Depression: Never Forget How Much It Hurts

” Sometimes it takes a very bad day for me to remember where I came from and where I am now. I nudge myself and shake my head. But if the pain doesn’t come out I then need to take more and more drastic measures. Usually, I manage to overcome it naturally. It makes it hard to know that there is a ‘magic’ solution in a pill that would make this disappear in 30-45 minutes. And I know they need to be in my medicine cabinet. But no, I haven’t taken one in a very long time,” Erica admits and smiles happily, her left eye wet but the tear refusing to roll down her cheek.

The rock band The Smiths had lyrics that said “it takes strength to be gentle and kind”. Let these words be your mantra. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Then you’ll notice how this power will emit positivity from others and from nature, that thing some call “God” and others call “spirits”, etc…. You know you’ve gone through it and you remember the pain.

To the many many suffering: know you’re never ever alone and that you can open up the pain. Know that there is a network and, if you have overcome once, you shall persevere again.

To those who don’t understand: imagine a big pain in your chest that feels like a heart attack or a sense of lack of control of your brain to help you function healthily. Imagine having 50 pounds of weight on your head and unable to shake it off. Imagine getting sick because of your thoughts. That’s just the beginning. Let’s be open to mental illness. We all deserve that.

Post-Depression Demons — There’s No Coming Back from the Darkness; There’s Just Living with It

The above article begins to once again begins to show what we knew of Anthony Bourdain was just what we saw on the screen. “I just hope no one finds out anything further about this. I want to remember Tony the way I knew him,” said Andrew Zimmern on Don Lemon’s CNN show last night. That was also when it suddenly seemed inevitable that we’d find out about a tortured soul at best, or an action so distressing and terrifying that the only way out seemed to be to hang yourself in a hotel room in France at worst.

Pain for the Dead and the Living

There’s just so much pain in people who kill themselves, where death seems the only viable option — the only form of escape. Even in today’s apparent “progressive” society, people are usually shunned when they come out as being depressed or mentally ill. There is no “respect” for depression as an illness as there is for cancer, MS, heart disease, diabetes, etc…..

Thankfully, suicides now are reported as suicides, even if they are still seen as shameful. They are no longer hidden or masked as something else. But although the media has made that leap forward with celebrities, most cultures and ethnicities shun people feeling depressed and just call them lazy, spoiled, people who want to live off others or , worse, the state. So many times I’ve had to zip my mouth when otherwise good, intelligent, and educated people say ignorant and hurtful things. The most common thing you’ll hear is how “spoiled” and “lazy” mentally ill people are and how they need to just be “pushed in the right direction” because mental illness is what happens when you’re lazy. I usually stop being agreeable and they shut up.

When I saw Anderson Cooper’s chin trembling and heard him again speak of his brother who killed himself 30 years ago, and how not a day goes by without thinking of him, I realised how lucky I was not to have had anyone I knew personally having taken their life.

Post-Depression Demons

Like an alcoholic, once depressed always depressed. You’ll also find that the depressed have a lust for life. So many times we have heard of the unending need to create and be important. From Van Gogh to Bourdain and many others, when you let the creativity die, when you “laze”, there is no more life. In their case, this is often literal. Robin Williams was considered a genius by many and he would go to bed crying every night, needing a shoulder to lean on, non-metaphorically.

For most sufferers of mental illness, even after “overcoming”, there exists a plateau. Instead of hills, there is just an ice-covered desert that keeps on going forever. Unlike the mountainous landscape, this one needs to be filled. Luckily, most depressed people are very creative. They are the emblem of the suffering painter, the lonely writer, the misunderstood miser who writes and creates in places and at hours that others find inconvenient because the others need to sleep and eat and shit at a certain time. They need to hold their bladder till coffee break. In short, they hve succumbed to the unreal. They have succumbed to how society has been structured for them. Thsi is why they are not goid storytellers — they have no time to tell stories. Ironically, the people who see through this plastic existence either suffer each day smiling at the ignorant, or become mentally ill. This sounds simple, but it’s the gist of it. Whether we’re born with a depression gene or not, it is still the gist of it. Reality is how it is perceived.

