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Freespirit--A Life Free from Antidepressants

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MRothbard

Considering taking up meditation again. Difficult to do in the midst of anxiety. Do u think it helped rebuold your brain?

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Rachellynn

Yoga, meditation, dry brushing, watching funny things on tv, Ayurveda, osteopathic manipulation, etc...

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freespirit

What kind of meditation are you considering  @MRothbard? It is challenging to do when anxious. I relied more on qi gong (moving meditation) for awhile and it often helps me more with anxiety. I've also used hypnosis, Taoist meditations, and guided imagery.  Mindfulness Meditation (both sitting and moving) have helped enormously through this process:

  •  Settling the nervous system
  • Calming the mind and emotions
  • Helping to work with difficult emotions
  • Bringing balance by doing heart-opening practices like loving kindness or forgiveness (loving kindness was originally taught as an antidote to fear)
  • Developing self-compassion
  • Letting go of unhelpful thoughts
  • Accepting things as they are
  • Becoming more resilient--much of that due to being able to allow and be compassionate with intense and difficult experiences
  • Releasing tension in the body
  • Learning more to accept the changing nature of life

It would be difficult for me to only name 1 thing as being helpful. I've tried to address all levels-spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental in many different ways. I've found there's no single fix, but a number of different things that help both in the short and long term. For me, spiritual practice is the cornerstone of my life. That's not for treating "symptoms", but more for the purpose of awakening. And I've tried to use the WD process that way too--as an avenue of learning to work with difficulty and serve some deeper purpose. For me, just looking to remove a symptom is exactly what Western medicine does. And it's not something that has served me well--it's part of what got me on meds in the 1st place.

 

If anxiety is an issue, you might experiment with some different types of meditation. For example, focusing on sound rather than the body can sometimes be easier. Same with practicing walking meditation or some other form of movement. Guided meditations can provide some support, where you don't feel so much you are doing it alone. Guided practices also teach new skills or help alleviate that sense of facing into the empty space.

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freespirit

I got an accepted offer on my house yesterday. The month between putting it on the market and actually selling wasn't an easy one, especially the last week or 2. I've gone through some very intense emotions. Sometimes, I've wondered if there is any WD at play and I'm not sure. I think moving is considered one of the major stressors anyway. It had been quite awhile since I felt such despair and anger, but I've managed through yet one more hurdle.

 

Next on my agenda is traveling east again to look for a new home. Moving in the winter is less than ideal, but it's what I'll be doing. I think it's better than spending another winter here in the gray.

 

Though I am sleeping every night, it's only been for 5 or 6 hours. I haven't felt able to take afternoon naps much either, though I expect it would help if I could. But even with the lack of rest, my energy has been decent and I've been able to get the things done that I need to. I've been very selective about what friends I'm spending time with. I don't want to be around people who aren't supportive, given that I feel more vulnerable. And I find myself more easily triggered than I might normally be.

 

I know there will be people that I miss when I leave here. But I'm also filled with anticipation of possibilities in a new place. There are much better work and volunteer situations, plus I'll be very close to the mountains for hiking and photography. The cost of nearly everything will be less there, which should mean a bit easier time managing on my own. I know that a move isn't a fix for anything, but if it's like any of the other times I've moved, it can be a way to reinvent myself.

 

There's a lot of work to be done, between now and when I move. But I trust I'll be able to get through this time too.

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Hibari

You will definitely get through this time FreeSpirit. 

 

I know you have been very thoughtful about this move and taken many things into consideration.

 

As with all the advice you offer members here, your openness to your process is inspiring even when you go through tough times. 

 

 

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks
On 10/25/2018 at 9:52 AM, freespirit said:

Moving in the winter is less than ideal, but it's what I'll be doing. I think it's better than spending another winter here in the gray.... I know that a move isn't a fix for anything, but if it's like any of the other times I've moved, it can be a way to reinvent myself. 

This all sounds amazing @freespirit. Getting out of the gray is my dream too these days. And that is so true about moving being a door to reinventing oneself, or at least a nice tweak 🙂 Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

 

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freespirit
On 10/30/2018 at 5:12 PM, Hibari said:

You will definitely get through this time FreeSpirit. 

