“Allopathic medicine is insufficient. Not wrong, insufficient.” – Caroline Myss
I refuse to be ashamed of the fact that my doctor prescribed me Ativan for PTSD, six years after I’d been struck with it.
In light of Michael Stone’s untimely death, I feel compelled to speak up about a taboo subject within the holistic community in general, and the yoga community in particular.
I didn’t know Michael Stone when he was alive. I never met him. I wasn’t interested in knowing him. Nearly everyone I knew in the yoga community who adored him and his books are—or at the very least, were—assholes. Competitive, stifling, appearance-obsessed assholes. I figured that if that many assholes praised his work, then he must have been an asshole, too.
And then I met Michael Stone after his body expired.
I read the media release from his wife shortly after he overdosed on fentanyl in the streets of Victoria. Apparently, Michael had been struggling with bipolar disorder and had been contemplating revealing his struggles publically. He obviously didn’t trust his audience with the information, though, which likely contributed to the severity of his condition.
Then he tragically died and the support poured in on the crowd-funding pages. In all fairness, I do figure the only way to apologize for being an unrelenting asshole is with money.
I’m by no stretch of the imagination a professional medium, but I have on occasion communicated with “dead” people, and the experiences have been validated. So, because I’m hung up on the notion that dead people can read my thoughts, I knew I couldn’t lie to Michael Stone about why I wasn’t interested in him. And, being the honest, Indigo, mercurial Capricorn that I am, I wanted to have a conversation to clear the air.
The first impression I received of Michael flooded me with compassion. He was present. He unconditionally understood my indifference towards him and loved me anyways. I did not see him with my physical eyes or hear him with my physical ears; I’m clairsentient and claircognizant. I felt him in my heart and knew him in my thoughts. He encouraged me to let the misfit out of the closet.
From my perspective, acknowledging that you’re a spiritually bypassing asshole is like white people acknowledging that we’ve been socialized to be racist. It’s not easy, but if you want to be more like Michael Stone (or the Dalai Lama), stepping out of your denial is worth it. I’m sure his fans would be comforted to know that he’s not the one calling them assholes.
I don’t resonate with the camp that believes that bipolar disorder is simply a chemical imbalance in the brain, but I do recognize the potential need to treat it psychiatrically. As much as I’d like to believe that I live in a friendly, cooperative universe, I also acknowledge the harried distortion in which everyone who reads these words breathes.
There are those of us who can keep pace, and there are those of us who struggle. I admittedly fall in the latter category. For the last year or more, I’ve been following the work of medical medium Anthony William, who claims that bipolar disorder is actually caused by toxic heavy metal poisoning in the brain. Where these toxic metals are coming from is another story next to no one is willing to contemplate.
Anger is a temperature gauge. Climbing temperatures heat up foreign metals in the brain that then melt, trauma is triggered, then adrenaline pumps through the system like a blowtorch. William says that there is literally a hot metal storm raging in the brain when this happens. Following the manic episode, depression suppresses the nervous system, thus cooling the body. Eventually ecstasy (which I don’t necessarily consider mania) kicks in, indicating the activation of the body’s healing chemistry, and the cycle starts over again.
If William is right, it’s imperative to eat foods that remove toxic heavy metals from the brain. With the exception of sensitivities, foods to eat include: wild blueberries, cilantro, lemon water, celery-cucumber juice, coconut water, banana, Vitamin B12 (meat), sweet potato, potato, winter squash, sprouts, microgreens, asparagus, radish, and butter lettuce. William recommends a low-fat diet when detoxing from heavy metals. It would also be helpful, if possible, to reduce or avoid triggers. Within the totality of possibilities, anything is possible. Unless, of course, you’ve kicked the bucket and you’re dead. Although then death, too, falls in the realm of possibility.
