Happy 2011, and an update

Hey folks,

Well it's been a long time between updates, but I thought I'd drop in to wish you all a Happy 2011.

This year has been pretty rough at times, but I seem to be recovering gradually. There is hope on the horizon. On a bad day it may feel like wishful thinking, but I don't think so.

Most of my energy in 2010 was taken up with a very demanding acting course, which another friend with Chronic Fatigue recommended as a way of unlocking my blocked emotions. Wow, it was a blast. High highs, and low lows. Plus I got to meet a really inspiring group of people who are pursuing their dreams. I'll always be grateful for the friend who put me onto it. Did it make me better physically? I'm not so sure, but it was a great experience and I do seem a bit more energetic than when I started the year.

In lieu of any better explanation, I'm going along with Gupta's amygdala hypothesis that the underlying problem is really anxiety. It seems to fit my symptoms, especially the panic attacks and frequent anxiety overwhelm. I suspect I got more out of doing Path of Love than I did out of doing the Gupta program though, and I'm going to continue to pursue avenues for emotional catharsis, reducing anxiety and eliminating shame through exposure in loving environments.

I've spent the last 4 months working on The Confident Man Project, which is now mostly in maintenance mode. There will always be more stuff I can do on it, but I have many other projects in mind to complete. I tend to jump from one thing to another rapidly without settling, which makes it difficult to see anything through to successful completion. I think the more emotional healing work I do, the closer I get to being my true self, and the clearer my plan for the future should become.

One minute I want to be a rock star, the next a famous writer, the next a stand-up comic, and then some sort of life coach. Fear of failure and the amount of effort involved in anything creative to become successful has me blocked. I feel stressed due to a lack of clear direction, but in the mean time I keep working on existing projects. Maybe one day I'll feel satisfied just "being" without having to "do"; but I want to make a contribution and I want to be rewarded financially. That's not gonna happen just sitting back meditating all day, even if I did have the patience for it.

Anyway, life is pretty good. I'm not so depressed these days, and less anxious lately. Sharing how I really feel with other people has been tremendously valuable in this regard, as has learning to express my anger and stand up for myself more. It's all hard work when I'm feeling fatigued, but that hasn't been so bad lately, so I feel optimistic.

Be kind to yourselves, and be real with other people folks. If people accuse you of negative thinking when expressing frustration, grief or upset at being ill, tell 'em to take a hike. We will get better. Hang in there...

Cheers,
Graham

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About Graham

I'm a guy in his mid-40's, recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since May 2009.C
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8 Responses to Happy 2011, and an update

  1. Nia says:

    I hope you got something out of your retreat...off loaded some more junk. I know exactly what mean about being told all the time it is your emotions that made you sick.My German Naturopath, who had her own cancer clinic in Germany recommended a book "Why am I sick" by Richard Flook. It is very interesting...not your usual Louise Hay stuff. Talks about Conflict Shock and when the body cant resolve the issue it gets sick. The author is into Meta Medicine, talks about how the brain changes, ie the male brain shifts from being right brained into the feminine left brain, becomes less aggressive sometimes and if he gets another shock its a constellation and there the drama begins...cumulative shocks without resolution equals ill health.

    • Graham says:

      Thanks Nia. This time around I felt like I got a lot out of it, but came back feeling very exhausted. Interesting theory on illness... so when the shock is dealt with, what's the route to health then?

  2. Anet Dunne says:

    Several authors of this study of CFS reported ties to to the insurance industry:

    www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/health/research/18fatigue.html

    They reported that Psychotherapy and Exercise Eases Chronic Fatigue. What do you think? Is this just a way for insurance companies to avoid paying for treatment?

    • Graham says:

      I suspect that psychotherapy would help when used in conjunction with any chronic illness, since the degree of suffering we experience is profoundly impacted by the way our minds interpret what is going on. As for exercise, up until recently I've been avoiding it, but I don't seem to get the post exertional malaise so much nowadays and I've really enjoyed going dancing again a couple of times recently. I'm in Australia and have only basic health insurance which I've never used, so I have no idea what the deal with insurance companies is. I don't visit expensive doctors and aren't on any expensive treatment programs although I do spend a fortune on courses I do for psycho-theraputic reasons; but I'm lucky to be able to afford it so far.

