i dont go on skype anymore. chat with me by screaming as loud as you can into the night sky. i will be listening
The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.
Barry H. Gillespie
Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.
The truth is, everyone likes to look down on someone. If your favorites are all avant-garde writers who throw in Sanskrit and German, you can look down on everyone. If your favorites are all Oprah Book Club books, you can at least look down on mystery readers. Mystery readers have sci-fi readers. Sci-fi can look down on fantasy. And yes, fantasy readers have their own snobbishness. I’ll bet this, though: in a hundred years, people will be writing a lot more dissertations on Harry Potter than on John Updike. Look, Charles Dickens wrote popular fiction. Shakespeare wrote popular fiction - until he wrote his sonnets, desperate to show the literati of his day that he was real artist. Edgar Allan Poe tied himself in knots because no one realized he was a genius. The core of the problem is how we want to define “literature”. The Latin root simply means “letters”. Those letters are either delivered - they connect with an audience - or they don’t. For some, that audience is a few thousand college professors and some critics. For others, its twenty million women desperate for romance in their lives. Those connections happen because the books successfully communicate something real about the human experience. Sure, there are trashy books that do really well, but that’s because there are trashy facets of humanity. What people value in their books - and thus what they count as literature - really tells you more about them than it does about the book.
My religion is nature. That’s what arouses those feelings of wonder and mysticism and gratitude in me.
Today my doctor let me record our meeting. I try my hardest to scribble notes during our appointments, but there’s such an immense amount of fascinating information that comes from this man that I can’t quite get all the details down. I wind up only half-remembering conversations we have or why I can or can’t have certain things. Ironically enough, one of today’s big topics that he wanted to tackle was brain communication – my impaired functioning due to both a gene mutation and the damage the Lyme has caused. So he was especially enthusiastic about allowing me to record. Which I am especially stoked about because the conversation took a turn into some territory that has been weighing heavily on me lately.
Dr. L: "Due to genetics, at some point, you’re going to HAVE to get back to trying to supplement methyl B12 / folate. [They cause horrendous die-off that I haven’t been able to tolerate] Because now we’re talking about brain communication, mood, all that sort of stuff. Focus, memory, concentration, recall, the ability for you to buffer your chemical response to your environment – which sucks right now because you have no serotonin left. So the only way you make it through every single day is the fact that you’ve built good constraints in your life regarding when you allow yourself to be exposed to or what environments you allow yourself to be in, people you allow yourself to be around ….how they influence your life …or don’t influence your life. And you’ve been very selective in those arenas because you innately knew that if you weren’t it would literally kill you. My goal is to fill up those pools [serotonin stores] enough that eventually you go ‘Well, now I don’t have to be so careful about who I hang out with’ “
"Okay then I can be friends with assholes again?"
Dr. L: “[laughs] Basically, yes. Exactly. Because you can buffer their impact on you. Right now you absolutely can’t.”
This explains a lot. In the last few years - in tandem with all this health junk - my tolerance of strong personalities has SHARPLY declined. At first glance, almost catastrophically (job loss with asshole employers, burned bridges with a few friendships, etc) but, according to Dr. L, had I tried to force myself to stay in those situations I could have “literally” killed myself by completely exhausting the fumes I’m running on. It certainly felt that way at the time. Certain negative people make me feel a violent repulsion so intense it’s all I can do to flee the scene. This uber sensitivity is new and foreign. It’s like someone turned me inside out and I am one giant walking raw nerve, exposed and vulnerable to the harsh elements and all that the universe decides to thrust my way.
My dad has this gregarious personality that is welcoming and tolerant and non-judgemental of almost any and every walk of life. He has very, very, very few enemies and says the thing he admired most about anyone, ever, was about his own mother - ”Alison, you NEVER heard her say a bad thing about ANYONE. Ever. It was almost surreal, her patience and kindness.” He said he always wished at the end of his life people could say the same thing – but, God, how hard it is. People can be such assholes. Likewise, I’ve always heard these stories about my grandmother from multiple sources and hoped that a dominant gene. But the last few years that want of gentleness has been a far reach at times. Particular friends and family make my blood boil so hot that I am in constant internal heated debate of whether or not to keep them in my life. One particular friend has been on this cusp for the last year. Off and on I’ve weighed her good and bad and analyzed and analyzed and analyzed the effects on me. The obsession alone is my answer, says Dr. L. When I further expounded on recent specific situations / her self-righteousness / know-it-all attitude / extreme hatred, anger / how she thrives on “getting her blood up,” he winced and sat forward with his hands on the desk and a very stern look in his face. He told me I absolutely should not be spending time around her. "She sounds like a person of high IQ, but extremely low emotional intelligence." He was sure she had great qualities, too, of course, why would I be friends with her riiiiiite - but right now it just plain isn’t safe for me to surround myself with even a modicum of bad energy or stress – I have absolutely no ability to buffer it.
SORRY I CAN’T BE FRIENDS WITH YOU RIGHT NOW MY METHYLATION PATHWAYS ARE ALL CLOGGED WITH TOXINS AND JUNK AND I CAN’T PROCESS ALL YOUR BULLSHIT ON TOP OF THAT.
So. After almost a year of obsessive debate I am finally saying le fuck that noise, time to fade. I’m going to spend my time with people who like liking things. Life’s too short to spend all your time chugging Haterade.