Shep

☼ Shep's journey

909 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, pinkfairy said:

Shep...I have just read your story,I had tears of misbelief at our system an tears of pure joy at the strength An determination of your soul....you are my hero!!just wow....

keep on keeping on shep.

i cannot believe how your healing has unfolded...seriously am so so very happy for you ❤️It's an honour knowing you.An the work you do around SA is life saving.you an the mods all need medals as big as the moon.

inspiration to me 

pink 

 

Hi, Pink.

 

Thanks for stopping by. It's good to see you in my little corner of the SA cyber world. :)

 

And thanks for your kind words. You're very sweet. 

 

I hope you're feeling better soon. Sending healing vibes your way. 

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4 hours ago, AliG said:

Shep. Whatever unfolds here is always inspirational even if we don't always understand it. "Shep land" is always lovely even if it's sometimes such a hard place for you to be dwelling in.

This is a process and it can be long and hard - let's not sugar coat it! You will make it though because you are strong and have already been through so much.I understand that as I have too and this is nearing the end point where we finally get to say we made it!  

Sending much love and light.   

 

Hi, Ali.

 

Thanks for stopping by. 

 

Yep, you've got that right - this process is long and hard, no sugar coating it! Thank you for your kind words. I know you've been through so very much yourself, so I appreciate you posting and encouraging me. I do look to you for guidance, as you have survived some brutal years of insomnia, too. But we're getting better. 

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

 

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4.jpg

 

Update - forget the window, bring on the exit door out of withdrawal and into healing . . . . 

 

The "window" concepts is trashed and I'm heading toward the Healing Door. Seeing some definite improvements, possibly baseline improvements. 

 

So to bring in a bit of music therapy first, since that's one of my main non-drug coping techniques, this seems to have a bit of a "resolution" vibe to it, a certain "depth" to the journey, a sense of hope despite loss: 

 

R.E.M. - Find The River - video 4 minutes

 

I'm recovering nicely from an injury to my left leg about 3 weeks ago.  I've been doing "yoga for knee injury" videos and getting stronger and stronger. I hope to be back to Tae Bo and long walks by September. 

 

I had the worst couple of weeks of insomnia since acute.  This played out in an increase in dp/dr and visuals.  From my offline journal:

 

 . . . Traveling the dark mythology of dp/dr with missing shadows, distorted mannequin faces, and voices that emit from echoes that come from "outside", similar to audio hallucinations. Everything appears distorted, tunnel-visioned, and "wrong" and there are moments of "suspended animation of thoughts" where thoughts and voices are encased permanently in gel and suspended in the skies of my mind and I think they are pre-ordained and written by other people or even G-d. The audio and visual distortions converge and everything becomes ancient and mythical and I'm surrounded by refugees painted from Salvador Dalí's Paranoiac-Critical Method, a dark but beautiful waking museum . . . 

 

Yes, this was shifting dangerously into psychosis and paranoia. When depersonalization, derealization, and visual hallucinations converge, it's the weirdest mental side show ever, also known as Psychiatry's Acid Trip. 

 

Here is where mindfulness comes into play:

 

Mooji says, "Your thoughts are just visitors and you are NOT a hotel. Do not invite them in."  This works for thoughts, visuals, audios, and if you practice it enough, paranoia. It's so important for people who were drugged for psychosis to learn this if you want to stay off antipsychotics. There's no way of stopping it once these symptoms start, but to simply step back and watch it like you are watching a horror movie and letting it pass. This is really the best way I've found of "not getting caught". Once you know you are experiencing withdrawal and not some mythical mental illness, it's really ridiculous to buy into the symptoms as if they are anything but drug-induced. 

 

I used low-dose aspirin at 81 mg a night for three nights which helped reduce cortisol enough to bring me out of it, allowing for deep sleep. The past two nights I didn't take the aspirin and still slept for 6 - 7 hours of deep, restorative sleep. I also increased my magnesium to 250 mg and glycine to 1,250 mg without any adverse reactions. I increased the supplements at the same time I added in the aspirin, which isn't recommended (best to only add in one thing at a time), so now that I'm not using the aspirin anymore, I think the increase in magnesium and glycine may be helping the most. I don't plan on using even a low dose of aspirin for more than three nights a month. 

 

The heat rashes are 100% cleared up from not being able to get out and walk. So that was one good thing that came from this injury. 

 

I feel like I'm heading into a baseline improvement with:

 

  • cognitive functioning - improving, including the concept of "flow"
  • sleep - much improved the past few nights
  • neuo-emotions - gone for now
  • dp/dr - back to being in the background
  • head pressure - much improved
  • visuals - decreasing and in "fade out" mode
  • depression - not bad considering I haven't been able to do cardio and get those endorphins
  • dyschronmetria - this is just starting to improve, although when you're sick, it easy to think you've been that way forever, like time is standing still
  • heat rash - gone
  • peace of mind - getting really nice "glimpses" of this mindset

 

The Healing Door is there with a crack of light, just waiting to be opened . . . . 

