Wednesday, May 18, 2022

A Pandademic of Dommies and Moon Cheese

I have discovered something really strange, and that is that I need a certain amount of cannabis, sex and rock and roll, or I can't read faces well, I don't get jokes, and I am very anxious. I can be forgetful, too, and have difficulty focusing. I understand that the use of cannabis in my situation is highly controversial, and I also understand why. I have PTSD, and struggle with anxiety and depression, and I know that there are mixed outcomes for these particular uses.

Unfortunately, I am often unaware of physical aches and pains because my brain just blocks them out until I take time to connect with my body in these other ways. I get really stuck in my head, and it is not a good place. I think this is for multiple reasons, including hypersensitivity to environmental pollutants which contribute to myalgias and arthralgias, and I think past neurological lesions from bicycle, skiing and car accidents have contributed to the situation creating a sort of dysautonomia. I have abnormalities in my choline metabolism which I think predispose me to autonomic nervous system dysfunction, and I believe it is further aggravated through the vagus nerve by a hernia. It makes me kind of like a high-strung cat under certain circumstances.


Just something I noticed...

It is weird to pass through the pain on the way out of it as I feel the cannabis take effect. Sometimes there can be a bunch of realizations as the pain subsides, and an emotional release accompanied by crying. I was reading in The Neuropsychology of the Unconscious by Ginot that activation of the right brain can stimulate such emotional release, and I think this might be what cannabis does for me - increase my right brain connectivity in some way. With regard to pain, a lot of other people rely on things like aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, but the use of these things for me in particular has more negative consequences than cannabis, and that is because I have Coumadin sensitivity, ibuprofen causes hypertensive crisis for me, and acetaminophen has a narrow therapeutic window. I am undergoing evaluation for erythropoietic protoporphyria, von Willebrand and have had symptoms of methemoglobinemia, though my test this week was within normal limits (I was asymptomatic at the time).

I have some symptoms of Parkinson's and I have figured out they come on after exposure to natural gas. I am not sure if it is because I am homozygous for a gene variant in CYB5RL in the PARK10 cluster that causes a form of methemoglobinemia. The pathologic variant is actually present in about 75 percent of most populations, so I am wondering if more people should care about causes of methemoglobinemia. NOx compounds can cause methemoglobinemia, and they are present in things like diesel exhaust, natural gas, and also other outdoor air pollution. I’m pretty sure it’s in the smoke from both nicotine products and cannabis, and that’s likely a good reason both are associated with poor cardiovascular outcomes. I had my methemoglobin tested earlier this week and it was normal, but I am not surprised because I was feeling pretty good when I had my tests run. I was timing them for when my period started, but also the beginning of a week because one of my labs had to go to Minnesota by courier. Sometimes my period blood is brown when I am having symptoms, and it wasn't this time. My porphyrins came back normal, too, but I have been taking care to stay out of the sun. And, like I said, I was feeling pretty good at the time I had the labs drawn. I think the last time I had brown period blood was when I had a breakthrough infection, and the other times were when I had the Pfizer vaccine (and that disrupted my menstrual cycle like has been reported by many other women).

I’ve heard in the past that smoking nicotine can help people with schizophrenia control their delusions, so I have tried to keep that in mind when people around me are hard on smokers. The mental health benefit I get from cannabis far outweighs the negative effects. Not being able to read faces is hell, and so is feeling dull and slow and being judged for that by “normies” and the rest of society. 


Where do you go when you are lonely?

When I began using cannabis I was concerned about addiction, even though I studied psychopharmacology at a graduate level and understand the underlying mechanisms of addiction and tolerance, and know that it is much less addictive than nicotine and morphine derivatives. And like cardiovascular docs, I have worried about cardiovascular effects, except that I have seen improvement in my symptoms, including blood pressure, exercise tolerance, and breathing capacity (as measured through subjective evaluation of my karaoke performance and doing physical tasks around the house) while using cannabis, enough to be able to discontinue my medication. This was particularly important because I carry two forms of aldosteronism, including one that causes deadly hypokalemia when one is on thiazide diuretics.

