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JanCarol - undiagnosed! Off all "bipolar" drugs!

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JanCarol

Chicken and Hibari - congratulations on your drug free status!  I hope your drug free time goes at least as smoothly as mine!

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a friend.  You know the one - it's always the question:  "How long does this last?  How long will I suffer from symptoms?"

 

Here's what I said:

You may always suffer from symptoms.  It was symptoms of some sort which drove us to the drugs to begin with.

 

And then, the drugs make us more sensitive to the symptoms - they sensitize us.  

 

This is why I have this huge toolkit and that I believe strongly in doing something! Responding instead of just reacting to what life gives me.

Because I know that I needed to use these tools before I went on the drugs (but I didn't).  Now that I have spent 30 years on and off of at least a dozen different antidepressants, mood stabilizers and even a neuroleptic - I need these techniques more than ever.  

Managing my mood is practically a full time job.  I get sick more easily, I still hear the voices of despair, hopelessness and poor self esteem. Even though I experience fear, pain, sadness and anger, it's what I do in the face of those emotions which is important.  I still need to counteract each negative thought with at least 3 positive ones if I want to keep my head above the water and not be sucked down into the tar of depression and despair.

I believe that the drugs amplified my sensitivity - to foods, to stress, to events.  Withdrawal from the drugs has helped, but I will always be susceptible to symptoms.

 

In many ways, I'm better than I ever was before, in that I have purpose, meaning, and meaningful work that I want to do!  But it requires effort on my part.

 

I didn't just "get better."  I slogged and dragged myself kicking and sometimes screaming into wellness.  I asked for help when I needed help.  I got support from professionals, hubby, my friends - everyone in my life.  If they didn't support me, I had to let them go.  I allowed myself breaks and rest - but I also challenged myself to do things that were uncomfortable and challenging.  If I had not done that, I don't think I would be better.  I don't think my world would have opened up the way it did.

 

I continue to challenge myself.  I've recently learned that I need to improve my public speaking (for example) - if I'm going to teach a class, I need to teach it well.  The people in my circle deserve my best - and I deserve to make my best better at every available opportunity.  I need to seek out ways to continue to learn and grow and challenge myself.

 

If I am not moving forward, then I am slipping backwards.  To slip backwards to me is where the deep, dark, sticky tar pit of self-destruction, selfishness, and indulgence lie.  It is to fall out of responsibility, and back into reactivity.    It is important to be safe but it is also important to challenge my safety, to try new things.

So - no.  We never get better, I may always struggle with symptoms, I may always be sensitive to drugs, food, pain - I may always get sick easily, crash easily.  The adage is:  the pain is mandatory - but the suffering is optional.

 

and Yes.  We can be better than ever.

 

But it is hard work, like a marriage or a job - like a life's work.  

 

When I make myself better, I improve my world just that much.  It is my job, my duty, my responsibility to do so.  To do otherwise is to accept that the world is an awful place, and that I have no purpose, no role, no part in my own healing, and in the recovery of myself and those around me.

 

When I am better - then the world around me is that much better too.  

 

This may sound like the New Age "we create our reality."  I would take it a step further than that:  we are responsible to our reality.  

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JanCarol

Heart Rate Variability - HRV

 

I've been thinking, and working towards, parasympathetic response.  It makes sense, in an on/off kind of way.

 

If you're stressed, adrenaline firing, anxious, with your shoulders around your ears and shallow breathing, it makes sense to want to chill that out, to open to relaxation response, to calm the heart, deepen the breathing, and release the tension and stress held in the muscles.

 

It's been a good practice, learning to cultivate parasympathetic response.  Legs up on the wall, deeper breath, calm the nerves (love those mag salt baths!).

 

But now that I'm looking at cardiac issues, I'm learning that my previous on/off, black/white thinking is no longer quite correct.

 

There's a measurement called HRV.  I learned about this from Bruce Lipton, "Biology of Belief," who referred me to the Heart Math Institute.  Sure, they have products that they can sell you to help train you in HRV, but why would anyone want to do that?

Here's why:  it's not just about the ability to cultivate parasympathetic response.  If we just cultivated that, we would be lumps of jello on the floor.

 

We also want to develop buoyancy, resilience, and stress response.  

Here's an image:  Jan is lying on the floor, legs up on the wall, and all of a sudden, she hears the cat choking.  Parasympathetic would say, "just stay there, relax, it's all well, it will all be well."  Sympathetic says, GET UP DO SOMETHING!

 

Heart Rate Variability is many things, I'm learning.  But one of those things is flexibility.  According to the Heart Math Institute (and there is science involved here), the heart sends more signals to the brain than the brain does to the heart.

 

So all of those years that we thought of the brain as a chemical stew that ran and operated the body - is not quite correct.

 

There's that long, thin superhighway from bottom to top called the vagus nerve:

 

img_803.jpg

 

Heart Rate Variability is about creating resonance throughout the system - so that it is strong and flexible.

 

HRV is about the ability to switch quickly and easily from one state to another state.  To jump up and take care of the cat - and then be able to go back to calm - in a heartbeat.

 

That's my primitive understanding of it.  To learn more, go to Heart Math Institute - there's years of study and understanding in there.

 

So switching and the flexibility of switching is vital for good health (and cardio health especially).  

 

Think of it as a sticky light switch, it is better to have one which is smooth and glides freely - but which is clear about "on" and "off"  (no inbetween wobbly states, please!)

 

This roughly correlates with something I learned about early fMRI research into "bipolar."  A Queensland scientist/doctor was doing early fMRI work in the 2000's, and he claimed that he could identify "bipolar" by the way their brains switched.  He said that "bipolar" people had difficulty switching between left and right brains, and would get "stuck" in emotion or rationality.  That the switching between left and right brain took longer in "bipolar" people, and he had a light/sound program (early neurofeedback?) to help facilitate the switching.

 

This does not mean I believe that "bipolar" is a valid diagnosis.  It can be, but it is much more rare than what is happening on the streets.

 

But this was the first description I had heard of my interior workings that made sense.  I was "sticky."  If I was agitated, I stayed agitated, and had difficulty calming down.  If I was ruminating, I would hang onto those ruminations for dear life, even if they were making me suffer.  "Sticky" thoughts and emotions made sense as a way to describe my mental and emotional experience.

