Whole Phil
The podcast where I talk about whatever I want with whomever I want.

S1E9 - Sober in Nightlife?!?

Is it possible to get sober if your paycheck comes from a bar?

Episode Notes

Not everyone working in nightlife who needs to get clean may experience the same thing I have, but overall, Getting clean while retaining my nightlife gigs has actually in many ways been an asset to my recovery, not a detriment.

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S1E8 - Free PrEP!!! (for everyone)

PrEP could end new HIV transmissions as we know it. So why isn't it more available?

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. Tweet me right now, hashtag #getyourwholephil and tell me about yourself. I am a loving, lovable, chubby, queer, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, and deejay in DC. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no fucking censors. Let's start the show.


Today is Saturday, January 18, and we're talking about PrEP. No, not getting ready for a big test, I'm talking about the big blue HIV preventing pill, Truvada.

You probably know the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, attacks your immune system turning your immune cells into factories for more virus cells, and leaving you open to suffering from all sorts of diseases your body normally easily fights off. HIV is an insidious virus that even creates reservoirs of dormant virus in your body that reactivate later even if your body has fought off a previous wave of infection.

HIV infection was once very fatal, but over the years, drug treatments have made it possible for most people infected with HIV to live full normal lives, as long as they maintain their daily drug regimens religiously. Early antiretrovirals had wicked side effects. Over time, though, new drugs were developed to try to minimize and even eliminate those side effects.

Though there is no cure for HIV, after the invention of protease inhibitors in 1996, it became possible for drug regimens to destroy the live viral load in a person with HIV, which means their immune systems function normally and over time, in most cases, those sticking to these drug regimens are unable to transmit the virus to others. Undetectable means untransmittable.

PrEP is an acronym for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It is an HIV drug that HIV-negative people take daily to prevent HIV infection. If a person on PrEP is exposed to HIV, the chemicals in their body from PrEP kill the HIV virus and prevent it from replicating and creating reservoirs in the uninfected person. It's like the 80s Star Wars defense system for HIV in your body. If HIV tries to get in, it's obliterated before it can do anything.

This episode is in no way sponsored by the pharmaceutical company, Gilead, who have the patent on the brand Truvada. And while this is a pro-prep episode, Gilead isn't going to love everything I say here.

Truvada is the name brand of em-tri-citi-bine/teno-fo-vir, a groundbreaking HIV and Hepatitis-B medication that came out in 2004, combining two antiretroviral HIV/Hep-B medicines. It was very successful in eliminating HIV viral loads in patients that took it; so successful folks started to wonder if it could even be used to prevent new infections. It also showed, long term, to have very few serious side effects in many of the patients who were on it, though some patients saw kidney and liver issues crop up from long term use.

In 2007, the four year iPrEx study began in Peru and Ecuador, exploring whether or not those uninfected but high risk for HIV infections taking Truvada would remain uninfected long term. Truvada was selected because of it's effectiveness in knocking out viral load, and it's low instance of serious side effects. In 2008, the US, Brazil, South Africa and Thailand jumped in on the study. The results published in 2011 were significant.

Not everyone who stayed in the study had stuck to taking it daily, and among those who stopped taking it altogether or took it very sporadically, there were infections. But among the study participants who maintained the recommended daily dose, there were zero new infections. That was huge.

It was like a big giant triple locked steel door got kicked in for the HIV prevention community. In 2012, the FDA approved Truvada to be taken for prophylactic purposes. In 2013, as soon as my insurance would cover it, I got myself on PrEP.

Despite all the hopeful data about PrEP, however, there was a huge backlash against those taking and promoting PrEP, and it sadly came from a very unexpected source: inside the LGBTQ community itself.

We'll be right back.


I want to pause for a moment to encourage you to keep this discussion going. If you like what you hear here, please share my podcast on social media or text the link bit.ly/findwholephil to your friends. We can keep this conversation going on Twitter, I'm @reallyphilreese, use the hashtag #getyourwholephil. If you're new, subscribe at the bitly link I just mentioned, and give me a rating wherever you subscribe. Thanks, fam.


Now on with the show.