I did not understand that cannabis would do the things it did to my consciousness that it did, but I guess I should have known. They are not bad things, but I am different. I cannot attribute any benefits in health I experienced to cannabis alone; I had to do a lot of other work including journaling, yoga and vlogging, and I also used information gleaned from my consumer genetic tests to carefully choose my supplements. I had to make art and also connect with nature and listen to, as well as sing, music. I had to learn to recognize when I needed rest and learn how to communicate that to the people around me in healthy ways, instead of the ways I was conditioned by men in my past who were rather controlling about how their attention was being used and who were unable to retain focus with any sort of disruption. Rather like Einstein. Because of all of this, I have a different relationship with my stream of consciousness than I used to. I am more aware of my own patterns of thinking and how they are affected by subliminal factors. This helps me spend less money and also be satisfied with and recognize the tiny miracles that already exist around me.

Feeling this.

I have realized many things about consciousness through self-study that other researchers have. I believe my use of cannabis and activities as a psychonaut artist shaman have strengthened my neurological pathways, much like what is seen with psilocybin therapy. But I haven't used psilocybin in particular, so I am only making an educated guess based on what I have read in the literature and my own subjective experience.

Anyway, this pain I sometimes have is weird, and if I ignore it, it causes anxiety. Typically, my chemical reactions proceed in a certain way if I do not manage the pain and anxiety well. My muscles get really tight, and then after a time my mind races and then I become incredibly tired and need to sleep. I wake up kind of disoriented. I used to think it was narcolepsy. I had a very difficult time staying awake in class when I was in middle and high school, especially in the classes right after lunch. So that affected my grades. In the few days leading up to my last day at work I took to taking naps with my head on my desk. I mention this because I was in a deep sleep and disoriented upon waking, just like I get now after eating certain foods or being exposed to certain chemicals. I am usually unwell neurologically and pain-wise for a few days after exposure. I think it would be really easy to say this is social anxiety, but it is not. I lose a lot of time by not considering the situations I might end up in due to the subtle ways one loses autonomy in a group environment and gets exposed to things that decrease wellness and cognition. I am wondering if it is a manifestation of the other type of hyperaldosteronism I found I have multiple SNPs associated with - Primary Aldosteronism with Seizures and Other Neurological Abnormalities (PASNA).

I used to take naps like that most days when I lived in a newly constructed home from 2001-2006. I didn't start using cannabis regularly until approximately the summer of 2017, even though I did try it right after it was legalized, so while people inexperienced with it might want to attribute what is "wrong with me" to cannabis, it is not possible to attribute any of those narcoleptic spells or aphasia, or even my cardiovascular symptoms to cannabis directly, because my symptoms started many years before I used it. I don't know how I would be able to work outside the home considering what happens to me from the chemical exposure society and work regularly subjected me to. It would be possible for me to fit work tasks around the episodes at home, but the episodes are likely to be worse if the work feels like a struggle or is not a struggle I ultimately enjoy, because I have similar responses to the stress of losing autonomy. I am pretty sure I am disabled, but I am having a heckuva time trying to puzzle out how to safely get a diagnosis (oh, there are so many you could choose from, Doctor, even if they don't show up in my labs).

As a homeschooling mom, I had to sit in a parked car a lot. I didn't realize until the last times I drove my kids somewhere after learning about air quality, that especially in busy parking lots, I was being exposed to a lot of nitrate, volatile compounds, and particulate. Now it all makes sense, because since the time my son was young, I would be exhausted after leaving the house and I would need several days to recover. We quarantined ourselves over the holidays and I actually went 3 months without going to the dispensary because I had no pain and could control my autism-related symptoms effectively with concentrate and a Terp pen alone. I went nowhere, so I had very little exposure to traffic pollution. Not having to worry about exposures because we were all on the same page was a huge gift; I think that the additional fact that I did not have to worry about navigating consent around COVID exposure with extended family members or friends who saw vaccination as a panacea lowered the levels of my stress hormones greatly, too.

