Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Topics related to physical, emotional and psychological forms of pain and suffering

Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby Kae » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:01 pm

I have a simple reflection I want to share with you on anxiety and what to do about it - or what I do about it.

About the same time last year, I got fed up with a buzzing tension inside of me that prevented me from having concentration, inner peace or any sort of balance or creativity. (I've heard the word akathisia used for this, and it describes it pretty well) It's basically about being unable to be alone with myself or to be still.

This tended to increase in intensity and become anxiety - that is, fear was added.

The same thing is happening to me again now, and I can't take it. It's intolerable not being able to have any inner peace. It prevents you from being warm with people, from being creative, from breathing deeply, it closes down your memory and impedes the speed and efficiency of thought and speech. It basically decreases the quality of all of life.

Last spring I started taking medication for this. It was something to be taken for depression, but was supposed to work equally well for anxiety. And it did, for me. Or at least, shortly after I started taking it the anxiety dissappeared and I had some of the best time of my life in the following months. I stopped taking it in October last year, because I thought I didn't need it anymore. And now, since December, the same intolerable inner tension, sometimes mounting to anxiety, is back.

I've read Eckhart Tolle and many other spiritual books, and I am perfectly ready to believe that there is a mental cause behind many of our physical ilnesses. And I'm ready to use spiritual ways to heal myself.

But I've tried everything, I've concentrated on feeling my emotions, reminisced on the past, talked about it, expressed my feelings, I've screamed, I've seen a psychologist and a psychiatrist, I've been to a reiki healer and fortune tellers. What I learned from reading Tolle helped me the most, I feel. I had moments where I watched old though patterns arise and try to trick me into reliving old drama. And I watched them whither away. (And those were part of the great moments of last summer, while I was on medication, by the way.)

But a lot seems undone. I get this inner tension/anxiety, that feels like a tightness in the lower half of my chest, that radiates tension, contraction, coldness and negativity to the rest of my being. No matter what I try, I can't make it fall away.

Now, and this is my primary point: I've already booked an appointment with a doctor to get back on this medication, to be able to live a relaxed, intimate life with other people and, perhaps most importantly, with myself. I normally don't like taking medicine, and I believe there is another way. But until I come upon the person or book that can help me bring these internal emotional complications to light, I'm going to take the meds (given that the actual reason for this is emotional complications!).

There's no point in suffering, just because you refuse to take medication, and while you wait for something better to come along.

The psychiatrist I was seeing says that if people suffer this way from psychological diseases, the best is to take medication to counter the pain, and to work on it in other ways at the same time, for example by seeing a shrink.

I just wanted to tell you this, because many of you have experienced anxiety and been in similar situations. Not many people I know understand what I'm going through, also because of the Eckhart Tolle/spiritual angle.
Pura Visio, Pectus Apertum, Pax Interi
User avatar
Kae
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:38 pm
Location: The North

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby randomguy » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:15 am

Hi Kae,

Of course I don't know exactly what you are experiencing, but I have had patterns of sustained anxiety in the past that I would describe as significantly uncomfortable and somewhat miserable. I know that lower chest/ diaphragm area of tension that you speak of. It's not a pleasant thing and it's understandable to want to find a solution to it. Since you have described an end of the rope type of situation with listing all that you have tried, I am going to share a few things that I could categorize as; letting go of the rope and looking toward the downward plummet.

until I come upon the person or book that can help me bring these internal emotional complications to light, I'm going to take the meds

I won't comment on the meds decision, obviously that's your personal choice. I will suggest that the resolution you are looking for in someone else or something else may reside not outside of yourself but within yourself. My own experience leads me to say to you, whether you know it or not, you are the supreme authority on the origin and composition of your anxiety. A little surrender and investigation may reveal this so that you come to trust it.

What I learned from reading Tolle helped me the most, I feel.

My guess is that this is the case because Tolle is great at pointing us inward and helping us see our own thought identification. And my experience with anxiety is that it has it's roots in believing thought. But there is also that very intense experience of physical bodily tension and tightness that goes along with it. It is not readily obvious how such a persistent anxiety comes to be. If someone were to say, just think differently about it, or let it go, it is just mind stuff, I would think that person doesn't really understand the predicament. Even when thinking differently, the locked up tension and accompanying reactions are still there. Getting to the bottom of it, the source of it entails a very different feeling from the one of wanting to resolve it. In fact it is the opposite of wanting to resolve it. The direct opposite. It is more or less as simple as that, but from the view of mind it is not simple at all, more so it is reckless abandon. And the 180 shift has a lot of fireworks to it.

"It is a great thing to have suffered. Only then can you get sick of it. You can make use of suffering to end suffering." - Anthony DeMello

DeMello describes his conflicting roles as a therapist where he suggests easing pain, and spiritual adviser where he suggests keep suffering and get sick of it. He says it is not easy to decide.


