26.7.21

america 2021.

My deep cynicism about this blog and about blogging in general will be placed on pause for the next 30 days as I attempt to document what must certainly be an especially unique moment in time, as if all moments in time aren't unique: in the middle of a global pandemic, the general dissolution of capitalist illusions, and the beginning of the climate change endgame, I'm irresponsibly taking a pollution-spewing commercial flight from one of the "hottest" Delta variant hotspots in Europe to one of the, get ready for this, "hottest" places in America. See that, hot/hot? It's like riding a bike. 

Anyway, please see Instagram for the aforementioned documentation. Here's a bit also. 

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It's not even noon yet but this morning's input has already generated a multitude of sputtering emotional outputs and my flight is still 3 hours away. The first of these outbursts occurred at 09:52, when I arrived at Station Sloterdijk underslept and on high alert only to discover that in the time it took me to leave the house and catch a bus for a 12 minute ride, my arch-nemesis the NS had cancelled most of the trains to the airport. The point of even going to Sloterdijk in the first place is its "ease of connectivity" to the airport.

Maybe I'll write again about the NS, but my loathing is a flavor of hatred so monotonous and unproductive that there's almost no point in indulging it. For now, we'll just say that I managed to catch the last train from Sloterdijk to Schiphol before things got really shitty. Then, cue all kinds of feelings about being at the airport, a familiar place, where almost nothing works the way it used to. I did feel gratitude at being an experienced traveller who is mostly sighted, mostly mobile, and mostly accustomed to the basic idiosyncrasies of European travel so that I could truly focus on being stressed out about pandemic-specific details. 

But, it all went kind of fine, some of it felt even quicker than usual, even though true efficiency continues to be made impossible by those people who seem surprised to find themselves at the airport, caught completely off guard by a request for their boarding documents or ID. Then: I saw right in front of me a mother looking at her teenage boy's face the way only a mother can, searching for clues, ready to accept any or all of the information they hinted at, and for a moment I understood what I was doing today. AWWWWWWWWW.

Then, you know, you see a couple fellow passengers not wearing masks properly; you engage in a few of those standard "in case I don't see you again, goodbye forever" conversations with loved ones; you feel all the feels about being sober at an airport for the first time in many years, ect ect ect. Is like bad carnival ride. 

Turns out not much has changed about the actually being on a plane part of flying. Boarding seemed faster due to a revolutionary new "five rows at a time instead of ten" technique. You could still only understand/hear half the announcements. It's still impossible to figure out how to get your futuristic Entertainment Screen out of your armrest. Cabin crew come by less frequently, and talk less because nobody can hear or understand anybody else. 

There is still no room to do anything at all except pray for a wormhole or some other non-lethal deus ex machina escape mechanism. I guess I'm going to have to turn to movies pretty soon. Only 6 out of 9 hours left on this flight. 

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4.7.21

the tree was inside it all along, part 2.

Just to be clear, because I used to hate it when I would find a blog that would talk about addiction struggles and then the blogger would disappear for two years: today is 17 months without alcohol. 

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30.6.21

the tree was inside it all along, part 1.

Sorry, I'm just grimly fascinated by the completely detached way Wikipedia lays this out, as if it's not one of the most crippling challenges that has ever faced we humans.

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In her final book, Neurosis and Human GrowthKaren Horney lays out a complete theory of the origin and dynamics of neurosis.[10] In her theory, neurosis is a distorted way of looking at the world and at oneself, which is determined by compulsive needs rather than by a genuine interest in the world as it is. Horney proposes that neurosis is transmitted to a child from his or her early environment and that there are many ways in which this can occur:[10]:18

When summarized, they all boil down to the fact that the people in the environment are too wrapped up in their own neuroses to be able to love the child, or even to conceive of him as the particular individual he is; their attitudes toward him are determined by their own neurotic needs and responses.

The child's initial reality is then distorted by his or her parents' needs and pretenses. Growing up with neurotic caretakers, the child quickly becomes insecure and develops basic anxiety. To deal with this anxiety, the child's imagination creates an idealized self-image:[10]:22

Each person builds up his personal idealized image from the materials of his own special experiences, his earlier fantasies, his particular needs, and also his given faculties. If it were not for the personal character of the image, he would not attain a feeling of identity and unity. He idealizes, to begin with, his particular "solution" of his basic conflict: compliance becomes goodness, love, saintliness; aggressiveness becomes strength, leadership, heroism, omnipotence; aloofness becomes wisdom, self-sufficiency, independence. What—according to his particular solution—appear as shortcomings or flaws are always dimmed out or retouched.

