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Fasting Again

I've been thinking about doing this for a while, and I recently told a friend about my 7-day water fast, so I was reminded of my intention and I'm going to do it. I have been smoking less frequently lately, and now that I'm more ready to quit, I think that it would help if I was constantly consuming liquids. It's also really dry and cold out right now, so uber-hydration may help my skin. Hopefully, the liquids will flush the nicotine out more quickly. I say 'liquids' because I'll be drinking water + these little packets of flavoring which have only five calories - and I'll be drinking that often to counter hunger. The flavoring will make the experience more tolerable and (hopefully, in combination with a shorter span) help me avoid the muscle spasms that I got last time, when I was only drinking water - I think that some of the flavor packets have electrolytes.

Fasting for short periods is not bad for you. It helps your body clean up your blood, reduces inflammation of various tissues and increases the efficiency of various organs. This is something that I've experienced myself, not something that I've found in medically-verified text. This time, I'm going to go for four days instead of seven. I'll get through the three-day barrier (until which, without exercise, the liver still has energy to live on), and have an extra day to cycle out the nicotine (current theory holds that three days is enough, but my body seems to hold on to the physical addiction for at least five days - on a normal diet).

Given that comparatively little research has been done on the effects of fasting or a raw food diet, I can understand that most people would be unwilling to accept my choices as 'normal.' For the same reason, I refuse to reject my observations of the effects on my own health, or to give up on further experimentation. History has shown that accepted scientific beliefs are frequently disproven.

My fast will begin Sunday morning, and end Thursday morning. Lack of sugar and nicotine will make me irritable and head-achy, so I will be avoiding people except to go to the library, the steam room of the gym, and my Tuesday co-op meeting. I'll probably visit the steam room because I get cold easily when I'm fasting, and the consumption of lots of liquids will exacerbate that problem. I'll also be able to check my weight at the gym. It will be useful to ascertain whether fasting (this time) reduces my weight more than loss of calories or waste can explain. Last time, I lost ten pounds in seven days, when I should only have lost 4-7. There was a significant reduction in swelling in my legs by day four, and my arms were noticeably slimmer. I do not feel as though I am carrying excess water this time, but I do feel slightly - off. It'll be interesting to note my perceived health when the fast is over. I'll update this journal frequently over the next few days.

I hope that this works. I'd rather quit now than later.

Give too much, take too much

I'm always willing to do what I can for people. For example, I let my next-door neighbors use my wifi because they can't afford internet. But the other day, I asked if I could come with them on a drive to the snow, and they said yes, and I went to get dressed, and they left without me - and without even knocking on my door. My super-niceness has led them to believe that all I'm good for is to give them things, not to be a friend.
A few years ago, I met this girl in my college math class and it turned out that she lived down the street from me. We decided to study together, and eventually it got to the point whence she was helping me more than I was helping her, and I would sometimes copy parts of her homework. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have gotten through the class. After the class was over, she wouldn't email me back anymore. It seems that she thought that I was taking advantage of her, and didn't realize that I thought that she was a really cool person and wanted to be her friend.
People seem to never be willing to take the time to get to know me. They see my spirit of cooperation and think that I'm variously a pushover or a leech. For the last couple days, I've been wondering what I'm supposed to do about my next-door neighbors. I saw one of them at the party last night, and he gave me an extremely lame excuse. Should I yell at him to get his attention? No. I just have to suck it up and realize that I can't be so free in sharing resources with people right away. I guess people want to be challenged in finding new friends.
So, please: if you ever meet me, and I seem awkward and overly nice, keep in mind that we are all most accurately judged by how we treat those who are less able than ourselves. I'm working on building my social skills, but I'm still so behind that it will say a lot about you when you disrespect our friendship.

