Pain Body Intensifying Greatly After Period of Presence

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.

Pain Body Intensifying Greatly After Period of Presence

Postby RichJC » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:58 am

Hi all,

First I want to say thanks for this the wonderful resource, this site is truly amazing. I have been a reader for years but this is my first time posting. I'm here because I want to ask advice, if anyone can help. Now, I know that 'my story' is only helpful to both me and others on a certain level, but I believe it might help set things up for my question/topic.

The 'story' part: I 'suffer' with Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which developed after a pretty intense and long-lasting bout of what is sometimes called Anti-Depressant Withdrawal Syndrome. Basically, my weakened body and mind went into a loop of panic and intense anxiety that has gone on for the last seven years (about various things I never seem to understand, and still find hard to 'grasp'). It has waxed and waned, though, with periods of seeming dormancy and others of seeming renewal (and yet the anxiety is always present in both modes, it just seems more silent in one and more vocal in another). My anxiety, even though it has been on a loop for years, ALWAYS feels like it is sudden and unexpected. Panic, it seems, is a vicious and relentless 'beast'.

I sum up my response to it over the years this way: I am pretty 'good' at accepting individual panic attacks, but I just can't seem to accept the overall disorder on a spiritual level, if that makes sense. Even though I sit with the feelings all the time believing I am being present, a deep sense of nihilism has developed. It is as if the world is just a pointless forum for pain and life consists of one damn sore thing after another.

My question/topic part: However, this summer, I had what felt like a 'breakthrough' or what seemed like a mini ego collapse. I was in bed one night following a day of very, very intense anxiety and extended period of crying and retching. At one point, there was a moment of searing, all-consuming pain and deep, deep loneliness and then I fell asleep. The next day I woke up feeling a gentle, low-level peace I couldn't explain (or perhaps, could explain in terms of Eckhart's teachings). It was gorgeous, and it lasted about two months.

What happened after two months? One day in work, it felt like my panic and anxiety (almost literally) attacked me with renewed vigor. They came back like a wrecking ball to the soul, and felt stronger than ever. They have really consumed me since, and I am feeling worse than ever. It is not only bad, though, but very weird - almost alien. It feels like part of me wants to die, while a part of me wants to live, too.

It is like panic and anxiety are screaming right in my face all the time, demanding my attention, threatening me, abusing me even more loudly than before. Promising more, and worse, pain. Doing anything to stop me being present. Every now and again I do experience a few seconds of amazing spaciousness, and then it starts all over again.

I feel like I have rocked the boat, maybe. Is this a death rattle? Does my anxiety 'know' I am 'looking' at it? Is this normal? Part of me knows the answer. If it is happening, then it is normal. Because it just is. But I am really, really struggling right now.

Peace and love,

J
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Re: Pain Body Intensifying Greatly After Period of Presence

Postby lmp » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:23 pm

Hi,

members here will answer differently but what I see with people whos story is more turbulent than calm is that a few stages of development are easy to discern. First there is the bad stage, life is in some way or to some extent miserable; then there is the breaking point, somehow the cage of misery breaks; and so there is, let's call it freedom and beauty and some revelations that life is a lot more than just a difficult journey; then there is great emptiness as the patterns of suffering and the peak experiences of freedom subside; then there is a new mode of operation or another way of living.

These stages mix and can go on for years and seem to battle and go back and forth or appear one day and vanish another etc. Since we are accustomed to live a certain way, these changes can either be percieved as expected and deliberate to some extent or as something that expands in a shocking way. I think they are big events in any case.
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Re: Pain Body Intensifying Greatly After Period of Presence

Postby lmp » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:24 am

RichJC wrote:My question/topic part: However, this summer, I had what felt like a 'breakthrough' or what seemed like a mini ego collapse. I was in bed one night following a day of very, very intense anxiety and extended period of crying and retching. At one point, there was a moment of searing, all-consuming pain and deep, deep loneliness and then I fell asleep. The next day I woke up feeling a gentle, low-level peace I couldn't explain (or perhaps, could explain in terms of Eckhart's teachings). It was gorgeous, and it lasted about two months.