No matter what I try, I can't make it fall away.

That's right. You can't. Now that you have figured this out for yourself, you are even more of the supreme authority on your anxiety. You have run into a limitation brought forth by the imagined nature of the little "me". It's a piece of the puzzle and it's a big one. When people ask questions such as, "What is trying?", "what wants it to fall away?", it is an invitation to look inward and see more for yourself what is the source of the little "me" and how does it comes to dominate attention. In stillness, investigate this sense of "me" for yourself (search some of kiki's guiding posts on this, there are hardly any better). That way, you discover even a bit more that you already are the supreme authority on what you are, and you come to trust it.

My old pattern of fixing stuff up goes something like this. This thing x is unpleasant. I remember or imagine a more pleasant way. Clearly the more pleasant way is the way it should be, why doubt that? I, this unique person with a particular unpleasant affliction am going to set out to correct it to get to that remembered or imagined more pleasant way. I will correct it with using what I know and finding more good stuff to know.

However, it turns out that this entire story is just a narration. It is merely "managing" imagination. Did stuff get fixed? Sure, but not the major suffering stuff, and the narration is certain to be way off because reality is nothing that we can imagine. Believing the personal stories and carrying the burden of finding a resolution for "my" suffering is a train wreck.

(This post is a test of endurance by the way)

So what actually does undo the anxiety? That is what you actually are. Nothing and everything. You can't control it though. You can only make space to see it. That's where letting go of the rope comes in.

That more pleasant way that I imagined should be here instead of the x affliction, it isn't real. It is just thought. If feels real though, because thought can feel real. Knowing this makes one more interested in what is real and seeing what one is not. Clinging to what you are not is the source of the anxiety.

So two recommendations here specific to anxiety.

1. Give up wanting it gone.
2. Want it because it is.

More on point 2. Knowing that the cause of suffering is attachment to thought, does it follow in logic that what might be more interesting is what is "outside" of thought and what is noticing thought and experience? What is that underlying changeless awareness in which everything changing appears?

Always here is an underlying appreciation of being, a gratitude of existence. We forget it when lost in thought thinking we are separate from the totality running around on fix it up journeys. In my case through suffering I came to realize that I prefered interest in reality to attention in the seperate self dream. Let's say you lose the use of your sight and all four limbs tomorrow. Would you prefer just the anxiety thing? Let's say you're dead tomorrow. Perhas from 6 feet under, the anxiety looks like something of a miracle? (sorry for that one) What is it, really? What can you really really beyond a doubt know about the anxiety? Reality is interesting, that's the bottom line, and that's why you lean into the axiety with acceptance and curiosity. It indirectly shows you what you are really by revealing what you are not.

Now back to the fireworks. In my experience, tension in this area bring up a lot of fear. When doing the "rest as awareness" in stillnes, when nothing wants anything gone or anything different from the way it is, when the anxiety is completely 100% accepted, you could live with it forever, and awareness goes to that chest area and you think something like "come what may", in my experience the fear is like you are allowing the earth to implode. For me, there was a lot of physical reactions and changes in breathing with feelings of suffocation. But just let it be. The narrator isn't needed here.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
randomguy
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:00 am

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby Kae » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:48 am

Hey Randomguy,

Thanks a lot for your reply.

A lot of what you say is probably true, and a lot of it I've heard before. Actually, so many times before that it's beginning to sound like a broken record.

randomguy wrote:So two recommendations here specific to anxiety.

1. Give up wanting it gone.
2. Want it because it is.

More on point 2. Knowing that the cause of suffering is attachment to thought, does it follow in logic that what might be more interesting is what is "outside" of thought and what is noticing thought and experience? What is that underlying changeless awareness in which everything changing appears?


Especially this. I've been trying this so much, and I can't take any more. No matter how I "accept accept accept", it stays the same. It even gets more powerful, since I'm paying attention to it, and not doing anything else.

And your point on thought is absolutely true. So true I love it. If only the buzzing negative energy charge inside were connected to a thought. Then it would be easy! But when I try to spot a thought behind, nothing. It's just a buzzing energy charge.

randomguy wrote:I won't comment on the meds decision, obviously that's your personal choice. I will suggest that the resolution you are looking for in someone else or something else may reside not outside of yourself but within yourself. My own experience leads me to say to you, whether you know it or not, you are the supreme authority on the origin and composition of your anxiety. A little surrender and investigation may reveal this so that you come to trust it.