Worst day of the weekend

NIC FIT. All I want right now is... company. Someone or something, to gnaw on in some fashion. Unfortunately, I'd probably claw their eyes out as well. It's so fucking hot in my house. OOOOOHHHHH GGGOOOOOODDDD I just called someone and had this conversation, "Hello, this is Jeb" "This is Geniene" "Oh hi, how are you?" "I'm fine, how are you?" "I'm fine." Silence. "Are you back in Seattle?" "Yeah, I'm here at John's house." (Here is where I DIDN'T mention that he had said that he would call me when he got back into town.) "Did Janelle come there last night too?" "Yes." "Oh. I guess I better call her." Jesus Christ. Then I called Janelle and she didn't answer her phone. So I called Jeb to tell him to tell her to pick up her phone, and HE DIDN'T ANSWER. So I called two other people in the house, and no one else answered either. After calling Janelle twice more, I feel not only like a complete idiot but also like an asshole (you can translate asshole into any negative description, and it will fit how I feel). Janelle is NEVER fucking there when I need her. And screw Jeb.

It’s obvious to me, but anyone who might read this isn’t certain to know that a lot of sad people end up looking for help on Yahoo!Answers. I’ve done it myself; been sad, typed a question into the search bar, and got back a question that someone else had asked about the same kind of depression. Y!A is a site which allows anyone to ask any question, with only a few limitations. I’ve seen everything; from physics and the meaning of life, to things that every thirteen-year-old should know (the age minimum is thirteen). The answers are usually so grammar-absent that it’s like cracking a code to figure out what advice is being offered – and that advice is mostly bad.

 

I’m lucky enough to have made it past my mental-health adolescence. I am now mostly trying to grow up, because I now know what it is to be grown-up. Usually, one grows up without knowing it, and realizes it later; but I have never been one to take the easy road. The upshot of this is that I am in the enviable state of mind that allows me to look at my depression with the detachment that comes from knowing, in the bone, that it will pass. Therefore, when I write here, or post a question there, I know that it is only to ease my mind for the moment, and I take it for what it is. It’s just a salve, just words. For these poor people on Y!A, though, their question is a real plea. They are in agony and they need help. They don’t have the tools to pull themselves out, and even if they did, they wouldn’t have the gumption to use them. The best thing for these people would be a loving presence at their side, but Y!A can’t provide that. The best advice is useless to someone who is suicidal – only action can help when your mind is so disabled. I think that the communications may help some people sometimes, and for that I am glad; but most of the time the expectation of help is not fulfilled.

 

Plainly, we should have a social system wherein people are so well-supported by the community that they never feel so alone that they have to ask unprofessional and uninterested strangers to provide badly-worded and often offensive text advice. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t run on ‘should,’ even though we humans profess that morals are one of our most driving forces. Just as in the importance of action over words, what we really want and work for hides behind (and is expressed before) our conscious mind’s rationalizations… or is it? I’ve done a lot of thinking about free will and right and wrong over the years, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the only sane position is in loyalty to the community. Why, then, does it seem that the ‘subconscious’ pushes us to stab each other in the back rather than love each other?

 

We learn to fight because that’s what grew out of smaller family groups and larger governments. Our inter-tribal violence may be inborn, but our personal hatreds are societal. I’m not saying that all mental illness comes from a lack of the village needed to raise a child, but that a lot of it does. Yahoo!Answers’ collection of suicidal questions is a typical example of the disassociation response in people who have no extended-family type support to call upon. When your social network is fractured, your psyche has a hard time deciding where you fit in; and it may fail. We want to please the people around us by being like them, but that leaves us in a pickle if our mother is Catholic and our brother is gay, or our co-worker is racist and our boyfriend is black. How does one respect all opinions, and adopt all behaviors, without offending someone? If we lived in smaller, more isolated communities, there would be fewer differences – and we would have all lived together for years anyway, and been used to any idiosyncrasies.

