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Finding meaning in suffering and pain...


starlitegirlx

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starlitegirlx

None of the other posts fit so I decided to make my own. For me, there is no meaning I can apply to this realm. I read a book about a woman who went into a coma just before death with end stage cancer and experienced what it is to not be here in this plane of existence (Dying to be Me was the name of the book - wayne dyer discovered her story and helped get her published). While she was in the other realm (best way to explain it) she felt unconditional love and like she was a magnificent being and that all of this we go through here has a kind of sense and order to it that we can't see here and now much like the forest for the trees bit. She could see her life and how her emotions of fear led to the cancer and she could see things happening in rooms far away from her own so it wasn't like some of it was just being able to pick up on things while she was in a coma. Then she was given the choice to come back or stay. She didn't want to come back to such a sick body but was told that wouldn't be the case. She came out of the coma and healed lemon size tumors throughout her body in a matter of days and less than weeks. She also implied that much of this is predetermined. Like our path was laid out for us before we arrived and that horrified me. Also, she said that she felt this was not the real place we live but where we come to visit and play (yet for us here at this forum it doesn't feel much like playing, does it?) Kind of made me want to kick whatever is behind the whole system straight into hell or here onto this realm and trap it in a severely ill and suffering existence so it could see the system it set up and how awful it is despite whatever gains there may be when we return to the realm that is our home. But I digress again.

 

I find no meaning in suffering and illness and recovery. The search is too tiresome. I searched for decades with the depression. I'm done searching. It don't matter to me anymore. All that matters is doing what I can here in this moment to make it a better experience that has less suffering. Acceptance of what is seems to be the only thing that works. Fighting against it and building up walls of fear put a lot of energy against the ebb and flow of life. It's just so much easier to ride the waves and go with the flow of it all even when they are turbulent.

 

I don't think here we are meant to know or comprehend the meaning. I think that comes later. Right now, our 'job' is to get through it, through each wave that comes. Anything else is kind of useless when you think about it. All that exists is this moment. The rest is reaching for a future that is not even there yet or remembering a past that is long since gone. So while I am here, there is no meaning, just a lot of anger, torment, hurt and feeling let down by life. I let it go as best as I can by distracting myself with whatever I find solace in - tv, nature, sleep, playing a video game that's easy - depends on the day and how well I feel really. I'm starting to think the only real meaning is getting through it. Seeing how far you can get particularly in a horrible journey that feels like an timeout in hell. The one thing I know is that I carry my strength with me. I honestly never imagined making it this far. And during withdrawal I was set to kill myself, but I didn't. So it's strength. that's my meaning. Strength and courage. Maybe that's what our journey is - finding our strength and courage. Who knows? To me it's meaningless especially when I see others who live carefree lives not marred by any of the things that have left me feeling like target practice for some angry God.

 

I give it no meaning, and then it has no meaning, and it's just another experience. Not one I'd pick. Not one I prefer. But it's here so I might as well accept it and not bother trying to make sense of it because really? How do we make sense of something like this? I find no sense in any of it or in any of what goes on on this planet. It's as random as anything could be from where I stand. So no, I won't even allow myself to give it meaning. It doesn't deserve a meaning because that implies it is justified and sorry but it is not. We've all been through enough that got us on the meds. Dealing with this hell now as we try to get off them is affront to anything I might have believed before and an affront to what we went through that got us on the meds in the first place. Remember, we didn't randomly say 'hey, I think I'll start taking a bunch of prescribed drugs just to see how it goes' We took them because we were suffering. And now we suffer for choosing to no longer taken them, often after realizing they made no difference in our suffering at all. I cannot find meaning in that. I refuse to even look. Whatever the meaning is or might be, it does not justify the suffering we are or have lived through. And I don't even say this so much with anger as I do with an attitude of 'BTW, this is total BS, totally cruel, and even sadistic.'

 

meaning? None. No meaning justifies any of this. None. Looking for one implies that there is some justification in our torment and suffering. Does anyone think or feel or believe there is any justification in what we have been and are going through? Not one that's even the tiniest bit good enough for me to accept some 'meaning' as any kind of justification or logic in this madness.

