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Re: Lamictal-Barbara jaye

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 11, 2003, at 13:04:26

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara, posted by jaye on July 10, 2003, at 18:38:06

>...just an illusion)?
> Could it possibly be that when we are being tortured by our own minds we are inside that black box? Our whole brain can't be full of damaged wiring... If we can get outside the box...any state of mind is possible. Somehow we seem to get attached to the negative and horrible. Damn sticky stuff.

Hi Jaye,
I really like your analogy, especially how our minds can't be totally full of damaged wiring. I wonder why that dark yucky stuff becomes so attractive and persistent? Yes, it seems that depression/anxiety is a self perpetuating loop and our fearbased lower minds gain the upperhand and just keep looping. The spinning prevents the higher brain functions from getting through. I try to practice being in the Witness and staying right here in the present, which is usually quite tolerable. And especially having compassion for myself (I beat myself up when depressed). When I can step outside that crazy 'black box', the spin stops and I can witness my mind chasing it's own tail. But many times I don't catch it in time and once I'm in it's grip it seems like a mindless energy takes over and I quickly become blocked and exhausted.

I have little post-its all over the house with reminders 'Breathe!', 'Who is having this feeling?', 'There is only the Now and I am safe', etc, but when I'm in the black pit, they don't register. I get cynical, 'yeah, yeah, and screw you too'. There's no talking sense to me and I just have to hang on until that weird dark energy is finally finished with me.

I think we have to make the best use of our good times to practice skills of courage, patience and faith. The better I get at it, the quicker I remember to catch my mind doing it's little number. I can tolerate the discomfort because I KNOW I CAN, whereas before I was convinced I couldn't. For me, the trick is to be aware enough to catch myself before falling into those knee-jerk fearful habits. I believe that there is great value in just sitting with it and allowing those feelings just to be, but it has to be done through the unflappable Witness. It's not healthy to be lost in that kind of trauma. It's needless hysteria that feeds on fear.

I'm testing this out lately by slowly reducing my meds and relying on those skills instead. Lithium will probably stay and we'll see about the others. They've been good friends. I'm not willing to fry my brain and it's going to take a long time. This is where courage, patience, and faith come in. But I'm no fool. It can get really bad for me and if I need them, I need them. Jaye, I'd be real interested in your thoughts of what works for you, what helps in letting you sit through it. - Barbara




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