 

It’s not possible to go back to a tribal system, nor is it even desirable. We’ve all delighted in varieties of food, art and other culture that are gained with a global society. The ideal solution is for us all to learn how to get along despite our increasing feelings of detachment. I believe that (eventually) each of us will love every stranger that we meet, unconditionally. We’ll slip up, because we are human, but we will all be brought up to know that hurting another person is as good as hurting ourselves. A large part of the stability of a tribe comes from being able to predict the behavior of those around you; we’ll replace that stability with the ingrained knowledge that all people can be trusted. We will have graduated from an animal-like comfort with the status quo, to a morally-conscious choice to live in peace. I can’t wait to live in this world when nobody’s afraid to ask me for help – and when I’m not afraid to give it.

My journals...

...are not records of my brilliance.  They're records of what I sounded like, what I did, what I thought, and what little WAS brilliant in my brain.  Maybe it would  be more productive to write down my dreams.
I think I'm bisexual, or pansexual.  I've experimented a lot over the years, and I think that I'm attracted to people based more on personality and overall appearance than gender.  So when a guy kept dancing with me last night, I was fine with it, but I couldn't figure out what his game was, since he was dancing closely with me but claimed not to be attracted to my gender.  Despite being extremely attractive, he also claimed that there were no people at the club that were attracted to him but me.  I had a fun time dancing with him, but declined to go to bed with him.  While talking to a friend about it today, I learned something that I had thought was impossible.  My friend said that the guy was probably a regular at the club, and everyone probably knew that he was infected, and that's why they wouldn't mess with him.  What I want to know is why they wouldn't say anything to me about it.  They expect me to realize that they're avoiding him, and extrapolate from that that he's sick?  Or am I just supposed to get sick and learn my lesson about him that way?  I don't believe it.  I don't think that the community is that self-aware, and I don't think that I was the only person there that was attracted to him.  I think that he was confused... or... something.  The way he smiled constantly and danced provocatively and called me cute - I don't know why he said he wasn't attracted to my sex.  I am not prepared to believe that he was willing to infect me with a disease.

Also: maybe I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.  I got to dance closely with a number of attractive people last night, and they must have enjoyed it too.

Paranoia

I go through phases of self-doubt that are defined by my current beliefs about others' perceptions of me.  Once, when I was taking care of a child for a while, I thought that everyone I met thought that I was a child molester.  Lately, I oscillate between 'crazy' and 'stupid.'  It's only when I do something like sit down at the computer and try to write about it that I realize how silly it is.  Aside from the ordinary feeling that I'm a bad writer, writing about my issues seems pointless because they're non-issues and the end clause is the same zero that it has always been.

I think that I need to be locked in a room by myself for a week, prior to every decision; especially before I open my mouth to speak.  Stupidly honest, that's me.  Not painfully, because pain implies recovery.  If you're injured, you feel pain, but you'll get over it.  I think that 'morbidly' honest is more accurate.  My foot is so far into my mouth that only an autopsy can remove it, most of the time.

I want to live my life with infinite compassion, like some of the people that I look up to seem to have.  Unfortunately, all the people we look up to are ultimately proven to have flaws that make them reprehensible in some way.  If someday I am capable of having perfect compassion, it'll probably be at the cost of having really bad body odor.  It's always that way; if you really were perfect, you'd have no more need for this plane of existence; you'd be dead.

I want to touch people with love, but I want to be loved so much that I can't give love freely.  I told a friend today, "We're all in this together.  If I'm crazy, you're crazy."  What I meant was that if I felt that lonely and was grasping that much, there must be someone else who felt that way.  If I feel unloved, it must be because I am unloved, and if I am unloved, it is because other people feel that they don't have love to spare; they are in the same predicament as I, but I happen to be feeling it more right now.

You ever try to do something that you know is neurotic, while thinking that you are able to do it in a non-neurotic way?  When (obviously) you wouldn't even be doing it if it wasn't neurotic, and trying to do it is only proving to yourself and everyone to whom you try to justify it that you really are crazy?  I did that today.  On the other hand, if I'm crazy you're crazy, so why worry?  I do want to work on myself, but I shouldn't worry about it so much.  The same friend agrees that perfection is death, and claims that you therefore should never try to be perfect.  I say, what's the big point if we're not trying to get there?  The journey is more important, but you gotta pretend there's a destination.  All of belief is pretention anyway.