Despite the fact that since the creation of protease inhibitor drugs, we've seen people living with HIV taking these drugs consistently maintain a viral load of zero, stigma of those living with and treating their HIV remained very high in the queer community. Despite all our best efforts at education, ignorance prevailed. Illogical fear and discrimination reigned. People did the wrong things to try to protect themselves based on this bad information, and HIV transmission remained high in our community. One in four HIV infected people did not know their status.

That ignorance and stigma was extended to any discussion of PrEP. In the early days, like most people promoting PrEP, I was attacked online constantly and vociferously by people who I had previously respected. I was told I was encouraging bad behavior and irresponsibility, and that people on PrEP were going to create a supervirus that no HIV medicines would be able to treat. I was told by several people that their friends that had died from HIV related illness would be disappointed in me, and one said his friends were rolling over in their graves because of me.

But even more shocking, Michael Weinstein, the founder and leader of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, started a massive and well funded disinformation campaign to sew fear in anyone considering getting on PrEP and shaming those promoting it. One of the biggest and most well funded HIV healthcare advocacy groups went to war with people trying to prevent new infections. It was gross and sad.

But it looked like PrEP wouldn't be stopped. Aside from Weinstein and the uneducated people loudly protesting online, most voices in the HIV healthcare community began loudly banging the PrEP drum. Even the Human Rights Campaign started to promote PrEP, and I was featured as part of a social media campaign they did, proudly holding my big blue pill up in a picture, despite the public shaming I was still receiving.

PrEP use grew, and despite detractors sensationalizing doomsday predictions, the numbers didn't lie. Since PrEP has become a cornerstone of HIV prevention strategies, new HIV transmissions have gone down 68% in New York City, 50% in San Francisco, 50% in DC, 44% in Australia, 32% in New Orleans, 19% in Chicago, 18% nationwide in the US and most starkly, more than 70% down in the UK.

PrEP prevalence also reduces the stigmatization of HIV infected individuals, helping them be treated like everyone else in the community.

Truvada is expensive, through, at nearly $12,000 a year. Gilead holds the patent on the drug in nearly every country it's approved for PrEP use. There is no hope for a generic anytime soon. The FDA recently approved another drug, Descovy, for PrEP. Guess who owns that one too.

If you are insured, your insurance may cover large portions of the cost for PrEP. And Gilead has a copay assistance program that covers the copay up to $200 a month. If you're not insured, and you meet other eligibility requirements, Gilead may pay for a big portion of your annual bill for the drug. Still, people with shitty or no insurance can't afford to keep up with the daily efficacy that's required for PrEP to actually be effective.

When HIV is properly treated, an infected person can live a long, healthy life. But you have to catch the infection before it ravages your immune system, and you have to have the money to afford that treatment. And again, HIV is incurable. If you can't continue to treat it or don't catch it, it can still be fatal.

PrEP, is therefore for many at risk people, a LIFE SAVING NECESSITY. Drug patents can be diabolical. Look no further than Valiant Pharmaceuticals or Martin Shkreli to see recent stories of drug companies abusing their patients and using drug patents to fuck people over.

Drugs like HIV drugs should have their patents broken, and generics should be available to all. At risk people should be able to get PrEP free without a hassle. If we're serious about actually ending new HIV infections, PrEP needs to be free.

Until we can break the patents, though, on these life-saving drugs, you should do whatever you can to make daily adherence to PrEP a reality for you. Talk to your doctor and visit the Advocate article I've put at bit.ly/affordprep to start researching how to make it affordable to you. Then sign up at breakthepatent.org to find out how you can help us break the patent and make prep free for everyone.


That's it for today. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil or go to bit.ly/findwholephil, and please drop me a rating. Tweet me at @reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover. [DJ GIGS] Learn more about my upcoming DJ gigs at my website phillipjreese.com. And remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

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S1E7 - Addiction Archives I: Why All the God Crap?

The first in an ongoing series examining the intersectionality of recovery programs and other issues that interest me. The first: spirituality for atheists!

Episode Notes

Notes go here

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#SubscribeToDisgraceland (and other podcasts)

In lieu of a full episode here are recommendations for 4 music-centric podcasts you need in your life

Episode Notes

Subscribe to Whole Phil!

http://bit.ly/findwholephil

Subscribe to Disgraceland!

http://disgracelandpod.com

Song Exploder

https://songexploder.net/

Switched on Pop

https://switchedonpop.com/

The Chartographers

https://facebook.com/TheChartographers/

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S1E6 - Uber drivers! Amirite?!?

