The Shamanic View of Mental Health — Waking Times

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I thought this alternative view to mental health is worth sharing. I found some interesting views in here, food for thought and links to people whose work can possibly explain some of the things I have been dealing with. Hope you enjoy.

I am happy that I quit. The reasons I drank are still popping up and asking for attention, but I guess that comes with the territory of being sober; the need to deal. It has been difficult but Bach-remedies, looking for a psychiatrist in my living area has helped me to come, well, at least above zero. What has changed is that I found hope. 🙂 I am not lost, I have issues to solve. That is a big difference. 🙂 While on that path, somebody (Jonathan Davis) was so nice to put this on the interwebs.

Link: The Shamanic View of Mental Health — Waking Times

The Shamanic View of Mental Health — Waking Times

Jonathan Davis, Uplift
Waking Times

In November 2014 the peak psychology body in the UK, the British Psychological Association, released their new flagship report Understanding Psychosis and SchizophreniaIt was a watershed moment in the mainstream treatment of mental illness, containing statements such as this:

Hearing voices or feeling paranoid are common experiences which can often be a reaction to trauma, abuse or deprivation. Calling them symptoms of mental illness, psychosis or schizophrenia is only one way of thinking about them, with advantages and disadvantages. ~The British Psychological Association: Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia

With mental health problems reaching epidemic proportions in the UK and throughout the western world, this document reads as no less than an admission that the current model of mental health treatment has failed; and a cry for help to anyone with an approach that may be useful. There are indeed a great many cultures who have had, and still carry, a deeper understanding of mental illness. While these perspectives don’t fit within the boundaries of rationalist reductionism, this has little relevance to their efficacy.

From American Indian shamanism* to esoteric judaism, this concept has dominated for millennia. As it has now become clear, western civilisation is unique in history in it’s failure to recognise each human being as a subtle energy system in constant relationship to a vast sea of energies in the surrounding cosmos.
– Dr Edward Mann, Sociologist

What Is The Shamanic View Of Mental Health?

Broadly speaking any form of awareness around mental health that includes spiritual, mystic and/or mythic considerations could be included in a shamanic view of mental health. This ranges from ancient indigenous shamanic practices to yogic methods involving kundalini awakening, through to Jungian and transpersonal psychology (which draw heavily from ancient cultures). Jung, for example, characterised schizophrenia and psychosis as a natural healing process.

When conscious life is characterised by one-sidedness and false attitudes, primordial healing images are activated – one might say instinctively – and come to light in the dreams of individuals and the visions of artists… Schizophrenia is a condition in which the dream takes the place of reality. – Carl Jung

Another foundation stone of this perspective is the phrase made famous by Joseph Campbell: ‘The schizophrenic is drowning in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight’ (an idea borrowed from Jungian psychiatrist RD Laing).  There has been a long history throughout human culture of people having mystical experiences, and then becoming ‘weller than well’ as Dr John Weir Perry put it.  The key here is that in these instances the person completed a process that western medicine would have labelled as sickness and then medicated. They instead passed through it and went on to lead lives without relapse into ‘psychosis’, instead living a more fulfilled existence than if they had never gone though their temporary break with consensus reality. Throughout history there have been examples of people who have gone on to use their visionary insights, newly found drive and focus to create great social reform for the benefit of all.

Psychospiritual Crisis / Spiritual Emergence

Proponents of transpersonal psychotherapy, like one of its founders Prof. Stanislav Grof suggest that ‘spiritual emergence’ experiences are often misdiagnosed as psychosis and medicated unnecessarily. Grof sites 11 different types of spiritual emergencies, including the classic initiatory experience of the shaman, unitive experiences of oceanic oneness, kundalini awakening, the crisis of psychic opening, and the messianic experience common within what John Weir Perry called the ‘renewal process’.

Interpreted from this point of view, a schizophrenic breakdown is an inward and backward journey to recover something missed or lost, and to restore, thereby, a vital balance. So let the voyager go. He has tipped over and is sinking, perhaps drowning; yet, as in the old legend of Gilgamesh and his long, deep dive to the bottom of the cosmic sea to pluck the watercress of immortality, there is the one green value of his life down there. Don’t cut him off from it: help him through. – Joseph CampbellSchizophrenia: The Inward Journey

John Weir Perry, who put these ideas into practice in a medication free facility called Diabasis, suggests these experiences are a dramatic re-ordering of the person’s psyche from a distorted state to an more ordered one.  To me this is like cleaning a messy house, sometimes it needs to get messier in order to sort everything out. Perry also said that ‘it is justifiable to regard the term “sickness” as pertaining not to the acute turmoil but to the prepsychotic personality…  the renewal process occuring in the acute episode may be considered nature’s way of setting things right.’ This is echoed by Jiddu Krishnamurti‘s statement that ‘it is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.’

The Problems Of Pathology, Symptom Suppression, Stigma and Trauma

Pathology: A fundamental difference between the approach of calling these experiences mental illness, psychosis or schizophrenia and ‘other ways of thinking about them’, is the very act of pathologising them. The labelling of something as a sickness, when working in the realms of the psychospiritual can have a dramatically negative effect on what happens next. Like a person experiencing an overwhelming psychedelic experience, a person in this kind of state is highly influenced by their surroundings including what they are told, for good or for ill. A suggestion that the experience is a sickness can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Having been encouraged to see the voice, not as an experience, but as a symptom – my fear and resistance towards it intensified. Now essentially this represented taking an aggressive stance towards my own mind – a kind of psychic civil war, and in turn this caused the number of voices to increase and grow progressively hostile and menacing. – Eleanor Longden

Symptom Suppression: The next big challenge is symptom suppression. Critics of the current model of care (who now seem to include the British Psychological Association) argue that psychiatric medication merely suppresses symptoms.

Many people find that ‘antipsychotic’ medication helps to make the experiences less frequent, intense or distressing. However, there is no evidence that it corrects an underlying biological abnormality. Recent evidence also suggests that it carries significant risks, particularly if taken long term. – The British Psychological Association: Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia

Those of the shamanic or transpersonal persuasion go further in suggesting that medication tends to ultimately prevent the person from completing a natural experience such as the ‘process of renewal’ John Weir Perry describes. Instead this process keeps trying to complete itself and symptoms keep reappearing, and then drugs suppress it again in an endless cycle.  It’s unsurprising that the phrase ‘you have a mental illness, and you will have it for the rest of your life’ is so often heard by people experiencing psychosis.

Stigma:

They [shamanic cultures] have a cultural context. The physiological crisis, although it’s difficult, it’s believed to be… they put it in a positive light.  It’s something the person’s going to come out of and be stronger in the end, and have more abilities in the end.  The other thing that’s a big advantage is – it’s not stigmatized. – Phil Borges, maker of upcoming film CrazyWise

Trauma: Thankfully, even in the western model there is a strong surge of recognition occurring around the fact that trauma and neglect in childhood (and in adulthood) can lead to serious mental health crisis.

We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave. They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave. – A Rwandan talking to writer, Andrew Solomon

The Bridge Between Two Worlds – Sickness or Acute Sensitivity?

Dr Joseph Polimeni states that ‘In most traditional societies those persons who were overcome by hallucinations in young adulthood were more often than not destined to become shamans’. If someone presented with symptoms we would call psychosis, the people of their tribe or village would send them for training with someone who had learned a level of mastery over the sensitivity that once overwhelmed them. Phil Borges states that ‘they have a mentor; they have somebody who has been through this process that can take and hold their hand and say listen, I know what this is all about and this is how you manage it’. In cultures around the world, before western civilisation the idea of schizophrenia as a disease was, quite simply, non-existent.  The assumption was that a person experiencing the challenges known in modern times as psychosis was in fact experiencing things that were actually real, but only able to perceived by those who were gifted.