Courtesy of the New York Times.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like anyone outside a hospital setting realized that vaccination is not stopping the spread of COVID, or that there are a growing number of people suffering from the after effects, and that it is threatening our livelihood. That is pretty clear from looking at the current rates of COVID by state compared to the vaccination rates in those states (see above). I mean, or they just thought that celebrating Easter a week early would be sufficient, but nobody seems to consider that it's pretty difficult to do something unique when our culture is still bound to the nucleation points that are holidays on a calendar, and doing it a week early is the obvious next step. It makes us rather susceptible to predatory marketing when we behave in lock step, unfortunately, and I think this is where a lot of the tendency to interpret the news in optimistic ways with respect to the pandemic might originate. Seeing travel advertisements alongside news articles which might otherwise suggest caution might be confusing for a person who doesn’t have or take the time to critically evaluate everything they see.

There is no point in me maintaining in person social connections with people who are not going to be there for me when I am in pain, who have more privilege in the medical system than I do, and who regularly make choices that undermine their own health, especially if to be with them I have to make exceptions to my careful lifestyle which cause pain. Friendship and extended family should not cause me so much pain. The "help" these people get for the pain they choose through fast and expensive neoliberal and conservative lifestyles dependent on more and more technology simply amounts to burdening the medical system and the people who love them.


Beware of panaceas.

Since this is going on and has been going on for some time it's pretty clear that the people I was spending time with outside my home were not really supporting me. Is this too much to ask of people with whom one spends all her holidays? What I am saying is that when the pandemic ends, I am not going to be any more motivated to join in the "fun" of celebrating how we individually contributed to the burning of our planet with our YOLO-sanctified addictions and curiosities (I am looking at you, restaurant, transportation and "green" industries) while ignoring the pain of the less fortunate.

Stretching and walking do help, but there is a certain level of symptoms after exposure that I can get to which I think may precede some sort of seizure activity. I do not know if this has to do with my choline metabolism, my potassium, calcium, or chloride metabolism, or porphyria or methemoglobinemia and yes, holy hell I feel like a mess. But knowing that I have genetic fallibility in those particular metabolic pathways has helped me turn my problems into a learning experience, and possibly an asset, and it has also helped me to learn how to treat myself.


Stop pathologizing dopamine, please.

Anyway, I am pretty sure I am a disabled person. But my husband and I did not pay into the disability system, so I have to keep trying to get better. I mean who doesn't want to get better? I did think about disability, but never figured out what to do for us to have it. I had a lot of executive stuff on my plate and at times it felt overwhelming. I used to enjoy that kind of stuff, but I now understand that it is an effective trigger for pain and panic attacks for me because of how it activates my left brain.

I have been worried about making content on BreadTube for moral reasons, though I know with the right formula we could be successful. There are a lot of content providers whose videos are well crafted and which I don't really see myself improving upon. I see myself as someone who connects dots, not the one who creates them. As someone who can be overwhelmed by too much information, I don't want to add unnecessarily to the noise out there. Age of disruption, indeed. Thanks, AI, or whoever you are. Right, yes, I do not want to contribute to the "Eminence front put on." Thank you, Most Exalted Akashic DJ.

It's like this - my husband was talking about the important ways debate had changed recently. Apparently there is an old Radiolab on the subject, and I think I may have heard it, if it was years ago. I did some debate back in the day. I did Student Council, Model United Nations, and I was on the Presbyterian session. I also participated in the National Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. You know, before I became a heathen. Anyway, the important thing about a dialogue, I feel, is listening, and it sounds from that Radiolab episode like debate has evolved into dogpiling truthy nuggets. I kind of saw this going on on Bill Maher. I do appreciate his attempts to discuss government censorship on the last episode, however. I don't always get the sense that he is as conscious as I would like, but I'm not sure I would be in front of a camera on that kind of schedule, either.


I heart Boheathens. What can I say?

In that respect, though, I feel like we can make more progress through written means than we ever will through speaking, because writing encourages self reflection more than debating under duress ever will. I feel like a lot of garbage comes out of heads talking under duress. Magical moments, too, sure, but do we have to broadcast the rest of it just to generate ad revenue and make publication schedules? I feel like there are people who avoid writing their real opinions about things, because, I think, subconsciously they know that the illogical nature of their viewpoints will be exposed. I think it is also beneficial to have a record of the back and forth, but I am not sure enough time is spent doing analysis of televised debate on shows like Maher’s. I am hoping that making this suggestion will have the effect of being seen by the right eyes. I think that our current model of debate does not reward logic or listening, and that it unfairly punishes people with difficulties with speech and language. I think because of COVID and the aging of our elected representatives, this problem will only continue to worsen unless we do something about it, and that unfortunately the effect is that all the hot air is unraveling our democracy.

