I’m contemplating an Ayhuasca retreat in order to get to the root of my C-PTSD of 50+ years. Continue reading
It is becoming very evident to me that I have to undergo these sacred treatments using plant medicine, if I want to rid myself of yet-remaining, residual aspects of early and later trauma in my years of childhood and upbringing and with their outcomes wreaking havoc on my psyche – and hence life – to this day. I can almost put my own – cognitive – “fingers” on the places, where I’m still damaged and hurt – but can’t seem to get past those remainders all by myself. I had catalyzing experiences that came close to getting access to those very deeply rooted layers of inflicted pain and resulting damage, but I haven’t managed to resolve them – probably mostly for reasons of not having had an opportunity to integrate the experiences afterwards. By integrating I mean, talking it over with someone who carefully listens and takes an interest in seeing me process my emotions brought to the surface. Since I can’t have access to conventional trauma therapy, it seems the above – along with hopefully getting accepted into a MAPS.org phase III-study on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in late 2016/2017 – is my only option left. Wish me luck, if so inclined. (I know, I have written about this and said this before… 😉 )
Read the full story here.
I soooo wish, I could call that person and discuss an appointment with her… For my readers suffering from (C-) PTSD, this is a must-read. MAPS.org hope to have MDMA-assisted therapy legalized by 2021.
For the nutshell version of Somatic Experiencing© as developped and applied by Dr. Peter Levine, treat yourself to this:
As it’s becoming more and more obvious that I’m very very unlikely to ever find help in the conventional medical/therapeutic system (for reasons too numerous to detail), I seem to turn to the unconventional and even illegal realm of medicinal treatment in order to get to continue to navigate this earth plane. Because my life got stripped of everything that should make life worthwhile to continue.
So, this “morning” over my usual coffee, I happened upon another interesting article on Amber Lyon’s reset.me-platform and found the above linked young man, whose own project called “The True Light of Darkness” is the follow-up of a two-part book about his a) research into and b) sharing of experiences with psilocybin mushrooms and the insights and behavioral modifications gained from that. In the context of this work I came across this video, where he talks about “COEX Systems”, a term coined by Stanislav Grof in his book LSD: Doorway to the Numinous: The Groundbreaking Psychedelic Research into the Realm of the Human Unconscious. Right away it strongly resonated with my own somewhat jiggery introspection into the root cause of my own trauma and strife with ongoing emotional pain that won’t let up one bit so far (despite my very committed efforts and some help from a compassionate therapist).
There are more and more experienced and legitimate researchers and therapists coming out of the closet of conventional in-the-box-thinking in regards to so-called “mental” illness – a misnomer IMO – and their causes and how to address them. Just recently, I linked to a video with Dr. Gabor Maté, who clearly identifies trauma as the root cause of all kinds of addiction according to his experience with thousands of patients he has treated.
As far as I’m concerned, I don’t seem to have other options left as to tap into the realm of psychedelics, most notably psilocybin, in order to continue my own path. Because frankly speaking, it’s come down to either this or …. in the very near future as the pain has become utterly unbearable and conventional options fall away one after another.
That is great news for patients living in the U.S. Since I am located in Germany, Europa, and since MAPS-affiliated doctors/psychiatrists have discontinued research projects on MDMA, LSD and other psychedelics in the late 90ies around our parts, I have to find a way to go there. I have been accepted into a wait list for a small phase II clinical trial in Boulder, CO, some time in late 2016 or 2017. I hope I can raise the funds to go there until then. I’m in the process of setting up a life.indiegogo.com campaign, which I’ll publish once I’m done with the campaign story and video. As my life has become incredibly difficult to maneuver since becoming disabled in 2008 and as there is a permanent need to communicate with different authorities and institutions on behalf of my disability status – which comes at considerable emotional expense, e.g. anxiety attacks – I can’t follow up on setting up the campaign as quickly as I’d wish it to go live. But I’ll stay on it and will announce it here once the campaign is live.
On a different note: The results on MDMA-assisted therapy that MAPS were able to produce so far are nothing short of miraculous. I very much hope I can make it all happen for me: The funding, the itinerary, the treatment and – a potential complete recovery after 50 years of having lived with this debilitating condition!
P.S. I am doing this – i.e. participating in research – not only on my own behalf, but in hopes of helping to create some awareness for the condition and advocate on its outcomes seeing as so many veterans of war, humanitarian workers and even servicemen in the police force or fire fighters develop PTSD over the course of their careers. With war having become an official ongoing tool of the geopolitical process and the powers that be, I’m afraid we’re going to see a lot more of this in the near future. So suitable treatments had better been implemented sooner than later in order to avoid an increasingly negative impact on society at large.
