Oxytocin Warning

Submitted by RedBeard on
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A little background. Before doing this, my main interest was experimenting with health and diet. Somewhere along the line, whether it was from clean-eating, fasting, or a sensory-involved meditation I did an hour a day for five years, I eventually became hyper-attuned to my body. For example, I eventually created a diet based on how my body reacted to food. Good or bad, after I eat something, I'll get a tingle, ache, waves of energy, good or bad sensations in specific parts of my brain. Working at a diner, I'd become sick from the fumes from a blocked boiler before anyone could smell it. I can even tell if there's food rotting somewhere in a room based on a specific headache I get.

All this is why I've been so enthusiastic about the abstinence. I could sense exactly what was happening, and the results were/are amazing and enthralling, the most immediate and substantial results I'd ever experienced. Now, unfortunately, I'm also hyper-attuned to any bad that might happen to the body. I'd been laying off posting this; I don't like being negative, and I already know and am doing what I have to do. But, it hasn't been going away, I have to report that the loneliness is physically brutal.

I'm assuming it's a lack of oxytocin, because it goes away when I'm nuzzling on my mother watching a movie or something similar. Unfortunately, when I'm not, my body gets to where it's physically in pain, especially at night. My eyes hurt, my head hurts. Incidentally, I feel sensations in the same places I felt from those pleasurable "body orgasms" that I mentioned in an early post. (Side-theory: were those oxytocin "orgasms" then?). But, anyway, with the loneliness, it's a light ache instead of light pleasure, it's almost like inflammation. Even though there's nothing on my mind, nothing psychologically troubling me, my body feels the need to cry almost once a day, to the point of sobbing. (Another "incidentally": the tears don't taste salty, which I found weird).

I made the mistake of thinking Marnia was only being friendly and encouraging when she recommended finding a sweetie. In retrospect, I should have taken it as a warning; this has been much worse for me than the dopamine withdrawals. If I'm the canary in the coalmine here, I can't stress this enough: solitary just isn't an option.

(On the plus side, the ache of loneliness has made the awkwardness of rejection completely insignificant.)

So, Marnia/Gary, I'm geeky enough to respond by reaching for a book about oxytocin and neurochemical loneliness for some pointers. But, while that's in the mail and while I'm busy calling women I haven't seen in years, any practical advice? Is there an exhaustive list about everything that boosts oxytocin? I literally have had to take time out of studying to close my eyes, kiss my wrist and pretend it's someone else, just so my head stops hurting. That can't be the best solution, can it?

Comments

Oxytocin and Recovery

I have been attending open AA meetings since January 26th and the sweet fragrance of oxytocin is in the air so thick, you could cut it with a knife. An "open" meeting is one that does not require you to be an alcoholic to attend. I even choose ones that are "open" and "non-smoking".

The law of attraction is alive and well in AA and there have been some really special ladies showing up, demonstrating the law of synchronicity in life. One is very gifted in the healing realm of craniosacral massage and I actually knew her from a Doctor's office I visit - had I not come to that AA meeting, I might have never known that her gifts were available to help me on my healing path.

Mind you, I am not practicing the "13th Step" which is the polite term for men that prey on vulnerable ladies at AA meetings. I am content in my sexual and relational celibacy at this time but the friendly feminine energy is very supportive and I have been blessed with lots of oxytocin smiles and hugs.

For a single guy, finding a sweetie would not be that hard and females in sincere recovery can be very attractive for their honesty and comfort level in their own skin.

On top of that, AA seems to be everywhere so finding a meeting is not that hard.

Just a thought.

Richard

RedBeard, you've hit the

RedBeard, you've hit the nail on the head with the statement, "loneliness is physically brutal." I too have felt the headaches, the muscle aches, the weird need to cry at random things, the kissing your own wrist to dull the pain, and of course the "need" for porn/orgasm. Occasionally I will spend a day with an old friend, and by the end of that day I feel like I've just gotten a day-long massage! But this is all to rare an occurrence for me, and probably for you too. Rest assured, in spite of your loneliness you are not alone in these feelings! In America, we live in a society of loneliness. We go to work one by one in our cars. We come home and get on the internet or watch TV all evening. We as a society have forgotten how to talk to strangers. I sincerely hope you join a support group of some kind. I'm sure that will help.

