S.A.D? (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or might we be fighting nature?

from last year and always a good reminder as we continue into the dark and cold part of the year (in the part of the world I live in, anyway)…

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

Healthline, which features my site along with nine others on their best of depression blogs has sent me a couple of emails asking if I might share a post from their site about “Seasonal Depression.”   —  I don’t use the term depression for my experience,  but I do find that there is a big natural shift in winter that encourages going inward and slowing down. I have found for a long time now that moving away from the pathologizing of my experience has been a healthy move for me and many of the folks I advocate for.  It strikes me that our culture is sick and we need to find ways of going back to basics and our true nature.

I often speak to the changing of seasons on this site and how I see the natural contracting that happens in winter as a part of being human. It’s…

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Go all the way. Roll the dice.

Charles bukowski at his finest — and heck, he’s a cat person…after my own heart…cats transmit pure knowledge in my experience…it’s true. Kitties have been profound healing medicine for me from the beginning of this process. My cats Kali and Jezebel have featured on this site a few times. I now have these two lovely boys…greatly skilled healing masters, all of them.

I used to do a lot of  “just for fun” posts…here is one to make up for the several year gap! And, of course, while also fun, these poems are profound and serious, too.

At the bottom of the post is a short video with Bono reading “Roll the Dice.

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Charles Bukowski and his cat

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there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him
I say, stay in there
I’m not going to let anybody see you
there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him ….

and inhale cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders and the grocery clerks
never know that he’s in there
there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him
I say
stay down, do you want to mess me up?
you want to screw up the works?

you want to blow my book sales in Europe?
there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep
I say, I know that you’re there
so don’t be sad
then I put him back
but he’s singing a little in there

I haven’t quite let him die
and we sleep together like that with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to make a man
weep
but I don’t weep
do you?

(and the progression…another by Charles Bukowski)

if you’re going to try, go all the
way.
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
way.
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.

it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
mockery,
isolation.
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.

and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
that.
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with
fire.

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.

you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, its
the only good fight
there is.

“Roll the Dice” by Charles Bukowski from What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire

(thank you dear brother Charles!!!)

Here is a fun reading by Bono:

 

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safer alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Currently raising money for: yoga teacher training. a long time coming

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!

Chronic illness and pharmaceutical injury…what is it?

This is my experience after what, at this point, amounts to thousands of hours of mindful presence with the chaos in my body. One learns when one focuses attention. One learns a whole lot. That is meditation. Focused attention.

So, my experience of chronic illness:

Chronic illness is the body saying no to the toxic societal structures that we have internalized…healing from chronic illness is healing the whole human shebang.

~~ To be clear healing does not mean curing. There is no cure to this being human. ~~

This is also not to suggest that there are not real physical correlates to these societal structures. Pharmaceutical injury is a violent intrusion of societal structure into the brains and nervous systems of people who are sensitive. The structure becomes a real mirror of destruction within the body.

Detox is the breaking down of these internalized societal structures. They can become extremely complex if there’s a lot of microorganisms and heavy metals as well as neurotoxic substances involved…the pharmaceuticals set up opportunities for multiple infections, in fact.

People sometimes appear possessed because, frankly, they are. Microorganisms can profoundly affect our consciousness. (our microbiome…our gut…the balance of microorganisms matter…healing, from this perspective, is in some sense is about internal ecosystem management).

Detox can take the form of energetic, psychological, emotional and physical detox processes. Some folks need to concentrate on one more than others — other people need to focus on just about everything in their life to bring it into balance especially if we’ve been chronically ill.

My body had to construct alternative detoxification routes because of the damage that happened to the brain. This level of interoception is a bit much at times, I’d rather not have this capacity quite often. It restructured pathways  — while I followed it’s lead (direction) with all my healing practices. It totally needed my active, focused, conscious cooperation. I did that by learning to listen to my body and shutting out what society (and pretty much everyone else) said. It was critical to do that for me.

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We equate health with peak physical condition ignoring the fact that a person can have a perfect body yet a fragmented being, or conversely a sense of wholeness within what might appear to be a broken body. The real barometer of health is spiritual rather than physical.

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Healing/transformation is not always a graceful process. Sometimes it’s exceedingly ungraceful/unskillful. In fact we bump up against every edge and frequently look the idiot if we’re actually doing the work.

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Healing is about accepting and being completely who we are with whatever limitations we have. Sensing wholeness, even with a broken body because nature always holds us in wholeness. When we listen we learn flow in whatever condition we find ourselves in.

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The times when we say we feel most alive are when we feel most deeply connected to life itself — not our own life, but life in its totality. We are always that.

Much more on chronic illness here

Much more on protracted psych drug withdrawal syndrome here

Much more on meditation here

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Currently raising money for: yoga teacher training. a long time coming

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!