 

So now, I am learning about another form of sticky.  Not left and right brain, but heart and mind.  At the Heart Math Institute, they seek to set up coherence between heart and mind, and in so doing, they seek to improve HRV:  the flexibility of switching from active to passive, and back to active again - fluidly, easily, clearly.

 

This is what I've been seeking on my "recovery thread" = resilience, buoyancy.  It is apparently like a muscle that you can learn to flex.

I have not decided to buy the $200 Heart Math thingy.  At this point, I am using my yoga and my interior senses to work on this.

 

But my Holter monitor said that I had an HRV of 48, which is NOT GOOD.  This is, on my pathology report, an item called SDNN Index.  Moderate HRV is 50-100.  High HRV (the best) is over 100.  My low HRV of 48 is an indicator that I have - get this - 400% greater risk of mortality.  That's simply unacceptable.

 

Now that I've found my life - finally!  And I have Porpoise and things I want to accomplish, and a great long list of things I really want to do, I need to be as long-lived and as well as possible.

So I wanted to bring forth the health of HRV.  I recommend it to anyone who's had any "weird heart" stuff like palpitations, variable rhythms, high blood pressure, high heart rate, etc.  

And with my HRV of 48, if this Holter reading (I just took another one this week) isn't any better - I might invest in the $200 HRV feedback thingy, and try to learn something new about my nervous system, my heart, and coherence with myself and others.

 

 

 

 

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JanCarol

So - I won a local writing competition!  It was "the value of handwritten things" from a shop wanting to sell writing supplies.

 

I wrote about my journal, and my longhand letters to my mother, got a $25 gift certificate!  (I reckon it's more a statement about people's willingness to write than about my ability - after all, it was longhand, written entries only.  No texts.)

 

Today I share a pretty fantastic summit from Sound True: Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit

 

There is a code in there to benefit Shades of Awakening, which is where I heard about it.

 

I won't buy the summit, starting 30-Oct - but I would like to catch as much free as possible.  It's a huge thing, maybe not every topic is for you, but if you catch just one that shifts your perception, awareness or healing - then - hey, I'm glad you found it!

 

I hope you see the sun today (I hope I do, too - lots of rain lately!)

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Shep
27 minutes ago, JanCarol said:

So - I won a local writing competition!  It was "the value of handwritten things" from a shop wanting to sell writing supplies.

 

I wrote about my journal, and my longhand letters to my mother, got a $25 gift certificate!  (I reckon it's more a statement about people's willingness to write than about my ability - after all, it was longhand, written entries only.  No texts.)

 

Congratulations! Your ability to write is fantastic. I'm not surprised you won. Writing longhand letters is a fading art, but I'm old enough to remember doing it long before email. 

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JanCarol

Just as awesome - Shades of Awakening Magazine has all kinds of references and resources for supporting, understanding, learning and growing with your spiritual emergence, extreme states, etc.

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Hibari

Congratulations JanCarol!  I think your writing is wonderful and I'm glad it's being recognized.

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Diamondgirl

Jan Carol   thank you so much for this post. Very well articulated and I agree with everything you said, I am going thru the same realizations. Thanks for the confirmation!

Edited by baroquep
member joined

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JanCarol

Musical interlude:  I haven't got time for the pain.

 

I haven't got room for the pain.

 

I haven't the need for the pain.

 

Not since I found you (me!)
 

 

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Frogie
25 minutes ago, JanCarol said:

Musical interlude:  I haven't got time for the pain.

 

I haven't got room for the pain.

 

I haven't the need for the pain.

 

Not since I found you (me!)
 

 

Love it! Now I'm waiting for it lol...

 

I forgot to tell you Congrat's on your writing, it's beautiful here. :)

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JanCarol

Thanks Frogie!

 

Now that I'm "well" I can pontificate on my favourite topics!  Of course - I still have some history to fill out - the hardest part - 1998-present (though 2010 to present it starts to get better).  It's awfully hard to write about losing oneself like that.

 

Today I write that - anybody can "go down."  Depression.

 

The first time you go into a Depression - it is like a landscape and you fall into a hole.  You don't know how you got into that Depression, that hole, but there you are.

 

The more times you fall into that hole, the deeper it becomes - and it becomes a sort of gravity well.  It becomes attractive, comfortable - easier to be Depressed than it is to think about all of those things going on over your head, above the ground, on the landscape.  In addiction terms, it becomes an arroyo - a dry rut that - when the emotions come, that is the channel they always follow.  And each time - the arroyo gets carved more deeply.

 

After a long, hard crawl out - how do you crawl out of a Depression hole?  There are two schools of thought - some say - to surrender to it, and rest.  Others say to fight it at every step of the way.  I suspect it is a flexing between the two.  Resting and striving, resting again, striving again.

 

The striving includes all of those millions of ways you can take responsibility for your own mood - in my case, this is sun walks, nutrition, supplementation, exercise, restriction of TV and loud music,  and a certain mindset or perception that adjusts to meet your needs.  CBT addresses this last thing - but - in my case I need more than CBT.  I can beat myself about the head all I want with "think right, think right, think RIGHT!" but unless I align my thoughts and feelings to let those cracks of hope in - all of the "right thinking" won't do doodly squat.

 

As I begin to climb out of the hole - or walk out from under the deep lake of tar - I can begin to survey the landscape and understand how I fell into that hole.

 

Oh, I exhausted myself moving house.  That marriage was more stressful than I understood at the time.  My mother, OMG!  I was oppressed here, and changed my inner landscape to survive the outer one (hint:  some of these coping strategies go in the wrong direction!).  I was isolated, separated, could not connect with others. I ate badly.  I smoked.  I hung out with deprecating and cynical people.   So many things that are on that upper landscape which directed me into the hole of Depression. 

 

And as I climb out, I can identify these, and maybe make changes.  Do I want to go back into that hole again?  Or do I want to change the people I hang out with?  Do I choose the job - or the hole?  And as I make these choices - I move further and further away from this gravity well sucking me down and in.

 

In the case of chronic Depression (which later "switched" to Bipolar II) - that hole is always there.  And you learn the landmarks.  I see them now as a series of tiny crossroads.  I can skip the sunwalk today.  I don't really need to go to yoga tonight.  I can have another drink.  Oh look!  Pie!    I can keep going, even though I'm very tired.  It's fine, I'll just grab some fast food.  Each of these crossroads of choice become bigger and more dangerous, as they start circling the Depression Hole. 

 

I write you today from some pretty major crossroads.