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This is great, Shep.  

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Thanks, Gridley. I hope you are doing well, too. 

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Reading this wonderful update while listening to REM. You provided for a full experience.

 

I had no idea things were so bad with such horrible dp/dr and insomnia. Obligatory reading on how to survive those with mindfulness. Do you feel scared when this is happening? I was horribly scared but you once said it's the benzo fear and that you were somehow protected by dp/dr from experiencing fear (although this is as close to what we imagine as 'losing ones mind' as it can get - I think!)

 

Among all the other things I can admire you discipline in applying all the self-care and in particular exercising. I'm struggling so badly on that front. In a very bad shape, loads of spinal issue: lumbar scoliosis, thoracic kyphosis, and actually the whole spine is being pulled to one side. And I don't have the energy or motivation to do anything about it :( Just trying to survive when I drag myself from work. Walking is all I do and I so loved my yoga classes...

 

I am very interested in your cardio exercises (was always sacred of them as being potentially activating) but as I push my way up the hill and my pulse gets to 130 my head feels so much clearer and calmer afterwards. So it would be grat to share some of the video you use (just to get an idea)

 

The next REM song that played also felt appropriate:

 

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53 minutes ago, bubble said:

I had no idea things were so bad with such horrible dp/dr and insomnia. Obligatory reading on how to survive those with mindfulness. Do you feel scared when this is happening? I was horribly scared but you once said it's the benzo fear and that you were somehow protected by dp/dr from experiencing fear (although this is as close to what we imagine as 'losing ones mind' as it can get - I think!)

 

Hi, Bubble.

 

That's an interesting question. Before I knew my so-called mental illness was really caused by trauma and then by these insane drug cocktails, I used to be very frightened of visuals and dissociative states. 

 

But learning from SA about the specific withdrawal symptoms, reading articles on the Mad in America site from other anti-psychotic survivors, and learning about mindfulness has really helped put everything into perspective. And JanCarol has provided me with wonderful information on how visuals and altered states can be part of the shamanic experience. This makes it much less frightening and more of an evolving hero's journey with a really good ending. The journey is still perilous, but compared to where I was heading, I know I'm going to be okay now.

 

If I'd stayed on the drug route, I would have ended up back in the state hospital, on the streets, or a suicide. Those are things I'm really frightened of. But a few visuals? Nope, no more fear there. 

 

1 hour ago, bubble said:

Among all the other things I can admire you discipline in applying all the self-care and in particular exercising. I'm struggling so badly on that front. In a very bad shape, loads of spinal issue: lumbar scoliosis, thoracic kyphosis, and actually the whole spine is being pulled to one side. And I don't have the energy or motivation to do anything about it :( Just trying to survive when I drag myself from work. Walking is all I do and I so loved my yoga classes...

 

I'm sorry to read you're having these kinds of very painful conditions. Are you able to do any of the modified yoga poses? The below video is one I'm using while my leg heals. I don't know if this is something you can use or not, but it may give you an idea of what's out there regarding yoga after injuries. This is a video that a yoga teacher made as she was recovering from knee surgery and it features a modified Sun Salutation routine that's done completely while lying down. So there's no pressure whatsoever on the knee. I'm wondering if maybe you can find these types of modifications that would allow you to continue with yoga? 

 

Yoga For Knee Pain - Yoga for Post Knee Surgery. Gentle & Safe Modified Poses - video 23 minutes

 

You may be able to find modifications for doing yoga for people with back problems, but of course, ask your doctor first. Injuries are never good, especially during withdrawal. 

 

1 hour ago, bubble said:

I am very interested in your cardio exercises (was always sacred of them as being potentially activating) but as I push my way up the hill and my pulse gets to 130 my head feels so much clearer and calmer afterwards. So it would be grat to share some of the video you use (just to get an idea)

 

 

This is one of my oldie but goodie favorites from Billy Blanks and his Tae Bo exercise:

 

Tae Bo - Cardio - video 44 minutes

 

Keep in mind that I only was able to get back into this kind of exercise after I'd been drug free for 2 years. I couldn't have done this any earlier. 

 

1 hour ago, bubble said:

The next REM song that played also felt appropriate:

 

Thanks for the REM link! I've been in a REM mood all day, and that one fits in perfectly. 

 

Thanks for stopping by. Sending healing vibes your way. 

 

 

 

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So good to see you out of that wave, Shep.

 

The fact it was WAY shorter than you anticipated is a great sign!

 

Best,

 

Andy

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Thanks, Andy. I appreciate your support along this journey.

 

Yes, it was much shorter than I expected. It was intense, especially with the visuals, but my ability to compartmentalize it in order to function is a skill that's gotten stronger and better, so I'm wondering if that may also be in play. 

 

I'm hoping the slight increase in my supplements will also continue to help and I'll be that much closer to finally healing.

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

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