I once was at a parking lot and I had noticed the extraordinary color of the sky that evening. I am standing by my car just watching the color blue of the sky, as a single black crow comes flying across the sky. To me this crow against the sky was such a work of art, so alive, so masterful a creation, life was so beautiful and deep. It just kept welling up from within like a wave.

If I were to go back to the parking lot now, looking for the sky and the crow and the beauty, perhaps it would be raining, grey sky, no crow and I would be freezing.

I guess you might know this, but the reason the low-level peace or the beauty is not to be found in a particular time or place is because it is alive and changing. It will come again but in an unexpected way most likely. To desire it back is of course natural and understandable, but what we are in effect then doing is looking at a memory and wanting that back, if we accept that it, the real thing, has changed, at least the mistake of that desire won't be a burden.

What I have noticed though, for me, if a friend is kind enough to listen or if I try to describe it gently and accurately, let's say in a poem, in order to do so I must look in the direction of this peace in order to find the right words and it somehow can slowly reveal itself because of it. Just be accurate, correct, honnest in describing it. It's preferable if the describing of it is a form of naturally wanting to describe it rather than as I am here suggesting it as a method for getting it back.
RichJC wrote:What happened after two months? One day in work, it felt like my panic and anxiety (almost literally) attacked me with renewed vigor. They came back like a wrecking ball to the soul, and felt stronger than ever. They have really consumed me since, and I am feeling worse than ever. It is not only bad, though, but very weird - almost alien. It feels like part of me wants to die, while a part of me wants to live, too.

I wonder if this description of a part wanting to live and another part wanting to die wasnt just a momentary thought which was felt like a powerful and real thought but which since then has disappeared. Isn't it so that we remember this kind of moment and then extend it, saying that this is the way we feel. In reality, soon after that thought perhaps you went shopping or did something entirely different. Or do you actually feel like that now?
RichJC wrote:It is like panic and anxiety are screaming right in my face all the time, demanding my attention, threatening me, abusing me even more loudly than before. Promising more, and worse, pain. Doing anything to stop me being present. Every now and again I do experience a few seconds of amazing spaciousness, and then it starts all over again.

It is said that as we begin to understand ourselves we also understand the other or each other, because our problems are the same basically. I can't say that I know your problems, that would be untrue, but if there is any truth to that we learn about each other simultaneously, then I would like to say that in that spaciousness is the required courage to understand the mechanics of the ongoing pain. When we finally can look at something painful and still feel the peace, even that pain is allowed to be in our life and the fear of it gradually turns into gentle understanding.
RichJC wrote:I feel like I have rocked the boat, maybe. Is this a death rattle? Does my anxiety 'know' I am 'looking' at it? Is this normal? Part of me knows the answer. If it is happening, then it is normal. Because it just is. But I am really, really struggling right now.
Peace and love,
J

It is in a way a death rattle, but also as we begin to allow ourselves to look at our problems there is more content or more energy in the pain than we previously had the courage to allow ourselves to see. I have struggled a lot too.
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Re: Pain Body Intensifying Greatly After Period of Presence

Postby Phil2 » Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:50 pm

RichJC wrote:

I feel like I have rocked the boat, maybe. Is this a death rattle? Does my anxiety 'know' I am 'looking' at it? Is this normal? Part of me knows the answer. If it is happening, then it is normal. Because it just is. But I am really, really struggling right now.



I would say : do not struggle with it, do not resist ... leave it as it is and observe the more quieter and aware you can ... don't panic ... don't try to 'fix' it ... but dedicate to it all your attention ... don't try to 'distract' or 'sedate' yourself from it (like using drugs, alcohol or entertainment) ... stay with it ... and see it for what it is ... just movements of energy in the body ... no big deal ...

