[now]here

Marisa Rowland

you never know where to start with these things probably because it's impossible to find. ๐Ÿง looking back, you begin to think well it's always been there. โœจ beginninglessly โœจ sometimes the future can find the past. past tense seems new again. the present has seeped into memory such that it captures and redirects your attention time and time again, further enforced with each repetition. ๐ŸŒ€ dรฉjร  vu ๐ŸŒ€

something doesn't feel quite right. at first you write it off as, "i'm losing my edge." so you double down on work...and play. time to re-"design your life." ๐Ÿ“ work takes up 70 hours of your week. you somehow find time to add in school, soccer, and djing. you train harder, you party later, and you study somewhere in between. you think...perhaps this is what burnout feels like? no problem. you can biohack burnout. you do your own research ๐Ÿ•ณ:ย  bone broth, butyrate, vitamin b, bulletproof โ˜•๏ธ. three months later the bloating is so bad you buy a pregnancy test and a baby sized tequila...just in case. ๐Ÿ™ fucking god. you are not pregnant. ๐Ÿคฐ salut ๐Ÿฅ‚

there is no denying it now. you are sick. โŒ you see a gastroenterologist, immunologist, and endocrinologist. rinse & repeat. X 3. you go to the ๐Ÿฅ, a lot. enough to have a favorite. you go to the big "๐Ÿ‘" institutions: Stanford, UCSF, Alta Bates, Sutter. you see all the doctors that insurance covers. you have every test from ๐“’, colonoscopy, to ๐“ง, xray, and then some. you take 26 ๐Ÿ’Šs a day. yes, you were type A enough to count. you can swallow them all in two takes in a way you are sure would've impressed your crush in the second grade. we're looking at you, David. ๐Ÿ˜‰ your insurance company calls you due to the sheer number of claims. they ask if you have cancer. ๐ŸŽ— you do not.

new doctor = new hope. perhaps they hold the ๐Ÿ”‘ to this mess? there's a euphoric relief that comes with knowing you are in someone else's hands. ๐Ÿคฒ that it's all part of a plan. they go through your medical history from the minute you were born. were you birthed naturally? did you drink breast milk or formula? they reassure you that nothing is a coincidence. "we'll find the root cause. you'll be better in a few months." you live by their words with a religious fervor. you ride and die by your diagnosis of the month. vroom vroom. ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’จ months pass by. you are still sick. โŒ what do you do? you find a new doctor ๐Ÿฉบ. you try infrared saunas๐Ÿง–โ€โ™€๏ธ. ย you order trace minerals. ๐Ÿ•ณ each doctor and diagnosis, each pill and pitfall, becomes a clue ๐Ÿงฉ to this complex riddle of you. mistakes are your roadmap ๐Ÿ—บ.

after a botched routine medical procedure that leaves you with a lip that looks only half-filled with botox ๐Ÿ’‰, your faith in mainstream medicine reaches a new low. you could've forgiven them if they had at least made it symmetrical. jk. you see the MD doctors, but now you add in the ND, RD, the "does not accept insurance, but will send you a superbill if you'd like to try your luck at submitting it yourself." 7๏ธโƒฃ7๏ธโƒฃ7๏ธโƒฃ. your amazon cart reads like a who's who of woo: Becoming Supernatural, The Body Keeps the Score, and A New Earth. ๐ŸŒ your nutritionist gives you a list of like twelve foods to eat. you are keto, low histamine, low oxalate, dairy free, nut free, gluten free, egg free.๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ yes, you are one of those three people who were left on a desert ๐Ÿ surviving off of coconuts.

it's after midnight. you're watching YouTube and reading r/deepnutrition "...ask yourself what those trends suggest to your inner statistician." you open a new tab. "Top 10 Reasons You are STILL Sick" by Dr.Paul Saladino:

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1.ย  Antibioticsย ย 

ย ย ย ย โœ… uhh...check. you were prescribed antibiotics 8 times this year.ย ย 

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2.ย  Poor Dietย ย 

ย ย ย ย not for what youโ€™re paying your nutritionist.ย ย 

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3.ย  Poor Gut Healthย ย 

ย ย ย ย โœ… you were recently diagnosed with dysbiosis du jour.ย ย 

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4.ย  Vaccinesย ย 

ย ย ย ย โœ… wait. wtf?! you did get seven vaccines a few months ago for a work trip to Brazil.ย ย 

