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JanCarol

JanCarol - undiagnosed! Off all "bipolar" drugs!

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powerback
27 minutes ago, JanCarol said:

microbiome (poo) test.

Hi JC this very interesting to me  ,does it also track how many  nutrients is in your poo ,ive been doing some research on the leaky gut .

How much does it cost to get done .no need to answer if you don't want to.

Thanks JC

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JanCarol

Hey Powerback - 

 

No, I don't think this is nutritional.  it's a genomic sampling of your gut bacteria.  It is costing AU$366, from a company called "Bioscreen Medical."  Because this is Australia, land of restrictions, you must have a doctor's prescription to order the kit.  I'm sure there would be something similar in the USA that would not require prescription.  However, the kit includes ice packs - they want to keep the little bugs alive during shipping - which might make an oceanward journey expensive.

 

There was an International Poo project that was running for awhile in the USA, accepting samples from all over the world - but I'm sorry, I can't recall the name, and I never did have contact details for them.  I have seen similar research in the UK, but again, the names allude me.  "Microbiome" is your search phrase.

 

The best thing for leaky gut is:  no gluten, no sugar, and take bone broth.

There are some naturopathic practitioners who claim that anyone who has a big belly (metabolic syndrome) likely has leaky gut, and some estimate that 50-75% of people have it.  These are not scientists, however, they are people whose livelihood depends upon "diagnosing" your leaky gut.  My old ortho-doc said that pretty much anyone with chronic illness had leaky gut.  She was a fan of paleo for solutions.  My current ortho-doc is a fan of ketogenic diet as a solution (probably for everything, if the brochures in her office are any indication).  I suspect that it the microbiome test is a standard test for her, with anyone who complains of poo problems - so she fits in with those whose livelihood depends upon it - but - it is a test I have wanted for about 5 years, ever since I learned it was possible to get an assay of my gut bugs - good ones and bad ones, and what is out of balance.

I do a "modified" paleo (I believe that many cultivated foods - like beans, fruits & veg - are good for me), with ketogenic "emphasis" (I am not afraid of fats, not even saturated ones).  I believe that eliminating too many foods is unnatural, as long as you've addressed sensitivities (like gluten, dairy, histamines, tyrosines, FODMAPS, or whatever it is that sets you off).  A widely varied diet with not too much of anything (I suppose you cannot eat too much leafy green stuff, but personally, I can only eat so much).  Moderation in all things - including moderation!  ;)

I have added in a day of "intermittent fasting," where I have 2 long windows of fasting for 14-18 hours each on Monday and Tuesday.  I've been dying to see what that is doing for my blood sugar & cholesterol - and yet it seems that no doctor has seen fit to test these things lately!

 

Intermittent fasting looks like this:  Monday night, no food after 10 pm.  Tuesday - no food until 4 pm (18 hours fasting).  Eating 4-8 pm, and then no food until Breakfast Wednesday (13 hours fasting - average).  Some folks get good results from daily intermittent fasting, keeping a daily 5 hour eating window - but I have to factor hubby into this plan, and he would only  accept this one-day schedule.   This is not a withdrawal protocol, it is, instead, an effort to address:  blood pressure, cardiovascular health, metabolic syndrome & blood sugar.  I do not recommend fasting for people in withdrawal.

For people in withdrawal, the opposite is better - eat as often as 6x a day, eating dense, nutritious protein and fat rich foods to nourish your nervous system.

 

Woops - you got more than you bargained for.  Good to see you here!

 

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powerback
On ‎23‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 2:08 PM, JanCarol said:

 I've been travelling. 

 

Today was a beautiful cruise in an old oak Danish ketch sailing ship.  The ship crossed the oceans from Denmark to Australia, so even though it is not a big ship, it was beautiful and comfortable, and sailed 3/4 around the world (they went the long way).  I'd like to do one of their 3 day or 7 day overnight cruises.

Anyhow, on the ship, I met a psychiatrist.

 

FIrst he was talking about studying anthropology in London (he had a British accent), then it went on and he told me he was a doctor, an MD.  I thought - OH!  I will take a chance, and got out a "Surviving Antidepressants" business card that I hand out to help people find the website when they tell me their stories.  (hint:  I hand more of these out than I do my own business card).  I said - this is what I do - the card doesn't have my name on it because I'm not that important but the website is.  We help people come off antidepressants.

I was thinking he was a GP - and was hoping to gain another tapering doctor, or at least - bring a contrary opinion to the table.

He took the card with interest, and said, "oh, but I'm a psychiatrist, how did you know?"  (heh, because I'm ........spooky!)

I said "really?  Just an instinct I guess"

He said, "The drugs are awfully hard to come off of," and I gave him an example - Effexor - and how the drug companies don't give us the right doses to taper 10%, so we open the capsules and count beads.

 

And he said - get this - "Oh yes!  I had a patient where we did that - got a knife and a mirror and separated the beads out to taper!"

 

OMG.  

