On being kind to others (obesity)

In the course of a relatively short life, I have been everything from 98lb to 311lb. (150lb is probably about right given my build)  In my case, any attempt at a normal diet after the age of about 9 or so ended up with continuous weight gain. (following glandular fever) I do not eat entire packets of biscuits or fries and now have an extremely high level of nutritional knowledge.  I just cannot eat ‘normal’ food or engage in social eating of any kind.

It has taken, for a variety of reasons, decades to accept this and put myself first.  Even when I found the answer, something came along to cause me to ignore it.

As you can probably tell by the website, my second love is men.  Food is more of an obsession.  I was a Michelin level chef for a few years, and following my education became very interested in food politics.

Causes of self-neglect have varied.  From avoiding men, to being upset by men, to trying not to be assaulted by men, to ignoring my own needs for either gender, I am guilty of having put myself last at every opportunity.  I used to think that this was a virtue.  I have now, finally, thanks to the Wolfe era, accepted that it is my biggest failing.  With the exception of my mother, who is 90, I will no longer be doing that.

So, one of my theories about why people like me put on so much weight is that they have the following issues:

  • lack of self-confidence caused by bullying because they have forgotten how to assert themselves
  • lack of awareness about gut health – eating badly causes you to eat even more badly
  • poor ability to prioritise themselves over other people in order to survive
  • crippling social anxiety caused by reactions to their appearance

To be fair, in my case, the issue was complicated by a lengthy battle with my love of smoking, which, being orally fixated, helped for a while, however the real basic problem is the repulsive comments made to me at an early age by my sisters.  For those who do not understand the effects of bullying at an early age – all those nasty comments you make stay with the person forever.  Be very careful what you say to people.  I will probably never choose to spend time with women because of this, because I am always looking for the next negative comment to cling to.  That is my problem, not theirs, but it is a fact.

So, in the spirit of empowering a few people who hide in their homes as I do, please remember the following:

  • If anyone tells you that you don’t matter – run.
  • Sometimes people are just horrible – it isn’t you its them – it took me until I was 39 to accept that.
  • No problem ever got better because you got fatter.
  • Walking is a better way of dealing with emotion than stuffing it down along with some food.
  • Everything you put into your mouth affects your health.  Everything.
  • You deserve to feel good, no matter what you imagine you have done or failed to do.
  • Repairing the damage starts from losing the guilt and putting yourself first.

Being a kind person is very nice, but it may well be killing you.  Having been put through a lot, you may regard your kindness as your best feature, but in terms of your own health, it may not be.  Learn to make space for yourself, and avoid anyone that will not let you do that.

If you have any questions, feel free to use the comments.

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Ina Disguise build update 1

The Story so far:

In early July, I realised I was again at risk of a stroke.  I never usually suffer from headaches, but my chest pains and headache combinations were getting worse again due to the stress of having to fight off the NHS as I saved my mother’s life. They and social services objected to her new raw diet despite her having previously stopped eating or being awake for very much of the day.  I was exhausted, very stressed and was starting to struggle even doing shopping for my mother.

She had been sent home to me painfully thin, with teabag skin. She a low chance of survival after a spell in hospital because I had sent her in to have a clot scanned.  I thought this would take one night.  Due to changes in consultants, infections and other problems caused by her normal diet and some well-meaning but rather daft staff, she ended up stuck there for two months.  Hopefully we won’t be doing that again for a while.

After having had to explain her diet in low-to-moderate detail to a variety of so-called professionals (there wasn’t one that fully understood how her diet worked or how it would replace four medications)  I eventually won out, and have now been left in peace again.

Because I was prevented from doing much of her additional therapy and my artwork by a series of bitchy nurses, progress on the artwork side of the project has stopped for the moment.

This has caused me to do a lot more writing again, since nobody can complain about that, and I stopped eating garbage around about early July.  I went low carb until my gut recovered from the inevitable imbalance of normal food, then went back onto Supermix only about three weeks ago.

Progress has been slower than in the past, however it has been about 8 weeks now and I have lost 42lb.  My face is in recovery (I have some delightfully hideous pictures to prove it.)  I am now doing 2x5k walks per day, and I have taken up cycling, although it will be some time before I am even able to do half an hour as I have never regularly cycled in the past.  The last time I had to shift this amount of weight, it took about 5 months to get to this point with exercise, so I am still getting the benefit of my previous raw diet.

Taking into account that last time I had decades of toxic refuse instead of about three years, this does not seem like bad progress so far to me.  Much of the struggling when you are taking up exercise after hiding for a long time is actually just phagocyte activity, as in shaking things up in order for your body to get used to the idea that you are going to be doing it all the time.  It is disappointing not to have the same spectacular occurrences of 21lb weight loss in one week this time, but is probably a good sign in terms of my body having worked better despite the abuse of a normal diet.

I have never been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but I suspect that if the parameters were not so strict I would be, as I have low blood sugar to start with.  Therefore when they do a fasting blood sugar test, it comes up normal when for me it is actually sky high.  I do have a marker for fatty liver, but no GP so far has been remotely concerned about it.  I am also blessed with low blood pressure, so I do not get hassled about that often.