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Hi Starlight. I totally get you. I did actually touch on this a bit in a post called Resilience After Trauma. There is certainly an important reason for everything we go through. Maybe some of us won't see what it means until we move into another realm like you said, but I don't believe it has to be like that. I've gained a lot of Understanding about the connectedness and nature of my existance from the direct result of the suffering in my life. It changes you. You see things different, and when you get through you find a strength within yourself emotionally that you never had before. More of a balance. When it's all over you find that you don't sweat the little things and you start to see the beauty in things that you didn't notice before.

 

There is much more to this realm than what we see. It's in many religious teachings that there is a veil that covers the truth. In Buddhism it's called the Veil of Maya. In the Bible, it is said that for now we "see through a glass darkly". Notice that it doesn't say we see through a dark glass, but we see through it darkly, for now. It is our perception that blinds us to the beauty of what is true. The truth is the secret of order of things that when looked at darkly, seems chaotic and random. When you start to notice things from this realm, but at a deeper level of perception, you see how they are all for a reason. I saw weeds growing in my yard and my neighbors would call them ugly and that I should cut them down. But I let them bloom, intuitively knowing that it meant something more. When I discovered what these weeds were, the loving gift of Mother was exposed for me, as I saw Evening Primrose growing all around my home. It is the most promising natural treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. When you start to open your eyes, you see that everything is for you and for a reason, even when it appears to be weeds. The pain and suffering drags you to the ground, so that you can raise again with clearer eyes to See.

 

If you look at the link I posted, I refer to a good video about how suffering changes people for the better. But that isn't always the case if we allow it to make us bitter at this life. It's a choice we have to make to allow it to clear our vision.

 

Posted Image

 

Ram Dass - Wisdom from Suffering

 

http-~~-//youtu.be/8wH8jgE03Go

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

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My Intro

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Starlight, I wanted to note that you made an important point, about acceptance. I think that accepting and surrender to the process of life, however it's being orchestrated from our higher selves (or whatever), is the key to ending up the beautiful butterfly through this process, instead of becoming bitter and resentful. Trust in the process, and have faith that it's for a reason that is good.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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One of the best descriptions of life on earth that I've read was in a book called, Joy At the End of the Tether: the Inscrutable Wisdom of Ecclesiastes by Douglas Wilson. The author, a Christian minister, described God's plan as a magnificent tapestry which we can only see from underneath where there are knots and loose threads and the design cannot be discerned. That is the best the human intellect can grasp on this side of heaven.

 

I'm a Christian and I believe pain and suffering are inevitable in a fallen world where people have free will. I also believe that God uses pain and suffering to draw his creatures closer to him and to refine our characters as much as possible before death.

 

Withdrawal was debilitating and painful for me for many months, but I believe it has made me a far more compassionate and patient person. As for it being so unfair that I would turn against God, I have only to think of the troubles friends have had, such as a highly accompished nurse who had an aneurysm burst in her brain while on vacation who now works in a supermarket deli slicing cheese. Why her and not me? I don't know, but I'm grateful that far worse things could have happened but did not.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Ten years ago I was dying in the ICU and I went through the tunnel to the other side. It was the most unanticipated incredible experience where I felt the most powerful sweetness, joy, bliss, words can not describe the warmth that surrounded me and then I felt so very sad I had to come back. After I left the hospital I started tapering the psychiatric drugs the best way I knew how (unfortunately c/t off Seroquel). I successfully got off all of the psyche drugs and it was extremely hard to do. I was literally in shock during and after my drug taper for a long time. I was left with less capacity for emotional expression and concentration because of prolong exposure to damaging psychiatric drugs. If you read my Intro post you'll see I got hit with a neurological illness after all this. I was treated horribly by a few doctors because they thought my problem with balance/walking was a psychiatric problem.

 

I have no idea why I had to go though all this: being on psychiatric drugs for no good reason, wrongly labeled, being made deathly ill for years from these drugs, a 3 year horrible experience tapering off them and then getting an awful neurological disease.

 

I have to say I have found meaning in this life. It's been a hard journey but life can be a fine ride. Saying life can be bittersweet is true but I truly appreciate mine.

Unable at this time to correspond by private message.

 

Link to my Introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2477-aria-my-psych-journey/

Reading my psychiatric records: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5466-drugged-crazy-reading-my-psychiatric-records/

My Success Story is listed under "Aria's Recovery".

