Being in Two Minds

I have reached an interesting point in my recovery. I say 'interesting' but I am not being totally honest: I should really say 'scary'. It is scary because I have been there before AND because I have never been there before.

I have been medically stable for nearly two years now. That means my energy has been up and down like the proverbial yo-yo but it also means that the yo-yo in question has never tied itself in knots on its own string and has never flown off its string altogether. In other words, the helter-skelter ride has been bearable.

Recently though, something has happened that has changed the ride to such an extent that I can no longer describe it as a fairground fixture: it's more like a slow boat to China. It is now months since I last felt truly agitated or near catatonic. Rather, I have felt like I was wading through treacle with heavy shoes on without much fluctuation one way or the other.

I am now at the stage where my medication's balanced score card is tilting towards the negative because, whilst it is keeping my brain functioning well,  the side effects of the medicine is making me feel physically unwell. So, what do I do now??

I have been there before - twice. After my last two crashes, there also came a point when I felt very well 'mentally' and so could not wait to get rid of the unpleasant physical side effects of the medication that had helped me get well in the first place. The second time, I had even done a lot of emotional healing work that I thought would help me stay 'mentally' well. The trouble was, my brain had other ideas....

I have learnt the hard way that I must not underestimate the work my medication is doing to keep my brain functioning properly, just because my brain is working properly!  Even though I have made profound changes to the way I live my life, I will NOT become blind to the chemical 'weakness' that appears to undermine my brain function. Having said that, I am also well aware that the self-healing work I have done over the past two years (ever since I became well enough to tackle it) will have had an impact on my brain chemistry.

The last two times I found myself at this medicinal cross-roads, I felt pretty bullish and went ahead with gradually getting off my meds. This time, I feel TERRIFIED - there, I said it. I don't want to make the same mistake again but I have no idea what NOT making that same mistake would entail because I have never NOT made it before!

I recognise that the effect my evening meds are having on my digestive system is seriously undermining my well-being but I can't help but remember how my 'mental' illness seriously threatened my very life.

So, the question is this: how can I maximise my mental health AND my physical health? As soon as I wrote this question I realised how ridiculous it was because, whatever specialist doctors may want you to believe, the two are one and the same:

  • Being unable to function keeps me stuck in bed or in a chair and being a constant couch potato does NOT support my health - the right medicinal treatment is crucial
  • Being so badly affected by physical symptoms is discouraging, pain is exhausting, and this weakens my resistance to clinical depression - the right medicinal treatment is also crucial!

The real question must therefore now be: what is the right medicinal treatment at this stage of my recovery?

I haven't a clue. I am terrified of messing about with my drugs for fear of destabilising myself (that would be too awful to contemplate) and yet I recognise that something in my drug regimen is going to have to change before my digestive system becomes seriously impaired for good (which would be awful too). Chemical balance is a precarious and hard thing to achieve....

The phrase between a rock and a hard place comes to mind..... For now, and until I see my psychiatrist again next month, all I seem able to do is have a boxing match with one side of me and then the other. At time of writing, no side is winning :D

last blog posting

Hi

I imagine you have read many books but have you read the Liz Miller - Mood Mapping? Its very good and and worth a fresh look - I know the decision you have at present around medication are profound but re-visiting the other stuff is always helpful. Take it you have been down the natural route?

Anyway - so glad things are good and settled at the moment

jen

Thank you Jen

I haven't read Liz Miller's book but, thanks to your suggestion, I will. As you rightly point out, all avenues are well worth investigating :0). xx

In two minds

This reminds me of the two selves, Acting Sergeant Self - the one who would like to think she is in charge - and the deeper IS - the connection with the other, the place where we receive our flashes of inspiration; there's a battle going on there too.

 

The true incarnation that we have just been touching on over Christmas and Epiphany is when we allow the "unknown" God to influence our IS ... and I'm reminded of one of John Bell's meditations that he called "The Clown" [It's in "He was in the world"; Wild Goose Publications, 1995]  Here's a taster:

 

It was eight in the evening when we came to the fairground, the clown and I.

We had hardly arrived, when there was a hysterical scream - down the helter skelter came a 10 year-old girl in calipers her face aglow with delight.

On our right was a caraven. I looked in to see a fortune teller gazing at the palm of a woman with AIDS. Both were smiling ...

I turned to the clown and said, "this is absurd!" I turned and said, "this is perverse!" I turned and said, "this is obscene!" "Who else gives them the time of their lives?" asked the clown. "Who else gives the best to the least?"

And he nodded to the roundabout. All seats were taken apart from one. As we drew near, I saw my name on the saddle. "But how did you know?" I asked. And the clown smiled softly.

Just to say we are all special, and we can all receive guidance, even when it seems that the way ahead is not so clear. With my very best wishes

Thank you Mike

As always, your comment is thoughtful and thought provoking - thank you so much :0) xxxxx

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