The last time I was raw, my blood work was outstanding, so I am waiting until my weight goes down some more before I go and re-verify that.  I can tell you that from a prognosis of ‘nearly dead’  my mother is now the subject of monthly tests because they cannot believe her recovery.  From constant UTI infections and a state of decline, she no longer requires antibiotics because of her raw diet.  Even I was impressed, and I had taken this radical action because I knew what the NHS had done with my father at a similar stage in his illness.

It was not until I saw this, that I realised that the raw foodies are completely correct.  No other form of nutrition would have pulled her back from quite so close to the brink.  I am not saying that anybody could have pulled it off, her diet is really quite technical, but certainly low carbing, paleo  etc would not have done it.  Therefore I am somewhat more committed to raw than I was previously.  7 years ago it was a fabulous cultural curiosity, now it is a matter of life and death, to put it bluntly.

From a personal perspective, what was a casual attempt to stop my health declining in July, became more motivated when I discovered Wolfe was coming over in early August, which seems to have reengaged some hormones (nuff said) and certainly improved my motivation.  I basically conned myself by thinking about going even though I knew it was an extremely bad idea in reality.  I have now switched over to focusing on re-modelling Ina Disguise to become an actual person, so it is more of a professional interest.  I ain’t no fangirl, and I am not the type of chick that thinks it is cool to chase married people.  It would have been nice to sort out the work issue, but that is really up to him, and he is way too lazy/vain to bother finding out.  Therefore Ina will be taking over the original project in the fullness of time.

So, in terms of fitness recovery, compared with my last foray into the world of raw food, this time is a massive improvement.  Supermix is, of course extremely comprehensive now, and I am a lot more savvy about the whole raw food concept than I was 7 years ago.  When you are new to it, you get caught up in a lot of bullshit and self-doubt. This time I doubt nothing, which is immensely helpful and less stressful.

The fact that you need so much sleep to start with is a bit annoying, but apart from that the inch loss so far is even more impressive than the weight loss.  I will keep hammering at it until the job is done, now that I have no further concerns about:

  • whether it is the best diet possible – it is
  • whether I am bothering anyone – I’m not
  • whether I will ever have any options in terms of family and career – I don’t see it

Therefore, I figure, I may as well devote myself to creating a beautiful Ina.  Whilst I do that, I will be creating a persuasive, technical, political and economic argument for Ina to present.  I have no idea whether I can do it in terms of dealing with the public, but I will give it a damn good try.  Wolfe, in the meantime, is welcome to enjoy his semi-retirement. (waves)

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Petra’s Day Off

It’s OK, people like you shouldn’t have children anyway.”

What do you mean, mother? Why do you keep saying that? Why are you being so horrible?” Given that Petra had just saved her mother’s life, she felt that this was a little bit harsh, to say the least.

People like you…” Petra’s mother, at 90, had forgotten the thread of the conversation.

Why do you always get so nasty on Sundays? Is it because Alice is coming over and you need the practise when she starts bitching about me?” Petra was genuinely curious about this phenomenon. For someone with dementia, her mother always seemed to sense that it was Sunday, with similar results.

You’re not very …nice…People like you deserve all they get. I don’t like clever people.”

Is that why you let them behave like that? Is that why you join in? Because you don’t like clever people?” Petra felt the lump in her chest worsen as she realised that her life had been meaningless to her mother because she didn’t like clever people. “I gave up everything for you. I haven’t had a night out since 2003. I took you around Europe when they wanted to take your money and throw you into a care home. I restored your entire house. I took care of your husband and you. I’ll never own a house or have a family or a pension. That drink you are drinking cost me £1200 to put together. I had to fight the NHS to give it to you. Are you saying that I haven’t done enough for you?”

Oh, I don’t know….I don’t know.” Petra’s mother appeared to be turning back into the pillow to go to sleep.

Petra, who had had three hours sleep, felt the tears return again. She went through to the lounge. One of the cats sensed her despair and settled next to her on the couch. She tried to pull herself together before the nurses would arrive to give her mother her daily injection. As it was Sunday, she would have to clean down the kitchen, hoover and remove any personal items from her mother’s room before her sister arrived to formulate her next complaint. Petra often wished she had let her family be prosecuted rather than prevent them from committing the crime in the first place.

At eleven, the nurses duly arrived. “There is a stain on the bed. Has she been sick?”

My mother does not suffer from such problems, she does, however, like to throw her drink around a bit before drinking it.” Petra eyed the small green spot on the duvet cover.

You need carers in. We want carers in.” The small silver haired nurse looked at Petra menacingly.

That is too bad, because we value our privacy. Carers do not magically produce more bedsheets as far as I know.”

That’s just it, it’s too much work for one person. We want carers in.”

I live here. You are here for five minutes per day. I do not want any more people in making any more false allegations.” In the last three months, a variety of strangers had barged into the house inventing a surprising range of stories, usually relating to invented cat-related problems. Evidently these bitches did not like cats. “Are you done yet?” Two nurses stood over Petra as she patiently waited to be able to leave the room again. She knew from experience that if she left the room when they were here she would be accused of neglect. How one goes about neglecting a sleeping person had never been explained.