They have a community that buys into what they’ve gone through, and not only that, they have an outlet for their talents – and many of these people have specific talents that the normal person doesn’t have. Phil Borges, maker of upcoming film CrazyWise

To me it is clear that we live in a culture that immediately labels these moments of crisis as sickness, and our culture has almost no level of acceptance for the people that go through it.  When face to face with a person experiencing involuntary states of non-ordinary consciousness, most of us – to put it bluntly – just want them away from us.  It’s almost as if we fear that ‘crazy’ is contagious and we want it quarantined.  It’s unfortunate that this approach may be compounding the problem, however another way forward is re-awakening.  When I look at a person in such a crisis, I see a future potential mentor for others.  The more we can assist people in passing through their dark night of the soul, the more guides we will have with lived experience to help others come through in the future. In an upcoming article I’ll be writing about how shamanic training can assist people going through ‘spiritual emergency’.

For peer support and further information of this kind you can join The Shamanic View Of Mental Illness on Facebook.

About the Author

Jonathan Davis is an Australian writer focusing on shamanism and alternate modes of healing.

This article (The Shamanic View of Mental Health) was originally posted at Uplift Connect, and is reposted here with permission.

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Finding hope in a bottle – but differently

Ok, the thought for after dinner was to select some Bach remedies on finding hope. Bach remedies are natural remedies which influence the emotional state of a person. I always benefit from them greatly but when I go down into a pit I have issues selecting them because I don’t feel worth taking care of me. And I am always too late. I have to stand with my back against to wall to actually start taking care of me.

This is a chart of the traditional English Bach Remedies. Several people around the world have developed their own sets, like the Californian remedies. These are keywords, online or in books you can find more detailed info.

I was not sure how to select what I am looking for but I started crying at Gorse, Olive, Star of Bethlehem, Sweet Chestnut and Wild Oat. So I guess that makes it clear.

Adding Cherry Plum and Rock Rose to soften the blow a bit.  Even though it is dangerous to take Cherry Plum when without professional help. I think I have the worst behind me so I guess I am safe.

With homeopathy and Bach remedies there can be the danger of extreme aggravation when the energetic system is awakened by the medicine. I have a pretty reactive system so when I take a remedy against ‘irrational fears’ e.g. I will spend 2 days fearing the whole CIA, KGB, NSA and Facebook are on my case and that the remedy is actually pro-irrational fears and that this is done to me by purpose bla bla bla bla bla. At day 3 I do not worry anymore and can not even believe I ever came up with a thought like that.

Theoretically Wild Oat would be something for when I am ready to look for work again, not for emergencies, but the word ‘alienated’ sticks with me. My brother was killed in the womb by a chemical process which in plain English would be called ‘alienating’ and my first name is based on a noun derived from the verb ‘alienating’. Yeah. I am not surprised I have difficulty landing in this world and uphold a typical view of its inhabitants :-D. Wild Oat, to get my feet back on the ground?

Ok, the above list is quite long, I prefer taking 2 or 3 remedies at the time.

Agrimony is good for anybody with an addictive personality. Not taking that now though because I am opening up by myself and I don’t want to mess with that process currently. Not sure why, all of a sudden for the one process I think I need Bach remedy help and for the other I find it ‘messing’. Which… might strenghten the thought that one can not medicate oneself. 😉 You are welcome to give it a try btw. I am curious to learn what you think.

Willow gave the sensation of a cold, bitter lightning through my body. Resentment is certainly something to look at. Specifically because somewhere in my mind there is this cold voice saying: “They deserve my hatred.” (yikes!!) But now is not the time. Or? No. Not now.

I would assume anybody reading this would want to give me Honeysuckle. I am not taking this because it is about romantisizing the past. I thought I did not do that. Until I just read an online addition from Edward Bach: “They do not expect further happiness such as they have had.” which would be true for the womb-dream I have. No greater happiness than being in the womb with somebody who is somebody else, but me. Never alone, experiencing everything without speaking. I like you because you are me – you like me because I am you. Food for analyses. We might have had Narcissus for breakfast. Not sure.

We are us,
You are us,
I am us,
We are you!
We are me!
I am you,
You are me.

You died.

It is called the dream of the womb. Which then turned into the hell of the womb. I realise that I long back to that dream and I will never, as long as I live, experience the intensity, the wholeness of that contact again. Hole in the soul.

I am happy that I quit. 🙂 I assume, know, the mess would be bigger if I had not. Again. I would not be alive. In the last few weeks I have somehow found that I am worth saving. Or learned to not give a shit about others opinion of me anymore, maybe. That would take some pressure off too. Not sure. I am still scared, what if I save myself and fall back in the pit? I am scared but I am going to try anyway. I think I can do this. I mean, I quit drinking and I thought I could not do that. I started with writing down what I was scared of and did not know. And then I started looking for answers. I can do that again. I have got plenty of time. :-/ Well, The Universe gave us all we needed for Life, so let’s see what tools I have and can apply.

Ok, I am happy that I quit. Gonna make my remedy mix now. 1 Or 2 drops of each in a bottle of a liter water. Then poor half a glass and fill up with water again.

Bach remedies are 40% alcohol I believe. So the concoction can still smell like alcohol but somehow it does not hinder me. I have these remedies stored in the brain box ‘medicine’ and that keeps me from linking this smell to drinking. It has never been in the brain box ‘drink’. Funny side note: there is a lemonade I can not drink because I used to drink it when trying to moderate. And I projected my drinking thoughts on it. So now it feels like drinking alcohol when I smell it. :-D. The mind is strange.

Wishing you a good sober day / evening. Thanks for reading.

xx, Feeling

Looking for Hope

After my visit to the government doctor I visited my GP. We worked out that I would get help. Up till then I had thought along the same lines as when being addicted to drinking: if I just do this and that, all will be well. This and that would be ‘moderate’ when I was drinking. Currently it would be ‘wake up on time, shower, dress, eat well, excercise, socialize, go to be early’. And then I found it did not work anymore.

Not all was not well. That night I went into a psychotic episode force 5 on a 10 point scale. That was extremely scary. I had to pull everything together not to lose my mind. I realised that my fear of losing my mind put extra pressure on whatever it was that was happening. So with what was left I deliberately looked through my toolbox. I found: breath, relax, drink water, pat the cat and EFT and EMDR. I did not have the energy for EFT but I did move my eyeballs from left to right and back repeatedly. In only seconds I relaxed, yawned and found a little footing. WONDERFUL. It helped me through the next half hour and I fell asleep. Sleeping is better. Next days I keep on moving my eyeballs left and right and I can literally feel the pressure receding. Immediately. Wonderful. 🙂 Thank you Louise and all others who are involved for pointing me at this methode. 🙂

I also found: call somebody. I can not remember why I dismissed that. Possibly because it was night. Most likely because I do not want people to think I have gone over the edge.

I just read my former post again. Sound quite crazy, difficult to read.  Things got worse. Some of you might have read the post where I spoke about the abuse issues I encountered in New Zealand. My niece just moved over there. She is 17 years old. She has not even been there a full month I believe and she has been forcefully kissed against her will by a guy at a party. Photo’s were made too and used against her when she replied in a chat that she did not like it. This is the same niece I wanted to have a talk with about safety and well, the rape culture before she went to NZ, her mother ‘forbade’ that. Same mother and father (my brother) who laughed at her and the situation when she reported guys had put a wager on who ‘got her first’. She is lesbian but not out of the closet in NZ.