I perfectly agree with the possibility that the power to change things rests within myself. I'm not waiting for someone to come and heal me. But if I try everything that I know, all the ways of thinking, all the methods - and it doesn't work, well then it doesn't work. That's why I'm saying that I may, theoretically, have the power to fix myself, but I don't know how. You only try the same way so many times.
Pura Visio, Pectus Apertum, Pax Interi
User avatar
Kae
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:38 pm
Location: The North

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby randomguy » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:09 am

It's beginning to sound like a broken record

Yep, how many ways can the same thing be said already? I warned you it was a test of endurance didn't I? Why so many teachers, so many books loaded with pointers to the exact same thing? Why doesn't this one simple phrase just 'fix' everything up for everyone, "Be still"? You have got me there. Maybe it is that thought is like one very powerful drug.

You only try the same way so many times

So true.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
randomguy
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:00 am

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby Kae » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:29 pm

And for how long do you keep trying, while life passes you by?

Yes, I know, "life passing by" is just a point of view.
But I can't help it, I do see oppurtunities to go out and enjoy what life has to offer passing by. I do see missed oppurtunities to work and grow, create, make love, have warm, loving relationships with people.
Pura Visio, Pectus Apertum, Pax Interi
User avatar
Kae
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:38 pm
Location: The North

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby Quinn » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:21 pm

Kae - this is the way I see it...

We each have a "package" that's been created up to this point in time. The package contains all of our conditioning, our genetics, our past circumstances, past opportunities and events - a whole boatload of "stuff" that we've experienced and taken in. The sum total of all that = our present circumstances, and the mix and make-up of it is as individual as our fingerprints.

No one else can tell us the exact right 'path' to begin to undo and release the package. That's why there are so many books saying the same thing in slightly different language and from different perspectives. The only one who truly knows what you need to do is YOU.

At the same time, it can be hard to access that internal insight. That's why this forum is great, the books are great, the teachings are great. They can spark a recognition of something we already know, but was a bit hazy under the load of that package.

If you feel that the meds help - then that's exactly what you should do. There may come a point where you decide to go off of them. Then that's what you do. Follow what feels right for you, right now. No one else can possibly have a better idea of what's right than you do.

Just so you know....I was on a small dose of anti-depressants for years and only stopped about 3 years ago. A good friend of mine has been on huge doses for about 5 years now and just recently asked if she could join our meditation group. Medication doesn't preclude awakening.
Quinn
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:52 am

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby enigma » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:00 pm

Kae wrote:And for how long do you keep trying, while life passes you by?

Yes, I know, "life passing by" is just a point of view.
But I can't help it, I do see oppurtunities to go out and enjoy what life has to offer passing by. I do see missed oppurtunities to work and grow, create, make love, have warm, loving relationships with people.


Then you must experience those things, along with their counterparts. Truth seeking is for those who are not finding fulfillment in those ways, and are looking for something else.
enigma
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:51 am

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby randomguy » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:27 am

And for how long do you keep trying, while life passes you by?

I am probably missing something here. I don't get the connection. By accepting what is, life passes by? I don't get how that's possible. Does acceptance include the experience of trying or is trying not fully accepting?
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
randomguy
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:00 am

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby hanss » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:41 am

Kae wrote:
I've read Eckhart Tolle and many other spiritual books, and I am perfectly ready to believe that there is a mental cause behind many of our physical ilnesses. And I'm ready to use spiritual ways to heal myself.

But I've tried everything, I've concentrated on feeling my emotions, reminisced on the past, talked about it, expressed my feelings, I've screamed, I've seen a psychologist and a psychiatrist, I've been to a reiki healer and fortune tellers. What I learned from reading Tolle helped me the most, I feel. I had moments where I watched old though patterns arise and try to trick me into reliving old drama. And I watched them whither away. (And those were part of the great moments of last summer, while I was on medication, by the way.).


Consider body/physical activities intstead of mental ones.
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
(Eckhart Tolle)
hanss
 
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:14 pm
Location: Gothenburg - Sweden

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby Kae » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:55 pm

randomguy wrote:
And for how long do you keep trying, while life passes you by?

I am probably missing something here. I don't get the connection. By accepting what is, life passes by? I don't get how that's possible. Does acceptance include the experience of trying or is trying not fully accepting?


I appreciate your comments, guys, but somehow we don't seem to understand each other.

What I'm talking about, is when all this 'acceptance' and 'allowing' stuff doesn't work.
I'm sorry to say it, but it's that plain and simple.
And how much time do you spend tolerating pain? While life passes you by?

I think you can get sick, and have to stay inside all day, and miss out on seeing your friends, going to work, travel, have fun, do sport, whatever else life has to offer. Because that's what it's like, having anxiety and inner tension paralyzing you.

That's what I'm talking about, wanting to go out and live life.
Pura Visio, Pectus Apertum, Pax Interi
User avatar
Kae
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:38 pm
Location: The North

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby Kae » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:05 pm

Quinn wrote:Kae - this is the way I see it...

