Wrist pain icd 10
Day 9, After urination feel like some urine stuck in my tube, and dribbling after a little
2023.03.29 22:24 Ok_Bacon Day 9, After urination feel like some urine stuck in my tube, and dribbling after a little
Day 9 : Swelling are much much lesser compared to first few days.
Almost no more yellow fluid leaking from urethra.
The spray urine are now 2-3/10 compared to 8-9/10 at first few days.
But Alway have this feeling of Pee stuck in my urethra or tube even after finish pee. And it will little bit dribbling out. 🤔
Is this related to circumcision or totally different cause as my swelling has already come down.
**Occasionally feel like my urethra tip closed when I start to pee. And my pee explode my tip causing sharp intense split of seconds pain.
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2023.03.29 22:23 avocado4ever000 Brain fog, weird sleep and fatigue
Wondering if anyone has any bright ideas. I (39F) have experienced a rapid onset of chronic migraines. It started in Nov and by Jan I had 25 days of migraines. Anyway, it feels like we are finally getting them under control. I just did my first ajovy shot last week and it’s helping a lot- yesterday I had my first day with no pain. This morning I woke up at 5 am with a migraine and took a naratriptan which knocked it out.
Still, before Ajovy and now, I’m struggling with sleep/ waking up at night for an hour - usually around 4-5 am, which has been a struggle for at least a year or more. I do try to go to bed at a regular time. I am currently not drinking. Combined with the migraine stuff, I feel like I’m chronically sleepy and fatigued, low energy. I’m lucky bc I can work from home and I can nap during the day. So far I have been able to make up for lost productivity at night— I can usually rally like 7-10 pm and get my emails done.
I am not sure if my poor sleep is contributing to my migraines or vice versa. But it feels like I’m just living in a fog. I do work out and I can rally for that. Yesterday I got lots of sun, when to a class at the gym. But I still needed two naps to make it through.
I’m sure my diet could use improvement but I try to get water, protein, whole foods etc. I probably like sugar too much haha. But I don’t drink coffee in the morning, I usually do a green tea or homemade chai. I am experimenting with half a cup of coffee midday to perk me up.
Is this normal?? What can I do? I hope this makes some kind of sense, I probably have lost 10 IQ points the last few months. Thanks so much!
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2023.03.29 22:23 eleniyama Wrist stretch & strengthening exercises to relieve wrist pain
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2023.03.29 22:20 LimeKittyLives Short-term results of 100% Soylent diet, 6 days per week
Hi everyone! I recently started drinking ~1800 calories of Soylent, Sunday through Friday. I don't drink or eat anything else except one gallon of water per day and a few cups of black coffee. On Saturdays I eat/drink whatever I want.
I feel like I see a lot of posts asking about results from people who have done things like this, but they get minimal responses. A few notes about me:
- I live in NYC with no car and two dogs, so I get in quite a bit of walking daily, even when I say "no exercise." I have some free weights, a stealth board, and a Peloton, so when I feel up to it I can get real exercise if I want to.
- I'm in my early 40s and six feet tall, if that helps for context.
- I weigh in on Fridays but I missed a week before getting on track.
- My ability to exercise is really sporadic because I'm a disabled veteran with chronic pain and mobility issues.
- I've had chronic insomnia for about 10 years, so when I say "sleeping better" it means I'm getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night instead of about 3-4.
So I wanted to share my experience here. If this is of interest to people, I'm happy to keep updating to report my progress. 2/18/2023
This is the day I started. I weighed 251.6. I take amlodipine for my blood pressure, but even with that my blood pressure was on average 125/85, so still a little high. 3/3/2023
After two weeks of consuming 1800 calories of Soylent powder or RTD drinks:
- I lost 3.6 pounds
- My blood pressure was still high at 124/85
I did one 30-minute Peloton ride this week. 3/10/2023
After three weeks of the same diet:
- I lost 3.5 more pounds (total of 7.1 so far)
- My blood pressure was 118/82
The adjustment period was pretty much over this week, and I stopped feeling hungry between meals as long as I drink enough water. I also seem to be sleeping better. No exercise this week. 3/17/2023
After four weeks of my Soylent-only diet of 1800 calories and one cheat day:
- I lost 2.9 more pounds (total of 10.0)
- My blood pressure dropped to 96/77
Still sleeping better. Feeling more energy during the day. Used my stealth board two days. 3/24/2023
After five weeks:
- I lost 2.0 more pounds (total of 12.0)
- My blood pressure was up a little but still healthy at 115/80.
Used my stealth board two days. Still sleeping better and more focused at work with more energy during the day.
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2023.03.29 22:12 gentlethorns where would i go/what type of doctor would i see to get an eds diagnosis?
so, i've become more and more suspicious recently that i have eds. i am hypermobile (7/9 on the beighton scale), i constantly sprain my thumbs out of nowhere (just picking up a box that's above my head and requires my thumbs to brace it is enough to do it, even if the box isn't heavy), i have cervical spondylolisthesis (degenerative disc disease runs on my mom's side, particularly affecting the neck), and i'm learning that some random unpleasant sensations i have might actually be joint subluxations (like when i move my knee wrong and it feels like i need to pop it to fix it, only i can't pop it. or when i try to unscrew a tight lid on a jar and my wrist just explodes into pain. or when i was an athlete in high school and we'd be doing drills and my ankles or knees would just randomly give out and be in pain for five to ten minutes.). seeing as eds is chronic and degenerative, and i've seen how my mom has ended up after a life of hypermobility and no accommodations or treatment (literally her entire back and neck needed surgery, she developed arthritis and bone spurs, and was almost paralyzed by the time she was treated), i want to pursue a diagnosis now so that i can be prepared and try to prevent degeneration before it's too late. (i'm only in my early twenties, but i can already see and feel the way certain joints are weakening or beginning to fail, like my neck and my thumbs. both have become much more unstable in the span of only a few years.)
that said, where would i go that would give me the best chance of being taken seriously? what type of doctor? i don't trust my primary care physician, as he writes off a lot of the issues i experience because i'm so young. however, i'm lucky in that my parents have really good insurance that doesn't require a referral to see a specialist, and i'm still on it. so if i need to go to a rheumatologist or a geneticist, i can do that without having to get through the obstacle of my primary care doctor.
any insight would be appreciated. i also want a diagnosis for my peace of mind. i want to know that i'm not crazy or dramatic or just kind of poorly assembled - something is actually wrong with my body.
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2023.03.29 22:10 natashba Should I seek a second opinion?/Has anybody experienced this?
Hi! For the last six months the tops of both of my thighs have been going numb every time I stand in certain positions or walk for longer than 10 minutes. I’ve also had worsening lower back pain. I’ve already had a nerve conduction study with normal results, so the neurologist I was formerly seeing has ruled out meralgia parasthetica.
I moved to the U.K. recently so am now trying to get this treated through the NHS. The GP here thinks it’s probably related to my lower spine, but won’t refer me to a specialist until I’ve completed six months of medication (Lyrica) and if that doesn’t work, 5 sessions of PT. If I’m still struggling then they might refer me for imaging.
I’m a bit nervous going this long without imaging especially considering things have gotten worse over the last few months.
What would you do in this situation? Also, is sciatica known to cause numbness in the front of both thighs?
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2023.03.29 22:03 Jealous-Desk8163 loosing over half my weed when i’m grinding ???
i put like a bit over a gram in my grinder for bedtime spliff and it grinded up to literally nothing took like 10 minutes to grind and some of it got stuck in the top of the grinder and was literally like little stones. it’s also a pain to roll and won’t pack bc of how much it sticks to the paper.
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2023.03.29 22:02 Prestigious-Joke-574 15 year old son needs brace - any idea of a general cost in the US?
HI, I'm brand new here. I tried searching the sub, but am not finding the info I'm looking for. My son was diagnosed in September, we did a wait and see approach until today's appointment, 6 months later. He worsened by 5 degrees and now is at -25 and -21. He has no pain whatsoever. The ortho surgeon wants him to wear a brace 10 hours/day at night - I think because he's still growing (all of my kids are delayed growth). We have Anthem insurance, but have to pay for all of it up to $2800 (where our deductible is currently at), then 10%. Just trying to plan for how much this is going to be. Insurance company can't give me an estimate at all.
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2023.03.29 21:55 theinternetisnice Deltran Battery Tender for the initial charge on an AGM
I hate asking stuff like this, but. Someone in the future may have the same question so maybe this’ll save them the pain.
My new YUASA AGM battery recommends an initial charge at 1.8A for 5~10 hours. I have a Deltran Battery ChargeTender that rolls at .75A (and the manufacturer specs say it is AGM compatible). Can I use this and just leave it charging for a full day, or does this first charge need the precision?
I did google the issue for a while but I still wasn’t clear. I figure it’s a “duh, yes” or “duh, no” but I figured I’d break down and ask and make sure.
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2023.03.29 21:54 ThrowRA-Sunshines [32M] [31F] My girlfriend won't listen to me
She has previously worked in schools as a tutor but her last contract came to an end a couple of months ago. At the same time she ended up with sciatica due to running - she was training for a marathon but has had to put this on hold. I do feel she's depressed but this week she appears to be in less pain and is slowly getting back to her old self - exercise is everything to her so to have this taken away has completely changed her life. Her physiotherapist is great and she is committed to keeping up with the exercises.
Since she has more free time she's been looking in to things she can do on the side of her career. About a year ago she made an IG account documenting her running - she hasn't been all that consistent with it though and obviously she hasn't been able to add to it recently so it hasn't really taken off. FWIW she is incredibly attractive, has a lovely athletic body, is very smiley, engaging and well-spoken.
Recently she's also gotten back in to playing the piano (after a 10 year hiatus) and seems to be enjoying it. She's thinking of making an IG account and posting videos of her playing different pieces. Whilst this might be a good idea I feel like she should stick to what she has more experience of: the running. She's South Asian and she feels this is a drawback but I keep telling her it's a good thing as she stands out - I mainly see white caucasian runners, so she's bringing something slightly unique to the table. She's told me that documenting her runs, having to take equipment with her is overwhelming, not to mention the amount of pics and videos she'd have to edit on a daily basis. She feels that the piano stuff would be easier for her to manage. I told her she could try both of them simultaneously and see which page does better, continue with that one, but she's not listening.
What shall I do?
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2023.03.29 21:52 PinheadArtist I Told ChatGpt to write the weirdest Sonic the hedgehog fan-fiction in the world
Once upon a time, Tails decided to spend the afternoon with his dad, Amadeus Prower. They had planned to go to the local ice cream shop and catch up on old times. Tails was excited to spend some quality time with his dad and enjoy some delicious ice cream.
As they sat down with their ice cream cones, Amadeus began to tell Tails about his latest invention. Tails listened intently, fascinated by his father's genius mind. They laughed and shared stories, enjoying each other's company.
After a while, Tails decided it was time to head home. As he walked down the street, he couldn't help but feel a sense of unease. Something didn't feel right. When he got home, he was greeted by a shocking sight.