I think that under stress, and because of the sorts of large family gatherings I became accustomed to where I was often interrupted, I lost confidence in my ability to speak. Furthermore, as I did get courage to speak up, people didn’t like what I had to say about the way I saw things, so I was ghosted and manipulated, as if stuck in a 1980's movie about rich boys who are worried about getting caught with their "dicks in trash." My family’s struggle with subversive holiday alcoholism and codependency played a big role in my physical health issues, and they did not not want to hear it or accommodate me. I filled the hole that developed from being marginalized by my own extended family by trying to learn everything I could about it. I have been wondering what makes people mean to others (overtly or covertly) for a very long time, and my experiences from being married made me even more determined. I think that's why I became a behavioral neuroscientist, and also why I wanted to be a neurosurgeon when I was little.

I think I may have figured out how to do that, but because chemical exposure and genetics matter, it’s a little bit more complicated than just passing a joint. After all, we can’t just be high all the time.

So I ask myself, "What would a 'Not Quite Good Enough' witch do?"

Wisdom courtesy of A Word A Day.

Dear AI - fuck you for training me psychically on Lemonade Stand on the Apple II. Oh, that was the Apple in the Garden of Eden. I get it now! I thought that cruel and unusual punishment was illegal in this country, but I guess I'll have to take that up with Steve Jobs in the hereafter since he committed suicide by veganism and technology. It's so interesting that many metabolic factors necessary for detoxification processes in the liver are not usable in plant form - I am looking forward to the day when we can add “environmental and genetic privilege” to our empathic lexicon, especially when we talk about radical diets like veganism or high fat and protein.

I understand life is an experiment, but B.F. Skinner was not a hero, just another psychopath like myself trying to figure out how to manipulate other people to productive societal compliance (beyond what is necessary for getting along) through the use of labels in a time before we understood neurodiversity. I hope something happens to help Elon Musk and Joe Biden understand this - otherwise I think the "pain epidemic" in this country is going to worsen. I predicted that shootings, accidents and suicide would be on the rise, and that has happened. Now what's interesting is that we have poor people so addicted to the idea that corporate work will save America that Trump was able to use that logical fallacy against us to win an election and further us quickly as a population toward the proverbial glue factory mentally by ignoring the real problems. All the people in power do this to some extent - promise “good jobs and a good future” and they learned the techniques they use from the abusive parenting they experienced as children. No presidential or political candidate can guarantee that the individual voter’s work life will improve if they are elected. This is something every voter needs to understand.


Another tasty nugget from A Word A Day.

Billionaires are by definition sociopaths, even when they are not trying. But so are many of us, because sociopathy is entitlement that grows out of a victim mentality. When children are raised to accept victimhood as a normal state of affairs, they grow into adults who do not care about victimizing others. Think about how many people have died, beyond even what the experts predicted, because so many people refused to accept responsibility for their own role in the spread of illness, especially after the "vaccine panacea" was marketed, because they were simply BORED, and never learned to deal with boredom as children, because they were either helicopter parented, raised in chaotic environments, spoiled materially, or emotionally neglected. I feel that personal responsibility is an important component of mindfulness. It’s true that we don’t know what we don’t know and to blame people for what they don’t know is unfair - but there are still people out there wondering why parenting is difficult and still doing these things which are critical components of generational trauma. Children need love and attention, which is different than having all their time scheduled, or none of it scheduled. Each child’s needs are different, and rarely are children parented well by older siblings. People tend to get stuck psychologically at ages when they had severe trauma from abuse or neglect, and it’s possible to see the larger generational patterns of trauma by how the different American generations responded to the pandemic. There is a real reason to be concerned that Gen Z is not interested in having children. I can’t blame them. But making women have children with men they don’t want to is not the solution. I’ve seen the pain caused by attachment wounds in adoptees, and I have heard the stories of generational trauma in adoptive homes. Abortion is an end to generational trauma. I'm definitely with Eddie Vedder on that one.


