My therapeutic process…my readers, my therapy

I feel compelled to write today about my experience. I don’t do that too often anymore as I have very little good to say. It’s not that I don’t think I’m progressing and moving forward, because I do think I am, but the degree of difficulty and suffering I’m experiencing as a result of the end of the detox is astonishing and it feels rather exhibitionist to speak of it too often.

People never want to believe I’m cognitively impaired and indeed most of the time you all see me or hear from me I am gathering all my strength and I present quite well, while in truth, most of the time I’m hardly functioning not just physically now but cognitively as well.

I’m continuing to produce this blog but my confession is that I read hardly anything I post. I have no concentration or focus. I can write little blurbs about stuff after I get the gist of it, or if I trust the source I just put it up. (As in guest submissions) My intuition is still serving me well so it seems to work out okay.

For the most part I have stopped reading other blogs as it takes all I have to produce this blog and having a sense that I’m still producing SOMETHING is important.

I hate the internet with a passion now and yet it is also the only thing that keeps me alive. How’s that for a conflict? Without this connection to human beings I would be left to stare at the wall. While I do spend many hours in meditation and silence I still feel a great need to be somehow engaged in the world. And so this is the only means for me to do that.

Detox at this stage by most accounts of anyone who has even close to a history like mine is the worst. And I can attest that for me too it is the worst.

Another thing that keeps me going is all the people who have passed this stage and talk about how relief does indeed come once the offending poisons are out of the body.

I want to give up every day. I want to die at least some of the time most days. I am oddly not at all suicidal, because,  underneath those impulses there is still a well of strength, trust and god damn it, OPTIMISM. I stun myself. I cannot believe what I’ve learned to endure and most of the time I endure it without complaint.

It is literally impossible for me to truly imagine I won’t get better once the drug is out. In spite of feeling hopeless and miserable and wanting to die I have this strange undying certitude that it will get better. Where the fuck I get it I don’t know. Maybe it’s my brother helping me from the beyond. Years ago in the midst of one of my traumatic experiences with psychiatry while drugged out of my mind he told me he had never met someone so optimistic. I remember being stunned by that. And I’ve never forgotten that he said that. And perhaps it is his spirit now helping me. I love you dear Robert. Your saw my future in that moment, I think.

I haven’t spoken about my experience since I was still out of state at the detox center.

I have had lots and lots of tests. Blood, urine and saliva. I’m still in the midst of a month long collection for female hormones.

One thing that is very significant is very marked problems with my thyroid. This in some ways is a good thing because theoretically it can be treated and it causes fatigue and many of the other problems I’m displaying. What is distressing about this result is that I’ve discovered there is simply tons of controversy about how my particular thyroid issue should be handled and frankly I don’t have the clarity of mind or the cognition to do the study and research I need to do. I no longer have the strength to be my own advocate and so I’m scared. Perhaps in some days time I’ll be in better shape, but I’ve been consistently hugely fucked up for several weeks now.

My doctor also expects my urinalysis to come back with heavy metal toxicity. This is something very many of the pool of people/experts I consult with have been suggesting for a long time. This doctor I am working with now told me she would be surprised if it did not come back positive. This too holds promise as if I am toxic there is treatment to cleanse one from those toxins and they too all can be causative in what plagues me. Unfortunately she told me if the test doesn’t come back for positive for heavy metals she will have to go back to the drawing board to figure out what is wrong and perhaps suggest further testing.

In any case there are lots of questions and I am still waiting for information.

As is often the case when I am at my lowest the universe throws me a curve ball in the form of someone who reads me attacking me. I need to learn to let this go. I need to not let other people’s trauma and pain become mine.

I’m getting there. But it still never stops hurting.

I have to protect myself now more than ever so I don’t even read an email once I know it’s an attack. And I redirect that senders address to archives so I don’t need to see the venom. So if any of you feel like sending me hate mail, know that as soon as it become apparent it’s ugly I stop reading. I have to put my recovery above all else now. I don’t have energy to fight and so I don’t.

In this instance I have to say I’m terribly sorry this person is hurting. Really really sorry.

Oh! Lastly…a bit of good news. In spite of how sick I am in many ways, I’ve cured my endometriosis. I had some relief from the pain a while back with accupuncture, but when I became housebound could no longer get the accupuncture. At that point I was still fit enough to continue researching and I discovered Pine Bark. I have had two completely pain free periods since I started it.

To be clear it’s very unlikely it’s the Pine Bark alone that has cured the pain. My diet and nutritional regimen has all sorts of elements in support of treating my endometriosis. But this proved to be the final piece of that puzzle.

Also I got my adrenals checked and while I was in adrenal fatigue a year ago, treatment with a couple of different adaptogens (Ashwaganda and Eleuthero in this case) as well as cutting out caffeine has greatly improved their function. Unfortunately I don’t feel better for it. But still it shows that underneath the debilitation my body is healing.

It’s clear my body does respond to diet and nutrition and meditation. I’ve now cured my life long acute IBS, my psoriasis, my endometriosis and my adrenal functioning has greatly improved. It’s clear some healing is happening. Undeniable that healing is happening. The bad part is I want to get the hell out of bed and be out among real people and I still can’t do that. I am still for all practical purposes an invalid.