 

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Hi Aria. I read your intro as well as this, and it is inspiring to hear someone that's been through so much keeping their head up, and appreciating life. When you've been touched by the Light, it's something that you never forget and that alone changes the meaning of life. I had a spiritual experience about 10 years ago, and ever since then I've been reassured of what I call the "More". The More is with me everyday and I live every day knowing I'm that much closer to self transcendence and feeling More of that :) I hope that all made sense. There's really no way to impress the fullness of a Spiritual experience. You go from wondering to this knowing. It makes Hope and Faith a lot more realistic.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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starlitegirlx

One of the best descriptions of life on earth that I've read was in a book called, Joy At the End of the Tether: the Inscrutable Wisdom of Ecclesiastes by Douglas Wilson. The author, a Christian minister, described God's plan as a magnificent tapestry which we can only see from underneath where there are knots and loose threads and the design cannot be discerned. That is the best the human intellect can grasp on this side of heaven.

 

I'm a Christian and I believe pain and suffering are inevitable in a fallen world where people have free will. I also believe that God uses pain and suffering to draw his creatures closer to him and to refine our characters as much as possible before death.

 

Withdrawal was debilitating and painful for me for many months, but I believe it has made me a far more compassionate and patient person. As for it being so unfair that I would turn against God, I have only to think of the troubles friends have had, such as a highly accompished nurse who had an aneurysm burst in her brain while on vacation who now works in a supermarket deli slicing cheese. Why her and not me? I don't know, but I'm grateful that far worse things could have happened but did not.

 

Pain and suffering makes me loathe God. I've had way too much of it. I don't mind some. I can deal with it. But when I feel like I'm constantly being kicked when I'm down, I find no solace in religion. I find it all to be BS. I also want to rip God from the almighty place it lives and shove it into some hellish existence here on earth where millions even billions of suffer daily and watch it suffer and then say 'so how do you think this plan is now? And BTW, there may not be a better place to return to when you're done as I've heard it's been destroyed by the fact that you are here.' Then have that god live with the suffering and fear and oh yes maybe 70 yrs of it or maybe even more. Then a few more rounds of that kind of existence, like about 5 centuries or so before returning to whatever may or may not await us. I'd like to see how this whole existence here would be after 500 years on earth of pain and suffering and never going back to that throne in the beyond. Sorry, but it's hard to even fathom anything good, loving or mighty about a god that lets masses suffer. I just find it inexcusable and unacceptable. Wish I felt different, but I don't.

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starlitegirlx

Starlight, I wanted to note that you made an important point, about acceptance. I think that accepting and surrender to the process of life, however it's being orchestrated from our higher selves (or whatever), is the key to ending up the beautiful butterfly through this process, instead of becoming bitter and resentful. Trust in the process, and have faith that it's for a reason that is good.

 

I think for now all I can do is live in acceptance of what is. Honestly, I don't care about anything beyond getting through the day or moment. To do so for me is counterproductive and sends me into wishing and wanting and hoping all of which trigger more pain and suffering about what is. That's why my solace is in there being no meaning in any of it other than it is what it is. I don't search for what may not be there. I see only what is and remain focused on accepting that. It keeps me centered and free from mental anguish and torment.

 

I'd never have imagined I'd turn so hardcore in this way of thinking, but it's gotten me through times where I would have killed myself. It's even gotten me though those homicidal withdrawal moments that only here can I admit to having. I let go and accept I'm filled with enough rage to murder someone just because they are there or have done something that upsets me to some irrational degree. I know it's withdrawal. I wouldn't act on the impulse, but I act on the acceptance of feeling the impulse and the acceptance that this is where I am now, a horrible feeling place. Let it go. Let the wave of it pass.

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starlitegirlx

Ten years ago I was dying in the ICU and I went through the tunnel to the other side. It was the most unanticipated incredible experience where I felt the most powerful sweetness, joy, bliss, words can not describe the warmth that surrounded me and then I felt so very sad I had to come back. After I left the hospital I started tapering the psychiatric drugs the best way I knew how (unfortunately c/t off Seroquel). I successfully got off all of the psyche drugs and it was extremely hard to do. I was literally in shock during and after my drug taper for a long time. I was left with less capacity for emotional expression and concentration because of prolong exposure to damaging psychiatric drugs. If you read my Intro post you'll see I got hit with a neurological illness after all this. I was treated horribly by a few doctors because they thought my problem with balance/walking was a psychiatric problem.