For a short time in my teens, I experienced depression. Luckily, I have been in post-depression mode ever since and it wasn’t as severe as what I’ve been hearing people going through lately. I haven’t had a symptom in thirty years. I’m lucky. Somehow, I’ve learned to balance the real and the fictional. I have established a line that I do not cross. But I understand how one can snap. Who knows what happened in Anthony Bourdain’s hotel room before he hung himself? As well, it should be noted that a depressed person will magnify a bad situation many times over. The pain may run so deep that the simple actions needed to get rid of the bad situation can’t be performed because it just takes too much energy.

Frightening. Yet very real.

Cries for Help

Please be aware of the signs of people who may be suffering from depression. This might help.

This is the suicide prevention hotline and also info for going into rehab.

Straight Edge Subculture Within Democratist Dogma

This is an article about straight edge theory and practice and its relation with Democratism.

Please read the link below to better understand the subculture of straight edge living.

It is very appealing and logical to live healthy disease-preventive lifestyles. Our society doesn’t run on the premise of preventing illness. On the contrary, it thrives on us all eventually getting sick and being used as cash cows for the hospitals and medicine that we become enslaved to. With pharmaceutical companies working on cures, why would they want to work on prevention? Billions of dollars a years are made on the backs of the sick.

Democratism believes in sane and healthy living. It is actually the simplest way to live once we take away society’s bad influences and addictive bahaviours it entices us with.

The pics above depict most people’s idea of a typical straight-edged person. We imagine tattoos, piercings, fitness, alternative lifestyles, etc.

I adhere to the democratist straight edge lifestyle for the most part, and I look like a very regular person. I don’t particularly like punk music and don’t have a hip vegan/vegetarian diet. I’d say I’m a typical straight edged practitioner. So may the women below. We can’t be picked out in a crowd unless we are militant about the movement and follow it religiously. And that’s perfectly fine as well.

Below are the basic tenets of a lifestyle to help prevent addiction and illness.

1. No Drugs

There have been so many deaths by prescription drugs. Elvis Presley was first decades ago, but Michael Jackson, Prince, and many others have succumbed from their addiction to prescription drugs they needed more and more of.

One pill for pain. Another for gastritis. Another for energy. Yet another for my anxiety. It’s so confusing. But I’d better not forget to double up when needed and tell the pharmacist I lost my pills and also go to another doctor with no record of me to get a new prescription. I know how to work the system.

Do I really? The system profits from this and your body rots from it. This is as bad as almost any illness and eventually brings about illness. Very often, way too often, it brings about death.

2. Tobacco and Nicotine

Smoking keeps killing people and makes billions of dollars for pharmaceutical companies and posh new urbaan hospitals.

Nowadays it is easier to get off cigarettes because of the prohibition placed upon them in public and private areas and institutions. People have even stopped smoking at home, opting to put on their coats in the frigid cold and smoke on their balconies. It is pathetic and sad to see people at break during work trembling from the cold or dehydrating from the heat whike their hands tremble or sweat just to get a few tokes in to survive till lunch.

Thankfully, people are realizing that vapes are just as bad.

3. Sugar and Processed/Junk Foods

You are what you eat. More than ever before.

Did you ever think that “healthy” cereal would be unhealthy. Anything that lasts too long and is in a can is bad for you. Most restaurant food is bad for you. All fast food is bad for you.

The main culprit is sugar. It doesn’t matter what colour it is, or where it comes from, sugar is deadly.

Sugar is added to almost anything. Fried foods are especially dangerous because they use old oil, which is cancerous.

4. Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction is not the enjoyment of sex. It is being preoccupied by sex almost consistently. It is more of a need to feel important than anything else.

The sex addict needs to have control because he hasn’t had any for a long time. And the more sex he has, the more control he loses after every session. Ergo, the need for a new and higher dose. New perversions. New kinks.

For others, mostly women, it’s more of a need to be loved. In today’s society, loneliness makes us love addicts. Addicted to love; that’s us. Sex is just an instrument.