Once he identifies himself with his idealized image, a number of effects follow. He will make claims on others and on life based on the prestige he feels entitled to because of his idealized self-image. He will impose a rigorous set of standards upon himself in order to try to measure up to that image. He will cultivate pride, and with that will come the vulnerabilities associated with pride that lacks any foundation. Finally, he will despise himself for all his limitations. Vicious circles will operate to strengthen all of these effects.

Eventually, as he grows to adulthood, a particular "solution" to all the inner conflicts and vulnerabilities will solidify. He will be either

In Horney's view, mild anxiety disorders and full-blown personality disorders all fall under her basic scheme of neurosis as variations in the degree of severity and in the individual dynamics. The opposite of neurosis is a condition Horney calls self-realization, a state of being in which the person responds to the world with the full depth of his or her spontaneous feelings, rather than with anxiety-driven compulsion. Thus the person grows to actualize his or her inborn potentialities. Horney compares this process to an acorn that grows and becomes a tree: the acorn has had the potential for a tree inside it all along.

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terror management theory.

Haha Wikipedia: 

According to terror management theory (TMT) neuroticism is primarily caused by insufficient anxiety buffers against unconscious death anxiety.[32] These buffers consist of:

  1. Cultural worldviews that impart life with a sense of enduring meaning, such as social continuity beyond one's death, future legacy and afterlife beliefs, and
  2. A sense of personal value, or the self-esteem in the cultural worldview context, an enduring sense of meaning.

While TMT agrees with standard evolutionary psychology accounts that the roots of neuroticism in Homo sapiens or its ancestors are likely in adaptive sensitivities to negative outcomes, it posits that once Homo sapiens achieved a higher level of self-awareness, neuroticism increased enormously, becoming largely a spandrel, a non-adaptive byproduct of our adaptive intelligence, which resulted in a crippling awareness of death that threatened to undermine other adaptive functions. This overblown anxiety thus needed to be buffered via intelligently creative, but largely fictitious and arbitrary notions of cultural meaning and personal value. Since highly religious or supernatural conceptions of the world provide "cosmic" personal significance and literal immortality, they are deemed to offer the most efficient buffers against death anxiety and neuroticism. Thus, historically, the shift to more materialistic and secular cultures - starting in the neolithic, and culminating in the industrial revolution, is deemed to have increased neuroticism.[32]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroticism 

28.2.21

a small victory.

This was something I wrote on Instagram that I will put here also in an attempt to remind me that I can also just write without a 2,200 character limit.

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Loath to do this here (also loath to begin any sentence with “loath”) but there is supposed to be a public component so here it is. It’s hardly controversial to declare that the last 365 days have been generally unprecedented in our lifetimes. It might be slightly more controversial to declare (possibly hyperbolically) that the value of modern hyperbolic language has kind of been exhausted, that we’re so far off the scale of normality in 2021 that there’s barely any point in exaggerating for effect anymore, because hey, whatever it is, THIS COULD BE THE YEAR, you never know. So i am not exaggerating when i say that I never ever fucking imagined that one day I’d be declaring, in “public”, with a nebulous mix of pride and embarrassment, that I haven’t had any alcohol in 370 days. And that it would be 100% true. And that it would be accompanied by such a pure, non-rationalized feeling of liberation and relief. I never believed that “sober people” were ACTUALLY happy about not drinking, I thought for sure it was something they had to desperately brainwash themselves into believing. It feels wrong to say I hope I never become the non-drinker that always turned me off of non-drinkers, but it’s true, I do hope that. And I know I’m also fucking that up with this post. But I will squirt out one more cliche and cheesy thing before mercifully stopping and never posting about this shit ever again: if you are tired of your relationship with alcohol and want to change it; if it is making you more miserable than carefree: once you stop for a while, at least months, for me it was certainly more than 3 months but who really knows, there is a switch that will eventually flip where the genuine relief of not being dominated by alcohol and the genuine dread of falling back into that increasingly relentless and horrifying cycle are more powerful than any anxiety you might have or imagine having over the grim-sounding “life without alcohol”. And when it happens, this switch will feel natural and normal and unforced, unexaggerated for effect. Do it now while there are no social events to struggle through.

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29.4.20

"public" victory.

This post is for all my goutish homies out there who need to read about potential treatment.

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Ho there. Day 85 of not drinking. Also Day 85 of Serious Gout Battles. My last official "flare" was 4 April 2020 or so, and while it didn't reach the incredible heights of March 2020, it hurt enough to where I couldn't easily go up and down tiny wooden Dutch stairs and i started taking colchicine for a couple of weeks.