 

It's stinking hot here - after weeks of rain.  The sun has not been on my agenda.  I try and make up for it with yoga, exercise and diet - but oh, those croissants were so good...I've been having a bunch of pain, and that makes the gravity around the Depression Hole stronger, more attractive.  Finding uplifting people to hang with is an exceptional challenge because it seems that everyone these days is sick and on psych drugs.  I would guess that 90% of people in my circle (family and friends)  are drugged at this point.  How sad is that?  There are people at the yoga studio who are shiny and well - but we all have our lives, and while we try to socialize a bit - it's hard to break old patterns of just - go to class, go home).  Another struggle right now is I'm working on a Big Thing:  my black belt.  So it is depressing to realise that all I am doing right now is train, recover.  Train, recover.  It gives me very little energy for anything else.  Then there are the things which make me angry - drugging of my friends and family is one of them, and the news is another.  I can avoid the news, mostly - but avoiding my family and friends is harder.  It's hard on me to hear their tales - it's hard, too, to avoid them completely.  But I do feel my heart rate go up again when I hear of another cold turkey.

 

I could fall in the Hole at any time - and still - in recovery (just as if I were an alcoholic or an addict) I need to be mindful of my steps.  There's quicksand at the edge!  I need those sunwalks whenever I can.  I need that daily Tai Chi.  I need that exercise.  I probably can have a croissant - but - to think of it as a special thing, like a drink of alcohol (or a drug) to be indulged rarely (sometimes I used carbs to get to sleep at night - not the healthiest practice).  I need to not argue on the internet at night.  I maybe even need to avoid the Facebook games (though they are a comfort when I have low energy).  I need to get up out of my chair and do stuff.  I need to reach out and find places where the light is brighter, and can guide me to better health - not drag me down the gravity well into the Depression Hole.

 

Dr. Rob Purssey talks about this as the ACT Matrix.  In anxiety, we tend to choose avoidance behaviours (away), while in health we tend to move towards things - loved ones, goals, pleasures.  On a 2 dimensional axis - moving towards things that you want is preferred to avoiding things that scare you.  I also look at this as hedonic rehabilitation - by following your pleasure, engaging in these things which make you feel better, not worse.  This also plays into "brain candy" (below) because your brain is hardwired to give top priority to pleasure, and will open to pleasure, and be more receptive to conditioning.

 

And another lesson I learned last night in a practice called "Neurosculpting" (TM).  In Neurosculpting, you engage both parts of your brain to make real, lasting changes.  So - it starts with what she calls "Brain Candy."  

When you are in distress or stress, you find the brain candy.  These are left field novelties which engage your left brain like a puzzle (or pleasure, above).  For example, walk backwards.  Brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand.  Spell your words out.  Jump up and down 10 times.  Paint your right hand green.  Sing or scream at the top of your lungs. Listen to a new, intriguing piece of music.  Surprise your brain!

 

What happens with the brain candy, is when you surprise your left brain, you are given the opportunity to reprogram your limbic system from the frontal cortex.  This is - basically - reprogramming your attitudes and feelings by using your higher functions.

 

While you are doing the novel thing (brain candy) - your brain floods with chemicals (I suspect dopamine might be involved) which enhance the learning process.  While you are doing something new - or experiencing something new - your brain turns on the "listening" powers - and can hear you on all levels.  This is when you say:  I am a happy person.  I enjoy the challenges that life brings to me.  This is how you make an affirmation work.

 

To put a post-it on your mirror (the scientist, Lisa Wimberger, really hates the post-it practice) means that you will be getting the message all of the time - not just at the times when your brain can actually receive it, take it in, process it, learn and make changes.  

 

She used these techniques to stop vagus nerve seizures.  If she can stop a seizure - then I can avoid Depression Holes!

 

There's more to it than that - things which tie into my shamanic practice very well - the induction of relaxation response prior to the novel thing.  The meditations on how you want it to be.  And then - the action to short-stop and redirect your own mind.

So - today I woke up with a ton of bricks on top of me.  I felt the crossroads to skip my morning yoga.  I may skip the gym today in the name of "rest and recover," but not for long.  It's green tea today, not coffee.  One brick at a time, I got out from under it, and I'm up and moving again (about to go out into the sun, even though it's late here - 4 pm).  I did not fall in the hole today - but I may need to mind my days very closely until I achieve my goal.

 

It's sad that I can only do one goal at a time, that my website is suffering while I do this training (it's hard to be creative when I'm recovering from training!) - but it seems to be my reality.

 

I stop here to drop a line to you, to let you know - there will still be challenges, there will still be hardships and rough times.  But learn from your past - learn from your journey, and you need never live in that Hole again.

 

I'll be back in a mo to post a great graphic about recovery.

 

 

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JanCarol

Here's a little clip I found last night, from "Recovered - Eating Issues in Our Own Words," a film by Tim Steward for The Eating Issues Center (TEIC) Brisbane, Queensland, Australia:

 

 

 

Except - in the case of psych drug recovery I would at least double, if not triple the time scales they mention here.

Edited by JanCarol

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gigi63

Jan Carol,  I just watched the recovery video you posted.  Thank you!!!!  Today was a really hard day.  Wanting so bad to be at good and steady, sick and tired of waves!!!!  This video is great.  The place in the video that made me laugh today was the non linear line that turned into absolute chaos.  That was great!!!! That is exactly how I feel today!!!!  Thank you.  Helps to bring back perspective on this very difficult journey😊😊😊😊😊

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gigi63

Maybe more like 8 times longer!!!’n

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manymoretodays

Hi JanCarol,

 

Stopped in.  Read awhile.  Congratulations too!   Rested.  Listened.  Inspired.  Enlightened even.  Thank you.  Love.  Hugs.

 

manymoretodays

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JanCarol

Thanks for stopping by!

 

The sun walks - I just got back from a week up the coast - so there were plenty of windy walks on the beach, plenty of sun. 

 

But now I'm back home and it's raining.

 

The week away gave me some time away from karate training, and the opportunity to evaluate yet another tendinitis injury to my dominant (left) arm.  The hand physio calls it "tennis elbow."  I have no point of injury, it came on with the flu/head cold/???  2 months ago.

 

See - I'm "healing" - but - I'm still susceptible to problems!

During training, I have not been attending yoga classes.  I can't do both - it turns my weeks upside down to train more then 2x a week.  So I have started a morning yoga practice.  About 30 min to an hour of self guided yoga, revisiting the styles I learned in the 70's and 80's, and adding some new stuff like Lee Holden's "7 minutes of Magic" (it takes me a 1/2 hour to do his 7 minutes!)