...some thoughts on service workers and why we all need to chill out.

Episode Notes

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no fucking censors (sorry Mom).

Thanks for joining me today, Sunday, December 15. Let me tell you a little about me, I'm a loving, lovable, fat, hairy, queer, inked, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, video producer and deejay in DC. Now that you know a little about me and where we are, let me know a little about you. Tweet me, at reallyphilreese, I'd love to meet you. Let's start the show.


Today's show is about some of the most common people you encounter every day. Service workers. At the coffee shop, at the door of your office building, at the diner, the pharmacy, the grocery store, the 7-11. Bus conductors, Uber drivers, door people, coat checks, receptionists, bank tellers: we usually encounter service workers multiple times every day. Though they are usually paid not much more than minimum wage, and have little to no power, these people are the public faces of the institutions and systems they work for, the sentries at the gates. Because of this, all the feelings that the public has about their employers gets aimed squarely at these people. More than that, many people pile their own personal shit on service workers. Having a bad day, and feeling powerless? Maybe a few minutes of talking down to a McDonald's cashier because the second nugget sauce isn't free will make you feel like a big man.

Service work is incredibly hard, unrewarding and underappreciated. Things amp up at the holidays. This is an incredibly stressful time for all people, but many of us forget service workers are people and pile our anxieties right on them instead of going to get some badly needed therapy for our control and self esteem issues.

People who have worked in service in the past, but no longer do, can be some of the worst. They seem to fantasize that despite being fired as a busser from four questionable quality diners, and a short six month stint as a bank teller who conveniently forgot how to math, that they were the paragon of the customer service workers, and therefore are justified in having impeccable standards. Just yuck.

Food service provided the absolute worst situation for these workers. Because they are beholden to tips to be able to earn a living wage, they are forced to put up with absolutely inhumane treatment or risk homelessness.

People who know this and sadistically take advantage of it have their own special circle in hell, trust.

While tip culture should be banished, as everyone deserves a living wage REGARDLESS of how slow you perceive they brought you your triple espresso, I'm not so naive to think it's going anywhere anytime soon. So if you live somewhere where servers are paid differently than cooks, it doesn't matter how bad you perceive your service to have been, that 20% minimum tip is part of the cost of that meal you bought. Leave it every time.

But even non-tip workers get shit on. It's important when we're interacting with the customer-facing component of an institution, that worker has no power over the rules of that institution. No matter how frustrated you are with whatever situation you are in, do not take it out on the service worker. Even at places as perennially as frustrating as the DMV -- hell especially in places as perennially frustrating as the DMV -- never take out your frustration on the customer service worker.

Also keep in mind service workers don't owe you a smile, don't owe you pithy conversation, and DEFINITELY don't need your flirting or innuendo. Keep things business, because this is business. If you want affection, get a pet.

Remember the last 50 people that the server just talked to were probably pretty shitty to them. Be different and don't expect anything more than what they're there to do: to perform a transaction with you and answer your questions. And even if you don't get the answers you want, don't take that out on the service worker.

Be polite, say please and thank you, don't pry into their personal life, don't try to be charming and don't make their day worse than it already is. And be reasonable

And as for ride shares, this is where I need to take my own advice. I can have incredibly unreasonable expectations for ride share drivers. I have no idea where this came from, and I'm working on it. But they are letting me ride in their car for under minimum wage in what we've come to learn is an incredibly shitty occupation. I have no business judging what they play on the radio, I have no business getting surly about talkativeness, or the temperature of the car. And if I know how to get where I am going better than anyone else, I should just get my own car and drive myself.

Be kind, professional and patient to service workers all the time no matter what. Unless they assault or demean you unprevoked, I have no reason to do anything else.


That's it for today. I want to give a late birthday shout out to my dad. Happy birthday. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil or go to bit.ly/findwholephil, and do please drop me a rating on Apple podcasts or Google podcasts if you want me to keep this going. Tweet me at reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover. [Upcoming DJ gigs, JR's: Monday Dec 16, Thursday, Dec 19] Learn more about my upcoming DJ gigs at my website phillipjreese.com. And remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

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UH OH! THE SYSTEM ...IS DOWN!

