TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Posts tagged “Depression

Transformation

Fears and tears
in the sunshine
of April
“The cruelest month”
New life
overcomes
the death
of winter
and with it
its hope
of escape
in dying
Can’t it
just end
Samsara
No poetry
No muse
No spirit
Oh, April,
the killer
month
The Soul
Snatcher
The menacing
life force
that most
revel in
kills my
will
to join
in the spirit
of rebirth
I see only
the cruelty
of Samsara

**********

April raindrops
dry tears
and Spring clouds
sooth
my parched soul
and bring back
will and spirit
to join
the living
once again.

 


The Dawn of Hope and the Hope of Dawn

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I await the dawn
rigid with anxiety
each minute an hour
as you sleep beside me
lost in the land of Morpheus.
I cannot rest,
try talking to God
cannot hear Him.
Where is He?
No Presence felt
inside my icy heart.
Do the birds wait
like me, in despair,
for that first magenta burst
of the high and mighty sun?
Then when the first light comes
you awaken and bring tea,
I put my hand on your back
to bless you with Reiki,
as we lounge together drinking warmth.
And I feel God’s presence
and I feel joy and peace and love,
all snug in bed with you and God…
It is for these few special moments
I live.


Summer Inertia?

Am I caught in a web

like a fly in a drainpipe?

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Or is it summer inertia,

The lazy, hazy daze?

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Could it be

I have lost it totally

to a pharmaceutical lobotomy?

Or am I processing still

retreat with Mooji?

Anger is more controlled

and that is good

but creativity has taken a vacation and

kidnapped my muse leaving

no urge to make new words or pictures?

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Anxiety rules

and love flows

making me bow my head in prayer

and that is good

but what has happened to me?

I do not understand what I read

and have trouble processing

and cannot even comment.

Perhaps I am empty…


Trying to Write Again

No words.  No photos.  Fractured mind/body of Akathisia.

Faulty connection to God.  Weak link to Mooji.

It’s been awhile.

Forgive me if I have neglected your posts.  Cannot process lots of meaning.  Losing cognitive functioning.

Medication change.  In the last months of withdrawal. Finally totally off the blasted Zyprexa.   A  psych med.  Heavy duty antipsychotic on for 15 + years.  Sick from withdrawal and from increased dose of another antipsychotic been on 40 years.   Almost daily panic attacks and lots and lots of migraines.  Nausea.  Anxiety ad infinitum.

When will strength/creativity/spirituality return?

Better question…WILL it return?

There are far, far worse things.  Two blogging friends I hold in my heart, very sick, with serious stuff.

Better psych meds needed.  No, no, no!  Needing psych meds NOT a sign of weakness.  Unmedicated Bipolar 1 can be fatal.

Yes, fatal.
Poetry a memory.  Beauty ignored.  Even my refuge, Nature, cannot inspire.
Will figure this out with Doc.  Hope to figure it out with Doc.
Hope is hard to find.
Namaste.
Love still there.
The most important thing.

Send to all.


Alternatives and Non-Pharmaceutical Aids for Bipolars, Depressives and Other Mentally Ill

I am Manic-Depressive, more specifically, Bipolar 1. Unable to take the mood stabilizers usually prescribed for Bipolar Disorder—Valproic acid, Lithium Carbonate, Tegretol, Neurontin and Depakote, my therapist had me on a cocktail of anti-psychotics. Been on an old anti-psychotic, Thiothixene, for about 20 years and a new, atypical anti-psychotic, Zyprexa, for 15 years (more on that drug later).

The anti-psychotics, however, or the neuroleptics as they are called, while keeping me out of the mental hospital and enabling to live a somewhat “normal” life, had a depressant effect on me, robbing my life of all the joy and creativity I used to enjoy, as well as, my mystical experiences in nature.

In an effort to get my spark back, I was put on practically every anti-depressant there is. From the old ones like Tofranil, Elavil, Norpramin and Pamelor, to the newer ones like Effexor, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. All of them were rejected for reasons as numerous as the drugs themselves. From blunted affect, severe nausea, and weight gain, to a total inability to function or outright mania, even minute doses were problematic. As were my trials of the newer anti-psychotics. And I have heard from many that they have had similar or even more severe reactions to the same medications. A friend of mine attempted suicide on Wellbutrin.