 

Here’s the thing: when you come off of psych drugs…

Some tweets from this morning…they come from a few different threads and I’ve strung them together….I now hang out on twitter in a non-mental health scene. The mental health scene got to be really toxic for me. Not always. I needed it to learn and grow and heal. But now, it’s not what I need. I need to see beyond what’s happened to us and it’s not healthy for me to be around people in agonizing pain all the time. It was keeping my PTS alive in ways that frankly kept me from being able to heal my own body as I supported others. I still support many people and I still speak and do this work. I do it differently now, however and it’s important that I do. So with that preamble, I’m sharing some tweets. I still share this info but I do it in a crowd of people who largely have never thought about these things. In other words, I no longer cater to the choir. I think we need people everywhere and introducing these ideas to folks who’ve not considered them is also important.

At the suggestion of my good friend Harry, I’ve chosen (mostly) not to edit the below tweets. It’s in the raw. If you find words that are popularly considered obscene problematic please don’t read it.

The twitter words:

Here’s the thing: when you come off of psych drugs — You have to deal with the withdrawal which is sometimes heinous and dangerous both. But beyond that you then have to feel every last thing you did not feel because you were on those damn drugs.

And then you have to go back and feel every fucking thing from before you were on them as well. They make everything exponentially more difficult. They should never be used except in overt crisis. Then they should be tapered off as soon as possible…

Alternative methods of care and safe spaces at that point need to be found. At this point, unfortunately they need to be created. We’re all rather fucked unless we have resources to create them for ourselves. I speak because I am one of the lucky few & life remains off the charts

We actually really need you all to recognize us and help us get what we need. The fact we really are tapped into stuff that help us understand the nature of reality if we can be healthy. That right now is not happening we are unhealthy and dying on psych meds I am not kidding.

It is far too risky for most people to speak this way they have to hide and play the psychiatric game it’s really awful.

And sadly it’s the majority of people reading this thread will think that I am being hyperbolic and that is what we all have to deal with. That is active oppression. Are you participating?

My typos are unfortunate. But I am tired. see if you are one to judge those typos too. It’s nice to come up with any reason to dismiss uncomfortable news, isn’t it?

I left the Twitter Echo chamber that is the pharmaceutical injured ghetto because frankly it gets old and people are too angry and hurt to see past their own experience. Fact is however nobody else gives a shit & they should because everybody comes into contact with Pharmaceuticals

The stories of the drug injured matter. We are buried beneath a pile of pharmaceutical propaganda. The human species actually needs us sensitives. Fucking wake up the rest of you. That’s why I’m here where virtually nobody pays attention because some of you actually need this info.

So I toot this horn every now and then and then I go back to regular fun non-dualish tweeting for the everyone else and myself too.

I enjoy that much more.

Another thought for consideration: as an oppressed group we are unique because we exist isolated in families that often are complicit in our being harmed. They are in over their heads too and have no idea since authorities say that’s what we need — Psychiatry and drugs.

In any case we are surrounded only by people who tell us we are sick we are wrong we are bad we are unredeemable. It’s all very dangerous bullshit. The internet is allowing us to find one another and help one another in ways we were never able to do historically. I am grateful.

It remains difficult but we are here and we have a lot of work to do.

Remember:

There is nothing wrong with you

Also

Psychiatric drug withdrawal, info 

 

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Currently raising money for: yoga teacher training. a long time coming

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!

Wild medicinal mushroom foraging, harvest and the soup I made…..

My first thrilling foray into mushroom hunting. I cooked about 10 pounds of them today. They’re amazing I didn’t even pick a third of what was there. I’m so excited these are highly medicinal and delicious both. Medicinal mushrooms have been helping me a lot every fall — the rest of the year I can’t even eat them, actually, but during the fall I need them. This is mushroom season, so we see that my body is in synch with nature…something I learn about more and more every year with the passing of the seasons.  (some posts on seasonal changes here) And this one is good for this time of year especially:  S.A.D? (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or might we be fighting nature?

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Chicken of the wood mushroom soup. Had a bowl for breakfast and a bowl for lunch. I froze the rest of the cooked mushrooms in single meal serving size to be added to whatever food is asking for mushrooms!  Delicious!

And so satisfying to  forage and harvest my own wild medicinal mushrooms! After my yoga teacher training I hope to train formally in plant medicine/herbalism. I’m already an amateur…if I can still be called that given I’m healing my whole entire body/mind/spirit with the help of plant medicine. They guide the way at this point. I listen and follow. Beautiful!!

Here is a nice short video on this particular mushroom. Chicken of the Woods:

More posts on herbs and plant medicine here.

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Currently raising money for: yoga teacher training. a long time coming

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!

psych survivors, professionals and trauma healing

The more severe the trauma is the less the pop-culture trauma fad is resonant or safe…be careful out there…a lot of so-called trauma therapists are grossly undertrained and frankly dangerous for the most sensitive and highly traumatized among us.