...and a few suggestions to keep you tied over until I get a new episode out.

Episode Notes

Sorry to not have a full episode for you this Sunday, but I should be getting a brand new one out to you in a few days!

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S1E5 - WPP Dec 2: Un-Dread the Holidays!

Joined by my special guest, my little sister, Jillian!

Episode Notes

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life.

I have a special guest this week! I’ll let her introduce herself:

Hi, I'm Jillian, and my Instagram is Xoxojillzian!

Thanks for joining me today, Monday, December 2. Now that you know my sister, let me tell you a little about me, I'm a loving, lovable, fat, hairy, queer, inked, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, video producer and deejay in DC. Now that you know a little about me and where we are, let me know a little about you. Tweet me, at reallyphilreese, I'd love to meet you. Let's start the show.


How to un-dread the family holidays: Opting out when you can (Phil) Set boundaries and stick to them Don't be afraid to say no If you have big reservations, it's okay to say no, maybe try again next year Creating Space for yourself (Jillian) Bring a good book and leave time at the end of every day to read Booking a massage or nail appointment Cleaning house before you travel so you come home to a tranquil space to recuperate in Taking an extra day off of work for self care when you get home Preparing for disaster (Phil) Take stock of everything that could go wrong and make a plan for how to mitigate Have an exit strategy Help from your friends (Jillian) Finding allies in the family Having people outside the family you can call or text for some relief Finding humor and times to release tension Being open and vulnerable about your anxiety and talking to your family about how they can help

That's it for this week. If you're in DC and want to hear me DJ check me out Monday the 2nd at JR's for Showtunes Sing-A-Long. On Wednesday, I'll be at The Big Board on H street for Market Crash, and then back to JR's Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Please tweet me what you think about this podcast at reallyphilreese. And as always, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together!

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S1E4 - DeeJaying for Dummies: WPP Nov 24, 2019

A little bit on my approach to DeeJaying, and why I sucked at first.

Episode Notes

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no fucking censors (sorry Mom).

Thanks for joining me today, Monday, November 25th. Let me tell you a little about me, I'm a loving, lovable, fat, hairy, queer, inked, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, video producer and deejay in DC. Now that you know a little about me and where we are, let me know a little about you. Tweet me, at reallyphilreese, I'd love to meet you. Let's start the show.


Today's topic is DJing

I've been DJing professionally for 5 years now at bars, clubs and parties around DC. When I first started, I was not very good, but by plugging away at it, I learned some secrets to success, and today I'm going to discuss just a few of those secrets.

What's the difference between having a DJ and just having a preselected playlist or a jukebox at an event? A DJ is a curator, and can inject human judgement into selecting the music for the event. So to be a DJ you have to be discerning and responsive. That's what differentiates paying you to be there rather than just plugging in an iPod and hitting shuffle. You need to read the room and be willing and able to change the direction of your set on a dime based on the crowd feedback you're getting. This isn't feedback like comment cards, but crowd energy.

Why was I bad when I started DJing? It wasn't because I was messing up the fades between the songs or had lots of goofs. I got a lot of the technical tricks very quickly. But I tried to impose my taste on the audience, rather than being responsive to the crowd. I mean, every DJ imposes their tastes on their set, you'd just be an internet jukebox if you didn't. But I would go in with a set playlist of things I wanted to hear, and play through it regardless of how the crowd reacted. A better DJ connects with their crowd and the set becomes a conversation between them. Remember, when you're a DJ, you're there for them, they're not there for you, unless you're also a producer playing your own work.

And that's why most people wouldn't make good DJs right off the bat. While having an incredibly deep knowledge of music is a requirement for all DJs, the irony is that this can also be an Achilles heel. Most of us with deep knowledge and interest in music tend to also be music snobs, and a stubborn music snob can't connect with their audience. I love deep house music, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. It's not that I no longer have strong opinions about the music I like best, I'm still quite discerning, but I had to develop a little humility and open-mindedness in order to get better. Just because I think I know more about good music than these Queens, doesn't mean I can tyrannically impose myself on their good time. I'm there to serve them. So I need to be open minded about what I'm playing --to a point at least. If you're someone who dislikes more music that you encounter than you like, you probably won't make a good DJ.

