For the last decade or so, I’ve been steadily subtracting.
As an experiment in reduction and elimination, I’ve taken the long list of life’s accepted “essentials” and pared them down to the most minimal survivable items.
Many would see these choices as psychotic rigidity without real purpose. But I have always lived on a narrow spectrum of black and white, so floating in the gray never held much appeal.
Some decisions are grounded in practices of optimizing health. Others are stubborn refusals to double back once I’ve started down a particular course. Either way, the list is constantly expanding, and there is a real risk that, given enough time, I may ultimately be left with nothing.
Still, I plod along, desperate for some modicum of control or a sense of peace in an increasingly uncontrollable, chaotically unsettling world.
Mental illness, in any of its various constructions, is a constant wire walk. The best we can do is build blocks of balance from whatever tools are readily available…and these are mine, for now.
Diet: No meat. No dairy. No nuts. No soy. No bananas. No avocados. No tomatoes. No peppers. No onions. No caffeine. No soda. No fast food.
Lifestyle: No sex. No drugs. No alcohol. No smoke. No prescription medication. No gambling. No hedonism.
Personality: No jealousy. No envy. No greed. No fear. No lust. No easy acquiescence. No easy sleep. No vanity. No addiction. No laziness. No breaks. No brakes. No self-indulgence. No self-forgiveness. No self-esteem. No sustained sense of hope. No hysteria. No indolence. No cowardice. No egotism. No profligacy. No pomposity. No inanity. No misinformation. No wastefulness. No tolerance for animal cruelty, of any kind.
This may all be madness…or just a dangerous form of mad science.
Time will tell.
Just say no.
2 thoughts on “The Power of No”
Hmmmm….time will tell. Do you amend this? It does say you add to it. How long has it been since you started this? This is a Lot of self discipline.
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Well, it seems I only add, never subtract. The Headache Elimination Diet was a major springboard, and then the social stuff just kind of followed suit. I’ve always been insanely disciplined and regimented with regard to my routine. Plus, my willpower is second to none. I probably started getting more extreme somewhere around 2013/2014, though. Everything then escalated when the headaches got severe. Now I don’t want to undo any of the progress made by backtracking. A double-edged sword, for sure.