There, in his living room, was Sonic, his best friend, and his mother, Rosemary, sitting on the couch, laughing and flirting with each other. Tails couldn't believe what he was seeing. He had always thought of Sonic as a brother, and his mother as a kind and caring figure in his life.
Without hesitation, Tails confronted Sonic. "What the heck are you doing, Sonic? That's my mother!"
Sonic looked up, surprised to see Tails standing there. "Hey, Tails. Your mom and I were just hanging out. What's the problem?"
"The problem is that you're flirting with my mother! That's not cool, man," Tails snapped back.
Sonic's expression softened. "Look, Tails, I didn't mean to upset you. Your mother and I were just catching up. I didn't mean for it to go this far. I'm sorry."
Tails didn't know what to say. He was hurt and confused. He had always trusted Sonic, but now he wasn't so sure. He looked at his mother, who had a guilty expression on her face.
"I think I need some time to process this," Tails said, turning to leave.
Sonic reached out to grab his arm. "Wait, Tails. Please don't be mad at me. I promise it won't happen again."
Tails pulled away from Sonic's grasp. "I need some space, Sonic. I'll talk to you later."
As Tails walked away, he couldn't help but feel betrayed. He had always thought of Sonic as a brother, and now he had crossed a line that Tails wasn't sure he could forgive.
Tails tried his best to move on from what he had seen, but it was always at the back of his mind. He tried to avoid Sonic as much as possible, but it was difficult when they were part of the same group of friends. Tails had always looked up to Sonic, but now he couldn't even bear to be in the same room as him.
Then 10 months later, Tails received a surprise visit from his mother. She looked nervous as she told him that she had something important to tell him. Tails was confused, but he listened as his mother explained that she had given birth to a baby boy. Tails was shocked. He had a little brother that he had never even known about.
When Tails finally met his little brother, he couldn't help but notice the resemblance to Sonic. The same blue eyes and mischievous smile. Tails felt a wave of anger and betrayal wash over him as he looked at Sonic. How could he have done this to Tails' family?
Tails confronted Sonic once again, his eyes filled with fury and pain. "How could you do this to me, Sonic? How could you play with my family like this?"
Sonic looked genuinely confused. "What are you talking about, Tails? I haven't done anything."
Tails couldn't believe Sonic's audacity. "Don't play dumb with me, Sonic. You know exactly what I'm talking about. You slept with my mother!"
Sonic's expression turned to one of shock and disgust. "What? Tails, that's disgusting! I would never do something like that!"
Tails was fed up with Sonic's lies. "Then how do you explain the resemblance between you and my little brother?"
Sonic stumbled over his words, trying to come up with an explanation. "Uh, well, maybe it's just a coincidence? People can look alike without being related."
Tails wasn't buying it. He had lost all trust in Sonic. "I can't even look at you right now, Sonic. I thought you were my friend, but you've betrayed me in the worst possible way."
Sonic looked hurt, but Tails didn't care. He couldn't believe that Sonic had something for older women, especially if it was his own mother. Tails walked away, feeling a sense of sadness and disappointment in his once best friend.
Then Tails' dad was beyond angry when he found out that Sonic had slept with his wife. He immediately took a DNA test to confirm that the baby was indeed Sonic's. When the results came back positive, Tails' dad was livid. He stormed out of the house, determined to confront Sonic.
He banged on Sonic's door, shouting all sorts of curses and insults. Sonic was terrified as he saw Tails' dad's red, angry face through the peephole. He knew he had messed up big time.
Tails' dad burst through the door and lunged at Sonic. Sonic barely managed to dodge his attack and ran as fast as he could out of the house. He ran to the first person he thought of, Amy.
Amy was surprised to see Sonic so upset. She had always been on his side, no matter what. But when Sonic told her what had happened, even she was disgusted.
"Are you serious, Sonic? How could you do something like that?" Amy asked, her voice laced with disappointment.
Sonic hung his head in shame. "I don't know, Amy. I messed up. I didn't mean for any of this to happen."
Amy shook her head. "That's not an excuse, Sonic. You need to take responsibility for your actions."
Sonic knew she was right. He had hurt his best friend and his family in the worst possible way. He vowed to make things right, no matter what it took.
Meanwhile, Tails was still struggling to come to terms with what had happened. He couldn't believe that Sonic, his best friend, had betrayed him in such a terrible way. He felt like he had lost a part of himself, like he could never trust anyone again.
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2023.03.29 21:50 MelasD Amelia: The Level Zero Hero Chapter 87
Ten years ago, Amelia woke up alone and lost in a broken world where she had to fight for her survival. Read Chapter 1 Here
Now, after reaching the pinnacle of power, defeating the Void itself, and escaping the abyss, she has finally found her way back into the real world. But instead of finding herself on Earth, she is in the land of Vacuos. A fantasy world with magic, monsters, Classes, and Levels. A world that is governed by a System like it were a video game.
And when rewarded with a Class befitting her accomplishments— to become a powerful [Hero] that will forever dedicate her life to protecting this world that is not her own— she only has one response.
“Absolutely not. I’m going to live a normal life now, thank you very much.”
After all, who needs a Class when you're already the strongest anyways?
Guardian Angel Z357 watched as the blonde human engaged with the kretus boar. Based on the information he had on both combatants, it almost seemed like it should be a quick and easy battle. The blonde human was a Level 55 [Arcane Blademaster], while the kretus boar was at Level 44. There was an 11 level difference between them, which meant that the blonde human should have swiftly defeated the kretus boar. But that didn’t happen.
And that was because the kretus boar had been blessed
by the Void. Guardian Angel Z357 had seen it happen numerous times before ten thousand years ago— an unassuming creature tempted into the depravity of the Fal-Deus, empowering them with a twisted magic.
The impact of such Void blessings varied greatly, and it was wholly contingent on their affinity to the Void. Those who had weak wills were often strengthened even further than those who were strong-willed. It was a simple transactional relationship. If a creature gave more of themselves to the Void, the Void would grant them more power.
And that was what was happening here. The kretus boar had become a Void-blessed being. It had been granted great power due to its desperation and its desire for revenge. Guardian Angel Z357 couldn’t ascertain the full extent of its newfound abilities, but he could estimate that it was likely equivalent to a Level 67 creature at the very minimum.
So once again, with the facts presented to him, it was evident that this would be a lopsided battle. The blonde human stood no chance with the 12 level differential. And yet, that predicted outcome didn’t happen.
Instead, the two of them were locked in combat, clashing with one another again and again. Guardian Angel Z357 didn’t understand it. The blonde human should have been defeated with ease. But she fought toe-to-toe with the kretus boar.
It was like she was fighting at least 10 levels above her Class— or at least, the Skills she was throwing around were higher-leveled than she seemed. She didn’t have the fluidity in her movements of an S-rank, so Guardian Angel Z357 couldn’t fully comprehend her abilities. His twelve eyes narrowed as he peered into her from afar… and he realized that those blasts of golden energy weren’t Skills at all.
Somehow, this blonde human was fighting without the guidance of the World System. No— it was like she was using a similar power to that of an angel’s Techniques. But how?
he wondered as he hovered high in the air.
Guardian Angel Z357 didn’t get an immediate answer. So he waited. He observed. And he carefully studied the blonde human. Because he knew it couldn’t be a coincidence— the congregation of Void-blessed beings here in this region, and now here she was fighting beyond the limits of her Class.
Something was amiss. And Guardian Angel Z357 was going to figure out what exactly was the cause of all these anomalies.
Noele the Noble Spellsword leapt back as the kretus boar charged. It crashed into the thicket, uprooting the trees with the swing of its tusks. She circled around its side, moving both swiftly and elegantly thanks to [Graceful Dancing].
It was one of her newest Skills. It was a passive Skill. She gained it alongside [Dual Wielding Mastery] from repelling the Miststorm Riders a few weeks back. And it let her nimbly avoid most of the kretus boar’s wild attacks.
She thrust forward with her longer blade, stabbing the side of the monster as it reeled. But her attack barely penetrated its flesh. Noele clicked her tongue before swinging down with her shorter sword. Her blade shone with the sharp intensity of her Elegant Noble Slash, and the kretus boar’s entire body flashed.
The Void-touched monster vanished as she stumbled forward, hitting nothing but the air with the shorter blade. Noele immediately spun around and scanned her surroundings for the kretus boar. It had teleported away. It could be anywhere. But her eyes narrowed when she couldn’t find it.
“Where—” she started.
And she saw the looming shadow rapidly approach her from above. Her eyes widened as she looked up, watching the kretus boar descend upon her from the sky. Noele cursed, activating [Flash Step] as a flicker of light engulfed her body.
She appeared a hundred feet to the left of where she once stood, and the kretus boar crashed into the earth. The ground shook as a small shockwave engulfed the nearby village. Wolfater trembled from the Void-touched monster as it emerged from the crater. If the Noble Spellsword weren’t here, it would have completely destroyed her home.
But she was here. And she was doing everything she could to lead it away from Wolfwater. She backed up as the kretus boar charged her way. She led it towards the edge of the village, brandishing her two blades as her [Nobleflame Armor] wisped off her body.
“Come and get some— [Unending Dauntless Fury]!” Noele yelled, unleashing a flurry of strikes.
From the tip of her two swords, blades of light shot out. Each one shaped like the crescent moon, glowing with a white ethereal aura that almost made each seem like they were made out of a shimmering ice. The onslaught of attack bombarded the charging kretus boar.
But the Void-touched beast barely slowed. The blades of light barely cut into its empurpled skin, before quickly healing. All the Noble Spellsword’s Skill did was anger it even further. She clenched her teeth as she tried to back away. And the kretus boar reached her.
It swung at her with its tusks once more, but Noele didn’t duck out of the way. Instead, her two blades were overcome with a faint golden glow as she moved to parry the attack. [Noble Aura Blade].
It was an upgrade to her previous [Noble Slash]. It was like her weapon was permanently coated with the effects of the magical attack. A wisping golden glow that enhanced the sharpness of her two swords.
She swung to the side, breaking through the kretus boar’s twisted tusks. The monster reeled, and she stabbed forward. Both her blades dug deep, before she twisted them. With her [Noble Aura Blade] Skill already active, enhancing her magic beyond what her Class granted her was easy. And it was only her Glorious and Elegant Noble Slashes that were capable of actually hurting the Void-touched kretus boar.
Unfortunately, the monster knew that fact as well. Before she could swing up with both those attacks at once, it unhinged its jaw. It unleashed a blast of purple energy straight into the ground. Noele’s eyes widened as the explosion engulfed both combatants.
“[Force Barri— urk!”
The Noble Spellsword managed to conjure up the aura of protection in time.
And it was barely enough to protect her from the shockwave, let alone the blast itself. She went flying as her [Nobleflame Armor] was shredded off her body. She lost grip of her two blades, before crashing into a nearby large oak tree with a heavy thud.
She groaned, trying to pick herself back up. But a searing pain overcame her left shoulder. Noele looked down to see a stream of blood pouring down her arm. She pursed her lips before sweeping her gaze back up to her opponent.
The kretus boar was knocked back by its own explosion too. It was willing to hurt itself just to avoid being struck by Noele’s Glorious and Elegant Noble Slashes. Her eyes narrowed at the realization— it was smart.