Conversely, though, a DJ should never play a song they dislike or are unfamiliar with. Again, you are not a jukebox. Only play what's in your collection, and only add to your collection music you enjoy. I prefer disco, house and electro influenced tunes, and I tend to dislike the most stereotypical elements of trap, dubstep and Big Room, so my collection is tailored to that. That doesn't mean I have NO trap in my collection, I'm just discerning about what I add. And just because you get a request, doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea to play it, even if it's in your collection. Again, read the room. What gives a DJ set the human element is the discretion the DJ has about what to play in what order. But you must be flexible in terms of artist, type, genre, and era, depending on the mood of the room. So you need to have a deep catalog to select from, which means, you have to tone down your snobbery a bit. There are billions of hours of recorded music in the world. There is no way you can't find any common ground between your tastes and your audience's. But that means you gotta open up your tastes beyond your all time faves.

In terms of getting the mood right, this is an artform, not a science by any means. It takes a lot of practice. At the beginning of a set, I really like to play some very diverse tunes in terms of genre, era, sound, and mood. I pay close attention to the audience and see if I can catch some people's attention. If the mood is dropping in the bar when I'm playing something, I try to avoid playing anything like it again. When I find a group within the audience really responding to something I'm playing, I try to elicit a bigger and bigger response from them, based on the music they initially reacted to. If I'm successful, that mood becomes contagious. Usually a great party starts out with just one person having a good time, and the good time spreads out from them.

Therefore you have to have a deep bench of music to play. Again, a DJ is not a jukebox or an iPod so you should come prepared. But you also don't come prepared with a complete playlist you are married to. When preparing for a gig, you should pick 2-4 times enough music to fill the time you're playing. It helps if you've been to this venue or party before, and experienced a successful set there, so you have some parameters to work with.

More than 2-4 times is too much, and you'll end up overwhelmed, but less than 2xs, your bench is not deep enough. With every track, make sure you've listened to closely for quality, for spots where you can transition, and have thought about other tracks that would pair well with it. And of course, the music you pull for your gig must be diverse, but all must be music you like!

In terms of technique, that's really all learned in person and can't be taught in a podcast. But it's important that if you want to be a DJ, even moreso than your techniques, having the ability to respond to an audience's mood is the most critical factor in your success.


That's it for today. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil, and drop me a rating on Apple podcasts or Google podcasts if you want me to keep this going. Tweet me at reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover. Thursday is Thanksgiving! If you're in DC, come see me DJ Thursday for a special Thanksgiving party at JR's bar on 17th Street NW No cover, ever. Learn more about my upcoming DJ gigs at my website phillipjreese.com. Next week I will have a special co-host for a very special episode! Watch out for that. And remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

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S1E3 - Procrastination: WPP Nov 17, 2019

I'll fill out the episode description tomorrow...

Episode Notes

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, Really Phil Reese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no bleeping censors (sorry Mom).

Thanks for joining me today, November 17. Let me tell you a little about me, I'm a loving, lovable, fat, hairy, queer, inked, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, video producer and deejay in DC. Now that you know a little about me and where we are, let me know a little about you. Tweet me, at reallyphilreese, I'd love to meet you. Let's start the show.


Today am going to talk about procrastination.

I WANTED to talk about it tomorrow, but I promised you an episode today, and I guess I better stick to it.

I am a natural procrastinator. Why do today what you can put off until ... infinity?

Procrastination isn't just about putting something off. We have to reprioritize and rearrange our schedules sometimes. Just the other day I was planning to get a haircut, but I ran out of time because the very pressing priority of playing with my cats came up. Then just this morning I was going to go to the internet store and return a router that I'm not even using anymore and paying rent on, but then my bed was very warm and comfortable. Then there's the blankets I really need to take to the laundromat.

I will find any excuse to procrastinate. And it's a real problem. Most people wouldn't call me lazy, though.

That's because procrastination isn't about laziness it's about fear and anxiety. We put off those things we aren't sure we're prepared to deal with yet. Almost all the tasks I procrastinate on deal with having to leave my apartment, lug a bunch of stuff around town by myself on public transit, deal with strangers, and be unsure about how much time the task will take. My anxiety over these things lead me to want to banish the thought of the task from my consciousness so I can think of something more pleasant.