We’ve got to look after you as well.” the nurse tried.

Well, the best way of doing that is to leave, and not invite any more hostile strangers into my home. You have a salary, a pension, a home of your own and probably a family life. I have to lock myself behind that door even to continue giving up all of those things for my mother. You have no idea of the situation I’m in.”

Oh we don’t deal with family dynamic.” the nurse pursed her lips.

Exactly, so perhaps, since you refuse to take the biggest problem we have into account, you should stop trying to force me to do things I do not want to do.” Petra was trying hard not to lose her temper again.

At length the nurses gave up and left, and Petra finished up the washing and completed her removal of anything remotely incriminating before her sister was due to arrive. She locked the door to her mother’s room and left, leaving access for Alice. She returned to her room and continued to ponder which of the many tasks she had on her list to do next. There was the gardens, the cleaning, the books, the artwork, the shops, the writing. Petra had tasks for every mood, every time limit. She did not know how carers in smaller houses coped, since she had been driven nearly mad with her imprisonment. Alice would only stay for ten minutes, so she could not go out until she had gone.

Petra looked at the internet for a while. Gary Walsh, a motivational speaker she had admired and briefly known, was due to have an event in a month’s time. She looked down at herself. She did not look good enough to go. She looked at the prices, and considered the amount she would have to spend to go. No, surely not? Two days of carers, a housesitter, care for the cats. Gary would probably not want to see her anyway, particularly looking so ugly. Even if he let her into the non-refundable event, he would probably not speak to her.

At length, Petra thought more positively. Did she not deserve a day off? Should she not seize the day, as he frequently recommended? Try to grab the opportunity, since she would be unlikely to ever be able to afford to go to such an event again? Petra thought of her impending destitution, and at length decided that since life was so very short, she should go, regardless of her appearance. She emailed the organiser, asked whether Gary would object to her attending given that their relationship had been rather stormy in the past.

A few days later, no email had appeared. Petra was fasting, trying to lose some weight. She changed her hair in anticipation of ‘going or being damned’. She had snatched a couple of hours a day to walk, and try to repair her ailing health. She knew she had to make a big change in a short space of time even to organise all the help she would need to make it at all.

Two weeks later, and still no email. Petra looked in the mirror. She still looked awful. Should she go? She guessed that she did not begrudge him the cost of the ticket regardless, and bought it. She felt briefly empowered by this. This was what he recommended, after all. Positive thinking, not considering others, doing what you want to achieve what you want etc. Petra’s walk became noticeably straighter as she went about her mundane day.

Still no email. Petra had by now resolved her lack of suitable clothing for the event, hired the relevant people and informed the housesitter of the situation with visiting nurses and carers. The event was in the south of the country, and would require at least one overnight stay. So far her day out had cost £500. Petra had not, however, had a holiday for two years. She admired her own decisiveness and checked her car for the long journey. She ensured that nothing nasty could be said about the gardens, the house, or anything else, since she planned to tell people nothing that they did not need to know. She so wanted to see Gary, and discuss her half-finished book.

The day before the event, arrangements in place, Petra noticed the email. She debated whether to open it. If the answer was no, she had wasted an awful lot of money. She decided against it. The rain also failed to put her off. She got into her car, bag in hand, and set off for the south.

It was a long drive. Petra loved long drives, so this left her unfazed. When she arrived she looked for somewhere to stay. The only place open was a Travelodge, which was rather uncomfortable. She checked in anyway and prepared herself for the possible disaster that would be the following day. Another night of little sleep, and finally the morning of the event arrived.

Petra approached the small town hall that the great Gary was to appear in. She was very surprised. Surely, a man this difficult to deal with was more famous than this? She was the first to arrive. The ticket office raised their eyebrows and whispered to each other when they saw the name on the ticket. Petra shut her eyes, assuming that she was not going to be let in.

At length, and after a phone call, she was ushered down to the front of the hall that Gary was to appear in. She had a VIP ticket. She tried not to look up as she approached the desk at which Gary was shuffling his papers.

She needn’t have worried. Gary did not appear to notice anybody else in the room. He was concentrating, she reasoned. She feigned interest in her very boring phone. A mild headache was developing.

As the other members of the audience filtered in, Gary started to look up and greet them. Petra now suspected that he did not even recognise her as he smiled and waved at his preferred punters. She was amazed at her smallness, given the time and thought she had wasted on Gary over the years. She felt sadder and sadder as she viewed the scene. She could not think of anything less motivational than being so utterly ignored. Petra wondered if she should stay for the full day, or sneak out at lunchtime rather than attempt to talk about her work.

When lunchtime finally came, Gary did his rounds of the wooden VIP benches. Petra was now terrified. He could not avoid her now. When he got to her she looked up at him, and was horrified when she saw the level of hatred in his eyes.

And you are?” he extended a hand.

You know who I am. I’m Petra, the lady with the book. Do you think you could spare some time to talk about it later?”