A word about colchicine: I think my next gout flare would have to be more than medium-bad before I ever take it again. It is such murder on your stomach and bowels and general mobility that it's really only worth taking if you're in unbearable pain. I didn't realize the mobility effects (overall muscle pain, stiffness, fatigue) the first time I took it because my foot was unusable and I was just basically in bed for two weeks, couldn't walk, stand, etc anyway. The pain did kind of go away relatively quickly after I started colchicine, I want to say three or four days.

This was all a bit confused by the fact that, on the day I went to see my doctor to get the colchicine prescription, I hurt my back trying to protect my foot, and ended up in bed for another week. So I just felt shitty and immobile anyway and assumed it was the gout that was causing it.

So this 4 April flareup, I felt equally immobile while taking colchicine and I wasn't until I stopped taking it and a few days later I felt "OK" again that I truly realized how bad it was making me feel. I say I felt "OK" again, but I mean, you know, 50 years old instead of 80: I really had a difficult time getting out of bed or standing up from a sitting position while I was taking it.

So for the next flare, which I sincerely hope never happens, but you know: I'm just going to try and hydrate my way out of it and see what happens. Right now I'm drinking 2 liters of water a day, I should be drinking 3, but 2 is really plenty challenging enough.

Since I've stopped drinking alcohol I'm able to drink more coffee every day, which is supposed to be productive for gout/uric acid trouble. I have two cups of black coffee in the morning and one in the afternoon, would love to be able to sneak another one in there but we'll see. I already pee 59 times a day.

And: the real reason I'm here today blogging: nutrition. I guess it's time to get serious about this, so I will use the shame of public ("public") failure as a deterrent.

BREAKFAST
Two cups black coffee (0kcal)
Two whole wheat tortillas (240kcal)
1/2 avocado (130kcal)
1 tbsp (40g) esfenaj (60kcal)
1 liter water with pure cherry juice

Esfenaj: https://beaufood.nl/esfenaj/

SNACK
1/2 avocado (130kcal)
20g potato chips (125 kcal, OK, yes, no need to comment)
500ml water with pure cherry juice

POSSIBLE DINNER
1 whole wheat tortilla (120kcal)
1 tbsp chipotle hummus (60kcal)
1/2 avocado (130kcal)
1 handful spinach (10kcal)
500ml water with pure cherry juice

ACTUAL DINNER
3 small potatoes (300kcal)
2 tbsp ketchup (25kcal)

SNACK
50g coconut yogurt (70kcal)

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3.4.20

jicht, episode 3.

Hi there! Lots sure has changed since our last post, but we're going to focus on one of the things that hasn't changed: I still have gout! I haven't really done anything wrong this time, still no drinking, that means it's been 59 days of no drinking, which is something. Anyway: here's what I've been doing to battle this round of the G.

Day 1: Friday
mild pain, enough to know I should order some more colchicine.

Day 2: Saturday
about the same

Day 3: Sunday
a bit worse

Day 4: Monday
a bit worse, bad enough to start colchicine
a bit too much sugar consumed Monday night

Day 5: Tuesday
Officially a gout flare

Day 6: Wednesday
alkaline drops added to 2 liters of water, magnesium, vit C, and colchicine

Day 7: Thursday
3 liters of water added and very little movement

Day 8: Friday
Improvement

Day 9-11
Continual improvement and reduction of therapeutic methods, including stopping colchicine on saturday

Day 12 Monday
Yeah, not so pleasant again. Returning to:
3L water, 2 doses of poison water, magnesium, vit C, colchicine


26.2.20

intake.

Gout 90% in remission, foot still pretty much sucks. It's back. It's been 3 weeks of doing everything right. Decided to thoroughly crash this space and document daily pill swallowing. My last day of drinking was 4 Feb 2020 because I keep forgetting, that's 25 days ago.

Tuesday 25 Feb
2 MSM, 2 VITC, 2 MAG, 3 MEL.

Wednesday 26 Feb
4 MSM, 4 VITC, 2 MAG, 3 VITD, 1 VITB, 3 TUR.

Thursday 27 Feb
NOTHING YOU STUPID ASSHOLE

Friday 28 Feb
3 MSM, 4 VITC, 2MAG

Sat 29 Feb
1,0mg COL (9am). 0.5mg COL (11:30am)

Sun 1 Mar
0.5mg COL (9am), 0.5mg COL (9pm), 2MAG

Mon 2 Mar
0.5 COL (6am), 0.5mg COL (3am)
Water: 1 liter.

Tue 3 Mar
0.5 COL (9am), 0.5mg COL (5pm), 2MAG