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Re: Barbara Cat, I need your opinion tentdweller

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 18, 2003, at 1:50:13

In reply to Barbara Cat, I need your opinion, posted by tentdweller on July 17, 2003, at 21:15:19

Dear TW,
First of all, let me express my utmost appreciation for you. In these sterile days of BushEnomics, your lovely adventures ring loud and true to wanderers everywhere. The pain and upheaval you're experiencing is healthy outrage, pure and simple, against the dreary crap we call Life Today. The travesty is that we have to medicate against this natural and healthy pissed-off reaction to unethical Big Brother bull that we're all too chicken-shit to stand up to. It's not you. Anyone who isn't going through Hell isn't really alive. What we lack is proper guidance rather than better meds.

Whew, glad to get that off my chest. OK, Zyprexa. I was on it 5 years ago because I was having wild hallucinations in my otherwise predictable depressions. I've since come to regard them as 'I have HAD IT!' breaking through, but they were too inexplicable/problematic for my 20 minute every 8 week psych session to handle. I felt swooshy and revved and once I finally fell asleep, slept like the Dead without any dreams. Woke up hungover until noon. Sleep, I don't know about sleep since I get so little of it. But melatonin works well when it works. I take Ambien. Someday I'll be off it, but for now, if I don't sleep I get wack-o. What's really the issue for me is stressed out adrenals from years and years of intense stress. Hah! I'm amazed I survived my many years as a computer consultant. Stress, and the chemicals stress produces, is the reason why we feel we can't handle life's journey. How we get beyond our stress is the answer. You know this.

Zoloft was a good drug for me. It took care of panic attacks and morbid dread. But it never lasted for long. I kept having to increase it to dangerous levels because the panic and sense of doom kept breaking through. I think I'm really bipolar rather than major depressed, but that's just another name, a pigeon-hole, a neat little HMO diagnosis for insurance sake. I believe I've been having one spiritual reckoning after another but, until lately, haven't had proper training to guide me through. So lithium helps with the wild ride, and lamictal helps with the ever-present Dark Night of the Soul. No more SSRI's for me. I try to meditate every day. I try to stay away from stimulants, i.e., alcohol, opiods, pot - even though they provide an instaneous relief and that dark thrill that I pay too high a price for. I don't know how to do all this on my own, but I fervently believe it can be done. Until then, I gladly accept help, realizing that I am ultimately responsible for Me. If what you're taking/doing helps to get you through the night, then be glad. If not, keep searching. Just be sure not to burn yourself out, legally or otherwise.

Altough I know that my difficulties are a product of a very difficult childhood, I've often wondered how much of my nervous system was forged by my psychedelic experimentation. I had mainly great revelations, but some of them were Pure Hell. My terrible depressions/psychosis were like the worst acid trip imaginable. Bearing this in mind, I guess Zyprexa should have worked, being a reputable anti-psychotic. But my spiritual seeking has convinced me that these intense reactions were NOT simply crazed chemistry. No, they were the truth for me at that moment and, it turns out, for this moment as well. Pure reaction and viscera. My pain came from not trusting myself and not having a clue how to live true to myself. My anxiety came from dreading a future I felt I could not handle. Flaking out in so many ways for so many years didn't help this anxiety one bit. At least now I can admit that I'm still quite ignorant, but at least open to learning. Getting out of that crazy-ass corporate world was necessary for my mental and physical health, and I've even been financially validated for that decision.

So, this is what I've learned. Trust your deepest knowing. You know what this is. Do the known remedies for depression/anxiety. That is, get good healthy exercise outdoors, eat fresh unprocessed foods, pure water and lots of it. Be boringly pristine and find friends who share your highest intentions. Get plenty of sleep (however you can), quiet your mind whatever way works best. Omega 3's are helpful, as in fish oil. Ask Spirit for guidance. Find a teaching that works for you and follow it but don't beat yourself up when you don't. Keep a journal and write in it EVERY DAY. While driving, listen to tapes of those who have been there and back instead of fragmenting noise. This way, being in the car becomes an opportunity for healing rather than frazzling.

And above all, love and be good to the Critter Kingdom (i.e., your kitties)! They will open your heart. That's where it's at, always. Keep me posted, TW. I'm with you. - BarbaraCat




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