Which made sense. Most higher-leveled monsters were keenly intelligent when it came to fighting. But the Noble Spellsword had assumed the kretus boar wouldn’t have been able to think clearly due to its unsightly appearance.
She was wrong. Despite being touched by the Void, the kretus boar was still just as intelligent— or even more intelligent— than it would be if she found it in the wild. Its twisted form shifted as it got back to its feet. It had blown off half of its face with its own explosion, but the depraved flesh quickly regenerated.
Noele eyed this with a clenched fist. She reached into her Bag of Holding and quickly splashed a bottle of healing potion onto herself. The worst of her wounds quickly closed, but she still found it difficult to move her left arm. Meanwhile, she was certain that unless she completely destroyed the kretus boar, it wouldn’t be killed.
Just like with the Cloying Witch and just like with the Monster of the Mist.
She sighed as the kretus boar charged at her once more. Noele didn’t have her weapons on her. The two blades were lodged onto the side of the monster. Not only that, but even if she hadn’t been disarmed, she wouldn’t be able to hurt it anyway because of its rapid teleportation.
Noele could barely keep up with it with her [Flash Step]. Unfortunately, she couldn’t use the Skill in rapid sucession unlike the Void-touched beast. Not unless…
Her eyes flickered as she glanced between her swords and the kretus boar’s enraged face. And she got an idea. Noele whispered quietly to herself.
“[Dance with Death].”
It was what she considered to be her greatest Skill. It wasn’t an offensive Skill capable of burning down a forest like [Grand Blaze], nor was it a passive Skill that permanently aided her combat abilities like [The Titan’s Strength]. Instead, it alowed her to repeatedly draw power from any of her Skills for a set duration.
And that was why it was so useful. Because of its utility in any situation. However, there was always a drawback to these kinds of Skills.
[Dance with Death] was useful, but it was limited in its actual applicability in most situations. After all, it was pretty much a last resort Skill since after its effects came to an end, Noele would be left completely exhausted and barely able to fight.
So right now, she was taking a risk. A gamble. She could draw the power for any Skills she had in her repertoire, but she chose one that wasn’t going to increase her offensive capabilities. Instead, it was a Skill that would allowed her to keep up with the charging kretus boar.
“[Flash Step],” Noele said.
And she vanished. The Noble Spellsword appeared right atop the monster’s back as it reached her. It crashed into the large oak tree, smashing it broken, before looking around in a daze. Noele reached for her swords at the kretus boar’s side, when its entire body was caught in a purple light.
She landed on the empty ground as the monster teleported a hundred feet into the air. Noele saw the growing shadow before closing her eyes.
“[Flash Step],” she repeated herself.
And the Skill took effect instantly. She found herself standing a hundred feet away from the falling kretus boar. A pillar of dust and debris shot into the air as it crashed back down into the earth. Normally, her [Flash Step] would have an even longer cooldown period the further she teleported.
But she spoke the words once more, and she vanished.
The kretus boar blinked as she appeared at its side. It tried to swing at her in a panic. Bu this time, she was fast enough to yank her two blades out of the monster, before disappearing with another [Flash Step].
“Am I too fast for you?” Noele grinned, standing a dozen feet ahead of the kretus boar.
It roared, unleashing a blast of purple energy. The explosion engulfed her figure. For a moment, the monster stared at the billowing smoke, searching for the Noble Spellsword’s ashen remains. But its eyes widened when it realized that she was now standing just to the right of the crater.
Noele strode forward as her two swords shone with her [Noble Aura Blade]. A smirk was plastered on her face as the kretus boar backed up warily. It teleported behind her, and in response, she teleported behind it.
Before she’d activated [Dance with Death], she had only been able to use her [Flash Step] once every ten seconds at the very least. And the further she teleported, the longer it would take before she could use the Skill once more. Meanwhile, the kretus boar had been able to teleport every few seconds. She wasn’t sure of the interval between when it could teleport once more. Maybe five seconds? Or maybe it was even a shorter period.
But it wasn’t instantaneous. And right now, Noele was able to use her [Flash Step] in under a second.
She raised her two blades as her magic poured into the glimmering metal edges. The kretus boar swung at her with its regrown tusks in a fury, and she vanished. She appeared once again behind it as her lips moved.
But the kretus boar refused to stay idle. It opened its mouth, sending a purple sphere into the ground beneath its hooves. A powerful explosion engulfed the monster.
And Noele easily escaped the blast with a [Flash Step]. She continued to concentrate all of her mana into the two attacks as the kretus boar emerged from the crater, slowly regenerating.
She appeared at the monster’s side once more with a flash of light. Its eyes darted her way, and it responded by teleporting high into the air.
But the Noble Spellsword already anticipated this. She was a step behind it, following with her [Flash Step]. She appeared on the falling monster’s back as it stared up at her in horror. She raised her two blades against each other, before swinging down with all her strength. “—Noble Slash!”
And a golden blast engulfed the entirety of the kretus boar as Noele leapt away. The explosion rippled in the sky, before twisting into itself, forming the shape of a cross. The pillar of golden light struck the earth as Noele landed back in Wolfwater.
The battle had taken place far enough away to avoid collateral damage thanks to her efforts. But the giant golden cross could be seen all throughout the village. The vertical pillar stretched a hundred feet into the air, while the horizontal row of the cross cut across over seventy feet in length. This powerful blast ignited the afternoon sky with a brilliant glare, completely obliterating the kretus boar as Noele looked on.
And unbeknownst to her, it caught the twelve eyes of something else
Author's Notes: Read Previous Read Next Read Chapter 1 Here Patreon Discord Twitter AmeliaTLZHNovel
You can read up to 15 chapters ahead on my patreon here!
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2023.03.29 21:48 Sbreggo Funny strange experience in the space
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Just for pure curiosity I tried to listen 963Hz frequency while meditating in my bed doing the exact same things I do to listen the tapes. I was not able to relax my body so I tried to use focus 10 and it did something but my body was still active and i was aware of it, then i used the reball and focused on what i was earing.
After more or less 30 minutes my mind started to travel and I spawned in the deep space near a planet and near the planet there was a spaceship that was leaving behind a green flat infinite surface as it was slowly moving forward. Then I looked down to my feet there was a sort of platform and a small altar made like an inverted water drop shape and near this altar there was a creepy smiling floating face that was looking at me. I started to descend to land near the altar and as I was descending I almost panicked because that shit was creepy but i decided to accept the fear and continue descending to meet him.
Then we were face to face, I was in my red reball of energy and he was floating around me studying me. He touched my reball and he managed to enter only by half of his face then he backed out and tryied again but this time he bounced away from it.
After understanding that the situation was safe I decided to follow him for a bit and I remember travelling at an ungodly fast speed while the space and light around me was distrorting.
At some point we went back near the planet where I spawned and after getting bored with this dude I tryied to ask him if he knows someone that can cure me ( I have some minor health problem but nothing life threatening) showing him my wrists in pain with all the tissue inflamed seeing through my skin. I don't know what happened but this guy started to run for his life and quickly opened a portal and escaped. I was flabbergasted, this fk dude had the audacity to escape like this in such a goofy situation.
I decided to follow him in his direction but when I spawned back there was only and insanely huge orange funnel (a sort of blackhole but very different) that was sucking the void, I was lost in the middle of nowhere.
After taking a deep breath to accumulate my energy I managed to open a white tunnel (or a portal call it what you want) and at the end of it there was only a big sword with engravings on the blade but I wasn't interested at all so I closed it and opened another one but this time I went in.
In the complete void with no planets or stars there was a giant structure that looked like a clock but it wasn't a clock, I was able to get very close and see it from different perspectives plus some major details, there were no sounds and the color was brown.
After that my mind went back to reality and I decided to stop the session.
I made some drawings, I know I can't draw but I did my best. https://preview.redd.it/8btez7o4eqqa1.jpg?width=2544&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=18cad236090784511f980e33f27cf1f1ee25c91c https://preview.redd.it/zfv1lxo4eqqa1.jpg?width=2544&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a06b816b35e8ce532fd746be093fa4df931d9184 https://preview.redd.it/ixnplao4eqqa1.jpg?width=2544&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f4a3c0e916720c39718a4c2c3e692735ac99f0a7
2023.03.29 21:46 RevolutionaryWalk762 Buy Verified CoinBase Accounts
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2023.03.29 21:44 the_edge99uk Career Progression/Specialising in CyberSec - Certification advice
Looking for a bit of advice on certifications/skills to work on and try and level up.
A bit of context, 38 and living in the UK. Been a help desk/sys admin for 11 years for a small company, working on desktops, servers, phone systems, firewalls, networking/Wireless and hosting (DNS/Domain Mgmt/Debian VPSs) and starting to work on cyber essentials plus with customers and internally. (team of 5, 2nd most senior in terms of responsibility, only my manager above me) and spent 7 years prior to that fixing PCs/Laptops. Have a foundation degree in IT (first 2 years of a BSC) but that was achieved 10 years ago. Last year, achieved ISC2 CC, but don't hold any other certs apart from a few vendor specific ones. (3CX/Duo) I was thinking of heading in the cyber security direction and looking at ISC2 SSCP (as I shouldn't have a problem with the requirements and already a member with ISC2)
Trying to move on as my work/life balance has always been tilted in the direction of work and I know want a life back. On call is killing me (10 years of every 3rd week, working about 8 hours extra a week, without any calls) I understand that the best time to do most of my work is out of office hours, but days can usually be spent work, eat dinner, work and then bed. Current workplace is bumbling along at the moment, but I have days where I feel like I'm not actually doing anything. MD is old school and at retirement age, so nothing really is gonna change unless the company is sold or dissolved. Also I have to give 3 months notice, which I know will be a pain in having to info dump and train my replacement, but that's a bridge to cross when I come to it.
Should I be looking at more Net/Sec+ or anything else? I don't have a define role in CyberSec in mind, but something with applying logic and problem solving to see how systems have been breached works with how my brain is wired (I know in most cases it is users that open the doors, or has been in my experience) I expect A+ would be pointless given the experience I already have.
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2023.03.29 21:43 disco-dingus My fiancé disappeared in 2018. I recently found out what happened to him.
Fans of classic soul will know the song. Oh, Jimmy Mack, when are you coming back?
In another world it would be funny, but for years I asked that very question.
You see, my fiancé’s name is Jimmy Mack. He disappeared without a trace in 2018.
How do you disappear without a trace these days? It just doesn’t seem possible in a modern world, where almost everyone is somehow connected. Yet he did; he vanished. The police were baffled, private investigators were a waste of money, and my own attempts at sleuthing were futile.
If it wasn’t for the fact that we were ridiculously in love and things were so perfect, I wouldn’t have tried so hard. But everything was a vomit inducing fairytale for us. Even our names were cute af; Jimmy & Jessie sittin’ in a tree…
I know he loved me as much as I loved him, and he would have done anything for me.
I heard all the theories. ‘Jess… Maybe he has a secret family… He might have been involved with criminals… Perhaps he took his own life…’
They didn’t know Jimmy like I did. I know you can never really
know someone fully, but I knew those things could never be true of him. So I became estranged from family and friends, my life consumed with finding Jimmy. Every penny was spent on expensive investigation and cheap booze.