We each have a "package" that's been created up to this point in time. The package contains all of our conditioning, our genetics, our past circumstances, past opportunities and events - a whole boatload of "stuff" that we've experienced and taken in. The sum total of all that = our present circumstances, and the mix and make-up of it is as individual as our fingerprints.

No one else can tell us the exact right 'path' to begin to undo and release the package. That's why there are so many books saying the same thing in slightly different language and from different perspectives. The only one who truly knows what you need to do is YOU.

At the same time, it can be hard to access that internal insight. That's why this forum is great, the books are great, the teachings are great. They can spark a recognition of something we already know, but was a bit hazy under the load of that package.

If you feel that the meds help - then that's exactly what you should do. There may come a point where you decide to go off of them. Then that's what you do. Follow what feels right for you, right now. No one else can possibly have a better idea of what's right than you do.

Just so you know....I was on a small dose of anti-depressants for years and only stopped about 3 years ago. A good friend of mine has been on huge doses for about 5 years now and just recently asked if she could join our meditation group. Medication doesn't preclude awakening.


I appreciate your post, Quinn. It has some comprehension of what I'm going through.
I've been on the meds before, and it helped greatly. I'm now taking them again.

I think sometimes, about that endless number of people that are depressed or have anxiety, and think that there must be some major shift waiting to happen. Consciousness desperately wanting to break out. But it seems that we have a very long way to go. People don't seem ready, and modern medicine isn't ready. I look at myself, and other people who've been practising meditation and spiritual exercises much longer than me, and they still suffer this. I think it's a shame that I have to take chemical substances to get by, I really do. I like to believe that we can do it ourselves. But I can't. I've tried. And as I said before, you can't try the same thing forever. At some point you admit defeat.

I think that's enough for this thread. Before we start repeating ourselves.
Thanks.
Pura Visio, Pectus Apertum, Pax Interi
User avatar
Kae
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:38 pm
Location: The North

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby Quinn » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:10 am

Kae wrote:I think that's enough for this thread.


Well, ok but...maybe just one teeny thing?

I don't know if I made this clear at all in my post, but I don't think it's a shame to go on the meds. I don't think it's defeat. At. All.
I don't see it as any different from eating healthy or exercising to feel good. Or Adya sipping (what I assume is) tea when he's giving talks. It's just something your body needs right now, until it doesn't need it any more.

Where did this idea come from, especially in 'spiritual circles', that taking a medication that helps regulate chemicals in the body is a bad thing? I don't buy it.

Ok. I'm done now. :)
Quinn
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:52 am

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby enigma » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:49 am

Kae wrote: I look at myself, and other people who've been practising meditation and spiritual exercises much longer than me, and they still suffer this.


Which is why I'm the 'practice curmudgeon' here, but it seems the only cure to practicing is a lot of years of practicing.

you can't try the same thing forever. At some point you admit defeat.


And THAT would be the surrender/allowance that you imagine you are doing in your practicing.

I think that's enough for this thread. Before we start repeating ourselves.
Thanks.


I'm just getting warmed up! 8)
enigma
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:51 am

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby Natalie » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:30 pm

However it turns out that this entire story is just a narration. It is merely "managing" imagination. Did stuff get fixed? Sure, but not the major suffering stuff, and the narration is certain to be way off because reality is nothing that we can imagine. Believing the personal stories and carrying the burden of finding a resolution for "my" suffering is a train wreck


Wow randomguy guy I find this very very insightful. The power of not believing the personal stories is truly, and literally, out of this world. This is where I am currently at in this journey that doesn't really exist but MUST be traveled to realize this very thing. The realization that for over forty years all I did was 'manage my imagination' as you put it, and my utter incompetency at this managerial job, served as a doorway to other glimses and realizations that I am still experiencing.

Like enigma says, surrender was absolutely necessary. As long as I believed that there was a pill, a therapist, a self help book, a 12 step group or a seminar or retreat that would help me feel 'better', I was on that train headed for Wreckville.
So grateful now that the train reached its destination and the conductor kicked me out.

In my case, great emotional suffering was the key ingredient, and artificial ways of by-passing it, the greater obstacles.

Natalie
User avatar
Natalie
 
Posts: 559
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Yet more on anxiety and it's remedies

Postby Quinn » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:19 pm

Natalie wrote:artificial ways of by-passing it, the greater obstacles.


I really don't think that Kae (correct me if I'm wrong, Kae) or I was in any way saying "by-pass". I don't think that anyone on this particular forum is interested solely in feeling better. There are plenty of other forums for that topic. But taking meds, or doing yoga, or seeking therapy can help some of us get to a place where the "story of me" can be addressed with some small speck of objectivity. Sometimes, just reading Tolle is not enough to open up that little bit of space needed.

Can medication be used as a by-pass? Sure. Can it also be used to regain enough footing to start some self-inquiry? I don't see why not.
Quinn
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:52 am

Next

Return to Pain and Suffering

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest