Categories
Emotional Work

Day 585 and Rip Off the Trauma Bandaid

I hope I can capture even a fragment of my emotions as I am on the other side of several hours of post-moving therapy. And I am drained but also armed with more wisdom than when I started the effort.

Moving is obviously a traumatic experience for most people. Anyone who moved as a child has some memories of how the change revealed new aspects of who they are and what makes them feel safe. Parents worry about it a lot about moving and for good reason. I know my mother certainly did and she did her best to protect me.

But we know that life is chaotic. Any type of change is already in a dance with accelerating entropy. Expect your unfinished shit to get drawn into the accretion belt surrounding the event horizon of your fears. Black holes are scary because we know they will kill us unless we commit enough energy to the fight to escape.

Sometimes some parts of us don’t make it. They become lost to the nothing. The dark impenetrable inversion point where we are forced to face the powers of destruction within us. Of course, it’s natural to sacrifice some part of yourself to banish the demon we know to be who we are.

It’s actually shocking to realize that inside of you might be some kind of personal Kali ready to rend the apocalypse at your weak side. But then you try not to think of it too much right? You’d rather ignore your demons right. Don’t feed the wolf right? Feed the good they say.

I am here to tell you that the shadow exist even if it scares you. It’s pulling you in just like that black whole. You can fight it your whole life. And maybe you win. Maybe you have that kind of fuel.

But if you ignore that shadow you will be pulled in it no matter what. Wouldn’t you rather run the calculation on how to achieve escape velocity? It’s going to be expensive. But it’s better to know the costs of living.

Categories
Biohacking

Day 583 and Inflammatory

Remember how I said I was overclocked yesterday? I felt like my entire central nervous system was on overdrive. Well I am a little less anxious today, but no less unfocused. It has been suggested to me that this may be a function of inflammatory stress.

I have in general followed a strict biohacking routine. But moving meant many of the nutritional supports and routines that keep inflammatory stress at bay were not possible. Sometimes your only option is picking up takeout. While I appreciate seed oil disrespecters as the natural intersection of left coded hippies and right coded bro-scientists sometimes the best you can do is chow down on fast food. And boy am I feeling the negative effects of that necessity.

I used all of my focus today to do my various biohacking routines to try to mop up the inflammatory mess that I think might be contributing to this overclocked emotional state. I have a spreadsheet of supplements that has stuff for me to take basically every hour (here are the highlights of my 8am hour which is normie friendly). I went hard on making sure I didn’t miss a single dose.

I also took the time to reboot other activities that should be calming. I went for a leisurely walk. I meditated. Our new power cage arrived so I will hopefully be back squatting and deadlifting soon. We’ve got plans for an infrared sauna. Our pond is fed by a mountain stream and I’d love to dredge it deep enough to enjoy it as a cold therapy dunk. Alex installed a new shower head until then so I can get a more intense cold shower.

All of this is mostly just a mental overview of where I am at and my plans to get my body stabilized over the next couple of weeks so I am at my most focused and capable once summer is over and my fall work season kicks in.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 582 and Overclocked

I have always been a bit of an intense personality. I’m a little prone to getting overstimulated, which often shows up like anxiety. But whatever the fuck is going on in the last couple days is way worse than usual. I’ve been so overwhelmed by even small things, I feel like I can’t control my reactions.

I am hoping it is just a residual effect of moving and the attendant stress. Perhaps my central nervous system is overclocked and it doesn’t yet know I’m in a safe place. It will just take some time to let all the cortisol spikes drain out and the other sundry overstimulation issues to get back to baseline.

But until then, it isn’t taking very much to set me off. I was driving a friend to the airport and had a full on scream in terror moment when a car honked and cut me off. They got so close to me me I ended up getting forced into a right turn only lane that stuck me onto the highway in the wrong direction. I just couldn’t stop myself from trembling and crying. I was so upset.

Today I had to ship some things in the mail It involved a shopping trip and figuring out some logistics. By the end of it I was completely overcome with a feeling of helpless anxiety as I discovered error after error no matter how hard I concentrated. I tossed my phone across the room just to see if I could relieve the building sense of pressure. It only helped a little.

I’d really like this feeling to pass. It feels a little ridiculous to have my body acting this stressed when I’m living quietly beside the mountains and my own creek. I don’t understand why things that are pretty minor have been crying and panicking. Fingers crossed my body realizes it is safe soon. Or that all the asshole drivers go back to California soon.