Finally a psychologist recommended St. John’s wort. I was very worried about taking that after all my bad experiences with anti-depressants. But I found a research grade St. John’s wort and gave it a try. I felt a difference the very next day despite being told the effects would kick in gradually. The change was dramatic as demonstrated in what I wrote after one day on St. John’s wort:

Ko-ko, our four-legged, faithful companion, runs into the bedroom, eager to join me on the bed, awash with pure joy. She takes a flying leap up and we lounge together like lizards basking in the sun, reclining requisitely together. It is day 2 of St. John’s wort. Am filled with a loving glow as Ko-ko nestles down to sleep beside me. The beauty of yesterday lingers in my memory—a vacation day spent with my husband in the Palisades on an early October day. The sweet, crackling autumn air filled our lungs as we climbed the Palisades for a spectacular view of the Hudson River. Our path strewn with crunchy, dry leaves. A trail leads us further upwards, the spongy ground, soft underfoot is strewn with paint box colored leaves. Yellow, crimsons, golden russets lay on the damp path, wet from yesterday’s rain. I give thanks to God in this cathedral of color. Try to experience the mysticism of my youth. Yearn to return to the photography and poetry writing of my pre-breakdown days. A revival of creativity. Thank you , God, for giving me my sight back.

As the days went by, more and more of the depression lifted. My husband was happier with me on the St. John’s wort because I was more loving. I also stopped drinking. Completely. And I had been a borderline alcoholic. The door to the prison had been opened and I was now freer. This improvement gradually leveled off and at times I found myself fighting depressions at times but nothing like the deep, black depressions before the SJW.

Still without a mood stabilizers I would cycle, but not psychotically. Next change to be made was to learn the hands on healing technique called Reiki in an attempt to recover my spirituality. Reiki continues to be a blessing as I do it daily to myself and in a prayer form for others. But I was still craving the spirituality of my youth.

Brought up Presbyterian and made to convert to Catholicism in grade school, organized religion was not working for me. I had done Transcendental Meditation in my twenties and dropped it for a reason I no longer remember. Continuing to pray rote prayers I followed Pema Chodron and Paramahansa Yogananda and others. I took about twenty of Yogananda’s lessons offered by Self-Realization Fellowship and meditated according to his teachings. I regard Yogananda as a saint, a true saint, but his path was not “doing it” for me. Tremendous anxiety would take over. And then, through Hariod Brawn on Contentedness.net, I met Mooji and I began listening to his guided meditations and watching his satsangs. Additionally, while convalescing from pneumonia recently, my husband read books written by an old friend he had while pursuing religious studies at the University of Edinburgh. A Celtic Christian minister and reformer, J. Philip Newell. Curious, I read him, too, and he helped me on the path with Mooji. Through Mooji I found that the Self is not Bipolar or OCD or Asperger’s or depressed. Those are troubles of the body/mind/ego self. The “person” in other words. If I can go into the “Presence of God” as Newell says, or into the “Self” as Mooji says, I can be well. Mooji has helped me regain my spirituality and is making me whole.

The last change I made was to get off the newer anti-psychotic, Zyprexa, for health reasons. The drug has horrid side effects including dizziness, heavy weight gain, problems with heat and more. The withdrawal from Zyprexa is very,very hard. I still have .5 mg to go to get off it completely. Meantime, the same company where I buy the research grade St. John’s wort, offers a homeopathic Lithium Orotate (not Lithium Carbonate) spray called Symmetry. Have been using that with great results. Am very even. Gone are the manic nights of insomnia and the deep, dark depressions that sometimes broke through the St. John’s wort. Gone is the rapid cycling.

The company that offers the research grade St. John’s wort (the only brand of St. John’s wort that has worked for me) is Hypericum.com. The homeopathic Lithium Ortotate is offered by the same company. I have no interest in this company and am not paid by them to offer this information. I am not saying that all these things will work for those you touched by the fire of Bipolar Disorder or the black hole of depression or any other disorder. And certainly you must consult your therapist before trying any medication. For example, you cannot mix St. John’s wort while taking certain drugs. Specially mixing St. John’s wort with other antidepressants can be very dangerous. I am just offering alternative to those of you who may have had the same experiences and presenting what has helped me in my own battles. Talk to your therapist if interested.

