Chasing! The! High!

February 10, 2010

Sheryl For FlashINK (4)So, I was thinking that the next ink will have to be “LOVE” in that same pretty and curly wurly script as “Rockstar”. Love — it’s the worthiest cause to sing, kill, write, dance, live and die for. If you’re not getting or giving any love in this lifetime, that’s a good reason to kill yourself today.

Being in love is a high. It is one of the best sensations on earth. You want to tell me different? I speak truth. Helen Fisher told me so. Helen Fisher is an attractive 65 year old human behaviour researcher at Rutgers University. Her utterly fascinating study on the brain in love proves it.

Fisher and her colleagues stuffed 37 humans who were madly in love in an MRI and studied their brains. 17 of these humans were in love, 15 had just been dumped and another ten were reportedly still in love after a lifetime together.

It all happens in that spot of your brain called the ventral tegmental area. Everything you feel — when you are happy in love or unhappily dumped — is because of what happens there. You know why you’re a happy mush ball when you are in love? Because the natural stimulant dopamine is produced at that spot and sprayed to other regions of the brain. Sprayed! Nothing feels like it’s going right when you’re out of love? Damn right. Because you’re all out of dopamine.

Interestingly enough, that general brain region also becomes particularly festive when you experience a cocaine rush. Coincidence? It’s a dangerous high, being in love.

Sheryl For FlashINK (2)“At least you come down from cocaine,” says Fisher. “Romantic love is an obsession. It possesses you.” Who doesn’t know that? She also says it’s an addiction. A craving. When you love, you operate outside logic. When you love you operate “way below your cognitive thinking process”. You are propelled by your brain’s reptilian core — the part associated with wanting, motivation and focus.

Can’t stop SMS-stalking the boy who dumped you two years ago? Of course, we understand. You’re not thinking with the right part of your head. The harder you are rejected, more intensely do you hunt your prey. You’re not mad. You’re only huuuuuuuman on the inside.

As far as I know, nothing else matches the high, the deep pleasure derived from romantic love. I’ll let you know, when I’ve tried it, if the cocaine rush measures up. Till then, I keep on chasing. I stake all! Even after ten thousand heartbreaks, disappointments and rejections. All for the spectacular prize of living every day on a grand fucking high.

Sheryl For FlashINK (1)

Sheryl likes cats and young things, and posts at shermint.tumblr.com.

(Text is © Sheryl)

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