Not sure how but I sensed something was off, I don’t know, the photos of outings just looked too glamorous but her personality was not filling up the gap between her and the glamour. I started chatting. It took me 2 hours of chatting with her before she finally came clear on what had happened and she still is too ashamed and traumatized to give the details.

She does not want me to inform her parents. I haggled a deal with her that she connects with a teacher at school the moment she feels scared. Also that she will tell the counsellor of the exchange organisation whom she meets this week.

I know this is not about me but at some point I was wondering: how the hell am I to stay sane during this? This theme in my life where I sense and see danger and nobody listens and bad things happen. Even after they happen people laugh and traumatized persons get dissed. It is, well, very unpleasant. Traumatizing in itself. Eyes left, right, left, right, left. Breathe….. yawn. I yawn within 10 times left and right. 🙂 Not sure what that is about. Guess I am tired.

And I am sick and tired of things like these pushing me towards the edge. There must be another way of dealing with this.

I am grateful that I have this 6th sense where I can literally feel around the world that a person I know is in trouble. I am grateful that I have enough knowledge of speaking with traumatized people to be able to hold some space for her. I am absolutely pissed that she has to go through this. I am absolutely pissed that I have to go through this. I am absolutely pissed at this sick sick world.

Ok. Thanks for reading that :-).

So…. I’m looking for therapists. I’m thinking I would like to start with a therapist on vanishing twin syndrome. There are several around by now but many are ‘far’ away. I am scared to travel currently. I guess I could speak with friends and ask them to go with me. Also…. if this is so intense, maybe I should wait till I am a little more stable. But then again… will I get stable if I do not address the main issue.

Maybe the main issue is not having hope left. I was thinking about this. Can’t believe the jokes the Universe plays on me because I IMMEDIATELY got a FB message on ‘Hope in these dark Trump times’. 🙂 It was good. 🙂

Ok. If the main issue is not having any hope left, I have Bach remedies on the subject of Hope in my toolbox. I keep on not wanting to do the work to get me healthy and back because I am SO SICK of falling back in this dark pit. The loneliness. The despair. The pain of seeing how things are run in this world. Again and again walking into people and situations which press my buttons. Not being able to deal with that. The sensitivity which sometimes feels like I am walking around without skin and everybody can look into my soul. Hahaha, and if they don’t they can read this blog ;-). Ghegheghe…. eh…

Ok, I need to step up my game. I have found parts of self-love where I now believe I do matter. In the process of allowing me to live, I also decided that I do not suck – the whole world sucks. This is not a personal thing, it is ‘just’ governments, multinationals like Monsanto and Shell, environmental polluters, rapists etc.) I guess in time this will balance out. Now I ‘just’ (?) do not have the energy anymore and I am scared for relapsing into where I am now. Hmmm…. I am scared to relapse so I stay still down in the pit. Hmmm…. food for thought.

I put the word ‘just’ between quotes because I have an issue with that word. I noticed it is used by me and others to quickly skip past something which is can/must/should/whatever be mentioned. It is a word to help hide stuff. Not sure what I am hiding. My justs are never just. Which is a very funny sentence. A scary one. I’m leaving it in here. Future will tell what it means. Feels like there is something lying its ass off here and I can’t see it. 😀 OMG, well, future will tell. Ok, future is here, it is in the paragraph already, I started off with it; whenever I want to use ‘just’ I skip feelings, that is unjust about it. My justs are never just.

Ok, cooking time and after that tea time and looking up Bach remedies on hope. 🙂

Thank you for reading. I do realise that I unload on this page and it is not elegant. I can totally understand when this is too much for people. I would wish to carry messages of ‘hope’ and baking cakes but that is not the flavour of the dish called ‘Feeling’. :-/ I wish it were different.

I am happy that I quit. I, haha, would be such a mess if I had not. 😀 Yeah, realising that things could be way worse. 🙂 Realising that is good.

Wishing you a nice sober evening/day.

xx, Feeling

The land of no self-hate – Episode 12 ‘rock-bottom and becoming help-ready’

Life has been tough. Tougher than I can handle or maybe tougher than chocolate can handle :-). I have let myself slip to the bottom of the pit and stayed there too long. I have been lying to my friends and family about how I feel because I did not want to be confronted with myself. I kept on saying “I am ok” or “I don’t want to talk about it.” while inside I was dying. I lost faith in myself, my life, my future. Everything was very dark.

I don’t want to lose my friends. And I know about the untrue friends and the true friend, but the energy unload which happens when I really let go is BIG. I do not think it is not suitable for friendship relations.

A new truth I found is that I have lived with adjusting myself all of my life. Adjusting what I say, adjusting what I feel, what I think, to fit in. And then followed the hiding and drinking away what could not be transformed otherwise. 😦 Obviously that is a sick system and not sustainable. 😦 So there I was, another much-needed rock bottom again – the emotional one.

This Tuesday I had to visit the doctor who determines whether I need to look for a job or are entitled to further financial government support. She was rather persistent in finding out how bad things were. Her repeated questioning brought me to places I hope to never visit again, though that might be a wish that will not be granted. I was crying and shaking all over. I knew things were bad, I had no idea it was this bad. New memories of my early youth, teenage time and young adulthood have been popping up off late and it is tough; mostly, dark experiences which then feel so overwhelmingly real in the here and now that it is baffling. I assume it is a side effect of quitting drinking and not having tasks on hand which propel my thoughts into the future.

I tell so much lies about how I feel in daily life and adjust myself to the outside world that I have shut myself down totally. I deliberately place cheerful and silly Facebook post and comments with quick responses and smiling emojis to (try to) make sure nobody thinks I have changed.

I notice I build another me at quite an emotional distance from where I actually am. That is what addiction is to me and it is SO DESTRUCTIVE. It is like I am trying to build a several story house but in order to deal with technical issues and difficulties in the design, I shift the coordinates for everything to avoid having to solve stuff or think about what is going on. I do this for all the plumbing, electricity, for every room and for every layer of the building. Now the rooms do no stack onto each other or on the founding even, the plumbing does not connect from room to room or story to story, planks from the stairs are missing, the sewage system is dysfunctional because not placed at the tap or toilet points, the light shines in places where the floor does not exist and the roof lies on its back in the garden. It is how I feel energetically and it is NOT WORKING!!!

I guess telling others all is OK is not working either. :-/ The doctor was a good mirror. She indirectly ordered me to go into therapy; if I do not improve within a few months she was obliged to take action. In that she hinted at ordering me into therapy involuntarily because of danger to self – or shut down the funds. As threats go, these are quite effective.

Today I had a GP visit – for the record, this appointment was based on a talk I had with my administrative guy to whom I could not keep up appearances – the mask fell of and he stimulated me to make changes.

I found out I have the idea that nobody understands how I am wired. I have the idea that if I tell how I feel everybody thinks I am crazy. Maybe I am, to a lot. But not to everybody and not to myself although I fear to have experienced pre-psychotic episodes off late where I started to doubt the existence of the world. Yeah, funny, in a not funny way. Pressure in my mind went up so big that I could not deal anymore. In order to deal something had to give: it was me or the world, I decided the world was not real and I could walk through walls if I felt like it. :-/ Scary shit. And while my mind is telling me of this new order I KNOW it is not correct but shit the pressure is high. Not advisable.

