Modafinil – The Wonder Drug

I couldn’t sleep Monday night until well after 2 a.m. Tuesday and I woke up feeling wrecked. I took my first modafinil, 100 mg, and felt amazing all day, and super-productive.

Sleep is the hot new field. Most people in the western world, I bet, have sleep apnea and get inadequate sleep and operate much less effectively than they would with decent sleep. A couple of years ago, I had two overnight sleep studies (covered by Kaiser, every one should get one). They showed I have mild sleep apnea when I sleep on my side and moderate sleep apnea when I sleep on my back. I use a CPAP usually at night along with a mouth guard, but 99% of the time, I get ticked with both and take them off, and so I usually wake up feeling like crap, my teeth sore from my constant grinding. I’ve had a hard time getting my weight below 180 pounds (I’m 6′ tall). Every pound I lose will reduce my sleep apnea. I got on modafinil to deal with the effects of sleep apnea. One of its side effects is losing weight.

Modafinil is the first medication I’ve been on since early 2009 (when I went off lithium, clonazepam and clonidine). Modafinil is a wonder drug. I feel much more alert, focused, clear, and energized. The problem is that these happy pills cost $18 each. I’m cutting my 200mg pills in half and taking that bit each day. I took my first pill at 7 am yesterday and felt good all day, much more productive, and yet I had a normal night’s sleep.

* I hate myself when I deviate from the motto of “Never complain, never explain.” I particularly hate it when I stoop to explaining a joke. Any chick who asks me if I’m being sarcastic will never become Mrs. Luke Ford.

* I get a lot of grief for writing about myself. I know that my work in this respect sometimes approaches greatness, but what do I say to those who give me grief on this score, accusing me of pettiness, self-centeredness, narcissism, lack of vision, etc? It feels weird that the greatest writer of his generation has to defend himself to less creatures never given the honorific of A**hole of the Month, but we live in a fallen world, and I must stay in reality or die.

* I realize, with surprise, with enchantment, that I enter into literature as soon as I can substitute “He” for “I.”

* I have a hot friend who gets raped a lot because she gets into bed naked with guys and expects them to understand that “No means no!” Many of them do not abide by her directive.

* When you see a Volkswagon ad proclaiming the “power of German engineering”, what do you feel? Is that a pleasant association in your mind?

Arguing with a Jewish friend, who says, “Never trust a German.” I say, there are only two races — the decent and the indecent. (Viktor Frankl)

I’m thinking about an ad showing the atom bomb exploding over Hiroshima with the tag line: “The power of Jewish engineering!”

* It’s not that Fox News leans right that bothers me, it’s that it is not independent. It pushes a particular agenda (the Republican establishment), such as that immigration reform is good (all of the news networks push this). The New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC News, etc are left-wing but they are independent of the White House and the Democratic party.

* I have the general weirdness of the whistleblower.

* I lay on the couch Monday night in therapy and listed off my schedule and how I spend my time and asked my therapist if it was OK. She said it sounded fine.

* In June of 2011, I went to my first 12 step meeting. And I’ve kept coming back because I notice that just being in the rooms sobers me, there are some great insights to be gleaned, there’s a level of honesty that I rarely find anywhere else, and I like some of the people.

* LA is the recovery capitol! What second city complex in LA? I’ve never noticed that in LA, just New York pontificating that we have it. I notice New Yorkers always feel the need to trash LA when they move here, but it doesn’t happen the other way round. Los Angelenos feel free to love New York or Portland without the need to point out its shortcomings when compared to LA. Why?

* Are you more concerned about protecting the accused or protecting potential victims of predators? Those who will be hurt by the disclosure of predators (their family and friends) are easy to spot but those who will be saved from predators are unknown and hence have no voice.

It’s like free trade. Those who benefit from protectionism have incentive to cry because they gain a lot while those who gain lower prices from free trade have no incentive to cry out.

* My friends at shul aren’t impressed by my year of living shomer brit, but they are more willing to shake my hand.

* I wonder when I’ll get a book contract for “The Year Of Living Shomer HaBris

* I’m not worried about the NSA tapping my phone and internet to fight terror. I haven’t formed an opinion of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. I don’t see him yet as a hero or a villain. So far, I can’t see anything terrible in what he did. Just because it was illegal to reveal these documents doesn’t make it morally wrong.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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