 

Then he said, "Is it just my experience, or is Effexor the hardest one to come off of?"  I said, "It's evil, but each of them have their own challenges" - and cited Lexapro for being so damn strong, and Paxil for having such an awful short half life.

So I told him that we have different methods for different drugs, and that we have trouble finding doctors to support our methods.

He asked for my name, and seemed excited to find out that we had many case studies here, and that I write here, and asked for my name so that he could find my story.  I told him a bit about what it was like meeting my biological family and being convinced that it was genetic, that I had a broken brain.  I used the "like insulin for diabetes" line and he rolled his eyes and said "Pharmaceutical companies!"

 

Reminder:  This is a PSYCHIATRIST I was talking to!

 

I went on to tell him that I came off all of my drugs, and that I learned that he can't help me with my mood, and that hubby can't either.  Only I can help me with my mood.  He really liked that.  I said, "I now don't consider it any doctor's business what my mood is," and he said, "oh, you'd be safe telling me!"  I told him how frightening it was to unpatient myself and undiagnose myself, and that I was so afraid that if I came off the drugs I would ruin my new marriage in a new country.  He seemed eager to read my story.

 

Remember, I'm talking to a PSYCHIATRIST here......

 

Anyhow, he talked about how he likes to taper his patients off the drugs - he finds that their lives are a wreck on the drugs, and that they get better when they are off the drugs.  I talked about Whitaker's studies that the drugs actually increase the chronicity of the problems.   He talked about CBT, and how that's popular now, but that he's mostly an old fashioned psychoanalyst, and how he wants to hear about the person's life and struggles and work on practical steps to improve.  

 

He mentioned the growing tragedy of child psychiatry, and how they now just get out the prescription pad instead of working with coping skills and talking to the child to see what's happening.  He complained about overdiagnosis, and was even willing to say that his most violent cases were probably drug related.  He talked about how bizarre it is that people are getting multiple diagnosis - and each diagnosis is so rare - how wrong is it that they end up with 4 separate incredibly rare psychiatric disorders?  We talked about akathisia and impulsivity.

He said he only works one day a week (mostly retired) but that he has colleagues, and works in a psychology centre where they seem to operate from the same playbook - and that he knows OTHER PSYCHIATRISTS who practice like he does.  I asked him if he wants referrals, and he gave me his card.  (I will post more about his details in the "Recommended Doctors" thread.  He talked about taking seminars and education in tapering drugs in Sydney (he practices in Melbourne), and recommended a doctor and hospital there.


I told him how rare he is, and that not even my own psychiatrist would give me the time of day when I talked about s-l-o-w tapering.  Hubby asked him:  How do you get them off the drugs?  He said - as slowly as possible!  (and I believed him, after all, he knew about bead counting, and I've never met an MD of any stripe who understood that concept).

I dropped a few names - Whitaker, Breggin, Healy - he knew none of these.  He was just a gentle, compassionate guy who tries to do his best by his patients.

I hope he comes to visit SA!  (my mind is a little blown and I'm beginning to wonder if that was real, or if he was just mirroring me as a technique to see "what makes me tick.")

 

(but we also talked about anthropology - and he talked about how some of the sayings in Ireland matched some of the Middle Eastern customs he had seen...but he only studied anthropology for a year.)

Hi JC ,what a brilliant interaction.

Thanks for posting .

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Shep
6 hours ago, JanCarol said:

Yes - that's sunlight - not a light bulb!  No electricity needed!

So - I will see the sun every day that it is shining!  (and I will track the clouds on the days that it is not)

 

This is so perfect for you. I hope it's a good antidote to withdrawal. 

 

6 hours ago, JanCarol said:

Already the house feels more cheerful.   It's not a substitute for a sun-walk, but for days when I can't sunwalk (like right now, in the days right after a prolotherapy shot to the knee) - at least I can see the sun!

 

 

Hope your knee is healing up and you're back to those sun walks. 

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Rosetta

Hi JanCarol, I love your sun-light!  Hope your knee and back are behaving. - Rosetta

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Rosetta

HI JanCarol, hope you are well. --Rosetta

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JanCarol

Thanks for stopping by Rosetta & Shep & Powerback!

 

Today's topic is harder:  Darkness & Anger.

 

Perhaps I need to re-read Brassmonkey's excellent treatise on Anger spirals.  

This is not a chemical spiral, it's a communication problem.  It's an environmental problem.  It's a productivity problem.  It's not something that I can think my way out of, so I've been putting a lot of energy into my heart, and my feet (grounding) and hands (doing).

 

But it's hard to feel my heart beneath the rage and emotions.  And it's hard to do things with my physical pain.  But right now, the psychic pain is much more than the physical pain.

 

I am having emotions, a lot of sadness, and yes, anger.  Sadness lives in the past, but anger is very present.  (though, to be honest, the past feeds the anger pretty nicely, too).

 

And "what to do about it" is all in the future.

