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GiaK

GiaK Radical, Transformative Healing of Body/Mind/Spirit

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GiaK   
GiaK

I've not written a specific post that encompasses my transformation story but this interview very much tells the story of my healing journey if anyone is interested in listening to it. (I don't really think in terms of recovery anymore. What I've become is something far better than I ever was so I call it transformation...I am thrilled to be alive even while my body continues to come into alignment with complete wellness. Healing seems to be a life-long unfolding of coming to understand the nature of reality in deeper and deeper ways for me. I am happy to be alive. This is something I can't say I ever experienced in my life until now (post withdrawal). 

 

description of the radio show here: 

http://amindfulemergence.com/events/event/radical-transformative-healing-bodymindspirit-monica-cassani-wpvm-fm/

 

and the archive to listen to the talk is here: http://wpvmfm.org/show/a-mindful-emergence-2/

 

you have to scroll down a bit to get to the audio section.

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Chicago77   
Chicago77

Very interesting! I went on your website as well. Great information. The most difficult w/d symptoms I'm dealing with is widespread pain, brain fog(can't focus) and fatigue. The muscle/nerve pain is what scares me the most because I'm convinced it's something more serious or it's never going to go away. However, my blood tests and MRI came back normal. I've never had body pain my whole life until 3 weeks after my last dose of Lexapro in March 2016. I haven't found a ton of people with widespread pain during withdrawal so just scared my body is permanently damaged. It sounds like you physical pain. Did it get better with time? Any idea what causes pain in w/d?

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Mort81   
Mort81

Giak you are an inspiration to all. Very few if any have been exposed to as many drugs as you and came out on the other side. Truly amazing you are special! If I could ask what is the best thing to say to yourself during the strongest of waves when its beating you up ? I'm currently in a 6 day wave of akathisia and I've never experienced anything more than a few days here and there over my 23 months of WD.

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Mort81   
Mort81

Chicago I read your comment. I withdrew from lexapro and experienced horrific pain for along time. It was from my lower belly button to the top of my stomach. It was all day and all night for about a year. It wasn't an eating thing or washroom thing. It was as if someone beat me with a baseball bat. I also have pain in all my teeth. Both symptoms have completely abated. You can pm me to ask more if you want.

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GiaK   
GiaK

yes Chicago...I had crippling widespread acute and chronic pain...it's mostly gone though I do have issues with pain from time to time still...it's nothing like it was. 

 

things do lighten up...pretty much always...

 

some posts that speak to the pain I dealt with are here: https://beyondmeds.com/?s=pain

 

also this might be helpful:  https://beyondmeds.com/2011/09/12/fibrobipolar-2/

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Chicago77   
Chicago77

Thanks GiaK! The epsom salt baths you suggested really do give me 15 minutes of relief. I'll take it! I carry around a heating pad like it's my "blanky." :)  I think I'm going to try the tart cherry you suggested. This is the strangest thing to me. I don't really have the emotional w/d symptoms anymore(had bad anxiety for first month but now it's gone). Mine are all physical, but this damn muscle/nerve pain is literally a pain in my a**! If I even touch my muscles they start to throb. It started in my right arm and has spread to all limbs and upper back within the last 5 months. When can I expect this to subside even a little bit? Of course when I went to the doctor, they ALL tell me that Lexapro was suppressing some sort of Fibromyalgia and that I should get back on Lexapro or try something like Lyrica or Cymbalta. Personally, I think it's a load of crap! Why would I go from zero pain to all of a sudden having widespread pain and the only thing that changed was getting off Lexapro. The LAST thing I want to do is go right back on a SSRI. This has to be withdrawal...so I'm hoping.  :(

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GiaK   
GiaK

I found that sinking into the physical pain and "listening" to it leads to uncovering of emotional/spiritual components (of the very real physiological pain) and helped me get to the root of it and heal it. That has been a sort of mindfulness practice and continues to be. I still have a lot of intense somatic weirdness emanating from my nervous system...deep listening has allowed me to get a sort of intuitive knowledge of how to more deeply heal. It's hard to know how to articulate this...if it doesn't make sense just let it go...we're all quite different when it comes to healing this stuff. 

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Asjf   
Asjf

What a wonderful and inspiring thread GaiK. I've been 'transforming' since November 2014 and the practice of mindfulness has been the single greatest tool I've found for transcending the pain and finding a deeper and more accepting understanding of the universe I live in.

 

Before I was aware of being mindful I treated pain like an angry barking dog on the other side of a chain link fence--I would stay as far away from the fence as possible and pretend that the dog wasn't there.

After discovering the idea of mindfulness I began to approach the fence, with apprehension, and stare the dog in the eyes as he barked at me.

Now, going even deeper into the process, my intention is to jump OVER the fence and embrace the barking dog--and what I'm realizing is that the dog doesn't want to hurt me, he wants me to hear him and acknowledge him. He's signaling a pathway for me to walk down to freedom. I truly believe that paying attention to our pain without judgement is the pathway to freedom in life.