But it is always darkest before dawn and a lot happened for the good in the last several days. I came home from the doctor’s and made myself an extremely healthy salad. Taking care of myself with a last resort of force, but I did it. The next 2 days I battled the darkness like I battled quitting drinking in the first days; actually using willpower to stop negative thinking and pull it out by its roots. Again and again I find that if I do that, I feel better. Yeah: “duh?!” but ah, difficult when depression has drawn its tracks into the mental state and thinking.

BUT I DID IT!!!! I’m not there yet obviously but I made a start to turn things around. The chocolate is still there but the vegetables are back on the menu big time, so is hope, love for myself and so are the Bach remedies (a type of ‘homeopathy’ / energetic ‘medicine’ to promote happiness and emotional health) I chose something to give me hope, settle the crazy, deal with shock.

In the last months I have sorted my problems into several categories and I found that these are big. The last two days I realised that, as with drinking, I just (?) need to work out what is the problem and where I can find help. My issues are big, but not insurmountable. Or so she said upfront ;-).

In the below paragraphs I write about what I think makes it difficult for me to exist in this world. Please note that I am aware there are billions of people who are worse off than I am. Many of them amongst readers of this blog. But that does not mean I can cope with what I am in this world. 😦 The toughening up I did led me into drinking so I guess there is something I did and do not understand. :-/ Please note this is my own analyses, I should be open to the possibility that things are not as I think they are in order not to close off any learning opportunities. But for now this is it.

What makes my issues, the PTSS, the VTS (vanishing twin syndrome), the high IQ, the hypersensitivity, I am clair-ish sentient 😉 difficult is the mix with the addiction; the not wanting to be here and experience what is. That makes it impossible for me to build on anything – that goes for anything: I can not hold on to anything, not to money, not to a job, not to a partner, not to a thought. Only to not drinking actually. 🙂

The Vanishing Twin Syndrome (losing my twin brother in the womb and actually remember that as a very traumatic experience) which leads to a lot but mostly caused my eternal ‘not wanting to be here on this earth’, a big part of my PTSS, the clear sentience and the hypersensitivity. I also believe this openness somehow set me on a path of finding difficulties in the field of sexual abuse. But that might ‘just’ be coincidental. It made me vulnerable to not feeling worthy of being alive: I had already caused somebodies’ death before I was born. No wonder I have no right to be happy and be me.

Because of the hole in my energy system where my brother used to be I am open to all kinds of energies. I feel I am not connected to this body, to this human shape, I am connected to everything non-material.

His death was so overwhelming that it broke my natural defenses and threw me out of my core. I have not been able to repair this. I need to learn to close myself off in order to make myself feel safe in this world and actually want to be here, to fully incarnate. Currently I am like a sender/receiver with no on and off button and no ability to distinguish between incoming and outgoing. I never know where I end and the other begins. Makes for great sex though, when all is well. :-/ Learning to deal with this will hopefully help me to close myself off instead going into hiding or being aggressive, tactless, nasty to others when I feel unsafe.

I am thinking my hypersensitivity is caused by the VTS but has been worsened by the abuse of alcohol, sugar and other addictions which stress out my system and make it vulnerable – not only energetically but also chemically. Over the years I have become hypersensitive to chemical smells and coffee for instance. When my neighbours drink coffee my bowels start doing their bowel thing and I need to go to the toilet.

Next there is PTSS from the VT experience and (sexual) abuse, mother with cancer, father with Aspergers and his religious fixation on the apocalypse. We had a stressful home situation with continuous fighting and passive aggressiveness dripping off the walls. My parents with their structural sexual abuse issues, their continuous financial issues (while they were never out of money! btw) were not able to do their parenting job because of their own mental and physical states; mom’s cancer and their addictions and their own traumas.

Finally there is me being intellectually gifted – which is difficult to say because it sounds arrogant and ha! it does not keep me from being stupid. Intelligence and being streetwise/smart are NOT related :-D. But I guess being best of class for many years of my life puts me in the gifted category. I followed an online course on the subject and I the teacher mentioned that being gifted comes with specific disadvantages as not feeling understood and having difficulty to connect with what is ‘normal’. Also: the inability to connect intelectually actually made and makes people (me!) feel stupid and incapable because others do/did not understand me. Through the years though I have learned to connect to people over the human factor. Which is good, and way more useful in life but it leaves me unsatisfied in working some stuff out and somehow people do not help me with stuff because they think I can manage myself. Not true.

One of the happenings which send me spinning a few weeks ago is finding out my gifted, primary school friend had killed herself, leaving 2 kids behind. We always competed over the best school results. She was very creative and very skilled in that area, she studied to be an architect.

Being gifted does combine badly with my anxiety. In work situations I use my giftedness to oversee processes and all the tiny details which make the business clock tick. In combination with my anxiety and perfection I focus on the things which go wrong. It is a useful trait for a Quality/Safety Manager but it causes continuous anxiety and it is a bad way of using gifts. Also: it freaks out colleagues to see bears on every spot of every road.

My GP does not call my breakdown a rock-bottom but uses the word T-junction. 🙂 Not taking action will lead to darkness, despair and death. Taking action can lead to light. I choose the light because in the darkness of where I was I realised that underneath all of it I like myself.

My GP gave me a few names of therapists, I am to investigate by myself and I come back next week to make a decision with her and sign up somewhere.

I am happy that I quit. Seeing how much I loathed myself when I drank I think I would not be able to bear being alive right now if I would be drinking. Not a positive choice, but a much-needed one. 🙂

The hug-buddy is back. We did not speak about what happened (NEW). After having been asked by the tax service to pay back 4500 euros (half of my savings). I was aware of their claim on my, and I do have the money, but the real thing was a bit more real than I had imagined. I only found out a few days later that they would also be GIVING me 5000 euros for another reason so I’m going 500 plus iso 4500 minus. Realising how extremely stressful these money issues are I suddenly felt ashamed about my harsh judgement of him. We hugged it back to ok. 🙂 I guess some day we will talk.

These days I will be sorting out my issues further and trying to find places and people whom I think can help me with these. For all those who have tried EMD or EFT: there seems to be no organisation without it anymore so I guess that will be on the menu. 🙂

Now is bedtime, tomorrow is another day. I look forward to sorting stuff out and cleaning up this emotional mess. 🙂 I have a lot to give and to live for, if I allow myself to be me.

I am grateful for the people and professionals I have been meeting this last week.

Thank you for hanging in there and reading this rather unedited, dark process of me unaddicting. I want to become clear, transparent and I want to become me. To feel safe to be me. To not be afraid of me. I also want to understand the energetic ways of life. I want to love and be loved.

Wishing you a nice sober experiences.

xx, Feeling

The land of no self-hate – Episode 11

Last weeks have been dark and then some insight popped up. Right now I would word that as: ‘The darkness is liveable, it is the running away which causes the pain.” I eh, hahahaha…. hmmm…. see some connections with life and excessive drinking here….

Writing this and finding out that I took a 48 year D-tour to find out that ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” or in Dutch:

Een mens lijdt dikwijls ‘t meest,
door ‘t lijden dat hij vreest.
Doch dat nooit op komt dagen.
Zo heeft hij meer te dragen,
dan God te dragen geeft.

Which roughly translates into: Often people suffer from fear of situations which will never occur anyway. That is how people suffer more than God/The Universe has given them to bear.

