Monday, September 20, 2021

What Gets You Down?

Sometimes external forces can induce depression. They can induce panic. They can control how you see the world if you let them.

I’ve got surgery coming up this week, so I’m getting my blogging in early. I want to work on my current novel when I start to come out of the anesthesia. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, I’m watching the crypto market implode…again.

I decided to get into crypto last Spring—two days before China cracked down on Bitcoin miners and the Chinese banks that did business with them. I had only invested $10. It was play money, to be honest, but what a lesson that was for me! China’s crackdown caused the market to crash. That $10 became negative in just two days.

I laughed. There I was. Mr. Moneybags. The Crypto Guru. All because I was so entertained just twenty-four hours earlier when my $10 had gained 50¢ in value.

The main character of my book made and lost a fortune in crypto, so I wanted to understand that world better before writing about it. He lost his business. He lost his girl. He lost his charm, optimism, and self-respect. He was destroyed in a week. It wasn’t my goal to lose my $10 bucks. I don’t need to write that authoritatively! However, I did feel that some background knowledge would make me write a more realistic character.

They say that the cryptocurrency market is volatile. Saying that is like saying the sun is somewhat warm. Since Spring I have seen the crypto market crash three times. It’s doing so again right now. It will probably be up again sometime after my surgery, but for the moment it is leaving a trail of blood all the way to the floor. The common internet advice is to “buy the dip”, which means buy during the crash. I’m not in a position to do that. I’m better off focusing on paying off my medical bills. Besides, sometimes dips have dips, too.

Though minuscule, watching my investment shrivel last Spring wasn’t a happy feeling, but I was insulated from the depression and panic many people experienced when their investments went South because I hadn’t invested very much, but also because I had already prepared to potentially lose it all.

Which made me wonder how people actually lost money on the stock market. As long as the market goes back up, I haven’t lost anything. I’d have to sell at a loss to lose my investment. As part of my book research, I talked to family members who had lost money in the stock market crash in 2008. With my newfound knowledge, it seemed the only way they could lose anything is if they sold low—which is exactly what they did. They sold for fear that getting something was better than getting nothing.

Panic & depression cause us to make very emotional decisions. Our worldview is skewed darkly as we envision nothing by doom. For me, my investment in crypto wasn’t meant to make me rich, so I wasn’t emotionally impacted by the dips. However, I mused that there were many other external forces that caused me to panic and be depressed aplenty.

This time I don’t have a succinctly numbered list of advice for you. I’m still formulating ideas. One thing I can say is that the trick to not becoming depressed by external forces is to separate your mind from the events that are impacting you. Personally speaking, I have to decide that those external forces don’t impact me at all. Just as the ups and downs of the crypto market don’t affect my self-worth, I need to ensure that the ups and downs in my life don’t affect my self-worth either.

My entire book on fighting suicide was based on the idea that there is always a dawn. Improving our perspective through discipline is a very appealing thought process to me. I am grateful for the second crypto crash this month for reminding me of this lost lesson…….



Date: September 20, 2021 at 2:53:10 PM MDT
Weather: 61°F Sunny
Location: Sandy, Utah, United States