Thursday, June 27, 2013

72 ways to spend 2010


I had been diagnosed with migraines, fibromyalgia, and depression and I had been tested for more things than I could count. Kenya was my wake-up call and accidental yoga was my first step back up the staircase of life. I was tired of being tossed around from doctor to doctor - from specialists to specialist and having all different kinds of prescriptions thrown at me. Despite all of the diagnoses and pills that I was on, I still felt terrible. Even though I was being given all of these “cures” for my aliments, I still had a myriad of issues. These included: headaches, extreme fatigue, dizziness, mental fog, allergies, hair loss, anxiety, unexplained and wide spread pain all over my body, cold hands and feet to name a few. In general I felt like complete hell despite two years of running around from doctor to doctor only to have each one tell me that either something new was wrong or that I was completely fine.

I decided, on my own, that being on anti depressants was not the best thing for me.** I realized when my bag was lost in at the airport that I had not allowed myself to feel anything for a very long time. For me personally, the lack of  feeling was no longer something that I could sustain. The doctors wanted me to stay on the medications but I knew that it was not the best choice for me. So against “doctor’s orders” I weaned myself off of the Zoloft and Wellbutrin.**  As I came off of the meds and the feelings started rolling in, I started to wonder why I had prevented myself from feeling for so long. I wondered what had gotten me to the level of numbness that I was experiencing. What had happened in my life to allow me to accept this low standard of contentment that I was living? I was existing up until this point but for the first time I was really ready to live. It was then that I realized I needed to start dealing with my shit. Old, new, bad and ugly, I needed to air out all of my dirty laundry because keeping it in was killing me emotionally and deteriorating my health.

Every person has this running crawl in their brains - like the ones you see on a news cast at the bottom of the screen. We all do this and it is a constant reel of all of the shame, guilt and regret that we have ever had in our lives. Every break up, missed opportunity, or mess up runs through our minds constantly. For some the running crawl is much more severe. For some it’s memories of death or abuse, of neglect or violence or abandonment. It's constant thoughts of all the bad things that have ever happened in our lives and when we don’t deal with these things they manifest in all kinds of ways. For me, it was in my health. But for others it can destroy relationships because you don't want the possibility of being hurt again. For some it's repeating bad patterns with your own children. It can manifest in the need to remain constantly busy so you don't ever have time to stop and assess your life or it can be the need to work more than needed. It can manifest in the need to always have something wrong with you or it might come by way of addiction. When ever there's a behavior that expresses a lack of care for ones self or others it's usually rooted in the same pain tree.

There is no hierarchy in suffering or in pain. Pain is pain.  Suffering is suffering. If it is experienced and not dealt with, it will somehow find a way to be visible in your life. Some people do a really good job of hiding it. Some eat it away, some medicate it away, some work it away, some exercise it away, some drink it away, and some just sit their whole lives and wallow in their pain. I do know if you have past issues that are not dealt with - they will always reappear in extreme behaviors or sicknesses. It starts as a state of unbalance in your psyche and eventually turns into a state of unbalance in your life and body. I had to come to terms with my past and with my issues. I had to put some of these things to rest. I needed to save myself from myself.

The way that I tend to process my life is to write it down. So for the next week I carried a notebook and a pen around with me and every time that I thought about a past event that made me feel bad, sad, angry, remorseful, shameful or unresolved, I wrote it down - and write I did. By the time that I was done I had a long list - I had 72 items in total, ranging anywhere from bad break ups, to people that I was unnecessarily mean to, to abuse that I endured, to taking an extra dollar in change from that cashier at Walgreen's that one time.  

Once I had finished my list I went to work. I started with number one and worked my way through it all. I wrote letters to people, I searched online for others so that I could apologize or talk to them in person. I took each issue one by one and I dealt with each one in a way that I felt was appropriate. I wrote letters - some I burned, some I mailed, some I read out loud to the person. A number of things on the list - once I was able to get them out of my head- I realized that I just needed to let them go. One by one, item by item, I got all of the cluttered chatter out of my head and with each line item I forced myself to feel again. For a year, I rehashed out every past hurt and I relived each event one by one. I became stronger each time and I emerged with a greater sense of understanding for myself and for each situation. I cried, I lost sleep, and I felt a sense of relief for the first time in years.

With each issue checked off I forced myself to let go of the shame and replaced it with understanding and to let go of anger and replaced it with love.  I realized that I had been punishing myself for decades over past wrongdoings and punishing others for decades over their past wrongdoings. I also began to realized that doing this was not true justice - it wasn't fair to punish myself and others over and over again for bad actions. You do something bad and you pay for it one time that is justice but to rehash, and rethink, and re-feel all of the pain over and over again - over a lifetime - well that is just absurd. But this is something that we humans do it to ourselves and to others every single day. You have to stop doing this because you cannot be free until you do.  

Over the course of the year I realized that it’s this continued state of punishment that causes people to shut down and not want to feel any more and who can really blame us? When all you let yourself feel is remorse and guilt who would continue to put themselves through that? Only a fool would carry on that way. This is why, I feel, that we have so many people addicted in this world. People don’t like to feel this discomfort so they find something to mask it or drown it out completely. That is what was happening with me and the anti depressants. It was causing me not to feel and consequently not to deal with my issues. It was covering up years of issues that were trying to bubble up. It’s like having a broken water line and just throwing a tarp over it. The tarp will hide the issue in that area but eventually the water will start bubbling out wherever it can and at some point it causes a flood, and it forces you to deal with it.

In 2010, I had reached this point. The issues were bubbling out and had been manifesting in all sorts of health issues. Once I started to free up the space in my head that was once occupied by anger and shame, I was able to make room for more joy and more love. I felt free and light and capable for the first time in a long time. I was able to see that it is possible to live your life rather than just existing in it.




** This was my personal experience and choice. Any one on medication should consult their doctor before going off of any medication. Going off anti depressants is not recommenced and anyone wanting to do so should consult their doctor fist. 

5 comments:

  1. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again for writing this. Straight from your heart and really honest. I need to do this.

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! Being honest isn't always easy but I hope that people can avoid some of the things that I went through and just get straight to the joy!

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  2. I needed to read this today. You made some really good points. I need to evaluate how much of this I've been doing. Thank you!

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    1. I would encourage you to deal with any nagging past issues. You will be a better person for it!

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  3. thank you so much for such a great information about depression treatment tips, i have suffered from depression since last 1 year but when i used your tips ,then it's really works and gives me a big relief from depression, i have also follows treatment tips from some where else also, that tips are also very useful ,i want to share it with you, suggested reading how to deal with depression naturally

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