Sunday, May 14, 2017

What Is It About Mom?

It seems kind of obvious, I know.  Our moms are the best. Time after time, and effortlessly they save us. They are the place from where we're able to take chances and pursue the dreams we do. They take care of us, without complaint or obvious reward. They are asked to do so much. Sometimes to help support the family financially, and feed us, and get all our stuff.  To clean up our crap, make sure our beds are cozy and support our emotional needs too. They are our friends, our confidants,' our teachers and always our shoulder to cry on.  I remember crying to my mom about many things because I knew she got it, without even asking me. 

When you connect emotionally on that level without a word spoken, the tears just happen.  I remember just looking into my mom's eyes and boom! Like she could see right through me. I know now, that she could.  And I sense this today in every mother I meet as they talk about their child.
When your child cries, it resonates inside you in a way nothing else can. When I was about 10, I said to my mom once: "Why do you love me so much?" She replied, "You will only know when you have kids yourself."  Of course, she was right.   

Our moms are the grounding force in our lives that allow us to move forward, to step out each day when we are little and make it through each new thing during sometimes harrowing days. Because we know, even without thinking, they will be there when we return home.  

Even today, though my mom is long gone she is still with me, wherever I go, whatever I do. She shares my highest highs and lowest lows. She's in every dinner party and holiday, every business meeting and new place I see.  She's in my children and in every baseball game they play or ballet performance they dance. 

There will never be another like her in our lives and that is at it should be.  And it is with her incalculable gifts of spirit I am the person I am today.  And I know, you know -- just what I mean. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Why Are We Here? I Know

We are here to find meaning in our lives; we're here to discover--why we are here. 

This is not meant to be glib.  
Are we really here to simply go through the stages of our lives, to age, buy things, raise kids, work---ah, work.  Don't get me started.

We are here to engage one another.  We're here to know our meaning through our interaction and connection with others.  We are here to listen, to challenge, to inspire, to empathize and relate.  

We're here to support and be fascinated by the thoughts and perceptions of others, to broaden the foundations on which our beliefs are based, to honor and affirm the uniqueness and beauty of every person who shares our multi-chapter journey in this life.

We are not here, to walk into our office in the morning and not say good morning to the people we see every day, at the same time, in the same place.  We're not here to get in an elevator with others and quietly stare at the floor til our car reaches its destination.  Nor are we here to pass through a doorway and come face to face with a stranger without as much as a nod, a smile or Hi. 

So, get out there. Lift someone up today. Give. In doing so, you will invariably lift yourself.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Of Treatments & Top Gun

At the risk of sounding geriatric, I thought I'd update my doctor's situation--since i kind of started my blogging that way. (You know how your parents always talk about their doctor appointments?!!)  Perhaps too, someone reading might find something they've not  considered or tried before.

Based on the 23 and Me findings I'm taking a bunch of supplements and antioxidants to offset some of my metabolic deficiencies. Choline, glutathione and something called NAC to lessen the "head cold'' (to put it nicely) I have in the mornings.  So far, a bit of progress, not feeling those shitty body aches as acutely. Relief. 

Still taking my Top Gun tablets, Provigil.  Helps keep me awake during the day---which is so nice. Trying a testosterone supplement also.... A friend's son dealt with depression and his life was changed with T !  He was only in his 20's, but hey, at least i'll get stronger at the gym or, get hair somewhere I don't need it.  Finally, being prescribed a sleep study again.  I honestly don't think this is the culprit. I did one 4 years ago, used a CPAP machine for 3 months and felt no different. Having that thing strapped on my face actually made me sleep worse.  So, were just throwing everything against the wall.

Still doing IV drips once a week. On to Vit C now flooding my system to clean out any crap. I feel slightly better, but, again, no silver bullet.  So comprehensively, better and will push on.  

Graduate school is really energizing. I'm enjoying the challenge writing papers again (!), and having deadlines.  Studying and researching something interesting, then thinking it through to a presentation is satisfying.  I've missed it. School online however, is bizarre---compared to old school.  Messengering your questions to the teacher as she presents online is disjointed and feels disconnected. I really miss the social aspect of school. But I didn't want to commute to a classroom every few days.  This is where we are.