5. Alcohol Dependence

There’s no doubt alcoholism is terrible.

Let’s just speak about alcohol dependence, which is not alcoholism.

Alcohol, like sex, becomes an addiction under certain situations. The victim is not an alcoholic because they are able to stop under normal circumstances.

They turn to alcohol when they need to escape. This is different from sex addiction in that it has different emotional triggers. Here, it is an apparent unsolvable problem or extreme neediness with a need to escape that are the main triggers. You can say this is a passive addiction with passive triggers when compared to sex ddiction.

There is no need to poison our bodies and minds. The difficulty with most of the above vices is their abundant availability. We need to try and overcome. On summer vacation, I go to the bar and don’t drink alcohol. I don’t follow others to fast food places. I try to eat local.

As is said in the article at the beginning of this post, we can eaxh have our own version of being clean. We will know we are when the time comes. In democratist dogma, it is important to obtain and sustain optimal mental and physical health. Whether a meatless diet is healthieris up for debate. But there is no debate about the effects of drugs and alcohol. And, unfortunately, most people don’t realize the effects of loneliness and a lack of control and belonging.

Let’s hug and kiss whenever we can. It’s better and more powerful and healthy than drugs.

Stress,Gut Health, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome — Beyond Eating Well

A few years ago, it would’ve been difficult to empathize with people who had to cut back on this and do that just in order to be able to function healthily. I never wanted to discipline my eating , sleep, and exercise patterns. Instead, I did my annual medical exams and took it from there. No exam had ever shown the slightest danger sign. It still hasn’t. Yet on a downward spiral I tend to go. I then lift myself up and do well for a while. But the problem is keeping the wellness intact. This remains extremely problematic because of the western world’s continues malignant approach to disease prevention. The system , rather, focuses on cures. All we have known may be untrue in terms of living a longer and healthier life, physically, mentally, and even spiritually.

You may wanna read this beforehand.

I will focus on gut health; something I’ve been affected by.

There are an array of illnesses and diseases that are related to the gut. I have had a few of them. Let’s take a look at the diseases I’ve had throughout the years with my digestive tract.

1. Gastritis

I consider this the introduction to gut disease. It’s popularly known as indigestion. When you’re young and healthy enough, it just goes away. In my case, I got it at the end of a stressful time. This is quite common, seeing as your body protects itself at a time of stress by overworking your immune system. If the stress last too long, then the end of the stress lets your brain tell yoir body to let down its guard. This is when residual damage is done to your body because its defenses are low.

2. GERD (Gastro-Esophagal Reflux Disease),,20279852,00.html

This may also be called Acid Reflux Disease, although it’s not the same. For our purposes, I’ll stick to what I personally know.

I woke up one night when my throat was burning. It was as if acid had grown in it. The only cure seemed to be standing up for the rest of the night. When visiting the 3rd doctor at the same clinic, I was finally given something for it. The first 2 had told me to keep my stress level down and sleep with 3 pillows under my head. The good news is the problem was solved.

It went away after 14 days of medication. It has never come back since. But I have a feeling it helped the acid move elsewhere.

3. Allergic/Immunological Reactions

About 3 years ago, I started getting small reactions to foods. I figured it was allergies. I even had reactions where my genitals became inflamed. It was never painful, but they could be life-threatening if not taken care of. My stress level went through the roof as no doctor could do anything for me.

One Tuesday night, I wound up getting a fully inflamed lip in about 10 seconds. I couldn’t feel the left side of my head further than it getying pulled and shriveling at the same time. I rushed to the ER. After 12 hours, the doctor gave me a prescription for anti-allergens and anti-inflammatories and, most importantly, a referral to an allergist.

The allergist was very accomodating and concerned. He said it was definitely not an allergy. He gave me a full immunological test to do and said I may have this rare disease that he would take care of. In the end, all was negative. Nothing found. Again. He ended off our last appointment asking me “stressed much?” and left it at that. When I asked him for a referral to someone for stress, he said they don’t function that way in the health-care system and to check with my insurance if I was covered for therapy with a psychologist. “Just forgetting about it should be the best,” he said.