Awareness and attention are the worst enemies of panic attacks ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
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Re: Pain Body Intensifying Greatly After Period of Presence

Postby ashley72 » Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:56 pm

Rich,

No panic (itself) doesn't have the power of perception so it doesn't know you're looking at it.

Panic is a positive feedback cycle, caused by the output signal feeding back into the input signal.

The output signal is anything that occurs when you have a nervous response to danger... Symptoms include: anxious thoughts, intrusive thoughts, trembling, sweating, adrenaline release, heart palpitations etc.... that's the output signal of danger. Yes danger has an output signal!

The dysfunction in the human nervous system arises when the output signal of danger is also labelled danger by our percepts. This causes a growth cycle, increase in the output signal (panic cycle).

If you break it down, you're being tricked into treating the output signal of danger as danger.

The way to overcome panic, is to refrain from treating or perceiving any nervous response as danger! For recover to occur you need to expose yourself to a nervous response... and treat it as unpleasant rather than dangerous and something you want to avoid. This includes anxious or intrusive thoughts that may arise. Stop avoiding anxious thoughts... expose yourself to them, means exposing yourself to their lies (irrationality).

Say for example I have an anxious thought "that my hands have germs on them". That's pretty scary, the germs could kill me right?. The problem is I'm scared of merely the anxious thought, not actual physical germs I can see through a microscope of say Ebola. But my perceptions don't discriminate... So irrationality I'm being frightened of merely anxious thoughts, rather than any physical danger... this is what happens when you suffer from OCD.

OCD is obsessive compulsive thoughts about irrational possibilities, that cause the suffer to carry out avoidance strategies to avoid exposure.

Kurt Godel the famous mathematical logician suffered from the fear of being poisoned and actually starved himself to death because he was so afraid of his anxious thoughts.

Ironically, panic sufferers get tricked into doing the very thing that feeds the dysfunction which is avoidance.
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Re: Pain Body Intensifying Greatly After Period of Presence

Postby postwins » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:27 pm

** I didn't realize this post was from last year. I still feel better for responding. **

RichJC wrote:Hi all,

First I want to say thanks for this the wonderful resource, this site is truly amazing. I have been a reader for years but this is my first time posting. I'm here because I want to ask advice, if anyone can help. Now, I know that 'my story' is only helpful to both me and others on a certain level, but I believe it might help set things up for my question/topic.


I do not know if I can help, but I came here now to try and relieve some of the psychological pressure that I am experiencing myself by sharing. I will simply share with you instead of creating a new post.

RichJC wrote:
The 'story' part: I 'suffer' with Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which developed after a pretty intense and long-lasting bout of what is sometimes called Anti-Depressant Withdrawal Syndrome. Basically, my weakened body and mind went into a loop of panic and intense anxiety that has gone on for the last seven years (about various things I never seem to understand, and still find hard to 'grasp'). It has waxed and waned, though, with periods of seeming dormancy and others of seeming renewal (and yet the anxiety is always present in both modes, it just seems more silent in one and more vocal in another). My anxiety, even though it has been on a loop for years, ALWAYS feels like it is sudden and unexpected. Panic, it seems, is a vicious and relentless 'beast'.


I experience this sort of panic. I have since I was a child. I used to not be able to stand in line to get lunch at school, because I felt that I was so abhorrent that it was unfair to make the other children stand next to me. I rarely ate lunch. This is a vivid memory.

Most of my life I have "medicated" with alcohol and every sort of drug. Consistently marijuana, but really whatever I could get my hands on, including IV drugs. Also I have been prescribed anti-depressants, which were not helpful and perhaps harmful.

RichJC wrote:
I sum up my response to it over the years this way: I am pretty 'good' at accepting individual panic attacks, but I just can't seem to accept the overall disorder on a spiritual level, if that makes sense. Even though I sit with the feelings all the time believing I am being present, a deep sense of nihilism has developed. It is as if the world is just a pointless forum for pain and life consists of one damn sore thing after another.