Currently I am trying to sustain this insight which means practising being in the now and accepting what is. I am practising this with my mind but it seems my system is wired to be continuously stressed out. Guess that did not surprise you. It does surprise me however. The more I find out about myself the more I understand why I once thought drinking was a good ‘solution’. This continuous state of stress is pretty nasty. I can truly not remember the last time I was relaxed for say, half a day. It must have been some holiday in the ’90.

Today is my 3 year, 11 month sober monthyversary. I have discovered much in this time. I chose this my blog name because I realised I used alcohol to not feel. So in order to get sober I thought I might as well dive into my feelings. Hahahaa….. sigh. Gheghegheghe…. sigh…. Don’t wish too hard, it might come true 😉

I can tell you now: people (i?) have many layers. And layers can be approached from different angles at different times while I am in different ‘states’ of being. What I am trying to learn now is no different from ‘being in the moment’, from ‘breathe, relax and drink water’ from practising ‘what are your hopes, your fears and your expectations’, from ‘taking Life at Life’s terms’. 🙂 Nothing different from ‘feeling my way back into life’. Not different from ‘trying to not judge’. And you know, sometimes all of these insights come together at one point and then it all falls apart again for me to rebuild and leave out what does not work. I guess for some it might seem I am going in cirlces. I guess for some parts I am but I am not ready to find any help and also I feel that I really really need to find out what I am like, inside, without interference. Well, in other words again: not ready for help.

So, many layers, different moments, situations, attitudes all to be explored and currently active is my attempt to accept the darkest darkness which I know up to now. Not running for it. Not fighting it. Not blaming myself for it – just having a look at it without judgement. Experiencing how I want to run away from what is happening inside, how I grab my new phone to start playing a game, how I read a book to forget what is bothering me, how I eat, watch Netflix – so much running. Constantly informing myself ‘this is me’, ‘this is me too’, ‘this is ok’, ‘it is ok to feel this’, ‘no need to run, you have lived through this before’, ‘this is me too’.

I have set my phone timer every 15 minutes to remind me to check if I am still on track. Time and time again I am amazed at how much energy goes into fear and worrying. Having said that…. I have several letters laying about here which need to be opened. I suspect invoices.

Other subject; the hug-buddy dropped by yesterday, informing me that he has lied about 2 things. He still works his second job and does not play sports when in the evening hours.  He lied deliberately because he saw me lifting an eyebrow when he mentioned the 2nd job. Next to his way too tiring 45 to sometimes 50 hours a week job he has added another 2-3 hours a day of food delivery to his watch. I know this is pretty normal in the USA where a lot of people with a 40 hour job in services can not even make a living wages. But it is not normal in The Netherlands. I know how tired he is daily and his health is failing but he keeps on adding responsibilities to his life which wear him out. Also, the tax system in the Netherlands is progressive, so with way more work he is only going to gain a little more but he is not aware of that. I informed him of that earlier. And together that was enough to make him lie. He said he had quit the job. I was happy about that and thought nothing more of it. When, in the evening we connect online and I enquire after his day he lies and says he has been sporting with his roomies.

Why? We are not even in a relation where I have the power to demand anything of him. Also, he seemingly does not have the idea he can speak to me, even about the small stuff. What about the big stuff? What if he had, say a VD? Or, well, why lie all together? I just wonder what somebody’s interior is made off if they feel they can not speak to me about this. He speaks about every big and tiny shame he has about sex, it is sort of unload of shame whenever we meet. Me being witness to his pain helps him process stuff and it helps me process mine. So why oh why lie about something so, so tiny?

The hug-buddy has financial issues because he has financial obligations to his estranged wife, his kid and the family in his homeland. It is very strange to, with my Dutch / Western culture, run into this family blackmail system they are all involved in. And the hug-budy gives way, and gives way, and gives way to all the blackmail in his family because ‘first born and only son’ – all these things which have totally lost their meaning in our society and are therefore difficult for me to understand. Worse: they make me angry because I see it as a prison they all create for each other. But that is not my business and when he enquires after this I speak from that place in space where I know it is not my business and where I am aware of the cultural differences and my lack of family ties on top of that.

I was thinking I dealt with that ok-ish but now I am confused. The ‘shame one another into the group’ culture seems to have gotten into his spine. I guess it is naive to think some years of appreciating the (relative) freedom of the West would magically change his make-up. This recent issue makes it look like dodging issues which ‘women’ present is his favorite way of not dealing with stuff and not being present to the woman in front of him. While trying to speak with him about why he lied he kept on interrupting me, did not listen, kept on inserting the words ‘women are like that’ in  and in the ‘conversation’ and in the end did not find anything I said of any importance and left.

I seem to be not a person, I am ‘one of the women’ and because of that whatever I say is not really important. My final conclusion is that he lied because he thought I would make a scene and chuck him out (wot?!) if he did not quit his extra job. Looking at it from a very dark point I would say he just wanted to keep his proverbial foot in the proverbial door.

Oh F! I’m angry. And as a logical decision I shut my emotional doors and threw him out of the tiny corner in my heart. I am getting way too well exercised in chucking people out of my heart. And then again… why be around people who are not willing to communicate and see me as a person worth speaking with. Not speaking to, speaking with.

And haha, the day before this happened I signed up at a dating site for outings in the city.  It is not a datingsite per se, it is more for outings, however some people do mention how they are tall, skinny and blond so I guess they are looking to date-date. I would like to visit some exhibitions, theater, musea and movies with others, male or female. While writing here I am making an appointment with another guy just because I am angry. Geez how childish is that. 5 Minutes later the other guy wants to meet along the highway – with airco. Nope. Not happening ‘along the highway’ = motel. I proposed a forest. And hahah, I can’t even say: “My way or the high way!” Ghegheghe….

Need to get out of this mode. This is not how I want to deal with people or myself. The my way or the high way joke says it all. I do not want to meet another person who diminishes me to boobs and ass only.

I just chatted with the hug-buddy on how I felt about what he did. He replied with patting himself on the shoulder for not lying anymore but telling me. Hmmm… that is not what I had hoped for. What about ‘Sorry’? Sorry has not shown up in this conversation yet. :-/ Why chat? Because I am so angry that I can not even be near him and he contacted me. Sigh.

My phone alarm goes off very 15 minutes telling me ‘this is me too’.  Every 15 minutes I am acutely aware of my emotions and hahaha, they are quite powerful. I do not think it is a good idea to be thrown around by emotions which is why I have to get to know them. Light and dark. Fuckerthefuckerthefuckfuckfuck.

Haaaa… that’s better.

thetruthwillsetyoufree

Ok! I am HAPPY THAT I QUIT!!! I guess this is it. This is me. This is how I walk this earth. I do not have to run from everything because frankly; running has become too tiring. Running internally for what I do not want to accept actually makes me fearful and depressed. I am here where I prefer the real shit instead of the running way, self invented school sick depression shit. And no, I do not say that I think this is true for other depressed people. At this moment, from where I stand now and how I look upon the things unfolding this is true for me. It is actually pretty relaxing to realise ‘this is me’. It is not ‘that I am’ – which is a term from the spiritual teachings world but I am currently looking at the system of e-motions – the things which set me in motion. I have some unpacking, cleaning up and settling down to do. 🙂

Coming to the end of this post I realise this acceptance is part of learning to love myself, of self acceptance so I changed the blog header to the self-love series. Being witness to what is inside of me, being witness to my emotional body.

Obviously I am not sure if I want to be / react in the reactive way I am but I am learning. Progress, perfection can wait. The egg timer is a good idea, again.

Wishing you a nice, happy sober day/evening. 🙂

xx, Feeling

Coping well with a crate of empty beer bottles, some shame, some darkness and some understanding of the internal Universe.