 

Now I'm wondering how I ever got out of bed without this practice!

 

I'm hoping it deepens my living experience (that hasn't happened yet) - but it is, at least, keeping my head above water.  Even in the rain.

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manymoretodays

.......ahhhhh.........up the coast.........windy walks..........sunshine.......  I may wind up doing some yoga on channel 6(:blink:)...........try, try to get back to that form of movement meditation.  Having company over in the form of the tv on mute today and doing laundry, etc.  Nice holiday week is my excuse.

 

I'm so happy that your success story contains a lot of your coping skills.  Keep them coming for us easily bored/want change now types.

 

Love, gratitude, "in healing and recovery",

mmt

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JanCarol

Thanks MMT!  

I love sharing various non-drug coping skills.

 

I just learned a "Chi opening" from Lee Holden that's a goodie.

 

First:  stand feet hip width apart, arms at side.  Start swinging left to right so that your arms swing.  Start gently, and then build up so that one hand slaps your kidney when the other slaps your lower belly.  Slap both sides 7 times, and then gently slow the swinging until you come to still.  This is called "Opening the Door"

Then:  Put your right arm out - slap down the inside of your right arm with a cupped hand - like a massage percussion.  Down the inside, then turn right arm over and slap up the outside.  Repeat with your left arm.

 

Thymus thump - I think I've talked about this one before - just 7 quick raps with fingertips (or knuckles if you really want to wake up the thymus) with each hand.  Yell like Tarzan if you want.

 

Then:  Slap the inside of your right leg - down to the food along the inside of your leg, then up the outside.  Repeat on left leg.

 

Shake your arms like a swimmer getting ready for competition, and let the shaking expand to include bouncing on the balls of your feet (I alternate bounce left to right, but you can bounce on both at the same time - doesn't matter).

 

Let it still.  Then bring your feet close together, close your eyes, and focus - for just a moment - on what you want to accomplish.

 

Best done first thing in the morning!

 

* * *


In other news, I have been given reprieve from black belt testing.  This is good because I have tendinitis (again), this time in my left arm.  So back to yoga classes and only one karate a week.  The test has been delayed until some of the others in the class catch up to me.  Running a black belt test is a big thing, and they don't want to run it for just me.  Nice to know I'm candidate #1 for black belt, though!  :D

 

 

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manymoretodays

:o  Ahhhhh.......ah.....ah......ah.......oh.......(my Thymic Tarzan yell)

 

Thanks.

 

 

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JanCarol

So - I was looking up some stuff for MMT (Hi there!) on my hard drive, and I found a Glenmullen symptoms list for me from 2013-2017.

 

In 2013 I had 29 symptoms:
Worsened mood 

Low energy (fatigue, lethargy, malaise)

Trouble concentrating 

Insomnia 
Suicidal thoughts

Anxious nervous tense 

Panic attacks (racing heart, breathless)

Chest pain 

Trembling jittery shaking

Irritability

Agitation (restlessness, hyperactivity)

Confusion or Cognitive Difficulties

Memory problems or forgetfulness (I'd forget my head if it weren't attached)

Mood Swings

Feeling detached or unreal

Nightmares

Flu-like aches and pains
Abdominal pain or cramps

Stomach bloating

Disequilibrium

Hung over or waterlogged feeling

Unsteady gait, poor coordination

Headache

Numbness burning tingling

Electric zap-like sensations in brain

Ringing or other noises in earas

Muscle cramps stiffness twitches

Tendon pain

When I look at this I've always thought that I was one of the ones who "got away lightly" but - I guess I've paid my dues.  (I'd rather not, but not much choice in the matter now!)

In 2017 only 12 symptoms:
Low Energy (fatigue lethargy malaise)

Trouble concentrating

Insomnia

Panic attacks (could be cardiovascular)

Irritability

Confusion or cognitive difficulties

Memory problems or forgetfulness (see above.  head.  attached.  Good thing.)
Unsteady gait, poor coordination (but that has improved!)

Headache (again, also improved!)

Ringing or other noises in ears (sadly, this may be worse)

Muscle cramps stiffness twitches

Tendon pain

 

I find it - um - a little disheartening that Glenmullen says that mild is 1-3 symptoms, and severe is 8-10 when most of us in here are in the double digits....

So there's a chronicle.

in 4 years time, I have less than half the symptoms I had before.  When I said I felt about 61% healed - that is accurate almost to a T!  

It takes time, and it's slow.  But healing happens.
 

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Hibari

Thank you for sharing.  You have been through a lot and that list is something.

 

Here's to the symptom list getting even shorter in 2018! 

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Itzakadoozee
On 9/30/2017 at 3:06 AM, JanCarol said:

Chicken and Hibari - congratulations on your drug free status!  I hope your drug free time goes at least as smoothly as mine!

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a friend.  You know the one - it's always the question:  "How long does this last?  How long will I suffer from symptoms?"

 

Here's what I said:

You may always suffer from symptoms.  It was symptoms of some sort which drove us to the drugs to begin with.

 

And then, the drugs make us more sensitive to the symptoms - they sensitize us.  

 

This is why I have this huge toolkit and that I believe strongly in doing something! Responding instead of just reacting to what life gives me.

Because I know that I needed to use these tools before I went on the drugs (but I didn't).  Now that I have spent 30 years on and off of at least a dozen different antidepressants, mood stabilizers and even a neuroleptic - I need these techniques more than ever.  

Managing my mood is practically a full time job.  I get sick more easily, I still hear the voices of despair, hopelessness and poor self esteem. Even though I experience fear, pain, sadness and anger, it's what I do in the face of those emotions which is important.  I still need to counteract each negative thought with at least 3 positive ones if I want to keep my head above the water and not be sucked down into the tar of depression and despair.

I believe that the drugs amplified my sensitivity - to foods, to stress, to events.  Withdrawal from the drugs has helped, but I will always be susceptible to symptoms.

 

In many ways, I'm better than I ever was before, in that I have purpose, meaning, and meaningful work that I want to do!  But it requires effort on my part.

 

I didn't just "get better."  I slogged and dragged myself kicking and sometimes screaming into wellness.  I asked for help when I needed help.  I got support from professionals, hubby, my friends - everyone in my life.  If they didn't support me, I had to let them go.  I allowed myself breaks and rest - but I also challenged myself to do things that were uncomfortable and challenging.  If I had not done that, I don't think I would be better.  I don't think my world would have opened up the way it did.