Talk about someone unable to help further. This was a defining moment in so many ways.

4. Diverticulitis

Even Brock Lesnar Gets It

A few weeks later, I woke up at 2.23 in the morning with an excruciting pain on the lower left part of my intestines. It was a pain that would go away for 1 minute and come back for a few seconds. Again, the only cure was standing up.

I saw the same doctor I’d seen for my GERD. She is the best doctor I’ve ever seen. This made me relax. She saw that mynpain had subsided but was sure there was an infection in my gut. She blamed stress and a lack of fibre. She told me to go see a dietitian. In the meantime, she told me to eat very blandly. No fibre at all till the diverticulitishad fully gone away. She looked at me helplessly. She knew what I was thinking. And she knew she was helpless. I felt her almost was to reach out and hug me. Yes, things were that pathetic.

I booked an appointment with a dietitian for the next day at a private clinic. My insurance covered it. She was a nice-looking woman in her 30s who was more occupied with protocol than thought. She took out her Mayo clinic chart and also one from a local hospital I forget. There were instructions on how to build yourself up after the diverticulitis has ebbed. For a week, I ate boiled chicken, white bread, cheese, and lots of eggs. I lost 10 lbs. in 5 days. It was terrible. I felt weak. I revisited her after that week and we started my FODMAP training upon my request. Yes, I had to suggest it. Her face lit up. She told me to try some new foods and see if there are any triggers. I followed my calories per day and went back after a week and hadn’t gained any weight. She looked disappointed and forced a smile. She had failed. Obviously.

Thankfully, I got another attack and a CT Scan showed nothing wrong in any part of my gut. I saw a very good young male doctor at the private clinic. He was not covered by insurance. But fuck that. I needed help. He said that this was probably diverticulitis initially but thought it had gone away.

5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

There are many diseases and illnesses of the bowel. IBS is the strangest one because it is an assumption when all else has been ruled out. No one thought a colonoscopy was necessary and 4 different doctors agreed upon my having IBS. This was a relief in that it is less dangerous than most of the other possibilities, but it is one of the most painful every time a flare-up occurs. Also, there is no set diet. Just trial and error and, very often, retrial.

Studies have shown that IBS is almost entirely a mental disorder. It is caused by overwhelming or continuous stress. It is also a precursor to more serious ailments if not dealt with.

I finally got a family doctor, a nice docile woman from eastern Europe. She is afraid to ask for too many blood tests. She is also afraid to give pills. She admits it’s stress and leaves it at that. Again, no safety net. I tell her which pill helps me the most but we try other, newer ones taht don’t fucking work. I tell her it’s difficult for me and she makes a small joke and smiles. Again, helpless. The Cipralex I’m taking worked at first but started waning off. I’d say it currently works at 30% its original effect. I keep asking for Rivotril, which proves to work for me time and time again. She abstains. Every single doctor, including my neurologist, abstains.

What is getting me upset is that there seems to be a fraternity that leaves no room for second opinions. No doctor has given me a good reason why one drug is better than the other, except that the Rivotril is addictive. This reason is ridiculous, as I’ll probably be taking the drug for the rest of my life. If not, it just takes a few days of being tied to your bed and you’re fine.

I’ll abruptly end it off with a simple takeaway. TRY AND PREVENT STRESS. That’s the best I can do for now.

Here’s a post from a survivor. It is a great example of ills that plague.

Be like the girl below.

In Silent Defense of my Reverie

Those self-satisfied word merchants selling anything from obtuse news to compartmentalized propaganda are usually in abuse of the written word.  They are aloof, unable of creative thought beyond manipulation. 

As one in the “words as power” category, I have tried to be a storyteller. I have represented yarns with beginnings and ends, and a lot of life challenges and hurdles in between. Sometimes the hero overcomes. Sometimes he becomes an anti-hero. Irrespective of the outcome, a story has been told, hopefully a lesson has been learned, and there is a tinge in some of teh readers’ hearts.  A tinge of a personal catharsis, perhaps.