Yesterday a friend and I returned a crate of empty beer bottles which had been on my balcony for over 4 years. As I live on the 4th floor without an elevator I used to drink from cans but… at some point, 4 years ago I was trying to quit and then favo beer came on sale in the bottles. I promised myself that it would not be so bad if I just moderated. Well, I guess you know how that works out…  Some 4 years and 2 days later….  I FINALLY got to bringing it back. 🙂 It has 4 euro deposit money so obviously I wanted to cash that.

All this time of not drinking I had been hesitant to bring the bottles back. At first the rattling of bottles in a crate ignited thoughts of drinking. Later it brought back specific memories of what I call our ‘drunken nest’  at home. My dad, brother, friends and I would drink bottled beer on a summer evening at a campfire. I won’t go romanticising this because the truth was that I was already addicted then and the family dysfunctional partially because of the use of alcohol. Looking back now I realise that both my parents had ‘the gene’ even though they never got into it to the max. My father did for a few years when he studied but that finished off his study and he had to move back to his teetotaler parents so that sorted that.

That is the thing with drinking while having a family: it is not only the person who drinks who is affected, it is everybody. When drinking my mother was not available, not for normal conversation, not for connecting, everything was ‘dealt’ with quickly and in an irritated manner. She made clear that we came between her and her drink, or as she would phrase it: “the only moment of the day I have to myself”.  A lot of the issues I could have used help with as a teenager, like sexual assault where not spoken off because she was already irritated when I mentioned something simple as school stuff. That is what she taught us; alcohol is more important than you are. And in my twisted and already addicted mind that read: drinking = solving problems.

When my dad drank he would become even more convinced of himself and start orating for 3 hours on end on dark subjects nobody was interested in like doomsday and the end of times. Hmm, orating for 3 hours… how does that sound familiar? If anybody protested, specifically when my mother protested, he would lash out like trying to win the first price for bullying.  After that we would all smooth it over with more booze. Flush the tension away.

Mike from the blog ‘dharmaholic‘ spoke about having a family and drinking a few days ago in an interesting post and the shame based family:

For your information, here are some of the things Bradshaw (edit: writer of the book ‘Healing The Shame That Binds You’ about shame, shame based families and addiction) speaks about parent modeling and why shame-based parents have little ability in these matters.

‘Modeling includes how to be a man or a woman; how to relate intimately to another person; how to acknowledge and express emotions; how to fight fairly; how to have physical, emotional, and intellectual boundaries; how to communicate;how to cope and survive life’s unending problems; how to be self-disciplined; and how to love oneself and another. Shame-based parents cannot do any of these”.

That was how my parents failed to be present to my brother and I, to themselves, to eachother and to family and the few friends they had; because of their drinking and their fights with themselves and the fights between them. 😦

The tv-series Patrick Melrose (addicty trying to get clean and trying to deal with his past of abuse) is on in The Netherlands. Obviously my parents were not quite as far away from me as his and the abuse did not come from within the family – but what is very familiar is that undertone of dread. continuous insecurity, fearing I, my integrity, would be attacked, abused. In early childhood I could ‘get over things’ and ‘forget about them’ but the older I grew and the more incidents added on the more I would freeze. And from early puberty onwards I was continuously in a fight/flight/freeze….. and drink mode.

Ok, well, back to the crate on the balcony. I had cleaned the balcony but the crate was staring at me. Earlier I thought keeping it was a good idea to remind me of my stupidity and all the wrongs I had done. I mentioned this to  friend who came by and she said: if you do not dare to do it alone, let’s go take it to the store together. We did. 🙂 While walking I spoke about the sound being a trigger. She mentioned that it triggered her to drink cola because it reminded her of bottles of cola. 🙂 That is about focusing on not continuously fighting the old, but replacing our behaviour with new behaviour. In this case that would be drinking cola which I will not – but the sound could be from apple juice or water bottles too. Good changes. 🙂

Also: now I am able to detect what was going on and how this crate calls up memories, guilt and self-hate. In the last 4 years I have also developed some form of self-worth to realise that the hurt coming with the memories and my own judgement is not so much ‘what I deserve’ but more ‘what I learned to do to myself’. I realise guilt is a suitable emotion when applied in moderation in the correct situation. However feeling guilty, always, about everything, about being alive is not a sustainable way of living – so to say. 😉

For me shame is a big issue and finding back my voice, my right to live and right to protect myself, my right to be safe is difficult. So many damaged my physical and emotional  integrity to rid themselves of their own feelings of shame through aggressive sexual acts against me. Sexual abuse was the key ingredient of my parents marriage with daily doses of forced sex. That layer of vile acts seeped through the family and poisoned everbodies’ mind, heart, soul and energy system.

So yeah, shame is something to work on for me. And I am guessing at some point in my life it would be nice to be free of reproaching my parents for letting me down. Hell, not reproaching parents for having kids and thinking they can keep them safe while my mother actually knew their marriage would be a destructive one, would be nice. And yes, I know this is twisted thinking but that is a part within which is fucked up badly. I decided that I would never have kids because I would not want to do to anybody what my parents did to me / did not do for me. Everybody kept on and keeps on saying ‘but they were trying their best’. But if unleashing ones own shame on kids is the best… I don’t want to walk down that road. And knowing I was addicted to alcohol: what did I have to offer? Continuation of damaged genes and sick coping mechanisms?

Back to the crate: 3 Years and 10 months sober I do not have to ‘keep up appearances’ and then buckle under the weight of shame and self-hate only to drink again. I am now able to voice my worries to a friend who comforts me and helps me out in a practical way: walk with me to the store, be present to my discomfort. And I am able to accept that just as it is without feeling inferior. I can thank her for that without feeling stupid and not suitable to live.

Those are a lot of changes. 🙂 I am not in AA but seeing how my developments go I can see how they touch upon the 12 steps. 🙂 And indeed, how resentment is an important part of me and it hinders me. But I can not step past the deliberate hurt they caused me, for putting me in harm’s way on purpose, for not listening when I expressed abuse. For sending me back into social situations in which I had been abused. For not believing me when telling them my brother was egging the abusers on. For not believing me my brother pulled a knife at me. For disbelieving everything I said from that point onwards because ‘he would not do such stuff’. Well. He did. And they did. And while I was losing myself and almost soiled myself my mother was looking sincere but not fully. I never understood until I learned about micro-expressions; that explained the glimpses of joy combined with power and sex. Vile. She was smiling at me and experiencing lust when sending me back into the crowd with luring, lusting and grabbing guys willing to go to any length to get some action – there was no protecting me. Because drinking. Because my misery made her feel less alone? I do not know. She had been perverted and now it was my turn. That is what families are about: handing down experiences. Unfortunately that counts for the darker ones too. 😦 Patrick Melrose is very explicit about not wanting to live in this system himself and at the same time behaves exactly the same way his father did. 😦

That’s the thing isn’t it: we all think we will be there for kids, friends, nephews, nieces, family,  colleagues, neighbours when they want to express something awful and need help. But the reality is: as long as we do not look at our own pain and darkness, kids, friends, nephews, nieces, family, collegues, neighbours turn into people who are uncomfortable to be around with after they have been hurt. Typically kids who have been abused or bullied will not ‘just cry’ so others can feel sorry for them and comfort them. They have been touched by the shame of the abuser and therefore do not feel the right to cry anymore. They whine, become silent, they can become aggressive or withdraw and stumble over their own feet exactly when others ‘need’ them to be inspirational and show off. And if they can not perform beautifully on Sundays at grandma’s, at school or at football, at least don’t be a whining embarrassment. I cried, I begged, I moaned, I sabotaged and I got dismissed by my parents for whining so they send me back into the lion’s pit. I learned I had no value.