And last but not by any means least, is Mooji. All information about him is to be found at Mooji.org. There are many, many free Satsang and guided meditation videos available there and on YouTube.

He answered my question about being able to being “realized” despite having Bipolar Disorder and I see now what he said made all the difference in the world. The person is Bipolar but the Self is not! Through watching his satsangs and doing meditation with him daily I am returning to the spirituality of my youth, before my breakdown. I have miles to go but with his help I am more able to cope with this dream we call life.


The Secrets of Winter

DSCN3570_edited-3Sweet winter melancholy

assuages my soul

with its

bare branches 

reaching Godwards

and 

its subdued light

speaks of the Almighty

in silent whispers

that are drowned out by sunlight

and the mania of summer.


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Christmas Blues

Dedicated to all those sick, lonely, destitute…  anyone who feels blue this time of year…
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Coming Unglued

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Apology

To all of you who have “liked” my posts over the past week, a heartfelt apology and a mighty THANK YOU!!!  I would have liked to have stopped by your blogs but am following WAY, WANY too many people and can’t keep up.  I keep following more and more people when I am manic and then feel hopelessly unable to keep up when in the depressed cycle– which is where I am now.  I am clean out of words, in a downward spiral, and on day 3 of a mighty migraine.  Hope you’ll stop by again sometime in the future so I can visit your place.  


Dark Night of the Soul

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No words today…


“My Eyes are Leaking”

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The world a watery blur

one less source of joy and laughter

on this ailing earth

a delight to so many

in so many ways

“My eyes are leaking”

(Robin Williams as the alien on “Mork and Mindy”)


No Laughing Matter: a Tribute to Robin Williams

Robin Williams fans mourn the loss of one of the greatest comedians of history today.  In this world of wars, and anguish, Robin Williams made us laugh.  

For Robin Williams was a most gifted comedian but Robin Williams was also Bipolar. 

His Bipolar disease fed his genius. It also killed him.

His Bipolar disease gave him the ability to wildly free associate right to the heart of our funny bones.  His performances were floridly manic but his alcoholism was depressed.  

In truth of fact, Bipolar disease often does beget genius but far more often Bipolar Disease is the cause of suicide.  The most deadly of all mental illnesses, we Bipolars see, and at times, enjoy the mania but far too often are caught in the black hole of depression.

And while fans may mourn Robin Williams, we who are Bipolar cry tears of anguish not just for one of our heroes, but also for a disease that could kill us.  

Like most Bipolars suicidal thoughts and wishes are not foreign to me, just as they are not alien to many mentally ill people.  But more Bipolars die from their mental illness than any of the other mental illnesses

Fans loved Robin Williams and ignored the Bipolar aspect.  Mental illness is still stigmatized and talked about in hushed tones.   

We who are depressed are told to “snap out of it”, “look on the bright side,” engage in “positive thinking” as if we have total control over our psyches.  If anyone could look at the funny side, it was Robin Williams and yet Bipolar depression sent him to an early grave.

Pay tribute to Robin Williams by accepting Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression and, instead of stigmatizing mental illness, treat the afflicted with acceptance and empathy.  

 May Robin Williams rest in peace at long last!!


Rapid Cycling

Patterns of the microcosm
echoed in the macrocosm
vibrating thoughts
no meditation
lots of frustration
can’t calm down
do the Hong Sau
Yogananda method
the only hope
in this mind
doing 120 mph
in a 35 mph zone

 

time soon for sleep
frogs singing
a pre-dawn high
drained at noon
rapid cycling
twilight now
back to racing
raving
raging mind
need gentility
humility
quietude
to feel awe
to ponder
hit “Pause”

love in the afternoon
a natural anti-
depressant
sent sight soaring
in space
seeing patterns
everywhere
echoing symphonically
in noisy ears
the hum of quiet
seems too loud
flashing lights
status migrainous
with all over
crawling feeling
“not-theres”

stop I say
stop I pray
stop the way
the world spins
hurling in space
the race
the pace
exhaustion
please
take this body
in your arms
work your charms
on this alarm-
ing state
with alacrity
the paucity
of peace
needs mending