If you had been more proactive when I spoke to you online, then I would have spoken to you. You should have said it then. My life has gone in a different direction now, you stupid bitch.” Gary seemed surprisingly bitter, and very angry with her.

I’m, I’m sorry.” Petra was surprised to find herself apologising to somebody she had just had to pay so much to see because he had refused to speak to her online. “You could have tried a normal conversation?” She felt slightly indignant. “All I wanted was to give you the world, and you couldn’t even let me.”

Let you? How could I let you when I didn’t even know about it? You think my staff have a clue about writing? That isn’t what I pay them for.”

I did inform your agent at some length.” Petra frowned. “You are the big star, I was repeatedly told that I was a nothing.”

Haven’t you learned anything from listening to me?  You shouldn’t have let anything stand in your way. Why did you?” Gary still looked furious. “Your work is no use to me now. I have different priorities.”

I waited for so long just for any sign at all that you were interested in the book, or anything that I had to say. You said nothing. What was I supposed to think?” Petra was now in physical pain at this disaster. She had thought of little but Gary for some years, and now this?

You don’t wait, you make it happen. You just don’t get it, do you?” Gary moved on to the next person on the bench and pinned his smile back on.

Petra’s heart sank. He would not discuss it now, she was sure. She wondered if she should not just get back into her car and drive home. She had felt so courageous by coming here, and now it seemed that she had not been courageous enough. She had failed him, and failed herself. Petra was conscious of the melancholy creeping across her chest.

Gary finished the line and turned to return to his desk. As he reached Petra, he turned to her. “Well? Do you have it with you?”

The idea was for you to give me some idea what else you wanted from it, so that I could complete the research.” Petra was now very downcast. “I wanted to give you high quality work.”

Gary leaned over her  and put his lips to her ear “Fuck quality. I need speed.”

Considering the years of her time and emotion he had wasted on failing to talk to her, Petra was now close to snapping. “I am sorry, I can’t work like that. You are my muse. I need input for this element of the project, and I need to know that there is a point.”

Bye then, no use to me. Life is short and I have other things, like my children to think about.” Gary returned to his desk.

Petra closed her eyes. He had no idea. None. That had initially been what she liked about him. Now it felt like a cancer eating her soul. She got up and left the hall. As she got to the door, she turned around. Gary was staring at her, a mixture of disgust and panic on his face. Petra frowned. Was she considered to be the bigger partner in this arrangement? How odd, considering she had been creating a gift for him? The conversation was over, however, that much was clear. Petra returned to her car. At least she would not have to pay for another night’s accommodation, she reasoned. What did that look on his face mean? What did he want from her?

Petra tried to think how she could have otherwise handled the situation. What she really wanted to do was slap him, rip his shirt off, possibly scratch his eyes out, demand that he left his wife and devote herself to making him globally famous. In the absence of any surety that she could actually pull all that off, she guessed that any of that would be pretty impolite. Besides, he had chosen to get married, to someone he presumably loved. He had rejected her attempt at conversation online. What on earth was she supposed to do? If life was short, as he said, she guessed that she should just walk back in there and do it, regardless of mother and cats. She put her head in her hands. Why did that man, out of any men, make her so crazy?

The real war, she reasoned, was between motivation and reality. Reality dictated that she drive home, leave him in peace, die, preferably soon, having wasted her work and her life. Motivation dictated that she ravish him on his desk regardless of the audience members, probably stuffing the pages of her book into his mouth so that he couldn’t continue to speak as she did so. Love is very messy, Petra thought, as the lump in her chest finally turned into yet more tears. She had no wish to upset anybody, and no confidence that doing so would make her anything other than insane and probably dangerous.

Life really is no fun, Petra thought, as she turned the key in the ignition and set off for home.

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RIP Raw Food Culture and Motivation

As I am dealing with rather a lot of change at the moment, physically and mentally, I decided to take a quick look around the raw foodies on youtube today.

The last time I bothered to look was some years ago, around the time that Patenaude and Gianni were telling everyone that none of the ‘leaders’ were actually raw.  This was when FullyRawChristina (apologies if the name is wrong) seemed to be becoming immensely popular.

I stopped looking at any raw food material around 2012 or so, due to my failure to communicate with Wolfe about the original book.  It was just too depressing.  Now I am looking at videos that are even more depressing, for a different reason. Fresh faced young things complaining that they were ‘sold’ an impossible lifestyle, that they expected all their problems to be solved with positive thinking, that they felt guilty about having feelings at all, that their periods stopped etc etc.

Even Freelea is punting a non-raw diet.  Who decided that it all had to be so defined?

Liferegenerator seems to have moved from his stance on 801010 to more of a Monarch-style rawness.  He also seems to be making some rather Wolfe like videos on keeping his hair, whilst losing it.

If I was a nastier person, I would laugh at this, but really I have never seen so many people cut off their noses at once.

From the standpoint of somebody who had always had problems with food and positivity generally (see previous post on positive thinking)  a few things were obvious the minute I even considered being raw.

