serotoned in California

I don't know if I wrote about this, but I got a tattoo before I left London. Nepetalactone, the active ingredient in catnip.

Well, tomorrow I get serotonin and ether on myself. The main one, for me, is serotonin, a chemical I have struggled with for a long, long time. My relationship with serotonin is difficult at best. In fact, I avoided MDMA for a long time because I was afraid my serotonin would be depleted to the point I would be a mess. 

I felt somewhat relieved when Bitchy Jones wrote some blog entries about her own situation that felt very much like they provide insight into where I was at-

"Because, love, love with it’s big soft duvet-like cocktail (and if you’ve you’re your back reading you’ll know that the cocktails I like are more like trifles) of (a) sex and (b) guaranteed attention is so perfect for me, so seductive, such a delightful exhilarating bear trap. I want love. I want *that* trigger for my serotonin. But it’s the most dangerous trigger of all because it is all about putting it in the hands of someone else.

I can get needy, then. But at least I know just why.

A person grows tolerant of serotonin very fast. That once delicious perfect fix just from being around the other person soon becomes a dirty aching emotional need. The button the other person (usually unwillingly or unknowingly) pushes isn’t about making the love drugged feel good anymore so much as not making them feel bad. So soon the drugs don’t work. Once the drug was for a happy buzz, but flip and its just for switching off the bleak emptiness of life without the drug."

Oh my god yes. I read this and though, "jesus, when I take MDMA I take care of myself, and don't take it again til my serotonin levels are back up naturally- why don't I do that for relationships?"

That's where I'm at, now. I'm still struggling to find that trigger in other things, though craft projects and driving has certainly helped. I've decided to avoid seeking that fix in other people, so I've been trying to avoid sexual situations- I've been clear about wanting snuggles but not so much sexyfuntimes. I think this has been helping me focus on what it is I need and what I want, but I wonder if on some level it's satisfying as punishment for what I've started to consider my "sins". 

Personally, I love intensely and easily. I imagine that's why I connect well with clients- I work with people I can find affection for, and I do. Which is why when they're jackasses it affects me more than usual, I'm sure. And I think that is scary for people. Not just in the UK, though I think it's emphasized there- one of my dear friends in California struggled a lot with the feelings of intense connection we shared, and it being challenged when I left. We still haven't really mended the rift, which saddens me. I guess I would rather feel intensely than stifle it for fear of being hurt- I've been hurt, and it's not so bad, really. 

Anyway, serotonin. When I did try MDMA, I felt that what it really did was make me more the way I was normally- empathetic, connecting with people, loving and touching and emotionally with people. But... I don't need a drug to do that. I do all that on my own. And actually, this is a pretty new thing, that level of touchy-feely-ness. I used to be pretty closed off, not into that kind of affection and such. I'm not sure what changed. Good sex? Good guy? Maybe it was just the right time, right place, right people, and I was able to blossom, but there it is. Somehow I allowed myself to be open. 

I decided I wanted a tat in California, as a way to bridge the distance. And serotonin seemed like the perfect choice- the pleasure receptor, modulating emotions- but too much and it'll kill you. To remind myself that before hedonism comes responsibility, and that pleasure is made truly pleasurable by not having it all the time. 

Ether, well, I just like its history. :)

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