We not only get ill, we also get well

We not only get ill, we also get well. — Deena Metzger, from her interview on Sounds True

deenaI’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

Autonomic nervous system dysfunction, protracted psych drug withdrawal, CFS, Fibromyalgia and why I still limit engagement on the internet

I wanted to do a follow up post on this one: Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, chronic illness, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Yeah, they all have things in common. 

Dan-NeufferI introduce the work of Dan Neuffer in that post. He’s done a brilliant job documenting and explaining how the autonomic nervous system appears to be of foundational concern for CFS, ME and fibromyalgia. I made the link that it’s clear that protracted psychiatric withdrawal syndromes, too, also fall into his theory very neatly. It’s worth reading the initial post and viewing Dan’s videos that are in that post. His book is excellent too and anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the issues should read it. I’ve not seen anyone else pull together so many of the issues I think about and talk about on this blog in one dynamic whole. What a joy to find it. He understands deeply how everything matters. This holistic understanding of our natures and particularly this illness, is the cornerstone to how I’m healing.  I share my healing story in the article on Mad in America here: Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs

Anyway, I’m bringing up Dan’s work again because in the initial post I share that it appears he was ignoring me on twitter and I imagined he was dismissing the connection I’d made between CFS and protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome (and other chronic illnesses). I was disappointed by that. I did, indeed, not hear from him for about a week. But when he did respond it was clear it was due to a twitter glitch and not my worst fantasies. He was not ignoring me. I wanted to make this clear in this separate post since many don’t read updates in posts once they’ve read it initially. Dan is a wonderful guy who gets it!

cfs unravelledI ended up talking to Dan on Skype for over an hour and was simply delighted. He truly understands this illness and the healing process I’m going through and hence he understands most protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal issues even without the direct experience many of us have with psych drugs. So, I highly recommend his book:  CFS Unravelled – One man’s search for the Cause of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Discovery Essential for You To Recover

If you need to be reminded as to how it is similar to protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes please read: Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, chronic illness, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Yeah, they all have things in common. 

The best part of talking to Dan, a man who has been completely well now for 3 years after having been very ill, much like I have been, is that he could tell me it was clear that I was headed down a healing path too. It’s often hard to trust that even now with all my improvement as I do remain quite ill. I was pleased, also, that I could tell Dan about  how I am exponentially (no joke) better than I was one and two and three years ago, but that I am still very sick. He understood that. So many people have a hard time understanding what that means. How can someone be so sick as to take this long to heal? This is a very complex illness.

See also: Yoga back bends: feels yummy on the autonomic nervous system

In any case, he made some great suggestions for my continued healing that I am implementing and considering. One thing he told me was to be careful with my work here on the blog as he rightfully suspected it can be draining in multiple ways. I told him how I’d already greatly limited correspondence etc. And yes that remains very important and so I’m reiterating my need to make boundaries and limits with you my lovely readers who have in so many ways also helped me heal as I’ve been also blessed to share information with you.

The last time I shared my need to keep safe and healthy boundaries for myself on Facebook I said:

Someone just inquired again about contacting me personally for private correspondence. I post on occasion about how I’m not able to do that since people often ask. I will share my response to the person today.

I’m sorry, I continue to not be available for personal correspondence. I don’t have consistent energy or reliable amounts of energy and it simply sets everyone up for disappointment. I also most likely won’t return to such open correspondence ever. I was working up to 80 hours a week when I answered all my email and comments on the blog…that’s simply not sustainable as all my work is done on a voluntary basis. So I’m sorry. I’ve learned to make healthy boundaries for myself. I wish that there was meaningful support for everyone out there. I do understand what it’s like to feel like you don’t have enough support. For more information on the necessary boundaries I’ve placed see this post: A personal note to my readers — why I’m not available for correspondence.

Basically I’m still in serious healing mode and that remains my priority. I’ve been loving having a bit of contact with readers on Facebook where I do not have messages or posting for readers enabled, but comments can be left on posts. That’s perfect and it’s lovely to re-engage with folks a bit. I was missing interacting with my readers, but I do have to limit it. So I do welcome you to “like” my Facebook page or follow me on twitter which is also another way to interact a bit.

See also:


Information and inspiration for the chronically ill

I added another tab for the navigation menu. Thought I’d call attention to it. This one is for folks living with chronic illnesses of all kinds. I was struck physically ill from the brain-injury and systemic insult incurred by long-term  and excessive (prescribed) psychiatric drug use  and the subsequent withdrawal from the drugs (iatrogenesis). Many of my symptoms are like that of all sorts of auto-immune and other long-term chronic illness. (CFS, fibromyalgia, etc) — because in fact the drugs exacerbate or encourage such manifestation.

These are articles about learning to cope with being seriously ill and also learning to heal from such illness.

This is general information and/or personal information that has been helpful to me and may or may not apply at all to any particular given individual with whatever illness you may be coping with.

The tab and the drop down menu will be permanently at the top of the page, but for ease of use for the reader I share it below as well. The drop down menu is also a good place to find many different suggestions for healing modalities. Don’t limit yourself to this page!

These two pieces are new and link a lot of everything else together in many ways although not explicitly

This page will be updated when appropriate posts are published on the blog.

Chronic Illness

Lately herbs have been incredibly helpful and I’ve been getting better!

2017: some newer articles:

See also: the “It Gets Better” Series if you’re sick and in the midst of psychiatric drug withdrawal

Being seriously physically ill can also incur trauma and lead to PTSD like issues. Having been traumatized can also make someone more likely to develop chronic illness. If you scroll down on this page the following link you will find a section on trauma and the body: Trauma infographic and links to more info too 

These are additional articles that may be helpful to people with various chronic illnesses. This is general information that has been helpful to me and may or may not apply at all to any particular given individual.

I will add to this list of articles as appropriate. Check back from time to time.

These are all permanently accessible from the drop-down navigation menu above under the heading “Chronic Illness”

New: Beyond Meds Facebook page

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

Support Beyond Meds. Enter 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 or make a donation with PayPal. Thank you!

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