But then came the intervention. My mom, brother, and best friend Lori came to my apartment one evening. Mom took my hands.
“I want my daughter back,” she cried. And as I met the eyes of those closest to me it was like a weight had lifted. I dropped to the floor and cried for hours, releasing years of internal pain. It was exactly what I needed.
It wasn’t that I never thought of Jimmy again, but I began to move on. I even went on a couple of dates, and attended therapy sessions. There’s a whole psychology behind mourning an unexplained loss. I found it all very helpful.
Then I received a handwritten letter: Dear Jessie, You don’t know me but I have information about the disappearance of your fiancé James Mack in March 2018. If you are interested in finding out more, meet me at Marcy’s Diner off [redacted]. I will be there between the hours of 20:00 and 22:00 every evening from Monday 13th - Friday 17th. Come alone and sit in a window booth. I will make myself known as soon as I feel it’s safe to do so. I repeat; come alone. If there’s any indication you have alerted the authorities, or discussed this with friends/family, the offer is void. This offer is time sensitive. If you don’t visit the diner between those dates and times I will assume you are not interested. This will never be offered to you again in future. Regards, Anon
My hands trembled as months of progress began to unravel. I poured a shot of vodka and downed it, followed by one more to take the edge off. I was so
close to calling Lori, her number ready to speed dial. I needed someone to talk sense into me, to tell me it was a hoax. ‘Don’t go through with it Jessie, it’s just some sicko taking advantage of your grief. Let’s go for cocktails!’
But I put my phone down and read the letter again. And again. I read it over and over, looking for something I might have missed despite the contents being clear.
Monday came around. I pulled into the Marcy’s Diner car park just after 20:00, observing the patrons from the safety of my car. It looked pretty empty. Some tourists, a few trucker types. It was a convenient rest spot due to its location off the highway. No one screamed I have information about your beloved Jimmy Mack
, like there was a physical description for that type of person.
I hung around for an hour or so before I chickened out and drove home. Rinse and repeat Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. On Thursday I didn’t even think about it. I parked up just before 20:00 and stepped out of my car, hesitating for the slightest moment before entering the chrome and candy stripe diner.
A few people observed me briefly before going back to their hot mugs and oversized burgers. As instructed I found a vacant window booth. They were all vacant. I chose the one furthest from the entrance. As I sat down I thought why the fuck did you think that was a good idea?
My anxiety stopped me from switching seats regardless.
“Evening darlin’,” said a blond 40-something waitress wearing a blue gingham dress. She held a pot of coffee as she smiled down at me. “What can I get for you?”
“Oh, erm,” I was going to say nothing but realized that would be weird. “Coffee is good, thank you.”
She turned over a white mug that was on the table amongst novelty condiment bottles and laminated menus.
“Can I get you a slice of pie darlin’?” she said as she poured the coffee. “Cherry or chocolate-pecan.”
My stomach was in knots but I didn’t want to appear rude, so I opted for a slice of cherry pie. It arrived barely a minute later and I thanked her, then proceeded to tap my fingers on the table as I discreetly looked around the diner.
After an hour had passed I was three mugs of coffee down and had finished the pie, which was delicious. For a moment I’d forgotten my purpose for being there, beginning to relax a little. Then the door opened and a man walked in, giving me a quick glance as he headed to the counter. He wore a camo parka and what I’d call worker jeans, with a black baseball cap. He turned around after being handed a mug and I averted my eyes, looking out of the window. I could see his reflection getting closer to my table. When he stopped in my peripheral vision I turned, and he slipped into the seat opposite me.
“Jessie,” he said with a nod. “Pleased to see you inside the diner this evening.”
He had chiselled features and a little stubble. I put him in his early 40s. I cleared my throat.
“And what do I call you?”
He smiled. “You can call me Mike if it makes this easier for you.”
I shifted in my seat, trying to get comfortable. I folded my arms, then unfolded them, then put them on the table.
“Relax,” he said.
I let out a quick laugh. “That’s easy for you to say. I have no idea who you are. I don’t even know why I’m here, you gave no proof that you actually know anything about Jimmy.”
“I know everything,” he said deadpan. “And I’ll tell you if you want to hear it.”
I stared into his eyes until I felt mine glaze over, then cleared my throat again. “Let me guess; for a price?”
He shook his head. “I don’t want your money, Jessie.”
“Why now?” I snapped. “Do you know what these past 5 years have been like for me?” I felt tears coming on and he went to reach for my hand, but I recoiled. He pulled his hands away and looked apologetic.
“Unbearable, devastating, frustrating…”
“All the above!” I said as tears started to fall. “I couldn’t function at times. I stopped looking after myself. I abandoned my friends and family. It’s crazy how someone can do that to you.”
“Because you were in love,” he said.
were in love. We were the fucking Shutterstock image of love. And when that ends abruptly without explanation…”
“Everything alright darlin’?” the waitress interrupted, holding out a tissue. She glared at Mike. I took the tissue and nodded.
“Yes, thank you. I’m fine. Sorry, I’ll keep it down.”
“Don’t be sorry darlin’, you just let me know if you need anything, okay?”
“I will, thank you.”
She walked away and I wiped my eyes, feeling a little embarrassed.
“I can only apologize for how you’ve been feeling,” he said. “But I’m here to make it right. You could say I developed a conscience, or moral compass. I don’t know. I’m a changed man.”
I looked at him with confusion. “I don’t understand?”
“It’s easier if I show you,” he said. “But not here. You have to ask yourself if you trust me enough to go for a drive.”
“In your car?” I said. “Absolutely not!”
“Okay, how about if you drive?”
“To the middle of nowhere I bet?”
“Look Jessie,” he said, his eyes burning into me. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m really trying here, but if you’d rather leave it I get it.”
Call me stupid or naive, but something in his eyes made him appear somewhat genuine. I took a crazy chance.
“No… I need to know what happened to him.”
Mike nodded then raised a hand. “Say, could I get a slice of pie to go?”
As predicted we were driving further into the wilderness than I would have preferred. The passing cars were few and far between.
“How much further?” I asked. “I might need to stop for gas.”
“Not too far now,” said Mike. “If you don’t mind sharing, do you remember the last moments you spent with James?”
I sighed. “I do, but I can’t remember the last time anyone called him James outside of the media. He hated it. He’d been Jimmy since elementary school.”
“Sorry,” he said. “Tell me about that last day you spent with Jimmy.”
“It was an ordinary day. A Wednesday. We woke up, had breakfast. I went to work, Jimmy worked from home. He called me on my lunch break like usual, just to hear your voice
he always said. God, we were insufferable.” I let out a laugh.
“Take the next left,” said Mike. “I’m listening.”
“So yeah. We had a little chat, then I went back to work. I got home and Jimmy had already started dinner. He was a much better cook than me. We drank wine, watched a movie.”
“What movie did you watch?”
“The Notebook,” I laughed. “For the umpteenth time. I know, I hate us too.”
“Keep driving straight,” said Mike. “It’s a few minutes away.”
“What is?” I asked.
“What happened after the movie?” he said.
“Nothing, we went to bed.”
“Did you make love?”
I briefly turned to him in disapproval. “Excuse me?”
“Did you fuck?” he said, unflinching.
I shook my head. “No, sorry to disappoint you. Now where the hell are you taking me?”
“It’s just up here,” he said. “So you went to bed and then you never saw him again?”
I took a deep breath and shook my head. “Jimmy had already gone when I woke up. No note, no text. It was strange but I didn’t think too much of it at the time. I sent him a text asking where he was. When half the day went by with no response I started to worry.”
“And the rest is history, as they say.”
I nodded as I fought back tears.
“We’re here,” said Mike.
I looked around. It was dark, but from what the headlights illuminated I couldn't see anything but trees.
“Just stop the car. It’s a short walk.”
I felt my heart race as my vulnerable situation became apparent. I really was in the middle of nowhere with a strange man, one who had withheld information about my missing fiancé for 5 years. I stared at him wide eyed.
He shrugged. “I’m not really sure what I can say to make you more comfortable?”
I slowly reached for my bag and pulled out a pocket pistol. Mike let out a surprised laugh.
“Maybe I don’t need to say anything?” he said.
“This makes me more comfortable,” I said.
He nodded. “Fair enough. Let’s go.”
After walking for several minutes, feeling grateful that I’d opted for comfortable footwear that evening, we came to a cabin within the trees. The porch was lit. ‘Jessie; you know better than this girl’
I thought to myself, my hand clutching the pistol inside my bag.
“Why did it have to be a cabin in the woods?” I said, Mike a few feet in front of me.
“I like solitude,” he said. “I can’t think of anything worse than living in the city.”
We walked up the steps to the porch area. At one end there was a single chair with a blanket on it, and a small table with some beer bottles. At the other end I spotted some deep red patches on the floorboards. Mike noticed me looking.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “It’s deer blood. I’m pretty self sufficient out here.”
We entered the cabin and Mike turned on the lights. It was quite basic, not overly decorated. There were some framed pictures on the walls, a dinner table, and a living area with some chairs, a small television and a log burner.
“I’m kind of disappointed there’s no stag’s head mounted on the wall,” I said as I took in my surroundings.
Mike shrugged. “I don’t see the animals as a prize. It’s food, survival. There are a few skulls out back if you want to check them out?”
I shook my head. “I’m good.”
Mike put the slice of pie he’d got from Marcy’s on the kitchen counter.
“Water, beer?” He opened the fridge and pulled out a beer bottle.
“This isn’t a social visit,” I said. “And call me paranoid but that would make me very stupid."
He nodded. “You’re right, I hope you don’t mind if I have one though.” He screwed off the cap and took a swig. “Let’s sit.” He motioned to the living area and I followed him.
“You know it’s dangerous to leave your fire burning when you’re not home,” I said, feeling the warmth from the log burner as I took a seat on an armchair. I kept my bag by my side and my hand on the pistol.
“It gets cold in here,” he said, sitting on another chair. “I’ll take my chances.”
He spoke about his cabin for a while, the whole time I became increasingly more uncomfortable due to the fact that I’d needed the bathroom since leaving the diner.
“I’d like to get straight to the point,” I said. “But I really need to use the bathroom.”
“Sure,” he said, pointing to a door down a hallway. “Over there.”
The bathroom was clean enough, though I did my business without touching the toilet seat. Something that had become a habit when using strange or public bathrooms. As I washed up I heard a groaning noise that sounded like it came from another room in the cabin. My heart jolted.
“Mike?” I said, creeping out of the bathroom. I had my bag over my shoulder and my shaking hand gripped the pistol. “What was that sound?”
I peeked over to the living area and couldn’t see him. I started to panic.
“Mike?” I said loudly. “This isn’t cool. Where are you?”
I heard that muffled groaning noise again and jumped, turning on the spot. There was another door further down the hall. Against my better judgement I crept closer to it, flinching each time the groan was emitted. It got louder the closer I got to the door.
“Mike?” I said, my whole body trembling.