 

I continue to challenge myself.  I've recently learned that I need to improve my public speaking (for example) - if I'm going to teach a class, I need to teach it well.  The people in my circle deserve my best - and I deserve to make my best better at every available opportunity.  I need to seek out ways to continue to learn and grow and challenge myself.

 

If I am not moving forward, then I am slipping backwards.  To slip backwards to me is where the deep, dark, sticky tar pit of self-destruction, selfishness, and indulgence lie.  It is to fall out of responsibility, and back into reactivity.    It is important to be safe but it is also important to challenge my safety, to try new things.

So - no.  We never get better, I may always struggle with symptoms, I may always be sensitive to drugs, food, pain - I may always get sick easily, crash easily.  The adage is:  the pain is mandatory - but the suffering is optional.

 

and Yes.  We can be better than ever.

 

But it is hard work, like a marriage or a job - like a life's work.  

 

When I make myself better, I improve my world just that much.  It is my job, my duty, my responsibility to do so.  To do otherwise is to accept that the world is an awful place, and that I have no purpose, no role, no part in my own healing, and in the recovery of myself and those around me.

 

When I am better - then the world around me is that much better too.  

 

This may sound like the New Age "we create our reality."  I would take it a step further than that:  we are responsible to our reality.  

Ok I understood that symptoms may last. Such as the ones you stated. But I really want the dizziness and the strange feeling which I’ve never had before withdrawal, the feeling like I’m on a drug to go away it makes me feel kinda crazy.

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JanCarol

Hey itzakadoozee - it will happen, but it takes time and stability.

 

There are a number of tips which are in bold.

Responding instead of reacting.

Toolkit for being present and responsive.

Desire to be better than whatever you got dealt.  To take the high road.

Be safe, but challenge yourself.


There is a shift that happens when you realize that the suffering is optional.

The pain is still there - it is the human condition to have some sort of pain, especially as we age.  

The problem was when we took our psychic pain to the psychiatrist (or GP) and they chose to medicate it, instead of asking us about the pain and how to deal with it.

Let me give a recent example.

I've had some painful tendinitis in my left (dominant) elbow.  It's making my life so frustrating.


So I asked the arm:  "What are you reaching for?  What do you want?"

 

It took 2 months of pain, before the arm answered:  "Everything is out of reach!"

Logically (using CBT skills) I can see that this is an emotional reaction.  It's never everything.  

So now, I am able to dialogue with my arm:


What are you reaching for?  What are you grasping?  Holding?  Clutching?  Can you let go?  

But the amazing thing is - once this went from - arm complaining (pain) to a dialogue, the pain has eased up.

Conflict is an opportunity for growth.  The more you focus on the bad stuff, the more you feed it.  It's real, and must be dealt with - but it's much easier to deal with from a position of light and positivity.

Another example, a bit of an awakening I had on an airplane flight.  In my house, my problems seem huge.  Driving to the airport, they are still huge, but they are in the distance.  At the airport, new problems (queues, paperwork, customs, Immigration, security) are presented.  But when I get on the plane, I'm in a confined chair.  As the plane takes off, I begin to get perspective - the problems on the ground - the problems it took to get there - are diminished.  Look!  I can see my house from here, and it's all so tiny.  From a position of higher vibration or perspective - those problems which were overwhelming - become so small when you realise how tiny they are in the scope of the city, the state, the country, the planet - the solar system - the universe.  Those problems, which are personal and pressing - don't have to be pressing.  

I don't know if I'm explaining myself well tonight.

But I don't know your history or story.  Your signature tells me that you had a major change from sertraline to escitalopram just 2 years ago. That sounds like a cold switch, which is like a double cold turkey - a cold turkey from one drug, and a fast switch to another.   It will take time to settle, as you were on the sertraline for 10 years.  Be patient.  Look at my chart of symptoms - it took 4 years (2 of which were drug free) before the symptom changes were noticeable.

Thanks for visiting - I hope you see the sun today!
 

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JanCarol
On 01/11/2017 at 4:00 PM, JanCarol said:

Dr. Rob Purssey talks about this as the ACT Matrix.  In anxiety, we tend to choose avoidance behaviours (away), while in health we tend to move towards things - loved ones, goals, pleasures.  On a 2 dimensional axis - moving towards things that you want is preferred to avoiding things that scare you.

 

I heard a quote on Star Wars, "The Last Jedi."  

The character Rose said:  "We fight for the things we love, not against the things we hate."


Yeah, that.

Tonight I'm writing because I was studying Tai Chi.  This is from a book by David Carradine, and I had a little laugh as I recognized his "list of sensations from practicing Tai Chi:"

Sweating, Numbness, Tingling, Body Heat, Trembling, Feeling Asymmetrical, Yawning, Burping, Flatulence, Diminishing or No Sensation, Aching Old Injuries.

 

Here's what he says about them:

 

Sweating:  Normal.  A sign that the body is cleansing itself.

Numbness, Tingling, Trembling:  Normal.  A sign that chi is flowing.

Body Heat:  Normal.  A sign that chi is flowing.  When energy flows it heats the body.

Feeling Asymmetrical:  Normal.  The body is trying to rebalance itself.
Yawning:  A sign that you are able to relax but perhaps you are too tired.
Burping:  The body is discharging toxins, but relax, you may be trying too hard.

Flatulence:  The body is discharging toxins.  Relax, you are pushing too hard.  Let the chi flow naturally.

Diminishing or No Sensation (like Anhedonia!):  This may happen after practising meditation for a while.  This is a sign that the meridian pathways have opened up.

Aching Old Injuries:  Mostly a good sign, it means you are progressing.

 

When one looks at "symptoms of withdrawal" in this light, it seems pretty hopeful.

"I'm having symptoms," means "I am healing," and "chi is flowing."

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JanCarol

Transitions.  I'm having transitions.

 

Something is changing - my sleep is all over the place.  I always sleep enough - even if it is in 2 hour stretches.  But sometimes that's 4 am - noon.  Sometimes, like last night, it's midnight to 9 am.  

 

This means that I'm struggling to be productive.

 

Do I get a thing done in the afternoon?  Or late at night?  Or maybe (mostly) it doesn't get done at all. 