What happens when you go to an enthusiastic but frankly ignorant trauma oriented helper of some kind? what can happen for the most sensitive that trauma dynamics can be played out with the therapist and they have no idea what’s happening. Retraumatization at the hands of such folks is common. Some of us get lucky but many of us don’t find folks we can work with. This is okay and we need to learn to trust ourselves if that is the case.

this can happen with very well-intentioned therapists and healers etc who simply have no idea how certain kinds of trauma manifest…it’s just the climate right now…some of us are on our own. It’s a bummer but boy do we learn a whole lot once we accept it…and always remain open for the people who are really our allies…they’re out there…it may just take longer to find them…from the outside they can look exactly like anyone else…we need to learn to feel into the energy of folks and trust our bodies intuition about whether we can work with someone or not.

And sadly when it comes to those of us who’ve been psychiatrized even the therapists who are pretty well known and do pretty much know what they’re doing with everyone else, will have problems with us…it’s just the way it is for now. We scare people and as soon as fear is part of a therapeutic container, things will go bad unless we learn to see what is happening and take care of ourselves. Once we can see what is happening we don’t need to continue working with anyone unless we know it’s safe and healing for us.

on a slightly different but related note:

I just realized that the reason I don’t (for the most part) work with healing professionals of any kind unless they are actually my friends is that it does away with the professional veneer. I can’t handle not dealing with my friends/peers because I want REAL. I want intimate.

There are a couple of exceptions in my life…those professionals could be friends in another life/timeline…but not this one…good people though…people I trust and respect and vice versa.

When people hold back big parts of themselves as most professionals do you can’t really feel into their energy and know if it’s a good idea to trust them or not. Hence it’s not.

Observing that professionals hold back and knowing that’s not a good fit for me, is not a conflict…it’s just the way it is. I move on and mostly away from the professional. I discover NATURE and NATURE in the environment EVERYWHERE…being my medicine leading me to that which I really need…not to what I’m told I need from people who do not know or understand my needs.

this is a related video from a while back:

MORE related:

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Currently raising money for: yoga teacher training. a long time coming

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!

~~ don’t chase and don’t run away from feelings ~~ (and yoga teacher training update)

first! thanks to those of you who have made donations towards my yoga teacher training. I’m now officially enrolled. I’m excited. It’s the first ongoing commitment I have made (outside of my home) in 10 years. I was explicit about my limitations and they remained enthusiastic about my participation. I will continue taking donations. I’ve paid for one third of the $3000 tuition fee. I have until June to finish paying in monthly installments. Any help will continue to be much appreciated. donate with PayPal  here. More on that here: yoga teacher training. a long time coming

and now some regularly scheduled odds and ends for your perusal:

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The collective dream is the hypnosis of social conditioning. Only sages, psychotics & geniuses manage to break free. ~Deepak Chopra

In response to Deepak I say:  Be the sage, the psychotic and the genius… they are all within us, every single one. 

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~~ don’t chase and don’t run away from feelings ~~  that’s right,  You can’t heal what you don’t feel.

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Shut down the narrative about what and why you are doing what you do and just start watching yourself in action and in stillness, too. Watch and learn.

(meditation is really just the process of learning to pay attention)

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Projection: so obvious when we watch others doing it

Not so clear when we’re doing it, right?

Stop pointing outward.

Look within.

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there are no sides. there is no us and them. wake up.

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Untying knots. That’s a fair way to explain the whole of my healing process…even if it eliminates all detail which is also very important from other vantage points. In any case, Untying Knots is likely to look totally different from one person to the next.

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It’s good to remember nothing is all toxic nothing is all pure –there is a time and place for everything — there’s a time and place to put down everything.

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I no longer use social media in ways that stress me out. I’m here to tell you, it can be done.

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The Earth is calling me back home. I feel strong even when I’m weak. What magic.

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Sorely under appreciated is the fact that the microbiome largely controls consciousness. When the gut is full of toxic bacteria/virus we are quite literally possessed by bugs that make us unwell. Our ancestors were not stupid when they recognized possession. They were right.

Also the microbiome is not just in the gut. It gets complicated — biofilm actually can spread all over the body and those infections do not show up in lab work so it becomes very complicated and Western medicine really doesn’t know anything about how to help people who are most seriously impacted. Understanding the microbiome and gut/brain health remains in its infancy and most MDs have no clue how to meaningfully support, let alone heal, the gut and body once there are grave imbalances.

(more on gut and health)

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There is nothing under the sun that is appropriate for everyone all the time. capitalism and marketing will have you believe that you need all sorts of crap you absolutely do not need…pay attention and extract yourself from the machine….

Our society teaches us to compete. Stop it. Just stop competing. And stop listening to marketing that says that every damn last thing is the best thing ever. Just stop that too.

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

***

****We could  use some financial support at the moment! You know, for things like the mortgage so that we can maintain a roof over our heads. Yup. I do this all for no other compensation than  what the readers want to offer in support. Thank you!****

Currently raising money in the hopes of taking this course: yoga teacher training. a long time coming

Support Everything Matters: Beyond Meds. Make a donation with PayPal orEnter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. Thank you!