 

I feel very helpless about my environment and productivity.  I cannot go out and cut trees.  I cannot hire someone to do it (I have no income).  I can't afford the house repairs, nor can I do them myself.  Why does this bother me so much?  Is it because years - decades - of neglect has led to this?  (there's the past again).  I sometimes struggle with lifting a jug of milk and pouring.  How could I possibly cut trees?  Mend fences?  Put up a sound barrier against trains and dogs?  Afford to move to "somewhere else"?  How can I possibly haul away the junk, or even stand and clean and dust and organize the chaos that surrounds me?  (Rosetta, I hear you on the "hoarding / clutter" stuff!)

On the one hand, there is a part of me that firmly believes that many things will be needed when the waters rise and the climate refugees come, when supply lines are cut, and the only thing between us and collecting water - or beans - or rice - is a jar to put it in, or a bag, or a box, or a rubber band to seal it.  So why do I have 100 board games that I never play?  (because it's too tedious and not fun when your husband has had a stroke)  Why do I have clothes for when I was skinny?  When I was fatter?  (I don't believe in manufacturing new clothes every time I change size, and I definitely don't believe in "disposable clothes" culture!)   Why do I have 1000's books that I will never be able to read all of them?  It's true - the library here is awful.  They don't keep books, they get rid of them faster than I can read them.  I start a series, and by the time I get to the 4th book - the book has been pulled from the shelves.  So the only way to get reliable reading - is to own the books.  In Indiana, I was happy to let the library store all the books.  They kept multiple copies of popular books, and at least one copy of other books - so all I would have needed to store was rare books.  But my Queensland library is not so good.  They closed my branch, and often ditch the books I like to read.  Why does he have 8000 CD's, most of which he's only listened to once?  Why do we have stacks of old hi-fi equipment, TV's, electronics and old computer stuff?  Why do we have a locking stamp cabinet to hold a largely worthless (but hobby based) collection?  It' just goes on and on.  

So - stuff in my house, stuff outside my house, all of this tangle of darkness is bothering me, and I feel helpless to do much about it.  I am sad that I have landed in this place (again), and I am angry that I feel helpless.

It is a dangerous place.    This is where the rubber meets the road in the drug-free lifestyle.  This is the discomfort that I must live through if I want to remain drug free.  Intellectually and emotionally I know that there is no drug that can fix this.  But on some level, I just want something to numb me, so that I can just avoid all of this tangled mess weighing me down.  Just forget about it for awhile, instead of waking with it in the middle of the night, facing it every time I walk into the spare room, confronting it every time I try to go out into our yard.  I was laughing with the acupuncturist today:  "I can see why people drown in alcohol."  She said, "Yeah, until the next day," and I laughed, "But that's why you have to keep drinking!"  I guess it's fortunate that I was never really attracted to alcohol.  

This is a very similar place I was in 1998, when I was too tired to address work, house, and finally submitted to the drugs.  It's the same place - and yet not.  Like an echo of that place (in my memory, that place was infinitely more hopeless).  I woke up this morning and said - here I am again - in a dirty house, without the ability to do much about it.   It's "the original condition," returned.  How will I choose to respond?

 

My options at this point are:  get firm with hubby and crack the whip (that's too mean).  Seek therapy for myself, and couples counselling to communicate how badly I feel about my home.  Hire expensive people - for the yard, for the house & water tank repairs, for the chaos, clutter and filth inside.  Continue with my coping strategies - sunlight, acupuncture (just had today), massage, yoga (again, today), tai chi (also today), meditation (also today), and trying to find a place of safety within to explore these feelings, and find out how my body is trying to help me by being so - whatever it is.  Dark.  Angry.  Sad.

 

On the plus side - I'm not having much pain right now.  The prolotherapy for the knee is a good thing.  (on the minus side - I have to do 2 weeks without probiotics to get an accurate poo test - and I'm not liking that at all!)

 

And I saw the sun today.

Edited by JanCarol
spelling, refinement

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JanCarol

Quote from a book I am reading:From Dan Merkur’s “Ecstatic Imagination,” an excellent description of “Spiritual Emergence.”  Numbered notes are mine.

 

Quote

 

Roberty Assagioli (1991) suggested that spiritual awakening is typically preceded by disaffection with materialism.  Concern with the meaning of life may become acute, but may be dismissed as unrealistic.  The prospect of change is resisted because it is unknown, feared, and expected to be burdensome in its demands.  A spiritual awakening then intervenes.  Religious experience, which Assagioli conceived in metaphysical terms, may occur either spontaneously or through earnest desire.