ย ย ย ย ย ย 

5.ย  Sleepย ย 

ย ย ย ย โœ… one candle. both ends. burn baby burnnnn๐Ÿ”ฅ

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by the time you finish, itโ€™s 5am and you are batting 9 out of 10. you now have 72 tabs open. ๐Ÿ•ณ you wonโ€™t stop until you find an answer. ๐Ÿงย  a guarantee that tomorrow will be better. every day, hour, minute counts. โณ โ€œwe hear โ€˜oh my stomach!โ€™ all the time. this is your healthy gut support formula.ย  a brand new kit for $66.93. plus it tastes like candy!โ€ itโ€™s yours. alt wellness and conspiracy theories are the new late night QVC buys. ๐Ÿ“บ

you're twelve months in. the doctors have run out of ideas. quit working, they say. the stress is killing you, they say. take these antidepressants, they say. it's not in your head, but we can at least change your mind. ๐Ÿง  you feel dismissed. you apply to the Undiagnosed Disease Network. in the meantime, you swallow a different kind of ๐Ÿ’Š.

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fig 1. woo pill

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you follow your doctors' orders. you line up a sublet for a place in ๐“›๐“. extended vacay!...you miss the first ten days of your stay. instead you check into the hospital for five days. you learn that โ€˜ask and you shall receiveโ€™ is the policy on pain killers. ๐Ÿ’Š it takes you another four days to deflate from the IV fluids and three hours to pack. yes, you're still going. only retrospectively do you see how bad a fucking idea this was. you're a special kind of crazy, baby. virgo โ™๏ธ x aries โ™ˆ๏ธ.ย 

you drive alone down the golden flanked highways. the north to south initiation. you listen to "How to Change Your Mind." prescriptions seem to be getting you nowhere. so why not try ayahuasca or kambo? ๐Ÿธ you make a pit stop where you drop your ๐Ÿ•ถ in the toilet. fuck. this feels like a particularly bad ๐Ÿงฟmen, if the hospital visit wasn't enough of one. especially when you buy the only pair of ๐Ÿ•ถ the Food Mart has to offer. not. cute.

you make it to ๐“›๐“ exhausted and terrified. mainly terrified because you are so exhausted. it takes you three days to realize you are sick โŒ and isolated in ๐Ÿ’ฏ degree smog with no air conditioning. what kind of person signs up for this? your hand is raised. ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธthat's right, you did. A++++ ๐ŸŽ

you begin to cry. ๐Ÿ’ง the kind of crying that feels nuclear. โ˜ข๏ธ snot is dripping into your mouth as you gasp for air. must. interrupt. loop. ๐Ÿšจ your phone buzzes at that moment. your friend texted you a link. The Prayer of Co-Creation. you read the words allowed. your tears stop. you feel...๐Ÿ†—. you look up Kryon. great logo. you'd buy their Nike collab. monkleisure. you realize the text was a joke. still, you like the ๐Ÿ™ so you keep it.

your roommate recommends a healer who specializes in Body Mind Centering, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Yoga, and Continuum. you drive two hours on the 101 to her compound in Topanga. ๐Ÿ›ฃ she greets you bare๐Ÿฆถed in head to toe linen. you ask to use the restroom. the entire space is green-so-dark-itโ€™s-black emerald marble with a giant seashell ๐Ÿš as a sink basin. thereโ€™s no mirror, but you can see your reflection in the gemstone wall as you wash ๐Ÿงผ your hands. ๐Ÿคฒ you spend the session learning to breathe ๐Ÿ˜คย  into your embryonic sac. pulling your yolk ๐Ÿณ deeper with each inhale, expanding it beyond your body with each exhale. at the close of the session, she prescribes two things: 1. to spend the rest of the day swimmingย ๐ŸŠ in the "primordial soup" ๐ŸŒŠ and 2. to see Shaman Tim Doule as some dark energy lingered.

meanwhile, you are still lonely in Los Angeles. so you do what lonely people do. you download Tinder. ๐Ÿ˜ that's how you meet Miles. one look at his profession โ€œhypnotistโ€ and you swipe right. itโ€™s a Match! ๐Ÿ’• โ€œwhat are you reading?โ€ your DMs take off. he wants to show you his book shelf. ๐Ÿ“š hot. ๐Ÿ”ฅ ok, youโ€™ll bite. you switch to text. only afterwards do you realize you just witnessed the smoothest transition off the app. his shelf ๐Ÿ“š is filled with metaphysical books, which you've become a connoisseur of in the past months. you learn he is a licensed hypnotist, a director ๐ŸŽฌ like 70% of ๐“›๐“, and ๐Ÿ’ฏ a spiritual junkie. he introduces you to The Holographic Universe, Jean Gebser, and the I Ching. โ˜ฒ

itโ€™s mid august when a friend from home texts you about a ceremony happening in ๐“›๐“ soon. โ€œyou want in? iโ€™ll intro you.โ€ you ask your new roster of ๐“›๐“ ๐Ÿฉบ๐Ÿฅผโ€™s for their blessing. โœจ you only need one โ€œyesโ€ not to be entirely reckless. theirs is a resounding NO. well, โ€˜noโ€™ wonโ€™t do. one ๐Ÿ•ณ ๐Ÿ‡ later youโ€™ve found yourself the substance free, LSD substitute. Stan Grof. Holotropic breathwork.๐Ÿ˜ค CIIS. B-I-N-G-O. you ask the I Ching โ˜ฒ for its blessing. 63. Chi Chi. After Completion. good enough for you. you book the workshop. ๐Ÿ“…

until then...you're still searching for a cure. anything to feel better. you sign up for a kundalini yoga class.ย ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿผ it takes five seconds upon walking through the door to realize you missed the all white memo. your all black โฌ›๏ธ outfit makes you the literal black sheep of the group. everyone floats โ˜๏ธ around you in flowing pants and ethereal tops with scarves wrapped around their heads. they are all sitting on sheepskin, the kind of which you associate with Ikea. baaaah baaaaaah. ๐Ÿ‘ you look around perplexed.๐Ÿง "there's some sheepskin for you to borrow in the corner."

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fig 2. stack alignment

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you go all in on ๐“›๐“. permanent vacation. ๐Ÿน you move into an apartment in Los Feliz next to the Hollywood Scientology Center. you pass its billboard everyday on your way to grab celery juice๐Ÿงƒ, "Don't believe what you hear. Believe what you see." ๐Ÿ‘€the rest of your morning routine involves kundalini, palo santo๐Ÿ’จ, meditation, bulletproof โ˜•๏ธ, qi gong, and the ๐Ÿ™ of Co-Creation. you acquire a pendulum, celestite ๐Ÿ’Ž, and serpentine from the House of Intuition. you imbibe in $25 smoothies, adaptogentic elixirs, and Starfire ๐Ÿ’ซ water. ๐Ÿ…ฐ๏ธdrenachrome makes a lot more sense when you've walked down the aisles of Erewhon ๐Ÿ›’. have you seen the supplement ๐Ÿ’Š aisle?: Obedient, Eternus, TAO, Unfair Advantage, Brain Wash, Neuromaster. or perhaps your pineal gland is decalcifyng from your meal at Cafe Gratitude. you are stellar, light, healthy, brave, and awakening for only $42.16 . don't you forget it qt ๐Ÿ˜˜

shamanism is the new yoga in ๐“›๐“. you decide to call on Tim Doule. he says youโ€™re cursed. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ so does the next one. in fact, they all say you are cursed. ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ the first time you hear it you're wary of a scam. the second time is unnerving. the third time you sign up for a course at the Michael Harner Institute for Shamanism. you are nothing if not diligent. ๐Ÿ“

thatโ€™s how you find yourself sitting crossed legged staring at a rock ๐Ÿ—ฟ, yes a rock. ๐Ÿ—ฟ deeply. intently. a rock ๐Ÿ—ฟ you asked permission from the earth to borrow, and promised to return at 5pm when you are kicked out of the conference center in Sherman Oaks. your partner, Jake, asks you what you see as he scribbles down your answer. you see a ๏ธ, ๐Ÿ‘, and gazelle, on one side, and a โœจ,โš”๏ธ, and a group of many faces ๐Ÿ‘ฅ on the other sides. he sees an ๐Ÿฆ…, an ๐Ÿ‘, a โœ๏ธ, a ๐Ÿ•ฏ, a ๐Ÿ, and a โค๏ธ. this concludes rock ๐Ÿ—ฟ divination.