We often use these anxieties to give us an excuse to then be lazy instead, but the laziness is a byproduct of the anxieties and procrastination, not the cause of it.

What can I do to combat this then.

Sometimes I use other anxieties as a motivator. In the case of my haircut, I may tell my DJ partner, Ben I'm going to get a fresh cut before our party on Friday. The anxiety of then showing up and looking like a liar Friday will overpower my anxiety about sitting around in the barber shop for God knows how long.

In other cases I may seek out encouragement from someone with more experience. In the case of dealing with my internet company, I have a neighbor who deals with them frequently. I may ask him what his experience at their office was like, so I know a little better what to expect.

Finally, necessity can take care of others. It's getting cold. I need clean blankets. So it's either freeze to death or buck up and haul my stuff to the boring laundromat. In this case, maybe I can ask a friend to join me to make it a little less unpleasant and pass the time.

Knowing your procrastination's source is actually specific anxieties and not just laziness can help you conquer it. What are you procrastinating on? And what fears or anxieties might be behind that? Is there anyone you can talk to to help you alleviate that fear?

So knock something out today you've been procrastinating on!


That's it for today. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, just search Whole Phil, and drop me a rating on Apple podcasts or Google podcasts if you want me to keep this going. Tweet me at reallyphilreese with topic ideas you think I should cover. If you're in DC, come see me Monday for Showtunes Sing-A-Long and Thursday for the weekly Top 10 countdown following the Drag Race UK finale, both at JR's. Then Friday, the 22nd, join me and Ben for Kicks & Giggles Go POP! at the Green Lantern. All of this info can be found on my website phillipjreese.com. And remember, be good to yourself, love yourself, and we're all in this together.

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S1E2 - Self Care: WPP Nov 10, 2019

What is -- and isn't -- self care.

Episode Notes

Welcome to The Whole Phil podcast, I am your host, Phil Reese, the DJ, that's my Facebook name, ReallyPhilReese, that's my Twitter, Phillip J Reese, that's my Instagram, my dot com and my real life. This is the podcast where you get your whole Phil. I talk about whatever I want, with whomever I want, and do whatever I want, because there's no rules, no format, and no bleeping censors (sorry Mom).

Thanks for joining me today, Sunday, November 10. Let me tell you a little about me, I'm a loving, lovable, fat, hairy, queer, inked, sober, spiritual, vegetarian, feminist radical leftist web developer, video producer and deejay in DC. Now that you know a little about me and where we are, let me know a little about you. Tweet me, at reallyphilreese, I'd love to meet you. Let's start the show.


Today I want to talk about one of my favorite topics: self care! Self care isn't just about putting mud on your face and cucumbers over your eyes and splurging on fine leather goods -- which, as an ethical vegetarian I never do anyway, but you have your own values.

Self care tracks back to a fundamentally important piece of what I believe the meaning of life is and why I believe we're here. So let me start there.

I believe the meaning of life is to serve others, and I believe we're on this planet -- or if you're listening from Nebulon 16, in this Universe -- to leave it better off than we found it. The reason we exist is to improve the reality we have contact with, for the other beings in it.

So, how could self care possibly fit into that? Self care seems selfish on the surface, right? Well, you may know that the theory of the mind is that the mind is theoretically split into 3 parts: the id, the ego and the superego. The id is our basest instincts, the most selfish, self-serving proclivities we have. Immediate gratification and crass consumerism comes from here. The ego is the part of our mind that deals with rational thought, socializing, moderating ourselves, judgement, and so on. The superego is basically our conscience, the part of our psyche that acts as the counterbalance to our id.

Usually when people are talking trash about someone else's ego, they're really talking about their id. Or at least implying their ego is out of balance and leaning too much toward the id. These all-id people lack empathy and are completely self-serving. I would say our President is all id. Kanye is all id. Martin Shkreli is all id. Jeffrey Epstein was all id. Most internet trolls are all id. Cult leaders are all id.