 

Right now, my 4-6 hours of "productive time" feels more like 3-4 hours.  And, with trying to keep a schedule (appointments, meetings, friends, yoga classes, gym, etc.) - it feels like I only ever get an hour or two of uninterrupted time.  Facebook is a truly evil *ding* interruption.  I took the bell off, but it astonishes me how - worse than a phone call - people seem to think that if I'm on, I'm up for a conversation.  "Hi - what are you doing?"  But then - since I'm hard to reach sometimes, I feel obligated to stop what I'm doing and respond.  Some people in the world, this is the only way I have contact, or I would just leave Facebook.

 

Lots of balls are being dropped.  I am struggling just to maintain the basics.

 

My mood - is mixed.  I have a lot of things I'm excited about, but I'm also very frustrated that I don't seem to have what it takes to accomplish my goals.

 

"One day at a time" and "one minute at a time" is excellent for managing mood - but - it's not the same as being productive, of accomplishing things, of finishing the picture, writing that article, making the flyer, setting the dates on the calendar...

I'm hoping this is just a transition, and it will settle into something more workable soon.

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Shep

Hi, JC.

 

I felt a bit like I was "floating" as I read your last post.

 

Perhaps, a list? Things to do. Things to MUST do. Things to MIGHT do. And so forth. And don't forget to treat yourself and celebrate the accomplishments. 

 

Even in successes, there are most likely, the waves. Even in life, the ups and downs. 

 

Would a steady bedtime help? Or hinder? 

 

Just thoughts. I will add, though, even in your waves, your writing is insightful and without the toxic elements that corrode so many of us during waves. You're very good at helping us do the breathe-and-float through withdrawal. 

 

It shows you still know how to breathe, how to seek out the sun.

 

I hope things improve for you soon.

 

Quick question - do you feel you might have a touch of dyschronometria?  Are you stepping out of clock-time? I know you dance to your own rhythm, but sometimes, going back into clock-time can help you re-set your beat. 

 

This happens to me quite a bit. Sometimes having reminders set up (email alerts, phone alarm, etc) can be helpful to keep you on task for the MUST do things for the day. Perhaps even for the MIGHT do things. 

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

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RealMe
On 8/17/2017 at 10:49 AM, JanCarol said:

unrelenting tinnitus.

 

But my mental and emotional life is healthier than I’ve ever been before. 

Hi JanCarol,

It was such a good feeling of hopefulness to read your success story.  Thank you for using your knowledge and experience to encourage others.  Kristine reminded me that you also have the tinnitus symptom.  I am suffering severely from it, and I wonder if you have any suggestions for me.  I can see by your story that you are living a good life in spite of it, and I aspire to get to that place of healing some day.

Best wishes,

RealMe

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JanCarol
Posted (edited)

Hi Shep and RealMe - thanks for visiting!

@Shep - YES!!! I have severe dyschronometria.  Always have.  Probably always will.  I don't relate well to calendars, either.  I'm timeless!

 

I'm lucky to arrive anywhere, much less on an agreed time!

 

My lists have lists and sublists.  It's almost like I need to be struck by lightning to tell me which lists of lists are more important than others.  I'm sure there's books to help me organise and prioritise.  I'll put it on the queue of "books to read" (another list).

 

It was interesting, as soon as I wrote about this, I got a few things done.  Nothing "important" (as in, critical for establishing a year of shamanism at the studio), but - it felt a little better to have engaged.

 

I'm going to say it again, FB is evil.  I'm trying to do something on the computer, and folks just drop by.  How do they ever get anything done?  I'm actually relieved when they say, "okay gotta go" because I'm always here even when I'm not available.

 

January is slipping away and I haven't set any dates for the year yet, nor have I checked in with my website in over a week.  

 

Dyschronometria - I can't tell you how relieved I was when I learned that is a thing.  So - 2 symptoms which are not on Glenmullen's list:  delayed cycle sleep and dyschronometria. 

 

Those two things are the things which got me diagnosed as "bipolar" - well - those two things and severe mood swings.  It's so good to not have those anymore!

@RealMe  I go round and round with the tinnitus.  Sometimes it doesn't bother me at all.  Sometimes it is overwhelming.  I think it is better when I eat good food.  I don't know if it is toxins (like pesticides, herbicides, GMO's) or allergens (histamines, wheat, dairy) or stress.  It's not certain times of the day (though anxiety might contribute to it - so maybe cortisol spikes?) or certain behaviours.

Everything I've read about tinnitus just talks about ignoring it.  I have hearing aids for when I need to hear (like yoga class) but sometimes they are not enough.

The therapy they offer is something like CBT to condition you to not pay attention to it.  (OMG I just had a wave of deja vu about writing that)

I've tried to tie it to feelings - is my tinnitus trying to tell me something about my Inner Being?  Unsuccessful.  

 

High dose melatonin (3 mg/day) is supposed to help it, but it gives me headaches and I am afraid of it.  Gingko is also supposed to help, as is zinc.  I'm already on zinc, but I don't want to add another herb to my regimen, since I take herbs for heart, cholesterol, diabetes, digestion (all those metabolic things) and sleep.  If you are zinc deficient, it can contribute to tinnitus, but I've been taking zinc for mood for 5 years now, no way I'm deficient (but you may be).

So - distraction is the therapy of the day.  I keep hoping that it will get better as I get further and further away from my lithium poisoning.

In other news its still in my head, but I'm working on a letter to my psychiatrist, to tell her the signs of lithium poisoning that her PDR/MIMS might not tell her about, and how well I am doing away from her drug regime.  She told me that very few do get away from the drugs, and she was sad and concerned when I told her that's what I wanted.  And yet, here I am.

 

I'll make a few notes here:  there was the weird rash (annulare granuloma, huge circles of bumps on my inner upper arms, inner upper thighs, and ribcage) that nobody could figure out what caused them.  They wanted me to put steroid creme on it - which made it better - but it came back.    It went away when the lithium went away.  Baker's cysts in my knees - went away when lithium went away.  So I reckon it was my body telling me that it was going toxic.  And of course, the kidney poisoning.  I still struggle with diabetes insipidus (it's like my kidneys "dump" all liquid - and it can be painful in the bladder sometimes).  Tears (as in rips) in my retina due to dehydration.  Loss of my thyroid due to large goitre.  All of these are considered "benign" conditions, and I'm sure there are more as I think about it, that cluster under "lithium poisoning" to me.  

And I'd like to tell her that prescribing lithium to a person with a visible goitre is not on.