next, you are lying on your back, side by side, head to toe, grazing Jakeโ€™s arm and fur headdress. there are ๐Ÿฅs playing in the distance. you journey ๐ŸŠโ€โ™€๏ธ to the underworld. turns out it is a tropical island. ๐Ÿ there is a ๐Ÿ and ๐Ÿป waiting for you on the sandy shores. the ๐Ÿ kind of creeps you out, but the ๐Ÿป makes up for it. you are in search of a power animal for Jake. you find a ๐Ÿบ and bring it back with you. you sit up and immediately blow it into his โค๏ธ and head sealing it with four shakes of your rattle in each cardinal direction. Jake finds you later in the parking lot. "what brought you here?" what didn't bring you here?

synchronicities start happening. ๐Ÿคฉ you run into your childhood friend at a Kiko Kostandinov party. you meet the ayahuasca shaman that your friend had recommended at Kylie Jenner's previous hills vacation home. you get the last two ๐ŸŽŸs to Russel Brand's interview with Marianne Williamson at a Wanderlust. on an evening stroll, you stumble into a man with a high powered ๐Ÿ”ญ who shows you the ๐ŸŒ”. you run into your healer at Erewhon ๐Ÿ›’ who just had a cancellation. the appointment is yours! you drive to the Palisades Self Realization Foundation. it's closed today, but someone still waves you in. ๐Ÿ‘‹ you are never without a parking spot which is a Big Fucking Deal in ๐“›๐“. ask and you shall receive! ๐ŸŽ

it's October and finally time for the Holotropic Breath ๐Ÿ˜ค workshop. you don't know what to expect, but you feel this is all part of a plan. your sitter's name is Gaia. you can't help but think it's no coincidence that her name means earth ๐ŸŒ and yours means ocean ๐ŸŒŠ. you lay down, blind folded. a mix of what can only be described as binaural beats and EDM start playing. at first you feel stuck and self conscious. your body seizes up. Gaia whispers in your ear, "move through it." suddenly, you are off running frantically. you're a gazelle, a ๐Ÿ, a healer. next, you are launched into the cosmos. โœจ you are crying. ๐Ÿ’ง you feel pure universal love. ๐Ÿ’– you can see your hands through your closed eyes. you laugh. it's all so magical. ๐ŸŽฉ you dive into a black hole. ๐Ÿ•ณ you start screaming. you're scared. Gaia whispers again, "sometimes you must walk through the darkness before you see the light." ๐Ÿ•ฏ you are giving birth to...yourself. you are reborn, screaming like a newborn ๐Ÿ‘ถ, and being cradled. the music stops. you open your eyes. Stan Grof is by your side. he bends down and kisses your forehead ๐Ÿ˜š

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fig 3. yin yang

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months go by. you felt high after the workshop, but it's worn off. things aren't going well with your doctors. your labs are in the green ๐Ÿ’น , except for the ones in the red ๐Ÿ“ˆ. which makes it all so much more confusing. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ the medications aren't working. no amount of Moon Juice ๐Ÿน can revive you. the unknown is terrifying. not knowing means never finding a cure. fear of the unknown propels your virgo โ™๏ธ ass to spend hours online. ๐Ÿ•ณ you will find certainty. ๐Ÿงย 

you follow a bunch of wellness influencers. you sign up for a consultation with one. she tells you its Carnivore or bust. ๐Ÿฅฉ your gut is weak AF. didn't you know veganism ๐Ÿฅ• is a metabolic flex? you spend 40 days and nights eating only ๐Ÿฅฉ . Jesus x Goop. the butcher up the street knows you by name. you still feel sick โŒ and you're beginning to miss vegetables ๐Ÿฅฆ. she tells you to buy some calf liver. it's all about nutrient density. have you tasted calf liver? you vomit. ๐Ÿคฎ this isn't working.ย 

eating seems to make you sicker. so you choose the opposite. you do a fourteen day water ๐Ÿ’ฆ fast at a medspa. every day at 9am and 1:30pm they host different talks on nutrition, diet, and wellness. they preach a vegan ๐Ÿฅ•, salt, oil and sugar free diet...when you are eating that is. they demonize the food industry, health care system, and government. day one you have a headache.๐Ÿค• day two you feel trapped. โข by day five, youโ€™ve never felt better. ๐Ÿ™ƒ you drink the kool-aid...well water. you feel revived. ๐Ÿ˜‡ and who cares if you live the rest of your life with a water cult? you think youโ€™re cured!ย 

