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Posts Tagged ‘pain’

This past weekend, I was strolling through the mall when I saw a particular bottle of a menacing seeming liquid at some store that I can not now remember. The image upfront was a glittery yet jittery image of a clown that is smiling yet looks bloody and angry. His name was the “Fiery Fool”. And he was quite an interesting addition to the Hellfire Hot Sauce brand.

In an air of competitiveness, this brand claims that this was “THE HOTTEST SAUCE IN THE WORLD WITHOUT EXTRACT”! At first I brushed it off as more exaggerated marketing to the extreme but then I realized that I had just heard about this phenomenon in a recent Gender Studies class. I bought this at $14.99 but for the low low price of $14, you too can feel the pain.

And you better believe that you will feel the pain. In fact, after trying a few small drops, I was in agony. It was like eating liquid lava. And this is coming from somebody that normally puts half a bottle of regular hot sauce on anything. Was this an example of the “extreme culture” that Mary Kosut was talking about? I believe so. According to her analysis, “extreme bodies engage in practices and regimes that push beyond the mundane or acceptable”. Although this might seem tame in comparison to the examples she mentions such as body suspension, this fire sauce that burns you inside was definitely not mundane. And it was definitely not exactly societally acceptable either. Of the 5 friends I asked, none of them wanted to try it. Even just the labeling scared them away. Spicy foods and spiciness definitely can relate to her definition of extreme as challenging to “the body’s limits and borders”.

But why would anybody choose such a life of burning and crying? Kosut can answer. Extreme experiences, in her view, are “uniquely carnal and sensate”. They represent our feelings and maybe even our motivations “to take charge of one’s life and body, and to defy comfort zones”. There is pleasure in the struggle and the pain. On a more scientifical level, research has shown that spicy foods elicit the release of dopamine and endorphins, making us happier even when the pain seems unbearable, confirming this as true. Personally, even though I felt like I was going to die, it was a good type of pain. I might have died but I felt like I achieved something by taking the sauce and I could die happily…

In my view and in the view of Kosut, there is a reason why these extreme products are so highly marketable in an extreme kind of way. “They purport to offer an embodied experience that involves intense engagement of the senses that is beyond ordinary.” After experiencing this hot sauce, as it really was an experience, I know that that is the kind of experience I would pay for. This hot sauce appeals to society in this way and it doesn’t bluff.

I would urge anyone to try this hot sauce. If you would like to try some, you could ask me as well!!!

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I get the impression that most people don’t put much thought into over the counter medication. Other than the warnings on the bottle about not taking more than a certain number in a certain amount of time, these drugs are considered “safe”. You take them when you have a symptom to relieve, you stop when it goes away. It wasn’t until I started taking prescription medication for my mental illness that I realized how much I take OTC meds for granted.

When I first started taking medication one of my friends looked up as much information on my meds as he could find. One of the things he looked for is other things I could and could not take at the same time. And one of the things on the no-no list was NSAIDs.

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I struggle to type (I’m a great typist, 88 wpm, not to brag or anything) that I suffer from chronic illness.  I have an idiopathic immune system “issue” that makes my body more susceptible to bacterial/viral infections.  Despite being more wordy, for whatever reason, that’s a lot easier for me to type.  So basically, I get sick. A lot.

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Your skin is your largest organ, your first defense against the outside world. And mine is constantly under attack. The enemy? My own hands.

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I have to write once more for this blog for my grade. I’m highly motivated by grades, so despite feeling as though I have nothing to say, here I am, typing. I thought maybe I’d write about how we adjust to our unique bodily abnormalities (I don’t love this word, but I’m at a loss for another). I thought about sharing my husband’s experience of processing the bodies of fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the forced emotional detachment he took on as body after body found its way on a table before him, waiting to be readied to head home in a plain wooden box, back to the states and no doubt a family that would never recover their loss. I thought about sharing the moment my friend, whose son died an hour after birth, told me she can’t bear to hold sleeping babies because it feels too much like holding a dead baby, and how that statement, so matter-of-fact for her, knocked the wind out of me and ripped a hole in my heart for her, right beside the one that grew as her belly swelled with the baby we both knew wouldn’t survive. Somehow, none of these felt like things I wanted to share. And as I stared at the screen, thinking, “I have nothing to say,” I recalled (with the help of some online diary entries) a time in my life when I had the reverse problem: so, so much to say, and no one to listen. And I knew. Despite how very little (very, very little) I want to share this story about myself, I need to. I owe it to my own slow recovery, the future of my children, and the potential readers who’ve maybe been here too. So, here we go.

*Deep breath* *Deep breath*

I don’t generally ascribe labels to myself (they are relentlessly negative), but most people who know feel comfortable placing “emotional” over my picture. It’s a fair assessment. As long as I can remember, I’ve been an emotional girl/woman. I cry a lot, sometimes for justified reasons (see above), sometimes because I’m easily overwhelmed by emotions. I hurt a lot, and for me, emotional pain is easily manifested physically. In times I’ve had my heart broken, I have felt an ache in my chest that made it hard to breathe. It is this essential truth about me that led me down the path of self-injury. And this truth that kept me under its weight for over 10 years. If you need a trigger warning, consider yourself warned. There won’t be images, but this will probably hurt.  (more…)

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I get really bad headaches. Constant, enduring, painful headaches. (more…)

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Come along friends and allow me to tell you about the time that my body was invaded by an alien…

(No aliens have been harmed in the making of this post)

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