But immediately upon spiritual awakening, the personality may suffer in inflation, self-exaltation, or grandiosity, due to “confusion between what a person is potentially and what he is actually.”  Other vicissitudes include emotional excitement and lability, missionary zeal, fanaticism, and an idealism whose futility leads to depression and self-destructive despair (1).  With greater realism the grandiosity subsides and a “period of joyful inner and external expansion” takes place.  “Sometimes it is the mystical aspect and enlightenment which are dominant, in other cases new energies are released in the form of selfless heroic action, benevolent service, or artistic creativity. The former personality with its sharp corners and disagreeable traits has been replaced with a new person, who is full of kindness and sympathy.  A person who smiles at us and at the whole world, wanting only to give others pleasure, to be useful, and to share his new spiritual riches, which seem to be overflowing from within.”  (2)

 

This period of joyous productivity can last a lifetime, but in most cases it ends in acute emotional crisis.  “The old Adam” resurfaces with his habits, tendencies, and passions, and the man now realizes that he has a long, complex, demanding task of purification and transformation ahead of him.”  The reversion to the prior organization of the personality may cause depression over the loss of joyousness.  “Often this general sense of torment is supplemented by a more specific moral crisis:  the ethical conscience has been awakened and the person is overcome by a profound sense of guilt or remorse for the wrong they have committed.  He then passes a severe judgement on himself.”  The intensity of the suffering may motivate attempts to deny the value and reality of spiritual transformation.  Preoccupation with the internal conflicts may lead to neglect of public concerns, (3) resulting in “unsympathetic and undeserved judgement from his family, friends, and even from his doctors.”  (4)  The adverse criticisms intensify the conflict by encouraging the tendency to denial.  “Exhaustion, insomnia, depression, irritability and restlessness, and a variety of physical symptoms” may follow.  In other cases premature resolution of the conflict may be attempted through the repression rather than the transformation of the lower aspects of the personality.  An exacerbation of the conflict ensues.

 

The spiritual crisis is resolved through, “assimilation.  That is to say the new ideas which have come to enrich the conscious personality to become an integral part of it.”  However, as the process of spiritual transformation nears completion there sometimes occurs what St. John of the Cross termed the “dark night of the soul.”  The symptoms include “an emotional sense of deep depression, which may even verge on despair, and acute sense of unworthiness, which is some cases leads to a person feeling himself to be lost or damned.  A painful sense of mental impotence.  A weakening of the will and of self-control, lack of desire, and a great reluctance to act.”  The final completion of spiritual transformation is indicated by a “glorious spiritual resurrection that puts an end to every suffering and every disorder . . .and represents the fullness of spiritual health.”

 

(1)  This correlates nicely with the “manic” phase of what is labelled as “bipolar.”

(2)  This sounds like something they would lock you up for.

(3)  This is when it becomes hard to be a good worker bee, the conflict between conformity and right action becomes a deep divide.

(4)  Especially from his doctors!

 

 

 

 

My comments:  I’ve found that this process is spiral.  You can return to the spiritual emergence or awakening again and again.  Each time it happens, it is like the layers of an onion, going deeper, refining the personality further to be in line with the spiritual event.

 

At some point, there can be an intervention I call “Grace,” whereby the personality is seen for the onion skin that it is, the strategy, the little self – and the big Self, the Observer, the Greater-Than-Just-Me part becomes dominant.  Then, the problems of living are put into a perspective where – they are small compared to the Greatness.  In my experience, these strokes of Grace are temporary – I’ve yet to make them permanent, but they can remind me that what I am experiencing is “only my personality,” or “only the ego,” and that the Oneness, the Greatness, the Allness is always there, even when I cannot perceive or feel It.

I suspect that this Grace, is what Merkur is calling “spiritual resurrection.”

Edited by JanCarol
white space

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JanCarol

So - how do I work through this hardship?  When I have these extreme states, I allow 3 days for deep funk.  It can go as deep or as funky as it does.  But at the end of 3 days, if I haven't found a solution, a path, a focus - then I start seeking help.  

 

In my meditations, I'm still staying fairly angry.  So far I have abstained from lashing out at anyone, including hubby.  My acupuncturist talked about "appropriate expression releasing spleen."

 

I can't just slam down the wall on these feelings, that is probably what I've done most of my life.  I can rant and rave, and ride this wave deeper into darkness.  I can pray, and feel the emptiness and isolation that a prayer thrown out into the Universe (is God really listening?) offers.  And at the end of the prayer, I'm still surrounded with the crap that is my life.

 

I can mindfully watch these feelings, and observe in awe of their intensity.  I can watch them as they flow and ebb, and hope that they will ebb soon, because they sure are a torrent right now.

 

But truly - I can't think myself out of this mess.  There is so much that needs to be done, and yet I'm spinning my wheels most of the time, feeling helpless & hopeless.  Thinking doesn't change the feelings.

 

What I can do, however, is change my focus.

 

In all of this darkness, I can spin a golden thread of gratitude.

 

I am grateful that I am not in a war zone.  I am grateful that I live in relative safely.  I am grateful I even have a home to complain about!  I am grateful that I know where my next meal is coming from - I am grateful that I have my meals planned out for the next 5 days!  I am grateful that I have a partner, that I am not totally alone.  I am grateful that I have a tiny community to share meals & coffee with.  I am grateful that I am free to practice my art.  I am grateful that people want to participate in my thing, the shaman drumming.  I am grateful that I had no events in traffic last night.  I am grateful that I was able to participate in a yoga class.  I am grateful that my pain levels seem to be manageable right now.  I am grateful that I am breathing.  I am grateful that I can see, grateful that I can hear.  I'm grateful that I can walk and talk.  I'm grateful that my cat deems me an appropriate caregiver, and sometimes allows us to be affectionate with one another or at least share a lap.

