We not only get ill, we also get well. — Deena Metzger, from her interview on Sounds True
I’ve been inspired by Deena Metzger for many years now. I have often returned to some of her words that I’ve shared on this blog as I’ve gone through my process of listening to my illness so that I might grow and heal with it, rather than fight it. In the interview with Tami Simon from Sounds True she goes deep into what this means for her and it’s deeply resonant with my own experience.
The words I’ve shared so many times on this blog and with others I am networked with are these:
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
Among other things Deena speaks to the issue of iatrogenic illness. Medically induced injury, in other words. The issue that I and so many who read this blog face in a giant way through protracted withdrawal syndrome, a sometimes gravely disabling illness caused by the use and withdrawal of psychiatric drugs.
Tami Simon, says of Deena at Sounds True:
Deena Metzger—author, poet, teacher, and the creator of the classic Sounds True audio title This Body, My Life—has an in-depth conversation with Tami Simon. Tami and Deena discuss her work with the ReVisioning Medicine organization and the necessity of listening to the story that chronic illness is trying to tell you about your body. They also talk about creating a “literature of restoration,” intended to promote values other than those pushed by materialistic society and to focus on what is truly life-giving. Finally, Deena expounds on the idea of the coming “Fifth World” and the steps necessary to create it. (62 minutes)
Listen here to the interview:
Something Deena also points out is the similarity with so many chronic illnesses today. An observation I too have made: Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, chronic illness, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Yeah, they all have things in common.
Recently I shared a thought as a status update on Facebook which is in keeping with these teachings from Deena:
Major shift…I no longer attach to the chaos in my body…I truly have a sense of it all moving through…this is big…
In learning to not attach to the symptoms and to instead cooperate with them, really, the pain and the chaos that the iatrogenic injury has incurred talks to me as I deeply listen and as I do that the story of my body/mind and spirit unfolds in a way that is bringing healing to me more and more everyday. In a world where, as I so often say, everything matters, spirit too comes through to us in our illness if we can learn to listen. It can be a valuable teacher. See also: A Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs and Internal Guidance.
See also a post from a couple of days ago: Musings on healing and well-being
Please do not attempt to discontinue psychiatric drugs without first very carefully educating yourself on the risks involved so that you might minimize the chances of developing grave iatrogenic illness if you decide to withdraw: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up