This strange world of disembodied cyber folks is a godsend and a curse. I want people I can touch and smell again.

Please pray for that for me. Please hope that I can soon leave you all and find my way in the world of human flesh. Please.

This has been written in a single draft and I’m going to hit publish now. I can’t put any more effort into it. Forgive whatever typos or errors are sure to be here.

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

26 Responses

  1. Gianna I just wish I wasn’t across the pond and could come and see you and give you a hug. I came off psychiatric meds nine years ago. Some of what you’ve written is familiar. Some isn’t. What you are doing is bound to hurt, it’s got to get worse before it gets better. Some of these meds take forever to leave the body. You can assist their departure by eating tons of fruit and vegetables and drinking plenty of water. Now you have to bring on the will power and the fight in you even though you feel like death. I know you will be out of that bed soon, you must not give up, you must keep looking for that light at the end of the tunnel, believe me though you don’t yet know it, you will soon be shielding your eyes. There are a lot of us out here who believe you can do it Gianna, you are bold and beautiful as i told you yesterday, fight and fight with all your might Gianna and be very patient, you will win through. With my love and support Judith

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  2. Legan

    Gianna,

    You are in my thoughts. You are taking the very difficult steps to heal mentally and physically, and you will be rewarded. And when you are able to do all of the things you long to do, you will burst with joy.

    I’m going away today, and won’t be able to connect, but wanted to throw this subject matter out there for contemplation: I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the HPA axis (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenalcortisoid) and from what I’ve come across, exhaustion of this system can result in temporary thyroid dysfunction. To put it simply, if the adrenals are not completely healed, an out of whack thyroid will still be out of whack; HPA also regulates hormones: endo. Benzodiazepines do something funky to this system. (Hence, my inquiry.)Supporting the Hypothalamus is key to getting the axis humming again as it is considered the “brain of the brain.”

    PS-Pine bark supports the adrenals too.

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  3. That’s great news about the endometriosis! Not much I can say except I wish you better than the best. Thanks for posting.

    P.S. I’m not really a ‘huggy’ person but I’d make an exception for you. Take care!

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  4. Emma

    Dear Gianna,
    May I simply add my voice to the expressions of love, friendship, and support. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Emma

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  5. Well, I *AM* a huggy person, and you’re welcome to collect one next time you get back in town. Just keep examining yourself and your situation, you’ll find the answer and get clarity.

    Hugs,
    Moss

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  6. Gianna – hang in there. I didn’t see ANY typos. 🙂 But I make them ALL the time.
    I’ve been on glutathione SLOW push I.V. – basically they have it in a syringe and push it into my vein quickly … like 2 minutes or less. It cleans out heavy metals. May be something you can look into. I’ve been on varying doses the last year + and it’s the ONLY thing that’s lowered my hep c levels in my blood.
    Also, it goes across the blood – brain barrier and cleans out the brain.
    I have replaced the silver amalgum (sp) filling and i think that was a toxic thing for my body.
    God bless and I’m still praying for you – I’m in AWE of your strength.
    i have low thyroid too – maybe you have an autoimmune one. IF you give me the name when you have the energy – I’ll try to research it for you – if you want. Otherwise when you get a chance check this out: http://thyroid.about.com/mbiopage.htm

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  7. Hi Gianna,

    I think these sort of posts help a lot of people. I actually prefer reading these sorts of posts over news posts, they seem to help me more. Of course I’m one of those people that does too much, if possible, LOL, research online to help myself so personal stuff is super handy to me.

    You are doing so great and I’m so glad that underneath it all you still have optimism. It’s the one thing that you seem to be able to hang on to and I believe wholeheartedly that, that will get you through. Also, like you, I believe it could be your brother helping you, that is awesome.

    If you ever need any help with someone making sure posts aren’t negative before getting approved I can help for a short period. I, myself, am sort of struggling with my own hormone BS right now, but that I can do easily so that you don’t have to see that crap. 🙂

    Stef

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  8. Lisa

    Gianna, Bless your precious, tender soul. I can taste what you are talking about. I live in the mtns. and wish I could scoop you up and lay you in a hammock in the shade and we could drink herbal ice tea and talk or not talk. I have a precious dog who would love you up. YOU WILL COME OUT OF THIS SOON!!!! I am a buddhist and will light a candle on my altar for you, for you who has helped me so much with this web site. May faeries and butterflies kiss your weary soul. lOve,Lisa and angelmay (woof woof)

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  9. Joan

    Just to chime in and say that you are in my prayers and that the time will come when you are better. This too shall pass! Your writing is fine–something is still working very well in that mind of yours even if you can’t see it!

