Learning to live again…

Learning to live again…it’s kinda cool when I’m not upset about it.

This is a little collection of thoughts I’ve written down in the last month and a half or so. I’m still getting a grip on what happened and these are some of my musings. My best to all who visit here today and always.

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In spite of being a mess (really) since the recent brain injury/hospitalization my heart seems to have exploded open. I keep having odd intimate healing moments in service to strangers (or vice versa) I run into around town. It’s delightful. When in service the healing is mutual.

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The hyperthyroidism secondary to the (recent) pharmaceutical brain injury (landed me in ICU for several days) is really hard to live with. My natural optimism is often nowhere to be seen. I’m so tired. (sleep is next to impossible) -blah — it’s not clear how much of this will clear out — and this is secondary to the brain injury. Life is not easy at the moment.

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I understand a whole lot more than I can currently embody…thanks brain injury and hyperthyroidism. (actually some of what I understand is due to those things exactly, but healing is required to integrate it)

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This brain injury has given me some “behavioral” issues. Seriously. It gives me pause about blaming anyone for how they act. I’m awake and I’m not acting pretty with some frequency. Think about those who haven’t had the good fortune to become relatively conscious. it’s also a ridiculous fantasy to imagine that everyone who is awake behaves well…when we’re awake we just get to watch ourselves act like idiots…I find owning it as quickly as possible to be the best thing…

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it seems that much of my work in the last few years was premature for my own deep processing. I’m finding it very helpful now…like my intellect was way ahead of what I could embody. I’ve often said that what I did often felt like channeling…and now it seems even more like that because I read my work, sometimes in shock at what I seemed to “know” and how much I need it now as I heal from this acute and sudden brain injury that’s now also caused hyperthyroidism. I have found my videos and audio helpful as well. It’s kind of amusing and I’m grateful too.

Hyperthyroidism feels like being on speed and it’s nightmarish. I can’t sleep and my impulse control is not so good….reactivity and sensitivity are all increased…in any case I am GRIEVING…and so my work and posts on grief are helping me…here is a nice collection on grief . It seems to me that PTSD is unprocessed grief, too. And so I let myself grieve in as many ways as I can find to do that. What happened to me in December was deeply retraumatizing. 

Here is a taste on grief to consider:

Grief is subversive, undermining the quiet agreement to behave and be in control of our emotions. It is an act of protest that declares our refusal to live numb and small. There is something feral about grief, something essentially outside the ordained and sanctioned behaviors of our culture. Because of that, grief is necessary to the vitality of the soul. Contrary to our fears, grief is suffused with life-force. It is riddled with energy, an acknowledgment of the erotic coupling with another soul, whether human, animal, plant or ecosystem. It is not a state of deadness or emotional flatness. Grief is alive, wild, untamed and cannot be domesticated. It resists the demands to remain passive and still. We move in jangled, unsettled and riotous ways when grief takes hold of us. It is truly an emotion that rises from soul” –by Francis Weller, from Entering the Healing Ground: Grief, Ritual and the Soul of the World

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My “chronically ill” body rewards my gentle persistent attentions with never-ending insights into the nature of being an embodied human. Healing is alchemy and it never ends. The sensitive body holds the entire world’s pain, trauma, joy and madness within it. And yes, the suggestion is that most of us are not embodied. The conditioned self is disembodied. Coming to embodiment can be very painful.

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Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

(there is really no choice in this…we either let it flow or we fight it…fighting it makes it much more difficult)

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Horror needs acknowledgement too. All aspects of being human need acknowledgement. Denying horrific aspects of being human is perhaps the most common form of spiritual bypass in America.

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The below is an active practice for me. Something I consciously bring into all my relationships now….

To meet someone who really hurts you is to meet a rare and precious treasure. Hold that person in high esteem, and make full use of the opportunity to eradicate your defects and make progress on the path. If you cannot yet feel love and compassion for those who treat you badly, it is a sign that your mind has not been fully transformed and that you need to keep working on it with increased application. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

(to be clear, the above for me, has nothing to do with sitting around allowing oneself to be abused. One can do this practice AND stay away from abuse while doing it. This is not an encouragement to stay in an abusive relationship with a guru or partner this is another case of both/and. We can & should continue to be compassionate and loving towards ourselves while we do this…which means not sitting around getting abused by assholes. Still I’ve come to love some assholes while I stay away…BOTH/AND — it’s possible when we open our hearts and minds)

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“The shadow may carry the best of the life we have not lived. Go into the basement, the attic, the refuse bin. Find gold there. Find an animal who has not been fed or watered. It is you! This neglected, exiled animal, hungry for attention, is a part of your self.” – Marion Woodman and more here too

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there is no conflict between lucidity and crazy when we embrace the whole shebang

(when we embrace crazy…we’re simply free…we need to accept our true selves though and most of us don’t know how to do that because we grew up with such oppression…really waking up and healing means unleashing the crazy…in lucidity crazy is just unusual or unique…that really means we are being our unique selves that simply haven’t been allowed in the conditioned world…again…lucidity doesn’t curtail crazy when we are fully integrated….it celebrates and allows)

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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 or scroll down the homepage for more recent postings. 

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters