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Following is a revised version of a message originally posted on
Sanguinarius's message board in December 1997.
On coping with the less comfortable
times of blood famine
by Blood Brother C
As I've said before, I'm a unique example... Some of what has helped me, may not help some others... Also, even I still get the "bloodfits," and the urge to hunt -- My chief desire, at this point, is to simply temper all of that, within myself... I don't expect to ever be completely "free" of the need for blood, in this lifetime.
My first observation: I avoid all stimulants, even "mild" ones, such as black tea, or chocolate... I've noticed chocolate, especially, makes the craving for blood a lot more precarious... That may sound silly, but it's true, at least for me. Parsley, in my case, also functions as an extreme stimulant, throwing my system *way* out of balance... ::shrug:: Not everyone has as many sensitivities as I do, but you may wish to be cautious, just in case. If you're eating/drinking/etc. anything which seems to agitate or stimulate, you may want to consider cutting back, or cutting that substance out, entirely.
As long as I'm on the subject of how various ingested substances affect the cravings for blood, and the ability to cope with them, I'd like to bring up the use of alcohol or other drugs. Overall, they don't work. I found, when the initial relief wore off, that I was still restless, still craving.... And drunk or stoned, to boot.
::wince:: Obviously, that's complicating the cravings and the perils linked to them... When you're surrounded by temptation, the last thing you want, is to have your better judgement skewed by poisonous mind-altering substances.... And, eventually, you may wind up dealing with more cravings, than you started with. As a friend of mine says, "No need to layer cravings...."
I agree with the hypothesis that vampires need some vital "X factor" in live human blood, to function best... So, my natural aversion to "less vital" foods, is probably a self-preservation instinct. I've found that, taking a generoous amount of various nutritional supplements, helps to slow the sense of energy drain, which nearly killed me several years ago-- A good starting point reference on optimal nutrition through supplementation, is the book: Life Extension: A Practical Guide, by Shaw & Pearson.
Supplements I've found especially helpful for me, in sort of maybe partially "standing in" for the blood, are: dessicated liver, brewer's yeast, chlorophyll, sea salt, kelp, colloidal minerals, bee pollen, chlorella, spirulina, and bluegreen algae. If you take only one of the above, though, take either spirulina, or chlorella, or bluegreen algae. Of those three "green aquaculture" foods, chlorella (preferably with a broken cell wall) is probably best. Note: Some people are allergic to some of these supplements, so be careful.
Cravings for sodium, are common among my kind, from what I've heard... I often lick a generous pinch of salt, from the palm of my hand, and that makes me feel a little better. Sea salt, with its trace minerals attached, that mimick the mineral balance of human blood, is best... But table salt can help, too.
I also believe that, eating a carefully prepared portion of raw juicy red meat, of some nonhuman kind, can help to partially satisfy the need for human blood. It's not quite the same as drinking pure live human blood, but it helps me, a bit.... When soaked in a mild solution of food-grade hydrogen peroxide in a base of distilled water, raw meat can be rendered free of parasites or germs, according to authorities in the field of "oxygen therapy." Indeed, the H2O2, supposedly even breaks down xenobiotic toxins, as well. A word of warning, however -- Don't use the common drugstore hydrogen peroxide, for this. It's got "stabilizers" in it, that limit its use to topical application, not food preparation.... There are several suppliers of food-grade, untainted H2O2, on the WWW. You can find them by entering the expected keywords into your favorite search engine. Or, for a fairly comprehensive site with links and listings for many oxygen therapy suppliers, try this URL: Food Grade H2O2 Sources, at Oxygen & Ozone Therapie
In terms of "quick fixes," perhaps some of you are already familiar with the "ice on the tongue trick".... But I have come up with some variations. Mainly, I like to freeze ready-to-eat raw fruits or vegetables, and then eat them.... You see, our tastebuds seem to be involved in some sort of cognitive feedback mechanism -- if you temporarily numb your tastebuds, the craving will ease considerably. For this reason, a solution consisting of a drop of clove oil in a few ounces of water, swished around in the mouth for less than a minute and then spat out, will also work. In a pinch, I can think of some other cousins to the ice cube, which would work -- a Popsicle, a Sno-Cone or ice cream dessert, the ice in a soft drink.... But, it might be best, to buy some clove oil from a health food store or similar place, and mix up your own solution in a glass bottle, because obviously you won't always be carrying ice around, or have it handy. I've noticed that, perhaps *because* they inflame the tirssues and stir the blood, hot peppers tend to make a bloodfit much worse, if I consume more than, say, an amount of hot sauce, the size of a dime.... Again, I know some vampires who love eating huge amounts of garlic and peppers, though they don't digest such "delights," all that well... (In fact, some vampires even claim that peppers *help* them cope.) Others, even more extreme in this particular aversion than I, can't tolerate them at all. So, use your own judgement, in regard to whether you can handle a particular food.