    Gentle hugs.
    Joan

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  10. Please keep writing and keep us informed of both your struggles and what keeps you going. I have been on at least 40 or more psychiatric medications myself throughout this journey. What you are doing poses an interesting angle to look at recovery from. A process I may consider at some time in the future.
    I so admire your courage and inner strength and yet can relate on some level to the deeply difficult physical and emotional agony. I consider you a pioneer and inspiration. You are in my prayers and will continue to be. You are held in high respects. Thank you!
    Amy Shipman

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  11. marigold

    This whole web world IS a wierd thing…i am so leary of it and people, i can imagine that feeling is exacberated when you are the moderator/creator of a pioneering website, ha!…to think i didn’t even own a computer till after college and have email, etc.(i’m 27 so it wasn’t that long ago lol:)…and how ironic i found this website that has made me realize i am NOT the only one that thinks this way and is on this desolate road….the words inspirational and supportive do not do justice to what, when i feel like it, i find here.

    I am sorry you are going through an extremely rough patch lately…which is an understatement and i hope you will be back on your feet and enjoying the world around you sooner than later. Take care and have a good evening.

    and…thanks for what you do here Gianna and how you have taken your difficulties in life and turned it into this amazing support system and goldmine of knowledge for those wanting a new way….adaptation.

    “I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.” ~William Shakespeare

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  12. Ellen

    Hi Gianna,

    I know I was one of those people who didn’t want to let you say that your cognition is impaired. Thank you for sharing the whole story behind what you’re going through. I understand completely. I also have to work around when my brain is functioning and when it isn’t. Everything takes me so long. I can take a 1/2 hr. to write 2 paragraphs. Some days the ideas just don’t flow out into words I can express.

    The heavy metals toxicity is so detrimental to a fully functioning brain. I had 9 mercury amalgam dental fillings that were removed almost 10 years ago. I know I had an extreme reaction to them, but yet somehow the effects were insidious and subtle. That’s the scary part about brain damage, sometimes the other parts know something’s wrong and sometimes you’re left dumbly wondering what’s going on. The only one who can know if you’re brain is working or not is you. (That is one of the main reasons taking control of your health care is so important.) I would have greatly benefited from knowing something was really wrong much sooner. I had to figure out for myself. The American Dental Assoc. wasn’t about to tell me. I know a lot of my cogitive impairment is most likely permanent now.

    What I really want to say is, our illness is not who we are. The damage to our body and minds is not who we are. I have perennial hope too, mixed in with self destructiveness. I know what it is to hang on for dear life to my last remaining brain cell.

    The cognition that you do have, works just fine by me. Even in light of your big confession, I have a feeling you will go on fooling us with your brilliance. In any case I support you in whatever condition you are in.

    I’ve got a keyboard, flesh, blood, refreshing beverages and

    am sending some hugs your way. 🙂 Why not have the best of both worlds?

    —Ellen

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  13. Gianna, I just wanted to add my good wishes to those expressed above. You are in my thoughts…I, too, will light a candle for you today. Hang in there!
    Hugs,
    Jazz

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  14. Val

    Hi darling:
    I’m glad to see you if only for a brief peek out of your “hole”;-)!
    I’m no endocrinologist (I just fight w/my own a lot) – but all I can tell ya is, if your thyroid ain’t working right, ain’t NUTHIN’ working right!!!
    If you want to send me some #’s to squint at – but I’ll tell you in my experience, I have to keep my TSH almost completely suppressed & my T4 levels at the upper end of the normal range for me to remain feeling reasonably healthy & productive…
    [Of course you have to take that w/a few large grains of salt, since I don’t have a thyroid gland anymore. Individual results may vary!]

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  15. Val

    & P.S. Again, I wish like hell I were closer, I could bring you a therapeutic Chihuahua** ;-)! (not to mention a hug)
    **actually you could name your therapeutic pet of choice: dog, cat, rabbit, donkey??? etc etc – Ha ha!

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  16. I’m not sure how you manage to be So Coherent and write so beautifully at times like this but I am glad of it. I’m also glad that you’ve been able to keep your optimistic spirit through all of your trials with this stuff and that you are seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

    I know there are those who warn/say that cognitive damage can be permanent but I’m living proof that it doesn’t HAVE to be. For over ten years, I could not concentrate well enough to read a BOOK. Since I’ve loved reading during my entire life and usually read three to four thick books a week, it was horrible for me. BUT when I’d been off the heavy psych meds for a few months, I started to be able to concentrate a little better and my short-term memory improved enough for me to remember the first three or four chapters of a book. My therapist suggested that I begin doing things that I’d never or rarely done in an attempt to sort of “jump start” my brain. So I started doing math puzzles and, within a few weeks, I was able to read entire BOOKS again! I was SO excited to be able to finish a Stephen King novel that I can’t even explain it.

    My point is that, even if you are experiencing cognitive difficulties NOW, it does NOT mean that you’re doomed to have them forever. Knowing your determination, I’d be willing to bet paper money (poor as I am, you know what That means 😉 that you’ll recover even FASTER than I did. I believe in you, woman!!

    Finally, if you can give me just a couple pieces of specific info, I’ll happily do research for you and write up a short (for me, can’t you just hear our mutual friends laughing and hooting? 😉 report on my findings. Research has always kinda been one of “my things” if you know what I mean. Just let me know…

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