Monday, August 31, 2009

How to stop pining over lost love: the nitrous oxide cure

I wrote before about my recent breakup with the Russian geek-chick. A spectacular chick. A spectacular breakup. Spectacular heartache afterwards.

I was, if I tell you the truth, nearly incapacitated with heartache for days. I couldn't think, I couldn't eat, I couldn't work. Memories of Her intruded upon my every thought. I couldn't listen to a song without thinking of her. She was on my mind when I went to bed at night, and when I woke up. I was utterly unable to stop thinking about her, completely overtaken with memories of her, and unable to stop the terrible, gut-wrenching, never-ending heartache.

I discovered two things that helped, one of which was pharmacological, one of which wasn't. Let's go with the non-pharma thing first, because it's important. The non-drug thing that helped was to find a friend who had had a similar experience, and talk it out with him. We talked it to death, then put it aside. It was cathartic as hell, I have to admit. It felt good to know that someone I trusted (someone with a lot more "love experience" than myself, actually) had been through a very similar experience. And he knew everything I was going through. He knew just the right things to say.

But I also did some online (Web) research to see what I could find out about drugs or herbs that might be able to disrupt and/or end the painful pining-away that I was experiencing. I was pining for my lost Russian lover constantly, and it was exhausting! I couldn't get any work done. Something had to give. Suicide was not an option. But losing my job seemed like a definite possibility, if I didn't get my act in order, quickly.

In my Web research, what I found out was that "pining" is correlated to a certain part of the brain involved in alcohol addiction (and other addictions). It's near the amygdala.

I also found a couple of animal studies (with rats) that showed an unmistakable ameliorating effect for nitrous oxide on certain chemical responses in this part of the brain involving dopamine metabolism and addiction pathways.

Putting two and two together, I hypothesized that breathing nitrous oxide might "break the vicious cycle" of pining, by breaking the addiction pathway in the part of my brain responsible for pining.

I decided to do a little experiment of my own.

But where can you get nitrous oxide on short notice? I didn't want to take a trip to the dentist (OMG are you fking kidding??), or invest hundreds of bucks in a NOS-system for my car.

Well, it turns out that nitrous oxide is used as an aerosol propellent in two common products, but only those two. Nitrous is too expensive and too flammable to use as an aerosol propellent in ordinary spray products. So don't go looking for nitrous in just any spray product.

The two places you *will* find nitrous are

1. Vegetable-oil cooking spray (Pam).
2. Aerosol whipped cream.

Nitrous is used in these for its foaming effect. It turns out other gases cause whipped toppings to "fall flat" when dispensed by aerosol; nitrous is extremely soluble in dairy products and causes super-foaming to occur when depressurized.

And by the way, if you've ever sprayed Pam on a hot open-flame BBQ grill and been startled as f*ck by the vicious fireball that erupts when you aim the blast at the grill, now you know why. Nitrous oxide is a potent oxidizer. It's used in some rocket engines. (Remember that airplane-looking thing that Burt Rutan built, that went into space carrying some 50-year-old dude who thought he was hot shit but almost went out of control? That was a nitrous-oxide engine.)

My experiment involved buying a can of whipped topping, and obtaining a large plastic freezer bag (a large Baggie). No no no, I did not stick my head in the bag. It wouldn't fit anyway! The bag is way too small to put your head in, unless you're a goddam mutant.

What I did was stick the nozzle of the spray can deep into the bag, place the bag over my nose and mouth as best I could (with the rest of the can still sticking out), and shoot a blast of whipped cream into the bag while inhaling deeply. The cream fell to the bottom. I breathed the vapors. And I held my breath for a while (at least 15 seconds), to make sure the gases got trapped in my blood.

Verdict: Son of a gun if it didn't actually work! Within 15 seconds, when I opened my eyes and exhaled, I could feel the heartache fade and my heretofore dreamy, idyllic perception of the Russian devil-bitch fade into the daylight of calm rationality.

I took a total of just two more "hits" from the bag (with fresh blasts of cream, to get fresh propellent). Again, each time, I held my breath for about 10 to 15 seconds. When I started breathing again, I felt incredibly better: sober, awake, focused. I had "snapped out of" pining mode.

I worried that maybe I'd snap back into pining mode when the nitrous oxide wore off (as it does, after a few minutes). Not a problem at all. The amazing thing is, once you get your mind out of pining-mode, you can continue the momentum on your own, particularly if you genuinely do have work to do. (I did have work to do. I had fallen behind on my job because of the Russian.) All you really need to do is break the cycle of addiction. The rest is easy.

Did I become addicted to "the bag"? Hell no. A hit now and then would take the edge off, as needed, and a phone call to my friend would do the rest.

Oh, and a few nights after I discovered the NO2 cure? I called whats-her-face on the phone, told her what a heartless cold messed-up psycho bitch-who-can-never-hold-onto-a-man she was, and hung up while delivering an ancient Anglo-Saxon invective with gusto.