During a poetry reading—way back when there were actual tangible poetry readings—a lot of people would approach me and thank me for hitting a nerve. Some of them cried, recalling a tough situation in their past. Other rejoiced a similar situation. People were touched in many different ways.  
Enter the post-poetry-reading years; the years of a faded fan base. The years where, for a ball-of-yarn of reasons,  reverie escaped me. I was not able to tell a story. I wa a character in others’ stories.  I became an icon of practicality, minus the marriage and the kids. It was a miserable time in terms of self-innovation from a creative sense . It was a time of -isms. And I tried to fit in all the sexy ones. I wanted to be in. I wanted to be it. I wanted to be the man. Politics. Human corporate management. Ignorance to poverty— be it of the soul, the bank account, the mind, the spirit. And this goes one of two ways—you either become oblivious to the whole thing and embrace your tyrranical status, or you cease being ignorant to reality. The latter involves numerous choices that can be acted upon. For the purposes of space, I shall concentrate upon the consequences of my personal introspection. 


Cleanliness is next to godliness; not as your mother must have told you, but rather as a cleansing of mind, body, and soul. In my case, it required gaining back my natural (real, pure, etc…) cognition. This is the only way to become pure, whole, and fulfilled for me. 

Physically, I took up a somewhat trunkated version of the straight edge lifestyle. For me, it was to no longer drink,smoke, and eat very unhealthy food. It also included daily meditation and above all, yes, reverie. Ah , reverie. The pure release of my creative soul. That fine line between sevaral worlds of existence. The symbiosis of some and destruction of others. The road to creativity opens up again.


I then invented my own -ism— democratism. And I am still a democratist to this day. A democratist is someone who supports the following 5 major tenets:

1. Freedom of expression

2. Innocent till proven guilty (no exceptions)

3. Egalitarianism 

4. Empowerment

5. Free and immediate essential services for all (health care, judicial, etc.)

There are niceties to the above I won’t get into here. Suffice it to say, this is what true democracy should be like. Unlike libertarianism,  it doesn’t favour private enterprise. Unlike anarchism, it is not a fringe or escapist way of living. Above all, democratism is something involving the self above all. It is a sober and enlightened path to oneness (discussed below).


Oneness has the end goal of two people uniting to be at one with the universe. Itbonvolves spiritual awakening and soul discovery. The ones involved usually need to be twin flames (or at least soul mates). I will get into this more at a later date, but the bonding of spiritband soul allows two individuals to attain spiritual awakening through mutual understanding beyond the scope of the defined. It is an understanding of the other through a deep emotional bond. 


The reason for our lack of understanding of what is beyond the tangible is mostly due to social constructs. These constructs are in place to keep all of us at bay. It is within each individual to define their reality. This is part of the first 2 steps above. It is necessaary to isolate ourselves from the fray in order to gain clarity and a definite path, be it spiritual or otherwise.


Harmony includes, first and foremeost, the attainment of oneness. It is the moment you have met your initially-defined goal. Harmony is different things to different people, and it doesn’t disqualify you from existing and loving others with slightly different end goals or different means of attainment them. It is about having done them in a harmoniousand virtuous way.


How many of us have even managed to achieve Step 1? 

As a democratist,  I am in goid position to write and create from my heart and soul. 

Thanks to all that have been reading me for the last 18 months.

Movember—Because Men Are Dying Too Young

Movember is here. And it’s about time. It’s time to take the stigma out of admitting you hurt. Time to share your pain. Time to let it all out. Time to save your life. It’s time to help others keep living , strive to get cured, and build their legacy. 

For what seems forever, men hadn’t had the opportunity to reach out or cry out. Movember makes it possible for men to speak openly about feelings kept hidden because of the stigma that scared them so much.

Jumping off a bridge instead of seeking help for your depression has often been the natural outcome. Why do so many more men than women jump to their deaths? In a patriarchal society, men are not allowed to show weakness. I get an image of a CEO closing the doir to his office and just crying into his palms. Why is he stuck there? How can he escape? Will that feeling ever go away?