On Friday night, I had written a longer blog along with this video. For some reason, it vanished into the recesses of the server cloud at wordpress.com – or I was too drunk at the time to actually hit the “publish” button and closed that text window prior to saving. I don’t think this was actually the case as far as I remember, but maybe this was the universe’s/internet’s funny way of saying that my blog post sucked to begin with… 🙂 So here I am, trying to capture the thoughts and sentiments again that were sparked by this clip. First off, upon watching above linked video, I realized without a shred of a doubt that Dr. Maté is right. What he says about pain and the role it plays in an addict’s life resonates strongly with me. How am I being an addict? Well, I think, I’ve become an addict to food by way of recurring bouts of binge eating accompanied by the “bright” choice of washing said food down with fairly sizable quantities of alcohol. (they feel sizable to me, as my constantly overclocked, overheated, overcharged nervous system – a “gift” from a lifelong existing C-PTSD as I learnt in 2013 – doesn’t require large amounts of any substance to produce even wilder modes of altered consciousness). So in admitting to the fact that I have become addicted to food and quite a bit of alcohol, I just mean to say that I think I get the “addict” part of his monolog here (and since I am aware of the health risks coming from that behavior I think about replacing these choices of self medicating with cannabis, which I believe to go easier on the system according to the research I’ve done on it – and maybe even produce some welcome positive side effects in regards to physical and emotional health). The urge to soothe the pain by overeating and then slipping into a quite comfortable sedation, the latter amplified by alcohol, is a way of using these substances as a pain killer – or to drive out utter depression from sometimes feeling completely void, empty, destroyed inside. At those times, the feeling is that the sentient part of me is irreversibly shattered. (By now, I think I have come to understand this as a false assumption brought on by lingering outcomes of experiences from my early and later past growing up, which seem to have dominated my inner monolog and thought process for … well forever. But realistically speaking, for as long as I can feel anything, if even just for fleeting moments, the sentient part of my being can’t be dead. I try to remind myself of this during times of severe distress serving as an anchor for not losing sight of the goal and perspective).
When I had sat down that night to link to the video and add my personal comments, I had gone through a series of strong, negative emotions that brought me to the brink of completely freaking out with red rage over spending a couple of days at my former home. I say “former home”, because I feel that I have made a new home for myself where I currently live – and I think I did so more or less consciously, because that former home never felt much like a good home to begin with. For reasons too mundane to go into detail about, I had to accept help with money from family in recent years and in order to make it acceptable for me in some way, I tried to talk myself into the idea that this might also be an opportunity to regrow a relationship that has wreaked havoc on my very being from pretty much the get-go. So I guess I’m saying that spending those two, three days there exposed me to XXL-sized triggers, the nature of which I even believe the Buddha to have driven beyond any measure of impulse control, not to mention preserving the “sweet spot” of that heartspace of balanced and centered awareness. Needless to say that I have to make quite the effort to get more control over my life and my actions and decisions again, if I’m not to keep betraying myself completely and thus sabotage any serious attempt at healing the still lingering, deep wounds from the past and their outcomes. But I’m digressing.
Emotional loss and trauma – I think, I can say from plenty of years of personal, felt experience that Dr. Maté nails it here. There were brief moments in my more recent past and in an attempt to heal myself all by myself when I gave myself permission to feel that loss, be with that pain of having lost true connection with my former caretakers from early on, brought on by being seperated from them and then later for all the abuse that went on and prevented me from expressing the true nature of self or even getting seen and maybe even loved for it. Those things definitely didn’t happen in healthy ways and it became never more evident to me than over those recent few days.
I mention these things, because – quite naively – I believed that if I could access this deeply rooted pain over isolation and loss, and feel it and let it come out, a natural consequence would be that I’d thus release that pain from my bodymind. But I now have to admit to myself that this was indeed a short-sighted approach. “No man is an island”, the saying goes and I had to find out that this is true. In order to truly release the still largely unaddressed and unprocessed pain from my earliest days on the planet, someone has to be there with me when I’m with my pain, as Maté points out from his experience as a therapist. Apparently, it doesn’t suffice to just feel that pain and then let it come out (in quite violent emotional break- and meltdowns that sometimes lasted for hours). Apparently, the witnessing part is an important component I had overlooked and which seems necessary to experience some sort of natural bonding that should have happened much earlier and feel a sense of connection with someone in order to truly have a healing effect. And the other aspect I realize about this loss is that the need to fill that void left behind by initial emotional loss doesn’t vanish over time. Time doesn’t heal those deep wounds from the past at all. Only compassion does. At least, I hope so.
I would have preferred to do the healing all by myself. But apparently it doesn’t work that way. In terms of taking pragmatic steps, I am now happy to report that I have contacted researchers conducting clinical trials for MAPS.org and made it on a wait list for another round of phase III clinical trials some time in late 2016/2017. Frankly speaking, I have no idea how to keep going until then. I can only hope that my innate wish to live and become healthy, which has kept me going for 50 years, won’t let me down so close to the actual first-time ever prospect of experiencing a potential true recovery from those deeply engraved wounds from day one… Wish me luck, if so inclined!
“The isolation of PTSD can lead to intense loneliness. How do you cope with and reduce that feeling?”
I oscillate between “it’s killing me” and “y’all leave me the f… alone”. There is hardly any middle ground at any time. Realistically speaking and from my experience, extreme experiences like this make you lonely for real. Because we hardly get to share and vent. Noone understands (unless in a group setting, but that can be depressing as hell…)
Other than that: Lots of time in nature and – unfortunately – booze at times. Sorry to say. About to replace that with weed. That’s not gonna make me any less lonely, but it’s a different, healthier kind of drowning out the extreme pain. Talking to other people with issues has proven to be a very bad idea. They project their own shit and feel entitled to give advice. No. Just listen, the fuck!
What can I say… “guilty as charged” per this article and of all 11 habits listed and described: 11 Habits of People With Concealed Depression | Lexi Herrick. Been there, done that, as they say.
Another article highlighting the highly beneficial properties of psychedelics in treating tough to treat or even treatment resistant conditions.
My own inquiry today about my chances to participate in ongoing clinical trials funded by MAPS turned out negative so far. I’m devastated to be honest. I surely hope I can find a study or a researcher willing to perform the treatment as I don’t think I can go on living in survival mode forever.