I'm in a similar situation

...since I've stopped engaging with Elena in bonding or tantra last week. I've cried, literally sobbed everday and feel a physical reaction to not seeing her and getting my oxytocin fix. One thing that I am finding that is helping, though (which I just finished before seeing your post, interestingly enough) is doing an active meditation. I put myself into a specific memory of a deep heart connection and swim in the joy of it. I immediately feel better. I'm not sure if I'm getting substantial oxytocin from this, but in any case I believe it is drawing more of these experiences to me. Another coincidence...

A friend of mine was here for lunch today and mentioned a mutual friend of ours that she had run into. She said that this friend is now on a kick about kissing yourself. She is incorporating it into a musical show this weekend. She laughs about it as she joyfully indulges in passionate kisses on her arms and hands. I was also thinking about Elena's 10 month old lab that was living with me. She and I would spend each morning and night bonding, grooming each other (she loves to have her paws massaged). Dogs seem to enjoy licking themselves when no one else is available. I don't know. Is all of this really whacky???

So far, I don't find any compelling arguments to go back to the status quo as regards orgasm and the dopamine cycle. This feels much more growth conducing to me.

I'm amazed at your sensitivity. I'm not there, but last week when I was performing on stage I smelled a woman's perfume like it was poured up my nose. After the show I asked two other people on stage with me (who were in closer proximity) if they could smell it and they said they didn't notice anything. I'm wondering if this is related to my abstinence. Interesting, anyway.

Thanks for sharing your findings. It has helped me understand some of what I am experiencing.

~peace~

Thriving Artist

Advice

Where is the church where we can go in our time of need (and celebration) to get the hugs and love so necessary to our health?
Thank Mom for moms (where we would we be without them?)
Thanks and praises be to Marnia for holding this space.
If you've got some money (I don't) get a massage or CranioSacral Therapy session http://www.upledger.com/
If Amaji is in town go get a hug
Go to your local Death Row and take a dog out for the afternoon. Call Animal Control first to see if you need to bring your own collar and leash or if they will even let you. You might have to find a Rescue mission.
Much love to you

Thanks for your courage -

all of you.

You're right that isolation is not an option. Our sexual energy is our "connection energy." We can't just "sit on it." At least not unless we're in a monastery with lots of support, spiritual contemplation, and absence of the opposite sex. Even then, it may not be a viable option. Did you see that post about how our dopamine drive (libido/novelty seeking) seems to be evolving rapidly? http://www.reuniting.info/node/2054

So if self-sufficiency isn't an option (except by means of a draining, discouraging, often escalating porn/masturbation habit), then the answer lies in *connection.*

Believe me, I was just as annoyed when I realized that the Divine meant it...that this was a path of union. Our egos much prefer self-sufficiency.

Once again, here's a list of things that oxytocin research reveals increase oxytocin:

· voluntary exercise,
· harmonious interactions with others, support group meetings,
· caring for pets,
· voluntary generosity,
· inspiring scenery, pleasant smells (pine forest, bread baking),
· calming music, singing,
· warm, supportive touch, therapeutic massage,
· companionship, and
· yoga and meditation

Writing us can help, even though it's a distant companionship. There are probably other oxytocin-producing activities, too. I think craniosacral would be high on this list, for example, if it had been tested.

Most of my friends meet mates online these days. Have you checked out "Plenty of Fish," for example? It's free. http://www.plentyoffish.com/

What activities do you most enjoy? Could you get certified as a "nutrition consultant?" (See, for example, http://www.cncb.org/) That seems to be your passion. I think a friend said it's relatively easy to do that.

You could put all your in-depth knowledge to use...and help a lot of people that way. A friend here does this, and he told me the certification wasn't hard. He left his legal practice to do this because he nearly destroyed his health when he was younger. He wanted to help others. http://createvibranthealth.com/ (By the way, he also knows ejaculation drains him, so for all I know he uses this profession to share this info, when appropriate.) You could contact him to ask how he got certified.

This course of action would connect you with clients...and quite possibly a sweetheart.

Would you like to work on a "Dating School" project? The biggest challenge is going to be to help isolated people find mates.

Your post is not "negative," even if it's painful. You are clearly pointing to the next step on the journey...connecting. You can't just *sit* on yang energy. You need to pour yourself into something/someone at an energy level. But, honestly, women *would* like to meet you. We're aching with the exact counterpart to this malaise. Reach out.

Thanks for writing this post. It's a very important piece of the puzzle.

Ask and ye shall receive...

Thanks to everybody who responded, it helps to know other people have been experiencing the same, and I've already gotten results from trying your recommendations.

