Posted by BarbaraCat on September 27, 2003, at 13:27:26
In reply to Arctic birds » BarbaraCat, posted by katia on September 27, 2003, at 3:09:20
Oh, Katia, I hear you loud and clear. The arctic birds are a wonderful and beautiful analogy. But first, let's talk meds so we can hopefully stay here in Psych Babble where I much prefer it. Yes, you will stabilize on Lamictal. It's a wonder drug, you'll come to see. It sounds like you're just now beginning to feel it's effects which, for me, has been a lightening of spirit, a step up to a higher frequency, a shooing away the dark heavy clouds. I can see how contracted and dense I was just two years ago. I felt like a barely human black hole. I even realized it at the time, but couldn't seem to break out of that murk. I was so traumatized and my brain wasn't able to connect or make sense of it. I was also very sick with fibromyalgia and didn't have the energy for anything, much less summoning a 'Never give up! Never surrender!' attitude (thank you, Galaxy Quest). Also, I was still feeling the effects of a long history of drinking wine to de-stress, even though I wasn't drinking anymore (I've since fallen on and off that wagon, as we know).
Lithium helped to stop the ongoing mixed states depressions but I was still feeling bad and sad and very discouraged. Lamictal parted the clouds so that I could see the sun again and want to find a way to keep it shining. I climbed out on my own willpower and for that I'm very proud of myself. But without Lamictal, I wonder how it would've gone because I was quickly losing the will to live. I had been on so many meds for so long and was on my last ditch effort. Oh, I probably would have rallied one way or the other, only to sink again. It was just getting too hard and despite my best eforts I couldn't sustain my health or peace of mind. I think this sums it up the best for me: Lamictal gave me a boost up and the support to maintain that lightness of spirit within which is necessary to hear it's guidance. Lam opened up the gates to a renewed will to survive that keeps me choosing the path of Life, whatever it takes, no matter how many times I stray off it. Lam has the least side effects of any med I've been on (as long as you go tortuously slow on the ramp up). You'll even out to your best level even if that dose goes up and down based on your chemistry's needs. You'll know when you need more or less and so will your friends. New dosage effects act quickly, at least for me, once you reach a therapeutic level and the s/e aren't so jangly as with lower levels. But it seems to stay put for the most part. Unfortunately, it doesn't do all this on it's own and I need Lithium to make it work, but so be it and thank you modern chemistry.
I hate to admit this, but you know and I know that alcohol abuse clouds us and locks in that denseness, a sickness of spirit and a sense of weakness and shame the next day, which is really hindering our Good Fight. No amount of meds can overcome that sludgy energy and we're prey to the hungers of the lower brain and group-hive trance consciousness. No matter how I love the feeling at the time, I pay and pay for it, especially as I get older. I've been able to maintain very moderate drinking. I give myself 3 nights a week to drink no more than 1 drink (and no 16oz. glasses either like before). It was hard at first but now it's pretty easy cause I really appreciate the good feeling that's growing. I hope we continue to support each other in this.
Tribal bellydance is generally based on women's folkloric desert dances of the Berber and other nomadic tribes of upper Africa - Morocco, Tunisia, some Egypt. The dancers usually wear turban-like head coverings, lots of tribal heavy silver jewellry and nomadic coin belts, tatoos and even though it's very sensuous and sinuous dancing, there's absolutely no hint of cabaret. These women would deck you if you tried to stuff bills into their hip scarves. It's always done in an ensemble and rarely as a solo performer. The ensemble is an integral part of the choreograph. Tribal fusion on the other hand blends all this with more, I guess you'd say fantasy, a softer approach which also uses some jazz and some cabaret, and the look is a more a feminine tribal style but never cabaret. The two factions have somewhat a major conflict of interest. I'm so glad you're pursuing this. Now that I'm feeling out of the woods with the fibro I'm really getting into it again and am soon going to start teaching. But I really have to be ready so I don't start and then can't finish, as has been my pattern.