 

Each tiny gratitude spins a thread.  The more gratitude I collect, the less I look at the awful things, the more I can pull myself out of this morass.  These are incredibly basic gratitudes.  I haven't gotten to the gratitude that I'm in awesome anything, or gratitude that life is beautiful - just basic gratitudes:  thank you for this food.  Thank you that I am alive, and basically functional.  This isn't at all about happiness, it's about - the basics.  

 

This golden thread of gratitude, as I weave it, becomes stronger, and shows me a path out of the darkness.  It changes my focus from the darkness to the path again.  The more gratitude I offer (most of my praying is giving thanks, anyway), the more I have to be grateful for.  It grows itself, this golden thread of gratitude.

 

So far, this is that path I am following.  The emotions, the anger is still there, unresolved.  But the gratitude makes the emotions less pressing, and I am closer to functioning just a little bit better.

 

And I am grateful for the sun.

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Shep

JC, your journey has been so incredible, so full of the most amazing non-drug coping strategies. I know I'm very grateful to YOU for all that you've shared about urban shamanism that really guided me out of some pretty scary rebound  psychosis, so know that you are appreciated and cared for. 

 

I hope these awful emotions pass soon and you come out better than ever. Thank you for sharing the techniques you use to guide you through so that an anger state doesn't spiral out of control. The mindful and poetic way you frame this is quite beautiful, in spite of the pain you are in. It's helpful for others to read, to learn from, to feel a sense of company in this journey. To be grateful. :)

 

Sending healing vibes your way. I hope this wave passes soon and you move onto the next phase of your healing.

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JanCarol

Thanks Shep - I think I can actually feel those healing vibes:

 

I'm still struggling.  I"m still angry - this isn't neuro, this isn't chemical.  This is my native state.  This is why I got drugged to begin with.

 

I'm describing my feelings here because many of you may relate to these feelings.  I'm sharing because - these feelings are not the end of the world, even though they are intense and extreme.  They are, instead, a part of me which is trying to grow, and I have to find a way to let it.

 

First - when I go into my heart meditations, I cry.  There is a deep sorrow in there which I cannot seem to define.  If I press against this sorrow, it only increases and intensifies, so I suppose my job is to feel it.  Maybe if I feel it enough, it will run its course.

 

know breathing techniques for moving anger.  I know that the anger breath is short, quick and shallow.   I have felt the experience of deepening my breath, and changing my emotion.  But this particular state - is like there is an elephant on my chest, and to deepen my breath is actually painful, it feels like I am trying to press through a barrier - and that is not helping.  It takes me a long time to go from "anger breathing" to "relaxed breathing."

I have noticed that when I activate my parasympathetic nervous system, I get a pleasurable frisson (I am grateful for that, but I've never heard it described in any of the meditation literature).  It's electrical like a brain zap, only not.  It's like - something is tickling my entire nervous system, and it descends.  It starts at the base of my skull and descends down into my body, my arms, my torso, my legs.  It may be visible from outside as a shiver. 

 

Since this has started, my Em-Wave (HeartMath biofeedback device) has reported that it's so much harder for me to achieve "the zone."  Until this recent surge in anger, I was able to keep the Em-Wave in the "Green" quite easily for 80% of my sitting.  I was getting ready to move it to a more advanced setting, then this anger, rage and sorrow came up.   Now it is more like 55%.  My average heart rate (in meditation!) has gone from 74 to 87.  This is no good!

 

It may be - similar to what DMV was talking about (and Petunia taught me about) a sweeping up of old traumas.  My primary traumas are so old that they are pre-verbal, as I was abandoned as a baby.  This deep sorrow ties to that, and also to the fact that the Mother I finally ended up with (by 9 months of age) was afraid of my noetic tendencies, and tried to cram me into conforming boxes for Jesus.  So there are a series of traumas related to that, too.  My brother calls us Religious POW survivors.

 

I do feel my lower heart beating twice for each beat of my upper heart.  This is called bigeminy PVCs or ectopic heart beats.  I ask my symptoms questions, and as I was crying in my heart meditation today, I asked my heart, "What is this?"

My heart said, the extra beat is the beat of what I am doing to conform to hubby's lifestyle.  And it is not good for me.  I'm not in harmony with myself.  This is a painful realization.  Do I just keep going as I have been, and "hope that it resolves"?  Or is there a bigger solution I need to pursue - a sweeping stroke of OMG change.  As someone who moved everytime things were "wrong," I'm inclined to sit with this and try and learn from it.