For meditation, my usual sensory meditation just made me more aware of the pain. Another meditation I've used in the past to overcome physical pain didn't work either. It was like putting out a forest fire, as soon as I got one spot to stop hurting, two others flared up. This morning, after my usual meditation didn't do anything, I cut it short and let my mind wander. My mind went to every friend, family member, girlfriend I've had in my life, vivid memories, reliving the experiences. My body tingled pleasingly immediately, and, as I was walking home, it felt in my stomach that those people were with me, at least for a while. Better than kissing my hand, anyway.

Last night, I felt absolutely awful, such strong physical pain that I couldn't get to sleep. In the middle of the night, I went downstairs to get a drink of water, ended up petting the cat for a few minutes, and after that, it was like my body forgave me, let me go to bed.

I'm gonna try everything recommended, but the best thing so far has been singing! I'd have never thunk of it, but singing got me tingling, laughing and feeling great.

It's funny how the body knows exactly what it needs. I consciously thought that oxytocin was limited to matters of love and socializing, and, yeah, my body's been leading me toward that most strongly. But, at the same time, I've been weirdly drawn to the idea of learning to play music, especially the Irish harp. I've noticed a stronger appreciation for art, and it seemed today that drawing made me feel better. Also, the idea of learning to ballroom dance has been surprisingly appealing, even though I've never danced or liked dancing.

Also, I've been drawn to church. I've never liked going to church, but there's an undeniable appeal to a crowd of people singing together, and especially that moment in service where everybody walks around, smiles, and greets eachother. I live in inner-city Boston, people here tend to be closed-off and walled-up, and I think that's been a contributing factor. A scenic trip to a suburban church one a week might be a good habit.

And, thanks for the tips on making a career out of the nutrition. It's my strongest interest, I help people with it as a habit, but I'd never really considered the details of making a career out of it without spending a whole lot of time in medical school. I'll definitely investigate that avenue, see where it goes.

You don't have to go to med

You don't have to go to med school to become a nutritionist - its a much simpler route! Not more than two years, I don't think. I have a number of friends who went to nutrition school at the same time they were going to massage school.

Remember tango!

Here's what a girlfriend just said, "You should add tango to your oxytocin-producing activities list."

Tango truly is karezza on the dance floor. The man is the "pilot," and yet both partners are balancing their own weight. They "read" each other's subtlest cues (good practice for lovemaking), and there is a marvelous, sexual, yet disciplined, electricity that flows between partners.

One man told me that when he doesn't have a sweetheart, tango successfully helps him cope.

It could be the next best thing to mom. Wink And I suspect men are always needed, and deservedly appreciated, in such classes.

Partner Yoga could also be

Partner Yoga could also be great thing to add to the list. In many partner yoga classes you can come with out a partner and they'll pair you up with one. You get some good stretching in while learning to support and trust with lots of physical contact.

Good cry

I think I have the opposite problem. I'm 33 days single and celibate, and I think I could use a good cry. I turned into the stoic type as a teenager and just don't feel sadness much. Just anger. Depression too, though not much recently. I do practices to try and awaken my emotions. A few times since becoming celibate, I've felt a very subtle stirring of these more sensitive emotions, and I hope it continues. What you guys are describing sounds like too much of a good thing, but I hope to get closer to it nevertheless. Might even try the wrist kissing... sounds like an oxytocin version of masturbation. LOL. Sorry... shouldn't joke when you guys are in so much pain...

I'm kinda formulating a theory. You've got dopamine vs. oxytocin, procreation vs. bonding, scarcity vs. abundance, selfish vs. selfless, needy vs. giving. Could it also be: secular vs. spiritual? So this would explain why celibacy has always been associated with those on a spiritual path, priests and monks and the like. So then it follows that if you have to be single for awhile for some reason and regular oxytocin stuff isn't enough, maybe push for the big kahuna of all oxytocin--universal love and connection with the divine. I suspect that this is the neurochemistry behind the 12-step system. It says the only way to sobriety is surrender to a higher power, and I always wondered why that was. Now I think I know. It's just the switching over to the "other" way of approaching life, whether you want to call it oxytocin, God, or connection in whatever form resonates with you.

It's funny, but I have actually gotten less lonely now that I'm non-orgasmic. I was pretty lonely for the past year, moving here all by myself, but now, I think I might be feeling more connection with the world in general, which eases things somewhat. We'll see what happens in the weeks and months to come... or hopefully not, actually. May I find a girlfriend, compatible in every way. May we all, we who are looking for one.