This is almost true, except for the "pointless" part, I think. Suffering opens a window for us, an ability to perceive, or perhaps intuitively understand the possibility of perceiving, something greater than ourselves. Your illness will perhaps be the vehicle that gets you where you are meant to be.

RichJC wrote:
My question/topic part: However, this summer, I had what felt like a 'breakthrough' or what seemed like a mini ego collapse. I was in bed one night following a day of very, very intense anxiety and extended period of crying and retching. At one point, there was a moment of searing, all-consuming pain and deep, deep loneliness and then I fell asleep. The next day I woke up feeling a gentle, low-level peace I couldn't explain (or perhaps, could explain in terms of Eckhart's teachings). It was gorgeous, and it lasted about two months.



I had a good "relationship" with the ego for quite some time as well, beginning near the time that I first posted on this site and deepening gradually. I was living authentically. I became complacent. Eckhart wrote that we must be the ever-vigilant guardian of our inner space, and I was not. Surely smoking some weed couldn't hurt. In fact, at first it seemed to deepen my communion with the source. However, soon it was just an escape from the "boredom" that I had learned to accept. Then I needed weed + beer. I started smoking cigarettes again. I am unconscious once more, a robot acting on programming.

RichJC wrote:
What happened after two months? One day in work, it felt like my panic and anxiety (almost literally) attacked me with renewed vigor. They came back like a wrecking ball to the soul, and felt stronger than ever. They have really consumed me since, and I am feeling worse than ever. It is not only bad, though, but very weird - almost alien. It feels like part of me wants to die, while a part of me wants to live, too.


It is like panic and anxiety are screaming right in my face all the time, demanding my attention, threatening me, abusing me even more loudly than before. Promising more, and worse, pain. Doing anything to stop me being present. Every now and again I do experience a few seconds of amazing spaciousness, and then it starts all over again.


I barely survived a suicide attempt. Sheer luck really. This was before (but not too long before) I discovered Eckhart. I think I know what you mean. The mind almost seems to say, "If you don't smoke a cigarette, if you don't get drunk or high, if you don't at least fucking smash something or yell at someone, I swear if it's the last thing I do, I will take you with me."

I watch it. Pain arises. The path Home is familiar to me now. The kind of temper tantrum that my ego is throwing right now is the kind that once would have landed me in the psych ward. It is perhaps easier this time because I have glimpsed the Truth. Still, it is an act of faith to be still and embrace suffering, faith that something will change if I am still. When the ego says, "Nothing is changing", I watch it. When the ego says, "Something will change", I watch it. Pain arises. Every moment there is pain, and every moment there is the Witness. It is possible to experience both Peace and pain simultaneously - however, there is a "realness" to the Peace that is not there with the pain.

RichJC wrote:
I feel like I have rocked the boat, maybe. Is this a death rattle? Does my anxiety 'know' I am 'looking' at it? Is this normal? Part of me knows the answer. If it is happening, then it is normal. Because it just is. But I am really, really struggling right now.



What I wrote above may have made it seem that this I am not struggling. Every moment I am a millimeter away from diving back into the ego. But how can I live my life by the compass of something so fake and stupid? The ego thinks it is a good idea for me to get wasted, to literally destroy myself. If I dive back, then I am as good as dead, if not literally.

So Here I Am, and there it is. The only piece of concrete advice that I can give you, and I am paraphrasing someone much wiser than myself.

Do not seek to regain what you have lost; only cease to cherish the illusion.

Good luck my friend.
One problem, one solution.
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Re: Pain Body Intensifying Greatly After Period of Presence

Postby Sandra845 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:09 pm

Anxiety Disorder is also called ocd. In my opinion you should start practicing yoga regularly. Yoga helps a lot in keeping your mind calm. You know most of ocd people do yoga and other exercise which keep their condition in check.
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