Posted , 6 users are following.

The way it works is, the first day or two you don’t realize that you haven’t showered. One plus is that physical activity is pretty low already so there’s usually not a lot of sweat generated. With any luck, you can go three or four days before enough bacteria grows to make hygiene failure detectable to yourself.

Even while limiting movement to bathroom trips and occasionally opening the refrigerator, eventually biology catches up you will start to become disgusted by the smell of your own body oder.

At this point you’ve got some decisions to make. There are a few different strategies, and what’s best will depend on the particular context.

One approach is to focus on armpits only. This has several advantages. It requires only enough energy to get to a sink, wet a washcloth, and scrub a few seconds on each side. If a washcloth is not handy, paper towels or even water and bare hands will do the trick. Surprisingly, not even soap is required. Just a firm scrub with water can wipe away enough bacteria to make the smell mostly unnoticeable for another couple of days.

There’s also nothing wrong with thinking big. What would it take reach the pinnacle, a full shower? Mountain climbers talk about staring up at a summit and feeling seduced into peril. A shower can be similarly seductive when you start to think about everything that comes with it. Armpits are only the start, as you move on to chest, face, and crotch with no regard for the amount of soap or water required. Egyptian pharaohs with God like powers could not escape suffering itchy scalps, but you surpass them by wielding cheap shampoo. People who conquer showers are no longer trifling with B.O., they transcend into true cleanliness. Ironically the biggest reward is not being clean but the psychological boost, however temporary. Mood is elevated as you reflect on your accomplishment. Pride, joy, and peace come from having proved beyond all doubt your existence can momentarily rise above that of a farm animal waiting to be slaughtered. This is our special gift — no one else can so easily savor every second of humanity merely by bathing.

Dreaming is nice, but in the end we have to be realistic, after all failure is an option (you knew the original quote was not by someone facing adversity, and was really just made up by Hollywood right?).

The final strategy is to stand pat and continue to live in your own filth, but that doesn’t mean throwing common sense out the window. Minimizing contact with others is always helpful. It may be obvious that it’s less humiliating, but don’t underestimate the conservation of precious energy reserves that can be wasted having explain your situation, and of course it’s common courtesy when in coming to accept the disgust of oneself not to impose that disgust on others. 

Also key to this strategy is positioning. Stench is strongest when armpits are exposed, so arms should be kept down and not raised or extended whenever possible. Turning over while laying in bed can be problematic, because the arm leverage required is enough to make the oder unbearable. With practice, legs can provide enough leverage to prevent any arm extension.

Another important consideration. Actually, never mind. Do whatever you want. Something will happen. You’ll figure it out.

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  • Posted

    Hi unforgiven

    this post has intrigued both me and my partner peace, it shows you have systematiclly set out a process to cover your hygiene behaviours. If this post has been sent with sincerity which incurs these maladaptive behaviours, we have to add that this is in no way funny.

    why then does it take you to have processed thinking of the basic human function to cleanse oneself? The energy and time you have spent in detailing how to hide the "filth" would br much better spent in taking the plunge.... into some warm water (sorry hope that made you smile)!!

    What is the reason behind your not wanting to wash is this low energy of mindset?

    Hope things get better soon

    mike and fi

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    • Posted

      Hi Mke and Fi, thanks for your reply, I suspect everyone who gets one here appreciates it as do I.

      Is it meant to be sincere or funny?  Both I think.  Its a combination of sincerity and recognizing the absurdity of it. All of it really happened last week (I am clean now), and it did feel that difficult to overcome.  At the same time I realize it was a ridiculous state, and some of the toungue and cheek tone comes from knowing that.

      How is it possible to be drained of energy to that extent by depression and still write something?  I think pain is sometimes easier to bear if you feel like someone understands it.  I don't wish to burden friends and family with my darkest thoughts, but writing them down is a proxy for that. Somehow if I can describe the emotion I can feel understood.  It that sense, it adds a little energy back instead taking more away.

      Best to you as well -

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  • Posted

    This was priceless! I'm sure, as with me, it hit home with a lot of people on this site. You remind me of my son, he is great at writing. You have taken something that is a reality for many and gave it some humor. Thanks for making me smile!

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