Oh, and finally, ever hear about Jack Kornfield and how once he developed the sense of smell so sensitive it was like a dog's? So weird things happen when you work with your body/mind. I once went and meditated in the desert and got hit by sobbing cries, actual yelling at top of the lungs bawling! No thoughts associated, just generic grief pouring out of me as if saved up since the beginning of time. I wondered if I were the only adult in history to bawl at baby level like this, and it hit me that no, I probably was not, that there were many down through the ages, whether from spiritual training or great tragedy, it has probably happened countless times. Imagine. Me, the guy who can't cry... Another time, also in the desert, this time on a 2-month solitary camping retreat, I got hit by rapid cycling depression. Half a day of deep, deep, world-is-coming-to-an-end, I will be sick forever, can't stand it level depression, and then... gone... for half a day. Then back. Then gone. Ever since then, if I get hit by depression, despite how real the feelings are and how strong and utterly convincing the negative thoughts, I have a deep-rooted faith that it's just a mood, a state of mind, an illusion because I saw it so clearly before.

Careful...

I was completely closed-up and stoic for years, all of these feelings are completely new to me, and I think that's how and why my social network got so frail in the first place. Also, I'm somewhere between days 70-80 and, while the loneliness has twinged for a while, it's only been getting painful for the last week or two. You might want to sign up for the dance lessons early...[tanz]

Crash Course

Wow, sounds like a crash course in Feeling 101, kinda like kundalini where the changes come crashing upon you ready or not, except instead of enlightenment changes, they're emotional. So, question: You were a stoic type all the way up until the last week or two? What about other emotions other than loneliness? Are those amping up too?

I'll definitely see what I can do about dance lessons. :)

No, I wasn't completely stoic until recent weeks...

I noticed feelings changing earlier in the process. I think it was around the one-month marker, I described it like I'd always been touching through gloves, then the gloves came off and I was feeling everything more crisply. Not so much getting more intense, more like the feelings were getting more clear, like the radio signal was clearing up.

It's strange, but I don't think the loneliness I've been feeling is a typical feeling. It's not like sadness, it reminds me more of the withdrawal symptoms, or something like thirst. I'm usually completely stable and relaxed when the loneliness hits, doing something like reading a book or browsing the internet. Thoughts don't bring it on, and all I'm thinking about when they come on is, "dang, I wish the pains would just go away and let me study".

I think what you're describing

is really remarkable. Loneliness is a problem I experience once in a while, but probably not to the extent you're describing. Still, I've definitely experienced the sudden emotional releases... and it's not just crying due to sadness or hormone fluctuations, but usually based on some kind of great epiphany about my life. But it took me years to get here... and you it's taken two months! I have no doubt that you are going to find the answers to this crisis you are having. In addition to what has already been mentioned, I thought I'd add an exercise that Marnia suggested to me once, about imagining yourself resting your head on the lap of the "divine," which I interpreted as a male energy of some kind. For some reason, this male energy always shows up to comfort me in the form of Jesus, which is especially strange because I'm not Christian. I suppose that is simply my Western upbringing.

Anyways, I think the same thing could be done with the divine feminine idea, in the event that you're studying and not in a position to run to your tango lessons. :)

Feelings

Maybe it's hormonal fluctuations, you know... kinda like PMS? Do oxytocin/bonding behaviors help women with PMS, like you were saying help you? Does this kind of thing tend to happen to single men or women non-orgasmic for about this long?

PMS

I believe that avoiding orgasm definitely helps with PMS symptoms. I still experience a bit of moodiness and discomfort, but it only lasts a couple of hours. I'm usually more emotional around that time of the month, more expressive and I will always cry, but its very therapeutic. A release, literally and physically, one of the many joys of womanhood.

[quote]Does this kind of thing tend to happen to single men or women non-orgasmic for about this long?[/quote]

I'm not sure this can be measured. I think we can deduce from everyone's experiences here that there are many positive benefits that result from avoiding orgasm, and many that show up right away. After that, though, paths seems to diverge as we are all at different stages in healing. I appreciate RedBeard's description of emotional clarity. That has been my experience, as well, but like I said, it's taken me longer to get there. My decision to start taking care of myself *started* five years ago when I gave up orgasm, it was the first step of many. Others here seem to have arrived at the decision to give up orgasm as a supplement to an already healthy lifestyle.