Depression is serious and complex, as can be seen in this article from The Guardian.

Then there’s the younger generation,  who have to come to grips to what once was a woman’s problem—body image. Most od of us look like this guy on top than this guy below.

Yet we want to be that guy. We want to be The Rock.  

I know Movember is about awareness to men’s diseases. For me, it is an extension of Mental Health Awareness. It simply puts the focus on men. And I thank God for that. So many lives  have been saved even though there can be no concrete stats. 

Yes, men’s cancer awareness is very important in pointing out there are cancers out there that are very lethal that need as much funding as breast cancer.

The biggest problem for men during these fast-paced changing times is the ability to change quickly enough. Simply put, there is a universal movement towards a more egalitarian existence between both genders. Assimilation and adjustment can be hard for many men. There are more rules. There is cultural interference. 

Here’s an example of the confusion. This needs to be addressed. 

So stop living in the 70 s. Participate. Listen. But most importantly,  spread the word.


Are Coconut Water, Chia,  and Quinoa Really Superfoods?

I have written in the past about the value and benefits of good food to overall health. Cc’d Marketplace,  above has disproven one of my claims. 

I don’t believe I ever mentioned coconut water as a superfood. It is a waste of money. 

Quinoa makes great claims, but it isn’t enough to stop me from eating it, as it gives me the balance I need, especially with my IBS.

Chia needs to be eliminated from any diet. It’s a cash cow. I need to admit I was wrong and I’ve been off IT for months. Too much soluble fiber for me. 

Molested by an Unwitting Predator

From victim Joe Private:

I remember watching “The Graduate” for my “The Sociology of Sexuality” class in college. I must have just turned 18 and, although I had seen the film before,  I just couldn’t help but get this tingling feeling in my stomach. It wasn’t one of excitement. It was one of anxiety of the unknown. I felt hollowness and control. Controlled and in control at the same time. 

I  couldn’t recall the incident that made me feel this way until a few years later. I had hidden it somewhere in the subconscious recesses of my mind. The shot in the film of the bed scene above saddened me. Maybe because it was me who had the woman’s facial expression and vice versa. It was a time of turmoil in my life. This female I knew very well, and the one helping me the most, was the one who “ruined” me. I was 15 and she was 23. I was learning to combat my anxiety. 

She decided to ask me over to sleep. We watched a movie — I don’t remember which one — and then listened to some of her favourite songs. She was cool, I thought. I’d never seen her be this loose. I’d never heard her use the word  “fuck”. I was happy, smiling more than I had in a long time.  I was always able to get along better with women. I hated the teen machismo that took place in the teen years. But perhaps it was normal. So I kept the males for sports talk and girl talk. I remember those tall claims and I wondered how true they were. I’d kissed 2 girls at that point. As usual even till now, I was attracted to the cute, innocent, thin,  and somewhat problematic female. This young lady was different. She was older and independent. She was sure of herself. But she told me not to talk to my filthy male friends about her. 

It was time to go to sleep. I took a shower and changed in the bathroom. So did she. She then asked me if I minded if she slept naked,  because she always slept that way. I said it was her house and turned around. She told me I could turn around because she was under the covers. It must have been November. 

I fell asleep with her arm around my neck, as we were both sleeping on our left sides. It was a double bed. She said sorry if she woke me up but she was cold. She stuck her body to my back. I felt her nudity. So forgive me,  I was excited. I knew my feelings were normal, yet the situation wasn’t. She noticed my excitement and got up and knelt on the bed. She had the sheet around her body and then said the words that, for some reason, still haunt me today — “do you wanna see my tits?”— more than anything that I’ve ever witnessed or heard. They haunt me more than memories of my epileptic seizures. More even than the bullying I had endured before this moment. But most of all, they numb my mind. 

I have,  to this day, no memory of what happened between the moment she uttered those words till I woke up the next morning with her mouth between my legs. She complimented me on my “cute little teenage orgasms” , got up, got dressed, and gave me her spare pair of keys. 

