Deena Metzger has been on my radar a long time. Her books and blog are both well worth reading. She has a blog post from a couple of days ago of which I share an excerpt below. You should really go read the whole thing in which she includes several compelling stories. You’re likely to recognize some in that they’re so much like so many of the stories I’ve shared about psychiatry and it’s harm and what has happened to me personally as well. Her understanding and vision resonates very deeply with my own and while we’ve come to it from different experiences, we’ve also clearly seen very similar destruction wrought by conventional medicine. Psychiatry is simply not alone in this though it is perhaps the most consistently egregious “discipline” in medicine.
From Ruin and Beauty, Deena Metzger’s blog:
We are not free to live or to die the ways we wish. We do not have control over our own lives. We are forced to yield to authorities we do not know and may well not respect. Guilds of professionals and politicians, often beholden to the pharmaceutical, insurance and medical industries, make strategic economic decisions that will decide our fate. When you are prohibited from acting on behalf of your own life, you are living in a totalitarian system. Despite what we have been led to believe, totalitarianism is very subtle. It seeps into our bodies and minds like an invisible gas. Like radiation that we cannot detect without a specialized instrument, that enters or bones, distorts our cells. “You must. You must not.” Even those who ultimately impose the laws and create the conditions under which we live, are not aware of the full impact of their decisions, actions and their consequences. It is the way of those who presume, without asking, to alter our food supply, to pollute our land, to envelop us in a chemical and electromagnetic soup that threatens all of us, our children, human and non-human….
…ReVisioning Medicine is a form that came to me some years ago. Perhaps it was when I began speaking to physicians about the story that the illness is telling. When I began to see that healing one’s life means healing our lives. It began when I began to collaborate with physicians in recognizing such stories and treating the patients accordingly. It began when we recognized that we could listen with the heart as well as our minds.
We’re only at the beginning of ReVisioning Medicine. We have to learn the old, old ways again and integrate them with the medical forms that can sustain us when they do no harm. We help each other say No and then say Yes. Tradition, vision, science and deep listening. Contemporary experience affirms that medical interventions are enhanced when the afflicted ones recognize the story they are living, the meaning that can be derived from their suffering, and see the way to healing. ReVisioning Medicine gathers everyone, the way we used to do when we sat around a fire and listened for the story that was going to nourish us for the years to come. We listen to the story the illness is telling hoping to set us on the right path. (read the rest here)
The story of illness is how I listen and heal my own body. I shared a quote from Deena Metzger more than once on this blog because it spoke to me so loudly. I’ll share it again here:
A sacred illness is one that educates us and alters us from the inside out, provides experiences and therefore knowledge that we could not possibly achieve in any other way, and aligns us with a life path that is, ultimately, of benefit to ourselves and those around us. – Deena Metzger
Deena Metzger books: