I'm sticking this on the web section of my site because 'smart drugs' is the closest I get to cyberpunk.

This is not an advert. It's is just my experience.

A metaphor

Imagine there was a potion that made chores fun. The potion was cheap as an energy drink and might cause a stomach ache if you’ve not eaten that morning. You have to stay hydrated and it messes with your birth control. Is that worth it to you?

There are rituals that have to be observed. It must be taken early in the morning to not wreck your nights sleep and tolerance breaks may be needed. A breakfast wards off poorly tummy. Seriously drink extra water.

A pill

A few years ago a friend gave me a couple of modafinil pills to try. I liked them, bought some more off him off his friend. I started buying my own on occasion on the internet. Clear net. First a dodgy online GP then just a website. They are used as a narcolepsy treatment. Uni students take it as a study drug.

stack of empty pill packets

It’s supposed to make you concentrate on whatever you are doing. Start doing something else and you will be stuck on that. I had a couple during lockdown and did sudoku on my phone for hours.

Not until this year have I had them more than fortnightly.

My depression started coming back last year and I thought I notice that the days after I had the tablets I would have a better day. But then other times I’d overdo it and the exhaustion (during my long covid) afterwards and the dehydration headaches were causing me a little harm. Stopped taking them when my depression got worse. Felt like those days it was like having depression but faster.

Is it bad?

My husband does not think I should take them for a Sunday of podcasts and chores. I don’t always take one, but they do make it more enjoyable. He asks if there is not value in something being hard or boring. Character building? But scrubbing the bathroom floor is not fun. I probably would do it more if it was fun. Modafinil has me not noticing it’s dull.

I read about the benefits of being bored. I know I keep myself overstimulated. But chores time is radio time so it’s not quiet anyway.

I caught the sun twice now when working on the garden. Being aware I should go inside and get a hat & a drink but getting trapped in the loop of ‘I should do X soon’ and just not stopping. I was painting a fence and just kept on doing another slat. It’s been the same at the skate park. One more loop going on for 20 minutes. Maybe that is normal when you are having fun but I don’t often lose myself in an activity. My mind and heart drifty with depression’s tides.

Weather permitting, weeding is so good on modafinal. Sitting on warm paving slab in the sun. Visible progress as each area is cleared. A stack of plants evidence of change. Doing light exertion as I shuffle around. Every time you pick the largest weed there is a new largest weed. There are always things that can be done in a garden.

Is this a good thing to do? I already do a load of other unhealthy things like eat whole large chocolate bars and sit in chairs like a prawn so I’m not too worried. Are chores character-building?

I am happy the work is done. The housewives of old had tranquilisers. I have babies’ first stimulant.

My perfect Sunday.

Write a to do list the day before. Include drink a litre of water on the list twice. Maybe even hydrate the night before to start in a good position.

Take half a 200 mg pill as soon as I get up or even take it then doze. Eat something heavy to avoid sad tummy.

Breakfast and clean kitchen + wash up.

Laundry on

Vacuum the entire house.

Do whatever cleans are on the list like the bathroom.

Hang the laundry up, put away clothes are all separate items to I get to enjoy crossing them off the list.

I already like folding laundry so that is on my list as a treat. The treat is crossing the item off.

Get in the garden if sunny. Sit on the paving and weed.

By the time things wear off in the afternoon the weight of ‘oh I have to do that’ has been lifted.

GIF of me rearranging objects on a shelving unit

It feels good to get things done. Does it also feel good to take the pill? Is it habit forming?

I'm off the stuff again as the summer heat has me dehydrated enough. A friend suggested electrolytes. Salt water if I am brave, a sports drink is easier?

OK, I am taking more now.

An update. I've started taking them four times a week. And started taking. 1/4 dose at noon. As well as the half in the morning. And combining with energy drinks.

Taking them too often results in headaches, most likely from the dehydration. I know this is not good for me. Twice a week was fine, I think, I am not sure about this. I do not know if they are habit forming. My depression is getting worse due to a very significant life change. That will ease and I will improve again. But for now: Modafinil is my crutch to get my work done; in both the home and the office.

I wonder if it is habit forming when I feel myself wanting a pill. I=Is that wanting the pill or the work done?

Screenshot of Hometasker app showing cleaning chores completed yesterday morning