“You are an embarrassment, I am ashamed of you.” actually means: “Your behaviour touches something in me I can not carry, and I dislike you for reminding me of the shame, guilt, self-loathing I have inside.” That is how transfer works. I have shame, you remind me of it, I need to lash out so I can feel better, you feel worse and now you carry my shame.

The other way around: I am thinking, when experiencing discomfort like shame and unworthiness in dealing with somebody, especially kids, it is extremely important to be aware of what is going on and what is carried over, what does not want to be seen, what has no right to exist. Alcohol and other drugs prevents parents, teachers, therapists from doing that because addiction is a shame fueled misunderstanding of life.

In the last months I ended up in a dark depression and allowed myself to go into my underdog mode. Rock bottom will be the solid bottom on which I rebuild my life – I hope ;-). I will sink and sink till I let go of the attachment to destructive patterns. Knowing that I let go. I cut out everybody who did not exactly believe me as I experienced my life and speak about it. No matter how much I moan I expect people to listen and if they don’t they can get out of my life. I had to do that to make space for me to believe me, to take myself seriously, to take back room in myself to experience. Moaning only happens when people do not take their own pain seriously. Moaning is a structure of squeezing a non-existent pimple right next to a giant white head. I was going to not dismiss myself too, upfront. Not going to set boundaries to experiencing the damage which has been done. Not going to slightly change my story or leave stuff out to make people accept it.

My dreams looked and felt like this vid, that person. “The monsters are running wild inside of me. I am faded. So lost. I am faded.”

 

It was informative. The utter darkness of not wanting to live, not being able to be social, not taking care of me; it was dark. Days filled with planning on how to take my life. How will I make sure the right people take care of the cat and will keep her. How will I make sure they do not suspect that I’m not going on a holiday. Dark. Some days in I realised I was wanting myself out of my body constantly. Do you recognise that?

Also, I had changed the security settings to my blog and I had to type in the name to this blog every time I wanted to read something. I realised that I was not feeling my way back into life. I was pushing myself away from experiencing what was going on but making a ‘kill the ego’ solution to it by wanting to die. As I was laying in my bed anyway I dove into what was.

I can tell you, the running for the darkness and going into suicide thinking is dark. What is behind that within me is dark too but there is a difference. Behind it is destruction. It is natural. It is Thanatos. The Universe has 2 main powers: one is life and the other is death. You can call it light and darkness, yin and yang, whatever. One is expanding, the other is subtracting. The one can not live without the other. The substracting balances the growth. It is that which brings order to the chaos so the growth can follow a sustainable path, not grow wild, not overgrow itself. It sets boundaries to that without boundaries, which is infinite, which is unlimited. I dread endings. Every ending has an atmosphere of my brother dying. I dread boundaries and limits. I ‘chose’ an addiction which I thought helped me to avoid all of that – only to find that the alcohol in the end limited me. Which is correct. That is how Life is.

The darkness  is where I do not want to be, I relate this back to the suffering in the womb when my brother died. And funny; I realised that me backing away from this energy to quit building, to make sensible choices instead of wanting it all, makes it impossible for me to fulfill any project or actually achieve something in life because I dread the ending of it. The energy connected to ‘being done’ is for me connected with terror and death. So I back away.

And obviously, in backing away I do not accept life on life’s terms and get unbalanced. 😦 Just Universal laws. :-/ The darkness, it is real. It is part of Life. It is natural. I feel I have gotten an extra leg to walk on, like parts in my body have re-integrated with experiencing this darkness within. The suicidal thinking is another darkness, one with ‘opinions’ and ‘wants and needs’, an ego created darkness. The darkness of Life, as I experienced it then is just what it is: destruction. Not personal. Not focussed on the ego. Overwhelming and powerful but true and clear. Quite a relieve actually.

The last month has been about falling apart, looking at all the pieces and the glue which kept them together. Most of the glue is/was not so much a life force but it consists of freeze. Frozen emotions, frozen processes, blocked paths through life. Funny how that what I fear ‘the darkness’ actually ends up building my system itself and preventing the opposite ‘Life’ to happen. Which is… exactly how I think it works. I wanted to find freedom in alcohol while I found enslavement. I wanted financial freedom while I found that depletes my funds :-). I wanted to live without boundaries while I found that means that indeed I reach nothing. I want to explain stuff and bury people in words. :-/

Living Life on life’s terms. 🙂 I have made a big step and while I thought I stepped into the darkness I stepped into freedom. Not kaboom Light, but well, relieve, understanding of the workings of me. Experiencing internal freedom, you know; when you understand stuff and feel your DNA change. 🙂

One of the characteristics of people with a vanishing twin is that they can not finish stuff. Their energy is in the start of a project and then…. pfffff…. they seem to lose interest, fall into pits nobody else would fall in, digress (like now ;-)) find another subject which is way more interesting. I have that. It looks like something which could be just ‘solved’ with improving my moral. But that is not how it works. Like addiction is not a moral disease, my running for the darkness which I connect to endings is not a moral failing either – it is a structural design mistake of my energetic system, or a solution my system made up to deal with the trauma. It would however be very nice to sort of get a grip on my life. 😉 Fix it. Quick! 😀 Getting there.

Some days I can eat well which means 2 home-made meals a day. Sleep well, which by now means going to bed before 02:00 (waaaaay to late for me). Read some, currently the Artemis Fowl series again. I clean the house before visits from friends and the hug-budy which means at least weekly cleaning. He is a cosy, sexy comfort but even after 7 months I do not want to engage into a full sex act. It is actually quite interesting to do all the other things which normally fade out of a relation. When was the last time you spend 4 hours hugging, talking, tickling, massaging and well, some more sexually oriented frolicking?

I am starting to notice differences between us which I am not sure we can or I want to bridge. Also I am not sure if being friends with benefits is a good thing for my dysfunctional heart. Sometimes it only teaches my heart to be more dysfunctional; loving is ok, receiving is impossible. Addict trait; don’t touch me. My heart is shut.

Workwise I am still lost on what and where. The social security people have put me at the bottom of the pile. I guess this is because I start crying every time they ask a question…. sigh, how will I ever be ‘normal’ again? I just don’t know what I want. I want a simple job in a safe environment. But the simple jobs don’t seem to come with safe environments until I find some stability within myself. Having stepped in the darkness behind my own ‘made-up’ darkness is a good thing. However, I do not know how many layers this onion has. And if I need to peel them all to be able to function again at my level of education. Or maybe, maybe, the level at which I am supposed to function is not equal to my emotional intelligence or stress control and maybe I never will. I am going to ask the social security if they can help find out what I want and can do, where my strengths and weaknesses are. Writing short posts is not one of them ;-).

Post 526 in this blog. 🙂 I am happy that I quit. I realise that my happiness is something of an ‘obligatory’ thing. I do not experience a lot of happiness lately, more ‘relieve’ from the darkness. That does not count in my daily practise for ‘being happy that I quit’ but there is no other experience currently. I do resent drinking. My SIL was eating an oven dish with mushrooms in a wine-cheese sauce. I had forgotten about the wine and took a small bite. MG. Tastes like cheese vomit. Brrrr…. People with alcohol breath smell like they swallowed cleaning agent. So no, not in the danger zone but it worries me that I do not ‘repair’ more quickly. And then again: I have gotten a big dose of the darkness and this comes back layer after layer. These last weeks have changed a lot. I hope when the next bout of depression comes a long I am brave enough to really feel into it again. 🙂

Wishing you a good sober night/day.

xx, Feeling

The land of no self-hate – Episode 10

How many years did you count between the first thought: ‘Maybe I should not be drinking so much?’ and actually quitting?