  • an attitude of gratitude and feeling positive every day ain’t gonna happen.  This is a sales pitch mentality, originally created before any of us were born by a vitamin salesman who trained Jim Rohn.  Being healthy does not solve all or even any of your other problems.  It did not help that Mr Charisma, David Wolfe, did not like emotional confrontation, and a lot of people got suckered into that, including me very briefly.  After that moment, I confronted until I was blue in the face, to no avail.
  • 100% raw, whilst I gave it a damn good try, was not sustainable long term because you spend most of your day thinking about, preparing or finding the correct food.  It was also quite expensive in some cases.
  • Ignoring your B12 requirement is insanity. (801010)
  • Inserting the word vegan into anything makes it a niche product, and cuts your audience by about 80%.

The strengths of the raw ‘culture’ on the other hand were as follows:

  • adopting a fairly anti-social lifestyle in terms of food altered adoptee’s personal relationships, in terms of prioritising themselves over whatever their former friends were doing.
  • feeling better meant making slightly better decisions short term.
  • looking good is always nice.
  • learning to take partial advice is supposed to make you more capable of leadership and less inclined to follow ‘leaders’ in the first place.  It is not supposed to turn you into a Patenaude-like whiner.

As I said many years ago about the 801010 Wolfe-haters back then (who were far less embittered than the more recent ones that contacted me) You take up the information that you need and you explore further.  You do not cling to every mistake and bit of bad behaviour in order to discredit both them and yourself for listening in the first place.  It is a bit like considering suicide.  Utterly pointless and self-defeating.

As the scene seems to have kind of imploded, perhaps now is the time for some sense to enter the world of raw food.  The fact is that 100% was never going to work for everyone.  On a macrobiotic basis alone, expecting people from all over the world to eat the same thing made no sense at all.  Cold countries tend to have been meat eating, and tropical countries less so for a start.  There are ways around this if you are really determined, but the learning curve was too high for most people.  Arguing over which diet was best did not help.  I believe I mentioned this several years ago.

From a personal perspective, my hop, skip and jump into raw food has not only saved my life, but also my 90 year old mother’s, simply because it is a very clean way of setting a base for natural medicine.  My learning curve was not as unassailable as most people’s, because of my father and my intense scrutiny of anything I do, but even I double check everything.  I certainly don’t fall hook, line and sinker behind any so called leader, no matter what my personal feelings may or may not be.  We are not vegan or even vegetarian, but the fact is that raw foodism comprises 90% of our diet for very good health reasons.

If anyone in the raw food line of work had any sense, they would restart their thinking process along the lines of actual nutrition.  The WHO say that 9-15 portions of fruit and vegetables should be the basis for anyone’s diet, not five as people are told.  If you start from there, you can create a much more stable basis for your raw foodism argument.  Why arsing about is necessary instead of actually helping people I do not know.  Nobody cares if Freelee hates Durianriders.  Nobody. Get your acts together.

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Finding your happy place

 

Regular readers will know that my writing a post like this is very odd, given what has happened over the last couple of weeks.  Obviously what I was feeling about the Wolfe Era was not what I interpreted it as, because I cannot tell you how relieved I was to be off the hook after the initial flush of fury.

My theory on why he provokes such a strong reaction in people is that he is using hypnosis techniques and they are misfiring somewhat.  The NLP is great, and makes you feel a lot better, but, particularly if you end up spending a lot of money on him as many Americans do, it seems to end up with a period of utter fury, which is what I spent my downtime on over the last few years.

Anyway, enough about him.  Mystery solved.  His wife was, apparently, the last person I spoke to before all the garbage started.  I had assumed it was him taking the mickey, but I now realise that she was protecting her future.  Fair enough, I didn’t want your future anyway, whoever you are.

So, now that I am relieved of the worry of that lengthy period of misery, I am working on making myself happy.  I am heartily sick of putting other people first, with the obvious exception of my mother, who continues to be very spoilt.

So, in honour of making myself happy, I have invested in some me-specific herbs, moved onto supermix, I now drink a lot of water, and I am persisting with my self re-modelling.  I have even, after all these years, started actually wearing my corset collection.  I used to buy them and then hide them with the rest of my ‘oddments’ so there are rather a lot.

If you are sexually neglected, or even just pissed off with your partner’s idea of a sex life, which is likely to be kind of repetitive in my experience, a corset is exactly what you need to cheer yourself up.  It reminds you of your bits, it hugs you all day long, and it makes you look better in clothes.  In my advanced state of poor posture, caused by crouching over my needlework and computer, it also allows you to do a lot more exercise, since your back has some support.  So, I think we can safely say that the future Ina is going to be wearing a lot of tailored clothing and strictly firm underwear.

Weight loss is slow by my standards at the moment, but I am aware that the new requirement to walk every day is likely to have increased my blood plasma, and several painful lumps have subsided.  Still getting a few ergonomic twinges, but I am sure that with persistence they will go as they did the last time.  Restarted my old channel on youtube, and found I was not nearly as crazy as I thought I must be.  I just wanted to get on with some work.  Why was that so hard to understand?

Not getting on with much in the way of artwork at the moment, but the books are going very well, thanks to the new additions.  Long may my lower-stress approach be allowed to continue unmolested.

