Saturday, May 13, 2006

Want the upperhand? Then you must not care

Look at me/dreaming of you/all I could hope is to have you/have you walking with me/laughing so in love we two/almost drunkenly/I did imbibe of this/fantasy of you and me...
Thus the speakers blare, ravaging the eardrums of a catatonic, heartbroken loser. It's the weekend before finals but all I can manage, between bouts of moping, is catching up on my TAC reading. A zombie at work and psychologically withdrawn during workouts, a dashed appetite, with perpetual lethargic insomnolence.

What's going on inside? It doesn't appear we really know. Searching for "heartache physiology study" and "physiological biological cause explanation broken heart", etc yield little more than blogs pondering how nothing exists on the 'condition'. Consulting the voracious reader futurepundit produced one study out of John Hopkins pointing to cardiomyopathy:

Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that sudden emotional stress can also result in severe but reversible heart muscle weakness that mimics a
classic heart attack. Patients with this condition, called stress cardiomyopathy [an emotional blow as an idiopathic cause?] but known colloquially as “broken heart” syndrome, are often misdiagnosed with a massive heart attack when, indeed, they have suffered from a days-long surge in adrenalin (epinephrine) and other stress hormones that temporarily “stun” the heart...

the research team found that some people may respond to sudden, overwhelming motional stress by releasing large amounts of catecholamines (notably adrenalin and noradrenalin, also called epinephrine and norepinephrine) into the blood stream, along with their breakdown products and small proteins produced by an excited nervous system. These chemicals can be temporarily toxic to the heart, effectively stunning the muscle and producing symptoms similar to a typical heart attack, including chest pain, fluid in the lungs, shortness of breath and heart failure.

There's a sustained rush as the climactic moment of truth comes and goes. I've never experienced anything like this, though I'm told it's a rite of passage. For what? A Hinayana sect in Sri Lanka? Well, being in peak shape doesn't make you impervious:

“These cases were, initially, difficult to explain because most of the patients were previously healthy and had few risk factors for heart disease.”
So does stoicism win? What else to harden a sensitive self to outrageous fortune? Where's the evolutionary advantage in being a romantic? It's not good for your (physical) heart. If you've a predisposition to put all your eggs in one basket, what happens if watching that basket doesn't keep it from breaking? You get to produce the stuff of your sickness for the world to enjoy while your life spirals out of control in torturous depression? Except I'm producing nothing for the world to enjoy.

The philanderer and the jezebel hold the reigns of power and control procreation. The romantic votary is hopelessly outgunned. The predictibility and devotion of the latter acts as a stabilizer on a macro level, but for an individual on the losing side it's absolute misery. Who wants to carry such an unglorious cross? No wonder so many people do not want to deal with evolution as it relates to humans. It sucks.

Do I believe in love? Yeah, I believe that it's love that keeps beating me down.



adog said...

That is the most self-absorbed sob shit I've ever heard from you. For shame, for shame.

faq said...

Ah girls come and go. You're too independent to get all caught up emotionally anyway. Think of the time, energy, and frustration you've saved. Believe me I know!

It is interesting to think of "heartbreak" as actually shell-shocking the heart, with all those chemicals exhausting it.

crush41 said...


It's a personal catharsis. And it's an almost universal occurence.


I know you're right.

Mao Zedong said...

What we have in excess is women. So if you want, we can give a few of those to you, some tens of thousands. Let them go to your place. They will create disasters. That way you can lessen our burden.

crush41 said...

Comrade, dead communist, friend: You have yourself no deal. Do not try to ruin me from beyond the grave!

Tysha Renfro Goehner said...

Audacious Epigone,
I think your post was beautiful. You love deeply, and it is trecherous water. You are honest, thoughtful,insightful, and emotionally available to the one you love. When you find her, it will be like Paul and Linda McCartney riding off into the afternoon. We need men who can love in this world.