Apart from thinking this on a daily base… it took me more than 20 years for it to sort of get it to the forefront of my brain and another 10 years to actually quit. I literally knew that I would get addicted to alcohol at the first glass I took. I also downplayed it by thinking ‘Ooh, since I know that, I will be able to control it.” Yup. Not.

Weeks ago I looked at negative self talk and self-hate while reading a book called ‘There is nothing wrong with you’ from Cheri Huber. That had quite some impact and caused some mind shifts but the execution of replacing self-hate with self-love is not there yet. Not that I expected that – it is difficult to change behaviour. And this behaviour has been going on longer than my drinking career so I’m guessing it is more difficult to change.

For me, negative thinking has a lot in common with addiction: repetitive destructive behaviour. Also: it keeps me away from what really is. Even though that reality generally is nicer than the negativity. Keeping a watch on negative thinking was really helpful and insightful for a while. Also: I felt really happy and it is A-MA-ZING how much energy I had during the day. I was surprised by my openness, the good intention and love, joy and activity which came floating to the surface. I felt the same energy I felt when I was a child in my safe years. Then something happened, everything backfired and I totally lost myself only to go back to negativity and self-hate with even more energy. Sound familiar?

I had the same with trying to quit drinking. I would play with the thoughts to quit and then try it for a week. Something would happen and I would go back to drinking and most of the time I would catch up with the amount of ‘lost’ glasses during the week.

2 Weeks back the cat got really ill. At some point I was so down that I hoped she would quietly slip away into eternity so I could do the same. Very often it is only the cat which keeps me here. Could be a mind trick. Hope I never have to find out. I do feel that every time I return to these dark thoughts they get edged in me, where they even out the road to destruction. In trying to feel into / look at these thoughts I found I have a difficulty with connecting to people. I can love but I can not be loved. I can not let people in. This becomes more and more apparent now I experience how lonely my existence is in these dark moments. I have friends, very good friends. Friends who carefully listen to all this which you might find difficult to read because dark or because repetitive and boring. But in those dark moment that does not matter because this ‘hole in the soul’ is so much darker and bigger than anybody can fill.

I’m not sure what caused this ‘hole’. Do I miss my vanished twin brother? Yes, very much so. A partner in my life? Not specifically. Do I miss, I don’t know fundamental idea of goodness of the world, faith? Yes. Or maybe I miss myself? Yes, very much. What I do to myself is cruel, soul crushing. If anybody would do that to anybody else I would go berserk. And still, somewhere in my life I started to believe, or maybe I even made it up myself, that hating me is the best thing I can do. And I never changed. It is so engrained that it takes more than 3,5 years of sobriety to even get an inkling of it. And then, when trying to quit I this behaviour it calls me back and punishes me for leaving with even more and more darkness. And even though I guess this is learned behaviour be it picked up by an eager student, I still do it all to myself. Cunning, baffling and powerful.

So… I have tuned down the watch on self-hate to let the dust settle a bit and see how I can work on this from another entrance. I need to get my negativity act and food addiction together because they both keep me from being clear and from being honest to myself and other people. As long as I keep on eating away my own shadow, keep on disliking myself for perceived weaknesses, I will keep on transferring this dislike and anger to others. Not good.

So, looking at shadows is good. Ramadan is past so I am eating chocolate and refined sugar again, within 1 day I was back at my usual intake. I eat it and at the same time really dislike it and feel bad. Sound familiar? 🙂 And every day, even now I think: tomorrow I will do it differently. Cunning, baffling and powerful.

Somehow quitting addictive stuff and behaviour jogs memories of events past. Part of quitting the chocolate and refined sugar were (mini) trauma’s I have encountered while living abroad without my parents at age 15/16. In real life and in the sober blogosphere I have met so many people whose life has been damaged and put to a halt because of severe (sexual) trauma and consequently addiction. My traumas are not so severe in comparison with most but I can not seem to get away from them. Whenever I do get really clear, other events keep on popping up. I watched part of the Trauma and healing online conference but I sank so deep that I could not follow-up.

Abuse trigger warning for the next few Italic paragraphs till the fat print.

No chocolate – no sugar brought back this memory from sitting in a tiny park like spot in the country side, next to an enormous white water river, reading a book, my lower legs dangling down the quay/ledge which had been put in place to keep the river from eating in on the environment. A guy comes up, he must be in his twenties, I was 16 or so. Even though I do not trust him we chat because I can not get away safely. I make sure to steer away from anything which might indicate interest in him or look like advances. I try to bore him with excessively speaking about the book I am reading. (Ha! Nothing changed there :-D) At some point he starts requesting I go with him to his house to have sex. I sort of joke around the issue knowing that downright offending or refusing him makes things worse. He comes back with; “Why would you talk to me if you do not want sex?” Followed up by: “We have sex now otherwise I push you off the ledge.”

I would not be able to stop him from where I sit and falling down would have meant sure death. Even at age 16 I make jokes like: “Is that how you pick up all your girls? Not sure it is such a succesful line….” trying to take the sting out of it while trying not to show how my hands trembled and I am so scared I feel I can not even stand-up. He was serious. Not so much in wanting to kill me but he was very thick headed, possibly officially retarded (sorry, not inclined to look for nicer words here). His intent and anger where very real and also he did not seem to have the faintest idea that falling into a deep white water river with rocks all over can not be easily survived – specifically with the 6 meter waterfall further down and a following 12 meter waterfall within a 100 meter. He just did not care. He wanted what he wanted and I refused that so I had to be hurt.

Also: even though the place was max 10 meters away from the road and bus-stop, at that moment there was nobody around. Passing by cars had made it seem a safe spot but when they do not actually stop there is no safety to be found. And even now I have the idea that I have to explain the surroundings to you to make sure that you do not think me silly. I had to come up with silly jokes and conversation for 5 minutes for some car to pop up at the car park 30 meters further before I had the guts to stand up and go home. My knees buckled and I almost shit my pants. I walked home, checking at every turn in the road to see that he did not follow me.

At that time I had stopped speaking about things like this to people because anybody would start with “What did you wear?” and “Why did you even go there?” and “He would not speak to you if you did not give him the idea that you were available.”

I can see now how every bit of anger I held against guys like this was redirected inwards by being blamed for their behaviour.

This is how the female spirit is killed in this world. This is how our freedom and sovereignty is taken

What would a woman who loves herself do? She would love herself. How will I get there? Not sure. Going to bed would be a good thing. 🙂 It always is. And tomorrow slowly start examining and taking loving actions.

I am happy that I quit be it in a dark way. Even though my days have been rather nasty for a long time, I know it was worst when I drank. The guilt and the shame, my god. Unbearable. I literally could not look people in the eye. And that physical feeling of being bloated and stuffed. The high blood pressure. Ooh! Yeah, no sugar, no chocolate made my blood pressure drop quite some points. Eating it makes it rise; I feel my blood pumping in my ears when I lay down on my pillow. So: not good. I also appreciated getting more veggies in because of having better eating habits. Veggies are good.

Sorry for another way too long post. Hope you are doing well.

Wishing you a nice sober week.

xx, Feeling