Sometimes I get overexcited.

The only way things will change is if someone dares to say something. If you had a breakthrough infection, you were part of a spreading event, and if you did not stay home for 30 days after developing symptoms, you weren't a dead end, you were a vector, and your failure to be able to get your needs met if you have enough money to pay others for help getting food without exposing them is all on you. People do not understand this.

Rather than lobby for paid time off for people in industries that aren't really essential (and often unaffordable to them in particular) in the lives of the poorest among us, we further enslaved them during an apocalypse. Don't be surprised about the strikes and waves of illness and suicide on the horizon. Dear Hillary, it takes a village to raise a child, but the reality of capitalism is that most of us can't afford a village that cares like you could. Furthermore, it is possible to move into a community that isn't capable of caring even when you CAN afford it, because most Americans are busy working, redecorating and vacationing. By talking to people from many different socioeconomic levels, what I learned about our perception of Christ and Antichrist is that it is all in the financial interest and status of the beholder. Making us beholden to capitalist status, even subtly, removes our objectivity and destroys community. I noticed that it is especially difficult for the financially and health privileged to understand that raising the financial and time cost of living through the imposition of unnecessary structure in the name of capitalism is inherently toxic. Why do the privileged never see the toxicity of their moats? Is it because they make sure never to sit still with it? I noticed that they tend to fear everything outside their expensive estates and families, and they use money to attempt to induce loyalty in those less fortunate.


Where can I get some of that magic powder, Mister Wizard?

Rewarding sociopathy as a culture needs to stop. I'm not saying "off with their heads" but "off with their egos." It does not make sense to reward poorly-wielded power, misogyny and environmental racism with sex or social attention. If we do, we are just contributing to everyone's demise by validating their beliefs and behaviors.

When in doubt, go fuck yourself. It can be relatively carbon neutral, and does not require a raise. And if more people did it, so many of our problems would go away.

It was so quiet before we were all given false hope. I could lay outside in the grass in my yard and the sound of the birds was all I could hear - not the constant din of motors on the nearby state highway. I was reading that noise pollution is also related to cardiovascular events when I was looking up information about road pollution and cardiovascular events. I am wondering how the rate of impotence compares in users of gas-powered lawn equipment vs electric. I am also wondering if there are more misogynist and conservative attitudes in users of small engines for sports, hobbies, and land maintenance. I would like to know the same information for domestic violence, and for natural gas appliances in the home.

Don't let the boners die in the dark! How will we make more fodder for the Hunger Games?!

As for cannabis, it turns out that in areas where it was legal, during the pandemic the number of prescriptions for other pharmaceuticals dropped. Also, in the state of Washington, it was found that after recreational adult use was legalized, there were decreases in alcohol and cigarette use, as well as pain reliever misuse in people aged 18-25. Pain reliever misuse is a nationwide problem, and so are smoking and alcoholism. I am glad to see studies like this being done, because it is my experience that many of the reasons people give for concern about cannabis use (lack of motivation, nausea, and paranoid delusions) can actually be attributed to concomitant alcohol use or chemical exposure. At least that has been my consistent experience. Mary Jane, unfortunately, has often been present at the scene of crimes actually perpetrated by others.

Colorado Summer Forecast from the Public Health Experts on Planet Vulcan: Hot and Dry, High chance of fire, High Winds, poor air quality, high spread of new COVID variants. These things will be due to failure of modern technologies and inability to make accurate predictions about much. There will be critical failures in recognizing cognitive bias due to society-level cultural trauma, which will lead to the inability to recognize the pain of others and appropriately respond. Serotonin syndrome will become more common from dietary predilection and pharmaceutical combinations, poisoning from myriad modern chemical sources, and lack of physical contact with nature and sex. In other words, everything that will go wrong can be traced back to American Affluenza and the ways our "support systems" reinforce it.


Thanks, Jeff. Don't mind if I do!