Haven't pined over the little mofo since.


  1. Heart segfaults are a real pain in the ass, aren't they?
    Thumbs up for the solution man, that's the hacker way.

  2. Very creative resolution, hope you go from strength to strength. Pemo

  3. To approach it from a scientific point of view: have you hold your breath for 15 seconds without the gas from the bag? Doesn't that get the pining away? The thing is, the human body and the chemical reactions within it are not isolated areas to take a full scientific test. But hey, it worked anyhow so it is a good hack... ;-)

  4. Riiiiiiight...

    Ever heard of the placebo effect?

  5. There's the placebo effect, sure, but it's claimed that N2O is an anxiolytic (calms ya). Looks like it worked for the OP; stressful break-ups can cause all kinds of anxiety.

  6. I'm in a somewhat similar situation right now, and was going to get some whipping cream later today. But I saw what Unomi said and just holding your breath does make it feel better! Strange, but totally awesome.

  7. she broke your heart and you decided to sniff propellant to compensate? rationalization is a predominant defense, Lad. some psychotherapy might be useful to put you in touch with reality. sorry for your pain but maybe better to fake it until you make it through.

  8. i don't know why you had to use a bag. if you spray it while upright the pure propellant comes out
    without any whipped cream

  9. Are we saying that whip-its are now the cure for the common breakup? I'm not buying it. Next we'll hear that sniffing glue or spray paint will set your mind free. Then let's go after the cough syrup and start manufacturing our own meth so we can code, fart, eat a bread stick, and manufacture a new baseball stadium all at the same time.

    When does it end? When you expire from some sort of drug overdose?

    Be safe, be sane. Coding and cola are the ultimate cures. Just start coding something you've never considered before. Get your brain functioning in areas it isn't used to exercising. Create create create!

  10. NOS is not NO2, it's Sulfur Nitrogen. This is an important distinction as NOS will wreck your lungs.

  11. I have to question whether this adventure in gassing your nervous system is real or an exercise in creative writing and attention seeking. you're willing to do harm to yourself in order to escape the personal growth of an ended relationship? a previous anonymous post put it nicely, when does it end? also, why in the world would you want to post instructions like this on a public site? are you so numb that you think this idea is worth other people--especially young people--injuring themselves in an attempt to escape painful feelings?

    ask your doctor is Viagra is right for you.

  12. guys, isn't this laughing gas?

  13. Dudes, bitches, all y'all, this was for real, I really tried it, it worked for me, maybe you can get just as good a cure from a placebo, but don't hold your breath. LOL

    I love the idiot who said to hold the can upright. YOU hold the can upright, moron. See how much cream you get in your stupid face. As my Russian friend would say, hold the can upright your ass.


    You know, conventional drugs are by and large much cheaper and easier to source, and they last longer. Before you go huffing NO2 and kill yourself slowly, try something which may not have as permanent an effect on your body and mind.

  15. Repeat after me: N2O, not NO2. There is a serious, life-threatening, difference.

    N2O is pretty safe if used with some thinking beforehand. Inhaling some N2O together with healthy amounts of oxygen is not dangerous. It is among the safer anaesthetics. It has a history of medical and recreational use stretching into the 1800s.

    This link is more to the point:

  16. haha best blog i've read in ages...

  17. heartfelt thanks for the OP for such a marvelous solution....I'll keep this method in mind so next time I'll know what to do when my heart breaks.....

  18. Maybe your comfort with throwing around the word bitch and use of casual misogyny to make yourself feel good have something to do with your women troubles. I'm sure you will get defensive and bristle or become snarky or derisive in reply, or just simply refuse to consider it. Oh well, it was only a second of my life wasted.

  19. Before you criticize him, how many of you have felt so bad and deep to the roots that suicide seemed the only way out. What may seem superficial to one person, may be devastating to another. I've been in therapy for years over severe depression with no help from anything. If you told me to shove a backward pine cone up my ass to help, I might run out for a real sharp one!

  20. Hey Jonathan! Cool post. I am on my second day deep in heart pain and reading your blog freaking cheers me up big time. If they put can put N02 in my food, I will try it and I am hoping this will work for me too. I need to work and get over this freak ass feeling soon! I hope to repost with an interesting result. Thanks!

    1. Well, I tried it. It must have worked because for the past 1.5, I have been at more at peace and actually smiling away. Funny thing is, I called daughter up and told her about this remedy. She had to asked if I was okay because I sounded like a completely different person from this morning. Haha Let's hope it last. I don't care why it work...placebo effect or not, I just eased my ache for a couple of hours.

  21. Thanks for making me laugh so hard i snorted ..
    Air .same effect...really..thanks, I needed that.

  22. After being in relationship with Paul for seven years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don't believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called Dr. Cuba and I emailed him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CAN NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU SIR. CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS.

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