 

I know you have been very thoughtful about this move and taken many things into consideration.

 

As with all the advice you offer members here, your openness to your process is inspiring even when you go through tough times. 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Hibari. I really appreciate how you're often able to reflect things back to me that I can't yet see for myself. You've been an amazing source of support me in this journey.

 

I know you've been really struggling for a couple of months now. Hoping that you're able to find your way through soon, to a better and more stable place.

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freespirit
On 10/30/2018 at 10:52 PM, FarmGirlWorks said:

This all sounds amazing @freespirit. Getting out of the gray is my dream too these days. And that is so true about moving being a door to reinventing oneself, or at least a nice tweak 🙂 Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

 

 

Thanks FGW. Yes, the gray can be incredibly wearing. I think perhaps it's been worse for me since WD, although I've never really done well in it. It will be an adjustment to be in much colder weather, but I'm not so worried about it. Change can be a very good thing.

 

I'm going to put in an offer this weekend on a house I found there. It looks like everything is going through on the sale of my house. I expect all the conditions will be removed on Monday (fingers crossed). The house I'm looking to buy is available now, so a fast closing is possible. Just a question of whether I can get everything done in such a short period, as well as find movers without a huge amount of notice. So, will see how that unfolds. I'm anxious, but at the same time, okay. I just keep reassuring myself than anyone making a big move would have some anxiety.

 

I hope you're able to make a change at the right time too.

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manymoretodays

Oh Wow freespirit.......things are moving quickly for you, it seems.

And yes, for sure.......moving is one of those top 10 stressors and it sounds like you are doing great with it all.  Sooo......as things turned out, for me.......it has not been of high priority lately.......and it's feeling right, now, to stay put a bit longer.  None the less........I can keep streamlining my efforts on a bit of clearance activity.  Hopefully my big sale(or not so big) will be this Spring......as far as ridding myself of some of my rustic eclectic decor/collections.  Meantime I can sort and give away, or can donate what is stuff to give away, and not sell.

Just picture or go to that feeling of when, once you are moved.......and just getting settled again........that awesome newness and freshness of everything around you........oh, and all the exploring and discovering that you can do in your new place, new location, etc.

It'll be great!

So glad you'll be getting more sunshine too!

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

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freespirit

I'm glad that you're listening to what's right for you in terms of timing manymoretodays. If you don't have to move, I feel it's better to wait until you're ready to do it. If you can, getting rid of things will make it all the easier. I've been clearing things out ever since my wife died. It's making the packing process fast and easy--nothing to sort through.

 

All the practices developed before and during WD are helping me with the stress of things. I know it's possible to calm myself through qi gong, meditation, and exercise. I'm relying on those a lot right now and they will also carry me in the new place. I'm very much looking forward to new possibilities, in a place where there's much more happening. The recreation center is top-notch and includes 80 drop-in classes a week, plus the ones you can register for. There's an animal sanctuary nearby and I'll be a reasonable distance to the hospice--which I've been told is one of the best in the country. So, at least, some volunteer opportunities and I'll also be trying to find some part-time work or create something for myself.

 

Assuming everything goes through, I'll be moving in 5 weeks. It is fast for this part....and I've been waiting a long time to make a change from living here. I hope to be able to do a retreat at home, once I get settled. That should help carry me to whatever comes next. In the moment, I'm tired and there's so much work left to be done. But I keep at it, day by day, and trust that I'll be able to complete what I need to. Sometimes, a bit of pressure is a motivator too.

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manymoretodays

I am a great fan of your "home retreats"  freespirit.  B)

Yes.....just a bit of pressure though.....not too much.......as far as that being a motivator.  Too much is too much for me.  And that's a challenge......how to keep just a bit of pressure.  Priorities?  Going with what is really important to one?

Hospice work, eh?  Fortunately or unfortunately.......it seems I get to do that a lot now......in a family member or friend capacity.

 

I'll be following.......I mean your thread here.......out loud laugh.......

Appreciate your insight.

 

Much happiness.

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

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freespirit
On 11/6/2018 at 9:23 AM, manymoretodays said:

I am a great fan of your "home retreats"  freespirit.  B)

Yes.....just a bit of pressure though.....not too much.......as far as that being a motivator.  Too much is too much for me.  And that's a challenge......how to keep just a bit of pressure.  Priorities?  Going with what is really important to one?

