Posted by: cg00n | May 31, 2009

Mental Pain

It has not been a good day on the old state-of-mind front.  Things started out OK:  I was fairly calm this morning and spent some time trying to figure out exactly what is triggering my fear.  Conclusion:  it really is the melanoma, but I think any other wasting disease would do the trick just as effectively.  I think my subconscious sees it as a sort of creeping horror that is gradually engulfing my system and that is the stuff of nightmares.  So, task number 1 is to try to find a way to re-cast this demon into a less fearsome form.  Right now I’m trying to think of it as simply the incarnation of my own personal death.  Since my death (in some fashion) is inevitable and doesn’t really worry me all that much (I think) this ought to look less threatening.

Any solution to the fear factor would be welcome right now.  Usually the anxiety lifts off and blows away by late afternoon but today it didn’t.  Basically it has been on and off all day and is still present now, at 11pm.  I’ve taken some clonazepam to tame it a bit and that does seem to be helping.

I scythed half our “lawn” this afternoon and very nearly collapsed in the shower afterwards.  Of course I haven’t been eating very much, I feel nauseous and coupled with the relatively hard work involved I think I was suffering from low blood pressure.  Anyway, I made it through the shower and on to A‘s piano recital this afternoon which was excellent!  She has taken to piano much better than I ever did and does herself credit every time she performs.

America’s Funniest Videos was a pleasant break from anxiety and P had prepared some delicious pork tenderloin which tempted me to eat a modest amount for dinner but afterwards the jitters returned once more.

It crossed my mind that the medics take physical pain much more seriously now than they did a few years ago.  Getting good pain control, even for terminal diseases, used to be quite difficult.  This has improved considerably according to all the reports I’ve read.  But what about mental pain?  True, the clonazepam more or less does the trick but the options seem very limited and there does not seem to be much understanding of just how bad this can get.  IMHO when one is given a diagnosis of something pretty nasty it would help enormously if one also got an automatic referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or some other councellor with knowledge of the relevant medical conditions.  In my particular case, realising this would almost certainly be a significant issue, I took preemptive steps to get myself hooked up with a psychiatrist who (by a fortunate coincidence) I will be seeing on Wednesday.  But what about all the other poor sods who have no idea what just hit them?

I really hope this particular anxiety episode blows off fairly soon.  History suggests that it should….



  1. Mental pain is something I’m rather familiar with, alas. 😦 For myself, I’ve found two things to work quite well: writing in my journal or talking it through with someone. Both activities are an exorcism of sorts, where the fears and pain are explored, named and cast out of oneself. I’ve found that when I pin down my fears into words on parchment, they’re not as scary as they were and the mental anguish subsides somewhat.

    As usual, YMMV.

  2. Kate has two good points. Our students were doing class presentations on cancer today and repeatedly the literature they presented found that support groups worked remarkably well, better than paid support (psychiatrists and the rest) in some instances. The lonely feeling evaporated somewhat by talking with others experiencing similar situations.

  3. I saw your news on our wordscraper game and my heart did a flip and crash for a moment, and then I went to read your blog and took my time absorbing it all.

    First of all, I am so pleased that you carried through on your interest in meditation, and that it has been helping you to remain calm, which helps your body to produce the good chemicals that are healing.

    Secondly, I have two suggestions to make. Firstly, ask your psychiatrist if he is an EFT practitioner (Emotional Freedom Technique), which actually can bring one back into a balanced NOW state of mind within a very few minutes. This would be really helpful when you feel completely overwhelmed, and EFT is a healing modality as well. It consists of tapping on accupuncture points while making various statements or thinking of specific things and areas of your body. I am not such a practitioner, but you can do research on it and see if there is someone in your area who can help you if your psychiatrist cannot. EFT can yield some amazing results.

    Secondly, if you have not read any Eckart Tolle, I suggest you go out and buy “The New Earth” or any other of his books that resonate with you. Eckart Tolle is a psychiatrist who was plagued all of his life by chronic, debilitating depression until he made a discovery that living in the present moment was the only way to be, unless of course you need to make an appointment and have to think in the future for that minute! It is akin to mindfullness in some ways, or maybe most ways, but I will let you decide that for yourself.

    There is also an internet channel on GlobalOne TV called Eckart Tolle TV. There you can find hours and hours of interviews with him, talks he has given, and so on. You may find this good to watch so that you can see his body language, humor and incredible intelligence as well, as he speaks about the process of not allowing possible future events to decide for you how you are feeling right this second. After all, we ONLY live in this moment.

    Please check these out if you have not already, and then let me know your thoughts. In the mean time I will send you light and whatever healing your body can accept at this time.

    much metta,

    ps, I have sent the links to Eckart and EMT to you via email

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