 

I have no idea why I had to go though all this: being on psychiatric drugs for no good reason, wrongly labeled, being made deathly ill for years from these drugs, a 3 year horrible experience tapering off them and then getting an awful neurological disease.

 

I have to say I have found meaning in this life. It's been a hard journey but life can be a fine ride. Saying life can be bittersweet is true but I truly appreciate mine.

 

I think the experience of joy, bliss that you had in that tunnel is something I want. The memory of it could keep me going and keep me strong. I have no memory of such a thing, yet I do keep going and remain strong even when I want to give up. Maybe I do know on some level.

 

I'm sorry you were so damaged by idiot doctors and misdiagnosis. Sometimes I think they all or most of them slept through school.

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I can totally understand all that you said about God and religion. I suffer a lot of pain myself and I have also realized that hoping to get better or that something will change does make the NOW more unbearable. Acceptance is important, so that you can resolve and learn how to cope. Something about acceptance and surrender does give you strength. I used to get so annoyed when a few of my friends kept telling me that they believed I would transcend my condition and that I'd be healed. I hated hearing that because it made me feel like the NOW is wrong, and that meant I am wrong, my whole existence and being is wrong and I'm doing something wrong. It's better to accept. I can have hope, but I have no attachment to whatever happens in the future and don't put my happiness into some future event (such as getting better).

 

But I was wondering at the comment Starlite made about wanting that experience you had in the tunnel. It was my thoughts as I was reading your post, in comparison to what I got from the Spiritual experience I had. I don't mean to compare our experiences, but what did you get from the tunnel and light? What does it mean for you as far as your beliefs about what is beyond this realm? I can't deny how much my views of life and my very existence has changed since I felt that Light that you describe in tunnel. It's something that is a part of me now. It's not a belief or a religion. I just know that it's Divine and I know it is who I am. It tells me a lot more about the meaning of my pain and experience in this body, just knowing that I am something more than my body. The experience of the Light can't be described in a way to others that will impart on them what the Light does to you in changing your very consciousness. I honestly can't say who God is. I have no clue. I don't believe in some being in the sky that makes us to suffer and passes judgment on us. I don't believe that is at all how it is. But the anger about there being some Divine all powerful being out there sitting and watching our suffering yet doing nothing to stop it, is understandable. I have had it as well. There are answers that I have found about this, but they would mean nothing to you because they only come about from self-realization. It can only come from within, it can't come from anything another would teach. It's called Gnosis. And that is what I got from my experience and I am grateful for it every day.

 

Edited to say that in my post here, I am getting the previous posters mixed up in their stories, so I Hope that if someone understand what I'm saying maybe I got it right somewhere lol

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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I think the experience of joy, bliss that you had in that tunnel is something I want. The memory of it could keep me going and keep me strong. I have no memory of such a thing, yet I do keep going and remain strong even when I want to give up. Maybe I do know on some level.

 

 

I got it mixed up, thinking you were the one that had the tunnel experience. I just want you to know that you can have that experience. I did, and I didn't have a near death experience. It just takes work, and it does all come from within. And yes I believe that is where you are getting your strength and sensing intuitively that it is there. All you have to do is pierce that barrier, just once, to feel it. Once you do, it never leaves you.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

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My Intro

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starlitegirlx

I never had any kind of Divine experience. Wouldn't mind one though. ;) Mostly I wouldn't mind it because it might help me feel less connected to this whole drama. Not as an escape, but because I do believe this is more like a place we visit for different experiences whereas the tunnel/light place is always our home. so many times during a rough time I'll just think how I want to go home and that is where I mean. It's like an intuitive knowing and understanding that this is not my home. It's messed up and wrong in many ways - though not for here but when compared to what I feel about this place I want to go home to. Here - earth - life here feels like some sort of prank that went horribly wrong or something like that. Like an idea that had merit in theory but in practice has proven to be disastrous. Of course, right now it's the can't see the forest for the trees thing but even that feels like a mistake as if we should at least it all encoded into us so we find that strength to get through it and not make too much of it even when it's at nightmare status. But most people don't even have that. I do somewhere within me or I'd have been dead years ago. Of course, I'd also be home if I didn't have that sense that there's more so it's really just all absurd.