“Sorry Jessie,” I heard Mike say from behind, and suddenly a cloth covered my mouth. My bag slipped from my shoulder but I still had the gun in my hand which I lifted as I struggled. Mike brought his other arm around me and squeezed tight, pinning my arms to my body. I became lightheaded as I breathed in chemicals.
“Shush,” he said quietly in my ear. “Just let it be.”
As I blacked out I was screaming inside my head. ‘You stupid girl!’
When I came to my vision was momentarily blurred, but as I focused I saw Mike opposite me. We were sitting at the dinner table.
“Welcome back,” he said. I attempted to stand but my right hand was cuffed to the table leg. I pulled on it several times until pain shot through my arm. “That’s solid oak. I mean, you might get free but probably at the expense of your wrist.”
“You bastard!” I screamed. “Let me go. Help! Help me please!”
“Calm down Jessie,” he said. “I’m sure I don’t need to tell you there’s no one out here to help you.”
I started to cry as I shook. “Oh God… What are you going to do to me? Are you going to…”
“I told you already, I’m not going to hurt you! Though that wasn’t completely true because I’m sure you have a splitting headache right now?”
He got up and retrieved a small bottle from a cupboard, then filled a glass from the faucet. He placed the glass in front of me as well as two pills from the bottle.
“Paracetamol. You’ll thank me later.”
“I’ll never thank you!” I screamed, then moaned as my head pounded. I reluctantly picked up the pills and swallowed them with water. “Why am I cuffed?”
As he spoke he walked across the cabin. “Because I believe what you’re about to hear would cause you to run. When I’m done you’re more than welcome to leave, you have my word.”
He returned with a MacBook and placed it on the table. It looked alien amongst the cabin interior. My surprised expression must have been clear.
“I’m not a Luddite,” he said. “I have WiFi and Netflix just like you city folks.”
“Great,” I said sarcastically. “But you really need to start talking.”
“I don’t think you’re in any position to give demands,” he said. “But very well. Here’s the first thing you’re not going to like hearing: I’ve been inside your apartment.”
My jaw dropped. “Wha… What?”
He opened the MacBook and tapped on the keyboard, then showed me the screen. There were several images of my apartment interior. I picked up the glass and took a swig of water, wishing it was something stronger. “Why were you in my apartment Mike?”
“Well, here’s the next thing: I’m a serial killer.”
I shifted back on the chair and pulled on the cuffs, starting to hyperventilate. “Oh God oh God oh God…”
“Calm down Jessie,” he said.
“Give me a fucking break,” I shouted. “Jesus Christ!” I clung onto the cuffs with my free hand and pulled hard, groaning. The table only moved ever so slightly but I felt like I’d run a marathon. I sat up and stared at Mike as I breathed heavily. “You killed Jimmy?”
“I target lovers,” he said. “I observe them for months before I take things further. When the time is right I abduct one. Which one I choose is more down to opportunity than anything else. Then I pose a question: Are you prepared to sacrifice yourself for the one you love? Make a choice; you or them.
I covered my mouth with a trembling hand. “Oh Jimmy… You sacrificed yourself for me.”
Mike tapped on the keys some more. “I install secret cameras in the lovers’ homes when they’re out. Like I said, I observe them for months, and not just outside. I need to get a feel for their relationship before I intervene. It has to be true
love or it just doesn’t feel right. And you only get to see the real deal when no one else is looking. Excessive PDAs are often a sign of insecurity, they mean nothing really.”
He turned the screen back to me and a video was playing. “I edited this just for you.”
It showed Jimmy and I sitting at our breakfast bar. In the corner of the screen was Mar 7th 2018, 07:54
“Wait!” I said, pausing the video. “I don’t think I want to see this.”
“You have to, Jessie. I’m sorry. You’re free to leave once it's over.”
I felt my heart through my chest. “Can I at least take you up on that drink?”
He got up and walked to the fridge, taking out a beer.
“Do you have anything stronger?” I asked.
He nodded and reached under the kitchen counter, then returned with a whisky bottle and two tumblers. He poured two measures and pushed one towards me, then sat back down.
“We’re all out of ice unfortunately.”
“Fuck the ice,” I said, downing it in one gulp. I closed my eyes as I felt my chest burn inside, then signalled for Mike to top me up. After a moment I hit play on the screen.
◈ Mar 7th 2018, 07:54
Jimmy and I eat breakfast. He picks up a strawberry and rubs it against my lips.
“Stop it,” I say, giggling as I slap his arm. “I have to leave shortly.”
“Come on Jess,” he says. “Open wide.” He puts the strawberry in my mouth then gently kisses my lips.
“To be continued,” I say, getting off the stool and grabbing my things.
“No fair!” he sulks.
“Have a good day babe,” I say, kissing his cheek.
“I love you, Jess,” he says, momentarily holding me against him.
“I love you more,” I say, pulling away to run to the door. “See you this evening.” 09:11
Jimmy comes out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around him, then goes to the bedroom. 10:36
Jimmy sits at the table on his laptop and takes a few work related calls. 12:05
Jimmy takes another call. “Hey you. Yeah. No, she won’t be back until like 7 at the earliest.” I took another sip of whisky and briefly met Mike’s eyes as he watched me. I held the glass close to my chest, my knuckles white.
Jimmy continued. “Absolutely, I’d love to see you… Great, see ya soon.” 12:48
The buzzer rings and Jimmy uses the intercom. “It’s open.” I downed the whisky and pushed the glass towards Mike. He leaned over and poured another measure.
Jimmy opens the door and in comes my best friend Lori. She embraces him. 13:09
They sit on the couch together.
“Shit, I’ve got to call Jess,” says Jimmy. “It’s our thing.”
“Seriously?” says Lori.
“Yep, every lunch break without fail. She’ll get paranoid if I don’t.” Fucking asshole. It was never something I asked for or insisted on. Whatever makes him feel better.
He makes the call and puts a finger against his lips. In the meantime Lori unzips his fly and feels inside.
“Hey baby, how’s your day going? Ah, that’s awesome! Yeah, it’s been a productive morning. I’m gonna heat up some soup, what are you having?”
He puts his other hand behind Lori’s head and pushes it into his lap. His head slowly tilts back.
“That sounds amazing. Okay, well I just wanted to hear your voice baby. And you, can’t wait to see you later. Love you too. Bye.” 16:32
They come out of the bedroom and Lori puts on her shoes. Jimmy puts his arms around her from behind and nuzzles her neck.
“Do you have to leave already?” he says.
“What if she comes home?” says Lori.
“I promise you she won’t be home for a while. Come on.”
She turns and slaps his chest. “You’re a bad boy, Jimmy Mack.” They kiss. 17:43
They chop vegetables in the kitchen.
“I wish we were cooking for us,” says Jimmy.
“Me too,” says Lori. “We really should tell her soon. It’s gone on long enough.” Tears stream as I finish my third whisky.
He nods. “I know. I keep trying. I already know how tonight will go. We’ll eat dinner and then she’ll want to watch some shit like The Notebook.”
Lori laughs. “I feel so bad for you.”
“She’s such a hopeless romantic,” he says.
“Hopeless being the operative word,” laughs Lori.
“Me-ow!” he laughs. Mar 8th 2018, 01:22
The door to our apartment opens and in comes a tall figure dressed in black. They slowly open our bedroom door and creep inside. After a few minutes Jimmy leaves the room in a t-shirt and boxers, his hands up as he’s followed by the figure at gunpoint. They leave the apartment.
I sat in silence staring at the screen.
“I’m sorry for what you’ve been through Jessie,” said Mike. “But as you can see he didn’t deserve your pain and suffering.”
I put the glass on the table and wiped the tears from my face. “Maybe not. But he didn’t deserve to die.”
“Would you say the same if you knew he chose you?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, like I said. I take one of the lovers and give them a choice. I’d never experienced something like this, having only observed genuine love. It threw me. He was a lying piece of shit but I still posed the question.”
Mike found another video and played it. Jimmy is sitting on a chair in a dark room under a hanging light, his arms tied behind his back. He struggles to free himself. “James Mack,” says Mike offscreen. “Who are you?” screams Jimmy. “I’ll fucking kill you when I get free!” “How much do you love Jessie?” “What?” “Would you die for her?” “What the fuck are you talking about?” Jimmy shouts. “Would you die for her?” Mike roars, coming into shot and putting his forehead against Jimmy’s. He holds a gun at his side. Jimmy recoils. “I… I…” “It’s you or her James!” Mike cocks the gun and holds it against Jimmy’s head. “Make your decision.” “Her!” Jimmy cries. “Take Jessie! You’ll be doing me a fucking favor you psycho!”
Mike stopped the video as I covered my mouth. “How does that make you feel Jessie?”
I shook my head. “I’d like to see what your response would be if someone held a gun to your head.”
He nodded. “Fair point. But just so you know, I’ve targeted 5 couples so far and they all chose to sacrifice themselves.”
“It doesn’t matter,” I said. “I hate
him for this but he still didn’t deserve to die.”
Mike came over and took a key out of his pocket, then released the cuff around my wrist. I gripped it with my other hand and held it against my chest.
“Oh, he’s not dead Jessie,” said Mike, walking to the kitchen counter. He picked up the box containing the pie.
He walked across the room down the hall, then stopped at the door at the end.
“You’re free to go Jessie,” he said. “Or you can come say hi.”
He pushed open the door then disappeared. I got up and frantically looked around the cabin. I saw my bag sitting on a coffee table and rummaged inside. My gun, my keys, my phone were all there. I ran to the main door and breathed in the cool night air, then hesitated. I looked over my shoulder. You stupid girl
I repeated in my head over and over as I approached the door down the hall. There was a staircase leading down into a dimly lit basement. I could hear Mike’s voice and some groans as I slowly began to descend, my body trembling. There was a vile smell that got worse with every step. It made me retch.
When I got to the bottom I saw Mike standing over the figure of a pale man that sat with his back to me. He was wearing rags, and the skin I could see was dirty and covered in sores. His skin was impossibly stretched over visible bones. He was eating noisily as he groaned.
“Is that good James?” asked Mike, and I saw the figure nod enthusiastically. The back of his head revealed long thinning hair with bald patches.
Mike looked over his shoulder and smiled when he met my eye. “Oh my, James. You’ll never guess who’s come to visit?”
The figure looked up inquisitively, then turned his head in my direction.
I could see it in his eyes. His handsome features had been buried under a pale, gaunt complexion. But I could tell it was Jimmy by his eyes. It took him a few seconds to acknowledge who he was looking at but suddenly his eyes widened, the thin skin of his forehead flaking as it wrinkled. He had pie smeared across his mouth. He had some teeth missing and the ones I could see looked jagged and broken.
“Jessie?” he said, in a voice that wasn’t quite the same. It was weathered, like that of a senior citizen with a bad smoking habit.
My lips trembled as I nodded. “It’s me Jimmy.”
He suddenly stood and lunged towards me, his hands outstretched. I flinched but he was held back by shackles around his ankles.
“Jessie!” he groaned. My heart couldn’t take it, feeling like it was going to explode. I fell to my knees as the 5 year mystery was solved in the most horrifying way.