If yoga has taught me anything, it’s to honour my body. If yoga communities have taught me anything, it’s that they are herds operating within a tribal mentality. I have not made it global like Michael Stone, and with the exception of a few gems here and there, I do not feel supported by my yoga community. That said, I haven’t died in isolation. I also happen to be flush with opportunity. I do believe, after all, that I create my own reality.
Speaking of… In 2012, I got into a car accident moving for a man who decided after six months of living together that he didn’t love me. He was a kept man, but the going got too tough for him compounded by his mother’s disapproval of me. He never had my back.
She just doesn’t like to work, his mother repeatedly chirped in the months following my 180-kilometer-impact car accident. Her words spewed forth from his mouth like broken glass. Eventually she convinced him that he didn’t love me, and because he treated me like garbage, he didn’t disagree.
The car accident disabled me and the settlement bankrupted me. I uprooted my life and compromised my career and my health for a man who was not worth the consequential hardship. Permanent injuries that affect my spine and nervous system remind me of my tattered choices daily. Although I’m no longer bursting at the seams with anger and hostility, I have not figured out how to forgive myself.
On the bright side, it’s not lost on me how I created the experience, and fortunately I’m aware of triggers. My support system includes daily rituals to ground me in my home station and connect me with my spirit. Daily routine and rituals balance Vata dosha, the King constitution of life on planet Earth. Ayurveda, the ancient healing art of India, uses doshas to describe the varying constitutions of nature, and by extension, the human body. Veda means “science” while ayur means “life.” Thus, Ayurveda is the Science of Life. Many of the injuries and conditions I’ve experienced post-accident are considered Vata imbalances. I practice physical yoga nearly daily to bolster my mental and physical health, as well as manage and reduce pain; I micro-dose CBD oil in the mornings before work to ease the effects of tense thinking patterns on my nerves; and, I’ve been experimenting with medical-grade lavender oil to relax my nervous system in the evenings before bed. Occasionally, though, natural options aren’t strong enough to alleviate severe anxiety, or worse, PTSD. It never occurred to me to ask my doctor to write me a prescription for Ativan. I was hell bent on managing anxiety naturally.
But, I’m over contracting obstructive nasal polyps that encroach upon my sleep, etc. Fighting with myself about my circumstances and lack of understanding from others, along with overextending myself activates cortisol, which then initiates the production of histamine. Histamine breeds polyps, etc. I can’t smoke weed or consume THC when nasal polyps are active, and I like smoking weed. Smoking weed is my psychologist and my friend. Cannabis—unlike the conditional, unloving yoga community—doesn’t judge me. In my experience, most yoga teachers are not trauma sensitive. They simply paid for the training and credentials.
Sure, I might be jaded, but maybe there’s room for Saturn in the book of Scorpio here. I’ve never been willing to tolerate abuse (leaving me with a charred reputation to begin with), yet I am willing to grow up and cooperate.
Taking half mg of Ativan twice per week (Sunday and Wednesday evenings) seems to be enough to stop me from wigging out on nervous system overload. I do prefer marijuana over Ativan, but ganja doesn’t suppress my nervous system. Resistance can still fester on weed. THC is by far the best option available to me to manage chronic pain and acute depression, but THC is useless to combat mental health malfunction when DHEA levels are tenaciously low. Prolonged depression and agitation are indications that DHEA levels have plummeted. DHA is a fatty acid (found in omega 3’s), whereas DHEA is one of the most abundantly circulating hormones in the human body. DHEA promotes vitality. Wild salmon is considered the most abundant natural source of omega-3 fatty acids to boost DHEA, yet this Vata-imbalanced body seems to detest both fish and omega-3 supplements. Tolerance, however, changes with the seasons.
Happiness, of note, also boosts DHEA.
So, there you have it. It takes courage to write a blog, and even more courage to be honest about who you are when no one’s looking. People often comment that they feel comfortable being themselves around me. In truth, I command it from the field. And nothing, from my perspective, provides relief from psycho-emotional suffering more than compassion and understanding.
There’s something about being left to my own devices and valued for who I am. Filters, yes. Facades? No.