I believe,  hopefully, that I’ve gotten over this. Most idiots would think that I lived out a fantasy. Truth is, this turned more and more into a troubling nightmare that,  at the time, stunted my emotional growth. I thankfully got over these feelings with limited pain.

Please,  include men in the equation. Men are victims too. And you can imagine the difficulty of coming out with this in our society. This was my Harvey Weinstein moment. If I could describe it in one word,  one adjective,  I’d have to say it was “harmful”. These actions are devastating. They numb you and make you feel like someone’s thrill. Like a plaything. They make you feel “owned” or “controlled”. But mostly, they render you helpless when face to face with the oppressor. She always uses the words “just smile sweetie”. Seeing the pic above when researching for another article, I thought I needed some catharsis. 

To look is human. Even New York city’s finest do it. But don’t leer. Look. Respectfully. Respect others as you’d like someone to respect your sister. Or brother. 

My Fight with Psychosomatic Disorder 

It was in mid-March of 2016 when my body started breaking down. It caught me by surprise because everything had been going well. I was launching my website and was almost at the end of my Amazon self -published mini novella. I figured starting off small was the way to go. And I still feel that baby steps are important as long as there are definite end goals and solid reasons for all the blood, sweat, and tears that may be spilled along the way. I never thought the spilling would be literal. It is through strength that I write this and share it with you on a day that I feel well in hopes of empowering the ones still in the closet. In the end, it’s about perspective and being honest with one’s self and with others. 

The coming of spring apparently uncovers much of what is hidden and swept under the rug during a winter of trying to survive and our bodies and minds working overtime. Bloating through guacamole had never happened to me before. I pride myself on my fresh and organic ingredients in what is a recipe no one can match me at. Yet there I was, unable to sleep. I took something natural to ease the pain and got a few hours’ sleep. A few hot beverages the next day managed to bring the bloating down and make life good again. In the past, my stress always interfered with my digestive system. This was no different. And I’d fight it and win, as I had done in the past.


What made this harder was that I didn’t have time to battle one symptom when another showed up. I had multiple symptoms at once. Then they just disappeared. One night, I got a very swollen upper right lip and rushed to the emergency room at 8 in the evening. Of course, my turn in the queue was very low because it was a trivial condition that merited category 4 of 5 importance. After 12 hours I got seen by the urgentologist who gave me some cortisone, Zantac, and benadryl and a referral to the allergist. The allergist seemed very capable and automatically said I had no allergy and made me do a full battery of immunological tests, saying it was a protein with almost perfect certainty. The tests were negative. He was speechless. He is still waiting for me to get inflammation or hives in many places at once and goand do a blood test within 12 hours of the initial symptoms. I have had symptoms of bloating since along with ones of swelling and hives in weird places in my body. One night there was a bubble popping out on my forehead. It happened again the next night. I saw the doctor the next day and it hasn’t appeared since. Reassurance from someone you trust makes things go away. At least for a while. 

It was at this point that I dug real deep and decided to take charge of my negative thoughts and let my brain send positive messages to my body. It was an uphill battle, no doubt. It took small moments. It took slight thoughts that made my brain and thought pattern take a leap away from the present toxic existence. These included watching something different on TV, walking and taking pics at night, thinking of and planning my next vacation,  etc.  Every time I felt a symptom, I’d try and positive think it away. 


Throughout this learning, I was honest with myself and looked at the problem from many perspectives. Trying to overcome defeatism is the hardest thing in the world. Below are the typical symptoms triggered by stress and also the 3 main factors of our everyday existence that contribute to health risks. And like everything else, none of us are immune to these. Like an addict, we have periods of time that we go down the healthy path. But we are always at risk for a relapse. 

We need to define what a virtuous path means for us and use it to build our end goal.  I’m no magician to anyone but myself. But opening that window to empowerment requires the help of friends and others. Battling our demons is strictly up to us. 


UPDATE: My final diagnosis (by 3 doctor’s no less) was Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is believed to be caused mostly by stress, which then affects your digestion. It becomes difficult to break down soluble fiber. You need to stay off anything in the cabbage family and most fermented products. Acidic products also make it difficult to digest.