Hospice work, eh?  Fortunately or unfortunately.......it seems I get to do that a lot now......in a family member or friend capacity.

 

I'll be following.......I mean your thread here.......out loud laugh.......

Appreciate your insight.

 

Much happiness.

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

 

In some ways, I prefer the self-guided retreats at home. It's so much easier not to travel and also, to be able to follow the kind of schedule that works for me. It's also a bonus having my 2 cats come to meditate with me.

 

Yes, It's a challenge to find some balance with stress. I've found having an intention helps me in following through with things I might normally put off. I've had moments of feeling the buying/selling/moving to be over the top stressful. But qi gong and meditation help incredibly with reducing anxiety and worry. I'd be lost without them. I'm doing about an hour/day of qi gong right now--usually spread out over 2 or 3 sessions in a day.

 

I did hospice work for a lot of years, including the time spent on the research project. I've also cared for a couple of family members at the end of their lives. I find it very meaningful work and really appreciate the companionship of other people who are passionate about end-of-life care. I may do some grief counseling again or at least, I'm interested in doing it. Will see if the need and opportunity are there in the new place. There are several interesting things that I want to check out when I'm settled in my new home.

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freespirit

Well, last night was the first time in a very long while I've experienced things that felt similar to WD. This whole process of selling and buying has been a total nightmare, unlike any other time I've made this kind of transition. I think anyone would have melted down as I have a number of times over it. Last night, I had hot and cold flashes, and a very strange feeling in my head. Not brain zaps, but more a feeling that my brain wasn't quite right. I did a lot of qi gong, which helped both those symptoms, as well as the emotional bent I was on. At times, anxiety has felt similar to what I felt during WD. People keep reminding me that moving is one of the top 5 stressors. I'm finding it hard going through it alone, even though some friends have been very caring and supportive. It's still just me making all the decisions and paying for everything on my own.

 

I only have 1 month until I move, with a lot to be done in that time. Am doing my best to take one step at a time, but I do feel overwhelmed in some moments.

 

Last week, I bought a couple of audiobooks which I highly recommend. Of course, they may not be appropriate for everyone and probably wouldn't be the right thing at certain places of WD. But for this time of real difficulty, both of them have been extremely helpful: 

 

https://www.soundstrue.com/store/guided-meditations-for-difficult-times-1376.html

https://www.soundstrue.com/store/self-compassion-step-by-step-3172.html

 

I haven't been on here to read lately. Having enough of my own angst, without becoming overwhelmed by all the suffering on here. But that's totally about caring for myself through this time; I still care about people on here going through WD.

 

 

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Hibari

All of what you have written above would cause such stress. You are doing so much to get ready to move and as you said, mainly on your own.  It makes sense your body is in a state of flux and is having reactions. 

 

It may not comfort you but I see the fact that you decided to move and are moving as a real indication of your success getting off medication.  

 

Despite all the hardships around this move, you are going to do it. You are not held down by withdrawal because you have a deep strength well of strength inside of you.

 

You also have deep sensitivity as well and that's important. Its good that you know you need self-care right now.  

 

 

 

 

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freespirit

Thanks Hibari. Your posts have been so supportive and I appreciate that you can often see things that aren't apparent to me. Someone reminded me yesterday that moving is in the top 3 of stressors. And in this past year, I've also had a serious injury and job loss. No wonder I'm having meltdowns some days. But the work during WD has really cemented self-care in and it's not something I have to think about or coach myself to do. It's more automatic and consistent than it ever was before this process.

 

I know that even a year ago or perhaps 6 months, I wouldn't have been in a place to withstand the stress. In spite of how difficult it's sometimes been, I'm not having hives or any allergy symptoms. I consider that to be quite a miracle. I've been able to go back to a vegetarian diet, with very few issues resulting. All of that is confirmation of healing from something I thought I wouldn't recover from.

 

I especially appreciate you stopping in and offering your kind words, as I know life has been a real struggle for you over the past few months. It doesn't feel like it when things are so awful, but I believe healing is happening anyway. Hang in there. Things will get better again.

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