I have no uplifting or self-motivating epiphanies to impart. Only my love, light and faith that in the end it will all be as nothing; it will all make sense and be OK. Moreover, how we treated our self as we lived it, is all that is of consequence.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Floating To The Life We Hoped For

Often, my days feel like i'm floating.  Days later, when i look back on them they seem surreal, almost as if i didn't experience them, that i merely skimmed over them. I realized today that I spend too much time and energy  in the on again off again state of existentialism.  I am continually analyzing my self, my life, my situations and my environment.  

When i think of where I'm headed, I'm not always sure.  Before, when i had a real job, a company i called my own, I felt more safe.  But i certainly felt no more enriched, engrossed or satisfied  

I'm reading a short book called Becoming Earth, by Eva Saulitis.  She chronicles her journey and meditations as she battles breast cancer.  She was a marine biologist and a gifted writer.  Her writings struck a deep chord within me.  Bits of it may be difficult to read for some, but i feel the depth and beauty of her thoughts redeem the corona from the light that eclipses her tragedy.

Last week, by chance, i met her brother Jon while filling our Eurovan with gas.  He noticed all the surf stickers on the back window and asked if we'd surfed Tofino in British Columbia. From there we ended up talking about life--as i am wont to do--and at some point he reminded me that today, right now is all we have.  As he left he told me to read his sister's book, who has since passed away. 

When we look back, will we have lived the life we had hoped for when we were children? The life that seemed so attainable, and to me so obvious and natural?  Will we have realized the dreams that were always within our reach but too often were quashed by our own lack of guts or apprehensions or limiting beliefs?  Or were simply given up as we went on to make a living?

I can't let that be me. The best part of my story is yet to be written.  And i will constantly push back on--or befriend--the notion that the journey i take, viewed through the prism of depression will passively define or shroud my purpose in this life.  And in doing so, i will surpass it.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Our Greatest Fear. It Isnt What You Think.

The morning was a roller coaster ride of emotion. As I write this--and I'm not quite sure why yet-- I'm just tied up.  There is a feeling rising in my chest to my throat that is choking me up.  If I allow myself to go into it, to explore it and really feel it, I can tell it is fear that is behind it. Then I must ask myself, what is it that I fear?  I know I fear failure in my future. But I have come to realize I also fear success... I'm not entirely sure why. But I do have an inkling:

This quote from Marianne Williamson best speaks to my quandary: 

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others will not feel insecure
around us...

...As we let our light shine we unconsciously give others permission to do the same...

I have read and pondered this passage for months.  Very few things resonate with me as this does.  I know that I have dimmed my light. I was beaten down by the world and I shut it down. I let it happen. And I'm not sure why. 

But!,  I also know that was "ancient" Chip.  And I know I am no longer that person. I have broken free of the dark and elegiac place that I allowed to keep me down. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

A League of My Own

I do my own consulting on depression because I know the current mental healthcare model doesn't work. I know because I'm a veteran of the model. I tried everything and did my best with it for 30 years.  And I have only broken through with the help of the tools I learned at The Clearing.

I don't fault all the well meaning and hard working doctors I've seen. The insurance companies tell the doctors that they will reimburse for 50 minutes a week to ''fix you."  50 minutes a week to dig into your head, to unearth your deepest emotions and issues, work a process through it (few, if any know this process) and put you back together so you can go back to work that day, or even just back out into the world. One hour a week is simply not enough time. 

First off, you cant get to the bottom of much of anything in 50 minutes.  And even if you did, the doctor couldn't help you get your shit back together at the end of the hour to have you walk out the door to continue your day.

So, 'talk therapy' is talking through your feelings while the person in the other chair optimistically questions your assumptions and offers some suggestions to help you see things in a different way.  This may work for some.  It didn't work for me.  I learned I was holding so much stuff inside that I wasn't even aware of.  No way 50 minutes a week is going to address it.  And it's not a one-shot deal.  Working through this pain is a series of doors opening, of peeling back an onion.  And, you've got to be lead up to it to embrace and understand it.   I would have done anything to alleviate my suffering.  I was at the end of my rope.  I cried a lot of the day and hid where and when I could.

