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We not only get ill, we also get well. — Deena Metzger, from her interview on Sounds True


I’ve been inspired by Deena Metzger for many years now. I have often returned to some of her words that I’ve shared on this blog as I’ve gone through my process of listening to my illness so that I might grow and heal with it, rather than fight it. In the interview with Tami Simon from Sounds True she goes deep into what this means for her and it’s deeply resonant with my own experience.

The words I’ve shared so many times on this blog and with others I am networked with are these:

A sacred illness is one that educates us and alters us from the inside out, provides experiences and therefore knowledge that we could not possibly achieve in any other way, and aligns us with a life path that is, ultimately, of benefit to ourselves and those around us. 



Among other things Deena speaks to the issue of iatrogenic illness. Medically induced injury, in other words. The issue that I and so many who read this blog face in a giant way through protracted withdrawal syndrome, a sometimes gravely disabling illness caused by the use and withdrawal of psychiatric drugs. 

Tami Simon, says of Deena at Sounds True:


—author, poet, teacher, and the creator of the classic Sounds True audio title 
—has an in-depth conversation with Tami Simon. Tami and Deena discuss her work with the ReVisioning Medicine organization and the necessity of listening to the story that chronic illness is trying to tell you about your body. They also talk about creating a “literature of restoration,” intended to promote values other than those pushed by materialistic society and to focus on what is truly life-giving. Finally, Deena expounds on the idea of the coming “Fifth World” and the steps necessary to create it. (62 minutes)




Something Deena also points out is the similarity with so many chronic illnesses today. An observation I too have made:  Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, chronic illness, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Yeah, they all have things in common. 

Recently I shared a thought as a status update on Facebook which is in keeping with these teachings from Deena:

Major shift…I no longer attach to the chaos in my body…I truly have a sense of it all moving through…this is big…



In learning to not attach to the symptoms and to instead cooperate with them, really, the pain and the chaos that the iatrogenic injury has incurred talks to me as I deeply listen and as I do that the story of my body/mind and spirit unfolds in a way that is bringing healing to me more and more everyday. In a world where, as I so often say, everything matters, spirit too comes through to us in our illness if we can learn to listen. It can be a valuable teacher. See also: A Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs

See also a post from a couple of days ago: Musings on healing and well-being

Please do not attempt to discontinue psychiatric drugs without first very carefully educating yourself on the risks involved so that you might minimize the chances of developing grave iatrogenic illness if you decide to withdraw: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

Link to orginal post: http://wp.me/p5nnb-aJo

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 


withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.

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Gia, you always teach me, and maybe even more, remind me to remember things I already know but have forgotten to know. Thank you.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Rhi...that's why I post this stuff...they all remind me of what I need to know too  :P

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 


withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.

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I like that bit on sacred illness quite a bit.  




Major shift…I no longer attach to the chaos in my body…I truly have a sense of it all moving through…this is big…


That sounds like a big breakthrough, congrats!  That's a place I'd like to end up myself.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.


"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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Gia, I'm wondering about the role of fear in attachment I think most of our emotions have temporal limits. We can't maintain grief, anger or sadness at extreme levels. They all dissipate But fear seems to be ongoing. The fact that we are worried about what could happen, rather than what is happening and the fact that we are getting through it one moment at a time. Tomorrow never comes for fear. Guess I'm wondering how and what you detach from. I think I ave been less invested when I've not been afraid of my withdrawal-engaging it as sacred is probably the positive framing of that (and more?)


Sorry if I'm rambling, just trying to think through what you've said. Thanks for posting

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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attachment is fear, yes, you've got it.


it's all about practice for me. first watching and being willing to really deeply experience the fear (which is pretty much impossible at the worst phases of withdrawal) ..so I started doing it by the second...a few seconds...a minute, a few minutes...


fear is the language of the distressed autonomic system. so lots of practices that help sooth and heal...for me that's yoga, diet, etc...it all helps heal and sooth and when you pay attention to that process (meditation) that too allows for healing...


it's been a slow intuitive process for me

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 


withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.

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