 

Truth is I find I'm best off to not think about such things and avoid all things that trigger me to think about such things beyond say a fleeting pondering of them.

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What a great topic. Thank you all for this discussion.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Your intuition about the reality and nature of this experience on earth is a Gnosis. That's pretty much all we have. Even those that have the divine experiences such as the tunnel and my spiritual experience, still only get so much "truth" about it all. It's all still Gnosis, which is a personal understanding. This is evident especially if you go to near-death.org. There they have a catalog of near death experiences and they sort them out, and while most experience the tunnel that is so common, when they experience beyond fits into different groups of experiences. I think it's a matter of what we can comprehend, our ability to understand. So to me it still all comes down to our consciousness and the way off this ride is the expansion of it. Gnosis is an ever expanding and widening of understanding and "knowing", which comes out through intuition. I think you have it right, by not thinking about it too much and just allowing yourself to know what you know and accept what you don't. But holding to the intuitive idea you have that there is something More.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

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starlitegirlx

Isn't Gnosis a religion or set of beliefs? I know I read about it before but don't remember the specific other than I for some reason am connecting Gnosis to a group that believes certain things.

 

And yes, you are right IMO. Best not to ponder these things too long or too often. For me, it would just make me want to exit this reality and to some extent I feel there's a logic in the madness that I can't comprehend plus that good old catholic upbringing about killing myself and ending up in hell or purgatory or more suffering. God I hate that religion (no offense to others who follow it - just with the pedophiles and lies and things they make up and hating on homosexuals because it's written in some book... not even mentioning all the wars and deaths - guess I'm an anti religion person more than a person who hates one religion).

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But I was wondering at the comment Starlite made about wanting that experience you had in the tunnel. It was my thoughts as I was reading your post, in comparison to what I got from the Spiritual experience I had. I don't mean to compare our experiences, but what did you get from the tunnel and light? What does it mean for you as far as your beliefs about what is beyond this realm? I can't deny how much my views of life and my very existence has changed since I felt that Light that you describe in tunnel. It's something that is a part of me now.

 

 

I came out from my Tunnel of Light in the ICU with a profound sweetness about having a second chance. It was my chance to get off the psyche drugs and start my live again drug free. It gave me the incentive to have a life again and see what I could do with it. For about a year I still had the feeling of sweetness and it helped me with tapering. The whole experience did give me the strength when I got so ill with this neuro-muscular disease and yet another fight to be correctly diagnosed. I have no idea why I went through all I did and no I'm not very religious per Christianity but I believe. I believe in something that is more than today and more than tomorrow. That there can be change.

Unable at this time to correspond by private message.

 

Link to my Introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2477-aria-my-psych-journey/

Reading my psychiatric records: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5466-drugged-crazy-reading-my-psychiatric-records/

My Success Story is listed under "Aria's Recovery".

 

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Starlight, I don't mean the religion Gnostisism. But the word Gnosis in meaning a knowingness through intuition and through your heart. It's more like a mystic knowing. I'm not Gnostic in the religious sense, but in the spiritual, philosophical sense. You can compare it to the term Agnostic, which means that you would believe that there is something out there but you don't believe it is knowable. Gnostic is you believe there is something out there, and you can come to know it. But the religious practices of Gnostism I don't believe in. To me, it is all within and I can find pearls of truth in most all religions, but I would never subscribe fully to any of them. I know what you mean about guilt ridden, fear based religions. They are spiritually destructive imo.

 

Aria, what a beautiful experience you had. I'm so glad you were able to have that to anchor you and take you through this process of withdrawal. It is what holds me up too. I think that hope and strength is what spared me a lot of grief through this, especially the emotional and mental aspects of w/d.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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starlitegirlx

Ah, I get it. Thanks for the clarification. I would stay I am one of those who knows intuitively. It's a great gift when I pay attention to it and heed it.

 

I also agree with you on the religions that fill people with guilt and fear. How much more of that do we need in the world? And yet the perpetrators keep at it. So much for big picture and having concern for all.

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