This is something I could never have understood while standing behind the tall soundproofed brick wall that SSRIs provided me.

I suffered so deeply for months and months after ending a 20 year relationship with SSRIs. I'm grateful to finally find myself being grateful for all that suffering as a training ground for a kind of enlightenment.

When we have to live with our greatest fears day in and day out for a long time, and then finally find a pathway through it, what we are left with is a freedom that tells us that we don't ever have to suffer in the same way again.

All along, it wasn't the pain that was truly hurting me, it was my own self created internal dialogue around what that pain MEANS about me and the world I live in.

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GiaK   
GiaK

Yes. I totally get that ASJF. Thank you for sharing your experience of it too...I love the metaphor you used.

 

I recently wrote something else on my experience of the pain too. I'm calling these deep felt-body-senses "somatic mysticism" for in coming to hear my body deeply I find that I am guided directly into the flow of life-force.

 

Here it is:   Somatic mysticism:  reframing "hyper-sensitivity" https://beyondmeds.com/2016/07/24/somatic-mysticism-reframing-hyper-sensitivity/

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gigi63   
gigi63

ASJF, I am currently suffering as I go through RI and build steady. The process has been very difficult. I have just wanted to to be free of the process. The fear, the what if's, all of the struggle, I have just wanted to run from. How can I better learn to accept this process? How can I learn to embrace this while going through it? I find myself just longing for what is no more. While on the medication, life was stable, rather predictable. Withdrawal has brought instability and a host of unknowns. It is suffering. It is painful and scarey. I long to turn this into something so much bigger and better. I long to learn from and be transformed , as you say into something far better than what I was, and even what I find in myself right now as I am going through the process. Please elaborate if you will on what you did to meet your fears and pain. Thank you. TripleM.

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GiaK   
GiaK

triplem,

the first step is simply allowing all the pain you're feeling. It's okay. It hurts. It sucks. It's miserable. That's okay. Feel it. Be with it. Really, that is the whole practice. Being with what is. It sucks right now and so you let it suck...let it really suck...practice not fighting with the suckiness. 

 

truly. that's the practice. it feels a bit mind-f**cky I suppose...because it's a paradoxical sort of thing. 

 

this is a video I did about how that process looked for me:  

 

Here is an article on the same topic: https://beyondmeds.com/2012/05/20/meditation-3/

 

a paragraph from the above link here:/
 

 

My life is such that meditation was thrust upon me via grave illness…I had  no choice…I was too sick to sit at all for a couple of years (while bedridden I literally could not sit up at all) and during that time the multiple symptoms I had were screaming, crazy loud pain and chaos in my being such that my only meditation was to sit with the agony a minute at a time…two minutes…three minutes in acceptance…slowly I built my capacity and slowly over years now the tone of the symptoms have diminished too. They’re still often very loud and difficult and I still often need to use a combination of meditation and sometimes simple distraction. Nothing wrong with distraction when one is in great pain. I’ve learned that too. Being kind to oneself is so important.

 

 

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Vigor   
Vigor

Thanks, GiaK.

 

I have been looking at your site for the past few months. I have to say this latest post is really reassuring how capable the body is of repair.  I also love your outlook as seeing your journey through withdrawal as transformative. 

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gemini   
gemini

Mindfulness and acknowledging pain as part of the phenomena of life is transforming me too!!! Thanks giak!

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manymoretodays   
manymoretodays

Thanks Gia K.  I love it.  The new post.

 

I don't know.......I may be your biggest fan.  I get that way sometimes........not a bad thing I suppose to recognize heroes and heroines when they cross your path and walk with them.

 

Yup, great stuff.  Thank you.

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GiaK   
GiaK

glad the work is helpful.

the truth is I'm just like everyone else on this journey...just as messed up and human and vulnerable, etc etc...

 

I simply seem to be incapable of not yacking about the experience and thus finding others who also help us all understand what the f*** is going on.

 

be well. 

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manymoretodays   
manymoretodays

......yes, that is true........we are all pretty messed up vulnerable but then again we are all also once in awhile beacons of hope for others.

 

Oh yah......I'm a yacker too!

 

you too.......be well.

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Asjf   
Asjf

ASJF, I am currently suffering as I go through RI and build steady. The process has been very difficult. I have just wanted to to be free of the process. The fear, the what if's, all of the struggle, I have just wanted to run from. How can I better learn to accept this process? How can I learn to embrace this while going through it? I find myself just longing for what is no more. While on the medication, life was stable, rather predictable. Withdrawal has brought instability and a host of unknowns. It is suffering. It is painful and scarey. I long to turn this into something so much bigger and better. I long to learn from and be transformed , as you say into something far better than what I was, and even what I find in myself right now as I am going through the process. Please elaborate if you will on what you did to meet your fears and pain. Thank you. TripleM.