When I'm feeling extremely restless, I attempt to "tire the beast," by engaging in some sort of strenuous exercise-- I think an exercise machine, like an exercise bike or a "Healthrider" contraption, is probably best. I've often been so frazzled by cravings, that I needed the structure and reassurance, of something monotonous.... However, sometimes, I've felt focused enough, to do something open-ended, like clean my apartment-- Nice to know the energy is good for something constructive. ::grin::
As far as less obviously physical stuff is concerned, I recommend avoiding any entertainments which might inflame the beast, without satisfying it-- This means, no violent/disturbing films or television programs... And, try to find some sort of soothing music, that you can relate to. My current favorite is Seal 96, with The Best of Kitaro, as second place. ::grin:: However, a local NPR station that plays New Age or Classical, will do.... Sometimes, I even like to listen to the stations that specialize in ballads from the 40s and 50s.
There's more, having to do with methods of meditation and self-hypnosis, which I like to do... As long as I listen to a good self-hypnosis tape every night, I tend to be more focused, and more centered. Obviously, there are no commerical tapes for "coping with vampirism." And, I would be leery of such a tape, even if one existed... I've made my own tapes, before, with the help of some book learning and other study.... However, I've also used the pre-fab variety. My favorite so far of the commercial variety, are "The Love Tapes," by Bob Griswold... ::grin:: Yes, that's actually the name of the product line. I would advise you to make your own tapes, only after purchasing at least one good book on the subject. Llewellyn publishes one, appropriately titled, Hypnosis. Also, there's some good shareware out there, most notably "Flasher," which is a program that allows your monitor to simulate a strobe light... Light pulses can stimulate the optic nerve, in such a way as to affect brainwaves. So, if you wanted to calm down, for instance, you'd use a lower flashrate, in the Theta-Delta range, and a blue light... Preferably, with a soothing, non-angular screenpattern. I've found the program, "Background Noise," run in parallel with "Flasher," can provide a good ambient loop of soothing sound-- My favorite "loops," are rain, and waves on a seashore.
Also, there are several "subliminal" programs, designed to run in the background, and flash suggestions of your choosing onscreen, while you concentrate on your usual computer stuff... I believe these programs have helped me calm down, and be more centered in a sense of strength.
And of course, there are at least 2 shareware "hypnotic induction" computer programs that I know of, one which runs in Windows, and one which runs in DOS. Check the WWW shareware archives, they're available through many different sites. I've tried each of the computerized induction programs, and they've worked for me as well. However, I currently prefer audiotapes, for active hypnotic inductions, and any subsequent posthypnotic suggestions. I've yet to try any of those "hypnotic induction" videocassettes, but I suppose they would work too, especially for those who are more visually oriented.
Well... ::shrug, smile:: That's a kind of overview and introduction, to the sort of things I generally do, to cope. I think the key is, to find what works for you, and then stick with it, even when you're feeling weak and surly and hopeless... The subliminal/hypnosis stuff, works wonders for me, *but only if I do at least 20 minutes of it, at least once a day. I've learned that, in my case, the conditioning wears off fast, if I don't constantly reinforce it. That could be true, for other vampires trying meditative/hypnotic/subliminal conditioning techniques, as well.Initial results, either for the first time, or after a long hiatus, take about 2 weeks, to show... From there, the conditioning builds over time. So, this would not be a "quick fix." But it may help more than an ice cube, over the long term.
Likewise, you'll find that, simply holding whatever line you can, will help you grow stronger... Don't give in long, to the temptation to give up on your own healthy methods of day-to-day coping, or to stop trying new ones, whatever they may be. At the very least, it won't hurt, and might help.
Hang on. Keep trying. Persist. That's the crucial thing.
Peace to you.
Blood Brother C
The above was written when Sanguinarius asked Blood Brother C to share some of the coping skills referred to in an earlier post.