As I've said before, my stuff was not big, over the top, ''traditional'' stuff that a lot of my compatriots suffer through. Like divorce or abuse, and/or alcoholism or drugs to mask it all.  No, mine was just emotional events that I took really hard, that scarred my spirit and took an insidious toll on me.  Mine were people to whom I'd attached my dreams leaving me.  They were the carrying of burdens that weren't mine, like my parent's marriage and my mom's pain.  They were festering little grievances that were somehow being tallied up and cashed in as lost faith, cynicism and negativity.

So, this is where I step off.  After 30 years of banging my head against the wall and never getting to the true bottom of issues, Spiritual Psychology and other lessons learned at The Clearing taught me to identify and track back the slights and the seemingly inconsequential events I had rolled through but never come to grips with.  As I dug deep each day, these events surfaced. We set them up and knocked them down, like shooting tin cans on a wall.  The more we dug, the more we found and the more we shot down.  From there I learned forgiveness. To forgive myself.  To discern the judgements that I had made and the limiting beliefs which had ensued.  These limiting beliefs stop us dead in our tracks. We all have them. And the judgements are just excuses.  Judgements are scapegoats with shackles.

If you're in pain from depression and anxiety, fearing to dig in to yourself and dig out is not an option.  Do you actually fear this process more than the constant, unrelenting suffering you endure each day?  It's a path to healing that is right there for you.  You have it all inside but you need to be taught. 

My consultancy will take you for a day.  Or two.  We will explore what it is that's hiding inside. And, you will learn to heal yourself.  You will be courageous.  And the weight will be lifted from your chest. 

One week into my stay at the farm the pain in my chest dissipated.  By the end of it, the pain was gone.  Do I still deal with it today? Yes, I do, but it's on such a reduced level there is no comparison.  And I have tools now.  Mental, emotional and spiritual tools to work through the crap.  I can actually challenge myself mentally and break on through the rantings of the 'shitty committee' in my head.  They stop. It is a transformation.

I know depression. I'm an expert.  And I finally know a way out.  I've earned my stripes and know there isn't a therapist any more qualified to help pull you through. I will teach you the tools, step by step and teach you to open your heart.  When you do, you will be transformed.  I never thought it was possible until I learned and worked at it.  I work at it everyday, and I can teach you how to change your life. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

A possible diagnosis

Saw my new Dr. today, this time was the 3rd visit.  I've been having all my past doctors send all their records to him so he can put together my profile for the past 20 years or so.  He's great, he wants to put together my history so he can build a comprehensive picture before offering any solutions.  

What's the deal with our medical records system?  I have seen probably 15 or more different Dr's the past 20 years and had every kind of test they've conjured up: CAT scans, EKG, Sleep study, MRI, ALL SORTS of lab tests, from lupus to Lyme disease, heavy metals to MS.  Yet, Dr's don't often share information, all operating in a vacuum.  Each Dr. has their own system or tool they use to keep info and no one can agree on one universal system to share info.  Good thing is, after all this I will have a historical record I can call my own.

So, Dr. Conway thinks sleep apnea is the problem.  This is based on tests I had done in Laguna 3 years back.  I tried one of those CPAP's for 3 months but it made no difference in the way I felt.
OK, so we'll try it again.  He's convinced this is the issue.  The idea is, if I can fix the issue of daily sleepiness I will be energized to get a leg up on my other endeavors. 

Also, had more blood drawn to check for various other maladies today.  Results later.  Meantime, Dr. Conway wants me to try Provigil.  Its a drug that effects neurotransmitters in the brain, helping you to stay awake.  This suggestion was bitter sweet to me.  Since I have worked hard to clear my self of all drugs, save for one, I'm worried about beginning to add new mind altering stuff.  It's an odd emotion, I cant quite explain.  I've worked so hard naturally, and to start adding traditional western psychotropic drugs feels like a step backward.  I don't want to go back to being on a 'cocktail' of drugs, hoping something works. 

But I think I'm going to have to give it a try.  The Dr. said, "It's a cost/benefit analysis.  Do you want to continue feeling the way you do or (essentially) give this a shot?"  Fingers crossed.  Love, light and gratitude to all of you!