Pain and change. 

3 months ago I set out to treat bipolar disorder. In short it seemed intractable; I had two types of bipolar, both were notoriously hard to treat. Ultimately I succeeded. 

In just the last year out of a lifetime of searching for medication I had tried 34 different medications. 

One caused me to black out and collapse regularly. One offered me a skin disease. Had I not treated it it would have devoured my skin and killed me. 

So I tried ECT. So for a month, every other day I would go to an office where they tranquilized me, knocked me out, and  induced seizures that caused short term amnesia. 

My symptoms went away. Bipolar completely went away. I succeed. 

After a week i began to feel anxiety and depression creep in. But I noticed it wasn’t bipolar. 

After investigation I learned that I had been living with debilitating chronic pain. This means I was constantly exhausted and could not do work go to school or leave the house. 

I found the cause of this. I had been meditating my emotional stress all these years with copious amounts of sugar, caffeine and nicotine, mainly cigarettes. 

After 2 weeks I had stopped smoking. I moved on to e cigarettes and cut down on caffeine and nicotine use down to 1/4 of what I used to use.

My body began to thaw out. I introduced high quality omega 3, a trinity of anti inflamitory supplements vitamins and changed my diet. 

I had cut out what was making my muscles inflamed and I could sleep. For one night in years I had true restful sleep. I was starting to feel energy again. 

I had been eliminating the source of my inflammation that was causing pain. 
But then the emotions I was coping with would flare up. Under stressful stimulation my anxiety and pain returned. 

So I’ve been teaching myself to reduce stress. I worked with a. Therapist a physical therapist and a doctor. 

I no longer needed most meds. But the depression came back, only this time situational. 

Like so many with pain I became depressed with the debilitation of not being able to do anything and its cousin demoralization. 

So I stayed taking anti depressants. Depression, much like pain increases your pain sensitivity and reduces your ability to produce pain reducing chemicals in your body. 
Short term use of pain killers is great for many situations. But long term they depress you cloud your thinking and most importantly, your pain signals get stronger so that they can make it through to your brain, resulting in more needed pain killers and continuing the cycle. I could not do this. 

So now I have quit cigarettes near bipolar and things got simpler. I have a plan that is working. 

Slowly eliminate nicotine and caffeineso that I can sleep soundly and heal. Introduce chemicals that naturally reduce inflammation inside and outside of my body. Gently-GENTLY stretch and work my body. Take anti depressants that reduce my need for self medication with coffee and cigarettes as well as reduce pain and fatigue. 

This combined with therapy support and applying what energy I have to make my life support joy is the next steps I’m taking. 

I have a way out now. 

I said goodbye to alcoholism long ago. After years I successfully treated mental illness. I then treated the underlying illnesses. I have begun both creating and reinforcing pleasurable and supportive relationships. I have learned to be kind to myself and compassionate to others through my understanding of what suffering and it’s self reinforcing cycles do to people. 

I have had the luxury of automating my laundry and groceries so that I can focus my energy on what I can do. 

I have read hundreds of books on spiritual development psychology physiology positive thinking pain management and mental illness. 

I have been practicing yoga meditation breathing exercises. I have decided what I want in my future and committed to writing down and working towards my dreams. 

I have refused to give up and have dared to hope and forced myself to plan and work. 

Most of all I learned how life can take many turns but it’s our spirit that stays constant. So my life now has to be dedicated to supporting that. 

The worst part of the pain is being separated from a clear mind and a thriving soul. My priorities are now creating a foundation in which I can thrive. 

So many trivial things seemed so important. Now I see what is important and valuable. 

The most valuable thing I have outside of me is the love and support of others. The purpose of my life is creating a foundation in which I can thrive and help others do the same. 

So, in the end, as this nightmare SLOWLY begins to end and the light of day peeks through time and time again, I have learned what my values are. 

Treat others with compassion. Suffering takes many forms, compassion is powerful and abundant if we access it. 

Take care of myself. It’s easier to be nice and happy that way. The less we suffer the more we thrive and sharing that is meaningful. 

Finally, my life is meant to serve my soul. By that I mean the creative capacity to love others share joy and be in the moment. 

I also learned that impossible situations are rarely that. With the help of others the worst circumstances can create lifelong rewards.