Oh evening
send hope
for ending
these frantic antics
quell the panic
break the day
and bring on
the dawn
of dreams


Overloaded Circuits: a Poem for World Bipolar Day, March 30, 2014

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I’m in somnia

with jackhammer brain

a buzzing mind

a humming with emotions

thoughts and pictures

memories of joys

lost to death

spirits close to my heart

seemingly worlds away

guilt, loss and happiness

sickness and death

as well as

breathtaking beauty

a bedfellow with

gnawing worries

and gnashing nerves

fleeting images from films and

music playing at high speed

in the library of my mind

voices of today, yesterday and

fears of tomorrow

vying for an ear

asking me to listen

to them all

all at once

a cacophony of sounds

in the humming silence

of the specter-filled

haunting darkness

with fearsome death dangling

its loathsome threats

before my darting eyes

afraid not for myself

but of losing him

as he lies beside me

breathing noises

breeding worry, sorry

dashing thoughts of love, passion, doubts

a scarily-still lump beside

insomniac-hyper-racing-mind

manic me

finally arising out of

maudlin months

of dismal darkness

and deep, dark despair

when death smelled sweet to me

*

I get out of bed

to lay my face

upon the windowsill

to gaze at the mystery sky

full of twinkling stars

glittering to the rhythms

of the pulsing universe

my only hope for some

semblance of somnolence

my only chance for peace.

For info on my Bipolar memoir, please see: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ellen-stockdale-wolfe.html


Two Different Worlds

I am Bipolar.  I used to think I was two different people.  In the remarkable article below Bipolar Disorder is described as inhabiting two different worlds.

The Bipolar Bum

#worldbipolarday #bipolar #bipolarbum #manicdepression #endmentalillnessstigma #mania #depression

#worldbipolarday - Get on board everyone.  Share, reblog and make noise! #worldbipolarday – Get on board everyone. Share, reblog and make noise!

Bipolar: How to be in two places at once

Everywhere we go, we occupy two completely separate places.  One usually takes priority, emboldened by our current mental state, but nevertheless a person with Bipolar occupies two separate worlds.

 Think of it as two narratives being played out on speakers.  Periodically the volume shifts heavily from one to the other but you are left with the sometimes dreadful knowledge that it WILL oscillate at some point in the future.  Just acknowledging this can be a stressor in and of itself and many people with Bipolar require that they are CONSTANTLY vigilant observing their mental garden, and pulling out the weeds as  early as possible.

As white-hot, humming mania begins to recede I become anxious and pre-emptively disheartened at the potential of how low…

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Point of View

 

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It happens

every now and again

a psychotic break

reality blurred

thinking slurred

torrents of

uncried tears

MAJOR fears

choked inside

unable to open the door

to walk in the sun

or talk to someone

and then…

it passes

at least for this time

fractured mind

heals

and I emerge

purged

of demons

shaken but

crawling back

out of the dark

blinded by light

laden with guilt

over is it

unjustified anger

and justified hurts

or justified anger

and unjustified hurts

or no justification

just endless conflation

of swirls of emotion

that feed the

desire to die

I come

creeping back

confused lack

of any cohesion

into the world

of  “reality”

or Maya

depending on

one’s point of view.


Prayer of Despair

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Oh God,

where art thou?

I feel Thee not near me

clouds obscure Thy light

fields lie barren like my soul

Love was in my heart

but I feel it not

all is obscured

Pain and illness

shroud all light

in shadows of darkness

joy but a faint memory

as the mountains

in the grey distance

hope is out of season

bountiful is despair

a sin

yes

I sin the sin of darkness

and wish I could blend

into the greyness

and retire

into nothingness

Oh God,

forgive my ingratitude

for my many blessings

now shrouded in the night

so I can no longer see

Come to me

breathe life into my soul again

and let me see Thy Light

let me see love again

it was there

how does it seem to vanish

and take with it all hope

for why else is there to live?