  3. Nia says:

    Hi Graham,
    I am glad you are improving. I think Gupta is a beginning for many of us....an awakening maybe. I am not doing so well due to trying a drug last March with disastrous results. I am now just crawling back. I have had a Gupta coach in Britain and she gave me Ashoks Accelerator and I like it as it stops negative thoughts in their track. I am convinced the Amygdala is involved in this illness. The other day I read where Immunologists last year discovered in Lupus that anti bodies cross the brain/blood barrier, cause brain inflammation and affect the Amygdala causing fear and anxiety. Same with us I reckon. I like the sound of the Path of love course. Have you heard of the Rosen Method...body work where you release trapped emotions. Do you know Michael Rowland.? He wrote Absolute Happiness and recently Being in Heaven ...a movie...spiritual. He was involved in making Skippy. He has a writing course I am thinking of doing. He explains that you have to get deep into the unconscious to know yourself before you can write. He writes screenplays and other stuff I think. So the reason you may have not finished some of your stuff is because you may have felt a dimension of yourself not being true or authentic. Have you read the Artists Way by Julia Cameron. It is for stuck artists.!!!!! Does that ring a bell? My friend the beautiful Opera singer in Sydney Jacqueline Mabardi gave me her book. She said it had a profound effect on her pushing on with her career. I bought it recently at the Book depositry in the UK... very cheap books no postage. Keep doing what you are doing as it seems to be working for you.

    Cheers
    nia

    • Graham says:

      Hi Nia. Thanks for dropping by to say Hi. I'm doing OK, but I continue to be frustrated by mild anxiety which manifests itself mainly as indecision. As a result, I run around doing too many things without enough focus on any one. But I'm spending more time connecting with other people, and I get something out of every healing retreat I do.
      I'm about to head to Byron Bay for a Spiritual Sexual Shamanic Practitioners retreat, which is going to involve some processes for dealing with guilt, shame and fear; all things I succumb to. It's also going to push my boundaries big time. I'm looking forward to it and to a new openness in my life, which has been constrained tremendously by a lot of negative indoctrination from my religion and family of origin. Whether I'll feel better physically afterwards I don't know, but if I feel better emotionally I'll be happier at least.
      I seem to be on the right path, and learning to trust myself (and maybe even love myself) in the face of uncertainty.
      I haven't heard of the Rosen Method, but I've done some Breathwork. I've heard of Michael Rowland but haven't been to any of his seminars. I did some work with Nicholas De Castella (who suffered from CFS when he was an athlete) in Melbourne, and I'd go back tomorrow if he wasn't 1000km away. My skepticism of the whole trapped emotions thing gets in the way a bit, but each process I do makes me feel better emotionally so I'm doing it anyway. The proof of the pudding will be when I've dealt with enough of the baggage that my physical health returns, and then I'll be able to say "Yep, these guys were absolutely right". Meanwhile I'll keep making snide remarks about people who "sound like bloody Louise Hay". :-)
      Keep on the journey, we're headed in the right direction.
      Cheers,
      Graham

  4. Anet says:

    It is so helpful to read about your experiences and your progress. I took two acting classes from Lisa Dalton's Chekhov Connection . What was hard for me was allowing my feelings to be seen by others. I agree that the fatigue may be from suppressing rage. You are right that love is the antidote to anger. Have you considered putting the Path of Love links in the top right column? By the way, the Sedona link no longer works.

    • Graham says:

      Hi Anet. Yes; I spent all last year learning to get angry at people who piss me off. I still have a way to go, especially when I fear it may damage the relationship. But I'm getting there. I did an Improv class last week at the The Actor's Centre here in Sydney, and it was so much fun I can't wait to go back for more! So freeing & liberating.
      Thanks for the point about the links; I'll get that fixed.

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