Of course, I have just proven that there was no point to writing this.  I feel better, but not satisfied, anyway - just like after everything you do in life.

My personal trend

I loved the grunge look

The knees of my jeans were gonna wear through anyway.
The flannels kept me warm.

when I think of it now, I think SEX
it was sexy to be me

and I've never lost my love of tie-dyes
(though those are more retro)

I've had
dreads
piercings
dirt
silk
ties
eyeliner
loincloths
leather
patchouli
platforms

now
my hair gets shorter
baggy, comfortable clothes

I hardly ever look in the mirror;
fall fashion is understated

The worst pain comes after midnight...

She liked my T-shirt.  She had bright hair.  She was an angel.  She saved me from being alone.  I looked up to her.

I knew her for ten years.  She always cried to me about how people would leave her; tell her she was no good for them, that she was a bad person or was ugly or stupid, or whatever.  I always promised myself that I would never stop being her friend - I would always be there for her, no matter what.  I always was, even when I disagreed with her.

One day, I made the mistake of telling her one of the things that I disagreed with.  She told me that she wanted to take a break from our friendship.

I called her, a year or two later, and she told me that she didn't want to hang out with me anymore.  She said I wasn't good for her.

I keep running across her on various websites - sometimes I look her up... I'm pretty lonely now.  I thought that we would always be friends.  I guess, like so many of the people in my life, she was a lot more important to me than I was to her.  Does she even know how ironic it is?

It breaks my heart.  Not many things nowadays touch me that much, but it does still hurt that bad.

I respect her wishes.  I haven't contacted her.  I can't believe that I meant so little that she couldn't forgive me.  Story of my life, but it used to be hers...

Anorexia and my seven-day water fast


I was going to join a pro-ana group on LiveJournal to get some advice about how to maintain my weight exactly as it is.  I figured that those ladies probably knew thier stuff, and I could slip in some teasers about raw food - maybe they'd start eating tons of raw veggies instead of starving themselves.

It was not to be.  After reading MANY posts, I realized that there is hardly any interaction between members.  It seems that they all come on just to whine, and they don't respond to each others' pleas for support.  I don't think that I would fit in!  I mean, I am a world-class whiner - hell, I'm whining right now - but I just can't work up the angst over sex and appearance like I used to.

Since my fast, I've had a new appreciation for the motivations of anorexics.  A few days in, all the excess water weight was suddenly gone.  I felt like I was five years younger; my arms and legs and belly were all noticeably smaller.  It was like magic.  All the suffering - the hunger, headaches, racing heart, dizziness, weakness - was justified.  I hadn't intended to lose weight.  I hoped, but that wasn't the point of the fast.  I wanted to disconnect from food; to empty my bowels completely and tear my mind away from what I was going to eat next.  Raw foodism is much different from the Standard American Diet that I was used to, and I had started to think that I was too obsessed with food because staying on the diet was so hard.  The fast, and the ten pounds that came off of me, was a dangerously rewarding experience.  I can see how fasting seems like the answer to so many young girls.

Mainly, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  I found a lot of power in fasting, but it wasn't mine.  The fast became my god; it had to, or I would have given up.  Usually, positive reinforcement would be some kind of good feeling, but this time it was control.  I felt a grim satisfaction in beating hunger and pain, and it wasn't sweet and soft; it was hard and hateful.  It was cheating.

I know that the pro-ana kids would never buy into raw food.  They get thier kicks from the rush of power that comes from denying an instinct so basic that it takes single-minded concentration to beat it.  The other pro-anas who just think it's glamorous, and have never been to that edge, wouldn't listen to me because eating your way to beautiful is not elegant.

Before I started typing this, I didn't realize what I knew.  I was trying to figure out why it seemed to me that the pro-anas were so sick.  They really are!  They talk about making thier own choices, but I wonder if any of them realize that thier motivations come from that dark, power-hungry, twisted and fearful place.  I wonder if they know that every bite they don't eat makes thier self-hatred stronger.