I also know that I'm probably projecting my inner turmoil onto my outer circumstances.  I have a beautiful home, even if I believe it's in a noisy, stinky, unhealthy location.  My husband is incredibly supportive, even if he places different priorities on things.  I'm working very hard not to spray my emotions onto him, not to project my problems onto him.  He is a factor, but is he as major of a factor as I seem to believe?  Communication could be better (it always can be), and he's not the man I married (the stroke changed his brain, and honestly, I don't like him as much now).  

So one of my jobs is to reel it in, and acknowledge my problems and refrain from making them "other people's fault." 

Another example of talking to symptoms - I've had "tennis elbow," or tendonitis in my left, dominant arm since last November.  Most people get tennis elbow and can clear it in 6 weeks.  Not me.  This is going into 6 months.  I spent 6 months last year in pain from tendinitis (ankle, arm), and I'm tired of going to the hand therapist for this one.  The ultrasound feels good - but does it feel $120 worth of good?  Does it actually heal something?  So - I asked my arm, "What do you want?"  I asked the question for about a month before I got my first answer, which was, "Everything is out of reach!"  (that ties directly into my big issue of helpless and hopeless).  I thanked the arm, and told it that not everything was out of reach, and I would try and be more aware of what I was reaching for.  The next message I got from my arm was, "Why do you have to carry so much?"  Ah, so it wants me to lighten my load.  That is harder.  Negotiations are ongoing.

My Osteopath summarized my energetic body like this:  My right knee is afraid to step forward (the right knee seems to be about male support in my life) - and it's breaking my heart, and so my left arm says, "Why bother?"  Depressing?  Yes.

This is easier than the 1998 crisis, in that I am more mature, I will not be taking the drugs, and I have a huge toolbox for coping.  This is harder than the 1998 crisis in that I am older, weaker, with a lot more pain issues, and far less energetic than before.

 

In other news, I have started tapering Phenibut.  This is like tapering a benzo, but it is an amino, and should be more forgiving than a real benzo.   My first taper is 25%.  We'll see where I am in a month's time as to what my next taper will be.  This supplement has been banned in Australia because some school kids got ahold of a bottle and 7 of them took the whole bottle and got very sick and went to hospital.  Australia doesn't mess around, and banned it immediately.  So I have to take my remaining supply and plan a taper with it.

Aha!  Watch this space.  It could be chemical after all.

Edited by JanCarol

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JanCarol

Phenibut tapering notes:

 

10-June 2017 - put on 300 mg Phenibut daily, plus PRNs to calm heart as needed.

 

This did not make me sleep any better, but it has calmed my heart.  It also blocked my dreams - I still had dreams, but as soon as my eyes opened, the memory of those dreams disappeared behind a veil.  This is not a normal pattern for me. 

 

1 Feb 2018 -  Australia has BANNED Phenibut*, so I need a fast taper.
11 March 2018 (est) - decreased to 250 mg Phenibut.  I haven't been taking PRN's

10 April 2018 - Decreased to 225 mg Phenibut

16 April 2019 - Tapered to 200 mg.

 

* 7 schoolchildren got a bottle to share, and landed in hospital with symptoms.  There are no accepted trials for "therapeutic properties" of this supplement, so Australia's answer is simply a total ban.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5428761/Phenibut-drug-overdose-high-school-Father-speaks-out.html   All of this article's references to the "dark web" are creepy, since - you could just buy it from iHerb, or even at Muscle Supplement shops.  They call it "taking illicit drugs," when it was not illicit - it was legal & available, if rare or little-known.  The tone of these articles really gets my goat - and - it's why my new doctor treated me like a freaking druggie when I talked about how it had helped me.  These kids obviously took stupid amounts of this supplement - if it had been an "approved drug," this would be a different circus.  


13-April 2018 - Symptoms have apparently returned with a vengeance.  The double heart-beat has returned, and is pretty constant.  I do not want to take blood pressure drugs!  My BP is normal, and my heart rate is normal.  During this taper time, however, my heart rate is high - 87 bpm - even when I am in meditation.  I'm not sure how the bigeminy is recorded in heartbeats (it makes it tricky to take my own pulse)   I was hoping that the hawthorn, motherwort, and Mag Taurate would help with these symptoms, and that the phenibut could go away painlessly.   I wish I had the luxury of a long hold, but the supplement is banned.  Even if I could get more when I come to the USA, it's risky to carry a banned substance through customs.  Believe me, you don't want any cause to be stopped by them.


I will update here instead of in my signature, when it is complete, I'll copy it over to the relevant Symptoms and Self Care Topic.  I think I can do this in about 8 months.  But the first indications are that it won't be a cake walk, as already, the "badger in my chest" is angry again.  I'm now thinking that my ortho-doc's prescription of this was brilliant, as it was a gentle way to calm my heart without depleting oxygen to the heart like BP drugs do.  It was a creative piece of prescribing.  Now I have to deal with the symptom return, the taper, and fending off cardiologists again.