I feel that RedBeard's crisis of solitude is happening because his body or spirit is telling him that it's time for him to get serious about seeking a partner. I think that if *my* body or spirit had started behaving that way after 70-80 days of abstinence, I would have tried to deaden that urge with drugs or alcohol. My mind and body knows what I can handle and what I'm ready for, and my path seems to be slower and more gradual than others. I guess that just how I roll. :)

BTW, I apologize for talking about you in the third person, RedBeard, as though you are some kind of science experiment. I definitely do not consider you a lab rat. :)

Feelings

I definitely think that both Redbeard's emotions and women's PMS in general are a call from the subconscious. It might indeed be his soul yearning for connection, possibly manifesting as what sounds like hormonal fluctuation. (But it could be something else. That thought just popped into my mind because of the symptoms and that we really are messing with our hormones doing this.) Incidentally, I once started a discussion about PMS with the Deida people. Here's what a woman (in Deida's inner circle) said:

[quote]Hopefully, you can learn that PMS, is the forcing outwards of a woman who is in a deep internal process. Can you feel the tearing of a psyche in that?

If you have a partner who understands or wants to understand her cycle, and to follow her rhythms, she will eliminate a lot of PMS.

I take my bleeding very seriously and the call to the internal mystery as a deep practice within myself. I spent a lot of time over the years studying them in myself and other women.[/quote]

As a man (and a still stoic one at that), I'm not sure what that all means, but maybe it will help you, though you sound like you've got it pretty well down... as down as possible anyway, when dealing with such a great internal mystery. I think I'm starting to figure it out a little. My ex always had bad PMS, and since I left, it's gotten worse. It was just bad cramps and quarrels when I was around, but now it's uncontrollable crying, not even just at PMS time anymore but most of the time. "Tearing of a psyche" is the right way to describe it, I think. A deep need, not being fulfilled, stuffed down... and the universe gifts her with a forcing outwards once a month, calling her back (or giving some release), kinda like the way CFS called me back when I was going down a road it knew was wrong for me. People are too disconnected these days, and we disconnect even further with our addictions or escapes. This is why I'm attracted to the idea of tribal community. As radical and fringe as that is, it might be the only way. Karezza too. Radical. Fringe. But might be the only way!

Re:

[quote=Discordia]BTW, I apologize for talking about you in the third person, RedBeard, as though you are some kind of science experiment. I definitely do not consider you a lab rat. :)[/quote]

Ha, no need to apologize, I'm my own favorite science experiment, and company's very welcome in my lab. You're right about the journey. My meditation guru said it happens that the last problem falls away first and the first problem will fall away last. That's how it's seemed to work with me:

I've been somewhat socially isolated as long as I can remember, porn and orgasming started around age 10 or 11, social anxiety and depression maybe age 15, acid reflux age 19, overweight and agoraphobia age 20 to 21. Once I stopped getting worse, I started getting better. The acid reflux went away first, maybe at age 22. Overweight, agoraphobia, and depression all went away together, around age 23. The social anxiety I've been working on steadily since, reduced to just a twinge now, I'm 26.

So, the orgasm and over-stimulation were some of the earliest problems for me. Once I settle into a community, I imagine that the circle should be complete, and I'll be working outward instead of inward.

BTW, I've read

that book Loneliness. It's good, but if you're a modern human you probably already see the tragedy of our current circumstances without any help from this book. Smile It also does not address the potential that lies in relationships directly.

You may also find this one worth checking out of your library, The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping the Hormone of Calm, Love, and Healing: http://www.amazon.com/Oxytocin-Factor-Tapping-Hormone-Healing/dp/0738207489. It's a few years out of date, but you'll probably find the research interesting...even if the author is a bit female-oriented.

Speaking of oxytocin

Someone who read Cupid just wrote me:

After reading your book, I believe that the new drug that Huey Lewis looked for was OXYTOCIN!

I want a new drug
One that wont make me sick
One that wont make me crash my car
Or make me feel three feet thick

I want a new drug
One that wont hurt my head
One that wont make my mouth too dry
Or make my eyes too red

One that wont make me nervous
Wondering what to do
One that makes me feel like I feel when Im with you
When Im alone with you

I want a new drug
One that wont spill
One that dont cost too much
Or come in a pill

I want a new drug
One that wont go away
One that wont keep me up all night
One that wont make me sleep all day

One that wont make me nervous
Wondering what to do
One that makes me feel like I feel when Im with you
When Im alone with you
Im alone with you baby

For you music lovers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMSFX1Vb3xQ

Oxytocin and pets

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2009/02/12/human_animal/index.html

"there is a physiological basis to the profound attachment so many of us feel for our dogs and cats; the same hormone, oxytocin, that bonds a new mother and infant is at work in the relationships between today's animal lovers and their four-legged friends.