 

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Why I despise endless positivity

This was posted on facebook by an author on my friends list today.  He is probably quite well known, I find quite a lot of the authors on my timeline are fairly successful.  I objected to it, despite several of his followers applauding it.

Why? I have never experienced it, so I have no idea how that would work.  I can tell you what gives you drive as an artist, and it isn’t comfort or happiness. It is constantly questioning what you are doing and why.  It is abandoning things you spent weeks on, wasting time in order to get things right.  Sometimes it is waiting for months to move things on by an inch, particularly if there is no prior model to work from.

The food and home part, yes that is Malthusian.  The lovely people part, no.  Lovely people are less likely to challenge you, and challenge is essential for the best possible results.

He asked me to explain myself.

“Well I could tell you a story, but it would probably involve drama, conflict and negativity.”  My idea being that any decent story involves drama, conflict and negativity, therefore as an author he should know that comfort is REALLY BORING. Which writer improves?  The one that is told how marvellous he is by a compliant and doting companion, or the one that is challenged and stimulated?

Academics invite each other to argue against their hypotheses all the time.  It is done in order to strengthen the argument. Artists are also keen on discussing their methods, if they are any good.  Why then, are we spreading this complacency via crap like this?

Aging should not mean sinking into a chair being reassured that everything we do is fine.  That sounds like a swift death to me.

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Inflate your own importance

Image result for importance

As I have probably mentioned before, one of the biggest battles you have as a shy or depressed person is the assumption that nothing that you do is remotely important, so you might as well not bother.  As somebody who was kind of forced into bothering, I can tell you that, as I suspected as an unusually positive person who has sporadic periods of melancholy, it is not true to say this.  Everything is worth trying, even if it doesn’t work.

The idea is that you rule out the hundred thousand wrong directions if you actually take them.  It doesn’t matter if there is no response or it is the wrong way, what matters is persisting in trying something new.  Most of my friends had either had trying new things beaten out of them by abusive parents and friends, or given up because of unpleasant circumstances.

Because my artwork is non-conventional, I went through twenty years of collecting wool from wherever I could get it cheapest, then finding when I actually made things I was being told not to do anything with it or that it was clearly shite, because nobody else does it.

As it turned out, within a year of showing my work it was being picked up by magazines.  Likewise with my writing, with minimal effort, I have now shifted about 30,000 books. I am not concerned about making money out of it at the moment, it just isn’t a priority, but it is 30k more books than I would have shifted if I hadn’t bothered to write or distribute them. I have also learned a lot about marketing and what people actually go for that I would not have learned if I had not bothered. (eg. Best Scandal Ever had £400 spent on marketing, and has long since been overtaken by Best Romance Ever, which I spent precisely nothing on)

In the meantime, all the naysayers that either questioned my reasons for doing it, or assumed that anything I did must be questionable just because it was me doing it still haven’t done anything.  My film director ex claims that he does not make things for an audience, and does not bother to market anything.  He will then presume to give me advice as if he knows what he is doing.

Be wary of friends and family who try to give you advice.  Please ensure that they have some actual knowledge before they assure you that you need an agent or a gallery, because chances are, especially if you are experimental, that you will hate what you have done within months of doing it.

Even when someone you are emotionally depending on, for whatever spurious reason, tries to shut you down, it is up to you to inflate your own importance.  Ignoring other people’s bullshit is by far the most important thing you can learn. From a personal perspective, had I not witnessed some of the haters of other people, I would have taken my most famous hater more seriously.

One of Wolfe’s most virulent haters was emailing me for about three years.  I was told stories daily by this person.  When I finally got fed up fielding the poison in my email, she continued to email for a further eighteen months, apparently not noticing that I had stopped replying. When I finally looked at what she was sending me, she had been sending me hate mail for months, based on a casual comment from two years before rather than any material I was putting out.  When I challenged her on it, she replied that she drank too much.

Take it from this, that slow poisons affect behaviour as much as their baggage, and you need to lose the idea that any of it matters.  I tried telling this woman that as far as Wolfe was concerned, I was rolling far bigger dice than she understood, but she did not listen to me, and neither did he.

I wish I had had the strength to understand this seven years ago, when I abandoned my work because of the rudeness of Wolfe and his team at the time.  Too bad, how sad.  I guess it is going to work out better for me though, because I would simply not have inflated my own importance to the point of even trying to do what I am doing now, which is a fairly basic case of saving my own life in the course of creating the real Ina Disguise.

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My Crazy Friends (narcissism and other problems)

Back when I had a social life, my family used to refer to my crazy friends a lot.  Each of them had different problems, none of which affected our friendships.  I have been on the same radar as these people for more than thirty years, despite many ups and downs in our relationships.

Because we do not see each other all the time, sometimes taking a break for ten years or so, it is a lot less stable, yet a lot less boring than most people.  My parents had much the same kind of relationships with their friends, so it does not seem unusual to me.