 

 

 

 

 

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Shep
5 hours ago, JanCarol said:

1 Feb 2018 -  Australia has BANNED Phenibut*, so I need a fast taper.
11 March 2018 (est) - decreased to 250 mg Phenibut.  I haven't been taking PRN's

10 April 2018 - Decreased to 225 mg Phenibut

16 April 2019 - Tapered to 200 mg.

 

Phenibut is a GABA analog but less toxic than a benzo - as you wrote, "more forgiving than a benzo" -  and I know you have no choice in your taper due to the ban, but I think you're right:

 

On 4/18/2018 at 1:17 AM, JanCarol said:

Aha!  Watch this space.  It could be chemical after all.

 

The symptoms you're describing, especially going back in time to earlier traumas, sounds like a psychiatric withdrawal emotional flashback, only in your case, with tons of non-drug coping skills already in play to handle the uptick in symptoms. I like how you mindfully navigate the terrain. 

 

Since I'm still building the skills I need to navigate these types of terrains, I've been using Arnold Mindell's concept of letting go of personal history. He advocates going beyond primary processing and delving deep into secondary processing during traumatic events, especially events that bring up the past and try to attach themselves to your current situation. I discover if I stay in primary processing during traumatic waves, I end up using those chemical attachments as a bridge that keep me going back to those dark places instead of allowing me to choose my own path. Secondary processing is full of tools and guides that have gentler paths to travel.

 

The past is never an honest broker. Until I've healed, I can't engage too often. 

 

I'm finding what you're doing interesting and enlightening because you are facing it head on and going deep into explore mode. This is good if it leads to revelations, but if it gets too much, the letting-go-of-personal-history is a good method to take a break and explore as an observer, a kind stranger to your past who is simply passing by as if reading it in a book.

 

Just some thoughts, perhaps a word salad at times. Still, it's all good to share.  

 

Thanks for sharing what's working for you. BTW, the vibraphone video is beautiful. 

 

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Rosetta

Thinking of you, JanCarol.  I'm so sorry about that supplement.  I'm hoping this hard time will be short. 

Peace, Rosetta

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DesperatelySeekingSusan

Hi Jan,

Just wanted to say a quick hello.  I've  just finished reading the entire 28 pages of your other thread.  I admire your chutzpah with doing whatever you feel it takes to get well, your way.  Especially when so much basic common sense goes against the so called knowledge and expertise of the 'medical' establishment.  We really are trodding our own paths here.  Thank God S.A. is here to keep us from going off the clift when we get too near the edge.  Hope you get the phenibut worked out and the badger tamed.

DSS

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JanCarol

Thanks Shep, Rosetta, and DSS (great name!)!

 

I took my anger to the gym last night.

 

I wanted to last week, but I was so angry last week that I was weak.  Holding on to anger is a horrible use of energy!

 

Anyhow, I took my anger to the gym.  Here's what I learned:

 

It's hard to work out when my heart is wibbly wobbly, but it's possible (fear not, my cardiologist cleared exercise with this condition).

 

The anger didn't dissipate, but I exhausted my body.  My workouts are 2.5 hours long - this isn't 2.5 intense hours, it's a little of this, a little of that.  I do it this way because I pay for the session, so instead of doing 2 half-body workouts, I do one whole body workout with cardio.  By the time I'm at the end of 2.5 hours, I am seriously done.

 

Anytime a thought or feeling came up, there was a deep sadness.  I didn't cry outside, but I cried inside.

 

When I did my HeartMath today, I had slight improvements in heart rate and "resonance" (turning the light green).  

 

The causes of my anger and sadness are mostly there, but progress has been made, so it is less pressing.  Today, hubby freed the coffee tree from its tangled prison.  There's still a lot more to be done, but at least I can now tend the coffee tree, and prepare a small plantation from its offspring.  This has released some of my pain (it's - a long and shamanic story), as now I have someone in my own yard (the coffee tree) that I can commune with and help to thrive even when the rest of the trees here are tangled, overgrown, and sick.  And perhaps - as I tend this little coffee plantation (5 trees at most), hubby might understand a bit better about tree husbandry and might help me by addressing some of the more painful problems with our forest.  I feel that hubby did the tree work to "appease the madwoman" but if that's what it takes - okay.  Except that - I'd like to learn to address these things before they become painful, disrupt my sleep and my heart rhythm.  To catch the spiral before it becomes anger, as Brassmonkey might advise.

 

(what you say, the forest was the cause of all this distress?  well - yes, but there's always more.  Communication, working out solutions, and other stressors still play a factor.)

 

What I learned on the massage table today (and from observing my emotions at the gym yesterday) was that I've been breathing in anger (sympathetic) and breathing out sadness (parasympathetic).  It's kind of a no win situation.  If I'm awake, alert and activated, it's anger.  If I'm calm, quiet, and listening, it's sorrow.  

