Friday, January 27, 2012

Mental Disorder & The Felt Sense of Self?

From Felt-Sense to Felt-Self:
Neuroaffective Touch and the Relational Matrix. _Aline LaPierre, Psy.D.
As a long term sufferer of an affective disorder (Bipolar Disorder 1) as its subjectively categorized in the DSM 1V, a more primary communication with others has helped me stabilize cyclic energies & discover a lost, felt sense of self.

Merging a subjective, cognitive sense of self with a felt sense of self is helping me find an increasing sense of wholeness and well being?

Now living in a culture where interpersonal communication is based more on emotional connection via gesture, facial expression and voice intonation, than sophisticated dialogue, I'm daily invited to feel more than think? Involved in a relationship with no shared language, we are forced to communicate via our primary sources of inter-personal contact. Look's and touch are our means of reaching common understanding, as we discover the surprising depth of connection and communication involved in our mutual gaze and eye contact?

The flashing language of our eyes seems to speak more than a hundred words can say, and my troubled soul is finding its way home again? "Don't you miss the more sophisticated conversation from back home," a fellow expat asked me recently. "Sometimes, but I really needed to discover just how much I avoided myself in all that clever dialogue," I replied. Squinting eyes signaled his perplexed response, with no real need to say, "what do you mean?"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Unconsciously Unsafe leads to Mental Torment?

Behind closed eyes, a dreamer's in-tension?
I froze for a split second, faltered in my approach to her. I recovered quickly, acting out the ritual "how are you." Yet the damage was done. The scene set for an exchange more uncomfortably tense than relaxed and spontaneously flowing.
"Dam! She's so beautiful and I'm aching to get close to her," I remember thinking as I re-ran the scenes in my head and the way it might have gone if I could only get over it. This ice in my gut that tensions my shiver of flight. Or is it fright?

Its the slightest effect, flashing through my whole body in an instant. Always there, no matter how much mindful rehearsal I do beforehand. All those affirmations of positive intent, never dissolved its unconscious nature. An involuntary reaction that I couldn't control. Over the years, the pain of miss-tuned connection drove me mad! Down into the hell of fearful isolation, even in a crowded room?

Over the years my mind seemed to amplify the effect with the worrisome concern of, WTF is it? The frozen pool that should have been the health spa spring of emotional well being, became a beast of torment, the bad me within. The "my fault," guilt, shame and self blame, became the rage of a beast that eats from within.

Over the years I tried everything from pills to spiritual affirmations, mindful meditations of followed breath and gratitude for the smallest blessings. There were periods of calm and steady progress, always interrupted by unexpected "got ya" moments, which set the whole shame blame feeding cycle of again. Looking back on my darkest hours of torment, I can well understand how notions of being possessed come to mind.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Body Language & Mental Illness?

The Body & The Wisdom Tree of Life?
Bipolar Disorder is a chemical imbalance of the brain? Science research tells us so because we discovered that emotions and moods are stimulated by chemicals in the brain & nervous systems. Chemicals that are produced by and facilitate cell function within our body/brain. There are even cells that are labeled bipolar to describe their millisecond "on/off" electro-chemical signaling function. Its a (+ -) polarity thing, like a tiny dry cell battery, to use an object analogy?

"Common examples are the bipolar cell of the retina, the ganglia of the vestibulocochlear nerve, and the extensive use of bipolar cells to transmit efferent (motor) signals to control muscles."

Hence we don't use the older term Manic-Depression in official jargon anymore because our emotional life is far more complex than we thought. Yet does research ignore the body & its sensory feedback systems?

If you say the two terms to yourself, "bipolar disorder," "manic depression," which one rings truer for you? Which of these self descriptions, "I'm bipolar or I'm manic depressive," captures the fullest sense of your personal experience?

Some people answer this question in two parts, "bipolar gives an instant impression of the opposite extremes, while manic depression seems to trigger a more emotive sense of it." Some say the older term, has a gut feel to it that doesn't require much cognitive explanation, "you kinda get it, but you can't say how or why?"

The body has its own energy "language," beneath the minds cognitive language?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Illness or Instinct in Manic Euphoria?

What forces stimulate a euphoric sense of cosmic oneness?
November 15, 2011.

In the great legend of the FALL, where are we now? Apple i-pads, Google & the Tree of Knowledge? The Eternal Now keeps on Emerging as we keep learning about ourselves? ( status post)

Should I feel ashamed to have acted on the impulse to make such thoughts public?

Should I view another episode of manic euphoria as mental illness or madness?
Should I judge this recent episode a relapse into illness or part of my journey of self discovery in a maturing sense of self?

Where is the sense of objectivity in such nonsense, others might ask? Surely such simple emotive associations as Apple I-Pads with the Biblical tree of knowledge, make no sense at all in our 21st century AD? "Just another dickhead with a messiah complex - A loony tune psychotic," would be understandable quips. Many psychiatrists would suggest a disease like illness, affecting a chemical imbalance within my brain?

Others see the madness experience as a right of passage in the challenge to maturity, and part of the birthright of a maturing species. Some suggest that bipolar & schizophrenia have survived the evolutionary process because they serve a purpose, for beyond the routine of normal survival, some kind of visionary intuition is required to guide the way forward. Hence the high number of creative's with bipolar and from a destiny point view there has been sensitivity in leadership during darker times.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recovery or Self Discovery?

The Sojourn begins, January  2010
12th January 2012:
The 2nd year anniversary of my sojourn here in Thailand.
A day that invites a review of my journey, with its self challenge of uncovering the deeper nature of what most consider to be a disease of the brain, a mental illness. A day that comes hot on heels of plunging back into the work-a-day life of pressing needs. Six weeks that made my soul searching contemplation's seem like a self absorbed irrelevance. I guess circumstantial context and individual experience determine what is relevant in our daily life?

'I wan my shop back!' My Thai partner demanded in early December.
'Mama say 16 & 17 good luck day for open shop - she ask a monk!' I knew full well the added reference to the monk was meant to underline the depth of her need, and that rational protests about previous agreements would trigger the emotional equivalent of very miserable weather into the foreseeable future. 'Ok darling,' was all I could say in response.

I'd been writing the first draft chapters of a memoir throughout October and November, with an expectation that January was the month we'd finally face up to the exhausting task of re-establishing her beauty shop. 'You sit and write while I do no thing! - I hate this! - and sometime am hating you too!' Had been part of her opening gambit, proceeding the coup de grace of "mama say." Like all agrarian societies the matriarch of an extended family wields an authority here that mere men always comply with. As a stranger in my own version of paradise, who the hell am I to defy such deeply rooted tradition.