“Isn’t it nice of Jessie to stop by?” said Mike. “Even after the way you treated her.”
Jimmy became restless, pulling on the shackles. He kept groaning like he was in pain.
“How could you do this to him?” I cried. “Even a rabid beast doesn’t deserve this!”
Mike shrugged. “I guess I felt bad for you. I’d never really considered the feelings of anyone else until I saw just how much you loved this man. And when I witnessed his betrayal day after day I just grew to hate him more. I knew a bullet to the brain wasn’t enough for this piece of shit.”
Mike turned to Jimmy and started rubbing his back. “But you know, over the years this piece of shit has grown on me. We’re like family now, aren’t we James?”
“No!” Jimmy screamed, making me fall back. “No no no!”
He buried his face in Mike’s neck, making him scream in pain. Dark blood cascaded down Mike’s shirt. Considering Jimmy was wasted away to nothing, Mike's attempts at freeing himself were useless. He fell to the floor and pushed himself against the wall, holding the gaping wound on his neck.
“James… Don’t…” he managed before Jimmy pounced. It sounded like a wild animal devouring its prey. I covered my ears as I watched in horror, my body refusing to let me look away.
Before long Mike was silent and still, his eyes remained open as he slouched against the wall. Jimmy turned to look at me, at first appearing shy or embarrassed. His face and chest was covered in Mike’s blood. He licked his lips and attempted to wipe it away with the back of his skeletal arm.
Eventually he started to crawl towards me, only stopping when the shackles wouldn’t allow him to get any closer. He groaned, but it wasn’t in anger. His eyes became glassy and he started to cry.
“Jessie,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
My hands trembled as I reached out to him, scared beyond belief but my heart was breaking all over again. I was in two minds, but eventually my hand met his and I felt his bony fingers between mine.
“Oh Jimmy,” I said breathlessly. “I forgive you.”
We held hands for a moment before I stood up. “I’m calling for help.” I made my way to the stairs.
“No!” Jimmy shouted. His eyes pleaded with me. “No Jessie. Please.
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I think most people would have done the same from a place of love.
Jimmy Mack is never coming back. dd DB
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2023.03.29 21:41 thisgingercake The Neuroscience of Gratitude and Trauma - Reviewed by Chloe Williams
The Neuroscience of Gratitude and Trauma
Attempts to be positive do not expand capacity to endure pain.
Posted January 31, 2020 Reviewed by Chloe Williams
Neuroscience of Gratitude and Trauma Source: Dr. Odelya Gertel Kraybill Expressive Trauma Integration™
We all know this encouraging expression: "Think positive." People say it with kind intentions, but is it helpful advice?
With trauma survivors, there is good reason to avoid such expressions. Why? The answer requires us to examine the neuroscience of the survival mechanism after trauma. What Happens After Fight/Flight/Freeze?
During trauma, people instinctively go into a stress response. The fight/flight/freeze mechanism is triggered, so they are going to do one of those three things. (In the ETI roadmap
, this is Stage Two).
When the traumatic
event has passed, the trauma trigger remains. The individual can easily be re-triggered to feel the danger has returned by things that look, sound, smell, or feel like things experienced at the time of trauma.
As a result, many survivors feel “on edge” all the time. A feeling that terrible danger is at hand haunts them everywhere they go. This chronic sense of danger often activates a withdrawal response (Stage Three in the ETI roadmap).
📷 ETI Roadmap Source: Dr. Odelya Gertel Kraybill Expressive Trauma Integration™
It’s important that survivors and caregivers understand withdrawal—its purpose and why it lingers. Universally among survivors, as soon as a traumatic event is past, they experience a powerful urge to withdraw to safety and rest. Withdrawal is a useful, life-preserving response that reduces vulnerability to further injury. It causes people to seek safety, to rest and recuperate after a shocking experience.
However, at some point, this life-preserving response can turn into a cycle of misery. In withdrawal, survivors remove themselves from active engagement with life and other people. They cycle through intense emotions typical after trauma, such as shock, fear
, rumination. Later, more complex emotions emerge such as shame
, and a sense of moral injury
. Often these show up in the form of endless rumination on “shoulda’/coulda’/woulda.’”
Some survivors are able to move beyond this stage before long. But most have a hard time moving beyond withdrawal. Many remain trapped in it for a long time. For some, withdrawal lasts a lifetime (read this blog
about the way out of withdrawal).
For those who experience severe stress and/or trauma at a young age, withdrawal is so much a part of their experience of life that it seems to them a given of reality. Such survivors develop from a young age a sense of shame and guilt rooted in a sense of not being good enough.
After all, young children depend on adults to survive. They tend to blame themselves for their pain responses. It is natural for them to feel “something must be wrong with me.” When Instincts Help Us Survive But Not to Thrive
When our fear response is activated, we don’t respond to situations we encounter, we react. Survival mechanisms take over the brain and temporarily set aside logic and reason.
When people are exposed to ongoing stress or multiple traumatic experiences, the fear response gets triggered over and over again. A response meant to be temporary takes up more or less permanent occupation in the nervous system
. In this state of hyper-alertness, non-threatening situations of many kinds can easily trigger a fear reaction. Life becomes very hard for such survivors.
So what is the way out? Awareness is a Way Out of Withdrawal
Awareness helps us engage the upper brain, the part of the brain that is over-run when fear responses are running amok. Three types of awareness are particularly useful in moving beyond the hair-trigger reactivity that troubles survivors in the withdrawal stage. (Withdrawal stage #3 in the ETI roadmap).
- Information about how trauma affects the brain. See my blog post on psychoeducation for more on this.
- Being in the present. In trauma therapy, we do this by helping survivors to pay attention to their inner and outer signals. This can be tricky since awareness may also trigger uncomfortable feelings, sensations, and thoughts that take us right back to withdrawal. Expand awareness slowly!
- Body awareness. This helps self-regulation of emotions. Learning to detect and trace what is happening in the body, what sensations are associated with particular triggers (sensory stimuli), alerts, movements, postures, etc., lays an essential foundation for managing emotional responses.
See this blog post
for more information and examples. You Don’t Have to be Grateful to Improve Your Mental Health
With the above in mind, let's now return to the question of gratitude
and positive thinking
. We experience gratitude when we recognize goodness in our life and goodness in others and the world.
Gratitude can be very beneficial
when it is possible. However, while some trauma survivors can benefit
from gratitude, for most it is challenging. The reason has to do with an overactive nervous system. For many survivors, the reactive part of the brain is in charge much of the time (3-2-1). The responsive, proactive, concept-oriented part of the brain (1-2-3), the part of the brain that initiates gratitude, may be mostly on the sidelines.
The difficulty of engaging in exercises requiring robust involvement of the upper brain (1-2-3) leaves many trauma survivors feeling even more inadequate.
ETI psychoeducation poster trauma and the brain Source: Dr. Odelya Gertel Kraybill Expressive Trauma Integration™
This is not because they do not try—or do not want—to be positive. Their hyperactive
nervous system holds them in a constant state of anxious
reactiveness. The pain of trauma has left them feeling “not good enough,” ashamed, guilty, injured, and unworthy. Their upper brain is not engaged enough to overcome those feelings and contemplate gratitude on an on-going basis.
One study suggests that there’s another way to get the rewards commonly associated with gratitude. In 2018, Wong et al. conducted the first positive psychological adjunctive intervention for psychotherapy
clients. About 293 adults who were receiving university-based psychotherapy participated in a study and were randomly assigned to three groups:
- A control group that received only psychotherapy.
- A psychotherapy group that also did plus expressive writing focusing on expressing their deepest thoughts and feelings about stressful experiences.
- A psychotherapy group that also did gratitude by writing letters expressing gratitude to others.
At week 4 and week 12 after doing their first writing work, the gratitude writing group reported better mental health than those who were assigned to expressive writing and to the psychotherapy only group.
The authors found, however, that it was not positive self-expression towards oneself or others that made an impact on the participants’ mental health. It was refraining from the use of negative emotion words that explained the difference in mental health between the gratitude writing group and the expressive writing group (Wong et al., 2018). The Key is Not to Try and Change How You Feel
Trying to change how we feel creates a signal that something needs to be changed or fixed in us. This signal is itself so stressful that it can activate the survival mechanism and put us right back into withdrawal.
It is natural of course to want to be positive. None of us wants to feel fear, pain, or anything else that is uncomfortable. But pain and sadness are an unavoidable part of life. They are here to stay. The idea is not to try to change that reality but to expand our capacity to endure it. How Do We Expand the Capacity to Endure Pain?
Compassion is feeling kindness towards others and empathy
for what they are feeling. Self-compassion is feeling kindness towards oneself. Neff (2003) describes self-compassion as “an emotionally positive self-attitude that [can] protect against the negative consequences of self-judgment, isolation, and rumination (such as depression
)” (p. 85).
Neff suggests a three-fold strategy to activate self-compassion: (a) self-kindness—being kind towards oneself instead of self-judging, (b) focusing on common humanity—perceiving one’s experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than as separating and isolating, and (c) mindfulness
—holding painful thoughts and feelings in balanced awareness rather than over-identifying with them (Neff, 2003. p. 85).
Germer and Neff (2015) suggest the following exercise to experience and build self-compassion:
Expanding the Capacity to Endure Pain
- Think of a situation in your life that is difficult, that is causing you stress. Call the situation to mind, and see if you can actually feel the stress and emotional discomfort in your body.
- Now, say to yourself: -This is a moment of suffering (mindfulness) -Suffering is a part of life (common humanity) -May I be kind to myself at this moment (self-kindness) Or: May I give myself the compassion that I need, or May I learn to accept myself as I am, or May I forgive myself, or May I be patient, or May I be xxxxx.
As a trauma therapist and trauma survivor myself, I find self-compassion to be one of the most valuable and difficult practices.
Self-compassion is not about being grateful for everything that is happening to you, nor is it about pitying yourself about your injuries. Rather, it is about getting attuned to how you feel and honoring that feeling, as you are able, without self-judgment.
For the reasons described above, for trauma survivors, positive engagement with oneself is difficult, especially self-kindness. It is difficult for survivors not to judge themselves for all the things they wish they could have or should have done differently. The instinct to want to change, to be “better,” to be “fixed,” dominates the thoughts of many survivors. It manifests as an ongoing self-critique and often interferes with survivors’ relationships with others. The way to expand the capacity to endure pain begins with being open to not being open. Try NOT to change how you feel, think, or sense things. Begin by observing what you are experiencing, whatever stuckness, whatever fearfulness, whatever anxiety or withdrawal, without evaluation. Symbolically, consider this as a research project. Without trying to change anything, gather data on your senses, reactions, and responses. Simplified self-compassion:
ETI Simplified Self-Compassion Exercise:
- As a general rule, remind yourself that you are ALWAYS doing the best that you can at any given moment. Given a choice, you may have responded differently to events at the time of the trauma. But you couldn't. Survival mechanisms took over and helped you do whatever it took to stay alive.
- When you are able not to try and change how you feel, you “expand” your response to what you are feeling. When you criticize yourself you “contract.”