 

I still have more to learn.  This feels like a huge universal gobstopper of something that is damming the river.  Either I will gently remove small obstacles, and the river will flow around the large one - or at some point, it will break free and burst in a huge emotional event.  Okay, then.  I'm ready.  It's okay.  Emotions won't kill me.  The shamanic path would be learning to communicate them - as at this level, the emotions are practically an altered state, or force of an inner reality.  When a shaman experiences an altered state, what is important is not the altered state, but what information and lessons you can bring back from it.  For decades, I've called these "bring backs."  

Think about it like dreams.  You enjoy (or don't) the dreams, and take out your imagination and play with it, processing your day, feelings, thoughts, and sometimes problem solving.  You will still learn and grow if you wake up and don't remember a thing - but you will learn and grow more, if you can bring it back, sift through it, and learn from it.  "Bring backs."

 

Shep - thanks for bringing Arnold Mindell into this.  I'm always a bit confused by his terminology.  What he's calling "secondary processing" sounds a lot like what the shamans call "second attention."  Mooji would call it "the observer" or "the witness."  This runs the risk of being to estoteric for the purposes of this forum (maybe better for my own website, Shaman Explorations but I'll touch on it here, and maybe it will develop into something for that.

 

I really have no hope of parsing out the details of my pre-verbal traumas.  I was a baby.  I'm sure there are regressive therapies, and trance shamans who might be able to unpack some of that (but reliably?  as Truth?  This is the realm of "belief.")   - but the truth of the matter is, I need to approach this from the Second Attention - or even further out - beyond my personality and ego.  

 

 

I talked about this a little bit here

Quote

At some point, there can be an intervention I call “Grace,” whereby the personality is seen for the onion skin that it is, the strategy, the little self – and the big Self, the Observer, the Greater-Than-Just-Me part becomes dominant.  Then, the problems of living are put into a perspective where – they are small compared to the Greatness.  In my experience, these strokes of Grace are temporary – I’ve yet to make them permanent, but they can remind me that what I am experiencing is “only my personality,” or “only the ego,” and that the Oneness, the Greatness, the Allness is always there, even when I cannot perceive or feel It.

 

I've always felt that Grace was even higher and deeper  than "Second Attention," which is a form of mindfulness.  Grace is beyond mind, beyond ego, beyond personality, and is the ultimate teacher.  It's more like what G-d, or the Greater Goodness, would see when looking at my tiny life.  The dramas fall away, and there is the place where paradoxes are resolved, and challenges integrated.

 

Since I wrote that post about Grace, I have since read from an Indian saint that once you feel the Grace, it sweeps away, and you never need go back to your old patterns.  But I truly believe it is a spiral, and there's a next Grace, to sweep away the last stuff you were struggling with.  It's the development of Self through a series of lessons, some of which are quite challenging.

In conclusion - complete, exhausting exercise has helped.  My relationships are clearer, cleaner and less reactive, less about pain, and more about hope.  (see, there's that Gratitude practice again!)

 



 

Edited by JanCarol

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Shep
9 minutes ago, JanCarol said:

Shep - thanks for bringing Arnold Mindell into this.  I'm always a bit confused by his terminology.  What he's calling "secondary processing" sounds a lot like what the shamans call "second attention."  Mooji would call it "the observer" or "the witness."  This runs the risk of being to estoteric for the purposes of this forum (maybe better for my own website, Shaman Explorations but I'll touch on it here, and maybe it will develop into something for that.

 

Yes, Mindell does use differing terminology - sometimes he says "secondary processing" but sometimes "second attention". I think you are right - it's the same. Will explore more on SE.

 

11 minutes ago, JanCarol said:

I've always felt that Grace was even higher and deeper  than "Second Attention," which is a form of mindfulness.  Grace is beyond mind, beyond ego, beyond personality, and is the ultimate teacher.  It's more like what G-d, or the Greater Goodness, would see when looking at my tiny life.  The dramas fall away, and there is the place where paradoxes are resolved, and challenges integrated.

 

Since I wrote that post about Grace, I have since read from an Indian saint that once you feel the Grace, it sweeps away, and you never need go back to your old patterns.  But I truly believe it is a spiral, and there's a next Grace, to sweep away the last stuff you were struggling with.  It's the development of Self through a series of lessons, some of which are quite challenging.

 

"Grace is beyond mind, beyond ego, beyond personality" as a teacher beyond second attention is something I hadn't heard of before. 

 

I was thinking of second attention (mindfulness) as an end-all state, a goal that had no exit into something more or higher, but this is lending itself to a way of shedding personal identity ("your old patterns") and having a teacher - a state of Grace -  as both a method and a map to something much more meaningful. Very useful information! 

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DMV64
3 hours ago, JanCarol said:

Second Attention

Wow, JanCarol you sound so CLEAR even in an extreme state. I don't know what "second attention" is, but am interested. I do feel I am learning so much about really everything, not just myself, through this pain, this state I am in. I hope you are feeling better today. You are a treasure!

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Kristine

Hey JC, Sending you the biggest Bouquet of love, peace and healing vibes...all wrapped up with a bunch of (((hugs))) Thinking of you. Much Love K xo  

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