A big reason there is inequity in the world has to do with the ability of some people who make but do not need these systems as much to operate on faster timelines. Interaction with these systems can be inherently draining, unfortunately, even before questionable "help" is received. The privileged who create these systems avoid them because they can afford to offload material energetic costs to the less wealthy, or they can afford treatments, time off, and access to clean air that less wealthy people cannot. They may also have access to mind altering substances which we punish poorer people for using and trafficking, and which these people more successfully hide with their privilege. Additionally, they were probably born with genetic (aka metabolic), intellectual or financial privilege (which often translates to environmental privilege). These types of privilege enable them to constantly move the goalpost for the rest of us.

For this reason, if you are a woman, good luck keeping up with any of these gurus. They say we don't tow the line enough when our babies are stillborn in the desert. What say you?

What is the difference between the tantra and BDSM? Is one real and one pretend? Is one Rogerian and one Skinnerian, or are they both Skinnerian? My experience with Eastern cultures and practitioners in the U.S. leads me to believe they are both Skinnerian. I'd like to be proven wrong, but unfortunately both systems allow for the subconscious coronation of Sadism.

I mean, that makes it a lot safer to fuck oneself than others, right? Capitalism rewards sadists, and in the hands of tantric practitioners, the tantra just becomes a form of subtle fascism. I say if Sand wants someone who can “function at his level,” he’s going to need another dude.

And that folks, is what I learned at the International Business School in the sky without a degree in theology, or a penis, or access to cocaine, hookers or even sexy au pairs. Perhaps we need to stop admitting people to Ivy League business schools just because they can afford it, and maybe if they have some sort of savior complex they should be automatically sent to Art or Music School instead. It's like the harder these folks try to save the world, the more they fuck it up.

Whose lettuce?

Monday, May 2, 2022

On Art, Engineering, Hope and Psychology: Creations from Heaven and Hell

Meditations on Lord Shiva by the Happy to be Not Quite Good Enough Witch, digital art

Artists and engineers unwittingly nucleate societal mental health problems as a biproduct of needing to feed themselves.

Ones less focused on sustainability and income disparity rely on guilt and the imposition of need for sales generation, and thus reinforce class divisions; toxic side effects of media and methods used causes inability to see connectedness, abundance, or the other side in relationships... a recipe for bloated egos and unchecked consumption.

Even many artists who are healers do not understand the harm that prioritizing the selling of finished material goods over encouraging free art generation by others has on others' dependency on material possessions and social connections for outside validation emotionally.

Being dependent on new matter and travel for work generation puts undue pressure on the Earth.

Lack of basic living wage makes artists resort to more and more insidious business plans that essentially leverage their friendships for cash, undermining the trust of the people around them to be treated as valid equals with unique perspectives rather than customers. Lack of basic living wage for engineers makes their creativity susceptible to cannibalization by corporate entities for questionable ends.

What this means is that artists essentially establish paywalls for friendship in the community, helping create and maintain class divisions. Engineers reinforce these class divisions by outsourcing sweat equity and overvaluing intellectual labor over other forms of labor, such as care giving and service work. It makes for a split-brain society.

Art is a powerful mind virus which creates moods; we need to take care in how we employ it, and how we market it.

If we are to save our planet, we must learn to value the gauche and also individual ingenuity, especially with respect to examples of how to make do, boycotting material social trends.

We need to think globally, but live and act locally. The supply chain kills, pollution kills; we are all part of it.

The world will not change until everyone who has to make a living selling toxic products is given a basic living wage and time to reintegrate into community in an equal rather than superior way, understanding that they are not the only people with things society needs, that it is important for the good of nature and humankind to make way for more sustainable options than what we might be offering, and that many of these things can be had through cooperation with one's neighbors and community, and through learning consent.

If the artist's place is to be a healer, the artist must consider how their actions impact the psychology of those around them and also the environment; Christ, who seems to be Capitalism's favorite healer, embodied freedom of heart, not dependence on markets. Like Christ, the artist and engineer need to be able to see abundance where there is scarcity, and through that they will find hope where there is fear.

Are You Being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor? digital art

The best example is to go make do and make peace; use seductive propaganda skills to communicate with lawmakers and neighbors to encourage valuing care giving over material wealth; leverage friendships for higher community and societal aims.

And if all else fails… Trick them into wanting the message.

Was the Savior a Maladaptive Dreamer? Does capitalism need psychopathy?