 

Thanks to all of you for helping me think this through.  I don't want to be accusatory - I want to be informative.

 

 

Edited by JanCarol

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RealMe

Thank you, JanCarol. I appreciate your response about tinnitus and your update. You have certainly come a long way in your recovery from psychiatrists. Wonderful!  How long have you had tinnitus?  I tried zinc once and it ramped up the sound severely. Where is ur website?

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Rosetta
On August 17, 2017 at 8:15 PM, JanCarol said:

I have a theory that it doesn't necessarily take longer for CT's but that it is a rougher ride.  

 

I am glad someone has this theory!!  I didn't document my rough ride through the past 4 months here, but has been rough.  I have a witness -- someone who knew me for 5 years before a doctor prescribed an SSRI to me -- quite well -- and knew me all the way through to today.  Otherwise, I might not believe that I can live without a psychoactive drug myself.  The cure is worse than the "disease," and you are right -- we might be different in the way our brains work, but we are not sick or in need of psychopharmaceutical "help."  We simply need to eat well and manage our moods -- two things the drugs make harder to achieve.

 

Thank you!! for being here, JanCarol, and for helping Waterfall and me, too, though you didn't know I've been listening to you and many others on this site for a while.

 

Rosetta

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JanCarol

Hi @Rosetta I've been following you, too!  Your help with Waterfall has been insightful, compassionate, and all round excellent!  Thank you for your help!

@RealMe  Everyone is different.  I don't really get relief from tinnitus, even though I've been on zinc for years.  I was taking gingko for awhile - I love it in my sinus steam but haven't found a source of it here in Australia (in the US, I would just pick leaves from trees and put them in my sinus steam) - but I seem to recall there was a blood thinner reason I shouldn't take it, so I quit.  Zinc deficiency is one contributing factor, and gingko is one of the best relieving supplements.  The problem is not the tinnitus - it's the attention to the tinnitus.

I've wanted to sit down at the piano and see if I can figure out the notes and intervals that my tinnitus "sings to me" in - as if that would help, somehow, to use it as a "drone" (like Indian music) against which to compose music - or to figure out the Hz of it, so I can compare it to Earth and other frequencies.  But it's hard, because the sound is in my head - there's nobody else who can hear it - and it's different in one ear from the other - and hard for me to separate the tones out.  Alas, this plan fell by the wayside.  Maybe next time I go for hearing testing, if the tone hits my inner tones - I can ask - what is it?  And go from there.

 

My website is - um - not like this website.  I blog and run a private forum at http://shamanexplorations.com .  We have a small practice circle here, and this website is to support that circle.  This year, I will try and widen the circle a bit, to see if others are interested, but it's very specialised.  That's why I haven't put a link to it in my signature yet.

Reporting on my own state - I seem to be collecting energy again.  I'm still in transition - this may take awhile.  It's about diet, and changing my body chemistry.  I don't recommend it for others, but hubby and I are doing intermittent fasting.  Nothing drastic, just one day a week have an eating window of 4-8 pm.  This gives me 2 intermittent fasts of 16 hours each.  It messes with my sleep, as I was using carbohydrates as a sleep aid.  But it will be a good thing - the first thing I've noticed is that I crave water.  Hmmmm.  That's an amazing good thing.  I also graze less.

This will be a slow process (my favourite kind).  So I really won't be able to report changes in my lab numbers or weight for probably months.  This is my attempt (POST withdrawal, do not attempt this if you are having symptoms!) to attack the insidious metabolic disorder.

After January, hubby and I will decide how we want to change the fast.  Do we want to do a 24 hour fast?  Or - 2 "eating windows" a week instead of 1?  We'll see how we feel after we've been doing it awhile.  Hubby now has metabolic disorder, too (maybe worse than mine, if not quite as entrenched).  :huh:  And he was never drugged, still has his endocrine system intact.  So there's something we're doing wrong here, and it needs to be addressed!   The "eating window" method - some people do it every day, and get great results as far as blood tests (lowers cholesterol, improves insulin response and blood sugar) and even weight loss.  That way, we both can benefit, and it's not about counting (calories, fat, carbs, whatever) or restriction of food types (carbs, breads, whatever).  We've done it for 3 weeks now, I haven't lost a pound - but it makes my sleep "float," as Shep says.

I go to take my labs for thyroid, cholesterol - well, anytime.  Anytime I fast after midnight (normal nighttime fast) and get up before the lab closes.  All the labs here have changed their hours and close at noon.  That makes it hard for me with my wild sleep patterns!

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nz11
On ‎9‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 4:52 PM, JanCarol said:

If you can get ONE person to read either Robert Whitaker's "Anatomy of an Epidemic," or - "The Pill that Steals Lives," by Katinka Blackford Newman (I found both of these in my local library), then you might have an ally.  Someone to help you fight.  Getting angry helps - but remember - when you talk to doctors and friends - it's important to display that you are in control.  Even when you are suffering.  It's hard, but an essential part of not getting drugged more.

 

Great post above JC

Wow what a great influence you have been on these people.

Just reading Katinka at the moment and I am thinking of sending a copy of the book to the manager at the p-doc clinic, who has prescribing staff that think people who come in to make a complaint get a label and a prescription!....and think that "if there were problems with people getting off paroxetine people would be suing the drug companies"...well Katinka nicely summarizes a response to that in ch 18. 

 

Anyway that is not actually why I popped in.

Just wanted to say I think some of your posts are phenomenal and must have taken hours to write up and so I think we should have a JC specials thread whereby all your epistles are also saved in one location and not just served up to one person. I mean why please one when you can please them all....well that's what my neighbor used to say when I asked him why he never married. 

Forgot that you now reside in the success stories.

The best is yet to come

Have a great 2018

nz11

 

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JanCarol

Thanks NZ!


Yeah, I read the Katinka based on something you said to me.  I found it to be very accessible and brilliant.  Not only does she tell her personal story, but she pursues the worldwide epidemic.  In a different way to Whitaker, but a very accessible way.  Page turner!

 

My posts?  I don't have time to compile it.  Sometimes I don't even remember what I've written or where.

 

I collect some of the pieces I think are re-usable, but they get edited when I post them again.

 

I might have a book in there, if I paid attention and compiled them in a workable format.

 

But where do I find the time and energy?  Any volunteers?  ;)

 

I reckon, even if I post them all over the place in various threads - we have a lot of lurkers so more than one person will read them.  So I am doing as your neighbour suggests.

