September 24th, 2006

Brad @ Burning Man

Physical and Mental Health Related

Mental: I am relaxed enough and high function enough these days that people around me are showing a tendency to forget that I am, in fact, documentedly a mental cripple. No matter how well things go, I am still an Aspie.

Party Saturday. All afternoon and most of the evening with the Rennies at St. Louis Pirate Fest today. kukla_tko42 has me booked for Tuesday, and tentatively alienne Thursday. I just had to grudgingly explain to becka_kitty, when she asked me if I was free to go out drinking/dancing with her tomorrow night after seeing her two evenings in a row but both times at big social events, I'm prone to overstimulation. As an Aspie, I need a lot of alone time. As a natural secondary, I need to be able to lock that door with the whole rest of the world, including her, on the other side of it some times. No matter how sane I sometimes can seem or however healthy I may get, that'll still be true of me. And with Archon looming almost uncomfortably close and the rest of the busy October social schedule following hot on its heels, I need to be hoarding that alone time, probably.

Feel free to invite me to anything. Feel free to call or email me any time. But if I seem crabby and loner-ish, it's not about you; it's about the fact that if I don't get some time alone sometimes, my coping mechanisms fray.

Physical: I have cut my diet as far as I am going to be able to sustain. Period. And I'm still not losing an ounce of weight. The lower abdominal wall muscles have so collapsed that I'm uncomfortable sitting down. The weight has finished the job of re-wrecking my knees, and the rest of my health isn't much better. Not to mention that I keep getting grossed out by the fact that it seems like I grow another damned skin tag every couple of days, and it's at least a year before I can afford surgery to get some of these removed. The simple damned fact of the matter, dammit, is that I have got to get a holy heck of a lot more exercise in my life. Walking roughly 1.5 miles times 3 to 4 times per week just isn't enough. And we're going into winter, when I for the most part lose even that.

Nor is home exercise equipment, or a non-equipment exercise regimen, something that's likely to actually get done. I know me too well; I react very very poorly not to the pain, not to the exertion, but to the boredom. I'm almost as vulnerable to understimulation as I am to overstimulation, and exercise that doesn't come with any social or intellectual stimulation is going to fall by the wayside in less than a month, far too soon to do me any good.

The only thing I can think of so far isn't helping, because it feels like what I need is something that just plain doesn't exist. Obviously, what I need is a gym. A gym that's open pretty late in the evening. A gym that isn't full of self-absorbed, self-satisfied yuppies. Even more importantly, a gym that isn't full of gym rats, of people who are really into the exercises for their own sake and other exercise fans as a subculture. What I need is a gym with the ambiance, decor, and clientele of a good alternative-culture coffeehouse. Some place like the old Haven Coffee, or Rivalz Cybercafe, only with exercise equipment instead of gaming computers. Monster movies on the TV screens instead of Fox News; Apoptygma Berserk instead of Kenny G playing by the weight machines. What I need is a goth gym. We were talking about this among ourselves at Kukla's birthday party; the original goths are now all almost my age, the age where a lot of us/them (whichever) need a gym. And goth culture is almost definable as a reaction against the kind of people who grew up to be yuppies and gym rats.

But, for all that I once heard a business plan floated for a chain of alternative-culture gyms about ten years ago or so, no such thing seems to exist. (Please, if I'm wrong, enlighten me.) So I still have no idea what I'll do to get some of my health back. And I'll doubtless continue to feel like crap, physically, until I do.