- When it is difficult and painful say: “It’s ok to feel pain, it’s ok to feel xxx” “I don’t like to feel xxx but it is ok to feel xxx.” Saying this helps your nervous system calm down. The more you do it, the more your ability to relax by choice expands.
- Think of a situation in your life that is distressing.
- Ask yourself: (1) What do I feel right now xxxx (awareness—recognizing the feeling)? (2) Rate on a scale of 1-10: How much do you feel this xxxx feeling (1 little – 10 a lot)?
- Say to yourself: (3) xxxx is a part of life, everybody feels like this sometimes (common humanity). (4) It is ok, I am ok. I am xxxx (your name), I am here, I am now, right now I am safe.
- Check in again with the scale of 1-10 to describe how much you feel xxx.
- Repeat until you get to 5 and under.
This introductory exercise is a good way to experiment with self-compassion and expand your capacity to endure pain. Increased ability to live with pain will result in an increased ability to experience joy. The process of trauma integration should target all aspects of wellness (emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual
, and social). Over time, you will gradually feel less vulnerable to extremes of highs and lows, and experience an overall sense of sustainability (read more about sustainability on this blog
Germer, C. K., & Neff, K. D. (2015). Cultivating self-compassion in trauma survivors. Mindfulness-oriented interventions for trauma: Integrating contemplative practices, 43-58.
Neff, K. (2003). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and identity, 2(2), 85-101.
Wong, Y. J., Owen, J., Gabana, N. T., Brown, J. W., McInnis, S., Toth, P., & Gilman, L. (2018). Does gratitude writing improve the mental health of psychotherapy clients? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial. Psychotherapy Research, 28(2), 192-202.
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2023.03.29 21:40 SkeetKeet188 Am I not ovulating?
Cycle 8 (current cycle) I started TempDrop. But looking back on these charts ovulation is not clear. What if I’m not ovulating ?
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2023.03.29 21:38 LateFile8300 2 Months In, Still Being Surprised, Sliding Down Instead of Lifting Up
Today I start my 3rd month of recovery; I pretty much started recovery thinking this wouldn't be more than 3 weeks. I have not been this size in my adult life, I'm about to cross in to BMI 20
, and I'm scared shitless.
I know B from the nononsenseguide has suggested to pretend a target goal of BMI 22
if unsure where things could go, which is absolutely terrifying to think this could be where I end up (even if it is temporary). I think this makes a lot of sense when compared to the stereotypical minimal goal of BMI 20
I hear about at treatment centers, coupled with the studies which say overshoot of 10% is average and people who are released with 10% over their setpoint having less chance of relapse.
More and more it seems like the disorder has been trying to come forward since I entered puberty, but I never managed to get low enough/be alone long enough for things to go further.
The past 3 weeks have been slowly sliding backwards with what would absolutely be a full relapse if not for living with my support team to keep me accountable. As a later middle-aged guy, this is mentally draining and demoralizing.
Physically I'm gaining/restoring weight into overshoot range on an amount which has slowly/steadily creeping down, and my metabolism still hasn't changed from what it was when I was actively exercising/before starting recovery. I tell myself "if you eat more and consistently, your metabolism will speed up", but the disorder calls that part of me a liar as what I'm regularly eating now is nearly to the recommended minimum guidelines so the metabolism should have enough resources to heal (the fact it is mostly in evenings with some mornings sprinkled in as I keep trying to avoid a full binge/restrict cycle is always ignored).
The disorder's voice is still getting stronger as the weather improves. While I took advantage of being away from my support team for part of a day to engage in compulsive exercise, so far I've managed to hold off on more movement.
I still find myself intentionally restricting during the day to try and feel the temporary relief it brings, as does being able to tell myself "no" when asked whether I've eaten during the day. I know this is the disorder, but not feeling hungry/food obsessed during the day still feels wrong.
New things are still popping up as the disorder tries to stay alive and active.
- Before starting recovery I always prepared my own meals so was never aware just how much having someone prepare a meal which also isn't a pre-packaged meal upsets the disorder more than I ever expected. I nearly shout at the person preparing the evening meal to please stop as they put butter on a piece of bread or add an "unnecessary" layer of a meal to a baking dish, involuntarily lurching forward but stopping short of grabbing the food away which I know I'll be eating.
- Food guilt, calorie tracking, body checks are still active and I'm destroying food intentionally rather than eat it as planned to appease the disorder.
- I wasn't weighing my food before starting recovery and as things go further into recovery I find myself needing to measure as much as possible.
- I'm trying to work through fear foods, but am still restricting to an evening meal/snack and falling back on volume "safe foods" for a large portion of that makes things slow and frustrating/painful. My list still has some of the dumbest things on it which so many people have as safe foods (fruit, peanut butter, oatmeal, sweet potatoes), but the disorder still points out how safe foods are obviously superior.
I've asked for help in the past on how to push past other "milestone" type barriers. This time it feels like I'm not just stuck but trying to work my way through overshoot/get back on track. I think it's time to increase accountability for eating during the day. This will need to include fear foods to maximize the "tearing off the bandaid" effect since I'm already going to be crawling out of my skin.
For people who have worked with recovering with a support team but not being actively supervised, has documenting things with a tool such as Recovery Record helped along with timed check-ins, or are there ways the disorder turned that into a gotcha?
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2023.03.29 21:30 pumainpurple Sucks with lips like Jagger!
So, I had a boo boo on my finger. 2 days later I close said finger in the door. Day 3 morning, finger really swollen, soak it in epsom salt then ice it, rinse repeat x2. Dinner time Hmmmm, thinking maybe I done broke it, clinic is closed, senior shuttle runs I’ll call first thing for appt. 10:30pm finger, imagine a fine claret in the profile of a raw shrimp. Then, if you will, try to imagine your thoughts and feelings when you awake from your blissful Indica pain reliever nap. For me the first, having osteoporosis, need not be listed it’s understood. Second thought, get second opinion. Wrap ice pac on finger, walk to landlady with my dog who is whining and extremely anxious , “hey, remember when I told you I closed the door on my finger?? I think I broke it” she replied “need to borrow the car” I replied, I don’t think I can, she asks to see, texts son to get hind end over and take me ( at the minute they have 1 car both work…) Grab wallet, e-cig, phone, book. 11pm leave for ER 12am arrive at ER see the reception chick, sit wait. Yay my name!!!!!! Get x-ray YAY!!! Dr Doom pronounces a severely infected finger that will probably require a hand surgeon nothing broken, have to be admitted until transfer another 1-1/2 hrs away. Old lady places hand on hip and calmly replies “oh hell to the not” drain it, give me antibiotics and say bye mam.. nope have to use “3rd world medicine” because penicillin reaction. Damn. Asked nurse to get my ride. Ask please take care of my boy, check cats water. Get to room, start antibacterial drips, 3 total, read book start page 4. 9am PA from ortho look at finger, leaves for supplies, numbs finger ( no high before or after 1967 was that intense) drains abscess….say, you remember when I said I had a boo boo, damn that sliver was so small, but closing the door on it drove it deep.
They let me out this morning 11am. Landlady’s son picks me up, we get to the car I get my e-cig out look at it and say “Damn, If I thought they would do that to me, I would have brought my pen I’ve been sneaking since they plugged me in. This sucks with lips like Jagger” This 30yr old; goatee sporting, Mohawk wearing, tattooed, classic Stang driving, stand up man pulls my pen from the pocket of his leather vest and tells me I. I taught him Stoners have each other’s backs.
I’ve created a Hippie 😁
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2023.03.29 21:29 forproof Extreme head pains accompanied by nausea, fatigue, etc
22F, diagnosed with asthma since childhood, on welbutrin for anxiety
I have been struggling with nausea for a few months now. It happens randomly and sometimes throughout the night. Recently I have become very fatigued by simple tasks (mopping floors at work, putting away dishes etc), the elevator at my complex causes me vertigo. The last 4 or 5 days I have been having extreme pains in the left side of my head. It feels like it's inside my brain, it lasts about 5-10 seconds and is debilitating. I have to stop what I'm doing and it makes my vision go fuzzy sometimes.
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2023.03.29 21:23 JRE47 Beating BRONZOR in Little Cup
Hello again, fellow PvPers, and welcome back to Core Meltdown
Last year, when we didn't have a new meta every single WEEK
, I got ambitious and launched a new series called "Core Meltdown" where I attempted to dive into recommended cores for each new meta. Honestly, as metas become one-week formats and so many other news items were being chucked at my head each week to analyze, it got to be too much, and I had to silently abandon the series. (I hope to bring it back more fully one day, but time just isn't there as frequently as things shift these days, I am afraid.) Anyway, for at least one format, it seemed more appropriate to revisit this than to flesh out a whole "Nifty Or Thrifty" meta overview as I typically do.
What is a "core", you ask? Simply a group of Pokémon that work well together on a team, often covering each other's weaknesses and responding well to the bigger threats in a particular meta. Sometimes a core will be defined as three (or even more, in the case of "show six, play three" formats like The Silph Arena) Pokémon that synergize together, but usually we're talking core duos.
That said... there will be little that is "usual" about this
particular article. Because we're talking about Little Cup... or as it's more un
affectionately known: BRONZOR Cup.
So I'm actually going to mostly skip over discussion on cores and focus on the most critical role of any team you build: something that can crush opposing Bronzor. Typically I spent the last section of Core Meltdowns focusing on corebreakers... things that can bust up core duos or even trios. But today, that's going to basically BE this article.
I'll be honest: it was a little difficult to motivate myself to dust this off and crank this analysis out, because honestly, Bronzor
Cup brings on some PTSD for those of us who have ventured into it before. But that is precisely why I DID force myself to finish this, so that you, dear reader, have a little more knowledge and ammunition going into this format, hopefully making it at least a little less traumatic. After all, our only alternative this week is Open Master League, which for many can be even more
So my apologies if parts of this seem a little drab or hurried. I did my best, and I really hope it's a help to you. Here we go!
Out of the 400ish Pokémon eligible in Little Cup, there are only around 25-35 that beat Bronzor across even shield scenarios. ("Even shield" meaning both Pokémon in combat using the same number of shields: 0, 1, or 2.) And over two thirds of them are hard-countering Dark types. Yeah... there's a reason Bronzor is so hated in this format. With its Steel/Psychic typing (resists Dragon, Fairy, Flying, Grass, Ice, Normal, Rock, Steel, and double resists Psychic and Poison), stupid high bulk (right on the same level as Chansey), and annoying coverage move Payback
, Bronzor is a pain the back of the lap to deal with. It's left weak to only Dark, Ghost, Fire, and Ground, and its Confusion
damage and variety of charge moves typically deal lethal damage to all of those except for Psychic-resistant Darks before they can finish Bronzor off. Even Fire and Ghost types that normally tear into Steel and Psychic types are shaky when facing down "Zoro" (as I've taken to calling it), often succumbing to its neutral damage before their own super effective
damage can tear Bronzor down.
So, what CAN beat Bronzor in even shield scenarios?