So, back to the arctic birds and to continue with this fascinating topic you introduced. What is this will to survive? Why do some people have it and others don't - you can sense this even in young children. What is so enticing about this existence that we fight for it even when we hate it?
My husband and I had a long talk about all this just this morning. It seems to have to do with courage somehow and the wonderment and memory of the Light as it's juxtaposed against the Dark of our anguish. It takes a certain courage and kick-ass grit to trust in and follow that sliver of Light and we need to doggedly find and remember our bravery. We need to forget those times we reacted from fear and discouragement and weakness, wipe those memories clean like deleting bad files from a computer, and remember those times when we acted with courage and determination and even outrage. We all have those times no matter how insignificant they may seem.
What is it about the life force that keeps us fighting for it? What does it take to extinguish it to the point where a person chooses to stop fighting? At what point does it become not worth it? It seems to have to do with becoming depleted, running out of energy, no fight left, go away and let me sleep. However, we see people all the time in our lives who really don't have it all that bad, aren't the walking wounded. And yet, they're the walking dead with little conscience, little respect for life, energy vampires. Did they ever have that spark? Is it some karmic thing we're all working through at different times in our lives?
For as long as I can remember I've always had a fierce will. I've sometimes used it against myself but I've also used it to survive against some powerful odds. I think a person is born with a strong will, it shows up very early, and it might be easier to access that courage and grit. It might be easier for us with very difficult lives who intimately know the darkness. We long for and recognize the light when we finally see it, and can summon up the survival instinct that you mentioned. But anyone can choose small steps of courage and learn to become courageous. I think it's about practice and willingness - even if it's just willing to be willing. And we all need to be all that in these difficult times. I agree that it's so encouraging that more and more people are questioning and seeking deeper answers. It seems to take adversity to wake people up. It also takes tremendous energy to sustain it. Without energy it's impossible. So, choosing to do whatever it takes to keep our energy level high is a crucial part. But oh, don't we love those substances that leave us feeling like shit for the next few days!
I can see all this so clearly when I'm feeling better, you know? That's why I think it's so important to find and stay on the meds that work for us because they really do let the sun shine in. Love ya, Kitty Katia. - BarbaraCat
I remember now.
> What you wrote in the previous post to Katy:
> >>You know, we're all dealing with alot of stuff and we all have some days worse than others and moan more sometimes, but jeez, you've at least got to try! Here among my friends on this board, we've all been through hell, but we're at least trying the best we can to do the work, get help, pay for the office visits and meds, come up for air time and time again. Even though we have real bad times of paralysis and rage and stupidity, and even though we sometimes just want to roll over and give up - we don't, and it's damned hard work but we keep on fighting for our lives - and that's what I love about us.
> here here to that.
> I was in conversation with a friend a day or two ago. She doesn't suffer from depression and was coming to these "revelations" (for a non-depressed person). she was saying stuff like "we didn't choose to come into this world, but yet we find ourselves here and have to deal with it and suffer and whatever....."
> (an aside here) it's always interesting to see people who don't live constantly in a state of despair and existential angst finally start to question these things in a normal frame of mind.
> But the conversation continued on, it is trully amazing what we will do to survive. And for what? What drives us to survive? In existential terms, we're born, we suffer, we die. get used to it.
> But what keeps us from committing suicide upon our birth?
> What keeps us from it in the midst of (as we on this board know too well) severe depression? What is behind the notion of hope?
> I think it's something stronger than we can cognitively imagine. It's life force.
> There are birds from the Arctic that fly all the way to the Southern hemisphere and endure the most wretched suffering anguished lives simply to find a moment's worth of food to subsist just long enough to do it again. What drives them to endure? When they could just roll over and give up to the angel's above?
> What force drives us? It's beyond cognition. it's somehow instinct.
> It's beautiful. It's life living and surviving in one way or another.
> one arctic bird here signing off.