Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

I really didn’t mean to buy those shoes


I usually have great self control, even when it comes to one of my biggest temptations – beautiful shoes. I can go months and months just window shopping, with hardly a twinge of pain when I leave without a new pair.

But all that goes out the window after a bad migraine. As ridiculous as it sounds, I could swear that I sometimes buy shoes by accident during my postdrome. It turns out there might be an explanation for that:

… chronic physical pain leaves people with a perpetual shortage of willpower because their minds are so depleted by the struggle to ignore the pain.

Some scientists think willpower is like a muscle that can get tired, rest, and be trained. Who knew?

Baumeister and Tierney lay out some of the evidence for this idea in Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. As fascinating as the idea sounds, I don’t actually recommend the book. The interesting and useful bits are buried under a whole lot of annoying false buildup and fluff.

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  1. Oh no!  Migraines in the new city!  Sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to run away from them, but at least you have awesome new shoes to cheer you up.

    • No no! I am doing _great_ here migraine-wise. Not a single weather caused migraine yet!

      I do get migraines still if I mess with my sleep schedule or get too hungry or get tense, but I pretty much have controlling those triggers down.

  2. Uh oh! Which ones did you buy?

  3. Pingback: Another reason not to read Willpower | Gravity's Rainbow

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