...
When I pat my cat, what is happening between us, biologically speaking?

Touch releases oxytocin in humans and animals. Oxytocin is one of the most powerful hormones that the body makes. This is a chemical that is responsible for social bonding.

When you pat your cat, you should be getting a release of oxytocin, as should your cat, too, that slows your heart rate down, lowers your stress response. You feel this warmth and this attachment, as does the cat. So you're getting an emotional and a physiological anti-stress response. It's a wonderful renewable system.

...
One of the things about oxytocin is that it's a taming molecule. It inhibits fight/flight, which is what makes animals wild. Oxytocin reaches out to all these other brain areas, like the dopamine receptors, the serotonin receptors, these powerful brain centers. It coordinates a shutdown of this antisocial behavior called fight/flight and replaces it with a chemistry that promotes curiosity over paranoia. In that mind-set is when humans and animals can approach each other.

When you think about it, how did wild animals ever become tame? It's a change in the nervous system. Then you have to ask: What changed the nervous system? This newly emerging physiology points to oxytocin being one of the central components of this major shift that happened in humans and animals promoting more cooperative behaviors.

So, humans also were domesticated.

What do you think is going on culturally now that pets are so popular in the United States?

My theory is that we're suffering from oxytocin deprivation. ...

Children are more depressed, they're more anxious than ever before. A huge study showed that children born after 1955 are three times more likely to suffer depression than their grandparents were, grandparents who had lived through world wars. ...

People are also desperately isolated from each other, and not just from the land. We are a lonely people now, and getting lonelier ... We're surrounded by people, but touched by so few, and so you come home to your empty apartment, and there is your pet, and it is wonderful.

Seventy-eight percent of elderly male pet owners and 67 percent of female elderly pet owners said that their pets were their only friend. Just like people self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, in a way they're self-medicating with their pets. ...

Given that pets give us all these benefits, why do you think that we have the persistent stereotype of the pathetic cat lady, who is alone with her cats in her house? What you're saying is that she should have cats, it's probably good for her.

I hope that she won't be seen as quite so pathetic in the future. Or, that people will realize that she's just self-medicating. Go have a drink. That's what we do.

But I don't want people to think that you can just have a dog and you can chain it up in the backyard, and you're going to get fabulous love and attention from it, and all the physical and therapeutic rewards, as well. You won't.

It's very important to realize that if you want the greatest quality of relationship with your pet, as well as the best therapeutic value from it, it all depends on the quality of the attention you are willing to devote to the animal. This isn't about the dog in the pen in the backyard that nobody ever talks to and you take hunting twice a year.

It's the intimacy. And given the state of affairs in the world right now, we may not be getting healthcare any time soon, but you better figure out how you're going to handle your stress."

Meow.

Stress, fight/flight...that sounds like cortisol. I've been stress-free and clean-eating for so long I don't remember it clearly, but the "inflammation" feeling vaguely reminded me of unhealthy eating, especially sugar sloth, and I think I read cortisol was related to that. If oxytocin reduces cortisol, that could account for the rumored third month testosterone drop and baby face, since cortisol reduces testosterone and breaks down muscle, adds fat. After a day of singing yesterday, I felt much stronger and more active today than I have in weeks.

If cortisol is the fat hormone, obesity and stress also seem to have risen alongside the isolation and cat loving...

Yes, well...

as I've been reading this, my cat has been jumping back and forth over my keyboard, just letting me know that he is available to receive his nightly back rub and belly scratching as soon as I am ready. :) His name is Poison (not like the band), and he is the greatest kitty ever. I actually got him from the friend of a guy I dated for about 3 months, about six years ago. One of my worst dating experiences ever, but I'd do it all over again for this little bundle of furry love:

Photobucket

Yes, I am the queen

However, Poison arrived in my life already in possession of his name. And it fits him, so I let him keep it. :) In the past, I've always given my pets people names.

Sounds like

this social piece of the puzzle will start a whole new cycle when it drops in.

I predict that the world will gain a healer once it does. Your thoroughness and careful observation will benefit many.

Keep on singing!