A meditation: New Cage 

The door to the original Pony Express Station, Gothenburg Nebraska.

Bipolar disorder, Attachment disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and Serious Depression are all diagnosis I’ve received at various times in my life. 

They all added up symptomatically at the time, but there was always something under the surface that wasn’t touched by those theories. I presumed, for most of my life, that was an unattainable evil core deep inside me that simultaneously responded to, and created, the painful circumstances I kept repeating.

Medication didn’t make sense for me, mostly (I tried Zoloft for a couple months after a horrible breakup, with no intention of staying on it longer than it took to break out of the suicidal phase, and it made my brain spasm and was super fucking creepy).

Like most everything in my life, my mental problems weren’t consistent, and for me, I am so very thankful I faced what I did without getting caught up in the medication cycle. Two years later, I’d find suddenly that I had some other disease that was causing my misery. I can’t imagine what a fucking rodeo trying to medicate me would have been.

What was actually happening for me, I came to find, and which exactly zero psychologists pointed out, was that as I healed and became honestly self aware (as opposed to debilitatingly self critical and constantly trying to dig out the evil black core of me and stab it in the throat until it died) the outward and internal symptoms of my traumas changed flavor.

I thought I was a lost cause, a lot of the time, but what I was experiencing was progress. My anecdotal and professional observation is that trauma, especially for people who have formed in many types of it, seems like it should all feel the same, trigger the same set of responses in a nice tidy list (protip: there are no nice tidy lists). But each experience is locked away, and responded to, uniquely.

I really got clear about this in my bodywork practice and with my interactions with clients: If we’re doing it right, the pain moves. It changes once the shoulder girdle is attended to, moves into the ribs, the hips, knees, or maybe the neck. The quality adjusts, the locations shift, and once one thing is addressed another takes the opportunity to ask for attention.

It’s the same with mental and emotional struggle, and we don’t give ourselves room for that enough. Knowing this gives me mixed, conflicting feelings about the mental health industry. Long term, and as my only form of psychic hygiene when I first decided to get help, I found nothing more enabling of my caustic personal vendetta with myself than the brutal, over-intellectualized Western model of psychological therapy.

I am critical of its resistance to acknowledging the disembodied grief we share as a species and a collective, as well.

I had many, many levels to slog through before I got to an actual clearing in my personal work. I ran around in self defeating circles for years, it seemed. Sometimes I still do. Sometimes it’s all I can do. But not all the time, anymore. And that really counts for something when hurting myself was all I used to have.

It all came down to, rather than this cocktail of mental illnesses I supposedly had to blame, an inability to process and complete grief. Grief recovery skills (I talk about it here: http://artfultouch.info/grief-recovery/) and PTSD-specific therapy for the consequences of knowing nothing but misinformation about it for so long, were the key elements that a lot of other very valuable, helpful patchwork experiences were missing.

And still, I struggle. I want to say that having these tools gave me a happily ever after, and sometimes it even does feel that way for a while. But I am an empath, and our species is dying. I am sensitive, and I’ve rarely had a chance to heal from one trauma before another has come. I experience glimpses of comfort which fade, or less ideally, explode in my face.

Sometimes progress is taking a few steps back into the fire after walking into a dead end; a feeling I know all too well. Sometimes progress is never making it to an end goal. Sometimes progress is just surviving a whole entire life.

Stop telling people that no one will love them until they love themselves. That they are broken or inferior or somehow bereft of human connection until such time as their issues are resolved. 

Stop planting the idea in peoples heads that they are unworthy of love due to their struggles.
Stop holding ‘love’ up as the be all end all standard of human existance at the expense of being awake, taking in and processing a whole other spectrum of emotional wisdom. 

Stop listening to these out of touch, privileged assholes

But more importantly, and this is what I am finally feeling some relief from recently; stop saying that shit to yourself about you. 

Stop holding yourself and others to the inherently abusive concept of perfection.

Being incapable of being loved is not the same thing as being incapable of receiving love. 

You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time.

You are allowed to be both profoundly lovable and profoundly unable to receive that love in its fullness, at the same time.

Love means so many things, looks like so many things, and is so often passed off as things it really isn’t

Learn what love means to you. Accept that can be a life-long task for people like us. As you go, learn to treat yourself with that love

Along the way, others can and will share with you, and direct their concepts of love toward you; for better, and for worse.

There are infinite definitions, and infinite applications of love; You are lovable just the way you are, whether you are content with being that way, or not.



Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.