haven't been as focused on money lately is because my family finally got on Medicaid in summer 2014, and I'm afraid that I would be in big trouble with my relatives if I somehow manage to earn so much money that we'll get kicked off of Medicaid.

I think it's very doubtful that I'll be able to find a way to make enough money that I'll be able to afford to buy mandatory health insurance for me and my relatives, or even to pay the oppressive $325 yearly fee (per person!) inflicted on people with the misfortune of having neither Medicaid nor health insurance, which probably costs a lot more than $325 a year per person. And the penalty fee is going up to $695 per person in 2016.

Absolutely despicable, oppressive, and un-American. Fees like those kick struggling people when they're already down. And everyone should be free not to buy health insurance if they don't want to. I am especially disgusted with the health insurance industry after having watched Michael Moore's documentary Sicko.

So, because of the threat of these huge fees, and the high cost of health insurance, and the high cost of health care if you have neither Medicaid nor insurance, me earning money might actually do me and my family more harm than good - unless I manage to earn quite a lot of money, which might be impossible for me.

So, I'm now even more trapped than I already was, because I'm now afraid to even try very hard to earn money, except perhaps in Second Life.


Nonetheless, I still hope that someday, some kind rich person, or massive numbers of kind microdonators, might decide to rescue us permanently by donating some truly gigantic amounts of money which will permanently liberate my family from the time-wasting hamster wheel of having to make money, among other problems.

(But, smaller amounts are still welcome too. If I ever somehow manage to get enough income that I really have to worry that we might get kicked off of Medicaid - well, in a way, that's a good problem to have.)

And hopefully, the more and better stuff I manage to create and release on my websites, the more likely it is that that will happen someday.

And I really should probably get around to making some goods of some sort available on Zazzle.com or Lulu.com. At least that would probably be less potentially time-consuming than providing services could be.

(Again, sorry to anyone whose email I might have missed due to my flaky avoidance of solving the various nuisances with my email. At least I'm a bit more reachable now because I finally gave in and provided a way to send mail to my Gmail, despite wishing I could stop using Gmail because it would be better to use something free (as in freedom), libre, and open source.)

Suggestions are welcome.


OK, back to the topic of how my sleep issues harmed my life possibly more than any other major problem in my life.

The frequent sleep deprivation (especially when I was younger and had to go to school) naturally resulted in me getting extremely depressed, overly emotionally sensitive, and avoidant of social situations, since it's very difficult to have an enjoyable or interesting conversation when you're so exhausted you can scarcely think, and are extremely shy and anxious due to many bad past experiences of awkwardly being unable to think of anything to say, or saying stupid or absentminded things because of tiredness.

And I've been so traumatized by past bad social experiences that now, even when perfectly well-rested, I find it difficult to relax with and talk to most people, except some of my close relatives. Even internet communications can be rather stressful for me, except if I'm completely anonymous.

I'm 34 (as I write this on Nov. 25, 2015) and I doubt I will ever fully recover from my social anxiety at this point.

And I suspect I wouldn't have ended up with such huge social anxiety and extreme depression in the first place if I hadn't been chronically sleep-deprived for so much of my youth.


But, even social anxiety isn't totally without benefits. I might be a better writer and computer programmer than I would be without social anxiety, because I spend a lot more time on programming and writing than I would if nothing held me back from socializing and from seeking jobs.

And I'm a lot less depressed than I used to be, largely because of various odd but hope-inspiring phenomena I lucked into stumbling upon.


And, other than the things I mentioned in the preceding link - one of the best, most self-helping things I ever did was get into computer programming.

So, I now have a lot more hope that someday I'll manage to create some really nice, useful, popular, free (as in freedom and probably as in price too), libre, open source software, and somehow make enough money from that to live on.


I'm pleased that, despite my limited circumstances, I've been improving my programming skills a lot, and making good progress with various of my projects, which I hope will someday turn out to be of profound long-term benefit for not only myself and my family, but hopefully even the world.

Fortunately (or is it unfortunately?), I have quite a stubborn focus on my various projects, and a pretty good ability to somewhat imperviously largely ignore the fact that due to poverty, my life is missing numerous basic comforts and freedoms.


So, hopefully I somehow manage to be less affected than the average poor person by the problems mentioned in this article:

From The Guardian, Aug. 29, 2013 - Poverty saps mental capacity to deal with complex tasks, say scientists

Rather than let my discomfort and oppression pressure me into focusing mainly on possibly futile short-term solutions - I continue to focus on my long-term projects, which, given my crippling social anxiety and sleep issues, are quite possibly my best hope of eventual prosperity and other good things.


Thanks again to everyone who has ever helped me and made my life more bearable.

Donations and microdonations are welcome. And requests for services are welcome, and more likely to be read now that I partway solved my problems with my email by providing a different email address.


Stuff Hosted Here

From my blog:


Here are some pages I made way back in 2008 related to Steve Pavlina's fantastic book Personal Development for Smart People:


Here's a transcript I made of a Steve Pavlina podcast: Transcript of Steve Pavlina Podcast #11 for 2/12/2006 - Raising Awareness Through Multiple Perspectives

The transcript is in the public domain, as is the original podcast. Steve, with astounding and admirable generosity, released most of his work to the public domain in Dec. 2010. More details are available in this blog post from Steve's site: Releasing My Copyrights

I probably am not going to make more Steve Pavlina podcast transcripts, because someone else is going to do them. (I did this one mainly so I would have an example of transcription work to add to my oDesk portfolio).

So, for more transcripts, go to: PavlinaPlus.com/podcast

PavlinaPlus.com also provides Steve's newsletters, video transcripts, Dexterity Software articles, and workshop articles.


The main reason I created this Self-Help section of my site to begin with is because I needed an appropriate place to put this article:


External links

Software useful for self-help


Some excellent self-help/personal development sites


Some of my favorite articles

Not a complete list.


Some of my favorite self-help videos

I usually prefer reading self-help stuff rather than watching self-help videos or listening to podcasts, so this section will probably remain relatively small.


Commercial Link

I don't make money from having the below link here - it's not a paid ad or affiliate link or anything like that. I'm just a happy, grateful customer who wants to send one of my favorite businesses a lot more customers, and also help out my website readers by pointing out a great place to buy stuff.


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Last modified: Nov. 30, 2015
This page uploaded to web: May 11, 2008