Hey TripleM,

Like Gia said, for me it's all about ACCEPTANCE of whatever you are present to in the MOMENT. If that's pain, then be with the pain. The temptation is to fantasize about a better future--which can seem like a long list of unfulfilled desires. For me the key is to remind myself that life only ever happens HERE and NOW. Happiness and peace and inspiration and joy are only ever available HERE and NOW. Seeing those things as attainable in the future only leads to pain and dissatisfaction in the present moment. For me, the game has become about finding my inner power inside of ANY set of circumstances in the present moment--kind of like knowing that no matter what is going on in life that place of peace exists. If life feels like a cold windy violent blizzard in the middle of a barren place, instead of focusing on the question 'When will this horrible storm end??', it's now more about looking deeply into the storm to find that tiny little light which leads you to a cabin with a roaring fire and a warm bed. That place is always there in the middle of the storm--but I have to go INTO the storm to find it.

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manymoretodays   
manymoretodays

"There is no free will.......accept it, attack it, hide it, or ignore it"

 

I liked that.

 

I am going to do my best to do my best today and be as well as I can.  Seeing some blue skies already.  Doing real well with my WORD games......lol........I mean the actual games played.

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manymoretodays   
manymoretodays

Hmmmm.  Ahhhhh.  I liked it.  Got a lot of sleep last night and at the tail end of yesterday.  Woke up so tense and full of myself.  This helped.

 

My discomfort with the evolution and change inside........and wanting it all now.  Always thankful for Sundays.  Ahhhhhh.

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gigi63   
gigi63

ASJF, how would doing this look like in the midst of difficult Neuro emotions? I mean, we are to acknowledge them but not be caught up in them as I understand this.

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Asjf   
Asjf

Gary Weber's work has been very helpful to me. He's a friend and has been a mentor as well. I just posted something with another one of his videos which I found deeply validating too.

 

We’re constantly evolving dynamic beings…

https://beyondmeds.com/2016/10/08/constant-evolving/

This is awesome. Thank you so much for posting this. It's exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

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Asjf   
Asjf

ASJF, how would doing this look like in the midst of difficult Neuro emotions? I mean, we are to acknowledge them but not be caught up in them as I understand this.

This is the hardest thing in the world for me in the midst of difficult neuro emotions. I'm in the middle of several days of pretty deep and numbing depression right now. I feel such a strong pull toward rationalizing these feelings (or actually, complete LACK of feeling) as wrong, and particularly threatening to my life. To approach these feelings with acceptance feels very counter intuitive to me. But I know that acceptance is the only real way to any freedom here. It's the lack of acceptance that causes me to get 'caught up' in any set of life circumstances. For me acknowledgement has always been the easy part. I've never had a hard time being able to recognize being happy, afraid, depressed etc. The truly challenging part is to recognize that none of these circumstances is superior to another--because they are all just simply the ever evolving fluidity of the human condition. If I'm depressed and can look at it without judgment, then there are countless treasures inside of that experience. If I resist and make it wrong then I am stuck grasping at something that can't be held on to. And the big irony here is that in resisting the thing that I don't want, I actually hold it there causing it to persist. If I'm able to accept what's there--fully accept it--it.......DISAPPEARS. As long as real acceptance is present, then so is peace and freedom. For me it's a process of constant reprogramming of 'wrong' learned behaviors. I grew up being told to hold on to happiness and resist/fix/change negative emotions. My parents and teachers meant well, but they had it all wrong. Had someone told me at the age of 10, when I felt scared and depressed, that it's OK to feel that way and that those feelings are an access point to all the power in the universe (just like feelings such as bliss and inspiration) I would be a very different person today. THAT being said, today I am EXACTLY the person I need to be right here and right now so when it comes down to it, ALL IS AS IT SHOULD BE.

 

cheers

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GiaK   
GiaK

I started working with "neuro-emotions" as if they were real a long time ago and have decided they are, indeed real. They are picking up the agony of the entire human race...it is in our DNA...our ancestry holds every bit of it and connects us to the collective consciousness as well. The emotions need to be worked with in tiny wee bits at a time...with much gentleness and as much mercy as we can muster for ourselves.

 

Here is something about terror and grief.

 

https://beyondmeds.com/2016/10/18/terror-and-grief/

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Asjf   
Asjf

I started working with "neuro-emotions" as if they were real a long time ago and have decided they are, indeed real. They are picking up the agony of the entire human race...it is in our DNA...our ancestry holds every bit of it and connects us to the collective consciousness as well. The emotions need to be worked with in tiny wee bits at a time...with much gentleness and as much mercy as we can muster for ourselves.

 

Here is something about terror and grief.

 

https://beyondmeds.com/2016/10/18/terror-and-grief/

Thank you for this at a time when I really need it.

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Marsha   
Marsha

Bless you GiaK for today's post on Everything matters/beyondmeds. Thank you for sticking with us.

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