On the opposite side, being biased too far toward the superego is not good either. Being all superego means being full of guilt, regret, anxiety, trauma, resentments, lacking self-confidence, and self-esteem. It's paralyzing.

A healthy ego is balanced between; making sure that the person is tending to themselves and their well being without being selfish.

A healthy psyche makes for a better performing mind. Someone with a fucked up psyche cannot function well in the real world. If you're paralyzed with doubt, fear and anxiety, how can you make the world better? How can you serve others.

In Alcoholics Anonymous we talk sometimes about keeping your side of the street clean. That is, to say, before you can effectively help someone else you have to get things in order with yourself first. That's why self care is CRITICAL for being of service to others. If you're taking care of yourself you can be fully present for others and their needs. Self care is actually step 1 to saving the world.

So what is self care, and what isn't self care?

Self care is about putting your important needs first, but not about putting everything you want first. It's not about feeling happy; it's about feeling safe, secure and at peace, and that feeling can make you happy.

If you're sick, tired, hungry, irritated, emotionally hurting or physically in pain, you can't be present for the needs of others. Getting enough rest, staying hydrated, eating well, seeing doctors, taking your medications, and extricating from your life people and things that take advantage of you, disrespect you, or hurt you is fundamental self care.

The news is terrible to read these days, and we can get caught going down a rabbithole of despair when we're too exposed to it. And if I'm in a rabbithole of despair, I'm paralyzed. I can't do the stuff I need to do.

While it's important we don’t just stick our fingers in our ears, cover our eyes and pretend bad stuff isn't happening -- that's id right there -- you need to taper your news diet so that it's helping to keep you energized for the fight, not overwhelming you with disillusionment. When the news is starting to make you feel irritable, turn it off. Close Facebook or Twitter, and go consume some content that makes you feel less anxious instead. Or better yet, turn it off, and go volunteer for something worthwhile.

Every day take time to make sure your needs are met: you're rested, you're fed, your bills are paid. And also try to work meditation into your day. I recommend meditating a little in the morning to help you start the day with a peaceful, happy mind, and at night, but I also stop and take small meditation breaks during the day when the stress and anxiety are getting to me. And I'm finding the more I commit to my meditation practice, the more dividends it pays. I'm less anxious, less reactivate and more pleasant to those around me.

And sometimes I just play a quick game on my phone, or do a little Sudoku, and concentrate on slowing my breathing down. Anything to get me back to that peaceful but energized feeling that I need to be at my best.

And of course having routines, especially when you wake up, and before bed, is critical to regulating that psyche and feeling secure. I recently blogged on phillipjreese.com about night rituals, you should check it out for more on that.

Having a psyche that is in the right state helps me do the work I believe in doing: making life better for other beings.


That's it for now. Thanks for joining me today. I'm probably going to be releasing these episodes only once a week at first until I really get going. So for the next few months, I'll probably be dropping them on Sundays or early in the week once a week. But someday I hope to be releasing them more rapidly.

If you're in the DC area, I hope you can join me at one of my upcoming DJ gigs! I'll be at JR's on 17th Street for Showtunes Sing-A-Long, tomorrow night the 11th starting at 8:30pm, get there early and plan to stick around a while if you plan on making any requests, because there's always way more requests than I have time to play, and I generally stop even accepting requests by 10:30 or 11, because by then the list is always full. On Thursday come for our watch party for RuPaul's Drag Race UK at 8 hosted by the one and only Vagenesis of the Haus of Stone, followed by my weekly all request top 10 Music video countdown. Vote for your favorite new music videos at bit.ly/JRsThursTop10VOTE, and I'll be accepting your votes all the way til the lip sync on drag race, and you can vote as often as you want, so vote every day and see your favorite rise to the top! I've got another party at The Green Lantern with my friend Ben -- together we are Kicks and Giggles -- coming up Friday, November 22, Kicks and Giggles Go Pop, an all inclusive queer underwear dance party! All genders, gender expressions and body types are welcomed and encouraged, it's a safe space to wear whatever you want and dance however you want to our funky house music. No cover at ANY of those events. I hope to see you there. Tweet me about your self care routines at reallyphilreese and like me on Facebook just search Phil Reese the DJ. Thanks for listening and I'll be back very soon. Take care of yourself, love yourself and remember we're all in this together.

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