Categories
Travel

Day 581 and Lost

I still can’t locate a few basics that are part of my every day routine. My razor is AWOL, the box with my night time cosmetics routine hasn’t been located, and I’m not entirely sure where most of my tee-shirts are located. I don’t think they are lost but they sure aren’t found yet.

I keep making amazing progress on adjusting to the new house and unpacking, only to find that I’ve actually got no idea where something crucial might be located. My ambition to get into a routine? It’s bumping up against the reality that I’m still basically lost.

And in my case I got literally lost on the drive back from the airport. I had full on meltdown as my phone wouldn’t connect to the CarPlay and some urgently late California driver cut me off which forced me onto a right turn only lane. This ended up putting me on a highway for an additional 20 miles of transportation. I found myself lost and hollering into the phone “I have no idea where I am” as I couldn’t get myself turned around or in roads I recognized.

Categories
Biohacking

Day 580 and Feeling Normal

I had quite a case of insomnia last night. Eventually around 1am I caved and took a sleeping pill. I am so glad I did as I slept straight through till noon today. And I woke up feeling, dare I say it, almost normal. I felt better than normal. I actually felt good. Clearly I needed a long, comfortable, and uninterrupted night of sleep.

My Whoop has logged a lot of sleep disturbances since we arrived in Montana which has dragged down my recovery score. It always takes a few nights before I acclimate to a place’s natural sounds. The creaky stairs or the shifting of a building becomes something your unconscious mind recognizes over time. I think I’m finally starting to adjust and feel safe in our new house.

I’d been struggling to keep my routines and rhythms through the moving and unpacking. I had horrible digestive struggles from the excess amounts of processed we ate on the road. Then I found myself overheated and itchy as a heatwave smacked into a lack of air conditioning with a side of dusty boxes. I was physically a bit of a wreck.

Naturally I am relieved to feel like my body is adjusting positively. One of the many reasons we were excited to move to Montana is the cooler weather and ample space to be outdoors. My body is in less pain when I keep it cool and active. The optimism that wilted under the heatwave is now back.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 579 and Restart

Starting over a routine is a harder than I remembered. I did my very best to be on my rhythms yesterday on the first Monday after our move to the new homestead in Montana. Which turned out to be a modestly stupid idea when we still haven’t unpacked fully.

Routines rely on being settled and we are not yet settled. Which to be fair is normal when we only arrived 72 hours ago. I still haven’t located basic items like the Dr Bromners or the box with all my tee-shirts and tank tops.

I could barely rouse myself today to eat and groom and attempt to say goodbye to my family this morning as everyone headed out. I absolutely ate some crappy processed food English Muffins for breakfast and then promptly threw it up as my body was like bitch eat a real meal. I don’t know how the average American eats a steady diet of hyper processed foods as I can barely tolerate something with dough softener after five days.

It’s early evening and I just showered. The lack of climate control is a subtle reminder that sweat stinks but showering feels pointless if you are just going to be getting gross again within the hour. Taking care of yourself is a fight against entropy. And I don’t like being reminded that it’s a losing battle some days. But I’m alive and my brain is only parboiled which is a victory.

Categories
Preparedness

Day 578 and Tactical Errors

I’ve moved somewhere in the area of forty times over my life. And you’d think this would make me excellent at it. But no matter how careful your planning, the execution will be filled with tactical errors. It’s the nature of the beast and you’ve just got to roll with it.

The first and most crucial tactical error we made was not buying backup air conditioning and fans. We’ve never lived in a house that was entirely without air conditioning. Apartments have been either small enough for a window unit or had central air. The town house has installed mini splits. But Montana has not traditionally required central air or mini-splits.

We arrived on the hottest day of the year. The upright air conditioner we bought simply died within five minutes of unboxing. We had multiple fans but those 2 fans are only enough to help with one room if it’s large. And of course, buying fans or air conditioning in a heatwave in a smaller town is impossible. So we are a bit stuck with it until they can arrive on Wednesday from Amazon.

Most of the other tactical errors are similarly environmental. Moving boxes are dusty. There is dust everywhere from everything including books, outerwear, crap you didn’t realize you were lax on cleaning regularly. We’ve got two air filters running full steam and my eyes are red and puffy despite that. I’ve got hives on my eyelids. Finding the appropriate antihistamines and attempting to fight the dust is a losing battle that nevertheless must be fought.

I am confident we will find plenty of other ways in which we’ve fucked up the basic tactics of the move. That it’s mostly dust and heat is a bit of a blessing in some ways. Murphy’s Law is strongly enforced during times of routine disruption.