I have a parent (mother) with narcissistic tendencies, a sister with a more defined form of NPD, which appears to be more of an affectation. I have shown a marked preference for narcissists over the years.  It is easy, I know the rules, I don’t expect anything, so I guess I keep doing the same thing. My father, who I resemble far more than my mother, was more empathetic and introverted, and so I was basically brought up with the idea that we had some jobs, the benefit of which meant we did not have to talk to anyone.  You need a lot of rests when dealing with people who believe that the world revolves around them.

A cursory look at the material on Youtube related to narcissism, is that a lot of it is not particularly good.  Some of it, in fact, consists of people over-analysing things about their relationships that aren’t worth noticing.  What they perceive as narcissistic abuse, is actually just some individuals showing a greater tendency towards selfishness than others.  narcissismvideos is probably the most dedicated narcissism researcher in the world, and one of the few I bother to listen to, because he himself suffers from NPD.

So it is rather ironic that the family would refer to my crazy friends, each of whom had different and in many cases more interesting sets of problems.  Some of these were environmental.  Aldous, the character from Best Scandal Ever and Best Romance Ever, had chronic reactive depression, brought about by living at home with his gifted yet sporadically violent brother and mother.  My own periods of sadness have been greatly lengthened by being at home, and I have lost count of the days I have lost to wondering why I put myself through any of this whilst being told that I am the problem.

If you try to get through life without feeling anything, you will seek out more bland personalities than I have chosen to spend my time with.  I tend to look on this as a strength. I am sufficiently secure to bear the brunt of many problems.  It becomes rather sad, however, when I see someone becoming ill right in front of me.

Because of a brain injury, my friend told me that he thought that he was dying when he was in fact recovering.  His memory has improved, his functioning has improved, he is in less chronic pain than he was in previously.  He has, during the same period, shown significant deterioration in his level of engagement.  You can have a conversation and believe that he is participating in it, only to find that he has not connected with anything that has been said at all.  It has, in the last week, become impossible to talk to him at all as he is clearly not engaging with any information and chooses instead to gaslight.  It takes time and knowing someone well to even spot this, and he is not all that safe, as company goes.

Naturally, since I cannot communicate with anybody about my work, I have come to the conclusion that the only answer is to shut the door on everybody and finally do it.  I am obviously going to have to become as driven and self-promoting as the average narc to get the necessary information out to enough people to finally be able to discuss it with anybody.  This is not good for my work, and it is not something I want to do at all, being an introverted empath rather than an extroverted narc.  In the meantime I have to work on my personal presentation, since my life has, up until now, consisted of servicing others.

This is the biggest change yet in my journey, brought about by my bizarre imaginary love affair with Wolfe, and I am well out of my comfort zone at this point.  I hope for everyone else’s sake that I can pull it off, because it is important.

Having had at least two ex boyfriends with NPD, one psychopathic, a sister with an affectation, a mother with sufficient tendencies to survive almost anything, and a best friend who showed strong markers for it, I am hoping that I have learned enough about putting yourself first to at least pretend sufficiently to make this work.  If not, I will be wasting my time.

Hopefully this is sufficient to explain to you that craziness is a tool, and a label, rather than something to be avoided.  You can learn from anybody, at any time, without fearing adverse results from spending time with more unusual people.  I do not recommend falling in love with them, but hey, shit happens, sometimes with good results rather than bad.

 

 

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Who is hiding behind your depression?

 

I am decluttering at the moment, and I am very surprised by some of the things I am finding. I have been shuffling about in the same rags for years now, since I did not consider it worthwhile to dress when nobody was going to see me, and I had thought that I needed to look at buying clothing.

Obviously, since I am losing rather a lot of weight at the moment – replacing the icon and logo with a new image is the current priority for the website – I do not want to buy anything.  The plan is to emerge as a completely new visual concept before I let Ina out in public, which takes a lot of work.

To my surprise, I find that I am quite a snappy dresser, and had twenty pairs of fairly nice trousers.  I also had a full cupboard full of jumpers.

The biggest surprise today is that I am clearly very kinky, and have a couple of dozen items of very restrictive underwear.  I haven’t worn any of it, so it is all brand new and in a variety of sizes.  Evidently my alter ego/non-repressed self is quite a gal.

Caring for others involves a lot of hiding your personality. There is no point in tarting yourself up to be covered in half digested food, poo or anything else, so you end up shuffling about in your studio clothing, if you happen to be me.  Even when I go out for my twice daily walk I am in glue covered clothing.  This is how I end up with three wardrobes full of clothing that I barely remember – there is no reason for wearing any of it.

I suppose this is why they try to insist that you have a day off now and again.  It doesn’t seem terribly relevant when you redirect your life around constraints you have had no control over.  I didn’t even insist on privacy until a couple of years ago, so it was necessary to hide any aspect of personality from any potential intruders.  I like to leave a pair of vibrams out now, since it disgusts my sisters.  Beyond that, I try not to tell anyone anything.

The point of hiding behind Ina, was to express myself without interference.  It turns out that even I was interfering, since I have clearly been hiding things even from myself.  Obviously, I was aware of my sexual proclivities in the past, but I hadn’t realised quite how much I was avoiding thinking about it because of sheer misery.

