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Monday, February 13, 2012

I Feel Anxious and Disconnected from Life


I have a question for you. I know you went through your own bout with physical pain as well as using pharmaceutical drugs to ease said pain. I know you mentioned that it caused you a lot of trouble and literally threw you off to the point where you actually had to use your own relaxation exercises. I'm just curious what to do when you are in pain and have been for so many years that it is literally part of you?

Almost like an addiction. I am in pain and have been for quite some time. You wrote me once about repressed fear and how that causes a lot of tension in a person. I believe that to be part of the issue. What I am having the most difficult time with right now is actually having a functional brain ( It feels like I am losing it). As far as being able to converse with other human beings I can do that just fine ( which gives everyone the impression that I'm fine). My problem lies in the fact that I feel so drained and so disconnected that trying to move forward in any direction feels impossible. I know that thought isn't true. Well I think I know that. I'm really just reaching out because there isn't an easy answer to this. If there is then I've been overlooking it for quite some time. Does this make sense?

I'm totally capable of moving forward and I know that. I feel like life is worth living which is definitely something to be happy about so it's ironic that at this point in my life I feel like I can't go on. Or at least I feel like I can't keep on going on like this. My mind literally is moving so fast that it's hard to get just one thought out at a time. You know if I was to go to a therapist and talk with them about this they would recommend ritalin or something like a low dosage anti depressant. Well that simply isn't an answer. I know there is a better way. I'm sure of that. I was thinking of you and your work because my friend Jacob told me he had met with you recently.  I was really excited to hear that. I'm glad he was able to meet with you. Hope you have a great week. -T

Dear T

You are right that ritilin or anti-depressants are not the answer for you. How old are you? If you are approaching your 50s you might have a hormonal imbalance which could cause irritability and a feeling of disconnection. For this you must seek out a nutritionist or doctor of Chinese medicine. There may be some supplements you should be taking.

One thing to remember about a feeling of not being connected to others is that it is caused because you are not solidily grounded in a sense of okay self. In other words when you are yourself in a state of disconnect, you cannot expect to connect outwardly. Like me, you may be able to function quite well and when you are with others they feel connected to you, but that's not the same as you feeling connected and loving toward them.

And, you are right, life is not worth so much if you cannot connect in a loving way with life.  I have found that my okayness and complete connection with others and my surround is based entirely on my ability to move away from my own anxiety and fear. The addiction comes about, I think, because it is easier to be negative than positive and as long as you continue to be fascinated by the problems of your pain and anxiety (which is like a crazy kind of neon chaos blinking like a movie) you're kind of stuck like a moth to a candle flame. Why do we do it then?  It's kind of paradoxical.

The paradox is that being cognitively interested in your bad situation can take away some of the emotional pain of it because neural activity is beefing up in the neocortex and lessening in the subcortex where pain and anxiety is produced. Unfortunately it doesn't turn you in the right direction to get out of your negative situation. If you allow your thinking to take more interest in your bad situation than getting started on moving slowly toward a good solution and in step with a seemingly duller and slower cosmic harmony, you will be just kind of tentatively here. When you are just tentatively here, you can't offer or really feel a solid connection to others.

That's why I use the dumb little mind techniques like counting from 1 to 8 over and over, or saying some phrase like hippoty hop over and over to, if not turn me in the right direction, at least start to tear me away from the wrong direction long enough to make the decision to turn to the right direction. The use of mind tricks for me is already hooked, by learned association to any painful thought or feeling and when the bad feeling pops up, the mind tricks seem to start up on their own.

You can't kill anxiety and fear (which is what they try to do with drugs--kill or at the least weaken it) the structure for fear and anxiety remain in the form of neural patterns that can twang off upon any moment. But start with the mind tricks, then, by your grounding yourself in other thinking, in some kind of faith, in a sense of faith or surrender to the creator, God, the Universe, the Absolute, or higher power will allow you to relax and allow yourself to move forward "with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence."

Nutritionally, as my doctor of Chinese medicince put it when I told him I "was back 110%," when the cells get what they need, the body works perfectly.

Emotionally speaking, when the fear arises you can "offer it up" to the cosmos, kind of like a "let go and let God" kind of thing. But a wise man once said, the act of surrender is not a matter of to whom you surrender, just THAT you surrender. Because when you surrender, "even to a tree" what are you doing? You are refusing to remain unconnected from the cosmos, from ultimate reality,and are throwing your yourself back into "the whole" from where you separated yourself by your fascination of the hopelessness and faithlessness of your negative situation. 

For people struggling with extreme anxiety where the nerves are over-stimulated as in PTSD I suggest reading Claire Weekes book Hope and Health for Your Nerves. For some idea of what power the mind has, both negatively and positively, over the human situation, I recommend Jose Silva's book Silva Mind Control, Emil Coue's Auto-Suggestion (hypnosis) and Abraham A. Low's book Mental Health Through Will-Training.

And always seek to reconnect rather than disconnect from the world. Look for human connection everywhere. The clerk at the grocery store may have a good word for you, a stranger on the bus, the waiter at dinner. All these "good words" are loving human connections and you should seek them out no matter how humble they may be. These are the breadcrumbs by which we turn in the direction to find our way home.

Read the Paradoxical Commandments by Keith Kent, or is it Kent Keith I never can remember and the Desiderata. They're on my depression website under Truly Inspiring. No matter how much we may feel alone, we are never alone. A. B. Curtiss

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