- Naturally, BRONZOR can beat itself. More specifically, if you happen to have a #1 IV Bronzor (0-14-15, all the way up at Level 49.5), you'll beat most other Bronzors out there. It doesn't matter that you lose CMP to those Bronzors... you simply outlast them anyway. Easy peezy, Bronzor squeezy. However, be aware that this is not consistent across all shielding scenarios... CMP does matter outside of 1v1 shielding. It's also not foolproof, as a Bronzor with relatively high Attack can turn the tables, the resuts being so close that even just dealing 1 additional damage with each Payback can flip a win into a loss in a flash.
- On that note, there is wisdom in bringing a NON-XL Zoro to battle in this meta. In sort of an inverse from the high rank (low Attack) version, you will now sometimes lose with shields down to higher bulk mirrors, but you more reliably win in 1shield and 2shield matchups.
- One of the more reliable Bronzor counters that happens to also be quite good in the meta in general is DEINO. As with other Darks, Deino blunts Bronzor's Psychic-type damage and Payback, leaving only Heavy Slam as a neutral damage dealer. And even though Deino's Dragon Breath AND Body Slam are resisted by Bronzor, its Crunch connects for big, super efffective damage, and that makes the difference. It can even throw out ONLY Crunch and still win across other shielding scenarios. Do be cautious, though... it's quite easy for Bronzor to get to a bulkpoint that it halves the damage output of Deino's Dragon Breath (from 2 each to just 1 damage each). Against a #1 IV Deino (with Deino having about 67 Attack), that bulkpoint is just under 132 Defense for Bronzor, which will usually mean a non-XL Bronzor. For a more run-of-the-mill, "average" Deino (less bulk but somewhere around 69 Attack for Deino), that bulkpoint is instead in the range of 135 Defense, which is XL Bronzor but not TOO high above Level 40. Deino will USUALLY still win anyway, it will just require closing with a second Crunch instead of a cheaper Body Slam. Deino is pretty safe across all even shield scenarios... but safer if it has a little bit of Attack going for it, just to make sure it doesn't have its fast move damage cut literally in half.
- SEEL, specifically with Lick, is a very versatile Pokémon that also happens to handle Bronzor well in 1v1 (though that one does require some Icy Wind debuffing to reliably pull off) and 2v2 shielding... and can even sneak away with a win in 1v2 shielding if Bronzor isn't running Psyshock. That said, it NEEDS at least one shield, as Bronzor overpowers it otherwise (though MAN, Seel can still make it VERY close). Overall, this is by far one of the better ways to handle Bronzor AND clobber much of the rest of the meta too. Highly recommend!
- ALOLAN DIGLETT is more of a direct Bronzor counter, as it does merely okay versus the core meta (though it CAN at least take down Deino and a couple of other Bronzor counters). And it cannot beat Bronzor with shields down anymore now that Bronzor has Payback. (In the past, without Payback, A-Dig won that too.) But as long as it has a shield to throw at Payback, A-Diglett DOES still handle Bronzor, rather easily in 1v1 shielding and with a little bulk, 2v2 as well, even against #1 IV Bronzor. That said, as with Deino, IVs CAN wreck the party, as #1 IV Bronzor can outlast A-Dig in 1v1 shielding. Always annoying caveats with Bronzor. 😕
- SHADOW CUBONE can take out even #1 IV Bronzor in 1v1 (with good IVs itself) and 2v2 shielding thanks to having Bone Club (which is all it needs in 2v2 shielding) and Bulldoze (to close it out in 1v1 shielding). Similar to A-Dig, Shadow Cubone HAS to have good IVs to perform even decently against the rest of the meta, though; with merely average IVs it becomes a specialist that can only take out things weak to Ground. (High stat product IVs add on things like Jangmo-O and Wooper and becomes more reliable versus Bronzor across various Bronzor IV spreads.)
- ALOLAN GRIMER is pretty reliable and grinding down Bronzor... specifically with Bite. In that fashion, it can beat even #1 IV Bronzor in 2v2 shielding and with shields down... just NOT 1v1 shielding. At least, not against Bronzor running a Steel coverage move... it CAN beat Bronzor with Psyshock/Payback, which may end up the most popular variant this time around. (Do note that this can drop to a tie depending on how high rank the Bronzor is.) A-Grime is also decent against the core meta with Bite. Poison Jab would be better versus the meta and is certainly still viable, though it can no longer reliably beat Bronzor that way. Decisions, decisions. Perhaps I can make it all easier by recommending you just run the new Shadow Alolan Grimer if you've been lucky enough to find one; it loses Wynaut and Pawniard, but now much more consistently beats Bronzor in ALL shielding scenarios (even the 0v2!), and gains wins versus Vulpix, A-Vulpix, Amaura, Shadow Stunky, and Jangmo-O as well. Shadow Alolan Grimer is suddenly very interesting in this meta, folks!
- Also interesting is GALARIAN ZIGZAGOON, which is able to beat Bronzor in all even shield scenarios... as long as Bronzor doesn't have a Steel move, at least. Zoro with Heavy Slam can make things MUCH more interesting and flips 0shield to a Ziggy loss... but with good IVs, it can still hang on in 1v1 and 2v2 shielding, despite dealing NO Dark damage and mostly resisted Normal damage instead... Dig is eventually enough to turn the tide. And G-Ziggy performs very well in general here. The catch? That's a Level 50 Pokémon, folks. You CAN build a near-hundo without needing any XL candy at all, and while it loses a little of its luster overall, it's still viable, and still handles Steel-less Bronzor and (inconsistently) Heavy Slam versions too. I think it's worth building now with the recent-ish buffs to Tackle that it didn't enjoy last time through Little Cup.
- HOUNDOUR does not perform very well against the meta, but has the unique distinction of resisting ALL of Bronzor's moves, and is perhaps THE most reliable, consistent Bronzor counter across all even shield scenarios, regardless of Bronzor's IVs. Shieldless, 1v1, 2v2.) Houndour can even win with a shield disadvantage by winning the 0v1 shield. If you absolutely must kill Bronzor dead, then aside from the new Shadow A-Grime, this is probably the best way to do it. Just don't ask Houndour to do too much else for you beyond that.
- Also very consistent across various shielding scenarios is VULLABY. It takes out even #1 IV Bronzor in all even shield scenarios (0v0, 1v1, 2v2) and even 0 vs 2 shields!. (As long as it's running Feint Attack instead of Air Slash, at least.) The catch? You can only sneak it under 500 CP by getting a Level 15 one from LONG-past Research Breakthrough rewards (I think it was November of 2020?), and then have to trade it, as a Research-minimum 10-10-10 at Level 15 is still too big (as are obviously any Level 20 Vullaby acquired otherwise). The trade doesn't have to be crazy... even something like an 8-10-10 fits, and that's very easy to achieve via trading. Good luck!
- Not QUITE as good -- but much easier to acquire -- is fellow Dark Bird MURKROW. It whiffs in the 0 shield (though CAN beat Zoro without a Steel move), but takes the 1v1 and 2v2 without much trouble, though being nowhere near as bulky as Vullaby, it relies a bit on baiting a shield or two with Drill Peck along the way. (I mean, it CAN win with just Foul Play, but it gets a bit dicier.) The other problem? Unlike Vullaby, which is a full-on meta pick, Murkrow is more just a spice pick, doing very little beyond just countering Psychics like Bronzor.
- POOCHYENA at least contributes a little more overall than Murkrow, while still getting to Bronzor in the end across all even shield matchups (0v0, 1v1, 2v2), needing only Snarl and Crunch to do it, too. ALSO neat: Poochy can win the 0v1 and 1v2 shield as well! That said, you definitely still want Poison Fang on it to aid in wins over stuff like Nidoran and Wooper... and soften up a lot of other things even in losing matchups. In this format, losing the battle but contributing to the overall war by hobbling the opponent on the way out is still a victory.
- PURRLOIN is similarly efficient in its dominance over Bronzor, winning the 0v1 and 1v2 shield, not to mention all even shield matchups. And it's also more impactful across the core meta. It's low in this article, but high in viability as one of the best Darks in Little Cup overall.
- Here's a fun one you may not have considered: SCRAGGY. It has to be in the lower teens in level to fit, but it's been in the wild a few times so that's realistically possible this time through Little Cup. And with Acid Spray, it is capable of beating Bronzor in 1v1 shielding, and it wins in much more straightforward fashion in 0v0 and 2v2 shielding. It has a small but notable role versus the rest of the meta as well, knocking out a couple of Bronzor's other troublesome counters. Fun little spice option here.
- It's a tough trade to pull off, but yes, a hatch-level SANDILE can squeeze under 500 CP, and does alright with itself in the meta. But what it does especially well is slaughter Bronzor, at least in all even shield scenarios.
- Of course, one way to beat Bronzor is to just roast it with Fire. Your best options would appear to be VULPIX, which can't quite win with shields down (unless it has top flight IVs!), but DOES win 1v1 and 2v2 shielding running away. GROWLITHE also beats Bronzor in 1v1 shielding (Shadow too), though it does get uncomfortably close. Regular Growlithe has more breathing room in 1v1 shielding, but just cannot finish off Bronzor before it reaches Payback with shields down. Both Growlithe and Vulpix are pretty solid against the entire meta, too. And while other Fires like Tepig and Litleo and Litwick can sometimes take out Bronzor as well, they are inconsistent at best, especially in 0-shield and 2v2 shielding. That Confusion damage is just too much (and Psyshock or especially Payback in shieldless matchups).
- And then about the only things left are high damage glassy Darks. SHADOW STUNKY simply has to have a shield to throw up, and it can just Bite Bronzor to death and pocket enough energy for one and a half Crunches to throw afterwards. (And it can chew through a chunk of the meta too.) CARVANHA can also Bite a bunch of stuff. It's far too flimsy to outrace Bronzor with shields down, but wails on it with ever-increasing power (thanks to Poison Fang) in 1v1 and 2v2 shielding. The best part about these two is that Bronzor can even be sitting behind two shields and it just doesn't matter... fast moves will do it in eventually.
GOT ANY OF THEM CORES?
As this series used to be about Cores, after all, I want to wrap up with a handful to consider, based on feedback from GO Battle Log
. I'm just going to list them and recommend you check out GO Battle Log and PvPoke's Team Builder for Little Cup
to round them out with a third.
Here we go: cores using at least one of the above, in no particular order:
That's just a handful to get you started, but I highly recommend checking GO Battle Log every day or two for ideas, as they keep track aa the meta shapes and reshapes throughout the week. And of course, see what ideas YOU can come up with! (And how many of them end up with Bronzor itself as your third. 😈)
Thanks as always to my friends PvPoke
for their awesome resources, and to GO Battle Log
, and thanks to YOU for reading. I hope this helps you handle the menace known as Bronzor!
As for better understanding of the entire
meta, I refer you to my massive meta and budget review of Little Cup, "Nifty Or Thrifty"
. That was pushed out last year, and the meta HAS changed a little bit since then, but that should still give you a good overall idea of what to expect. (And I still hope to tweak/update that a bit over the next day or so.)
Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter
with regular PvP analysis nuggets, or on Patreon
Best of luck in Little Cup, or whatever format you find yourself in this week. Stay safe out there, Pokéfriends, and catch you next time. Try to have fun!
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