jokes on you! ๐Ÿ˜‚ a month later and your qi has officially run out. you spend days in bed. going to the grocery ๐Ÿ›’ store constitutes an exciting outing. you find yourself taking walks ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธ on the internet ๐ŸŒ€ instead of outside ๐ŸŒฑ. you are ๐Ÿ˜ก now. a raw unrefined anger. you repeat your medical timeline over and over again. looking for a clue. ๐Ÿงย  a new lead on a life you once knew. you wonder how you were ever healthy. if you were ever healthy. you forget what healthy even feels like. your illness is a nonspecific amplifier. you fall into despair and deep into the feed. ๐Ÿ•ณ on the internet, everyone is a doctor or a guru. ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธthe internet is your last lifeline. you find forums with people like you. people pushed out of the mainstream. people living in the margins. trying to find a cure. โœจ

you can't do nothing. the only option is forward. โžก๏ธ despite the risks. after all, you are at stake. nothing feels right, but similarly nothing feels off limits. โ›”๏ธย  it's a fine line between herx and harm. which is which? you don't know anymore. all you know is that the verdict lies in the future. ๐ŸŽฑ the ledger is 20-20 in hindsight. ๐Ÿ‘€ you can't be concerned with the count now. onward. โžก๏ธย  none of that really matters. what matters is that you are trying. what matters is that you're sincere. what matters is that the system has failed you. that a once in a hundred year storm slaps every fucking year. ๐ŸŒช you aren't an idiot. you aren't insane. insane would be continuing to use the same system that dismissed, drugged, maimed you...and expect different results. you are sick. โŒ

you start to see murmurings of an alarming ๐Ÿฆ  online. you turn on the news. no mention of any ๐Ÿฆ  . back on twitter everyone is stockpiling masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. you read on a Discord that California is going to announce a lock down. you've never seen or heard of anything like this before. back to the news. nothing. a few days later you get an alert on your phone. shelter in place orders are in effect. every electronic billboard reads: โ€œDisinfect to Protect. Wash your hands. ๐Ÿงผ ๐Ÿคฒ โ€ the news says, โ€œdonโ€™t Wear ๐Ÿ˜ท.โ€ โ€œwear a ๐Ÿ˜ท.โ€ โ€œno, wear two ๐Ÿ˜ท.โ€ the whiplash is crippling.

luxury apps become "essential" services. grocery ๐Ÿ›’ shopping is now a dangerous outing. telemedicine is standard. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ’ป your new doctor video chats you three hours late. ๐Ÿ•Ÿ there are no hours in quarantine. only days. ๐Ÿ“… as in...he will call you sometime today. ๐Ÿ“… it's ok. you have nowhere to go. when he finally smiles at you through the Zoom window, he explains why a lady is placing a tray ๐Ÿ› in front of him. "oh, it's for my cleanse. i'm doing kambo. ๐Ÿธ do you know what that is?" yes, you know what that is.

your feed takes a turn once the ๐Ÿ’‰ is announced. it seems everyone from @drmarkhiman to @balanceblonde is coming out of the anti๐Ÿ’‰er closet: Boost your immune system naturally. / Episode 230: Dysbiosis Through Disconnection: Are you concerned about the long term impact of the pandemic โ€œsafetyโ€ ๐Ÿšง measures? Feeling more disconnected from nature ๐ŸŒฑ than ever from โ€œsheltering in placeโ€? / Increase your vibrational field for protection with this guided meditation. ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

you turn. โ†ช๏ธย  you see how a government has perpetuated a SAD lifestyle. subsidized illness. western medicine's limitations. siloed organs. ๐Ÿง  who's responsible for the whole? โˆž you see how recommendation algorithms are more like training programs. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ’ป how anxiety is utilized for mass distraction. how our nervous systems are hijacked. one notification at a time. ๐Ÿ”” Ping!

you get a letter in the mail. โœ‰๏ธ you feel deflated. ๐ŸŽˆyour application to the Undiagnosed Disease Network has been denied. ๐Ÿ™… your last tie to mainstream medicine is cut. โš”๏ธ for some reason, all you can think of is Zen Master Yo Hoon's lesson..."nowhere. now here." and how it is basically Erewhon ๐Ÿ›’ spelled backwards.ย 

nothing feels quite right in an autoimmune society. you wonder how we were ever healthy. if we were ever healthy. we forget what healthy even feels like. there's no denying it now. we are now here. we are nowhere. we are all sick. โŒ


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