You have a terrific 2018, too!  When do you move over to success stories?  I reckon you're about ready, eh?

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nz11

I will be moving to success stories when my 'personal situation sits definitely' resolved. But not before.

 

Actually I gave a copy of katinka away to someone - a drug survivor , they later rang and said how much they appreciated and enjoyed the book ...I felt so guilty as I hadn't read it all then and have had it unfinished for some time. So this month I finish it.

 

 

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JanCarol

Today I check in with a crook back. 

I don't know what I did.  Last week was a big week - a yoga seminar on Friday night, shaman drumming on Saturday.


By Monday, I was on the acupuncturists table.  I was sore, but not too bad, but when I got up from the table, my lower back was out. (lying still on a table like that can "lock up" my lower back.)   Couldn't walk, couldn't rise from a chair or sit down in it.  Couldn't get comfortable to sleep  In fact - Sunday night, I didn't sleep much because of the 3-ring pain circus.  I shift to my right side, my knee locks up, I shift to the left side, my head and shoulder scream.  I try to get comfortable on my back, but the lower back doesn't allow that to happen.  Throw in a bout of gas, and - well.  I might as well get up.

(the advantage of this is I got to watch the baby wild turkeys at the bird feeder, and observe the behaviour of the Big Daddy turkey with the baby ones - it's really exciting at 5 am!)

But I thought - the back stuff is just my "normal back stuff," and I wasn't going to make a thing of it.  So I went to yoga Monday night.

 

As I went to yoga I thought about how improved I am - it's now "okay" to do 2 big things a day instead of just one.  Normally, I only schedule one thing a day, in case I get wiped out, but I was in awe of the fact that I was doing 2 things (acupuncture, lunch with a friend, and yoga) in one day.  Woo hoo!  At yoga, I didn't do her practice, but did my own "things I can do when I can't do things."  I wish I had a film of it, so that I could share it here - how to do yoga when you can't do very much.  It probably looked like a lot of "rolling on the floor."  I'd love to document it though, so that I can share it with others.  When I told the yoga teacher I wished I filmed it, she said, "You'll listen to your body and be able to do it again," but I don't think she understands my desire to help others.  Not just here at SA - but I have easily a half-dozen friends who cannot attend a yoga class because of physical ailments and the competitive style of yoga teaching here.  I'd like to design a remedial style that just involves the sacred curve of the lower back, and breathing.

So I got home, feeling better, but by the next day was much worse.  Again, I thought - this is my "normal pain," and went out to do a drumming for a dear friend of mine who cannot attend the circle because she won't go outside at night.  By the end of the day I was wrecked.  This morning the pain was far beyond my "normal pain," so I had to find a doctor.  My regular GP who tolerates my disgust of her drug regimes was not available, and she's at least 30 min drive away.  I wanted to find something local, hoping for the magical and mythical "good doctor."  I didn't find one, but got a CT scan and will return.

So - I'm not out of the woods yet.  Just before this happened, I was 107 hours average in between doses of pain drugs.  Within 3 short days, that's down to 68, and closing fast.  I have to quit the LDN at this time, as it interferes with pain drugs (and apparently it wasn't stopping this pain, anyway).  I'll re-consider it when I'm out of the woods.

So - just to let you know - there is still hardship.  It's still a hassle.  And it feels like I'm back on the ground again.  What is keeping me optimistic is:  "This, too, will pass."  Whether it is a week or 3 months, it will pass.

* * *

So here's two more improvements:  I now am doing my own body scans, and I like it.  Surprise!  I can concentrate long enough to complete the whole body scan without a lot of intrusive thought.  I'm such an excellent ruminator that this feels like a great accomplishment!  And there is an extra bonus to this:  when I do my own body scan, I can look in on my own personal things in a way that a pre-recorded body scan does not.

I can look in on my organs, and cherish my kidneys and adrenals, send soothing relaxation into my intestines and heart, and spaciousness into my lungs and bones.  I can go over my "hurty bits" in great detail and it feels so much more thorough and healing than a pre-recorded body scan.  If I want to I can slow it down and do every knuckle of every finger on my hand.  If I feel like it, I can feel the molecules within my fingernails.  I can keep the baby buddha in my dantien (see:  Natural Breathing Maharaj Pranayam ).  I can really slow it down and feel the dome of my diaphragm, and the bronchial trees in my lungs.  The level of detail I can achieve when I create my own body scan - really makes for an excellent meditation!

As a result - I am now able to do sitting meditation like I couldn't before because of that @^#> mantra getting in my way!

I recommend doing your own body scan!

And improvement #2 hit me from left field.  I was doing a journal exercise about my emotional life.  The question was:  what are the typical emotions you experience in a month?  I had trouble with this, so I looked up lists of feeling words, and started writing things down like: 

Lucky to be alive and have food and roof over my head and a body and senses to experience life.  Sad about the state of the world and the carelessness of my fellow humans.  Happy more often.  Elated when I learn new things.  Resigned to my lot in life - "as good as it gets," but trying for better.  Courageous when I try new things, "I will do this!"  Optimistic, "I can do this!"  Pessimistic when I look around me at the blindness and ignorance of other humans and the horrendous destruction of the consumer capitalist corporate society.  Realistic that what I do can have small impact, but that a small impact is still an impact.  Interested in life and learning and growing.  Yearning for more and deeper relationship but afraid of this too.  Thankful, grateful for the amazing gift of life and being.   Clever and smart, but sad at how much capacity I have lost, and frustrated when other people (namely hubby) don't seem to "get" me.  Fascinated with life and creation and the amazing interrelatedness of all things.  Inquisitive and curious and desiring of relating to all things.  All of them!  Earnest, caring of others.  Unique and tenacious.  Anxious about my capacity, but determined to keep on keeping on.  Lost and indecisive, sceptical and mistrustful of others (confused), very alone, paralysed with indecision.  Pained by what is happening to my body.

Okay - that was 2 pages of stuff in my journal.  And not all of it was good, but not all of it was bad, either.  But here's what blew me away:  the range and variety of emotions expressed here!  OMG - I'm FEELING lots of things, I'm engaged with my life, and having feelings "of an almost human nature!"  (Pink Floyd, "The Wall") and - it's okay!  I got this!

So - these are subtle improvements:  the body scan, and the "typical feelings in a month" exercise, but incredibly encouraging.

Thanks for listening, and please, I hope you see the sun today, too!

Edited by JanCarol
typo

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