What can go wrong will go wrong.

Moving is inherently a process of fighting entropy. A new place and a new house are ways humans fight against the decay of our lives. It is a losing battle. Physics is pretty clear on that one. But we fight on as overcoming tactical errors is just part of living.

Categories
Community

Day 577 and Whirlwind

The last few days have been a whirlwind. I probably owe at least a dozen “thank yous” to friends and family and neighbors. I hope my brain catches up to my body soon so I can appropriately express my gratitude to everyone that has come together to get Alex and I moved to Montana.

I woke up in my own bed in my own home today. We did laundry at 10pm last night so we could put sheets on a mattress and sleep at home instead of the Airbnb we had rented. Alex and I both had a moment where we just wanted to be home. And kindly my mother and her husband as well as our friend Austin took the Airbnb so we could enjoy our first night in our new forever home. Even if we hadn’t unpacked much more than a mattress and sheets after the long drive it was worth it.

At around 7am today folks showed up to help unload and unpack. Friends from Twitter arrived. I may have jumped onto a few folks in my enthusiasm to deliver hugs in gratitude. People’s teenagers came over (including the son of the previous owners). I am still somewhat astonished so many folks pitched in.

Everyone was good sports (somewhat less so me) about the heat wave hitting Montana and simply hauled ass to get everything out of the moving truck before noon. My mother and I were on errand duty as we ran across town to acquire food and sundries. And now as the temperature rises we are slowly coming down.

It is siesta time for the afternoon. It will be too hot to do much more and the single air conditioner we brought imploded on us. On its first use. You wouldn’t think you’d need air conditioning up in Montana but such is global warming. The stores here are all out of air conditioners as it’s such an intense heatwave. But that is a problem for another day.

Categories
Chronicle

Day 574 and Brain Fog

My mind is in such a haze today. We are in the middle of the final packing job for our move to Montana and I’ve been removed from the house as I’m just getting in the way at this point.

I am surprised at how mentally tired I am from the move. I assumed it would be physically and emotionally draining. But why would my mind not be sharp? I’m just bumbling though basic communication. I cannot even finish a Duolingo lesson. I am struggling to form sentences in any language.

It is days like this that I am grateful my rhythms hold together my life as even though I’m teetering on the edge of complete incompetence I am still here writing. It’s a forgettable three paragraph kind of day and that is alright.

Categories
Chronic Disease Community

Day 571 and Isolation

The move to Montana is mere days away. Alex has started to feel a sense of loss. He’s been able to build a nice community here in Boulder in just two years thanks to his deeply weird (joking) habit of having hobbies. I on the other hand, have never felt more isolated from my hometown. I cannot wait to leave.

Some of this feeling of alienation is simply transient. It is my natural dislike of summer coming to a head because of the physical toll extreme heat takes on my spinal inflammation. I can’t be outside much during these new extended heatwaves, which defeats the purpose of living in Colorado almost entirely. Who wants to live somewhere you can’t go outside for 3-4 months of the year. Let it snow!

But some of it is that I can’t have physical hobbies that are too energetically expensive like like Alex enjoys. I spend my summer weekends alone in bed reading and shitposting, while Alex has a fairly vibrant in person social life year round. My lower key physical hobbies like gardening also aren’t particularly social even though they could be if folks wanted to join me.

Part of the issue is that we have a rented townhouse n Boulder that is too small to allow for any socializing. You can’t really come visit us. There is no open space for welcoming friends, neighbors or family members. While people have come to visit us in Colorado, virtually none of them have set foot inside the house. Some of that was Covid but it was mostly not having any space for anyone to sit and relax for extended periods. And because we knew it was transient we never bothered to fix it.

And when you can’t guarantee your physical health, it mostly looked like people coming to visit Alex and me staying home. I couldn’t afford to use my energy budget outside the home a lot during Covid. I assume folks think I hate them, when in reality I just can’t guarantee I’ll be well enough to be out and about for three hours.

It’s much easier for me to commit to socializing if I am home in a safe place where I can lay down or access my medications. I’d like to play host as it’s just easier to accommodate my own limitations. It feels selfish but I think most people wouldn’t mind working around a minor disability like spinal pain.

I hope that people will take this as an open invitation to come visit us in Montana. We will be investing heavily in our guest rooms and eventually a full guest house in the barn. We want people to come up to take advantage of our access to a more remote and laid back form of living. You can go shoot with Alex or you can kick back on the porch and stare at the mountains with me. It’s up to you. But we’d both love to see you.