Distracting yourself with friends does not help with this, since naturally you concentrate on more sociable topics.  I certainly don’t discuss my sexuality with my exs, since they are either aware or were not capable of dealing with it.

So, I wonder, have you considered what you are avoiding by hiding behind your depression?  Would it help to identify and indulge whatever that is?

 

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My raw food eating disorder

One of the exs, who befriended me this week to borrow a ladder (I kid you not) last night announced that my objection to his attempts to sabotage my health constituted an eating disorder.

This guy has just spent three years with us, on and off, and is well aware that in the course of his gaining 14lb I gained 140lb eating the same thing. He literally just watched that happen. I am very active within the constraints of taking care of my mother and this place, basically the only difference between us is that I am constantly under a great deal of stress, which is usually made worse by spending time with an unpredictable and potentially violent person who is apparently obsessed with getting attention in the form of food and interest.

This is one of the main weaknesses of declaring yourself a raw foodist.  Your former friends just don’t get it.  They believe everything they have been told and think that you aren’t getting a balanced diet.  Another objection, which I have just read from a Paleo site, is that the use of superfood products just ain’t natural.

The social difficulties of retaining your raw diet include not being able to eat out, being an awkward guest at parties, frequently finding yourself either very hungry or eating non hydrated nuts because nothing else is available, and basically avoiding social events because you know you will be unable to eat anything that you haven’t prepared. You can get as obsessive as you want, the opportunities are endless, but there are workarounds for almost any problem.  Fairly early on, I came across someone who had managed to remain raw whilst eating from a MacDonalds, so I figured, you have to be a little flexible.

In recent years, thanks to some of the wrecking attempts of close observers of the raw foodies, it transpired that almost nobody was 100 percent raw, even though they were telling you they were.  Having actually done it for some time, I concluded that my first impression was correct.  90% is as much as is sensible.  That was certainly the case for me, but as I come from a cold, meat obsessed country, it may not be the case for everybody.

Another frequently observed criticism is that raw veganism, as it is sometimes misnamed, represents extreme asceticism,  in other words you are not only vegan, you are raw vegan.  This is a typical reaction of somebody that has never either done it, or thought about it.  Many raw vegans are not actually vegan, using bee pollen and honey, for example.  I prefer raw foodist, as it conveys the same difficulties in feeding yourself without the loaded moral gun.  Besides which, my ten percent involves smoked fish.  From a personal perspective, it is more of a way of indicating that I am unlikely to suddenly enjoy flour, sugar, potato, steak, milk etc so please just give me a green salad.

Over the last few months, I have employed what I learned from the raw foodies to create a high nutrient diet for my mother.  Having seen her go from ‘weeks away from death’ to a more robust state, I can verify that the use of superfoods and raw food principles works extremely well in cases such as hers.  From being unable to lift a fork to guzzling down 1500 calories of nutrient dense drinks per day, with a meal when she requests it, she would have probably have died in hospital if I had not used my knowledge to take care of her.  Nevertheless, I had to explain her diet over and over again to nurses with no nutritional knowledge or interest in learning anything.  I then had to explain it to GPs and a dietician.  I have no confidence at all, even after all these explanations, that they fully understand the implications of my mother’s life having been saved by this.  Even now, they attempt to tell me that she should be eating more mince. (she hates it)

A great reason for doing it is in combination with use of your knowledge of herbal medicine, amino acid and antioxidant therapy.  It is a particularly good base for this, and if you happen to sell health products, I am sure it is very lucrative.  From my perspective however, I wanted to be able to regulate, medicate and ensure that my mother and in the past, myself, had the building blocks to repair actual damage, and a ‘normal’ diet would have slowed this down enormously.

Having said all of that, I choose to combine my ‘health crank’ raw foodism with some eggs and fish.  This is not to denigrate all the people who do it without, I just find it works better for us as we do not like to think about food all day.  It is still easier to say raw foodist than list all the things we avoid in order for her treatment to work.

My friend knows this, and still refers to us as having an eating disorder (he is an ex-nurse, so presumably old habits die hard.  I had to explain poo to him a year or so back.)  This from a guy with high blood pressure, anxiety and a host of other health problems, which vastly improved when I briefly managed to persuade him to do it.  He is, of course rather jealous of Wolfe, as he was the perceived problem blocking my undivided attention.

Having been goaded into again ruining my own health by the aforementioned emotional garbage (see previous posts) of the last few years, I am having none of this.  A normal diet makes me ill, is the bottom line.  Now the awful Wolfe issue has finally been cleared up, he is nothing to do with it.  I employ a vastly different knowledge base than he does anyway, as my original interest was from the European/Swiss tradition.  I am just sick of being sick, basically, and I am more than tired of prioritising other people since it clearly does my health and well being no good at all.

So, when in doubt, do more research.  This Paleo dude I am reading seems to have thought that raw foodism consisted of eating a bag of raw cabbage.  If you thrive on that, I will happily shake you by the hand, but it isn’t really how you do it long term.  The bottom line is that you are unlikely to be eating enough vegetables, and you are likely to be eating too much of everything else, so start from there if you cannot be bothered doing any further reading.

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